Month: February 2017

4 Steps to a Financially Fit You in 2018

General Jo-Anne Keddie 10 Feb

19 JAN 2017

4 STEPS TO A FINANCIALLY FIT YOU IN 2018!

3 Steps to a Financially Fit You in 2017!Well, you have likely noticed that it is time for resolutions according to the plethora of fitness equipment and organizational plastic bins on sale in every flyer you open. It seems fitting that we take a 4 step approach to positioning yourself for financial fitness in 2018 as well.

So first of all, I am going to go ahead and assume you are human. Yes? If so then please know that you are not slacker! Almost every person I have met has something in their financial world they have been meaning to get to but have not so forget the past and let’s move onward and upwards!

Step 1 – Write down your goals. Study after study proves that actually writing out what it is you want causes the synapses in your brain to reconnect to work towards the goal even when you are not thinking about it.

Step 2 – Just do it! Seems I heard that somewhere before but anyways. It is now time to actually get everything in place.

* Will – Call around and get some quotes on having your will prepared with all the necessary paperwork by a reputable lawyer.

* Financial/Insurance Planner – People who work with a qualified financial planner do much better overall than those who wing it. Meet with a few of them and learn what you need to know so that your pennies turn into a comfortable future

* Accountant – The onslaught of cheap software makes it very easy to think you can do it all yourself when it comes to your taxes but a qualified accountant is essential in my opinion. They can literally save you thousands on your tax bill. That’s your money so you should keep it.

* Mortgage Professional – Your home is your largest asset and your largest debt obligation. Have your mortgage reviewed by a Dominion Lending Centres mortgage professional to make sure you are in the best mortgage product for your situation now and to meet your goals later.

You will have noticed a theme here. You don’t need to know about the law or investments or insurance or taxes or mortgages. All you have to do is find yourself a TEAM to protect your interests.

Step 3 – Time to automate-

Set up to meet your goals automatically. A regular withdrawal for your savings and other expenses is far less painful and way more likely to actually occur than if you have to sit down each month and choose to transfer the funds. If your goal is to pay down your mortgage, why not choose to increase your payments slightly rather than worrying about a lump sum later on. Bite sized is far easier.

If you are trying to keep a budget, there is an amazing app called mint.com. It is from the makers of Turbo Tax – you input all your credit/debit card info, your goals as far as savings or debt reduction, and a budget for each part of your life. Each purchase you make is automatically inputted into the correct category. You can see where you are spending and exactly how much and you will even get text notifications when you are close to your budget in a particular area.

Step 4 – Annual Review Day

So you have done the work and so now all you have to do is take 1 day a year off to review. Meet with all of your team to ensure you are where you need to be. Can you increase your mortgage? Is your will reflecting your new spouse or baby? Do you have enough insurance to protect yourself against disability or critical illness? Spoiler alert! We are all going to need life insurance, disability is the number one case of foreclosure and even out solid health care system does not cover all expenses so critical illness insurance can save your savings.

And there you have it, financial fitness in 4 steps! Your future self will thank you. As they say, the best time to plant a tree was 20 years ago, the second best is today.

RRSP’s For Your Downpayment

General Jo-Anne Keddie 10 Feb

1 FEB 2017

RRSP’S FOR YOUR DOWN PAYMENT??

RRSP's For Your Down Payment??Are you a first time home buyer and looking to use your RRSP’s as a down payment? Here’s a few things you need to know:

1. To use this program you must have not owned a home in the last 4 years but did you know that if your spouse owned a home previously and you didn’t live in the house then you may still qualify.

2. RRSP contributions need to be in the RRSP account for at least 90 days before they can be used. If you are a monthly contributor to the account then only the amounts there for more than 90 days can be used for down payment.

3. You can borrow money to put into an RRSP and have it be there 90 days to use for down payment. Using this method of acquiring the RRSP means that you must be sure of two things, one being that the lender is ok with you taking it out in 90 days. Secondly that it isn’t put into an account that will not have fees to take the money out, money market funds or simple 90 day term certificates shouldn’t cost you any penalty.

4. You can withdraw up to 25000 dollars from your RRSP to put down on a home. Locked in LIRA’s are not eligible for this program so make sure before you start down this path that you know what type of account you have your money located in at the bank.

5. You have to pay the amount you borrowed back to the RRSP account over the next 15 years. If you took 15000 dollars out you would need to repay $1,000 a year to the account. Failing to pay this money back may result in CRA taxing it as income.

6. You can contribute to your 2016 RRSP up until March 1st and receive a tax deduction for the contribution, this also applies if you borrowed the money to contribute. Theoretically you can also take the tax refund and apply it back to the loan or use it for your new home.

Contact your local Dominion Lending Centres mortgage professional so we help you take advantage of this opportunity to enter the home owners market…We’ve got a mortgage for that

How a Dominion Lending Mortgage Agent can help you.

General Jo-Anne Keddie 10 Feb

While it’s certainly easy to be intimidated by the prices that you might see as you browse MLS into the wee hours of the night, mortgage interest rates are still at a historical low.  If you’re looking at purchasing for the first time, you’re thinking, “What does that mean?!”

With rates as low as they are, the cost of borrowing associated with your mortgage is lower than ever before.  You also need to look at other fees that can be tied to different mortgage products.  For example, some mortgages don’t allow for additional or increased payments, while others allow you to pay down your principal mortgage amount by up to an additional 20% per year, saving you money over the lifetime of your mortgage. It’s important to recognize and understand these options and fees, and that is where a Dominion Lending Centres Mortgage Broker comes in.  Brokers and their agents are experts in the products that they offer and will work to save you the most money.

Don’t worry!  A Broker can also help you take advantage of low interest rates as a homeowner, too!  It could be the right time to look at your other financials and consider consolidating other outside debts to take advantage of the savings that could be available to you.  It isn’t hard to see the savings between a balance owed on a credit card at 19% or the balance owing on your car at 6.25% and consolidating one (or both!) with your mortgage balance at much lower interest rate.  A broker can look at your current mortgage terms and timelines and can help you save a considerable amount of money each year!

A Mortgage Broker’s service doesn’t stop there.  Since the demand for new homes is so high right now, a Mortgage Broker will also help both first-timers and home-owners peeking around the markets with a pre-approval before you start considering making an offer on a new home. This means that you can confidently make an offer on the home that you love without making a condition on financing.  In a busy market, where purchases often end in bidding wars, having your financing in line could make your offer stand out against the rest.

Since properties are being scooped up like hotcakes, homeowners can also take advantage of selling their homes to downsize and save for retirement, or vacations, or spoiling their grandkids!

Now if you’d rather “love it” than “list it”, you can benefit from today’s high demand, too!  If you have been thinking about adding that basement bathroom, or are in need of upgrading your furnace and air conditioning units, a Broker can help you take advantage of the equity that you have gained in your home since you bought it.  In the last year, the demand for homes has soared, which means that your home could be worth a good chunk more than you might think.  Regardless of if your mortgage is up for renewal or not, a Mortgage Broker can help you make sense of the mortgage that you’re in, and look at payout options that could work in your favour.  And a mortgage evaluation will always be free with a licensed Broker.

Today’s market has a lot of characteristics that can work in your favour, but can also throw a little wrench in your plans.  Always make sure to sit down with a licensed, local Dominion Lending Centres’ Broker to make sure you’re armed with the knowledge that you need to get the most for your money!

10 Steps to Buying a New Home

General Jo-Anne Keddie 10 Feb

Starting the journey to homeownership can be overwhelming and stressful. But with a little planning, you’ll get the home that’s right for you. A home that strikes a balance between your “wish list” items and the practical realities of the property, location and the housing market. Before you know it, you’ll have a place to call your very own. A place to entertain. A place to decorate. A place to raise a family. It really is an exciting time!

To help keep you on track, below is a step-by-step guide to buying your first home.

STEP 1 – Build a Budget

An effective budget will map out your plan to set aside money for your down payment and additional costs. It will also help determine the price of home you can afford.

STEP 2 – Investigate Mortgage Options

There are many different types of mortgages. If you don’t have the 20% down payment for a conventional mortgage, you can get a high ratio mortgage, combined with mortgage default insurance, that allows for a smaller down payment. You should be pre-approved for a mortgage before you start house hunting.

Consult with a Dominion Lending Centres mortgage professional to discuss what options are available to you and learn more about how to get started.

STEP 3 – Choose a Realtor

Your realtor will play a vital role in your homebuying experience. The best realtor will be a combination of a personal advisor, consultant and negotiator. He/she will show you homes that match your criteria, guide you through the homebuying process, negotiate the best possible price for your home and deliver your closing documentation.

STEP 4 – Get a Lawyer

It’s important to hire a lawyer who specializes in real estate. You could find yourself in a bidding war for the home you want, and it doesn’t hurt to have a lawyer look over any offer to purchase before you submit it. A real estate lawyer will also conduct a title search and check for outstanding taxes and liens on the property.

STEP 5 – House Hunting

* Create a wish list

House hunting can be a lengthy process. To save yourself time, know exactly what you want in a home beforehand. Think about your immediate needs, future plans and lifestyle. When you look at homes, you may be tempted to concentrate on the home, but don’t forget to

look at the whole property: the lot, the neighbourhood, the surroundings. How close is the home to facilities and services important to you?

* Bring your checksheet

When you’re ready to begin shopping for a home – often called “house hunting” – bring along this House Hunting Checksheet. You may end up seeing multiple homes in one day. This checksheet will help you compare and keep track of the homes you visit. And help you remember the features you did or didn’t like.

STEP 6 – Make the Offer

Your agent presents the offer to the seller. This document includes the price, conditions, deposit and closing date. The seller either accepts, rejects or counters the offer (also called “signing back” the offer).

STEP 7 – Home Inspection or New Home Warranty

Hiring an inspector is voluntary, but it’s a smart idea for resale homes. You can choose to make your offer to purchase the home conditional on the outcome of your inspection. If your inspection reveals major problems, you can negotiate those repairs with the seller before your deal closes, or legally withdraw your offer.

What is a New Home Warranty?

New Home Warranties are typically used when you buy a brand new home. The builder provides a New Home Warranty to cover things like deposits and completion dates, along with labour and materials for at least one year after the home was built. It also protects you against structural problems for a minimum of five years.

STEP 8 – Finalizing the Deal

Finalizing the deal will include the final approval of your mortgage, a meeting with your lawyer to finalize details like insurance and conditions, and the results of a title search.

STEP 9 – Moving Preparations

There’s a lot to do before you move. Line up utilities and other services like phone, cable and internet. If you rent, you must give your landlord notice. Also, forward your mail to your new address and hire a moving company. Preparing these things well in advance will help you make a smooth transition to your new home.

STEP 10 – Closing Day

This is the day you legally get possession of the house. Your lawyer completes the paperwork (so the home is in your name), payments are finalized and you receive the deed and the keys. Congratulations on your new home!