Thursday, April 28, 2011

Your Best Business Asset Is YOU

As a new small business owner, how you treat yourself will more than likely be the deciding factor between your success and failure.
The old adage says it all: "Your attitude determines your altitude." Our parents and teachers taught us the importance of positive mental conditioning. Professional athletes believe that the body follows the mind.
While you build your new business, invest in your positive mental state by following these tips:
- Surround yourself with good people. If you run with dogs, you'll catch a few fleas. Develop a network of positive and successful people who will energize you, support and inspire you.
- Wake up to a good day. Sure you are going to face some unpleasant situations as a small business owner, but you can choose on how they affect you. Make it a good day - no matter the challenges ahead.
- Set reasonable goals. Don't expect miracles to happen overnight. Avoid frustration, stress and negativity by developing your small business one easy step at a time.
- Keep work at work. Burning the midnight oil and working 80-hour weeks is common for entrepreneurs. However, to stay fresh and motivated, try to separate business from your personal time. Don't bring work home at night, set firm working hours, and train your brain to turn off your business when you're with your family.
- Reduce stress. Get to the gym, take a walk, eat healthy, play with your kids or read a book. As much as you'd like to, you'll burn out if you work all the time. Invest in your best business asset: YOU
Be patient as you develop your new business and enjoy every little step along the way - including the challenges and victories. By taking care of yourself you'll get to where you want to be. Remember, entrepreneurship is a marathon and not a sprint.

article from Roger Pierce.

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Final Steps to Owning Your Home

Closing day is the day when you take legal possession and finally get to call your new house your home.

Closing Day

There are quite a few things that need to be done on closing day:
Your bank or credit union will provide the mortgage money to your lawyer or notary.
You must provide the rest of the purchase price to your lawyer or notary as well as the closing costs.
Your lawyer or notary pays the person who is selling the house, registers the home in your name, and then gives you the deed and keys to your new home.

What Needs to Be Done on Moving Day

If you have hired a moving company, go through the house with the supervisor and provide any special moving instructions.
Ensure the condition of your belongings are noted on an inventory list, and that the list is complete and accurate.
Mark off items on the mover’s list as soon as they are unloaded at your new home.

Things to Consider When Hiring a Mover

Friends or relatives may be able to recommend a professional moving company. Ask the mover for references.
Once you’ve selected a mover, it is a good idea to have someone from the company come to your home to see what will be moved and revise the estimate, if necessary.

Insurance

While your home or property insurance may cover your belongings, you should call your broker or insurance company to ask about the extent of the coverage while they are being moved from one home to another.
If your home or property insurance does not cover your belongings while they are being moved, many moving companies offer additional insurance coverage.
You should be aware that professional movers are not responsible for items such as jewelry, currency or important papers. You will have to move these items yourself.
Plan ahead to make the transition as smooth as possible for everyone involved. That way, you can relax and enjoy your new home.

Monday, April 25, 2011

Mortgage Payment Calculator

With CMHC Mortgage Loan Insurance you could become a homeowner sooner. CMHC Mortgage Loan Insurance offers housing financesolutions that can help you buy a home with as little as five percent down payment, at interest rates comparable to those available with a larger down payment. To help you estimate your monthly mortgage payments, use CMHC’s mortgage calculator chart.

Your approximate monthly principal and interest payment, per $1,000 of Mortgage Loan, is*:
Amortization Period
Interest Rate**   10 years       15 years    20 years      25 years     30 years
2                            $9.20           $6.43         $5.05          $4.23          $3.69
2.25                       $9.31           $6.55         $5.17          $4.36          $3.82
2.5                         $9.42           $6.66         $5.29          $4.48          $3.94
2.75                       $9.53           $6.78         $5.41          $4.61          $4.07
3                            $9.65           $6.90         $5.54          $4.73          $4.21
3.25                       $9.76           $7.02         $5.66          $4.86          $4.34
3.5                         $9.88           $7.14         $5.79          $4.99          $4.48
3.75                       $9.99           $7.26         $5.91          $5.13          $4.61
4                            $10.11         $7.38         $6.04          $5.26          $4.76
4.25                       $10.23         $7.50         $6.17          $5.40          $4.90
4.5                         $10.34         $7.63         $6.30          $5.53          $5.04
4.75                       $10.46         $7.75         $6.44          $5.67          $5.19
5                            $10.58         $7.88         $6.57          $5.82          $5.34
** Assumes constant interest rate throughout amortization period.
*The CMHC Mortgage Payment Calculator is for general illustrative purposes only. Actual payment amount should be obtained from your lender. Neither CMHC nor any of its advisors shall have any liability for the accuracy of calculations.

How Do You Find The Right Home?

Once you decide on the kind of home you want, how much you can afford to pay, and get your mortgage pre-approved, you are ready to start looking for a home.

Where to Start
There are a variety of sources available to help you find the home that is right for you:

Word of Mouth
By telling everyone you know that you are looking for a house, you might hear about homes that are just becoming available.
Newspapers and Real Estate Magazines
Check the new homes section in newspapers or look for real estate magazines available at newsstands, convenience stores and other places.
The Internet
Check out real estate websites, such as www.mls.ca, for information and pictures of a wide range of houses.
“For Sale” Signs
Drive around a neighbourhood that you like and look for “For Sale” signs.
Visit New Development Sites
If you are looking for a newly-built home, this will allow you to see the different models available and to get information from builders.
Work With a Real Estate Agent

Have a professional join the search. For most buyers, a real estate agent is key to finding the right home.
Useful Tips For House Hunting
Keep Records
It’s a good idea to visit many different homes before choosing one. Don’t forget to consider the home’s utility costs, property taxes and major repairs, as these will affect your monthly housing expenses. Ask to see copies of bills. Be ready to compromise. You might not find a home that has everything you want.

Check out the Existing Financing on the Property
It may be possible to take over an existing mortgage from the person selling the home, or even get a vendor take-back mortgage in which the person selling the home lends you money to help make the sale.

Think twice
Even if a home seems perfect, go back and take a closer critical look at it. Visit on different days and times, chat with prospective neighbours and look beyond just how a house looks.

Home Hunting Comparison Worksheet
To make sure you have all the information you need, use a "Home Hunting Comparison Worksheet". It will help you ask the right questions and choose the right home for your needs. To obtain this you can call me and I will email it to you upon request.

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Why Condo Living May Suit First-Time Buyers

When you are ready to buy your first house, you might consider the option of condo living. While it’s true that living in a condo isn’t for everyone, there are definite advantages.

Here are a few things first-time homebuyers should consider when thinking about condo living:

Affordability
If you get nervous at the thought of a huge monthly mortgage payment, a condo usually offers a lower monthly  payment, freeing up more money for travel, saving for retirement, or living the type of lifestyle you want to live.
Top personal finance gurus like Gail Vaz-Oxlade warn that you should spend no more than 35 per cent of your net income on housing. This includes mortgage payments, property tax, utilities, insurance, and maintenance fees.

You might want to have a four-bedroom house in the suburbs with that white picket fence, but do you really need to have it right now? There’s nothing worse than being tied to a large mortgage payment that you cannot comfortably afford.

Space
Generally speaking, the more space you have, the more expensive it will be to maintain. Not only will it cost you more to furnish a larger space, but you will also have more expensive utility bills and a longer cleaning list!

Over the past month, I’ve looked at  between 20 and 25 condos and townhouses. And while in my original search criteria, I wanted at least 800 sq. ft. of living space, I realized that some  smaller layouts can feel much bigger than what they actually are. The same can be said about larger spaces feeling much smaller, simply because of the flow of the space. Make sure not to exclude properties that fall under your ideal space requirements on paper, because the layout of the home might end up working for you.

Security
Having neighbours close by makes it a lot easier to leave your home vacant while you go on vacation or on a business trip. This is especially true if you have mail that needs collecting, or pets that need feeding.

Most condominium buildings come with secure parking, a buzzer system for security – and sometimes – even a doorman! If you’re a single person living in a big city, this can be a huge selling feature.

Location
When location is one of the most important things to you, then you might have to settle for less space in order to get into the neighbourhood of your choice. If you want to live in the heart of a popular urban area, and in close proximity to everything that a big city has to offer, but cannot afford a detached house or townhouse, a condo might be the perfect option for you.

Minimal maintenance & upkeep
When you buy a house, you are responsible for all of the household maintenance. This includes everything from the yard upkeep, shoveling snow, roof repairs, maintaining the driveway, and everything else associated with your property. Not only will you have to dedicate your time to dealing with these problems, but it can also be very expensive.

On the other hand, when you live in a condo, you generally don’t have to deal with any exterior maintenance of the building. Instead, you will be required to pay monthly maintenance fees. These monthly fees will usually go towards hiring a professional or contractor to take care of the maintenance and repairs of the common areas of the building. In some buildings, this can also include heat, hot water, gas, and other amenities like a pool, recreation room, and gym. Remember that, even if you choose not to use the amenities provided in the building, you will still be expected to pay for the upkeep and maintenance of them.

Amenities
Many times condominium buildings offer a wide variety of amenities. This means that you could have access to amenities that you otherwise might not be able to afford on your own, such as a gym, tennis courts, swimming pool, and party room.

Community
For some people, having a sense of commonality is important. Buying into the right condominium community can be a big selling feature, as is buying into the right neighbourhood. Because you will all be living within close proximity to each other, this could be a great way to meet new people.

I never thought I’d consider purchasing a condo for my very first home. But as a single person living in an expensive city like Vancouver, I can definitely see the advantages of condo living, and now understand that it is an option I need to be considering as I continue my search for my first home.

Would you ever live in a condominium?

Budgeting: 10 things you need to know

Budgeting may seem daunting, but it doesn’t have to be complicated. It’s not so much what you make, but how you spend it that’s important. And in order to know how to stay in the black, you need a budget, the roadmap that tells you how much you have coming in and where it all goes.
Here are 10 steps that can help you along the way.
1. Gather the facts
It all starts here. Find your financial records for the last three months or so. This includes bank statements, credit card statements, recurring bills and bills for such things as heat, water and hydro, cable and internet and clubs and memberships like the YMCA or gym. Don’t forget to include all your little extras – morning coffee, magazines, buying lunch. Those expenses will be crucial when you’re looking for places to trim.
2. Create a worksheet
Once you have the facts you have to organize them in a way that gives you a clear picture of what you spend and on what. It may not be pretty, but it will tell you what you need to know. The best way is to use a worksheet.
The Financial Consumer Agency of Canada (FCAC), is a federal agency whose job is to protect and inform consumers about financial services. Credit Counselling Canada offers another version with a pie chart that allows you to quickly see where the money is going.
3. Fixed vs. discretionary spending
Break your spending into fixed and discretionary costs. Fixed costs are such things as mortgage or rent, car payments, and insurance. You must pay them every month and they usually don’t change.
You have more control over discretionary expenses. You have to buy groceries, but do you need Häagen-Dazs super premium ice cream? Other areas to take a look at include gasoline, dining out, movies, clothes, and that latte every morning. Small things can add up.
4. Rules of thumb
Your housing costs should be less than about one-third of your gross income, financial planning experts say. That includes heat, hydro and property taxes. The Canada Home Mortgage Corp. has a mortgage affordability calculator to help crunch the numbers. Another rule of thumb is that your monthly debt payments should not exceed 40 per cent of your gross monthly income. This includes housing, and such things as car loans and credit card payments.
5. Pay yourself first
You’ve heard this one before. That’s because it’s the best way to save money. Try to put away 10 per cent of each pay cheque, preferably using an automatic debit on payday. If you can’t manage 10 per cent, try 5 per cent. Anything is better than nothing and you’ll be surprised at how easy it is. Build that into Step 2 when you are creating your budget.
6. Cut out non-essentials
Do you really need to buy lunch five days a week? Can you live without that $5 skinny mochachino? Make it a treat rather than a fixture. You might be able to eat out less often, or dine at less expensive restaurants. Try leaving you credit card at home to avoid impulse purchases.
If you’re looking for help this frugal living Website and blog have plenty of ideas.
7. Pay more than the minimum
When it comes to your debt, interest rates are everything. Pay bills on time to annoying service charges and sky high rates on credit card. Pay more than the minimum balance. For instance, if you owe $1,000 on a Mastercard that charges 18 per cent and pay the minimum $40 per month, it will take you nearly two-and-a-half years to pay off your debt – and you’ll wind up paying close to $1263. This calculator from Industry Canada can help you compare Visa and Mastercard against store credit cards, lines of credit, and rent-to-own programs. You can also change the minimum payment and interest rate information.
8. Save for a rainy day
For safety, your best bets are a high-interest savings account. You’ll be lucky to get an annual rate of 2 or 3 per cent, but it’s better than the fraction of a cent you’re getting, if at all, in your savings account at the bank. Find an account with minimal fees, or consider a Tax-Free Savings Account.
9. Review and adjust
Go over your budget regularly to make sure you are staying on track. Compare actual spending to the budget and look closely at instances when you spent more money than you planned. Was your plan realistic? Should you adjust by cutting in one place and adding in another?
Your spending patterns will change some from month to month, but by tracking your income and expenses carefully, you know exactly where your money goes.
10. Build in a reward
You endured the pain, so build something in to reward yourself for sound financial management. Don’t be afraid to splurge (a little) when you meet your goals to save money or trim the budget – fancy dinner, new shoes, a shiny new gadget. Then, back to the plan.

How to reduce your penalty when breaking a Mortgage

Fred sold his house in April 2010, but he’s still fighting with his mortgage lender about the cost of getting out early.
He knew he’d be penalized to break out of a five-year closed mortgage with 26 months left in the term. But he figured he paid $3,000 too much because of the way the penalty was calculated.
The lender used an interest rate of 6.05 per cent, not the 5.55 per cent rate he was paying - the only rate shown in his mortgage document.
Adding a half-point to the so-called discounted rate meant he was charged $13,125, instead of the $10,000 he thought he actually owed.
“As a lawyer, I’m embarrassed at being caught out by such a manipulation,” said Fred (who doesn’t want to use his real name).
“My knowledge of contract law suggests they shouldn’t be able to impose a discount not referenced in the documents.”
I often hear complaints from readers about the way financial institutions calculate penalties for getting out of closed mortgages before the term ends.
Most lenders require paying a penalty of either three months’ interest or an interest-rate differential (IRD), whichever is higher, to make an early exit.
Since rates have dropped in recent years, the IRD – based on the gap between the original rate and the rate for the remaining term, the outstanding balance and the number of months left – is almost always used.
Here’s the problem: Lenders calculate these penalties in different ways. There’s no standardization. Disclosure is minimal.
As a result, borrowers get hosed when they refinance or sell their homes.
Finance Minister Jim Flaherty promised to bring in rules to standardize the calculation and disclosure of mortgage penalties in his 2010 budget.
Why has there been no progress in more than a year? The answer I received made me think that lenders are working to delay implementation.
“As these issues are complex, they are still under development at this time,” said Stephanie Rubec, a finance department spokeswoman, in early March.
“Over the coming months, measures pertaining to mortgage prepayment penalties will be advanced.”
With a federal election coming in May, new rules for IRD penalties will be put off even longer.
So, here are five tips for those taking out mortgages or renewing mortgages in the coming months.
Think twice about taking out a closed mortgage. Get an open mortgage or a variable-rate mortgage that won’t penalize you for leaving early. You can always lock in to a fixed-rate mortgage later if interest rates shoot up.
Consider a three-year term if you’re getting a fixed-rate mortgage. Lenders push a five-year term because it’s more profitable, but they know the average mortgage is held only three years. Life is uncertain, so why tie yourself up and pay a big penalty to leave? Do you know what you’ll be doing in 2016?
Find out if the rate you’re offered is a discounted rate that will be grossed up if you want to leave early. Ask the lender to give you something in writing that lays out the formula used to calculate the IRD penalty (since you rarely find it in your mortgage documents).
Remember that IRD penalties are a moving target. The lender can quote one amount today and a higher amount tomorrow, depending on the time it takes to sell your property. CBC TV news ran a recent story of a man whose penalty had doubled to $33,800 because the calculation had changed over a few months.
Make sure the lender lets you make a prepayment before discharging your mortgage. Most contracts allow prepayments of 10 to 25 per cent of the balance each year without penalty. But unless you ask, you may not be given the option, despite successful class actions against banks in recent years.
In Fred’s case, the lender didn’t apply his prepayment privileges. Luckily, he caught the error and made a $73,000 prepayment on the day the mortgage was discharged.
He had access to the funds because he was buying and selling a property at the same time, but he still had to fight to get the money to the lender.
“Thankfully, I was able to make the maximum permitted prepayment on the day of closing, but only after a last-minute and stressful series of phone calls with my real estate lawyer and the bank,” he says.
Learn from Fred’s experience. The banks are not your friend and their offers of discounted rates can come back to bite you later on.
Finally, use an accredited mortgage broker to find the best product for you and minimize the IRD penalty. They know how to negotiate with banks and they can help you fight for your rights.
Ellen Roseman writes about personal finance and consumer issues. You can reach her at eroseman@thestar.ca.

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

How Do You Find The Right Home

Once you decide on the kind of home you want, how much you can afford to pay, and get your mortgage pre-approved, you are ready to start looking for a home.

Where to Start
There are a variety of sources available to help you find the home that is right for you:

Word of Mouth
By telling everyone you know that you are looking for a house, you might hear about homes that are just becoming available.

Newspapers and Real Estate Magazines
Check the new homes section in newspapers or look for real estate magazines available at newsstands, convenience stores and other places.

The Internet
Check out real estate websites, such as www.mls.ca, for information and pictures of a wide range of houses.

“For Sale” Signs
Drive around a neighbourhood that you like and look for “For Sale” signs.

Visit New Development Site
If you are looking for a newly-built home, this will allow you to see the different models available and to get information from builders.

Work With a Real Estate Agent
Have a professional join the search. For most buyers, a real estate agent is key to finding the right home.

Useful Tips For House Hunting

Keep Records
It’s a good idea to visit many different homes before choosing one. Don’t forget to consider the home’s utility costs, property taxes and major repairs, as these will affect your monthly housing expenses. Ask to see copies of bills. Be ready to compromise. You might not find a home that has everything you want.

Check out the Existing Financing on the Property
It may be possible to take over an existing mortgage from the person selling the home, or even get a vendor take-back mortgage in which the person selling the home lends you money to help make the sale.

Think twice
Even if a home seems perfect, go back and take a closer critical look at it. Visit on different days and times, chat with prospective neighbours and look beyond just how a house looks.

Home Hunting Comparison Worksheet
To make sure you have all the information you need, use CMHC’s "Home Hunting Comparison Worksheet". It will help you ask the right questions and choose the right home for your needs.

RBC to brokers: We apologize

By Vernon Clement Jones | 19/04/2011 9:36:00 AM |
Click here to find out more!
With multiple statements, RBC moved to distance itself from the controversial flyer of one of its mobile mortgage specialists – apologizing for its unflattering and inaccurate depiction of brokers.

“The RBC brand is defined by our clients and partners and we sincerely apologize for the inaccurate information that was presented in the document,” wrote RBC Public Affairs Advisor Nicole Fisher, in a letter to broker associations in Western Canada.

The bank was offering the same message in the east, with Ian Colvin, RBC’s senior manager for communications in British Columbia, telling MortgageBrokerNews.ca Monday, “The opinions expressed in the document by the mortgage specialist do not reflect the positions, strategies or opinions of RBC. We are following up directly with this mortgage specialist to ensure future collateral accurately reflects the RBC brand.”

The crisis communication follows leak of a document written by an RBC mobile mortgage specialist in BC and trading in stereotypes about the broker channel. The flyer, in fact, purports to highlight the educational, philosophical and operational differences between brokers and bank-employed mortgage specialists. It effectively casts the former in a negative light.
“Brokers will charge set up fees and have other hidden costs you should be aware of,” reads the undated document  -- “Understanding the difference between mortgage specialists and mortgage brokers.” An RBC logo and the name of one of its British Columbia mortgage specialists appear on the flyer. 
It continues: “Brokers will farm out your mortgage to a number of companies and then will set you up with a financial institution based on only the lowest rate, no other factors.” And, it continues: “When selling your mortgage, the broker and the financial institutions reviewing your file may pull numerous credit bureau requests depending on their software capabilities.”
The RBC comments follow on the heels of a MortgageBrokerNews.ca article exposing the document. Earlier attempts to win a comment from the bank and the author of the flyer were unsuccessful. RBC’s statements do not address what if any disciplinary steps against the mortgage specialist have been taken. Many brokers are now calling for formal censure.
“Let’s hope they do the right thing and remove this lady from their ranks,” wrote one broker commenting on the initial MortgageBrokerNews.ca article Monday.
Still, others are concerned her attitudes may reflect the long-standing corporate philosophy RBC -- the only big bank in this country that has never used external brokers.
“We are almost grateful that this has been put in writing because this is stuff that has been verbalized for years,” veteran B.C. broker John Ribalkin, president of Verico Nova Fiuancial Services and a CAAMP Hall of Fame recipient. “I’ve never minded competition as long as all parties maintain a fair and equitable level. The marketplace does not need demeaning comments from one party to another.”

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Are You Financially Ready to Buy a Home?


Get Your Mortgage Pre-Approved
Getting your mortgage pre-approved will let you know what kind of house you can afford. It will make the search for your home easier and less time-consuming. To get your mortgage pre-approved, you will need:
-your personal information, including identification such as your driver’s license;
-details on your job and proof of your salary;
-information about your bank accounts, financial assets, current loans and other debts;
-how much your down payment will be and where the money is coming from; and
-Proof that you have enough money to cover the costs of closing the sale — usually between 1.5 — 4 per cent of the cost of the house.

Trouble Qualifying for a Mortgage?
Sometimes, after everything has been taken into account, you may find that you can’t afford the house you want. If that happens, you may want to:
-Pay off some loans first.
-Save up a larger down payment.
-Revise your target house price.

The Importance of Your Credit Rating
Your credit history gives mortgage providers information on your financial past and how well you have paid your debts and bills.
If you have no credit history, it is important to start building one. This can be done, for example, by
applying for a credit card.
If you have a bad credit history, you can still qualify for a mortgage as long as you have a guarantor — a person who meets the bank’s or credit union’s requirements, has a good credit history, and can guarantee your loan.

Buying a home is one of the biggest financial decisions you will make, so it is important to know your current financial situation to be sure that you buy a home that you can afford.

10 Ways to Boost Sales

No product or services sells it self. Sales will solve most of your problems. With enough money coming in, you can hire more people to run your business, cover your operating costs, invest in marketing and most of all feed your family!

Here are 10 easy steps to boost your sales;

1)     Offer quality products and services.
2)     Focus on the customer. Commit to doing what it takes to make them happy.
3)     Hire talented salespeople. Invest in training for them.
4)     Understand that selling is about developing relationships. Build trust with your customers by being honest, reliable, and admitting any mistakes.
5)     Pay more attention to your existing customers than finding new ones. It’s far less expensive to keep a customer than to find a new one.
6)     Aim to be the best in your industry through exceptional customer care.
7)     Keep your promises. A client’s trust is conditional. Under promise and over deliver.
8)     Never say bad things about any of your competitors.
9)     Always be selling. Open your eyes and ears for new opportunities. Pursue your dream customers. Don’t wait for business to walk in the door.
10) Commit to continuously improving your selling system. Invest in training, resources and tools to get better and better at selling.

How to Improve Your Credit Score


What is a Credit Score
Your credit score is a number that illustrates your financial health at a specific point in time. It also serves as an indicator of your financial past, and how consistently you pay off your bills and debts. This is one of the factors mortgage professionals consider in qualifying you for a mortgage.

How to Check Your Credit Score
To find out your credit score, contact Canada’s two credit-reporting agencies: Equifax Canada at
For a fee, these agencies will provide you with an online copy of your credit score as well as a
www.equifax.ca and TransUnion Canada at www.transunion.ca.credit report – a detailed summary of your credit history, employment history and personal financial information on file. You can also obtain a free copy of your credit report by mail. If you find any errors in your report, notify the credit-reporting agency and the organization responsible for the inaccuracy immediately.

If You Do Not Have a Credit Score
It’s important to begin building a credit history as early as possible. You can begin to build one by applying for – and responsibly using – a credit card. Your financial institution or mortgage professional can help.

How to Improve Your Credit Score
Demonstrating your ability to manage credit is key to maintaining a good credit score. There are a number of things you can do to improve your credit score.
These include:
Always pay your bills in full and on time. If you cannot pay the full amount, try to pay at least the required minimum shown on your monthly statement.
Pay off your debts (such as loans, credit cards, lines of credit, etc.) as quickly as possible.
Never go over the limit on your credit cards, and try to keep your balances well below the limits.
Reduce the number of credit card or loan applications you make.
Once your credit score has improved, work with your mortgage professional to obtain a mortgage that works for you.

Find Out More
To find out more about credit scores and reports, visit the Financial Consumer Agency of Canada website at
www.fcac-acfc.gc.ca and download or request a free copy of their guide, Understanding Your Credit Report and Credit Score. This guide provides practical, straightforward information on how to obtain and understand your credit report and score, as well as how to build and maintain a good credit history.

Victor Peca
Morcan Financial Inc. #100687
Cell: 4168884934
Mortgage Broker M090001613
vpeca@morca.ca
This article has been prepared by CMHC as a general resource. The information is provided for general illustrative purposes only, and does not take into account the specific objectives, circumstances and individual needs of the reader. It is not a substitute for professional advice. Neither CMHC nor any other party identified in this Fact Sheet (Lender, Broker etc.), assumes any liability of any kind in connection with the information provided.
For more homebuying tips, contact me or visit CMHC’s interactive Step by Step Guide at
insurance, helping Canadians buy a home with a minimum of five per cent down. Ask your mortgage professional about CMHC.
www.cmhc.ca. CMHC is Canada's largest provider of mortgage loan

A good credit report and credit score are important factors in determining whether or not you will be approved for a mortgage. Here are some simple steps you can take to maintain a good credit history and improve your chances of being approved.

Monday, April 18, 2011

Victor Peca Home Loans Advisor

Victor Peca Home Loans Advisor – http://www.victorpeca.com/
Reminder of my 32” Flat Screen TV Referral Program
Remember………”You Get By Giving”



Welcome to the April issue of the News & Rate Advisor.
Current Discount Mortgage Rates    Apr 2011
Variable Rate                                    2.20%
1 Year                                              2.90%
2 Year                                              3.25%
3 Year                                              3.64%
4 Year                                              3.69%
5 Year                                              3.94%
7 Year                                              5.10%
10 Year                                            5.30%
Prime Rate                                       3.00%
* Rates subject to change and OAC.

Canadian Qualifying Rate    Apr 2011
Rate                                     5.69%
Source: Bank of Canada

Current Posted Mortgage Rates  Apr 2011  Apr 2010  Apr 2009
1 Year                                           3.70%     3.80%      3.90%
3 Year                                           4.55%     4.75%      4.15%
5 Year                                           5.69%     6.25%      5.25%
Source: Bank of Canada

Nationwide Building Permits. Feb 2011          Feb 2010               Feb 2009
Residential                       $2,982,757,000   $3,685,207,000   $2,096,252,000
Commercial                     $2,826,075,000   $1,955,669,000   $1,583,061,000
Total                               $5,808,832,000   $5,640,876,000   $3,679,313,000
Source: Stats Canada - preliminary figures

Current Bank & Prime Rates   Apr 2011   Apr 2010   Apr 2009
Bank Rate                                1.25%       0.50%        0.50%
Prime Rate                               3.00%       2.25%        2.25%
Source: Bank of Canada


Average House Prices by Province   Feb 2011   Feb 2010    Feb 2009
National                                          $365,192    $335,655    $281,972
Yukon                                             $299,393    $252,722    $267,192
Northwest Territories                       $381,492    $353,389    $329,491
British Columbia                              $587,576    $497,807    $421,023
Alberta                                            $352,076    $343,748    $326,785
Saskatchewan                                 $251,302    $244,386    $227,382
Manitoba                                        $222,071    $210,059    $188,795
Ontario                                           $359,592    $347,097    $284,843
Quebec                                           $251,902    $240,172    $207,927
New Brunswick                              $151,063    $154,051    $147,575
Prince Edward Island                      $134,135    $130,469    $131,911
Nova Scotia                                   $207,051    $217,413     $187,688
Newfoundland                                $240,403    $219,195    $195,244
Source: CREA - Most Recent Month Reported

Average House Prices by City         Feb 2011    Feb 2010    Feb 2009
Yellowknife                                    $381,492    $353,389    $329,491
Vancouver                                      $791,604    $662,741    $542,641
Victoria                                          $490,970    $481,246    $442,592
Edmonton                                       $311,674    $316,927    $308,970
Calgary                                          $400,879    $389,388    $370,198
Saskatoon                                      $287,202    $291,056    $281,681
Regina                                           $272,609     $263,753   $232,968
Toronto                                          $454,470    $431,509    $361,361
Hamilton-Burlington                        $331,741    $314,656    $265,452
Ottawa-Carleton                             $337,797    $318,894    $273,991
Quebec City                                   $244,326    $228,291    $198,107
Montreal                                        $300,471   $287,241    $250,461
Fredericton                                    $152,696   $149,013    $135,834
Saint John                                     $175,371   $168,735    $176,629
Halifax-Dartmouth                          $261,638   $251,072    $229,660
Winnipeg                                       $228,180   $215,230     $194,588
Source: CREA - Most Recent Month Reported

Mortgage Rates as of April 18th 2011


























Victor Peca, AMP
Mortgage Broker #M09001613
Morcan Financial #10687
C:416 888 4934 F:905 270 0575
victorpeca@gmail.com
vpeca@morcan.ca
http://www.victorpeca.com/

Controversial document infuriates brokers

By Vernon Clement Jones | 18/04/2011 9:00:00 AM | 0 comments
Click here to find out more!
Them’s fighting words: A document from an RBC employee outlining the differences between mortgage brokers and specialists is drawing the ire of brokers – charging it mischaracterizes their work, their qualifications and their motives.
“Brokers will farm out your mortgage to a number of companies and then will set you up with a financial institution based on only the lowest rate, no other factors,” reads the undated document  -- “Understanding the difference between mortgage specialists and mortgage brokers.” An RBC logo and the name of one of its British Columbia mortgage specialists appear on the flyer.
There’s more.
“When selling your mortgage the broker and the financial institutions reviewing your file may pull numerous credit bureau requests depending on their software capabilities,” continues the document, which aims to provide mortgage specialists with talking points to answer client questions. “Brokers will charge set up fees and have other hidden costs you should be aware of.”
Neither the specialist nor RBC corporate communications in Vancouver returned MortgageBrokerNews.ca  calls Friday.
Still, the flyer has now been posted to industry websites across the country, with more than 150 brokers venting their rage and disappointment.
“I think the relationship between mortgage brokers and mortgage specialist is akin to some of the biggest rivalries in sports,” Greg Williamson, founder of 180 Degrees Coaching, told MortgageBrokerNews.ca. “But this is misleading and for those who read it and don’t know our business, it will mislead them.”
The broker was one of the first to post it on his blog website, www.gregwilliamson.ca. One of the document’s most glaring inaccuracies, maintains Williamson, is that suggestion brokers repeatedly run reference checks on clients.
“If a mortgage broker is using Filogix, they’re generally only pulling a credit check once,” he said. His blog has now attracted more than 280 responses, mostly from brokers concerned the RBC flyer will erode consumer confidence in their industry.
Under another section marked “Training and Educational Differences,” the writer extols the financial planning and institutional knowledge of bank mortgage specialists. She then offers a much briefer synopsis of broker qualifications: “Depending on your province, mortgage brokers must be licensed through the Accredited Mortgage Professionals course. Only this course is required, no financial planning included.”
Many brokers are concerned that the document may speak to the bank’s corporate attitudes about the broker channel. It is, in fact, the only one of the Big Five that has never used external brokers.
“There were obviously inaccuracies in the report,” CAAMP President and CEO Jim Murphy told MortgageBrokerNews.ca. “I’m in discussions with senior officials from RBC that they were not aware of it and are looking into it.”

Would Refinancing Work For You?

Despite prevalent historically-low mortgage rates, many homeowners continue to dish out monthly mortgage payments at the high interest rates calculated for their original contracts, some from many years ago. Could you be saving money on your mortgage by refinancing? There's only one way to find out for sure — pick up the phone and call.

When reviewing your mortgage, it's important to consider how your needs may have changed. Are you interested in paying off your mortgage faster? Consolidating your debt? Using some of the equity from your home? Or perhaps you’re thinking of moving, or investing in a second property?

If it’s simply taking advantage of today’s lower mortgage rates that appeals to you, you’d be wise to view refinancing as an opportunity to continue toward your goal of paying off your mortgage in the same or less time, as opposed to starting over. For example, if you are five years into a 25-year mortgage, let’s look at amortizing your new mortgage over a 20-year period, or even a 15-year period instead of setting up another 25-year term, and see if your budget might allow you to become mortgage-free that much sooner or amortize it at 30 yrs for a lower payment but utilizing your pre payment options during the year to reduce your mortgage. This also allows you to be in control of your mortgage versus the Lending institution having you pay the higher payment at the lower amortization.

Through the re-financing calculations, you may discover a new source of extra monthly funds. But you’re advised to hold off from buying a big-ticket item before your final paperwork is approved, to avoid raising your debt-to-income ratio to a level that disqualifies you for the terms of your new loan.

Let’s talk. There’s no obligation for asking about these, and other refinancing considerations.

Before you refinance or renew your mortgage call me first to get an unbiased and honest opinion.

Today’s 5 yr closed rate is 3.99% and Variable rate is 2.20%