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Thinking of buying a home? Contribute to your RRSP so you can borrow tax-free!

Blog Image, HBP, December 2018

If you’re planning to buy your first home anytime soon, you may be able to take advantage of a helpful federal government program. This enables you to withdraw money you’ve already contributed to your registered retirement savings plan (RRSP) and use it towards anything related to your home purchase, including your down payment, closing costs or real estate fees.

But, the key is that the funds must be in your account at least 90 days before you can withdraw them under the Home Buyers’ Plan (HBP).

You can withdraw up to $25,000 ($50,000 per couple) from your RRSPs tax- and interest-free to buy or build a qualifying home for yourself or a related person with a disability.

Continue reading “Thinking of buying a home? Contribute to your RRSP so you can borrow tax-free!”

Looser Mortgage Standards Hit the UK! Is Canada Next?!

Home Finances

There’s nothing surprising about the loosening of mortgage standards to spur growth. In the last real housing bubble of 1990, banks and government brought in stricter lending rules, making it tougher for borrowers to get a mortgage.

Fast forward to the present. We’ve yet to see a housing bubble or market crash, but the government has taken drastic – perhaps even unheard of – precautions to slow the housing market.

In 1990, I was working for the largest trust company in Canada. I can tell you that it has never been harder to qualify for a mortgage than it is today!

Continue reading “Looser Mortgage Standards Hit the UK! Is Canada Next?!”

Why Did the Bank of Canada Raise Rates Last Week?!

Canada Mortgage rate 20180509

Last Wednesday, the Bank of Canada (BoC) raised its overnight target rate to 1.5% – up from 1.25%. This is the fourth increase since last June, when the target rate was 0.5%.

The timing is suspect to me. Last year, we had an increase around this time, but that was coming off of the hottest housing market in 29 years. We’re currently on the heels of a brutally slow spring market, yet rates are still rising? I don’t get it… this is a poor decision, in my opinion.

When it comes to four rate increases in the past year, there are facts, realities and perceptions that come into play… Continue reading “Why Did the Bank of Canada Raise Rates Last Week?!”

Interest Rates are Rising… and Expected to Continue… But!

December Blog Image

Rates have been rising gradually over the past six months following several years of historically-low rates. There should be no surprise that rates are rising – it was bound to happen. But, we can be thankful they’re not predicted to spike. It’s much easier to deal with – and plan for – gradual increases.

Benjamin Tal, Deputy Chief Economist of CIBC World Markets Inc, spoke last week about his predictions for rates and a bunch of other economic indicators. I’ve been following him for 15 years now. He’s one of the few economists whom I respect, as his forecasts have proven very accurate. So, let’s pay attention!

Continue reading “Interest Rates are Rising… and Expected to Continue… But!”

More disclosure.. but still no standardization of Mortgage Penalties.

Olive and harper Last week, we heard some potentially good news for Canadian consumers.  Federal Finance Minister, Joe Oliver, announced Banks would have to provide consumers more disclosure on certain products, including collateral mortgages.  We welcome more disclosure.

However, before we get too excited and give the Federal govt too much credit, let’s wait to see if this latest promise really happens.   If you are wondering why I’m so skeptical, it’s with good reason.  The Federal govt has not honored their commitments before.  And I’m talking about the promise made to Canadians to charge a fair prepayment penalty…  Remember that one? Continue reading “More disclosure.. but still no standardization of Mortgage Penalties.”

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