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Classifying Farm Land Print
Monday, 30 May 2011 16:36

Classifying Farm Land

In our April "Market Update video, Ben shared a bit about his personal experience in purchasing a new piece of property that had a farm classification. In doing this, he mentioned it was a big learning curve, and there was a lot of information available, and some benefits, to all those who own property of the same sort.

Here is the first article on Classifying Farm Land, and there will be another to follow next Monday.

What qualifies for farm class?

Under B.C. Regulation 411/95 (Standards for the Classification of Land as a Farm) of the Assessment Act, a farm is all or part of a parcel of land used for:

a)  primary agricultural production;

b)  a farmer's dwelling; or

c)  the training and boarding of horses when operated in conjunction with horse rearing. All farm structures, including the farmer's dwelling, will be classified as residential.

How do I apply?

For land to be classified as farm for the next taxation year, the owner must submit an Application for Farm Classification to the local assessment office. Application forms are also available at your local BC Assessment office.

What if only a part of my property is farmed?

Land that is used for a purpose other than farming will be classified according to that use. Land with no present use in the Agricultural Land Reserve (ALR) can qualify for farm class if part of the parcel is farmed. If the property is not in the ALR, unused land can qualify for farm class if:

•    The land is not zoned or held for business, commercial or industrial purposes

•    At least 50% of the land is in production or contributes to production, provided the land is farmed by the owner,

•    or At least 25% of the land is in production, and the farm meets a higher income requirement, provided the land is farmed by the owner

Why does BC Assessment need to know about my farm income?

In order to receive and maintain the farm classification, the land must generate income from primary agricultural production. Your minimum annual income will be calculated based on the farm gate prices of your agricultural products. This income may be calculated for either of the last two years ending October 31. You must sell primary agricultural products each year. Crops grown for home consumption will not be considered part of your farm income. Minimum income requirements are calculated as follows:

a)  $10,000 on land less than 8,000 m2 (2 ac)

b)  $2,500 on land between 8,000 m2 (2 ac) and 4 ha (10 ac)

c)  On land larger than 4 ha (10 ac), you must earn $2,500 plus five per cent of the actual value of any farm land in excess of 4 ha.

d)  $10,000, in order to qualify unused land where the area in production makes up at least 25% of the land.

What is "primary agricultural production"?

For the purposes of farm classification under B.C. Regulation 411/95 of the Assessment Act, primary agricultural production is:

· Horticulture

· Populous species and Salix species intensively cultivated in plantations

· Insects raised for biological pest control

· Livestock raising

· Medicinal plant culture

· Poultry and egg production

· Seed production

· Turf production

· Apiculture

· Aquaculture

· Christmas tree culture (plantation and cultured native stand)

· Dairying

· Floriculture

· Forage production

· Forest seedling and seed production

· Fruit and vegetable production

· Wool, hide, feather or fur production

· Herb production

· The raising of crops or animals for human or animal consumption

The following are not considered primary agricultural production:

(i) the production of manufactured derivatives from agricultural raw materials

(ii) primary agricultural production for domestic consumption on the farm

(Hi) the production of agricultural by-products

(iv) agricultural services, or

(v) breeding and raising of pets, except horses

What does "farm gate price" mean?

Farm gate price is the dollar value you receive from direct farm sales, or the value of primary products that are used for processing. In the case of livestock, farm gate price means the live weight sale price, less any purchase costs, not the killed or dressed sale price quoted from the butcher.

What happens if I cannot supply sales receipts?

In the absence of receipts, BC Assessment staff may rely on local market prices supplied by the Ministry of Agriculture and Lands or other local sources. You may be required to provide a sales log or other proof of farm sales.

What happens if my farm does not meet the income requirements or I stop farming?

BC Assessment will remove the property from the farm class.

Can I apply to have the farm class re-instated in the future?

Yes. If you re-apply for farm classification and meet the prescribed qualifications, your property can qualify for farm class.

Do I need to apply for farm classification every year?

No, you are not required to apply annually. However, property already classed as farm land must continue to meet the requirements for farm class to receive farm classification for the following year. BC Assessment may ask you to provide

additional information in support of continued farm classification. Failure to provide the required information about your farm operation will result in the removal of farm classification from your property.

An Application for Farm Classification is required in order to qualify land not currently in farm class. You are encouraged to provide the application to your BC Assessment area Assessor by October 31 to ensure that the correct information appears on the following year's assessment notice.

Owners are strongly encouraged to apply by mid-year to give BC Assessment staff time to conduct a field inspection or request additional information.

What if I buy a property that is already classified "farm"?

If you plan to continue to farm the property, you should submit a farm application to BC Assessment after you purchase the property. If you are not planning to continue to farm the property, contact BC Assessment and notify the staff of your plans to cease agricultural activity. For more information contact your area BC Assessment office or visit www.bcassessment.ca.

Updated 12/2009

Disclaimer: Where information presented is different from legislation, legislation shall prevail.

For all other questions, please don't hesitate to contact us!

-The Hardy Real Estate Team

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Selling Your Own Home Print
Wednesday, 27 April 2011 21:38

Selling Your Own Home

Selling Your Own Home

 

The idea of not having to pay a commission to a real estate agent can be very attractive when contemplating the sale of your home. However, the process is not as simple as say, selling a car. Selling your own home can be challenging, so going in properly prepared is key.

 

9 Inside Tips for Selling Your Home Yourself

 

1. Price it Right. Your home’s value is based on many different variables, and will fluctuate with the market. It is critical to set a realistic price for your home as potential buyers will usually look at the price first. Take time out to consider the terms of your sale as well. Knowing what you want to get out of the sale ahead of time will help you during negotiations.

2. Prepare your Home for Sale. You want your house to stand out among the competition for the right reasons. Make sure it is in the best condition you can get it in but don’t try to gloss over any needed repairs.

3. Obtain the Necessary Legal Documentation. There are many legal contracts and documents you will need to acquire, complete, and understand. A partial checklist that you will require is as follows:

a. Seller Disclosure

b. Mortgage Payoff

c. Deposit Receipt

d. Buyer’s Cost Sheet

e. Personal Property

f. Property Survey/Plot Plan

g. Purchase Contract

h. Loan Application

i. Property Profile Fact Sheet

j. Closing & Settlement

k. Exclusion List

l. Sellers Statement of Representation

4. Market your Home Effectively. The sign you will put up on your lawn is just the beginning of the marketing process. Newspaper ads, internet ads, and social media are just a few of the many media venues that you can pursue to advertise your home for sale. Ensure there is always someone available to take calls and respond to messages, and remember that you are trying to sell your home, so adopt a professional telephone demeanor and be prepared to answer questions about your home.

5. Remain Objective. During a showing of your home, try to keep emotions out of the equation. Do not get defensive about a prospective buyer’s negative comments; rather, try to counter-balance their point with something positive about the home. The best way to stay detached is to physically remove yourself from the process. Keep yourself available to answer questions, but give the prospective buyer some space while they tour the home.

6. Negotiate Effectively & Knowledgeably. There are many details to resolve before a sale becomes final: price, terms, inspections, possession date, buyer concerns and objections. Having your contract ready to go before you ever entertain any offers is a great way to be prepared for this step, however, be prepared to make amendments to your contract. Have a real estate attorney examine your contract thoroughly. While this process is occurring, make sure you keep in touch with the buyer so that they remain interested in your home.

7. Know your Buyer. Try to determine the motivations of your buyer during negotiations. Knowing where they stand can help you get what you want from the deal.

8. Don’t Move Out Before You Sell. Not only is it more difficult to sell a home that is vacant, buying a new home before you sell your current one can send a message to buyer’s that you are motivated for a quick sale which can give them an advantage in the negotiations.

9. Know Why You’re Selling and Keep it to Yourself. Just as important as knowing your buyer, is knowing your own reasons for selling your home. Your motivation for selling your home can affect everything from the asking price, to the time you are willing to invest in the selling process. However, make sure you keep your reasons for selling to yourself. When asked, simply say your housing needs have changed.

 

A vital element is sales as a successful process is to accurately assess your net gain. You must analyze whether you will end up ahead by choosing to sell on your own, based on all factors involved. Consider the following points when determining your net gain:

 

1. Most buyers do use a real estate agent, and that agent’s fee comes from the seller. If you are unwilling to pay the buyer’s agent commission, it will be more difficult for you to sell your home.

2. Buyers, investors, and speculators who seek out For Sale By Owners are typically those in search of a bargain. The low-ball offers from these types of buyers will often net you much lower in the long run.

3. What will it cost you to effectively market your home and assemble all necessary materials (i.e. signs, contracts)?

When considering these points, will your projected net price be higher than the price an experienced agent could net you minus their commission? Is the time difference between private and professional agent sale important?

 

The Hardy Team is dedicated to informing our clients and ensuring that there is top level performance and top dollar in each transaction. Below, you can note the Hardy Advantage for reference.

If you would like more information on this topic, we would be glad to help. Call our office at anytime!

 

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Get the Price You Want (and Need) Print
Thursday, 31 March 2011 22:38

Homesellers: How to Get the Price You Want (and Need)

Get YOUR Free Home Evaluation from the Hardy Real Estate Team. We will conduct an industry leading active competition analysis, evaluate sold property reports, and review the most recent local statistics to help establish a firm foundation for your home’s value.

Why?

When you decide to sell your home, setting the asking price is one of the most important decisions you have to make. Your asking price is often you home’s “first impression” and if buyers don’t like that impression, it can prevent them from looking any further into the home. Your pricing strategy should not be taken too lightly.

 

Pricing Strategy Starts with Good Information


Looking at how much the homes in your neighborhood have sold for is a good starting point, but it is not enough information to really determine the value of your home in the current market.

When a buyer is looking for a home, they are usually not just looking in one neighborhood. Rather, they are generally looking at houses with similar features (i.e. number of bedrooms, square footage, etc) in similar types of areas (i.e. country homes, suburbs, downtown).

When you’re selling your home, you’re not just competing with the home down the street. A prospective buyer will consider many different variables in the search for a new home and it is important to take these into account when pricing your home.

 


 

 

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How Your Asking Price Affects Your Selling Price Print
Wednesday, 16 March 2011 16:23

How Your Asking Price Affects the Selling Price of Your Home

Asking Price Affects Selling Price of Your Home Image

There are 4 common strategies that most sellers use to price their homes. Remember, a higher asking price will not always net you a higher selling price!

 

1. Clearly Overpriced – Everyone who sells their home wants to sell it for the highest price possible. If you have more than one agent competing for your listing, an easy way for one of them to come out ahead is to overinflate the value of your home. This is not in your best interest however as most of the time the market won’t be fooled. As a result, your home could stay on the market longer that it otherwise would which can result in:

a. Your home being labeled by other agents as a “troubled” house, leading to a lower than fair market price when an offer is finally made

b. You will be continuously inconvenienced by having to keep your home in “showing” condition on the chance that someone wants to see it.

 

These homes often expire off the market, causing you to go through the real estate listing process all over again.

 

2. Somewhat Overpriced – About 75% of the homes on the market are priced 5-10% over their actual market value. These homes will also sit on the market longer than you want. Whether you truly believe the home is worth more than the market indicates or you want to leave yourself some room to negotiate, this strategy will cost you both in time on the market and ultimately, on the price received.

 

3. Priced Correctly at Market Value – When you carefully and realistically price your home, it will usually sell much faster and very close to the asking price. This is where a Professional Home Evaluation comes in handy. An experienced and educated real estate professional can determine your home’s value on the current market in an impartial way.

 

4. Priced below the Fair Market Value – Some sellers are looking for a quick sale on their homes. Sometimes the easiest way to achieve this is to price the home below market value. Homes priced in this way often attract multiple offers and sell fast, at or above the asking price.

 

For more information on accurate pricing in your neighbourhood, or how to price your home strategically and effectively, get in contact with us today.

 

Hardy Real Estate Team.

 

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6 Steps to Buying Your First Home Print
Monday, 14 March 2011 18:21

First Time Home Buyers Image

6 Steps to Buying Your First Home

 

1 – Preapproval for Mortgage.

Speaking to a mortgage advisor is the first step to owning a home especially for a first time home buyer. Knowing the amount of money you are eligible to borrow will help you determine the price range to look in.

 

2 – Start looking for your new home

One of our Buyer’s Agents will help you determine what your property needs are. Then they’ll create a custom search and take you to see houses that catch your interest.

 

3 – Make an offer on a property

Once you have found a home you are interested in, your Buyer’s Agent will help you write an offer. Your Agent will negotiate on your behalf to create a contract that meets your needs in terms of financing, time frame and property information. The offer will not be a firm and binding deal until subjects are removed.

 

4 – Remove subjects

If your offer is accepted by the seller it’s time to start thinking about removing subjects. Subjects typically include things like financing, and home inspections. Your Agent can help you arrange for the types of services you will require. Once subjects are removed are removed your deal is firm and binding.

 

5 – Completion

Completion is the day that money and titles change hands. This will be coordinated by your law office and our conveyance department. You will need to arrange a meeting with your lawyer to sign the necessary paperwork before the Date of Completion as written in the Contract of Purchase and Sale.

 

6 – Possession

Congratulations, you now own your first home! Your Contract will indicate the date and time of possession when you can move in. Your Buyer’s Agent will meet you there for a final walkthrough and to give you the keys to your new home!

 

For further information that pertains to your individual situation that goes a bit beyond the basics, please feel free to get in touch with us. We would be pleased to assist you!

Hardy Real Estate Team

1.888.50HARDY(42739)

This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it


 

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