Tag Archives: beachfront properties

Should We Airbnb a Room in Our Home?

Young man and woman shaking hands

 

With the booming sharing economy and travellers often preferring to forgo traditional hotel stays, the notion of renting out a room in your home (or the entire house itself) could seem appealing. But before you jump into peer-to-peer short-term rentals, there are some things you should consider:

Costs of hosting: starting up, cleaning, higher utility bills and more

Becoming an Airbnb host requires some startup cash along with ongoing expenses. These include the costs to set up and furnish the space, ongoing utility and cleaning fees which is usually not more than $30 per room.

You’ll want to make sure each guest space is attractive and has all the amenities that a weary traveller needs such as fresh backup sheets and plenty of towels. A savvy host can reasonably furnish an empty room for about $1,000. However, $500 can do the trick if you already have an extra bed. Big box stores can help supply furniture for a range of pricing.

The upside of being a host is that if you work hard, possess excellent customer service skills and treat the platform like your own personal business, the revenue generated from the listing can surpass the initial startup costs and provide a nice monthly return.

 

Young man and woman shaking hands

Permissions

If your property is controlled by a homeowners’ association or co-op, check its rules to make sure you’re allowed to host; some may restrict Airbnb activity, while others may have no issue. If you rent, you’ll want to get your landlord’s blessing.

A proportion of Airbnb hosts could very well be renters, who may or may not be telling their landlord. It is recommended to get your landlord’s approval through a signed agreement. In most Canadian provinces, tenants cannot rent out their apartments without the approval of their landlords.

Airbnb Canada details here how tenants should go about this process.

Bike hanging on living room wall.

Taxes and business licenses

Depending on where you live, you might require a business license and you might owe local taxes on any income you earn.

Quebec law requires short-term rentals of less than 31 days to obtain a licence from Tourism Quebec. Vancouver has proposed regulations that only allow the issuing of short-term rental licences for a primary residence — meaning the host, whether owner or tenant, must live in the dwelling. This rule targets hosts with multiple investment properties who operate as commercial hosts and eat into the housing stock.

Toronto has proposed a two-pronged approach to licensing, requiring both companies such as Airbnb and hosts to register and pay an annual fee. Hosts of short-term rentals in Toronto would be required to pay an annual fee ranging from $40 – $150.

As tax is a relatively complex topic, Airbnb has provided some information about local regulations in different Canadian markets. Above all, it’s good to consult a tax professional to get more specific information.

Clean + Declutter

You’ll want to tidy your space, present it in the best possible light and hide your valuables before you photograph it.

Like the listings you love to peruse here on REALTOR.ca, the photos and listing title are the first thing a potential guest will see on Airbnb. This is your opportunity to catch their attention.

You can either take your own photographs or contract out a professional photographer. Many hosts opt for professional shots, given how important eye-catching photos are for your space’s profile.

Before photographing, ensure that you prep by arranging suitable lighting conditions and use a quality camera (now available on most smartphones).

Woman standing at bottom of stairs smiling

Insurance and liability

Airbnb’s Host Guarantee provides up to $1 million in insurance coverage for property damage in 29 countries, including Canada, the United States and the United Kingdom. Airbnb’s insurance is not a substitute for homeowner’s or renter’s insurance and it doesn’t protect against theft or personal liability.

Airbnb states that damage to a host’s property (home, unit, rooms, possessions) in every listing is covered up to $1 million USD. However, hosts must provide documentation as part of the resolution process. Payments made through the Host Guarantee are “subject to Host Guarantee Terms and Conditions,” meaning there are exclusions, limitations and conditions. As well, it’s common for Airbnb hosts to receive emails from Airbnb, at random, informing them that various terms and conditions have changed.

Call your insurance company to see what is covered, as some home insurance policies cover short-term rentals. But if there are multiple short-term visits, the insurance company might require you to buy a business policy that would cover a hotel or a bed and breakfast.

Damage

Airbnb’s host guarantee doesn’t protect against wear and tear to your place, but you can charge a security deposit to cover possible damage.

Installing a reasonable security deposit is a no-brainer move for new hosts. Airbnb allows hosts to set up a security deposit to cover minor damages that would not be covered under the Host Guarantee. For example, if a guest breaks a door handle while staying at your property, you’ll want to replace that before the next guest comes.

However, Airbnb won’t consider this damage to be major and won’t cover it under the Host Guarantee. As a result, this becomes an out of pocket expense for you, unless you charge the guest a security deposit. When guests make a reservation, they are not immediately charged for the deposit – only if a host makes a claim.

Even if a host is only renting a single room, a security deposit is a safe move just in case anything gets damaged.

Couple meeting with another woman.

Getting paid

Airbnb could require you to refund a guest’s payment if you cancel a reservation at the last minute, forget to leave the key, misrepresent your listing, don’t clean your home or otherwise fail to meet Airbnb’s hospitality standards. Airbnb suggests making sure you’re available during the guests’ scheduled check-in to address any concerns.

Airbnb’s payment system is quick and efficient. Payments are sent through direct deposit after the guest completes their first night (regardless of the length of stay).

When a guest books a host’s space, they also agree to the host’s cancellation policy, which dictates the percentage of the booking costs (minus Airbnb’s cut), if any, they will get back. Most moderate policies allow a guest to cancel within two days of the first night to get their money back. Less moderate policies allow the host to collect more of the booking money.

Host cancellations also happen from time to time. One study found host cancellations are the top complaint on Airbnb, representing about 20% of all complaints.

Depending on when a host cancels a stay, they’ll be deducted either $50 or $100. If a host cancels three or more reservations within a year, Airbnb may deactivate the listing.

To Airbnb or not to Airbnb 

If you talk to enough long-time Airbnb hosts, they’ll be able to tell you an endless number of stories about inspiring and interesting guests who shared their home. Others might have bad experiences. There are clear potential advantages and disadvantages to becoming an Airbnb host.

However, if all the regulatory checks are taken care of, the space is up to par and you’re taking your hosting responsibilities seriously, the platform can serve as a nice way to earn extra cash and meet interesting travellers from around the world.

The article above is for information purposes and is not financial or legal advice or a substitute for financial or legal counsel.

 

Source: Realtor.ca – Joseph Czikk – Joseph Czikk is a Canadian freelance journalist. His work includes topics like homeownership, business, tech and personal finance. 

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WATCH: Why Being Near Water Could Be the Key to Happiness, According to Research

Each product we feature has been independently selected and reviewed by our editorial team. If you make a purchase using the links included, we may earn commission.

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Even daydreaming about traveling off to a faraway island, where the sand is warm, and the water is crystal-clear blue can give people a sense of calm. So, this should make it no surprise that actually sitting next to a pristine body of water actually does come with some pretty fantastic well-being benefits.

According to best-selling author and marine biologist Wallace J. Nichols, merely being close to a body of water, be it sea, river, lake, or ocean, promotes mental health and happiness. And he wrote all about it in his book, Blue Mind.

“The term ‘blue mind’ describes the mildly meditative state we fall into when near, in, on or under water,” Nichols told USA Today in 2017. “It’s the antidote to what we refer to as ‘red mind,’ which is the anxious, over-connected and over-stimulated state that defines the new normal of modern life.”

As Nichols noted, research proves his theory that being near water can help us all achieve “an elevated and sustained happiness.”

That elevated level of happiness happens because, according to Nichols, water helps in “lowering stress and anxiety, increasing an overall sense of well-being and happiness, a lower heart and breathing rate, and safe, better workouts. Aquatic therapists are increasingly looking to the water to help treat and manage PTSD, addiction, anxiety disorders, autism and more.”

Perhaps this is why we are all willing to pay more for a house along the water, or a room with an ocean view.

Moreover, being near water can increase our creativity, including our conversational abilities. But, being near water doesn’t only help us during our waking hours. It can help us in our sleep, too.

“There is some research that says people may sleep better when they are adjacent to nature,” W. Christopher Winter, M.D., author of The Sleep Solution, told Conde Nast Traveler. “No wonder sleep machines always feature the sounds of rain, the ocean, or a flowing river.”

And this gift of Mother Nature’s to soothe us all with a simple drop of water is precisely why Nichols believes it’s so important to protect this precious gift.

Source: SouthernLiving.com – By Stacey Leasca July 19, 2018

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How To Sell Your Property In Jamaica

 

Image may contain: ocean, sky, text, nature and outdoor

Thinking About Moving? Want A Change Of Scenery? Have You Had Any Thoughts Of Selling?

Selling a property in Jamaica, can be a scary process, if you do not have the right Real Estate Professional by your side. Thank God, I am here to assist you!

When selling Real Estate, every owner wants the same thing – the Best Possible Price with the least amount of Hassle and Aggravation. Doing business in today’s real estate world requires experience and training in such fields as: Real Estate Marketing, Financing, Negotiation and Closing – all of which I possess.

HOW DOES THE SALES PROCESS WORK HERE IN JAMAICA?

All you need to do is pick up the phone and give me a call at 1-876-862-5848. I can also be contacted via whatsapp, text messaging, email at paulasellsjamaica@gmail.com My Facebook Business Page – Paula Sells Jamaica and my YouTube Channel is – Paula Sells Jamaica. After which, I will schedule an appointment with you, at your earliest convenience, to view your property and discuss our way forward.

After I have viewed your property, I will go back to my office and research your property and present you with a Comparative Market Analysis (CMA). A CMA in the simplest of terms, is a valuation which a Professional Real Estate Agent does, which gives you a suggested price, at which to list your property for sale, by comparing your property with all the properties which have sold in recent time and which are currently on the market for sale in your area. Unfortunately, this cannot be used to submit to Banks or other Lending Institutions. After I present you with your CMA, I will also present you with my customized Marketing Plan for your Property. This is my guideline on how, I will get your property sold, for the most amount of money, in the shortest possible time.

Your Marketing Plan may include, but is not limited to: Newspaper Advertising, Magazine Advertising, Web-listing, Social Media Advertising (LinkedIn, Facebook, Instagram, YouTube, etc.), Signage (For Sale sign posted at a designated spot), Open Houses, Networking with other Sales Associates/Brokers or Real Estate Companies and other appropriate marketing strategies.

We will agree on the best Listing Price, that will ensure that your property is Competitive with others for sale in your surrounding area. We will discuss the Listing Agreement and the length of the Agreement. Then we will sign to what we have agreed upon.

The house will need to be in “Show” condition before being placed on the market, so we will also discuss what will need to be done, if anything, before your property goes up on the Multiple Listing System (MLS), where it will be syndicated to thousands of websites across the world. Our goal is to make your home as attractive as possible to Prospective Purchasers, which will shorten the time it will be on the market and increase the chances of us getting “Top Dollar” for your property.

After your house is placed on the market and we have done numerous showings to prospective purchasers and obtained an Offer to Purchase from an interested buyer. I will explain the Offers details to you and help you to negotiate the best possible price we will be able to get for your property.

After we have agreed on a Sales Price with the Purchasers, I will turn over all documentation to your Attorney, who will prepare the “Sales Agreement” for both you and the buyer to sign. The buyer will be required to pay a minimum deposit of 10% of the purchase price upon signing this agreement.

Both Attorney’s then begin the process of transferring the title, this includes the payment of Stamp Duties and Transfer Taxes. The balance of the purchasing price is due upon the closing of the sale.

HOW LONG DOES IT TAKE TO SELL A PROPERTY?

If the buyer’s purchase is financed by a Mortgage from a Jamaican Financial Institution, the average time to complete the sale is approximately 60-120 Days or 2-4 months from the signing of the Sales Agreement. However, please bear in mind, this is not always the case. This time frame may be extended because of situations beyond anyone’s control or it may also be shorter. It all depends on may variables.

The period of closing for a cash purchase is determined by the buyer and the seller. However, this can be as quickly as 30-45 days all being well.

WHAT ARE THE COSTS ASSOCIATED WITH SELLING A PROPERTY?

Government Transfer Taxes & Registration Fees (5% and 0.5% respectively of the Selling Price). This may change on April 1, 2019.

Government Stamp Duty (4% of the purchase price), which is shared equally between Seller and Buyer.

Real Estate Agent Commission (approximately 5% – 6%).

Attorneys Fees (approximately 3% – 5% of purchase price, or as negotiated).

 

Source : Paula Sells Jamaica – Paula Roper Bacchas
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Do You Want To Sell Your Property In Jamaica? Let Me Show You How!

Selling a property in Jamaica, can be a scary process, if you do not have the right Real Estate Professional by your side. Thank God, I am here to assist you!

When selling real estate, every owner wants the same thing – the best possible price with the least amount of hassle and aggravation. Doing business in today’s real estate world requires experience and training in such fields as: real estate marketing, financing, negotiation and closing – all of which I possess.

HOW DOES THE SALE PROCESS WORK?

All you need to do is pick up the phone and give me a call at 1-876-862-5848. I can also be contacted via whatsapp, text messaging, email at paulasellsjamaica@gmail.com My website at www.paulasellsjamaica My Facebook Business Page – Paula Sells Jamaica. After which, I will schedule an appointment with you, at your earliest convenience, to view your property. After I have viewed your property, I will go back to my office and research your property and present you with a Comparative Market Analysis (CMA). A CMA in the simplest of terms, is a valuation which a Professional Real Estate Agent does, which gives you a suggested price, at which to list your property for sale, by comparing your property with all the properties which have sold in recent time and which are currently on the market for sale in your area. After I present you with your CMA, I will also present you with my customized Marketing Plan for your property. This is my guideline on how, I will get your property sold, for the most amount of money, in the shortest possible time.

Your Marketing Plan may include, but is not limited to: newspaper advertising, magazine advertising, web-listing, social media advertising, signage, open houses, networking with other Sales Associates or Real Estate Companies and other appropriate marketing strategies.

We will agree on the best listing price, that will ensure that your property is competitive with others for sale in your surrounding area. We will discuss the Listing Agreement and the length of the Agreement. Then we will sign to what we have agreed upon.

The house will need to be in “Show” condition before being placed on the market, so we will also discuss what will need to be done, if anything, before your property goes up on the Multiple Listing System (MLS), where it will be syndicated to thousands of websites across the world. Our goal is to make your home as attractive as possible to Prospective Purchasers, which will shorten the time it will be on the market and increase the chances of us getting top dollar for your property.

After your house is placed on the market and we have done numerous showings to prospective purchasers and obtained an Offer to Purchase from an interested buyer. I will explain the Offers details to you and help you to negotiate the best possible price we will be able to get for your property.

After we have agreed on a Sales Price with the Purchasers, I will turn over all documentation to your Attorney, who will prepare a “Sales Agreement” for both you and the buyer to sign. The buyer will be required to pay a minimum deposit of 10% of the purchase price upon signing this agreement.

Both Attorney’s then begin the process of transferring the title, this includes the payment of Stamp Duties and Transfer Taxes. The balance of the purchasing price is due upon the closing of the sale.

HOW LONG DOES IT TAKE TO SELL A PROPERTY?

If the buyer’s purchase is financed by a Mortgage from a Jamaican Financial Institution, the average time to complete the sale is approximately 120 Days or 4 months from the signing of the Sales Agreement. However, please bear in mind, this is not always the case. This time frame may be extended because of situations beyond anyone’s control or it may also be shorter. It all depends.

The period of closing for a cash purchase is determined by the buyer and the seller. However, this can be as quickly as 30-45 days all being well.

WHAT ARE THE COSTS ASSOCIATED WITH SELLING A PROPERTY?

Government Transfer Taxes & Registration Fees (5% and 0.5% respectively of the Selling Price)

Government Stamp Duty (4% of the purchase price), which is shared equally between seller and buyer

Real Estate Agent Commission (approximately 5% to 6%)

Attorneys Fees (approximately 3% of purchase price, or as negotiated)

I hope, you found all this information helpful or useful. Thank you very much for reading my Article. Please feel free to Subscribe to my YouTube change and click on the “bell” to get all my future uploads. If you have any follow-up questions or concerns, please feel free to contact me. I can be reached via the comments section below, LinkedIn direct message, email at paulasellsjamaica@gmail.com or whatsapp at 1-876-862-5848 or my YouTube Channel Comments section. Please feel free to send me a LinkedIn Invitation to connect & join my network. Please also visit my website www.paulasellsjamaica.com

Paula Roper Bacchas is a Realtor Associate at Irie Homes Realty Company Ltd. You can contact me at 1-876-862-5848, Send me an Invitation to Connect on LinkedIn, Like my Facebook Page:https://www.facebook.com/PaulaSellsRealEstate/?ref=hl or visit my website atwww.paulasellsjamaica.com or email at paulasellsjamaica@gmail.com

Do you want to: Buy, Sell, Rent, Lease-Residential or Commercial Real Estate in Jamaica? If so, please feel free to contact me today!

Paula Roper Bacchas, CIPS

Paula Roper Bacchas, CIPS

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Real Estate Investing financing – Why You Should Avoid Timeshares and Vacation Homes

Many smart people have lost lots of money trying to invest in real estate through timeshare condominiums and vacation homes. Many people are attracted by these so-called investments because they want to have a place to go during vacation, and it seems that these properties would also end up being good investments at the same time.

The way a timeshare works is that you’re purchasing a partial ownership in a condominium, such as the right to use the condo for one week out of the year. Let us say you pay about $6000 for this privilege. This may seem like a bargain, but if you do the math you will realize that you are paying quite a bit for the opportunity to spend only a single week in this condominium. If you were to pay this weekly amount for an entire year, the condominium would end up costing you $312,000, even though you could purchase a similar condo free and clear for much less than this (let’s say maybe $150,000 or $200,000).

You are paying a pretty big markup, and you will also be responsible for certain annual operating fees, usually a few hundred dollars or so. Instead of purchasing a timeshare, you may want to consider renting someone else’s unit for a week whenever you go on vacation.

This will likely be much cheaper, and you will be able to take a vacation in a different part of the country each year. You also don’t have to worry about the annual maintenance fees or the hassle of having to deal with any ownership requirements.

If you can afford to purchase a condominium out right, or if you can see yourself saving enough to purchase over the next few years, you may want to consider this option as well.

What about vacation homes? Well, if you’re wealthy enough to afford multiple properties throughout the country, that’s fine. However, many families who purchase vacation homes really can’t afford the extra expense and are simply making the purchase because they think it’s a good investment.

It’s nice to have a vacation home to go to a few weeks out of the year, but you have to look at your financial situation and determine whether you can really afford to have this luxury.

You may need to rent out the property for most of the year in order to help you pay for it, and this could raise some additional headaches as you will now become a landlord. Also, if you are purchasing the property as a vacation home primarily, make sure you enjoy the area as you’ll probably be spending a lot of vacations here in the future!

 

Be honest with yourself about your motivations. The vacation home could be a wonderful property for you and your family to enjoy, but it may not have the best potential as an investment property.

Source: Business Finance World – By Robert Charlson

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Here’s what $1.8 million will get you in Charlottetown

This 1939 home on the Charlottetown Harbour is known as the George DeBlois House, named for its first owner, the 27th Lieutenant Governor of Prince Edward Island. It has 200 feet of waterfront, and magnificent views of Victoria Park and out along the protected waters of the harbour. This grand home sits on a little over half an acre, with a lovely semi-circular columned verandah on which to sit and watch the marine activities.

Key details:
• 5,431 sq. ft.
• 6 bedrooms, 4 baths
• $1,800,000
• MLS ID # 201621143
• Joe Lisi, Century 21 Colonial Realty, 902-393-4735
• See the Century 21 listing here

Century 21 Colonial Realty

The 20×18-foot formal dining room features built-in china cabinets and a niche for the sideboard, as well as a window bench. Notice the deep mouldings and trim throughout the house.

Century 21 Colonial Realty

The living room, at 20×25-feet, is spacious enough for large parties, but seating areas can be arranged to make it feel more intimate, such as, say, just a tête-à-tête around the fireplace, with its hand-carved mantel.

Century 21 Colonial Realty

Just look at that window bench. This bedroom has wood floors in immaculate condition, and more closet space than was the norm in 1939.

Century 21 Colonial Realty

A second-floor sunroom leads off this large bedroom, which sports another of the home’s fireplaces.

Century 21 Colonial Realty

A boardwalk runs along the edge of the waterfront, while rocks protect the shoreline from erosion in winter.

Century 21 Colonial Realty

The porch is a comfy spot for sitting in out of the sun and catching up on a good book. Little children (or dogs) can be corralled here for safety’s sake, while the rest of the terrace is open and features another seating area open to the sun.

Century 21 Colonial Realty

The house is a Charlottetown landmark, with its elegant façade and imposing demeanour. Its proximity to downtown means it’s just a few minutes’ walk to cafés, restaurants, shops and services.

Watch the video here…

Source: National Post Shari Kulha | October 13, 2016 | 

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Hurricane Matthew: Before it hits, take these insurance precautions

AP HURRICANE MATTHEW NORTH CAROLINA A WEA USA NC

America hasn’t seen a storm as strong as Hurricane Matthew in a decade, and the damages could be epic. The Consumer Federation of America predicts as many as 100,000 insurance claims for wind damage, and payouts for damages likely will exceed $7.4 billion.

As residents board up windows and stock up on bottled water, if they have time to safely do so, they should also consider preparing for the possibility that they soon could be facing an insurance claim.

Before the storm

The CFA offers these three tips:

  • Locate your homeowners or renters policy, and make sure it’s in a safe place where you can reach it after the storm.
  • Review your policy to find out how and where to report a claim.
  • If possible, document your belongings with photos or a video tour.

The Property Casualty Insurers Association of America also recommends a thorough documentation. A home inventory can be vital to ensure you get the most out of your insurance policy, said Don Griffin, vice president of personal lines for PCIAA.

“You see your stuff every day, but if you don’t have a picture or a video of it, you won’t remember,” Griffin said.

PCIAA recommends using a smartphone to supplement an inventory with photos and videos inside the home. You should save your inventory in a disaster-proof form, such as email or cloud-based note-taking services.

The more detailed the list, the better, said Joshua Butts, owner of Cornerstone Insurance in Tampa. That means tallying the contents of drawers and the make and model of furniture, TVs and other big-ticket electronics. A detailed list gets an owner more money back in a loss, and they get it back more quickly, Butts said — instead of dickering over the exact nature of lost items, insurers have the lists, photos and videos right before them.

“What you document is what you get back,” Butts said.

In addition to documenting your possessions, keep track of any expenses you incur to mitigate damage, like boarding up windows, because they may covered.

After the storm

The CFA recommends that you:

  • Report your claim as soon as possible, because they’re usually handled on a first-come, first-served basis.
  • Be sure to get a claim number and write it down. It’s the quickest and easiest way for insurance companies to locate your file.
  • Keep good records of anything you spend to make immediate repairs to secure your home. Also keep receipts for hotels or meals if you can’t return home right away after the storm.

After you file your claim

  • Immediately start a notebook with all contact information of the people you deal with from your insurance company, the CFA recommends. List the date, time and topic of conversations. Note any problems, as well. Documentation is key to resolving problems later.
  • Get a repair estimate from a local contractor you trust to use as a guide in talking with the insurance adjuster.

And, finally, if you’re considering skipping filing a claim because you’re worried about future premium hikes or policy cancellations, don’t.

“You’ve paid your premium and are entitled to coverage,” the CFA wrote in a release. “If you have a legitimate claim, do not hesitate to file it.”

Source: , USA TODAY8:13 a.m. EDT October 7, 2016

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