Vancouver residents want tax on empty homes
A new poll shows that residents of Vancouver would be in favour of taxes on empty homes in their city. With affordability such a big issue currently and a belief that high prices are being fuelled by foreign investors buying house which are then left unoccupied, the calls are increasing for measures to curb the practice. Support is high with 72 per cent in a survey by Insights West saying they would be in favour of a levy on unoccupied homes; this was across the gender, age and social demographics. A similar idea is currently being considered in New York, where it’s proposed that those property owners who spend less than half the year in the city should pay a tax on their home. Read the full story.
Canada’s homes are getting greener
More Canadians are seeking out homes that have been built with the environment in mind. With climate change issues becoming increasingly real as weather incidents increase around the world we are looking to do what we can to reduce our impact on the environment. Energy efficiency has been part of home building for many years but for many homeowners that has been more of a cost-saving consideration than a ‘green’ one. Now more of us want homes that are built in locations, and using materials, that lessen environmental impact. These measures include homes that are closer to transit links, have toilets that use less water and energy-efficient furnaces. Read the full story.
Should your pet pay rent?
We love our pets and renters are sometimes forced to forego their choice of rental property because landlords don’t allow pets, but would you be prepared to pay monthly rent for your pooch or kitty? The word is that it’s becoming a thing throughout the US with payments of between $10 and $50 dollars routinely being charged for pet owners. In theory the payments are charged to cover additional costs but that’s not necessarily true in practice; often the premiums are charged just because landlord can. One Oregan property manager was advised to charge pet rent by her financial adviser to boost revenues and with 400 properties in her portfolio that adds up to a nice extra income. Read the full story.
Realtor left red faced by TV pranksters
A real estate agent in the UK thought they had found a great way to get potential clients to stop and browse their window but the promotional idea turned into an embarrassment. The London agents put a TV screen in the window showing a rolling news channel with the plan that those passing the office would stop to watch news footage and would also check out property displays. The plan seemed to be working until pranksters used a universal remote control to switch channels after hours – to an adult entertainment channel. No data is available on whether the changed channel produced more business for the realtor! Read the full story.