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Secondary Suite Incentive Program - are you eligible?

The B.C. government is offering homeowners up to $40,000 to build a secondary suite as part of a new program aimed at boosting the supply of affordable housing across the province.

The three-year incentive program, will accept applications beginning in spring 2024.  Approx 3,000 eligible homeowners will be offered forgivable loans of up to $40,000 to help pay for construction costs for basement suites, garden suites or laneway homes on their property.

Whats the catch ?

Homeowners must rent the suites at below-market rates for five years for eligibility

If you're still reading, then you probabaly want to know how you can be a part of this.  Details below ⬇️

Who is eligible? 

1. You must be a Canadian citizen or permanent resident.

2. The home must be your primary residence. Your household’s combined income should not exceed $209,420.

3. The property cannot be worth more than $2.125 million, and owners should have enough home equity that can be leveraged as security for the loan.


What type of suites are eligible? 

 A secondary suite is a self-contained unit that has its own kitchen, bathroom and sleeping facilities contained within the dwelling. Standalone suites such as laneway homes and garden suites on the same property and title are also eligible.

 1. The loan cannot be used toward renovations or improvements to existing rental units.

 2. The owners must have received municipal building permits for the suites on or after April 1, 2023.

 3.The cost to build the suite must be a minimum of $20,000.


Still here? I've included the link to the BC Housing website for full details ⬇️

https://www.bchousing.org/housing-assistance/secondary-suite


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Is it safe to live near powerlines?

Do power lines effect property values?

Do power lines cause cancer?

Are power lines bad for your health?

Is it safe to live near power lines?

How much do power lines effect home values?

What is the resale value of a home near power lines?


These are all valid concerns to address when buying a home and the answers may surprise you!

Power lines emit electric and magnetic fields, commonly referred to as EMFs. EMF represents a type of non-ionizing radiation that emanates from various electrical sources, including power lines, household wiring, everyday appliances, Wi-Fi devices, computers, and more. EMF exposure is a part of our daily lives, regardless of our proximity to power lines. The farther you are from the EMF source, the lower your radiation exposure tends to be. While burying power lines underground may enhance the visual appeal of a property, it doesn't reduce EMF exposure when compared to overhead power lines with the same voltage and current.

Now that we have an understanding of what EMF entails, let's delve into the potential health risks associated with power lines near your residence.

Is there a connection between EMFs and health concerns? There is a definite association between high-level EMF exposure and the stimulation of nerves and muscles. However, these exposure levels would need to significantly exceed 100 microteslas (uT), far beyond what one would typically encounter in any residential setting. Such extreme exposure levels are not a cause for worry or concern in residential areas of British Columbia.

Does living near power lines cause cancer?

Both Health Canada and the World Health Organization concur that routine exposure to EMFs at low frequencies does not pose a health risk. It is true that EMFs are classified as a potential carcinogen, but they fall into the lowest category of this classification. Other items in this category include aloe vera and pickled vegetables.

Proximity to power lines does play a role in the resale value of a home

There are many factors that effect the value of your home, including but not limited to: location, age, size, number of bedrooms, number of bathrooms, views etc.  Proximity to power lines is another. The stigma around perceived safety issues and decreased curb appeal are the two main reasons for the lower price tag. Homes near power lines will generally sell for a little less than comparable homes away from power lines. The good news is, if you want to buy a home near power lines you are likely to save some money compared to other similar homes in the neighbourhood.  Just remember that when it comes time for you to sell, potential buyers are going to want the same deal and considerations you had when purchasing the home. If you are considering purchasing a home near power lines, it is best to speak with your Realtor® over any concerns you may have. 

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B.C. caps allowable rent increase in 2024 at 3.5 per cent

The government of British Columbia has decided that landlords can only increase the rent on their properties by a maximum of 3.5 percent next year. This rate is lower than the general increase in the cost of living.

This decision might sound good for renters who are struggling to afford their homes due to rising expenses, but it's also causing difficulties for landlords.

David Hutniak, who heads a group representing about 3,300 property owners in B.C., explained that landlords are facing rising costs too. Things like insurance, utilities, and taxes have become much more expensive. He acknowledges the challenges renters are going through but points out that landlords have had very small or no rent increases since 2020.

Hutniak worries that because of these restrictions, many landlords are finding it hard to make ends meet and keep their properties in good condition. This isn't good for their businesses in the long run.

The government says that the 3.5% rent increase limit for 2024 is lower than the average inflation rate, which is about 5.6 percent. This rule applies to rent increases starting from January 1, 2024. Landlords can only raise the rent once a year and must give tenants three months' notice before doing so.

Premier David Eby explained that this decision aims to strike a balance between the needs of renters, who face increasing rent costs, and landlords, who might struggle with higher interest rates and consider selling their properties instead of renting them out.

In short, the government is trying to find a fair solution, but it's a tough challenge to satisfy both renters and landlords.

What are your thoughts on this move?
 
Full details at https://www2.gov.bc.ca/gov/content/housing-tenancy/residential-tenancies/during-a-tenancy/rent-increases
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