Bank of Canada Monetary Policy Report

Last week, the Bank of Canada released their October Monetary Policy Report. Below are the key facts and findings regarding the future outlook of the Canadian economy.

The Monetary Policy Report forecasts the growth of the economy each year in order to reach full capacity around the end of 2015. The Canadian economy is expected to grow by 1.6% in 2013, 2.3% in 2014, and 2.6% in 2015.

Monetary Policy Report

Source: Google Images

Stephen S. Poloz, the Governor of the Bank of Canada, states in the Press Release three important domestic risks:

1. Given projection for global growth, exports therefore, could be even weaker than assumed. If competitive challenges were greater than anticipated, this is a risk that could be materialized and would result in an even larger loss of market share.

2. On the upside, as confidence returns, domestic momentum builds faster than expected. Business sentiment could improve rapidly if foreign demand becomes more stable and the domestic demand continues to grow at a moderate pace.

3. The unwinding of household imbalances, which are still elevated. Household spending remains strong but there is a slower growth of household credit and higher mortgage interest rates.

The Bank is expecting a more stable balance between foreign and domestic demand to be achieved over time. This will in turn result in more self-sustaining growth for the economy. In recent months, the inflation rate has remained low. This reflects the increase competition in the retail sector, the slow-moving economy, and other specific related sectors.

Overall, the Bank of Canada judges that the monetary policy currently in place remains appropriate. It has decided to maintain the target for the overnight rate at 1%.

Given the above, the next increase in prime is not expected until 2016, which is more great news for variable rate mortgage holders.


To view the full October Bank of Canada Monetary Policy Report, click here.

To view the Press Release of the announcement of the Bank of Canada Monetary Policy Report, click here.


If you have any questions regarding the above, please give us call to discuss.


For more blog posts on real estate or mortgage related topics, click here .

Time to Renew Your Mortgage?

Up for a renewal? Here are 10 simple things to consider when it’s time to renew your mortgage.

1. Have you explored all your options?

Once you receive your mortgage renewal statement, there is nothing easier than simply signing on for another term. But while this may make sense in many cases, your family or financial situation may have changed over time. We can look for opportunities that could better meet your needs for right now, in your life.

2. Are you comfortable with your payments?

If you’ve been feeling financially strapped each month making your mortgage payments, this could be the time to reduce them to a more easily managed level. On the other hand, if you’re earning more, why not pay down your mortgage faster and save thousands of dollars in interest over time?

3. Do you need cash flow for other things?

Your priorities may have shifted since you first bought your home, and your cash flow needs can shift too. Things like paying for a child’s university education, planning a career change, or a major purchase such as a vacation property, may call for spending money on things other than your home. You may be able to refinance your mortgage to take this into account.

4. Can you handle fluctuating rates?

Some homeowners are nervous about any hikes in interest rates, while others are comfortable to go with the flow. Rates are tough to predict. It’s best to base your decision on your personal situation, not what you read in the news, and tailor your mortgage renewal around your needs. We can help you decide whether to opt for fixed or variable rates  – and we don’t want you to lose any sleep over your decision!

5. Will you sell soon?

If you are likely to sell soon, consider a short-term mortgage or one that has flexible terms so you’re not penalized if you sell your house before the mortgage comes due.

6. Are you thinking about a major renovation?

You know that projects such as a new kitchen or an addition can make your home more valuable, but the cost of having the work done can tie up a lot of money. Before you renew, look at all your financing options, which may include getting an additional line of credit or keeping your monthly mortgage payments low so you have money on hand to finance the renos.

7. When do you want to be “mortgage-free”?

If you’re planning extended time away from work or perhaps an early retirement, it may make sense to pay down your mortgage sooner rather than later. While increasing your payments will raise your monthly costs now, you’ll ultimately save on interest in the long term and can prepare for that fabulous, mortgage-free lifestyle.

8. Could you use your home equity to fulfill other goals?

Refinancing a mortgage can be one way to free up cash you need for other things, which could even include buying another property. Mortgage renewal time is an ideal occasion to review all your options.

9. Have your insurance needs changed?

If your financial situation has changed since you first took out your mortgage, review whether you need the same level of insurance in place to cover mortgage obligations.

10. Are you getting the best rates and terms?

In a competitive mortgage environment, your good credit history can make refinancing work to your advantage. We analyze mortgage markets daily to ensure you don’t miss any money-saving opportunities.

If you have any questions regarding your mortgage renewal you can give us a call at 604-588-4466 or email us at


Top 10 Things that Devalue Your Home

How Stuff Works: Home shares the Top 10 things that Devalue Your Home. As a homeowner planning to sell, it’s important to understand the key elements of what devalues your home and key tips to increase the overall bottom line.

10. Lots of Comparable Listings – The more appealing your home is, the more buyers you will attract. Make your home stand out from all the ‘For Sale’ signs by focusing on adding value to your home in places where it’s commonly known to have devalued.

9. Neighbourhood Conditions – Train tracks, airports, power plants, and landfills have been proven to all affect your home value negatively. If your neighbourhood has gone downhill, so could the value of your home.

8. School District Details – It’s a common element when shopping for homes that buyers are looking to live close to top-notch schools. This is important to buyers who have children.

7. Nasty Neighbours – An ongoing argument with your neighbours could potentially spill over to the future buyer. It’s a crucial step to make amends with neighbours as many buyers may pass up the offer or try to lower it.

6. Curb Apparel – The Yard – The yard is the first thing people notice when pulling up to a home. A lack of focus on the yard will devalue your home and may result in a harder sell when the time comes. Make it a priority!

5. Curb Apparel – The Paint – There is nothing like a fresh coat of paint to really grab the attention of buyers. By choosing a popular home colour scheme, you are appealing and attracting to a larger buyer base.

4. Interior Aesthetics – Buyers will take note of any clutter, excessive family photos, and the overall cleanliness of the home. Any sign of these elements can devalue your home. Focus on making it warm and inviting.

3. Repairs in Arrears – If you’re in need of any serious repairs, it’s a smart decision to get them fixed prior to putting it on the market to receive the most from your asking price.

2. A Kitschy Kitchen – Keeping your backsplash and countertops up to date can really add value to your home as the kitchen is the most carefully examined room by home buyers.

1. An Abused Bathroom – Any renovations, additions, and updates of the bathroom will definitely add value to your home. But keep in mind that sticking to mainstream and tasteful features will appeal to a larger buyer base and will ultimately serve you better.

Test yourself by taking the quiz of the ultimate things that devalue your home, to make the right decisions when looking to list your home on the market.

REBGV September Statistics

The Real Estate Board of Greater Vancouver (REBGV) has released their September Statistics for the housing market. This past month they have concluded that sale and listing activity continues to follow historical averages.

Here are the key findings from the September Statistics report:

  • Residential property sales have increased by 63.8% from September 2012 reaching a total of 2,438 according to the MLS® (Multiple Listing Service)
  • New listings for detached, attached, and apartment properties in Greater Vancouver totalled 5,030, a 20.2% increase compared to August 2013
  • The MLS® Home Price Index’s benchmark price is $601,900 for all residential properties in Greater Vancouver

Check out the YouTube video below for more details on the report.

Sandra Wyant from REBGV said, “It’s important to remember that stronger sales activity does not necessarily equate to rising home prices. In fact, home prices have not fluctuated much in our market this year.”

To see the full, published report on the September Statistics click here.

If you have any questions regarding the above, please give us a call, 604-588-4466 or email us

For more blog posts on real estate related topics, click here .

Tenancy in Common, Joint Tenancy and Pie

There often can be some confusion between these two forms of joint ownership: Tenancy in Common and Joint Tenancy. Laura Holland, Senior Counsel at Drysdale Bacon McStravick LLP, shares the distinction between the two on their newsletter, ‘The Real Estate Primer’.

Now, you’re probably wondering what’s the deal about the pie…

An easy way to remember, but more importantly to understand the term, Tenancy in Common, is to compare it to a pie. Apple, pecan, blueberry, or cherry – picture your perfect pie which will represent a home ownership. You, John, Sarah, and Joe all want to devour that pie equally. There are 4 people who will each receive a quarter of the pie, which represents a ¼ of ownership of the home. Another example is cutting the pie into two halves – for you and Joe, each owning an equal 50% of the property.

Tenancy-in-Common ownership is very common for business associates or unrelated parties looking to purchase property. In the event of the death of an owner, that portion of the pie, according to their Will, will be passed on to their beneficiaries.

In Joint Tenancy, there is no need for a cake knife. You and Joe can sit there devouring the pie together straight from the plate. No slicing needed – although, maybe just a fork and some napkins! You and Joe own the entire property, together. Of course, there is always room for more forks in the pie, but you are all together, an owner of the property. No cutting of the pie is needed.

In the event of the death of an owner in Joint Tenancy, the survivor continues to own 100% of the property and 100% of the pie.


That’s the defining difference between Tenancy in Common and Joint Tenancy.

Time to treat yourself to a slice of pie, or maybe a whole one!

FVREB September Statistics

This past week the Fraser Valley Real Estate Board (FVREB) release their September Statistics for the housing market in that region. September saw the largest increase in property sales this year to date, year-over-year.

Below are some key findings from the report:

  • FVREB processed 1,131 sales this month, a 32% increase from September 2012
  • The Board received 2,375 new listings in September
  • The benchmark price for single family detached homes: $552,900, for townhouses: $296,200 and for apartments: $203,100

The President of the FVREB, Rod Todson states, “An improvement in our sales in the Fraser Valley has not translated to an increase in home prices because inventory levels have either kept pace or depending on the property type and community are elevated.”

The report shows a marked improvement over last year’s historical lows.

For more information and details on the FVREB September Statistics report click here.

If you have any questions regarding the above, please give us a call to discuss – 604-588-4466 or email us at

For more blog posts on the real estate industry click here.

Why Use a Mortgage Broker?

Mortgage services are just one aspect of our 1-Stop Real Estate Solution that we have created. Below are 10 benefits a mortgage broker provides and exactly how we can make it easy for you – one mortgage at a time.

1. Get Independent Advice on Your Financial Options

As independent mortgage brokers and agents, we’re not tied to any one lender or range of products. Our goal is to help you successfully finance your home or property. We’ll start by getting to know you and your homeownership goals. We’ll make a recommendation, drawing from available mortgage products that match your needs, and we will decide together on what’s right for you.

2. Save Time with One-Stop Shopping

It could take weeks for you to organize appointments with competing mortgage lenders — and we know you’d probably rather spend your time house-hunting! We work directly with dozens of lenders, and can quickly narrow down a list of those that suit you best. It makes comparison-shopping fast, easy, and convenient.

3. We Negotiate on Your Behalf

Many people are uncertain or uncomfortable negotiating mortgages directly with their bank. We will take care of all the negotiating for you.

4. More Choices Means More Competitive Rates

We have access to a network of major lenders in Canada, so your options are extensive. In addition to traditional lenders, we also know what’s being offered by credit unions, trust companies, and other sources.  And we can help you take care of other requirements before your closing date, such as sourcing mortgage default insurance if your down payment is less than 20% of the purchase price.

5. Ensure That You Are Getting the Best Rates and Terms

Even if you’ve already been pre-approved for a mortgage by your bank or another financial institution, you’re not obliged to stop shopping! Let us investigate to see if there is an alternative to better suit your needs and budget.

6. Get Access to Special Deals and Add-Ons

Many financial institutions would love to have you as a client, which is why they often offer incentives to attract creditworthy customers. These can include retail points programs discounts on appliances, shopping clubs, and more. We do the math on which offers might be worth your attention when it comes to financing or mortgage insurance — so you get the perks you deserve.

7. Things Move Quickly!

We’ll help ensure your mortgage transaction takes place on time and to your satisfaction.

8. Get Expert Advice

When it comes to mortgages, rates, and the housing market, we’ll speak to you in plain language. We can explain the various mortgage terms and conditions so you can choose confidently.

9. No Cost to You

There’s absolutely no charge for our services on typical residential mortgage transactions. How can we afford to do that? Like many other professional services, such as insurance, mortgage brokers are generally paid a finder’s fee when we introduce trustworthy, dependable customers to a financial institution. These fees are quite standard and nearly industry-wide so that the focus remains on you, the customer.

10. Ongoing Support and Consultation

Even once your mortgage is signed and paperwork is complete, we are here if you need any advice on closing details or even future referral needs. We are happy to be of assistance when you need it – especially as a 1 Stop Real Estate Solution. Mortgages are just one aspect of our business that we can provide for you!

Steps to Purchase A Home

The process to purchase a home can be overwhelming and exhausting. We have laid out the details in 10 simple steps for you. As a 1-Stop Real Estate Solution, we will take care of each step to help you find your dream home. Just sit back, and relax.

1. Determine How Much You Can Afford

We consider your down payment, income, existing debt, regular expenditures, and your other key financial information to help you determine an affordable monthly payment amount that is within your price range, and most importantly, within your budget.

2. Team Up With a Real Estate Agent

Our multi-service agency allows us to team up with you! We can help you search for you dream home by becoming your personal advisor, consultant, and negotiator. We will show you the best homes out there for you!

3. Make an Offer

When you’ve found a place that you’d like to call your own, we will help you draw up an Offer to Purchase to present to the seller. This legal document specifies the price, the closing date, and any conditions.

4. Retain a Lawyer

We have an in-house law firm association that can help you look over any offers to purchase before you submit the documents – especially if you find yourself in a bidding war.

5. Arrange the Home Inspection

Many buyers consider including a home inspection as one of the conditions on their Offer to Purchase. A professional inspection is a good way to uncover major problems with the home. If the home doesn’t pass the inspection, you can adjust or withdraw your conditional offer. See our blog post that tells you what to expect from a home inspection here.

6. Get the Mortgage Approved

With a copy of the signed Offer to Purchase and the necessary financial information, we’ll submit your application to the mortgage lender that we have selected. The lender will qualify the application and complete a valuation on the property you have purchased. Mortgage insurance gives you the ability to buy a home with a down payment of less than 20% of the purchase price.

7. Get Property Insurance

Apart from the mortgage, you’ll need to purchase property insurance that protects your home against fire and other damages. Once you have a policy in place, we’ll forward a copy to the lawyer.

8. Check the Legal Details

With the deal finalized, and the financing in place, the lawyer can now search the title and check whether there are any unpaid property taxes outstanding.

9. Complete the Paperwork

A few days before the deal is set to close, you’ll meet with the lawyer to review, sign, and get copies of all the documentation. At this time, you’ll also provide the remainder of your down payment, pay legal fees, and any additional costs such as, prepaid utility expenses for which the seller should be reimbursed, that are due on closing.

10. Pick Up the Keys

On the closing day, your lawyer and the seller’s lawyer will exchange documents and cheques. Your lawyer will also register your new home in your name. When these tasks are complete, you’ll get the deed and your keys to your new home, and you can officially move in. You just purchased a home! Congratulations!