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My Canadian Experience
House Purchase

Making progress albeit slower that I would like.  I received my official Canadian driving licence so that's another bit of the admin stuff taken care off. I intend to start hunting for a car next week and am starting to check through various magazines to see what is available. As you know getting credit for a car purchase is a problem and I've been advised to purchase the house first and that will give me some credit which should help with the car purchase.  I was told today that only around half of Canadians own their own homes.  I am going to double check that figure mind you but interesting.

I have found a house that I think might work for me in Wilkesport which is in the Sarnia-Lambton area in South West Ontario.  I will need to get a satellite internet hookup which isn't cheap but the house coming in around $80k makes this a possible solution. That's around US$67,000 or 35,000. Here are a few pics of the house...

I'm hoping to go see it on Monday. It's actually about what I was after... large enough to take a home office and with a water view plus it's rural which is also what I was after.

I've been invited to go to a special seminar at the Canadian Consulate in Detroit in February 2005.  This apparently is a real opportunity to get the low down on how to do a successul immigration application so will certainly be attending this.

It's been suggested that I might like to join the Ontario Club and was told annual fees are something like $5,000 a year and was about to say no thanks when I was told that being en editor, publisher and writer means I could join that through the Press Club which only costs $50 a year.  Now that sounds a lot better :-)

It is an impressive club and I'm told that when they sold their land to a company to build a hi-rise financial centre it was on condition that they got one floor free for ever so it's now a really neat deal considering how expensive property is in the financial district.

I've now got to start doing some serious cashflow figures to ensure I'm not overstreaching by buying a house, car and all the other costs associated with living in Canada.  Will need to get some idea of what house and car insurance is like and even estimates on heating bills, local taxes (house tax), etc.

I have so far discovered that the Federal Tax rate is...

First $35,000  @ 16%
Next $35,000  @ 22%
Next $43,804  @ 26%

Then on top of that you have Provincial Tax which in Ontario is...

First $33,375 @ 6.05%
Next $33,377 @ 9.15%
All Else @ 11.16%

I still haven't worked out if there are any allowances you can use to offset any of this like mortgage relief or things like that.  Of course you do get free health care in Canada although you do need to pay full price for the drugs and so that is certainly where a chunk of this tax goes to pay for that.

When it comes to business you need to charge GST and another tax on invoicing although like the European Union VAT tax you can offset that with any taxes on purchases. I believe it's also similar in that if you are invoicing outside Canada you don't need to charge for those taxes.

And I also get tax relief on any tax I pay in the USA so at least that isn't a double whammy.

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