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Would you live in a micro condo or home?

Date Posted
05 February 2015
[caption id="attachment_903" align="alignleft" width="300"] (Photo credit: William Fallows/Creative Commons)[/caption] Home ownership in Canada is high and it's no surprise that many Canadians want to own a home. But as housing costs climb, homebuyers are looking into investing in smaller spaces to live. In Surrey, BC, a city within Metro Vancouver, which boasts the second most unaffordable housing market in the world, a developer is offering homebuyers a chance to own a home for less than $100,000. Canadians can own a small-home, which is being called "affordable luxury," for $93,900 for a 316 square foot suite. The suites in the 35-storey tower are most suited for bachelors, a member of the project's marketing team told CBC News. The unit boasts different ways to save space through smaller stainless steel appliances, clothes racks that slide into walls and a pull out couch that transforms into bed. In another case, a family built their tiny home before deciding where they would live. They recently put an ad out searching for a space in Victoria, BC, to put their 350 square foot home. The open-concept space, which is on wheels, was built about a year ago. The space has 13-foot ceilings, a master bedroom, a bedroom for a toddler and a full kitchen, according to CBC News. The family's couch folds out into a queen-sized bed for guests, a dining table can be folded away to make space for practicing yoga and there is storage space in the floors. They will be able to move into the place mortgage free, the biggest challenge for the family was getting rid of their stuff. They tossed out 90 per cent of their things within two months, the wife told CBC News. While micro condos may be gaining the interest of property investors, any buyers need to be aware that there's the possibility that the bank may not give them a mortgage on a property that's smaller than 500 square feet. In November, there were 467 micro condo units that could be occupied in the city of Toronto with another 2,868 units available for occupancy by the end of this year, according to the Toronto Star. According to the Star article, Scotiabank won't finance properties less than 500 square feet and TD is reviewing mortgage applications for small homes on a case-by-case basis. But there are some aspects of living in a micro home that people need to consider. For example, one resident told CBC News that you aren't able to escape from the noise since there are no rooms to escape too. Micro homes are best suited for minimalists and architects, an environmental psychologist at New York's City University told CBC News. Also, if you are someone who has an active lifestyle and isn't home often, the micro home may be suitable for you. But if you're  experiencing a tough time, whether by losing your job or having a bad breakup, the home could be confining, an associate professor at the University of British Columbia's Centre for Urban Economics and Real Estate told CBC News. As for whether these homes will retain their value remains to be seen, but many newly built homes being completed are micro homes. Also, if you buy a newly built micro home, whether it's for rental income or for personal use, you could qualify for an HST rebate to offset some of your housing cost. If you bought a newly built property, whether as an investment or for personal use, you could qualify for an HST housing rebate. With the help of Rebate4U, put some money back into your pocket by filing a claim with the CRA. We strives to provide our clients with the most professional and quality service in obtaining rebates for their new and extensively renovated homes. We are proud to offer our clients the most personal and attentive service, and we make sure that all of our clients are 100% satisfied.

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