January 2018

Found 14 blog entries for January 2018.

Check your debt in BCMany consumers will soon find their debt loads heavier now that Canada’s central bank and the country’s biggest commercial lenders have raised their benchmark rates by one-quarter percentage point.

Personal finance expert Laleh Samarbakhsh shares her advice on the best ways to take advantage of the increased rates.

The country’s biggest banks raised their prime rates after the Bank of Canada hiked its overnight lending rate earlier this month by a quarter of a percentage point to 1.25 per cent.

It’s a challenge for Canadians still struggling to cope with the record amounts of consumer debt they amassed after the 2008 financial crisis because lenders use their prime rate as a benchmark for setting some other short-term rates including

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BC Real Estate AssociationVancouver, BC – January 12, 2018. The British Columbia Real Estate Association (BCREA) reports that a total of 103,763 residential unit sales were recorded by the Multiple Listing Service® (MLS®) across the province in 2017, a decline of 7.5 per cent from a record 112,211 unit sales in 2016. The average MLS® residential price in BC was $709,579 in 2017, up 2.7 per cent from the previous year. Total sales dollar volume was $73.63 billion, down 5.1 per cent from 2016.

"Robust housing demand in 2017 was underpinned by a strong economy, employment growth and rising wages," said Cameron Kamloops Real Estate NewsMuir, BCREA Chief Economist. "Above trend migration, both international and interprovincial, also bolstered housing demand, while broader demographic fundamentals added fuel

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A Little Knowledge Can Save You Money

While there is no substitute for the opinion of an experienced professional, having a little knowledge about what to look for will help you make an informed choice about what action to take.

No one can predict exactly when a roof will start to fail and leak, but there are signs you can look for that show it’s time to start thinking about replacement:

Missing granulesMissing Granules from the Asphalt

Missing granules: viewed from the ground this looks like dark patches (or lighter patches if the shingles are black). What you are looking at are patches on the shingles where the granules have fallen off.You will also notice large amounts of granules in the gutters when you clean them. The granules themselves are not

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Kamloops Rent To OwnAs the real estate landscape changes, renting to own may provide a win-win for both owners and tenants.

The changes to the mortgage rules last July are making it more difficult for first time buyers to get approved for a mortgage. Other buyers may have good credit but not enough of a down payment. At the same time, landlords are looking for good tenants to rent their units. Rent-to-own may provide a win-win for both owners and tenants.

Here’s how it works:

A landlord rents the home or condominium under a basic home lease. For an extra payment, the tenant receives an option to buy the home at a later date, for a set price. Let’s say the home is worth $250,000. The parties agree the tenant will have the right, but not the obligation, to buy the

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Canada Home Buyer PlanAre you looking to buy your first home? Are you short on the down payment needed to qualify for a mortgage? That money you’ve been locking away into your RRSP could make the difference. The Canadian government offers borrowers The Home Buyers’ Plan (HBP), which lets you borrow funds from an RRSP to make a down payment for your first home purchase.

How does it work?

  • The home has to be your principal residence.
  • You can borrow as much as $25,000 from your RRSP to go toward a home purchase.
  • You have to live in Canada.
  • If you buy with another first time buyer you can both add to make $50,000
  • You can’t take contributions to an RRSP out unless those contributions have been in your account for a minimum of 90 days.
  • You pay no interest
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Real Estate SubjectsIn a hot sellers market, you may feel pressure to make some concessions to win over a seller.

When you make an offer on a home, it's standard to throw in some subjects—telling the seller that if the home isn't up to snuff for a variety of reasons, you have the right to walk away from the deal—with all of your cash in hand.

That's all hunky-dory in a buyer's market but as the housing market has moved towards a sellers one buyers are getting competitive—more and more are waiving those subjects, or protections, in order to sweeten their offer and speed the deal through to closing.

You want the house, and the seller doesn't want any hiccups. So getting those pesky contingencies out of the way is a win-win, right?

Of course not!

It's riskier to

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Air BNB in BCAs Vancouver becomes Canada’s first major city to regulate short-term home rentals, many prospective hosts have questions about how it could work for them.

Thousands of hosts in Vancouver have been renting out rooms and entire homes, operating in a legal grey area through online platforms, the largest of which is Airbnb. But starting in April, Vancouver homeowners will have to become a part of the city’s new regulatory regime for short-term home rentals, approved by council last week.

Becoming part of the city’s licensing system will cost a $49 annual licence and a $54 one-time activation fee. But some prospective hosts had questions about whether there could be other costs or implications to consider.

The typical Vancouver Airbnb host earns

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BC mortgage stress test explainedWhat Are the Three New Mortgage Rules That Arrived In January 2018?

New rules by Canada’s federal financial regulator announced in October 2017 mean that even borrowers with a down payment of 20 per cent or more will now face a stress test, as has been the case since January of 2017, for applicants with smaller down payments who require mortgage insurance.

Ottawa has already moved to tighten the rules around the mortgage market six times since July 2008, with a series of regulatory tweaks aimed at limiting the amount of debt that Canadians and financial institutions take on.

This is the seventh turn of the screw — and it could have a big impact. Some 10 per cent of Canadians who got an uninsured mortgage between mid-2016 and mid-2017 would not

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Be prepared when buying a homeProspective homeowners may get excited by the market or the prospect of home ownership and decide that now is the right time to look into buying a home...but sometimes they get the cart before the horse and start house shopping before the have been pre-approved for a mortgage. The pre-approval process is a way for buyers to get insight on potential obstacles and learn more about what mortgage lenders want from applicants. Preparing for a mortgage loan in advance will help avoid surprises and speed a buyer's final mortgage approval when the right house is found. You'll also be taken more seriously.

Knowing Where you Stand

Before running out to look at houses, prospective buyers need to know any potential hurdles they may need to overcome when it

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Kamloops Real Estate NewsKamloops Real Estate Sales

The number of homes sold through the MLS® System of the Kamloops and District Real Estate Association recorded a year-over-year increase in December 2017.

According to the Association’s statistics, home sales totaled 185 units in December 2017, up 28.5% from December 2016. This marked the best December sales figure on record, breaking the previous record for the month which had stood for 28 years.

On an annual basis, home sales totaled 3,345 units for 2017, this was up 5.2% compared to 2016. This was the second highest annual level on record after 2007.

“2017 as a whole came in fewer than 50 sales below the all-time annual record set a decade earlier, and with record level momentum heading into the New Year,” said

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