Saturday, August 29th20.5°C

Reverse mortgages

Aug 17, 2015 / 5:00 am

Do you know there is only one reverse mortgage provider in all of Canada? Do you know they became a schedule one bank in late 2009? Do you know how much the program has evolved and improved? With nearly 30% of the Canadian population in retirement, and with over half of those...

Mortgage policy changes?

Aug 3, 2015 / 5:00 am

There are rumours circulating again that the federal government may move to tighten mortgage insurance criteria. This is prompted by a recent article in the Financial Post. The housing market while busy is far from hot. Vancouver and Toronto are seeing rapid price...

Income from home equity

Jul 20, 2015 / 12:00 am

When retirement funds run low, seniors often ask if tapping into the equity in their home is the right way to retain financial independence. To see if this option might be a good fit for you, consider if you agree with the following statements: Staying in my home is critical to...

Increase property value

Jul 6, 2015 / 5:00 am

Here are five of the best renovations you can do to your home to increase property value. These five renovations can sometimes have a return on investment five to six times what they cost. #5 Flooring Flooring is one of the most important aspects of your house. You will see an immediate rise...

Renovation dreaming

Jun 22, 2015 / 5:00 am

Dreaming of a new fire pit? A deep soaker tub? With summer on its way, lots of families have renovations on their minds. Did you know that home buyers can apply for a Purchase Plus Improvement Mortgage and get access to funds for renovations? If you or a family member are looking to buy a...

Mortgage costs

Jun 8, 2015 / 5:00 am

I always like to spend time with my clients going through the costs associated with the purchasing or a property in addition to the downpayment. For this example I am going to use a purchase price of $400,000 with the minimum downpayment: Downpayment: ...

Cash stressed seniors

May 25, 2015 / 5:00 am

For many Canadian homeowners, their house represents the biggest portion of their net worth. Now, increasing numbers of seniors are starting to recognize the hidden value of their homes. The amount saved by baby boomers, as well as their ever lengthening retirement prospects make finding...

Mortgage penalties

May 11, 2015 / 5:00 am

Most mortgages in Canada have penalties based on the greater of 3 months of interest or the interest rate differential. Variable rate mortgages where the interest rate fluctuates with the prime lending rate usually have a 3 month interest penalty. Open mortgages most variable and fixed are...

Buy versus rent

Apr 27, 2015 / 5:00 am

Consider the top five reasons to buy versus rent: #5 Experience Freedom: Home ownership will free you from the ties that bind you to a longer will you be dependent on someone else’s schedule to change or fix things in your home. #4 Take Advantage of...

Reverse mortgage solution

Apr 13, 2015 / 5:00 am

With the housing and financial markets on solid footing, some retired Canadians may consider cashing in their growing assets to enjoy vacations and major home renovations. Others, on the other hand, are evaluating tax-neutral solutions like a reverse mortgage to supplement their retirement...

Down payment

Mar 30, 2015 / 5:00 am

If you have less than 20% down payment, mortgage insurance is required through Canada Mortgage & Housing (CMHC), Genworth or Canada Guaranty. Homeowners no longer need the minimum 5% down payment from their own funds to purchase a home. You can now use borrowed funds for your 5% down, but keep...

Pre-approved for mortgage?

Mar 16, 2015 / 5:00 am

There seems to be a lot of confusion around the term pre-approval when it comes to mortgage pre-approvals. Pre-approvals can range from a client giving a lender or mortgage broker their income and asking how much mortgage they qualify for to a full documented pre-approval with all the necessary...

Refinance your mortgage?

Mar 2, 2015 / 5:00 am

Canadian Mortgage rates are low and could be dropping down in time for the spring market following a drop in the Bank of Canada Rate on January 21 by 1/4% which will save new buyers and those with mortgages up for renewal on their home costs. If you have a variable rate mortgage...

What will Bank of Canada do next?

Feb 16, 2015 / 5:00 am

One of the big questions facing the markets right now is what the Bank of Canada will do next. One economist believes it will continue to cut. In a new forecast the HSBC Bank PLC predicts the BOC will cut the benchmark rate again in this quarter to 0.50%, and then again in the second quarter to...

Expect record low rates for spring

Feb 2, 2015 / 5:00 am

The Bank of Canada made an unpredicted move by cutting its overnight rate from 1% to 0.75% on January 21. This is the rate that the Big Banks pay for interest when they borrow money from each other in the overnight market. This rate in turn reflects the Prime rate which is the rate the Banks lend...

Beware of mortgage insurance!

Jan 19, 2015 / 5:00 am

Congratulations! You have the house of your dreams since the vendor accepted your offer and the bank approved your mortgage. What a bank will typically offer you now is its own brand of mortgage protection insurance to protect your family should anything happen to you and pay off the debt it...

Goal setting keeps resolutions on track

Jan 5, 2015 / 5:00 am

January is a popular time of year to set resolutions for physical fitness, personal finance or new career directions. But with the admission of failed resolutions in February becoming as much of a ritual as the resolutions themselves, it’s worthwhile to take a look at how you approach...

First-time homebuyer mistakes

Dec 22, 2014 / 5:00 am

If you’re on the hunt for your first home and want to have a smooth and successful home purchasing experience avoid these common first-time homebuying mistakes. If you are looking for your first home and need advice on how much you can afford, please feel free to contact me at (250)...

Reasons to use a mortgage broker

Dec 8, 2014 / 5:00 am

1. Get independent advice on your financial options. As independent mortgage brokers, we are not tied to any one lender or range of products. Our goal is to help you successfully finance your home or property and start by getting to know your home ownership plans. We will provide you a...

The last great Canadian tax shelter

Nov 24, 2014 / 5:00 am

A guide to how flow-through fund limited partnerships can mightily aid your tax planning! The end of the year will raise concerns among many professionals, self-employed persons, business owners and even regular wage earners about the amount of tax they will owe the Canadian Revenue Agency...

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.

RSS this page.
(Click for RSS instructions.)