Tag Archives: #LindaMash

Know Your Options

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Life has a habit of throwing unexpected twists at us when we least expect them. While none of us should live our lives in a constant state of worry, it’s important to know that, should financial troubles from the loss of a job or other unexpected situations strike, you can count on the advice of your mortgage broker to see you through it.

Life changes involving illness, change of work status or change of marital status can affect your ability to make your mortgage payments, so if you anticipate a change in any of these things please call to discuss your payment options as soon as possible.

If you have to default on a payment, lenders can sometimes grant you temporary payment relief and give you options for a repayment plan, depending on the situation. Mortgagors with a good payment record can often work out a temporary agreement that will allow them to make reduced payments for a specified period of time.

Remember, lenders do not want you to default on your mortgage any more than you do. It is in everyone’s best interest for you to demonstrate good financial discipline when times are good, so you have the best chance of full cooperation from your lender if you ever run into difficulty.

Please call me if you anticipate needing a “Plan B” for your loan obligations!

Fitting Into Today’s Housing Market

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Today’s ever-rising real estate prices often mean one of two things for buyers — they must either increase their budget, or downsize their housing expectations.

The Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC) reports that the construction of single-detached homes fell between 2012 and 2016. The lower inventory, coupled with increased demand, resulted in a rise in prices for this housing type. In many cases the result is that buyers who initially planned for a single-family house will be settling into condos, while some would-be condo buyers may have to reassess how to fit their lives into even more compact footage.

Looking at condo construction, the CMHC notes that although there might be a slight decline in condo starts this year, there will be a rebound in condo construction next year due to increased demand for more affordable housing.

In the meantime, residents moving into more “cozy” condos need to be creative about how they fit into their smaller spaces. Luckily, furniture manufacturers are responding to the demand for space-efficient solutions and designing options specifically for today’s condos. Furniture that flips up, slides out and folds down can now be cleverly concealed to fit into any space.

Don’t automatically dismiss a condo with great features, a reasonable price and other plusses because you think it’s too small. Today’s options make it easier than ever to complete your condo with clever space solutions that fit all your needs!

Call today to find out about the many condo configurations available in today’s market.

Can You See What Your REALTOR Sees in this Neighbourhood?

REALTORS® have their fingers on the pulse of the market. They know the questions to ask, the areas to probe and what to look for so that you get a complete picture of the property and community you’re considering. They can also identify the complex financial and legal issues involved in a real estate transaction.

Can you see what your REALTOR sees in the rural property?

REALTORS® have their fingers on the pulse of the market. They know the questions to ask, the areas to probe and what to look for so that you get a complete picture of the property. They can also identify the complex financial and legal issues involved in a real estate transaction.

Can You See What Your REALTOR sees in this Condo?

REALTORS® have their fingers on the pulse of the market. They know the questions to ask, the areas to probe and what to look for so that you get a complete picture of the property and community you’re considering. They can also identify the complex financial and legal issues involved in a real estate transaction.

Is Your Home Affecting Your Health?

Your home is a safe haven. But, there are ways your home can damage your health.

A healthy home is a happy home. What do we mean? Well, did you know about these seven home hazards that could be affecting your health? Not to worry, our friends at Home Advisor tackle how to identify them as well as how to fix them.

#1 Mold, fungus and mildew

Aside from their smell and unsightly nature, mold, fungus and mildew can pose a serious threat to your health. If you notice any signs of these hazards (especially mold and mildew), have them removed immediately.

#2 Water-borne pollutants

Public water supplies are generally kept to a very high standard. But, it’s impossible to eliminate all water contaminants. If there is a failure in any part of your purification system, your water supply could contain dangerous pollutants. Replace your purification system to ensure your water is clean.

#3 Carbon monoxide

In sufficient quantities, carbon monoxide can kill. Carbon monoxide is difficult to detect because of its odorless and colorless nature. Address any carbon monoxide problems by ventilating your impacted space. For a long-term solution, consider installing a carbon monoxide detector.

#4 Lead

Lead causes memory loss, muscular issues and dementia. Make sure to check your paint and plumbing for lead if your home was built before 1975. If you find lead in your home, have it removed immediately.

#5 Home chemicals

Most of us have potentially harmful chemicals in our homes. These include:

  • Detergents
  • Cleaning agents
  • Bleach
  • Nail polish
  • Pesticides

Most of these substances can be replaced by safer, organic products. If not, keep your toxic chemicals out of reach of children and pets.

#6 Dust

Dust can irritate your respiratory tract. Clean any obvious dust using a damp cloth or an electrostatic wipe. Regularly vacuum curtains, upholstery and carpets. Make sure you use a HEPA filter in your vacuum cleaner. Less efficient filters allow too much dust to escape back into a room.

#7 Dampness and leaks

Moisture encourages the growth of molds and other harmful microorganisms. Eliminate any leaks in your plumbing or roofing to avoid mildew and mold problems.

Conclusion

If you feel unwell in your home, you may be suffering from a home hazard. Tackle any health problems in your home to stay healthy.

Stressed About the Mortgage Changes?

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As you may have heard, Canada’s Finance Minister Bill Morneau unveiled a series of changes to the rules used to underwrite insured mortgages. Included in those changes, effective October 2016, was one termed a mortgage “stress test.”

The stress test is applicable to insured mortgage applications. It’s designed to ensure that borrowers are capable of paying their loans in the event interest rates rise, or their personal financial situation worsens. So now, no matter how low their actual mortgage rate, Canadian borrowers must show that they qualify for the Bank of Canada’s Mortgage Qualifying Rate, which, for example, was 4.64 percent when the new rule came into effect — about twice what a borrower might actually be paying.

Prior to the new changes, the historically low mortgage rates allowed even first-time home buyers with a modest income to qualify for a large loan. Now, buyers who previously qualified for a higher-priced home may experience a reduction in affordability.

If you’re considering a move, you’ll want to clarify if or how the new mortgage restrictions might apply to you, and if they do, what your best course of action is in today’s ever changing real estate environment.

Please call today for questions on this, and all your other real estate queries.

The Smartest Home Improvements for 2017

Why not add home improvements to your 2017 resolutions?

Here are a few tasks to kick off in 2017.

Replace Your Garage Door
Your garage door is one of the first things visitors and potential buyers will notice about your home. That’s why it’s important to ensure that yours is in great shape. Consider installing a new garage door if yours is damaged or showing its age.

Insulated garage doors will boost the energy savings of your home. Your garage is an open pocket of air attached to your home. As it gets colder outside, an uninsulated garage will trap cold air against your home, forcing you to spend more on energy bills. Insulated models will keep cold air out and help you eliminate extra spending on utilities.

Install Smart Locks
Smart locks allow you to control and monitor the security of your home through your smart phone. The price of smart locks will vary depending on the features. Most models come with Bluetooth connectivity and remote access.

Get a Nest Thermostat
Learning thermostats will improve the environment in your home and save you money. Smart thermostats learn your heating and cooling habits and automatically adjust your HVAC to meet your needs. You can install a smart thermostat yourself or with the help of a pro.

Complete a Minor Kitchen Remodel
Your kitchen is a busy place. Everyone loves to gather around food and enjoy good conversation while keeping the host or hostess company. If you’re dealing with a cramped kitchen, consider a minor kitchen remodel to help open up your space.

Worried about the cost of a remodel? A kitchen remodel will return 83 percent of its cost at the time of resale, making it one of the better ways to spend your money in 2017.

Update Your Bathroom
Your bathrooms are another great location for home improvements. You don’t have to overhaul the entire room to recoup the cost of your upgrades. Head to your local home improvement store and pick up any of the following items to boost the appearance of your bathrooms:

● New faucet and handles
● Modern mirrors
● New towel racks
● Floating shelves

Channel Your Inner Handyman
You can also tackle some home improvements yourself. It’s as simple as focusing on what’s already in your home rather than what it lacks. Go through your home and check for the following:

● Leaks in the shower
● Leaks in the sink
● Knicks in the drywall

Andrea Davis is the editor at HomeAdvisor, which connects homeowners with home improvement professionals in their area for free. Connect with Andrea on Google+

Clean Credit

PhotoPlanning on moving this year, or applying for a loan? You’ll want to check your credit report before contacting your lender. But what happens if, upon review of the document, you discover it contains information that will negatively impact your credit worthiness; what can you do to improve your standing in the eyes of creditors?

First, check your credit report for omissions and errors. If you notice any errors, write to your reporting agency, outlining the reasons for your disputes and requesting that they investigate your claims. Be sure to enclose copies of any supporting documentation. The credit bureau will investigate your claims by contacting your creditors to verify the information you’ve supplied.

As for negative entries in your report that are accurate, know that bankruptcies and other entries such as late payments will remain on your report for a number of years. For accounts that have previously been past due, but which you’ve since paid off and maintained — they might comply if they see you’ve been handling the account positively.

Be persistent with both the creditors and your credit bureau in finding the source of any incorrect information and getting it rectified. If a correction can’t be made, you can request that the credit bureau include a brief explanation of your version of events next to the entry in question. Make sure the reporting agency sends you an updated report to confirm all the changes.