The Tax-Free First Home Savings Account (“FHSA”) explained

[Invis - May 5, 2022] If you or someone you know is saving for a downpayment on their first home, the Federal government announced a new program aimed at first-time buyers in their recent budget. The First Home Savings Account combines the features of an RRSP and TFSA to give prospective homeowners some tax relief and a boost toward their homeownership goals.   Here are the highlights: Account holders can contribute up to $8,000 annually, up to a lifetime maximum of $40,000. [...]

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B.C. property owners face $52K in real estate fees even though sale never happened

[CTV - May 1, 2022] When Mike Armstrong and his wife Jessica set out to sell two cabins nestled in the trees at Lake Errock east of Mission, they had planned to use the proceeds to move to Vancouver Island to be closer to family. He never expected five years later they would be left facing tens of thousands of dollars in real estate commission fees without having sold either of the properties. “Never. No, no. I mean, who would?” he said. [...]

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Higher interest rates are here. What does that mean for you?

[Synergy Mortgage - March 3, 2022] The Bank of Canada has been signaling for a while now that they will respond to inflation by raising interest rates. Sure enough, on March 2nd they announced a hike in the overnight rate by 0.25%. Here are answers to the most commonly asked questions. How does this affect my current mortgage? It depends if your mortgage is fixed or variable. A rate hike will impact variable-rate mortgage holders immediately as more of your monthly payment [...]

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Sensible strategies to help you thrive in 2022

[Invis - January 5, 2022] Canadians keep talking about the housing market! Are we in a housing bubble, will rates rise in 2022 and by how much, is this the right time to buy or refinance, is a lender's renewal offer the best available, and on and on! For many, it feels like some uncertain times ahead. Often, it's just a few sensible strategies that can help you thrive in the current climate. Here are my top tips for the [...]

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How to choose between selling your home and taking out a reverse mortgage

[Financial Post - September 23, 2021] Homeowners who need funds should weigh their options before tapping a home for income Just because you’re house-rich doesn’t mean you can’t go broke. Many homeowners who lack sufficient retirement income can find themselves faced with a difficult choice: sell a beloved home or turn it into an emergency income source. One option is to take out a reverse mortgage, which can let them maintain their lifestyles while staying put. But it’s a big decision. While a conventional [...]

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Banking on mom and dad

[Toronto Sun - July 24, 2021] As housing prices hit an all-time high and continue to rise across the country, homeownership is out of reach for about three-quarters of Canadians, leaving many new homebuyers counting on the Bank of Mom and Dad. “With the housing market pricing many Canadians out of the market, younger generations are forced to turn to their parents to close the gap,” says Manulife Bank president and CEO Rick Lunny. If you’re thinking of helping your child purchase [...]

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New stress test rate makes it more difficult for home buyers to qualify for mortgage

[Toronto Sun - July 3, 2021] Home buyers have contended with a series of costly hurdles in this ongoing, high-octane housing market — supply shortages, growing and pent-up demand, red hot prices and bidding wars just to name a few. It’s been a great time for sellers, but not so great for those looking to get into the market or upsize. Now the federal government is effectively putting another significant hurdle on the path to home ownership that will especially impact first-time [...]

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Recent Mortgage Rule Changes

[Synergy Mortgage Inc. / Invis - April 21, 2021] There had been speculation that the government would act to cool the hot housing market, but the industry saw only modest measures in the April 19 federal budget. A national annual tax on foreign-owned properties that are left vacant or under-occupied was announced, which will take effect in 2022. This will only apply to "non-residents" to discourage offshore buyers. New stress test The budget also referenced the recent announcement by the Office [...]

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LAND OWNER TRANSPARENCY REGISTRY (LOTR)

[Land Owner Transparency Registry - January 15, 2021] B.C. Real Estate Beneficial Ownership Disclosure Law Takes Effect November 30, 2020 The Land Title and Survey Authority of British Columbia (LTSA) operates the Land Owner Transparency Registry (LOTR), a first-of-its- kind registry to improve transparency of land ownership in BC. What is LOTR? A searchable registry that maintains information about “interest holders” under the Land Owner Transparency Act. These are individuals who do not have direct ownership of land but are considered to have [...]

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Buying a home this year | Mortgage qualification 101

[Synergy Mortgage - January 1, 2021] If you have decided to buy a home this year, we are here to help! While we certainly do all the heavy lifting to ensure your mortgage experience is as easy and seamless as possible, it’s important that you’re fully up-to-speed on all the mortgage basics. Especially given today’s fast-paced real estate market. Whether you’re a first time homebuyer or returning client, stay tuned for our “Buying a home this year” educational series. We will continue to provide you [...]

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