First-Time Home Buyers’ Tax Credit


Abbotsford, BC – If you are a first-time home buyer and recently purchased a home, we encourage you to speak with your Abbotsford mortgage broker as you may qualify for a tax credit up to $5,000, which can reduce your taxes by $750. The home buyers tax credit was introduced to assist first time home buyers purchase a home.

There is also a a credit for those with or living with those with disabilities.

For more information on the First-Time Home Buyers’ tax credit visit Canada Revenue Agency., or follow this link:

Some of Our Finest Moments & a Look at What to Expect In 2019


Abbotsford, BC – Just like that it’s over, 2018 has officially come and gone. We hope you enjoyed the holidays as much as we did. Rather than boring you with a long-winded year in review we thought we’d skip through that and just share a few of our favorite photos captured throughout 2018. Here’s a look at some of our finest moments.

From left to right: (1) Jordi’s big Hollywood debut (2) Coach Dave and son Cooper (3) Annual Browne family Christmas tree hunt (4) Green lake cabin, family photobombing (5) Jordi embracing his inner Moana as Maui for Halloween, Vienna looking less than impressed by her father’s attempt (6) Jordi and Natalie accompanying the Homelife Real Estate team at the Canadians baseball game (7) Coach Dave and son Cooper posing with the Abbotsford Bluejays (8) Annual Browne family pumpkin carve-off competition (9) Jordi, Vienna, Chase and Natalie enjoying their trip to Green Lake cabin.


Interest Rates 2019

The Bank of Canada has decided to maintain its benchmark rate at 1.75%. Throughout 2018 gradual rate increases were almost a regular occurrence but towards the end of the year the Bank of Canada geared down as the market began to get back to normalcy.

In December the bank said that the Canadian economy is operating close to its capacity, with unemployment at its lowest level in decades and inflation on target. As a result, further rate increases in 2019 were highly anticipated.

Reports released in December showed consumer spending had increased by only 1.2 per cent, and annual car sales had fallen for the first time since the financial crisis. The Canadian Real Estate Association is also expecting home sales to decrease in 2019, largely due to consumers adjusting to the restrictive financial conditions, such as the B-20 stress test and the 5 interest rate increases since July 2017.

With interest rates remaining stagnate and a slower real estate market, now could be the time for potential home buyers to consider acting while competition isn’t quite as intense.

The hold on interest rates may only last us a short while as the Bank is predicting growth to reach 1.7% by the end of 2019, however the decision to do so is based on several factors such as the housing market, oil and consumer spending.


Keep your eyes and ears peeled this spring for an interest rate flash sale! We’ve seen signs of an interest rate sale this past week which means opportunity for those looking to buy, renew or refinance. Contact our team for further details.

Important Changes You Need to Know About

Federal tax changes are underway this 2019, some of which will affect your paycheque, bills and even small businesses.

Canadian Pension Plan – starting this January, contributions will increase .15% from 4.95% to 5.1% set to affect earnings between $3500 – $57000.

Employment Insurance Premiums – premiums will drop per $100 of insurable earnings from $1.66 to $1.62.

Tax Free Savings Accounts – The contribution limit will be increase from $5,500 to $6,000 per year.

Gas Prices – Provinces that are imposing the carbon tax will see an increase in gasoline at 4.42 cents per litre and an increase in natural gas at 3.10 cents per litre. Canadians in these provinces will receive a direct rebate as a result to offset the increase.

Tax Changes for Small Business Owners – Effective January 1st, small business owners are permitted to generate up to $50,000 in passive income while still having access to lower rates. If businesses hold an excess on passive income, a portion of the first $500,000 in earnings will be subject to a higher rate. This will be dependant on how much they exceed the limit.

Canada Workers Benefit – Low income workers can now qualify for a more substantial “Canada Workers Benefit”, designed to help low income workers remain employed.

Postage – prices will increase to $1.05 per single domestic letter stamp, $1.27 for US letter mail stamp and $2.56 for an international stamp.

Capital Gains Tax – 3 Facts You Should Know

Capital Gains Tax – 3 Facts You Should Know

In the heat of the housing market, the media drew a lot of attention towards real estate “flipping” in BC. Buyers and sellers were purchasing properties and reselling for a profit, not before long the government implemented policies that required a lot more disclosure throughout the buying and selling transaction as well as distinguishing an individual’s primary residence. The government wanted to make it easier to track properties turned rentals, recreational homes or even a little of both. As a result, they hired an undisclosed number of works at the CRA (Canada Revenue Agency) to investigate these “tax cheats”. Below we’ve disclosed the top 3 facts you should know about Capital Gains Tax, #3 could save you thousands!


 1. What is it?

Capital gains tax is based on an increase in value of real estate or an investment. It applies to real estate that is not considered your primary residence and to stocks held in a non-registered investment account. This “gain” may be short term or long term and is not realized until the asset is “sold”. Capital gains tax is applied when the investment or real estate is worth more at the selling point than it was at the time of purchase.

*Capital Gains Tax must be claimed on income taxes and paid during the income tax year you’re filing

2. How is it calculated?

The total net gain is divided by 2 (50%) and then added to your income. It can also be split between spouses if the asset it jointly held. The gain is calculated at the time it’s sold and is added onto the asset owner(s) total income for that year.


John and Jane bought a rental condo in 2011 for $200,000 in Abbotsford, BC. In 2017 they decided to cash in on their gains and were able to resell their rental property for $400,000.

Sale price 2017: $400,000

Deduct the following:

  • Original purchase price: $200,000
  • Legal and realtor fees (from original purchase AND resale): $20,000
  • Property transfer tax (only if it was not deducted on 2011 income tax)

Total deductions: $220,000

Profit: $180,000

Capital gain: $180,000/2 (50% capital gain) = $90,000

*Since the property was purchased equally between John and Jane, the total capital gain will be split between the both parties.

John’s income in 2017: $90,000 + $45,000 = total income in 2017: $135,000

Jane’s income in 2017: $90,000 + $45,000 = total income in 2017: $135,000

Per asset owner: $45,000 x 36.5% (new tax bracket) = $16,425

Taxes owing for each asset owner = $16,425

3. How can you avoid it?

Putting money into a Registered Retirement Savings Plan (RRSP) can help you avoid paying this hefty tax.

Using the example above: Assuming they have the contribution room to do this, if John and Jane invest $45,000 into their own individual RRSP account, they would avoid paying the entire tax hit while still having it available at their disposal and best of all…tax free.

This is an excellent way to jump start your retirement savings all while getting out of having to the pay the government a hefty chunk of change.

How to Open an RRSP Account

Nathan Estabrooks of By Referral Mortgage Consultants, is a fully licensed investment advisor through IIROC, Peak Securities. Nathan is a true expert in the field of investments and would be more than happy to walk you through the steps required for you to open your own RRSP account.

Speak with Nathan about the details of an RRSP account and what your investment objectives should be for both you and your family.

Home Owner Grant – Online Application

With the first official day of summer just one week away, like most of us, we’re all waiting in anticipation to rid ourselves of responsibility and enjoy those longer evenings and sunny days. If you have kids you might find yourself scrambling to register them for camp or anything under the sun to keep them occupied over the summer holidays. However, before we all get into vacation mode, there is one more “adulting” duty to be attended to, your Home Owners Grant.

To make your life a little easier we’ve gone ahead and included each city’s online Home Owners Grant application form below. To avoid 5% late payment penalty on the HOG portion of your taxes, ensure you have your HOG submitted prior to July 2nd 2018. Please note, you will need your tax notice to complete the online form.








Maple Ridge


New Westminster

North Vancouver

Pitt Meadows

Port Coqtuilam

Port Moody



Township of Langley


West Vancouver

White Rock


Basic Grant:

If your property has an assessed value of $1,650,000 or less, you may be eligible to claim the full grant amount of $570.


If your property’s assessment value is $1,650,000 or greater, you may qualify for a reduced grant amount. The grant is reduced by $5 for every $1,000 above the assessed value and completely eliminated at an assessed value above $1,764,000.


Additional Grant:

If you are 65 years of age or older, you may be eligible for an additional grant of $275. The Additional Home Owners Grant is completely eliminated if your property has an assessed value above $1,819,000.