Saturday, April 19th7.3°C

Why test your indoor air quality?

Apr 5, 2014 / 5:00 am

Without a doubt, the quality of air indoors is worse than outdoors. Sick Building Syndrome (SBS) is a term used to describe situations where the occupants experience acute health and comfort effects that appear to be linked to the time spent in the building, but no specific illness or cause can...

CMHC to increase insurance premiums

Mar 22, 2014 / 5:00 am

After the annual review of insurance products and capital requirements, CMHC made the decision to raise the mortgage loan insurance premiums for homeowner and 1-4 unit rental properties effective May 1 , 2014. This increase will apply to mortgage loan insurance premiums for owner occupied,...

How to save money with the way you pay

Mar 8, 2014 / 5:00 am

How will you pay for this today? Maybe it’s time to change the way you answer this common checkout question. With more payment options than ever, consumers can find easy ways to save money, simply by using a different payment method. Consider cash Some merchants will provide...

Good news for small mortgage lenders

Feb 22, 2014 / 5:00 am

The budget should allow more competition from smaller lenders which will keep banks competitive and make dealing with a mortgage broker even more important. "The government has promised that the smaller banks will have easier access to funding from CMHC. The corporation's new allocation...

Three last-minute RRSP tips

Feb 8, 2014 / 5:00 am

Time is running out to make your RRSP contribution and take advantage of a tax deduction for 2013. With the March 3, 2014 deadline fast approaching, here are three last-minute tips to consider: 1. Find an advisor ** Chasing returns or the next big thing can only lead to disappointment....

Selling your home faster and for more

Jan 25, 2014 / 5:00 am

Are you having a hard time selling your home right now? Could your home use some updates which you can’t afford to do right now? Are potential buyers unable to see the potential of your home with a little customization to their liking? If you answered yes to any of these questions then...

Access your money more quickly

Jan 11, 2014 / 5:00 am

When you deposit a cheque and the money appears in your bank account, you may not be able to access all of it immediately because of the 'cheque hold' period. Nevertheless, because of a regulation that came into force in August 2012, consumers who deposit a cheque in person at a federally...

Tips to get approved for a mortgage

Dec 28, 2013 / 5:00 am

If your home ownership fantasies have been rudely awakened by the bank denying your application it is time to take control of your situation and learn what you can do to turn that rejection into an approval. What Are Your Options? Everyone’s financial situation is unique. With that in...

The joy of handmade holiday cards

Dec 14, 2013 / 5:00 am

There are few holiday traditions as time-honoured as greeting cards. A mailbox bursting with good tidings from family and friends is one of the fundamental joys of the season. Although their history dates back to 19th century England, when a mere 1,000 copies of a design by artist John Horsley...

Why you need a mortgage broker

Nov 30, 2013 / 5:00 am

When was the last time you thought about your mortgage? Most people take out a mortgage with their bank for five years and then forget about it. When you took out that mortgage did anyone discuss other options for you such as a 10 year term to provide you with more stability when rates rise? ...

Managing your mortgage

Nov 16, 2013 / 5:00 am

What You Should Think About When Financing Your Home If you’re like most Canadians, your home is probably the most important investment you’ll ever make. Whether you’re buying a home or refinancing your existing home, making the right decision now can help save you money and...

How to 'nail' an affordable home reno

Nov 2, 2013 / 5:00 am

Anyone who has lived in the same house for a number of years inevitably gets the reno itch. While a gut job is expensive, home renovations are still an affordable way to upgrade without moving. “It's natural that after a certain point, homeowners start to notice the flaws in their...

Tips on keeping more of your money

Oct 19, 2013 / 5:00 am

According to a recent survey released by the Canadian Payroll Association, 59% of us don’t have enough saved up to pay for next month’s necessities if we suddenly got laid off. If you find yourself living paycheque to paycheque where you are finding it difficult to save because...

Make your home toxic free

Oct 5, 2013 / 5:00 am

Disposable dust cloths seem to make cleaning a breeze. Simply open the package, pull out a damp cleaning rag, do your chores, and then throw it away. Not so fast. Wipes soaked in cleaning solution are dripping with chemicals. Microfibre dusting cloths or mops is a better idea. Microfibre...

First time home buyer mistakes

Sep 21, 2013 / 5:00 am

Are you gearing up to buy your first place? Arm yourself with these tips to get the most out of your purchase and avoid making 10 of the most costly mistakes that could put a hold on that sold sign. 1. Not Knowing What You Can Afford As we’ve all learned from the sub-prime mortgage...

Smart back-to-school shopping tips

Aug 24, 2013 / 5:00 am

Start your back-to-school shopping with a game plan. Even if your child’s teacher hasn’t provided a list of school supplies, you can’t go wrong by sticking with the basics and taking advantage of back-to school sales. Here’s how: Make a list and get your child...

Eight ways to save money

Aug 10, 2013 / 5:00 am

Many Canadian families are working hard to save money and reduce debt. By saving modest amounts however, you can reap big rewards over time. Here are easy ways you can save $100 or more this year. 1. Plug into Bargain Electricity Are your electricity bills excessive? Maybe you’re...

Benefits of using a mortgage broker

Jul 27, 2013 / 5:00 am

Trying to find the best mortgage for your needs and your budget can be a difficult and often frustrating task. The wide selection of mortgage products available today means that consumers can enjoy a variety of options, and these options increase the chances of getting a great value loan. However,...

Home equity vs. 2nd mortgage loans

Jul 13, 2013 / 5:00 am

It’s not surprising that some homeowners confuse the terms “second mortgage” and “home equity loan.” After all, a second mortgage is a type of home equity loan. But more often than not, home equity loan is used to describe a home equity line of credit, or HELOC....

Home renovation tips

Jun 28, 2013 / 5:00 am

Everyone has a different reason for wanting to renovate their home. You may be looking to make a change in the way your home looks or feels, or you may want to fix a maintenance issue or make your home more comfortable or energy efficient. Whatever your reason, undertaking a renovation involves a...

About the author...

Laurie Baird is a Mortgage Broker with Verico Complete Mortgage Services. She has been in the mortgage business for 17 years starting as a lender with Royal Trust. She later worked at the Royal Bank as a Mortgage Consultant and 11 years ago became a Mortgage Broker. As a Mortgage Broker she is able to match her clients' needs with a lender who will provide them with competitive rates and products. Laurie has a Bachelor of Education degree from UBC.

Contact her at 250-862-1806 or by fax 712-0209 or visit:

Visit Laurie's blog at:


The views expressed are strictly those of the author and not necessarily those of Castanet. Castanet presents its columns "as is" and does not warrant the contents.

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