Make sure mortgage math is in your favour

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Saving Up To Buy Your First Home?

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The right way to buy a home for your adult kids

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Watch for the legal pitfalls of moving back home in order to save up for buying a house

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‘The question is when’: How Bank of Canada rate expectations are changing

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Estate Planning Tips for Real Estate Investors

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6 Things That Will Help Grow Your Wealth (That Most People Won’t Do)

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2017 Mortgage Consumer Survey

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CMHC recently completed an online survey of 3,002 recent mortgage consumers, all prime household decision-makers who had undertaken a mortgage transaction in the past 12 months. Sixty-five percent had undergone a mortgage renewal, 15% had refinanced their mortgage, and 20% had purchased a home with mortgage financing (11% First-Time Buyers and 9% Repeat Buyers). CMHC has conducted this survey since 1999. It is the largest and most comprehensive survey of its kind in Canada.

The Home Buying Process

  • Sixty-four percent (64%) of First-Time Buyers indicated they were renting before purchasing, and 34% lived with family.
  • Wanting to buy their first home (37%) and feeling financially ready (31%) were the most important reasons First-Time Buyers gave for purchasing a home in the past year.
  • Low interest rates (33%) was the most important reason for Repeat Buyers to purchase a home in the past year.
  • Fifty-three percent (53%) of buyers were aware of the latest mortgage qualification changes, and 19% noted that it impacted their purchase decision. For example, 11% of buyers said they increased their down payment, 6% purchased a smaller home, 5% purchased in a different location, and 3% delayed their purchase.
  • Buyers interact with a wide variety of people, and are most likely to consult a real estate agent (72%), or look to a family member or mortgage lender for advice (both at 57%). Forty-one percent (41%) reported interacting with a mortgage broker. Of all interactions, real estate agents were noted as most valuable.
  • Seventy-one percent (71%) of First-Time Buyers accessed savings for their down payment, while 18% received a gift from a family member.

Click to Read More -> [CMHC 2017 Mortgage Consumer Survey]

What is a credit score, and how to improve yours.

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What is a Credit Score:
Your credit score is a number that illustrates your financial health at a specific point in time. It also serves as an indicator of your financial past, and how consistently you pay off your bills and debts. This is one of the factors mortgage professionals consider in qualifying you for a mortgage.

How to Check Your Credit Score:
To find out your credit score, contact Canada’s two credit-reporting agencies: Equifax Canada at www.equifax.ca and TransUnion Canada atwww.transunion.ca. For a fee, these agencies will provide you with an online copy of your credit score as well as a credit report – a detailed summary of your credit history, employment history and personal financial information on file. You can also obtain a free copy of your credit report by mail. If you find any errors in your report, notify the credit-reporting agency and the organization responsible for the inaccuracy immediately.

What If You Do Not Have a Credit Score:
It’s important to begin building a credit history as early as possible. You can begin to build one by applying for – and responsibly using – a credit card. Your financial institution or mortgage professional can help.

How to Improve Your Credit Score:
Demonstrating your ability to manage credit is key to maintaining a good credit score. There are a number of things you can do to improve your credit score. These include: Always pay your bills in full and on time. If you cannot pay the full amount, try to pay at least the required minimum shown on your monthly statement. Pay off your debts (such as loans, credit cards, lines of credit, etc.) as quickly as possible. Never go over the limit on your credit cards, and try to keep your balances well below the limits. Reduce the number of credit card or loan applications you make. Once your credit score has improved, work with your mortgage professional to obtain a mortgage that works for you.

Find Out More:
To find out more about credit scores and reports, visit the Financial Consumer Agency of Canada website and download or request a free copy of their guide, Understanding Your Credit Report and Credit Score. This guide provides practical, straightforward information on how to obtain and understand your credit report and score, as well as how to build and maintain a good credit history.

First Time Home Buyers: how you can harness the power of your RRSPs

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RRSP season is here!

Use the first 60 days of the year to max out contributions to your RRSP.  You have until March 1st, 2017 to reduce your 2016 income and get a higher tax refund.

There are several advantages to maxing out your contributions to your RRSP.  All of the income you earn in the plan is exempt from tax (as long as the funds remain there).  Additionally, you can withdraw tax-free funds from your RRSP for qualifying home purchases.

The Home Buyers’ Plan (HBP) is a program that allows Canadians to withdraw up to $25,000 in a calendar year from their RRSPs to buy or build a qualifying home for themselves or for a related person with a disability.

Under this plan, only first-time home buyers are eligible to participate, unless the special rules for persons with disabilities apply.

Each spouse or common-law partner can withdraw eligible amounts under the HBP from any RRSP under which he or she is the annuitant. Each person can withdraw up to the $25,000 limit, or $50,000 if purchasing the property jointly.

Any RRSP contributions made must remain in the RRSP for at least 90 days before they can be withdrawn under the HBP. After 90 days, the RRSP may generate a tax refund, which can then also be applied toward the down payment.

You have up to 15 years to repay to your RRSP from the second year following the year of withdrawal. If the required repayment is not made, the owing amount will have to be included as income in the year of the shortfall.

This is an excellent opportunity to save for your first down payment, and we are happy to discuss the options.