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The changes and you

by Sherisse | Nov 1, 2016 | Front Page, News

Here’s a nice little snap shot of the impact of the recent changes in the mortgage market affect you and your buying power.... Refinance to consolidate debt

by Sherisse | Jun 9, 2016 | Front Page

To no one’s surprise on May 25, the central bank left its key interest rate unchanged at 0.5 per cent. While the bank said it expects the economy to “rebound”, it stopped short of discussing the likelihood that this rebound will be enough to keep overall 2016 growth on track with its previous goal of 1.7%. Many economists are not expecting Governor Stephen Poloz to start pushing up the bank’s overnight rate for at least another year. While low interest rates and soaring regional housing markets continue to be the norm, Canadians are burdened with record-high debt loads, which have been rising since 2011.  If you’re sitting with equity in your home yet can’t seem to manage your debt payments, perhaps refinancing is the answer, especially in this low-interest rate environment. With credit card interest rates often pushing the 20% range, five-year fixed-rate mortgages in the 2.49% to 2.69% range and variable rates even lower, you may want to consider paying off high-interest debts. Like many financial decisions, you need to look at the big picture. Here’s what you need to know. A refinance alters the terms and conditions of your mortgage; specifically you are increasing the amount of your mortgage to pay off debt. Your mortgage payment may or may not increase, depending on a number of factors, and you may incur a penalty to break your existing mortgage if you are refinancing midterm. Depending on your current mortgage you could be paying off the refinanced debt at a much lower interest rate, which could save you thousands of dollars in interest in the long run. Here are... Renewing your mortgage? Let’s talk

by Sherisse | May 23, 2016 | Front Page, News

Consumers are becoming much more informed about mortgages and mortgage products before taking the plunge into home ownership. According to the Canadian Mortgage and Housing Corporation’s 2013 Consumer Survey, 70% of buyers researched mortgage terms and conditions, 60% discussed the pros and cons of various mortgage products and 59% compared interest rates.    Because consumers are highly engaged they are more confident about their mortgage decision, according to the survey. Still, with all that research, more than half contacted a mortgage broker to get further clarification. This is a good move, considering how much the mortgage rules have changed over these past few years.   Buyers were also better prepared when they met with a broker with 59% organizing their personal information and documentation, which certainly makes the approval process flow faster and smoother.   The survey also found 81% of buyers were totally satisfied with the experience with their broker and would most likely use that broker again. An overwhelming number – 75% — would highly recommend their broker to family and friends.   For most homeowners, their biggest monthly expense is a mortgage payment.  Yet the survey found that 39% of households automatically renew their mortgages when the term is up instead of trying to find a better deal. When you’ve done your homework prior to purchasing a home, it only makes sense to do as much research at renewal time.  Quite often the renewal rate offered to you by your lender is higher than the market average.    There may also be material changes in your household. Perhaps you’ve started a family, or one of you is... Get a designer-inspired home without the designer cost

by Sherisse | May 19, 2016 | Front Page, News

When you walk through a professionally decorated home there is a certain sense of harmony that flows throughout the space. This is because designers consider each room in terms of its relation to another and choose colours, furniture and accessories that feel cohesive. This is especially important given the popularity of open concept homes. Now, not everyone hires a decorator or has a knack for design which makes choosing complementary paint colours tricky, so most homeowners end up picking one colour for the entire home. Want to bring your space to life with colour? Try the following steps: Determine your Style What is your inspiration? Do you tend towards clean lines with a ix of retro or vintage treasure? Do you favour a traditional feel over a modern look? Do you envision coming home to a luxurious cozy space or clean minimalist setting? These factors will influence which palette you choose. Finding visual representation of what speaks to you is the best place to start narrowing in on your style. Decide on the theme Depending on whether you choose warm, neutral or cool colours, you can create a space that helps to set a particular mood. Warm tones create a space that is inviting and give off a positive energy. Neutrals create a space that is cozy yet balanced as they complement various looks and stay relevant over time. Cool colours create a space that is relaxing and provide styling options for either an urban or coastal feel. Great design should reflect the homeowner’s personality and should be more fun than... Pick the perfect paint

by Sherisse | May 18, 2016 | Front Page, News

Life is hectic and your home is there to play host to all of it. Your walls must be prepared for anything; from big family get-together or kids’ play dates, to days of furniture rearranging and room makeovers. A good coat of paint is a good idea to help your home stand up to wear. Beyond just colour consider these key factors when selecting the right paint that meets the needs of your home. Washable Look for a paint that is durable and withstand repeated washing. You want the peace of mind that a quick wash will leave your walls looking as fresh as the day they were painted. Stain Resistant When the kids decide to turn your living room wall into a colouring board or when things get a little messy in the kitchen, you want to feel confident that the crayon, spills and scuffs aren’t permanent. Time saver Painting can be easier and quicker than you think. Learning the proper technique for cutting in will save a lot of time because it will eliminate the need for tape on baseboards and trim. Also finding a paint and primer all-in-one will save you a few coats and valuable time. Lasting colour Even with a few time savers, you want your colour to last. If you find your colour losing its vibrant hue over time, fading or yellowing, look for higher quality paint with technology built in to prevent discoloration. Today’s paint technology has come a long way–it’s easy to apply with better coverage and easy clean up. Once you have picked the perfect colour, choose a paint that... Moving towards mortgage freedom

by Sherisse | May 17, 2016 | Front Page

Good News! It may only take small changes for you to become mortgage free and save thousands of dollars in

interest in the process. In December, Mortgage Professionals Canada released its annual state of the housing market report and found that in 2015, 36% of homeowners took actions to reduce their mortgage debt. While many homeowners think in terms of lump-sum payments, which are a great option, there are other ways to save money and pay down that debt including the following: Refinancing for a lower interest rate Renegotiating for a lower interest rate Switching to accelerated bi-weekly payments Increasing amount of regular payments Lump-sum payments According to the report about 950,000 mortgage holders voluntarily increased their regular payments during the past year. The average amount of increase was about $340 per month, for a total of almost $4 billion per year. In addition, voluntary increases that were made in prior years continue to contribute to accelerated repayment of mortgages. Increasing your payment by just $20 a month can have a positive impact simply because the extra money is applied directly against the mortgage principal. This decreases the amount of interest you will pay over the life of the loan. Also in 2015, seven per cent of mortgage holders (about 400,000) increased the frequency of their payments. Just over one million made lump sum payments during the past year. The average amount was about $15,300, for combined repayment estimated at $15.5 billion. Other highlights from the report include: About 660,000 households lived in homes that they purchase during he past year (newly-constructed or resale). The average price is $408,800,... “Smart” Home Renovations

by Sherisse | May 9, 2016 | Front Page, Monthly Newsletters

“Smart” home renovations When you have a house or condo you want it to look great. You know about regular maintenance but you might also want to renovate that tired bathroom or dated kitchen, or replace those older windows or redo the basement to create more living space. Here are six renos that may increase your home’s value: Revamp the Bathrooom Every year, the Appraisal Institute of Canada surveys its members and compiles a list of renovations that yield the best return on investment. Year after year, refurbished kitchens and bathrooms head the payback list. An old toilet that’s cracked or dirty or doesn’t work properly is a turn-off. Vanities should be eye-catching and practical. Good lighting boosts value. Better yet – add a window if you can, to get natural lighting. If you want to save some money consider reglazing the tub, rather than getting a new one. Bathroom upgrades can cost anywhere from $6,000 to $25,000 however you will recoup 75% to 100% of the initial cost. Upgrade the Kitchen This sits at the top of any reno list. It’s the heart of a home and the room where families spend most of their time. So where do you start? This is the reno that can overstretch the budget because there is so much you can add. If you’re adding high-end upgrades such as stainless steel appliances make sure they’re not sitting on vinyl flooring or sitting against worn-out cupboards. Kitchen upgrades can cost anywhere from $10,000 to $75,000, however you will recoup 75% to 100% of the initial cost. House needs a roof  This might not... What’s Happening in Edmonton

by Sherisse | Mar 16, 2016 | News

As a mortgage broker, it’s not uncommon for my clients and prospective clients to ask me what I think is going to happen with the real estate market. The reality is, my crystal ball isn’t currently working these days! But in all seriousness, while I work with real estate professional, I am certainly not a realtor or an appraiser. These are the individuals that can more readily answer these questions than I can. Here’s a quick read and report for what real estate is doing in Edmonton and Calgary. Thanks Gerhardt for your insight!... Moving Towards Mortgage Freedom

by Sherisse | Mar 14, 2016 | News

Good news!  It may only take small changes for you to become mortgage free and save thousands of dollars in interest in the process.  In December, Mortgage Professionals Canada released its annual state of the housing market report and found that, in 2015, 36% of homeowners took actions to reduce their mortgage debt. While many homeowners think in terms of lump-sum payments, which are a great option, there are other ways to save money and pay down that debt including the following: –Refinancing for a lower interest rate –Renegotiating for a lower interest rate –Switching to accelerated bi-weekly payments  –Increasing amount of regular payments –Lump-sum payments According to the report about 950,000 mortgage holders voluntarily increased their regular payments during the past year. The average amount of increase was about $340 per month, for a total of almost $4 billion per year. In addition, voluntary increases that were made in prior years continue to contribute to accelerated repayment of mortgages. Increasing your payment by just $20 a month can have a positive impact simply because the extra money is applied directly against the mortgage principal. This decreases the amount of interest you will pay over the life of the loan Also in 2015, seven per cent of mortgage holders (about 400,000) increased the frequency of their payments.  Just over one million made lump sum payments during the past year. The average amount was about $15,300, for combined repayment estimated at $15.5 billion. Other highlights from the report include: -About 660,000 households lived in homes that they purchased during the past year (newly-constructed or resale). The average price is $408,800,... Here’s what can effect your credit score

by Sherisse | Mar 11, 2016 | News

Okay, you’ve worked hard to build up your credit score. You pay all your debts on time, have focused on getting out of debt –maybe even closed a few of those accounts because you don’t need them or want them anymore. Then one day you apply for a loan and there are issues. What??? Everyone understands the need to pay down debt and pay bills on time but there are a few wonky things that affect your credit score. Remember those cards you cancelled? Well as counterintuitive as that sounds closing accounts can hurt your score. The reason for the ding is that closing an account drops your global credit limit, which increases the percentage of debt in relationship to the limit. For example, you have two credit cards with a limit of $1000 each, for a total of $2000. You owe $500 on one card and $800 on the other. That debt load is 65% of the global limit. So you decide to pay off the $500 and close the account. That reduces the global limit to $1000 with an $800 balance. Now the percentage of debt is up to 80% and your credit score takes a hit. The ideal percentage between global limit and debt owed is 30% to 35% – the lower, the better. Here’s another stunner:  Having a credit card or line of credit and not using it. Yep, having too much unused credit can have a negative impact — a creditor can’t tell how you manage credit payments if you don’t use it. Here’s something I know you’ve done in the past. You’re in...


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