Month: October 2019

17 Oct

Is your mortgage up for renewal?

General

Posted by: Jeannie Stace-Smith

Great article if your mortgage is up renewal!!!  Contact me if you want a second option on your bank renewal!!!!

MORTGAGE RENEWALS WITH THE SAME LENDER ARE ON THE RISE, BUT SHOULD YOU JUST SIGN ON THE DOTTED LINE?

If you’re in a mortgage that’s coming up for renewal in the coming months and you’re considering just staying with your current lender, you wouldn’t be alone.
According to the Canadian Mortgage and Housing Corporation’s (CMHC) Residential Mortgage Industry Report released in the summer, in 2018, the number of mortgage renewals with the same lender increased by 16 per cent over the previous year.
The report suggested one of the factors that may have contributed to large increases in loan renewals with the same institution are the tighter approval criteria. In other words, people are worried they may not qualify for a new mortgage if they switch lenders, so they’re staying put.
You’ll remember in the fall of 2017, OSFI, (the Office of Superintendent of Financial Institutions) the agency that regulates the financial industry, announced tighter rules on mortgages. The biggest change related to uninsured mortgages, or homebuyers with 20 per cent or more for a down payment. These people are now required to go through a “stress test” or qualify using a minimum qualifying rate.
The changes came a year after a similar stress test was introduced for insured mortgages.
If the tighter mortgage rules still have you stressed as you face a mortgage renewal, the CMHC report noted the approval rate for same lender renewals remained stable at 99 per cent. Renewals are not specifically subject to the new stress test and are more likely to meet current lender criteria, the reported noted.
So, does that mean you should just automatically renew your mortgage with the same lender when your term is up? Not necessarily. You need to reach out to a mortgage professional to get the best advice.
For starters, most lenders, especially the big banks, will send you a renewal letter when there’s about three months left on the term. Sometimes that letter could come with six months left. Typically, the lender will offer you a rate at that time and all you’ll have to do is sign at the bottom line to roll over your mortgage.
But beware, lenders often offer a higher rate than a new client because they’re hoping the ease of renewal will keep you from seeking out a new lender and lower rate.
In some cases, it may be best to just sign and roll over your mortgage. There are a few things to consider. If you decide to change lenders, you’ll basically have to go through an approval process again. That entails getting all your documents, lawyer’s fees and appraisals.
You’ll have to ask yourself, is it worth the effort to save a few basis points off your rate, or a few hundred dollars over a term to make the switch?
For some it won’t be. But, if a switch can lead to saving thousands of dollars, it would certainly be something to consider. While everyone’s situation is different, the larger the mortgage, the bigger the savings will be if you can find a lower rate.
Often, homeowners will just use a bank their parents recommend for their first mortgage. But they might find themselves not happy with the service or terms of the mortgage and may just want to switch to a different lender as the mortgage comes up for renewal.
If that’s a situation you find yourself in, you have options, and a Dominion Lending Centres mortgage broker can help you make the best decision.

JEREMY DEUTSCH
Communications Advisor
15 Oct

Jobs are steady or increasing in most provinces!!!

General

Posted by: Jeannie Stace-Smith

Robust Canadian Jobs Report in September

The Canadian jobs market continued to surprise on the high-side–on track for one of its best years on record. This provides further confirmation to the Bank of Canada that additional easing in monetary policy is not necessary. The economy added 53,700 jobs in September, well above expectation, taking the year-to-date jobs gain to just over 358,000, the most in the first nine months of a year since 2002. The economy added 70,000 full-time jobs in September, with part-time employment down 16,300. Canada has added almost 300,000 new full-time jobs this year.

In September, employment increased in Ontario and Nova Scotia, while it held steady in other provinces.
More people were working in health care and social assistance, as well as in accommodation and food services. At the same time, there were declines in information, culture and recreation, and natural resources.

The number of self-employed workers increased, as did the number of employees in the public sector. The number of private-sector employees was virtually unchanged, although it was up 2.3% year-over-year.

The outsized jobs gain reduced the unemployment rate to 5.5% from 5.7% in August, near its lowest level in the past forty years. One difference in the September report from recent trends is that most of the job gains reflected mostly lower unemployment levels rather than rising labour force participation. The number of unemployed Canadians fell by 46,900 in September, while the labour force increased by just 6,800.

Wage Gains Rose Last Month

Another positive underpinning for the Canadian economy was the sustained rise in household incomes. The total hours worked last month were up 1.3% from a year earlier. Hourly pay rose 4.3% year-over-year in September, accelerating from a 3.7% pace in August. The last few months have posted the sharpest year-over-year increases in wage rates in a decade.

Bottom Line: This report lends ammo to the Bank of Canada to buck the tide of global monetary easing, at least for now. Few economists and investors believe, however, the country will be immune to a slowing global economy. Many expect the Bank of Canada will eventually be forced to cut interest rates. Swaps trading suggests one cut is still priced in over the next year.

The Bank of Canada’s next rate decision is October 30. There is so much geopolitical uncertainty in the world, emanating mostly from the US that no one can rule out a BoC rate cut sometime in the next year. The Canadian election results on October 21 will at least eliminate one uncertain issue, but a minority government were it to result, would only add to the uncertain stew.

Dr. Sherry Cooper
Chief Economist, Dominion Lending Centres
drcooper@dominionlending.ca
14 Oct

Happy Thanksgiving to my Canadian Friends!

General

Posted by: Jeannie Stace-Smith

Heres some Thanksgiving History!  What are you grateful for today???

Thanksgiving Day in Canada: The History and Origin of a Northern Thanksgiving

While Americans begin gearing up for Thanksgiving in the days following Halloween, Thanksgiving cflagcelebrations in Canada are long since over by October 31st. That’s because in Canada, Thanksgiving is celebrated on the second Monday in October.

Unlike Americans, whose holiday recalls the Pilgrims landing in America, Canadians spend their Thanksgiving giving thanks for a successful harvest, which typically culminates by early October in the northern country of Canada.

Canadian Thanksgiving traces its roots to an old European farming custom of banding together to toast a plentiful harvest. After hundreds of years of unofficial celebration, the Canadian Parliament officially recognized the folk practice in 1957.

The traditional Canadian Thanksgiving meal is similar to the feast served at the American counterpart: turkey (although ham or other roasts may be substituted), gravy, stuffing, autumn vegetables and fruit desserts. Canadians also place a cornucopia at the center of the table; the cornucopia is a curved ram’s horn filled with fruits and grains.

From Holidays on the Net.
11 Oct

Interesting article on the First-Time Home buyer’s incentive!

General

Posted by: Jeannie Stace-Smith

Interesting article with a Toronto perspective!

Ask An Agent: Is The First-Time Home Buyer’s Incentive Right For You?

Imraz Ramani is always helping first-time buyers enter the market.

Whether it’s his younger clients or even members of his own family, the Re/Max West Realty sales representative and head of the Ramani Real Estate team assists buyers entering the red hot housing and condo markets across the GTA.

READ: Real Estate Terms All First-Time Homebuyers Should Know

And he is honest with them. He’ll tell them whether the home they’re looking at is a good investment, or if they can realistically afford that home they’ve set their sights on. There’s nothing he doesn’t assess with honesty and integrity, and the aid the federal government offers first-time home buyers is no different, which makes him the ideal realtor to answer this week’s question;

Are Government Incentives for First-Time Home Buyers Worth It?

The incentive that everyone’s talking about right now is the First-Time Home Buyer Incentive Program. The Liberals have recently announced its expansion if they are re-elected. Under the current terms, only those with incomes under $120,000 a year qualify, but if the Liberals return to office, they’ve promised to include those who make up to $150,000. In addition, only mortgages that don’t exceed $480,000 currently qualify, but the Liberals will be raising that ceiling to $750,000 in hot markets like Vancouver, Victoria and the GTA.

READ: 40 Per Cent Of First-Time Buyers Would Sacrifice Finances To Own A Home

As part of this program, the Federal Government’s Canadian Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC) receives equity in a first-time buyer’s home in exchange for providing a loan to help them make their down payment. If a first-time home buyer pays at least five percent of the down payment, the government will kick in an additional five to 10 percent for the down payment on a new home and five per cent on an existing home, which will lower a first-time buyer’s monthly mortgage payment.

Right now, we are at the all-time low in terms of interest rates. If someone cannot afford to buy a home when interest rates are this low, should we really be enabling them to get into the market,  pushing them to where, if there’s ever a little spike in interest rates, we’ve set them up with debt they can no longer afford?

READ: Everything You Need To Know About The First-Time Home Buyer Incentive

This is why I’m not sure the First-Time Home Buyer Incentive Program is worth it for all potential candidates. That being said, I have helped a client who, because of this program, was able to buy something he can stay in for 10 plus years. Without the program he would continue being a renter. So, there are advantages to the program and it does help a select few, but there’s a lot of risk associated with it and it’s really important that clients are educated about the exit strategy.

Remember: by jumping in on this incentive, you are now partnering with CMHC. If they’re putting in five percent of your down payment, they own five percent of your home and you will reimburse them that five percent when you sell. Yes, CMHC enables first-time buyers to get in, and it’s good in the short-term for the Canadian economy because it promotes income exchange. It is, however, inevitable that interest rates are going to go up. At that point, you have to know what your exit strategy is going to be when you’re partnered with CMHC.

READ: First-Time Home Buyer Incentive To Launch In September: Get The Details

The loans are amortized over 25 years, so if you leave sooner than that for another property, you will have to pay back the loan in full. Keep in mind that with any real estate transaction, there are transactional costs that these qualified first-time home buyers will need to take into account such as the land transfer tax, the agent fees, etc. If these buyers sell in five to seven years — as most buyers do —they will be out these transaction costs and they will need to pay CMHC back. Plus, if their property has increased in value, these buyers will need to be aware that CMHC takes part of that appreciation in five percent of the home value – not just the loan.

This first-time buyer incentive program works if you’re going to stay in your home for 25 years. Otherwise — unless the market does really well — you’re going to be in trouble and you need to know that. If there is even a slight correction in the economy with interest rates or job losses, those who could already just barely afford a home with this help are now going to be in a worse situation. I don’t know if what we’re doing is really thinking about first-time buyers or thinking about the short-term growth of the Canadian economy with this program. I think the program can benefit a certain select segment of the population, as long as they’re aware of the risks.

I think other incentives such as The Home Buyer’s Plan promote what we should be teaching those who are entering home ownership.

READ: Federal Budget 2019: New Incentives For First-Time Buyers

For example, in the past the Home Buyer’s Plan allowed you to withdrawal $20,000 and then $25,000 and now $30,000 from your RRSP for the purchase of a home, which teaches buyers to save money. When you save the money, you can benefit from it because you can withdraw it to buy a home. That’s teaches people to manage money, manage expenses and save. This to me is what we should be doing to incentivize first-time home buyers. The TFSA also tells teens and kids that if they save enough money, by the time they reach graduation, they’ll have a down payment on a home and it’s tax-free. I’m a big fan of the programs that reward people for taking care of themselves financially, and that’s where we need the education.

First-time buyers also are eligible for a first-time home buyer’s credit, which reduces the costs associated with purchasing a home. It’s a 15 percent income tax credit on a maximum of $5,000 for things such as legal fees and land transfer tax. It can be claimed in the year you buy the home. You also get a break on the land transfer tax as a first-time buyer. All of this is good because it represents the Canadian Government helping first-time buyers get into the market without being selfish. I like these incentives because the tax break only comes as a reward because you’ve earned it. These first-time buyers who take advantage of the tax break still had to save the money and are rewarded for getting into the market their own way.

4 Oct

5 Recipes to Fall in Love With

General

Posted by: Jeannie Stace-Smith

Awesomely Autumn: 5 Fall Recipes to Fall in Love With

By IssuuSeptember 13, 2018 Editorial

Fall recipes that will warm your heart

With the Autumn chill quickly rolling into our homes, now is the perfect time to turn on our ovens and cozy up with delicious fall favorites. The autumn harvest is plentiful with comfort ingredients like squash, potatoes, pumpkins, apples and more — so we’ve put together a list of fall recipes to pay them the tribute they deserve.

Fall in love with these 5 awesomely autumn recipes…

You’ll be feeling all sorts of #fallvibes with these delicious and easy fall foods.

Sourdough, Sausage and Pear Stuffing

 

Thanksgiving is quickly approaching which means it’s time to perfect everyone’s favorite side dish — stuffing. Whether your guests are traditionalists or love to put a spin on family classics, this sourdough, sausage and pear stuffing recipe is sure to please everyone in your crowd.

Sugar free Pumpkin Pie

 

It isn’t awesomely autumn without an awesomely easy pumpkin pie recipe. We’ve found a sugar free pumpkin pie recipe that will have you feeling guilt free as you enjoy as second slice!

Loaded Baked Sweet Potato Skins

 

Does your family hit a food rut this time of year? Luckily, Tesco Food is filled with simple recipes that will turn into family favorites. This Loaded Baked Sweet Potato Skins recipe is the perfect weekday family meal and takes only 30 minutes to make!

Chicken Soup

 

Warm up during a chilly fall day with this yummy chicken soup recipe. Have a pantry full of fall favorites? Throw in your extra squash, potatoes and onions to make this dish even more awesomely autumn.

Warm Baked Apples

 

Autumn is the peak season for delicious local apples. Take advantage of fall and impress your dinner guests with these warm baked apples. This Purely Elizabeth recipe is effortlessly simple to make— yet will elegantly enhance your next autumn gathering .

Have some favorite fall recipes from our publishers? Share below in the comments and on social @Issuu! 

2 Oct

Six ways to invite fall into your home!

General

Posted by: Jeannie Stace-Smith

Six simple ways to invite fall into your home

I love when my home feels warm and inviting on crisp autumn evenings but I don’t love spending a ton of time decorating to get that cozy atmosphere. I’m guessing that maybe you feel the same way.

That’s why I’m sharing how to maximize the impact with minimal effort:

6 simple ways fall

1) KEEP THINGS TIDY.

All of the most adorable decorations in the world won’t feel cozy and inviting if they’re surrounded by clutter. It’s generally better to spend your time tidying up and just put a few decorations out here-and-there than it is to have a ton of items that are partially buried under piles of stuff.

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2) MAKE YOUR TABLE A FOCAL POINT.

A few pretty place mats or a tablecloth along with an autumn centerpiece can go a long way in making the entire kitchen or dining room feel cozy!

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3) BRING THE OUTDOORS IN.

  • Display garden produce.
    Whether you buy a squash at the store or a friend gives you a zucchini from her garden, use those items as decorations until you cook with them!
  • Decorate with leaves, sticks, and pinecones.
    Grab a clear vase and put a few things like pinecones, leaves, acorns, and sticks inside it to display! Better yet, if you have young children at home then put an empty vase or jar on your coffee table and let your kids fill it with the outdoor treasures they find.

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4) HANG YOUR KIDS’ ARTWORK.

When your kids make some sort of fall decoration (or even if they just color a pumpkin picture), frame or laminate their work then hang it up! If you don’t have extra frames or a laminator, then simply use tape or sticky tac and tape their masterpiece directly on your wall!

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5) FOCUS ON SCENT.

  • Light a candle.
    Nothing says autumn like a warmly scented candle! It takes two seconds to light and makes a huge difference in the feel of the room!
  • Use your crock pot.
    Sure, you can make chili or spaghetti sauce on the stove. But if you put the same ingredients in the crock pot in the morning, your house will smell amazing all day long!
  • Bake something.
    Whether you make muffins from scratch or use prepackaged cookie dough, putting something sweet in the oven will invite everyone to gather around and enjoy the warm coziness together.

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6) SERVE A WARM BEVERAGE.

Even if you don’t do anything else on this list, heating up water or milk for hot chocolate or hot tea can help make everyone in your home feel relaxed and welcome, including yourself! So after a long day, dim the lights, pass around the hot beverages, and prop your feet up for a few minutes as you take a few minutes to relax and unwind.

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What’s your favorite simple way to make your home feel warm and inviting in the fall?