Jun 24, 2012 / 5:00 am
Are you a buyer on the fence thinking about taking a leap and purchasing a property? Have you been sitting on the edge of your seat waiting for the market to hit bottom so your savings are maximized?
Wait no more!
On June 21, Finance Minister Jim Flaherty announced a major change of tightening mortgage insurance rules in hopes of preventing more civilians from taking on too much debt and causing a real estate economy crash. But now does this scare put home ownership out of reach?
Flaherty confirmed that Ottawa will reduce the maximum amortization period to 25 years from 30, and will cut the maximum amount of equity homeowners can take out of their homes in a refinancing to 80% from 85%. Also, the availability of government-backed mortgages will be limited to homes with a purchase price of less than $1-million, and the maximum gross debt service ratio will be fixed at 39%, and the maximum total debt service ratio at 44%.
These changes are said to take effect on July 9, 2012, but keep in mind if you have a binding Contract of Purchase and Sale in place and get full mortgage approval by July 9 and have a Completion date scheduled before December 31, 2012, you can avoid the four changes that the government has put in place
This is not all doom in gloom – change is good and is needed. Yes, the unknown is frightening, but if the Canadian economy continued on the path it’s been on for so long, the future outcome may not be so different from our neighbouring country to the South.
Preventative steps and measures are being made in hopes of stabilization and long term longevity. At least our country’s big wigs have stood up and said “Canada deserves a future”.
May 26, 2012 / 5:00 am
For all of my avid readers who follow my column, I want to prepare you for what you’re about to read. It is not like anything that I’ve written or shared with you before; in fact it’s quite personal.
On June 2nd at 6 PM in Kelowna’s downtown City Park, my feet will hit the track along with many others uniting for a cause, a cause to fight back from a heinous monster called Cancer. The event that I am participating in is called Relay for Life - I’m sure many of you are quite familiar with this 12 hour event because this will be Kelowna’s 10th year hosting it.
The reason I chose this event is quite simple, Cancer has been all too familiar to me in my lifetime. Too many friends and family members have been burdened by this disease and I know as you’re reading this article you’re thinking “same here”. However, the reason I embarked on this charity event and the reason that I have today, have become quite different.
In February and unkindness knocked on my door and decided to pick me for its next victim. Unfortunately during a routine check-up an abnormality was found and I was set to be scheduled for a biopsy three months down the road.
I can’t explain how much this weighs on your mind. Every day you are living a nightmare that you can’t wake up from. One of the toughest things for me during this period was engaging in everyday conversation; I had a secret that no one knew about and I still had to carry on this act and preserve this image that everything wasn’t just ok, but everything was great. My nerves were starting to get the best of me and I felt I was slowly self destructing.
The day of my appointment to get my results had finally arrived; it was all I could do to keep my stomach put. When the doctor called me in my heart was pounding and I was hanging onto his every word, then he said it, negative. I was cancer free!
After this experience I took on a whole new perspective. I only witnessed a glimpse of what someone who is fighting this dreadful disease experiences at the beginning and one thought now weighs on my mind, what else can I do to help?
One June 2nd my team, Up All Night for the Fight, will run/walk in memory of our loved ones and in celebration to hopefully one day find a cure. This event has brought on a whole new meaning to me, this isn’t just a charity event anymore, this has become a purpose.
I want you to wake up every day and know that you are blessed. Don’t let the trivial disputes of life have a presence, because nothing is worth more than this day.
(Photo: Sabrina Graham)
**In spirit of this event I welcome anyone to e-mail me and share your stories. If you would like to donate to the cause, please follow the link below or if you would like to join us on June 2nd, we would be honoured to have you!
For more information on this event:
May 12, 2012 / 5:00 am
Every first home owner has that fear of stepping off the plank and making the plunge into a long term financial investment, but let me remind you that you are not alone. First, you need to look at yourself in the mirror and be proud of making this first step. There will no longer be landlords looking over your shoulder and every improvement will be to your rewarding financial gain.
Now one common thing that you will see are dollar signs ($$$), but there are ways to defer some of the costs and to make this financial burden, not so much a burden anymore, but instead, an exciting and easy transaction.
There is a break our government has put in place for first time home buyers. It is called a First Time Home Buyers Tax Credit, (FTHB). The cost associated with a purchase of a property can get quite expensive with legal fees, land transfer tax and disbursements, etc. To assist first time home buyers with this cost, the Government of Canada in 2009 put in place a $5,000 non-refundable income tax credit on a qualifying home acquired after January 2009. For an eligible individual the credit will provide up to $750 in federal tax relief.
This is one of the biggest investments that you will ever make. Remember to protect yourself and consult an experienced real estate agent to advise you on your “Next Step Plan”. You are about to embark on an exciting journey and this should be taken with care and forethought as well as ambition and anticipation for your future.
You will never be here again at this very moment, so live it, love it and don’t forget to laugh!
Apr 14, 2012 / 5:00 am
My parents have lived in the Ellison area for years now and I can say that one thing that I love about their neighourhood is not only the quiet and peacefulness that envelops this area, but this elderly gentleman who strolls up and down Old Vernon Road almost everyday and every car that passes him, he waves. I know a lot of you are reading my article and wondering what the significance is behind this and I can tell you that there is a great deal of meaning.
When homeowners are on the search, there are many factors to consider when purchasing a property, like the growing number of inventory, the whispers of mortgage rates on the move and the hunger for looking for that steal of a deal property… but there is an underlining that we are all guilty of forgetting about from time to time. It’s about recognizing the beauty in a lot of our Kelowna neighbourhoods and not just worrying about ‘flipping’ a property or how much latent value it possesses. It’s about where your children will grow up and the tree forts that they’ll make or that elderly gentleman that waves at you every morning and for some unknown reason, he makes your day. It’s about seeing the good side of every neighbourhood, because every neighbourhood has one.
I live in the peaceful golf community of Quail Ridge where the worst part of my day is… well actually there is not worst part. Every morning I get to wake up to morning golfers in my safe little community, but I didn’t always live in a neighbourhood like Quail Ridge. Instead, I grew up in the heart of Rutland. I know the majority of people have their preconceived notions of this little community or at one point or another have heard about them, but behind the stigma of Rutland you’ll find their academic programs to be some of the best in Kelowna, the many sports fields it has to offer and for this girl, some amazing childhood memories.
So, from time to time take a moment to look at the softer side of some of Kelowna’s beautiful communities and its hidden gems and remember today counts, so get outside and help your children build that tree fort, take a moment to feel the warmth of the sun on your face, listen to the birds sing and, wave to passing cars.
Read more Ceinwen's Corner articles
- Mortgage rates on the rise Mar 31
- Teachers and economy woes Mar 3
- Canada's mortgage cap reached? Feb 18
- The growing rate of foreclosures Feb 4
- Kelowna 3rd for home ownership Jan 22
- Resolutions and goal setting Jan 8
- Surviving the Holiday Season Dec 25
- Real Estate market on the mend Nov 27
- Worldwide economy crisis Oct 2
- Obesity, The Growing Trend Sep 18
- HST fall out? Sep 4
- May I borrow your crystal ball? Aug 17
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