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27 August 2009

Canada’s Economic Action Plan Offers Incentives for Homeownership

Buying your first home is one of the largest investments of your life. Canada’s Economic Action Plan introduces the First-Time Home Buyers’ (FTHB) Tax Credit and the expansion of the Home Buyers’ Plan (HBP) to provide you with additional benefits and help you realize your dream of homeownership.

First-Time Home Buyers' (FTHB) Tax Credit
The costs associated with purchasing a home, such as legal fees, disbursements and land transfer taxes, can be a particular burden for first-time homebuyers who must pay these costs, as well as save money for a down payment. To assist first-time homebuyers with the costs associated with the purchase of a home, the Government of Canada introduced a FTHB Tax Credit in 2009 — a $5,000 non-refundable income tax credit amount on a qualifying home acquired after January 27, 2009. For an eligible individual, the credit will provide up to $750 in federal tax relief starting in 2009.

Expansion of the Home Buyers' Plan (HBP)

To provide first-time homebuyers with greater access to their RRSP savings to purchase or build a home, the Government of Canada has increased the Home Buyers’ Plan withdrawal limit to $25,000 from $20,000 per person for withdrawals made after January 27, 2009.
To obtain more information on the First-Time Home Buyers’ Tax Credit and the Home Buyers’ Plan, call 1-800-O-Canada or visit the Canada Revenue Agency website at

Looking for More Homebuying Information?

When it comes to buying your home, nothing is more valuable than peace of mind. That’s why for more than 60 years, CMHC has shared a wealth of knowledge and housing expertise to contribute to a positive homeownership experience for Canadians. Browse through our wealth of homebuying information. You’ll find everything you need, from homebuying videos, to mortgage calculators, to home hunting worksheets.

CMHC also provides mortgage loan insurance that enables you to buy a home with as little as a 5% down — with interest rates comparable to those with a 20% down payment. Obtain a 10% premium refund and extend the amortization period without a premium surcharge when using CMHC-insured financing to purchase an eligible energy-efficient home. This can add up to savings of $1,688 for a typical $250,000 mortgage with a 5% down payment amortized over 35 years.

Ask your mortgage professional about CMHC.

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Homeownership Tax Credits

The 2009 federal budget featured some exciting changes to encourage homeownership.

They include:

$25000 - Increasing the amount a first-time homebuyer can borrow tax-free from an RRSP for a home purchase to $25, 000 from $20, 000

$1,350 - Introducing a home renovation tax credit for work done between Jan. 27, 2009 and Feb 1, 2010. (Max credit $1,350)

$750 - Introducing a $750 First-Time-Home Buyers' Tax Credit to help offset the closing costs associated with purchasing (max credit $750)

Budget 2009 - Action to Stimulate Housing Construction

Home Truths and Mortgage Myths

With so much uncertainty and media hype in the marketplace, this is a good time to sort through a few common misconceptions.

Here are five of the most often heard myths we take time to dispel to help both buyers and sellers.

"Canada’s market mirrors the US real estate meltdown”

Thanks to our stricter lending policies, default and foreclosure rates are significantly lower here than south of the border. Canadian national average selling prices for home at December 2008 declinded by 11% from 2007, but according to The Canadian Real Estate Association, we are far from the fire-sale prices in the U.S.

“This is a bad time to buy real estate”

By owning instead of renting, you are building equity. You also benefit from today’s historically low interest rates. It’s important to stay alert to buying opportunities. Remember, real estate prices are cyclical by nature. When prices start rising, homeowners will be glad they have a foot on the property ladder.

“I will be penalized for paying down my mortgage”

Many mortgages allow you to make additional payments towards your principal without penalty, either as a lump-sum payment or by increasing each mortgage payment. This is a great way to save on the long-term cost of interest and decrease the length of your mortgage, especially with today’s low interest rates.

“Choosing a condo with low maintenance fees is a good way to keep costs manageable.”

It’s important to find out what the fees do and don’t cover, and whether there are adequate resources in the reserve fund. Those bargain condo fees could cost you plenty if they’re insufficient to maintain the building in good working order, or if a special assessment is levied.

“I have to keep the same mortgage terms when I renew”

Renewal is an opportunity to reassess your financial situation and make adjustments to suit your current needs. You may consider changing the length of term, switching (from variable to fixed rate, or vice versa), altering your payment frequency, or even changing lenders.

We’re here to answer your questions. Talk to Lisette about financing and mortgage options that are right for your situation. 905-529-1199

11 August 2009

Buying a Home: Who You Need on Your Team

Buying a home is one of the biggest decisions you'll ever make.

Buying a home is one of the biggest decisions you'll ever make. So when it comes time to signing on the dotted line, make sure you don't make that decision alone.To help you put together the right team of professionals, Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC) offers the following who's who list of experts and what they should bring to the table:

1. Real Estate Agent

Among other services, your real estate agent will help you find a home, write an Offer of Purchase, negotiate a purchase on your behalf and save you a considerable amount of time, trouble and headaches. When choosing the agent you want to work with, ask for references and don't be afraid to ask questions or call your local real estate association for advice.

2. Mortgage Agent
Many Canadians choose to work with a mortgage broker because they don't represent any specific lending institution. They can help you find a mortgage with terms and rates that will suit your needs.

3. Lawyer (or notary in Québec)
A lawyer can protect your legal interests by ensuring the property is clear of liens, charges or clean-up orders and will review all contracts before you sign them and your Offer (or Agreement) to Purchase. Make sure your lawyer or notary is a licensed, full-time professional who understands the local laws and regulations, has reasonable fees and can explain things to you in plain language.

4. Home Inspector
When considering purchasing a home, you should hire a knowledgeable and professional home inspector. He or she will be able to tell you if something in the home is not functioning properly, what repairs need to be done and whether there may have been any problems in the past.
- Insurance broker. An insurance broker can help you purchase property and mortgage life insurance. Your lender can also help you with mortgage life insurance.

5. Appraiser
An appraiser will assess your property's worth and help protect you from paying too much.

6. Land surveyor
You may need the services of a land surveyor if the seller does not have a current Survey or Certificate of Location.

By Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC)

Looking to by a home? Give us a call today! We can help you put together the right team of professionals, to help make your experience enjoyable and stress-free!


Canada's Home Renovation Tax Credit

The HRTC might provide you with the break your need on your next renovation

The economy is in trouble, and so is your front lawn. The government has come up with a tax credit that hopes to address both problems.

This year’s federal budget contains a new Home Renovation Tax Credit (HRTC). If you spend between $1,000 to $10,000 on work or goods for the renovation of your home or cottage, you can apply for a 15 per cent credit on your family’s 2009 income tax return. The maximum amount of tax relief is $1,350. You must have the work performed or materials purchased between January 27, 2009 and February 1, 2010.

So, what exactly is eligible for the credit?

Well, there are the big things, such as renovating your kitchen, getting a new furnace or building an addition. But the little things count, too: painting the house (inside and out), laying new sod and adding new fixtures (lights and fans). Renovations that make your home more energy efficient are often eligible for further rebates.

For example, if you are putting in a high-efficiency furnace this year, you might qualify for the ecoENERGY retrofit program, which would lower the final cost of the project even more. (For more on rebate programs, see

Not eligible for the credit are such things as new tools (pity), furniture, audio/visual electronics (also a shame) and regular maintenance such as furnace cleaning, snow removal and lawn care.

The goal of the HRTC is to encourage Canadians to spend money on renovation materials and services. Since many of the products and services come from within the country, the money spent should ease the sting of the current economic downturn. But are Canadians sold on the idea?

Canadian Home Workshop’s online poll found that only 10 per cent of respondents would start renovating because of the tax credit. For 61 per cent, the HRTC is a bonus, providing a bit of a financial break for work that they had planned to do anyway. However, 29 per cent said they would hold steady and hold off renovating. Those in the last category may be looking at their wallets and deciding that, tax break or no tax break, this just isn’t the time for new renovations.

The HRTC still requires you to have the money, or the credit, to pay for goods or services. The help comes next year at tax time. For the majority of respondents who will be renovating this year, they should save their receipts and check out the Canada Revenue Agency’s website for full details.

John Boag
Canadian Home Workshop

For more information on this tax credit...vist the HRTC website.

7 August 2009

Easy Refi Progam - NO Legal Fees!

What has really been attracting attention is our "EASY REFI" program that is exclusive to the lender currently offering the better mortgage options.

Under this program the lender pays for the legal fees, and appraisal fee for mortgage refinances. In the past, this was a program that the Bank's were only allowing for Mortgage Switches. But with a switch you can't change the mortgage amount, or alter the amortization. Now you can roll your penalty, or consolidate additional debts back onto your mortgage with no legal costs or a trip to a lawyer. The closing company will come to you on your schedule.

This is a great program if you are considering breaking your current fixed rate mortgage and have a penalty to do so, or are interested in converting from a variable rate mortgage to a fixed mortgage or you may want to lower your mortgage payment by extending the amortization, especially if you have had a recent change in employment.

With rates being low, many clients are using this opportunity to seek out the security of a 5 year fixed rate.

There are a few conditions that are applicable for this program, which nclude:
* Eligible mortgages to a maximum of 90% loan to value. If you need to refinance to 95% then we can still get the great rate - just not the free legals.

*The lender also has some minimum expectations on credit ratings to qualify for this program along with minimum mortgage amount of $100000.00.

Give us a call today to see if you qualify! (905) 529-1199

Mortgage Alliance Oac Mortgages

As a registered franchise of the Mortgage Alliance Network, we have a number of mortgage professionals who can bring you the choice, convenience, and counsel you need to get the RightMortgage®. Working with over 40 lenders (some offered exclusively through brokers) we'll provide unbiased guidance in your mortgage decision.

We are legislated by the Ministry of Finance FSCO and our brokerage license is 10928.

We are dedicated to educating our clients about their mortgage! We want you to be well informed and comfortable with the mortgage you have and the options available to you. This blog is intended to offer information, updates, current mortgage products and current rates.

Please provide your feedback and let us know if there is anything else we can provide to help you in your mortgage process.