First Time Home Buyer Tax Credit - Don’t Miss Out!

If you bought a house in 2023 and were a first time buyer - don’t forget to check with your accountant or tax preparer to see if you qualify for the federal credit.


Line 31270 – Home buyers’ amount:

You can claim up to $10,000 for the purchase of a qualifying home in 2023 if you meet both of the following conditions:

You (or your spouse or common-law partner) acquired a qualifying home

You did not live in another home (inside or outside Canada) that you (or your spouse or common-law partner) owned in the year of acquisition or in any of the four preceding years (first-time home buyer) unless you are a person with a disability)

It’s worth checking out as it could mean up to $1500 in credit.

Qualifying homes include :
Single family including semi-detached and townhouses
Mobile homes
Condominium units
Co-op may qualify (you have to be the share owner not tenant).

Checkout: website for more info and again - be sure to check with your acct and/or tax preparer.

#taxtime #firsttimehomebuyer #taxcredit #homebuyertaxcredit #canada #federaltax


Celebrating Irish Heritage in Halifax & around Nova Scotia!

March is always a bustling month in our household, with March Break events and of course  Irish Dance performances and celebrations around St. Patrick’s Day.

This year, however, is particularly excitig as we prepare to head off to  The CLRG World Irish Dance Championships in Glasgow, Scotland, taking place from March 24th to March 31st. My daughter, will be dancing in the solo competition for the first time. It's the culmination of years of dedication and perseverance, not only on her part but also thanks to the unwavering support and guidance from the incredible coaches at Rising Tide Dance Studio.

Watch for Rising Tide’s live television appearances on March 12th 10:30am on CTV News, and also March 14th 9am on Global News

As we gear up for our trip, I invite you to join in the spirit of St. Patrick's Day by participating in the various events happening throughout March in Halifax, Dartmouth and throughout Nova Scotia. 

March 3, 2024:

  1. Celebrate Irish Heritage Month by Beading an Irish Flag: Sunday, March 3, 10:00 PM-12:00 AM, The Old Triangle Irish Alehouse, 5136 Prince Street, Halifax, NS. Fundraising for the Halifax St. Patrick's Day Parade.

March 5, 2024:

  1. Travelling Royal Irish Tours and Celebrity Cruises – Nova Scotia: Tuesday, March 5, 7:00 PM – 8:00 PM, Delta Hotels by Marriott Dartmouth, 240 Brownlow Avenue Dartmouth, NS B3B 1X6. Hosted by Target Tours.

March 6, 2024:

  1. Irish Heritage Movie: The Quiet Girl: Wednesday, March 6, 1:30-3:15PM, Woodlawn Public Library, 31 Eisener Boulevard, Dartmouth NS B2W 0J1. PG-13 | 2023 | 1hr 35min.

March 7, 2024:

  1. Celebrate Irish Heritage Month: Irish Flag Raising with Mayor Savage and Ambassador McKee. March 7, 2024 - 12:00 noon, Parade Square, Flag Pole.

March 9, 2024:

  1. Saint Patrick’s Church Tour and Talk sponsored by The Charitable Irish: March 9 – 2:00 pm, 2263 Brunswick Street, Halifax. Join Blair Beed at Saint Patrick’s Church to learn its history.

March 10, 2024:

  1. Spectacular Halifax St. Patrick's Day Parade: Sunday, March 10, 2024, along Lower Water Street. Join in the festivities and showcase your creativity!

March 15, 2024:

  1. Charitable Irish St. Patrick’s Day Dinner: Friday, March 15, 2024, Westin Nova Scotian Hotel, 6:00 pm. Experience Irish music and cuisine in a unique setting.

  2. Songs in the Stacks: Irish Music with Dusty Keleher: Friday, March 15, 10:30-11:30 AM, Alderney Gate Public Library.

March 16, 2024:

  1. St. Patrick’s Day Eve with Callehan!: Saturday March 16 – 8:00-11:00PM, Old Orchard Inn & Spa, 153 Greenwich RD S, Wolfville Ridge, NS.

  2. St. Paddy’s Day Eve: Saturday, March 16, 8:00 – 11:00 PM, Seahorse Tavern, 2037 Gottingen St, Halifax, NS.

  3. Saint Patrick’s Day Acadian Style!: Saturday March 16, 10:30PM, 14 Sydney St, Digby, NS.

  4. St. Patrick’s Day with Spyder: Saturday, March 16, 9:00 PM-1:00 AM, Cranton Cross Road Community Centre, 206 Cranton Crossing Rd, Margaree Centre, NS.

March 17, 2024:

  1. Dusty Keleher @ Finbar’s Irish Pub: Sunday March 17 – 9:30 AM, Finbar’s Irish Pub, 1595 Bedford Hwy, Bedford NS.

  2. St. Patrick’s Day Drag Brunch: Sunday, March 17 – 12:00-3:00 PM, Freeman’s Little New York, 1726 Grafton St, Halifax, NS.

  3. Adria Jackson Harp – St. Patrick’s Day Celebration: Sunday, March 17, 2:00 - 4:00 AM, The Sanctuary Arts Centre, 100 Ochterloney St, Dartmouth NS.

  4. Durty Nelly’s St. Patrick’s DAY celebrations (as posted on their FB page):

    - 7 am~8am Breakfast club

    - 8am~11am Brunch

    - 10am~1pm Shannon Quinn Irish Ceilidh

    - 1:30~4:30 The East Enders

    - 5pm~8pm Dodge Levatte

    - 8:30~10:30 Colin Burke Duo

    - 11pm~1:30am Jordan Leblanc & Brooklyn Blackmore

  5. The Old Triangle Irish Pub: Scheudle for 7am opening (I’ve heard the line up starts early)

    Live Music schedule

    7am SheNova

    10.30-1.30 Dave MacIssac & Troy McGillvary

    2-5 Rowdy Dow

    5.30-8.30 The Plugs

    9-Close Mark Hippern Trio

    Seanchai Schedule

    12-1.30 Evans & Doherty

    2-3 Dave & Troy

    3.30-6.30 George Street Band

    7-Close Renwick Station

March 28, 2024:

Maurice Aucoin: Thursday, March 28 – 8:00 PM, Celtic Corner Public House, 69 Alderney Dr, Dartmouth, NS.

**As always, please double check the events before you head out for any schedule changes, cancellations etc. 

And, it goes without saying, enjoy your drink responsibly, arrange your transportation before you go, or wear your walking shoes! 


Top activities to beat the winter blues in and around Halifax

Top Indoor Activities to Beat the Winter Blues in Nova Scotia

As winter blankets Nova Scotia with snow and chilly temperatures, it's the perfect time to explore indoor activities that will warm your heart and lift your spirits. While the winter blues may tempt you to hibernate indoors, there are plenty of exciting ways to stay active and entertained without braving the cold. Here are some top indoor activities to beat the winter blues in Nova Scotia:

1. Visit a Local Museum or Art Gallery: Nova Scotia is rich in culture and history, and what better way to immerse yourself than by exploring a local museum or art gallery? Check out Nova Scotia Museums for a full list of what is open in winter and their hours. Unfortunately, the Nova Scotia Art Gallery is temporarily closed this winter for maintenance. Check back for spring re-opening on their website. The Dalhousie Art Gallery is another option. 

2. Try Indoor Rock Climbing: Embrace your adventurous side and head to an indoor rock climbing gym. Whether you're a beginner or a seasoned climber, indoor rock climbing is a fun and challenging activity that will get your heart pumping and your adrenaline flowing. Local climbing facilities include East Peak Climbing, Seven Bays Bouldering Halifax & Bayers Lake, The Dalhousie Gym, and Formation Halifax Outback Climbing Club (FHOCC)

3. Attend a Cooking Class: Warm up from the inside out by attending a cooking class. Learn new recipes, techniques, and culinary skills while enjoying delicious food in a fun and interactive environment. A favourite spot  just outside of the city is The Flying Apron Inn & Cookery, where you can take a class & stay overnight! 

4. Relax at a Spa or Wellness Center: Treat yourself to a day of relaxation and self-care at a spa or wellness center. Indulge in a massage, facial, or other rejuvenating treatments to melt away stress and tension, leaving you feeling refreshed and renewed. We have many local options right in the city and just outside as well. While I haven’t been to Nature Folk, many clients and friends have been and love the atmosphere and ease of access. Just outside Halifax, near Peggy’s Cove is Oceanstone’s Hydrothermal Spa. I received a gift certificate for Christmas for this and can’t wait to use it! I’ve heard wonderful reviews and the location is spectacular. 

5. Take a Dance or Fitness Class: Beat the winter blues and stay active by taking a dance or fitness class. Whether you prefer salsa dancing, yoga, or high-intensity interval training, there are plenty of classes available to suit your interests and fitness level.  Check out Happy Soul Dance Studio for their unique offerings and also, check out Halifax Cape Breton Dances for alternating all ages and over 19 dances. 

6. Explore Indoor Markets and Craft Fairs: Support local artisans and vendors by exploring indoor markets and craft fairs. Browse unique handmade goods, artisanal foods, and one-of-a-kind gifts while escaping the winter chill. I am seeing more vintage and antique style markets making a come back. Check out the Curio Collective, and The Funky Flea.

7. Host a Game Night: Gather your friends and family for a cozy game night at home. Break out classic board games, card games, or host a friendly game of trivia to enjoy quality time together indoors.

8. Attend a Live Performance or Show: Experience the magic of live theater, music, or comedy by attending a performance or show. Check out local theaters including Neptune, concert venues including The Rebecca Cohn, the outstanding Symphony Nova Scotia as well comedy club Yuk Yuk’s for upcoming events and performances. A wonderful option for the family is Durty Nelly’s on Sunday’s from 3-6 where you can experience a live Irish session (and maybe some dancing) while enjoying an afternoon appetizer or catching a game. And of course, there is The Carleton, and several other local pubs & bars that offer live music for over 19’s. 

9. Try Ax Throwing: And last, but not least, I would be remiss if I didn’t mention ax throwing! We recently had an office social at Halimac, which was a lot of fun! Indoor ax throwing is thrilling and unconventional activity that's sure to get your adrenaline pumping.

Don't let the winter blues get you down—embrace the season and explore these top indoor activities to stay active, entertained, and inspired in Nova Scotia. Whether you're seeking culture, adventure, relaxation, or connection, there's something for everyone to enjoy indoors during the winter months.


Often Buyers ask: Why isn't that house sold?

One question that buyers often ask me when we first meet, notably, in today's busy market is: Why hasn't that house sold?  Let's look at some of the most common reasons why a house may not be selling and what you, as a buyer can do to take advantage of these situations.

  1. Overpriced

One of the main reasons a house may not be selling is that it is overpriced. Sellers may have unrealistic expectations about what their home is worth, leading them to set an asking price that is significantly higher than the market value. This can be a turnoff for potential buyers who are looking for a fair deal. However, this situation can also be an opportunity for a buyer to negotiate on a house price rather than compete with other buyers and pay over asking. Work with your Realtor to make an offer at fair market value and see if you can negotiate that price down. 

  1. Condition

Another reason why a house may not be selling is that it is in less than ideal condition. This could mean that it needs significant repairs or updates that the seller is unwilling or unable to make. Again, this can be a turnoff for many potential buyers who are looking for a move-in ready home. However, if you're willing to invest some time and money into fixing up the property, you could get a great deal on a home that would otherwise be out of your price range. Just be sure to do your research and get estimates for any repairs or updates before making an offer.

  1. Location

Sometimes a home's location can be a dealbreaker for buyers. It could be in a less desirable neighborhood, or it could be situated near a busy road or other sources of noise pollution. While these factors may make the property less attractive to some buyers, they may not bother you as much. If you're willing to overlook the location of the home, you could potentially get a great deal on a property that is otherwise in good condition and meets your needs.

  1. Poor marketing

Finally, a house may not be selling because it is not being marketed effectively. This could mean that the seller is not using high-quality photos or descriptions in their listing, or that they are not promoting the property effectively through social media or other channels. You can work with your real estate agent to find these hidden gems and make an offer that reflects the property's true value.

As a buyer, these situations can present an opportunity.  Look beyond the days on market and see how you can make that work to your advantage.  Work with a knowledgeable real estate agent and do  your due diligence. Again always take into considation the cost of  repairs, and weigh the pros and cons of the home's location before making a final decision. With the right approach, you could be on your way to owning your dream home at a price you can afford.


226 Sailors Trail Eastern Passage is For Sale

Welcome to The Village at Fisherman's Cove, a friendly, well thought out community located just steps away from McCormack's Beach and boardwalk, and scenic Fisherman's Cove with restaurants, shops, fresh off the boat seafood and the Hartlen Point Forces Golf Club is just a few kms up the road. This 2 bedroom, 2.5 bath detached home is flooded with natural light and offers stunning sunset views and ocean breezes from the rear deck. The main level has open concept layout with beautiful hardwood floors, large living room and dining room. The spacious eat-in kitchen also has breakfast bar, great storage and a pantry. Large primary bedroom is also located on this level and includes 5 piece ensuite, walk-in closet and laundry just outside the door. The lower level features a bright office/den, rec room, 2nd bedroom, and the 2nd full bathroom. 226 Sailors Trail has been nicely maintained and has a recently installed heat pump/AC. A well-managed condo with great amenities including a private club house, outdoor heated pool, and a guest suite! Enjoy having your own home with the convenience of condo living! MLS#202223671


New Listing 1002 1445 South Park St.The Trillium

1002 1445 South Park St. The Trillium Condo For Sale

Listing Price $659,900


This stunning 2-bedroom condo in The Trillium is a must see. Featuring a modern open concept living and dining room layout with floor-to-ceiling windows featuring gorgeous west facing views over Victoria Park. Stunning in the evening and ideal for entertaining. Both bedrooms are spacious with the primary offering a walk-in closet and 5-piece ensuite. Quality finishes including granite counters throughout the kitchen and bathrooms, hardwood floors, crown moldings and cove ceilings. This one owner unit comes with its own assigned parking and storage spaces. The Trillium offers exceptional 24-hour concierge services, outdoor terraces with pool and hot tub, guest suite, gym, social room, and secure underground parking. Step out on to South Park St. and walk to the shops of Spring Garden Rd., the Public Gardens, growing number of restaurants, theatres, the hospitals, universities. Don't miss out on this sought after layout and location.


Thinking of Selling in the Fall?

Getting a house ready to sell can take several weeksof preparation.

Organizing and staging can be a daunting task for some.

For a FALL selling timeframe, NOW is the time to be consulting with your Realtor to begin the work!

Reach out to me for your first consult, let's get your home ready to sell! 902-219-0316 or dm me on social. 


What does "Firm Date" mean in Nova Scotia Real Estate?

In Nova Scotia, when we refer to the "Firm Date", we are referring to the date when all of the Buyers Conditions have been satisfied, they have signed their Buyer Waiver and now officially committed to completing the purchase of the property.

This is the day when we hang the SOLD sign on the property.

Barring any issues with title, the sale will close on the date set out in the contract.


Primary Bedroom and Primary Bathroom are here to stay

Words Matter!

"Master bedroom" has been used since the 1920s when it was featured in a Sears home catalog. The word is intended for the master of the house or the owner of the home.Realtor groups are collectively moving away from the term "master", which can be perceived as racist and/or sexist,and now refer to the largest bedroom and bathroom as the“Primary”.I am always open to learning and improving. Using updated words and terms promotes inclusion and shows respect for all. Realtors use the word primary instead of master when referring to the largest bedroom/bathroom in a home. It’s simple. #wordsmatter #termtuesday #elevate #continuousimprovement #inclusive #realestateterms


Regency Park Drive Condo For Sale -  Halifax, NS
507 - 40 Regency Park, a sought-after condo building in a most convenient location. Beautiful sunsets from the west facing balcony, the large windows provide great sunlight year round. Modern functional floorplan with large living, dining and kitchen area, easily customized to your lifestyle. Light hardwood floors throughout the main living spaces with tile in the kitchen and baths. Oversized primary bedroom has a large walk through closet and 4 piece en-suite. Good size 2nd bedroom and another full bathroom. In suite laundry and great storage closet. All the amenities you could want - heated underground parking, inground pool, storage unit, car wash, gym, common room, guest suite, on site super, and a very healthy reserve fund. Easy access to the highway, Bayers Lake with the new health centre being built, Canada Games Centre, Keshen Goodman Library and so much more. MLS#202211467

5 Costs Associated with Buying a Home in Nova Scotia - Over and Above the Down Payment

5 Costs Associated with Buying a Home in Nova Scotia - Over and Above the Down Payment

Costs associated with buying a home can vary greatly within Canada, so let’s take a closer look at what it expenses you will incur, over and above the purchase price and down payment when you buy a home in Nova Scotia.

1.  Deed Transfer Tax Nova Scotia

The number one fee that’s going to cost you, that you are likely unaware of and need to budget for is the Deed Transfer Tax. This tax is based on the purchase price of the property and varies throughout Nova Scotia, with the lowest being 0 and the highest being 1.5%. The rate varies by municipality, so when calculating this number, you’ll want to check which municipality you’re “shopping” in. Halifax Regional Municipality has a rate of 1.4%. With some of the highest price homes in the Nova Scotia, this can be quite a substantial number.  You will have to pay this tax on closing, and it will be due to your lawyer as part of the closing costs. As of February 28, 2022 the average home price in Halifax Regional Municipality was $576,986, which would incur a deed transfer tax of approximately $8655. Not a small amount for any buyer!

2.   Inspections

Inspections can also be quite costly, both in urban and rural settings.  In recent months, we have started to see offers and purchases without the condition (or contingency) of home inspections.  For the most part, they are still quite common and often more than just a traditional home inspection is required. Some buyers who forego the home inspection may have one completed after they close so that they have a greater understanding of the working of the home and what updates or upgrades may need to be completed down the road. Some clients like to have the inspection booklet as a reference for future planning.

Traditional Home Inspection – can cost anywhere from around $400 - $800 depending on who you hire. These typically cover the exterior and interior of the home.

If you’re buying a home in a city or town on municipal services, you may want to budget for a Sewer Line Video Inspection to check the conditions of the sewer line from the house to the city or town main line. Depending on the age and location of the property, these lines can be old cast iron, or laminated paper product referred to as “no-corrode”, and could be failing due to age, tree roots or other unknown damage. These can be costly to repair or replace. Cost depends on the location of the line, what is over it, and how easy or difficult it is to access. A sewer line scope can be completed by most plumbers and will cost around $350 +/-. You can be on site for this inspection, and most will provide you with a video of the inspection for your files.

If you are buying a rural property, you will want to budget for Water Testing (quality) and if the well is drilled, you may also want to test for quantity. A Well Recovery Test will let you know how quickly the well recovers water after large usage. It will also provide you with valuable information on the depth of your well. Water quality testing can run from $75+ dependant  on what you are testing for, and the Well Recovery Test can cost $300+/-.

Another major inspection most buyers will want to complete is on the property’s Septic System. This inspection will test the pipes and  flow from the house, out to the septic tank and then into the septic field. It can pinpoint problems with the plumbing lines, septic tank and septic field. These can be costly to fix, so this is not an inspection I’d advise anyone to skip. A septic inspection will cost $350+. A video of the inspection will usually be recorded for your files.

The last inspection that used to be more commonly completed during the “conditional” time frame is a Radon Gas test. Radon is a radioactive gas that occurs naturally when the uranium in soil and rock breaks down. It is invisible, odourless and tasteless. When radon is released from the ground into the outdoor air, it is diluted and is not a concern. However, in enclosed spaces like homes, it can accumulate to high levels. Exposure to high levels of radon in indoor air results in an increased risk of developing lung cancer. The risk of cancer depends on the level of radon and how long a person is exposed to those levels. A short term (72 hour) test can be done to gauge if high levels exist, but Health Canada recommends a long term (90 day) test for most homeowners now. This should be completed once you take possession of your home. If there is Radon in the house, mitigation can be completed, and a simple system can start around $1750. Basements with a mix of stone and concrete, may require more complex systems and therefore be more expensive to remediate.

3.  Lawyers Fees

Lawyers’ fees will vary based on the level of service and expertise. I recommend budgeting at least $1500 for the fees.

4.  Disbursements and Adjustments


Disbursements and adjustments refer to items that the seller has already paid for that you will have to reimburse them for on closing. These can include prepaid property taxes, fuel including oil (a full-size oil tank at 909 litres in today’s market is $1000+), propane, and prepaid condo fees if you’re purchasing a condominium. The lawyers will calculate taxes and condo fees based on a per diem and will start the day of closing.  

5.  Insurance

You will need to have insurance on your property, and this will likely be a condition of your mortgage. In Nova Scotia, we have an insurance clause in our Agreement of Purchase and Sale that can be “checked” so that it is a part of your buyers conditions. This allows you time to make sure you can obtain insurance on the property. Most insurance companies will provide you with a letter of insurability once they've confirmed the property is insurable. You will arrange your policy with your insurance provider to be in effect on the day of closing and you will arrange to pay them yourself, not through your lawyer. Home insurance rates vary greatly, but budget for $125/month as a very loose number.

Realtors Fees

If the property you are buying is listed on the MLS system,  the home seller has agreed in their contract to the pay the Realtors fees. The fee is paid out by the seller, from the proceeds of the sale, through the lawyers on closing, to the respective Realtors Brokerages.  For a property that is listed with a non MLS company, or a private sale, have a conversation with your Realtor, so you understand your obligations based on your Buyer Brokerage Contract. 

Feel free to reach out with any other questions you might have with regards to closing costs.

March 21, 2022