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Category Archives for Mortgage Broker Victoria BC Trends

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Give Yourself Some Credit

When your mortgage application is being considered, your lender will look at your credit habits: do you pay your bills on time? Do you tend to get over-extended on your credit card? These habits are reflected in your credit rating. In order for your lender to assess your borrowing profile, you’ll need two revolving sources of credit that are each at least two years old. Worried that some sloppy financial habits might keep you from a great rate or even from getting a mortgage? Here’s the thing: you can give yourself some credit. This important factor in your mortgage negotiation is entirely within your control. Start now to develop good credit habits: 1. Pay every bill on time. That one habit is your single biggest game-changer. 2. Don’t run up your credit cards. Use the 50% rule. If your limit is $5000, never let the card go higher than $2500. […]

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Real Estate and Rates Post Brexit and OSFI Tightening

The uncertainty created with Brexit, in which Britons voted to leave the European Union, will keep interest rates low in the U.S. and Canada well into 2019 according to most economists. The impact on Canada for both its real estate markets and interest rates looks bright.  Foreign money, in search of stable, safe havens for housing assets will naturally gravitate to Vancouver and Toronto now that Britain looks riskier. A continued low interest rate environment for many years will allow buyers outside of those areas to purchase with confidence, knowing that rates will remain low and affordable for some time. The Office of the Superintendent of Financial Institutions (OSFI) on July 7th released a letter to all federally regulated financial institutions (FRFIs) to engage in prudent mortgage underwriting. They are clearly concerned these low rates will continue to fuel the housing market, and want FRFIs to place increased focus on verifying […]

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Victoria Real Estate Market Continues to Sizzle

A total of 972 properties sold in the Victoria Real Estate Board region this July, an increase of 22 per cent compared to the 796 properties sold in July last year. “Though we saw the seasonal slowdown that we expect this time of year, we had another record breaking month,” says Mike Nugent, 2016 President of the Board. “The last time we saw a July this busy was in 2009 when 933 properties sold.” Inventory levels remain lower than last year, with 2,161 active listings for sale on the Victoria Real Estate Board Multiple Listing Service® at the end of July 2016, 45 per cent fewer than the 3,942 active listings at the end of July 2015. “Late last week the provincial government approved new legislation that may affect the real estate market in our area, though at this time we can only guess how a foreign investor’s tax in […]

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These 4 Mortgage Features Will Help You Save Money

Many people search for the lowest mortgage rate. However, there are many other mortgage terms that need to be considered before committing to that low teaser rate. On average, home owners need to make adjustments to their mortgage every 3 years. Here are 4 other money saving aspects that need to be considered: Early Payout Penalties Even when paying a penalty, there could be many good reasons why it makes financial sense to break your mortgage. Each lender has a different calculation for how they determine your early pay out penalty. This penalty with the big banks (TD, Scotia, CIBC, BMO, RBC) can sometimes be 4x as large as some of the mortgage banks. We all know the unexpected can happen in life, so avoid lowest rate providers that offer no early mortgage out, and make sure to choose a lender that has a reasonably good early payout penalty. Pre-Payment […]

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5 Essential Tips To Protect Your Home When You Go On Vacation

1. Have someone check on your home regularly and pick up mail, flyers and newspapers; items that you can’t put a stop delivery on. 2. Ask them to also mow the lawn or shovel the driveway, and put out the garbage. 3. Use timers to turn on your lights at night, and leave a car in the driveway if you can. 4. If you post pictures of your holiday fun, make sure your security settings on you social media platforms are set so that only people you trust will see them. Check that your kids are also discreet! 5. If you have a spare key hiding outside somewhere, be sure to remove it! We’re Your Mortgage Broker Victoria!

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5 Things Your Mortgage Broker Wishes You Knew

By Jamie Wiebe The financial side of home buying can sometimes feel like a nightmare in which you’re stuck in a calculus final that never ends—and you’ve forgotten the meaning of everything. PITI (or principal, interest, taxes, insurance)? Prepayment penalties? Contingencies? “Confusing” is an understatement. We’re the first to admit that looking for a house is lots of fun—but paying for one? Not so much. But if you have a solid mortgage broker to help tutor you through the process, you’re guaranteed to bring your A-game to the home-buying table. In addition to helping you find the best deal, a mortgage broker is also an invaluable resource for newbie buyers trying to understand how this complex, and often tortuous, undertaking works. Here’s what your mortgage broker wishes you knew from the start: 1. Your broker should be the first one you call When it comes to financial matters, your mortgage broker should be your first call—and you’re probably going to […]

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The oil price crash is over — let the recovery of Alberta’s hard-hit economy begin

Gary Lamphier, Postmedia News The crash is over. Now the rebuilding of Alberta’s energy-fired economy begins. After a brutal 75-per-cent plunge between June 2014 and early February of this year, crude oil prices appear to have begun the long and painful march toward recovery.   The April futures contract for West Texas Intermediate (WTI), the benchmark grade of U.S. light crude, jumped nearly six per cent Wednesday to close at $38.46 US a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange.   Good news? Sure. But few producers are generating a profit at these levels. Moreover, a parade of bankruptcies and defaults among debt-saddled producers, particularly in the U.S., still lies ahead. Cue the gloomy headlines.   Nonetheless, there is finally a flicker of hope for this province’s hard-hit energy industry. Since the near-month WTI futures contract bottomed out Feb. 10, it has jumped an impressive $12.25 a barrel, or almost […]

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Measuring the TSX Index: What the Data Tells Us About Canada

We love mining, might be sexist, and other things we learned in our nerd’s guide to Canada’s benchmark stock index. By Nathan Epstein We love geeking out on numbers at Wealthsimple. One of the numbers people ask me about a lot is the TSX Composite Index. When people talk about “how the stock market is doing” in Canada, they often talk about the TSX Index. But to most people, it’s just an abstract number. The most basic thing to understand about that number is that it represents the stock prices of the largest 240 companies (measured by market capitalization) that are traded on the Toronto Stock Exchange. When that number goes up, people say the stock market is doing well. When that number goes down, they say it isn’t. But if you go inside the numbers, the Index is also a kind of snapshot of the country. If you understand the […]

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Top Tax Takeaways: Everything you need to know about how your finances have changed since the budget!

Rob Blackstien, Special to Financial Post | March 24, 2016 | Justin Trudeau and the Liberals surged to power in the last federal election largely based on a platform that promised tax cuts for the middle class and higher taxes for the wealthy. Now that the details of their personal income tax changes are clearer, it’s time to take a closer look at what this will all mean to Canadians — especially with tax season looming. Several of the changes are a little esoteric, but the key modifications that will most affect your wallet include: a cut in the middle-income tax rate; the creation of a new upper tax bracket at a higher rate; the consolidation and enhancement of various child-tax credits into the new Canada Child Benefit; and a reduction in the contribution limit for Tax-Free Savings Accounts (TFSAs). All told, it’s an interesting plan that has some experts […]

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Knowing When to Sell Your Home!

By Andrew Seale | Insight – Fri, 25 Mar, 2016 For the past six years, Rokham Fard and his colleagues at online brokerage and big data hybrid TheRedPin.com have been collecting and sifting through data from hundreds of thousands of home sales a year to find the best month for listing and the best month for buying.   “When you look at sales over five our six years you have accrued a large enough sample size to account for all the anomalies, for all the rate changes and all the emotions that are involved,” explains the co-founder and chief marketing officer at the Toronto-based tech company. “There’s a pattern… a big gap between January, which is the best month to buy as it’s the least expensive, and May, which is the best month to sell.”   It’s a $60,000 difference in prices, says Fard.   “That is a big enough […]

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Bank of Canada Holds Key Rate

The Bank of Canada announced last week that it is holding the benchmark rate steady for the sixth straight time, noting that “the Canadian economy’s complex structural adjustment to the oil price shock is ongoing,” although “it does appear that the positive forces in the economy are starting to outweigh those that are negative.” Growth in the global economy is expected to strengthen but with a weaker outlook than the Bank projected in January. The U.S. economy is also expected to regain momentum after a slow start in 2016. Inflation in Canada is evolving as anticipated. Taking into account all of these considerations, the Bank “judges that the overall balance of risks remains within the zone for which the current stance of monetary policy is appropriate.” Great news if you’ve got a variable-rate mortgage, need a new mortgage, are renewing, or want to consolidate debt at the lowest cost funds. The […]

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Sunny days! We Expect a Great Spring Market

It’s true the uncertainty in the economy is making some Canadians anxious about their financial security. But the current environment is also creating opportunities, given that we expect another year of record-low mortgage rates. Don’t let fear drive your decision making, focus instead on your current situation and your long term goals. Here are some tips to help you get the most out of your spring market opportunities: Be realistic and prepared. A mortgage pre-approval will let you know how much home you can afford. There is no fudging the numbers or wishful thinking so be sure to provide accurate information. Your mortgage approval will ultimately be based on the documentation you provide to verify your downpayment and income. Assembling everything your lender needs is a critical component of mortgage success and doing this early in the process will put you in a good position to take advantage of opportunities. […]

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Tax season 2016: 10 myths that mislead Canadians

Misinformation and misunderstandings abound when it comes to our tax system By Tom McFeat, CBC News  A certain amount of folklore has developed over the years around the income tax system and the filing of tax returns. But many of those age-old perceptions are no longer accurate. Here are some common myths — and the corresponding facts that could mean extra money in your pocket, or at least could prevent you from running afoul of the Canada Revenue Agency’s rules. Myth 1: The person whose name or social insurance number is on the tax slip is the person who must report the interest in a joint account. Not necessarily. Income earned in joint accounts must be reported by the person who earned the money, says tax expert Evelyn Jacks in her book Jacks on Tax. “Where more than one person contributed capital in their own right, then the income in […]

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Shopping for a house? Inspect your home inspector!

CBC News: http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/toronto/home-inspector-tips-1.3347920 When it comes to buying a house, getting the right home inspector can be more important than having a good real estate agent — and could make the difference between saving, or spending, homeowners thousands of dollars down the road. But according to a growing number of professionals, home inspectors need more training and should be regulated by the province. “Anybody can print a business card and call themselves a home inspector,” says author and home inspector Bruce McClure. “There’s no rules or regulations as to what a home inspector does.” Prospective buyers are encouraged to check out home inspectors as thoroughly as they check out their new, would-be homes. Ask about: • References. • The inspector’s past experience, and whether they have worked in a trade or construction. • Why they got into the business. The problem, McClure says, is education. Plumbers, electricians and gas fitters […]

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The Mortgage Kit

Start with proof of your income. We’ve all heard the Scout motto “Be prepared”. It’s great advice if you need a mortgage. Assembling everything your lender needs to verify your income is a critical component of mortgage success. A last-minute scramble for documents just adds to stress. Get a Mortgage Kit folder ready and begin collecting the verification you will need for your income type: FULL-TIME SALARY: Provide a recent pay stub and a “letter of employment” on company letterhead that confirms a) your position, b) your annual salary, and c) the length of time you’ve been in your position. If you’re a fairly new employee, lenders will want to know that your probationary period is over. And they will follow up. Commissions and bonuses can be supported by your last two notices of tax assessments. COMMISSION, CONTRACT, PART-TIME AND SEASONAL EMPLOYMENT: Company letter and paystub are required. Income must […]

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17 Ways To Keep Your Home Warm Without Blasting The Heat Beat The Heating Bill This Winter.

Source:  Abigail Williams Associate Social Media Editor, The Huffington Post If we kept our homes as warm as we liked all winter, our energy bills would cost approximately $1 billion dollars. Although turning up the thermostat is tempting, just a few extra degrees can cripple your bank account. Luckily, there are many cheap, natural ways to heat your home that don’t involve blasting space heaters. From lining your windows with bubble wrap to changing your ceiling fan’s direction, these heating hacks will get you through the winter intact. 1. Caulk your window frames. Caulk only costs a few bucks and can add up to major savings on your energy bill. 2. If it’s sunny out, open the curtains. Sunlight provides plenty of natural warmth on a cold day. 3. When the sun sets, close your curtains. Without sunlight, heat escapes back the way it came – through your windows. Use […]

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RRSP 2016: 2 Good Reasons to Withdraw Money from Your Retirement Fund

You can withdraw cash from an RRSP for buying a home or going to school, but you have to pay it back CBC News Posted: Jan 02, 2016 The federal government has created two programs that allow you to withdraw money from an RRSP without a penalty before you retire — the Home Buyers’ Plan and the Lifelong Learning Plan. Whenever you take money from a registered retirement savings plan, you are taxed on it at your marginal tax rate, so you lose 12 to 49 per cent of your savings off the top to the tax man, depending on your income and where you live. There are plenty of bad reasons to withdraw money from your RRSP – among them needing cash for a vacation, wanting to buy a car or giving money to the kids. The best reason to take out money is because you are retired and […]

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Bank of Canada Holds Key Rate Steady

The Bank of Canada announced today that it is holding the benchmark rate steady for the fourth straight time, noting that “prices for oil and other commodities have declined further and this represents a setback for the Canadian economy”, although “national employment remains resilient despite job losses in the resource sector and household spending continues to expand.” Inflation is also evolving broadly as expected. Taking all of these developments into consideration, the Bank judges the current stance of monetary policy remains appropriate, and “expects the economy’s return to above-potential growth to be delayed until the second quarter of 2016.” Great news if you’ve got a variable-rate mortgage, need a new mortgage, are renewing, or want to consolidate debt at the lowest cost funds. The next rate-setting day is March 9, 2016. Get in touch today for help determining whether a fixed or variable-rate mortgage will work best for your situation.

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Debt Reduction Tops The List

Debt reduction tops list of financial priorities for 6th straight year: poll The Canadian Press TORONTO – Paying down debt remains the top financial priority of Canadians, but it’s a goal many appear to be having difficulty meeting, according to a new poll conducted for CIBC (TSX:CM.TO – News). The poll found that 26 per cent of respondents named debt reduction as their key financial goal for 2016, the sixth straight year it has topped the list. Keeping up with bills/getting by came in second, cited as the main priority of 18 per cent of respondents. CIBC executive vice-president Christina Kramer says the fact debt reduction has remained atop the list for so long, coupled with studies showing household debt remains at record highs, indicates many Canadians are not making the headway they desire. “It’s not just first-time homebuyers, younger Canadians, or those impacted by shifts in the economy, such […]

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Why your home insurance rates are rising

By Romana King, From Money Sense magazine. At first glance, James Arnold looks like an insurance company’s dream client. The Richmond, B.C., resident has owned his current home for almost two decades, been with the same insurance company for over 15 years, and in all those years he’s never made a claim. At least, not until last year, when a tree fell on his property, clipping his detached garage, and ripping the power lines right off his home. “It was a small claim,” he says, “at a cost of only $3,000 after the deductible.” He expected his premiums to go up, but the 15% hike his insurance company sprung on him was more than he bargained for. Especially on top of the 7.5% rise he’d endured the year before and the 6.5% rise the year before that. All told, Arnold saw his payments jump up by almost one-third in just […]

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