Monthly Archives: June 2013

Divorce and your home: What you need to know.

A divorce doesn’t only result in emotional pain, it can often lead to financial turmoil.  Deciding on how to deal with the break-up of the family home can be the most intimidating and potentially devastating part of ending a marriage.

What is often needed during this uncertain and confusing time is some unemotional, straightforward information and advice.  Once you know how a divorce affects your home and mortgage, making important decisions like these becomes a lot easier:
*  Selling the house and dividing the proceeds
Buying out your spouse and keeping the house
*  Letting your spouse buy you out so you can start fresh
*  Continuing to own the house jointly for a while

Unfortunately, each of these decisions comes with unexpected pitfalls that can be very expensive and damage your credit rating.  Knowing what to look for – and what mistakes to avoid – at this uncertain time is essential.

Our team can advise on the following:

How to qualify for financing to buy your spouse out or buy a new home
How to make sure you’re not liable for the mortgage after you leave
Ways to increase your qualifying income after the divorce
Ways to protect and improve your credit score during divorce

Inquire today!  (780) 469-9440


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7 Simple Facelifts You Can Do To Make Your Home More Marketable

If your thinking of selling, here are some fast, easy and affordable ways to attract more offers and get a higher price.
1.  Give your entrance a sense of occasion.  Replace your standard knob on your front door with a substantial piece of hardware that lets visitors know this home is of significance.     2.  Spruce up your carpeting.  If your carpets are of neutral color and in good conditions, have them professional cleaned.  If they are showing they’re age, try adding an inexpensive area rug.
3.  Add drama with light.  Living rooms and dining rooms can gain instant elegance by replacing lifeless light fixtures with a contemporary chandelier or ceiling fan.
4.  Make sure your kitchen is bright and up to date.  Replace sink fixtures and cabinet door handles. Install brighter, energy-efficient light fixtures.  Help you appliances look newer by ordering new face panels.
5.  Transform your bathroom.  Replace the toilet seat.  Remove the old sink cabinet and install a pedestal sink for a spacious contemporary look.  Re-grout the tile around the tub and shower makes everything look fresh.
6.  Maximize limited storage space.  Install a wire shelf and basket system in entry closets, pantries and bedroom closets for an efficient new look.
7.  Convert your den into a bedroom.  If the room’s big enough, all it takes is a closet, which doesn’t cost a lot to have built in.  Remember, adding an extra bedroom adds to resale value.


If your looking to sell, let us pair you up with one of our trusted real estate agents who can help you market your home to sell faster and for top dollar.

Call today:  (780) 244-0505


Mortgages 101: Buying Your First Home

Getting a mortgage for your first home is a big financial commitment.  There are so many options it can be overwhelming.  Follow these 3 simple steps to find the best mortgage that meets your needs.

Step 1:  Know What You Need And Want In A Mortgage

Down Payment:  Find out how much money you need to put down on a mortgage
Down Payment Financing Options:  Home Buyers Plan
Mortgage Payments, understanding interest versus principal
Choosing an amortization period
Choosing a term and type
Understanding Fixed and Variable Interest Rates
Frequency of Payments
Mortgage Default Insurance

Step 2:  Shop Around And Get Pre-Approved

Before you start shopping around for a mortgage make sure your credit report is in order
Understand the pre-approval process and how it works
Understand the formula used to calculate your borrowing limit

Step 3:  Make The Right Decision For Your Needs
Get prepared for other costs involved in owning a home

Want to Learn More, Inquire Today!
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Posted by on June 13, 2013 in Uncategorized


Your Credit Score: What it is and how to fix it.

Your credit score is a three digit number that lenders use to predict your credit worthiness.  Credit reporting companies calculate your score based on your payment history, how much you owe, how long you have had the credit and how often you apply for new credit.  In general, the higher your score, the less likely you are to become delinquent on credit.  If it is above 650, you’ll probably qualify for a standard loan.  If it is lower, you may have trouble getting new credit.

Because your credit score and credit report are constantly changing, it is important to review them on a regular basis, at least once a year.  Since there are two main credit reporting companies in Canada – Equifax and TransUnion – it is a good idea to check your records with both companies.  This helps you identify and correct any inaccurate information, detect any fraudulent activity and gauge your overall credit health.

If you are planning on applying for a mortgage, it is important to check your report a few months in advance. If your credit score is under 650, your mortgage options will be reduced, and you’ll pay a higher interest rate on your loan. We can offer simple little tips to help your credit score improve.


How Much Is Your Credit Score Costing You?

It is always important to keep an eye on your credit score, whether you are in the market for a new mortgage or not.  Regular monitoring can alert you to potential identity theft, but it will also allow you to deal with any potential credit errors that can occur. Credit errors occur more often than you think, since everything is data input.  Someone with the same name or close SIN # can have their data entered on your bureau.  Acknowledging this and cleaning it up is a process but is key to keeping your credit clean.  At the end of the day, always ensure your payment are made on time.


5 Reasons why it pays to use a Mortgage Broker

Today’s mortgage consumers are faced with more lenders, mortgages, features and rates than ever before.  On top of that, current mortgages are often highly complicated and specialized.  The only way to be confident you’re getting the mortgage that’s right for you is to rely on the services of a mortgage broker.
Here’s Why:
1.  Specialist vs generalist.  Mortgages aren’t a sideline for mortgage brokers, as they are with some bank reps.  As specialists, brokers fully understand mortgages, study rate markets, talk to lenders on a daily basis and keep abreast of the latest product developments.

2.  More choices.  Mortgage brokers aren’t dedicated to one single lender, so we can offer the full spectrum of mortgages from virtually any lender on the market.

3.  Brokers makes lenders compete.   Mortgage brokers shop your application to a wide range of lenders and get them to compete for your business.

4.  Unbiased advice.  As independent business people, mortgage brokers don’t have allegiance to a particular lender.  So their expert advice is in YOUR best interest instead of the lenders.

5.  Save time and energy.  Shopping for a mortgage can be time consuming and frustrating if you do it yourself.  Mortgage brokers can shop dozens of lenders in the time it takes you to book a single appointment at your bank.  And all that choice ensures you’ll save money too!

When the time comes that you need a new or revised mortgage, call me for a free consultation at (780) 244-0505 and we can explore your options.