Best Home Renovations-Money Wasted or Money Invested?

Buying a new home also means looking for the best new home renovations or upgrades that fit your lifestyle. When selling a home different renovations can either mean money in your pocket or potentially money out the window. After I’ve shown clients the first few homes in their new home search, we often discuss my “Real Estate Baseball” rule of thumb. What do I mean by this? Three strikes and you are OUT! As soon as potential buyers can tally up three perceived “defects” in your home, they aren’t interested any more (it should be noted that this is by no means scientific). You can’t make a first impression on potential buyers again, so, you need to make a great one at the beginning! I often talk with clients about renovations and Do It Yourself (DIY) projects so they can make the right informed decisions. Sometimes renovations can add to a home sale, but other times they just become another stressful event associated with selling your home and wont generate the return that you are looking for. Here is a list of potential renovations that I often discuss and recommend with clients. 1) Painting When my clients walk into a freshly painted home, […]

Killing Your Mortgage In 3 Easy Steps

Killing your mortgage in 3 easy steps I was honoured when Mr. CBB invited me to share some mortgage tips on CBB.  It’s evident that he really values his readers so this is a real honour. I’m speaking from experience. Derek and I became mortgage free at 28 (we purchased our first home at 23, and built a new, bigger home when we were 25.)  These are the 3 most important actions we took in killing our mortgage early.  In the interest of full disclosure our current home is worth between $280,000 and $300,000.  It’s a lovely home, but the bank would prefer us in something bigger and more expensive. Pay your mortgage first and last. We’ve all heard the concept that you should pay yourself first. If you’ve been living under a rock, avoiding any personal financial advice, this means that you should set aside your savings as soon as you’re paid before you spend a dime.  The story goes that if you never have access to the savings you won’t miss it, and you’ll be forced to live within your means. This works unless you’re a credit addict, then cut up your cards and return to step one. Decide how much […]

What Are Bad Credit Mortgages?

What are Bad Credit Mortgages? Before you look at any type of financing you need to make sure it’s right for you, and bad credit mortgages are no exception! Here we’re going to go over the benefits of these kinds of mortgages. Bad credit mortgages are great for people with bad credit, no credit, or just people who need to work on their credit. Just because you have bad credit doesn’t mean you can’t get a mortgage. What is Bad Credit? Bad credit can be a highly subjective term, but for most mortgage lenders it will be a FICO score under 600 points. If you have anything less than that you could have trouble getting a mortgage, even from bad credit mortgage lenders. You’ll want to first think about credit repair like debt consolidation; even if you do qualify for a bad credit mortgage you could wind up paying much more in interest where it doesn’t make sense to take the mortgage. Is a Bad Credit Mortgage Right for You? You’ll need to talk to a mortgage broker to make sure that this is the right kind of financing for you. There are many ways that a bad credit mortgage can go wrong; you’re going […]

What Is the Difference Between a Mortgage Lender vs a Mortgage Broker?

What’s the Difference between a Mortgage Lender vs a Mortgage Broker? There are so many terms thrown around in the finance world that it can be hard to figure out what means what. A mortgage lender lends money, while a mortgage broker finds money. Here we’re going to talk about the differences and roles that these two play when you’re trying to finance or refinance your home, and you’ll be able to enter the process with your eyes wide open. You’ll be able to see through the curtain and different tactics so you make the right decision for your financial future instead of theirs. Let’s get started. What Does a Mortgage Lender Do? Unlike your local Toronto mortgage broker, a mortgage lender lends you money. This could be a bank, a credit union or a private mortgage lender. You’ll have to fill out a mortgage application with them, then you’ll have to go through a whole process where they tell you they either want to work with your or not. This can be a stressful process, but in the end you’ll either get the financing that you need to buy a home or you won’t. It’s a very binary procedure. Depending […]

MPAC Assessment And The Value Of My House

Most people have a vague idea what MPAC (Municipal Property Assessment Corporation) is and what the purpose of the property assessment is. When you finally make the decision to stop renting and buy your first home you learn about things such as what an MPAC assessment is and why you need to have one. You get a letter in the mail that says your house is worth less than what you paid for it and you scratch your head wondering what the bloody hell they are going on about. If you are like us we didn’t know what the Market Value, Appraisal Value, Assessed Value was. How Did they Value our Home? Good Question! We paid our mortgage in full after 5 years of owning our home in 2014 but that doesn’t mean we get to wash our hands of our MPAC assessment and property taxes. We are still responsible as homeowners to contribute to services with-in the city and the education system. Related: Property Tax Bill- One You’ll Never Burn   MPAC Property Assessments   That used to be us but we have since done our research and here is what we learned. When we purchased our first home in 2009 we […]

Save Money On Your Next Mortgage Transaction

Buying a home is not a “buy now deal with it later” process rather one that should be researched properly before you get yourself into hot water. There is so much to learn and the buyer and seller that are best prepared are the ones that come out on top. Any time you are ready to make potentially one of the biggest investments of your life such as a mortgage loan take a moment to invest in yourself and your wallet.  Buying a home is a confusing, ever-changing process, with a lot of steps along the way.  All of those steps can end up costing you in cash and stress, so know where you are headed before you start the house hunt. Whether buying your first home, refinancing, or selling and buying, the following tips could help to save you money on your next mortgage transaction.  Speak to your Home Insurance person ahead of time; Lawyers/Notaries are required by the lender to prove you have Fire Insurance, most Insurance Agencies will charge an “Insurance Binder Fee” to supply the lawyer that information.  Call ahead and make sure they don’t charge you…or go to a different agency. When shopping for the […]

Why We Want To Pay Off Our Mortgage Early

Contributor: Nurse Frugal at Ladies Go First Paying off the Mortgage early, that’s what we’re doing and here’s why. I vividly remember the day when I came home from work and my husband was sitting behind the computer with a perplexed look on his face.  He looked up at me and asked “I don’t know, do you think we should pay off the house loan too?” Here Is Some Background………… A few weeks earlier we had just started listening to Dave Ramsey, a radio host and author that believes that becoming debt free is the key to financial freedom and building wealth.  We had just emptied out our savings accounts to pay off the two brand new cars we had just financed. My heart sank in my chest, was my husband taking crazy pills before I came home?  Did he realize that paying off the mortgage would mean that we would have to work lots of overtime for years and years to ultimately pay off the $233,346.60 owed on our mortgage?!?!  He proceeded to do a mortgage calculation that revealed that if we didn’t pay off the house early we would pay $118,123.78 in interest throughout the life of our mortgage, […]

Should You Be Breaking Your Mortgage?

Are you thinking about breaking a mortgage early? Most people assume that when they sign up for a 5 year fixed rate that they have to stay in that mortgage for the next 5 years…that isn’t true in most cases.  While there are a few lenders out there who have “closed” mortgages that are not breakable without a bona fide sale of the property, the vast majority are breakable. So how does that work?  If you decided that the rate you were paying was too high or you wanted to add funds in a refinance or various other situations that made you want to break the mortgage you were in, how can it be done?  If your current mortgage rate is less than lender’s rate on the equivalent remaining term, you simply pay a 3 month interest penalty…for example: Current mortgage of $150,000 @ 3.25% with 3 years remaining Lender’s 3 year rate is currently 3.45% 3 Months interest = $1,219 approximately ($150,000 x 3.25% /12 x3) What if the opposite is true, the current rate you have on your mortgage is higher than the current available from the lender?  Now we enter the world of IRD, or Interest Rate […]

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