This past week Canada Mortgage and Housing (CMHC) backtracked on an unpopular policy move they made at the start of the pandemic last year. They tightened underwriting guidelines to limit debt service ratio’s for insured mortgages to 35/42% of GDS/TDS. This is because last year CMHC incorrectly estimated that the pandemic would cause a softening in the housing market. What happened was exactly the opposite. Instead of home values dropping by up to 18-20% they increased by the amount that they thought we were going to lose.

The other two insurers Canada Guranty and Sagen ( previously know as Genworth) who normally follow in lock step with whatever CMHC decides to do decided to keep their policy the same and allow for ratios up to 39/44. So what happened is that they ( Canada Guranty & Sagen) had a rapid … Read more

Mind over Matter

Mind over matter

Minor annoyances tend to grow much larger when attention is put towards them. Someone cuts you off in your morning commute and suddenly you are in a bad mood all day. Your team loses the big game ( sadly it happened) or the injection site of your vaccine is sore. You could focus all your energies towards what didn’t go as you planned or you can acknowledge it and get on with your day.

This is my frame of mind today. Yes they lost, that happens and I was still immensely proud of their performance during this year’s playoff run. There was also a brief time when I got up this morning and noticed that my shoulder was sore. I just acknowledged it and got on with my day. Ran 5K and just got back from donating blood and feel … Read more

Bank Statements

90 Days History

This is just a short post to remind you that when applying for a mortgage the lender will require 90 days history to show your down payment. If you have more than one account, then 90 days from all your accounts. This is to prove that you did not borrow it and also did not obtain it through nefarious means.

A word of advice about your bank statements, redacting anything on the statements will cause them to be rejected. Honestly the potential lender does not care if you purchased medicinal marijuana or spent your last pay check at the strip joint, both are legal. You are potentially borrowing hundreds of thousands of dollars, everything will be checked and double checked.

Today I am thankful for reminders for appointments so they will not be forgotten, my girls who were rock stars … Read more

Creative Down Payment

Creating your own down payment

Normally down payments can not be borrowed. However there are a few ways around this legally and ethically. So let’s first state that the down payment must be in your possession for 90 days and you must be able to provide bank statements to support that.

  1. You can borrow it from an existing line of credit. This should not be from the same source that is providing your mortgage, and you must be able to debt service for the payment.
  2. It can be gifted from a blood relative. A gift letter is required and you will then need to provide a statement showing that you are in possession of the funds.
  3. You can borrow it from your RRSP’s under the Home Buyer’s Plan. For a single applicant this amount is up to 35K and for a couple it is
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New Car or New House

New House or new car?

The good weather if finely here and also now that phased reopening plans have started, this means that more and more people are out and about. I have noticed lately that lots and lots of people are shopping for a new vehicle, this is also coinciding with our current hot real estate market where it seems that everyone is also shopping for their first home or their dream home.

However I must caution you that as nice as those new wheels are, I would hold off on that purchase until after you have closed on your home. This is because that for every $400 in vehicle payments, it is effectively taking away $100,000 worth of purchasing power for your home. In the way that real estate has risen in the past year this is more like 200K as what was … Read more

Busy vs Effectiveness

Busy vs Effective

Let’s face it we are all guilty of being busy. Constantly moving from one task to another but never really accomplishing anything. Busy just fills time, effective gets things accomplished.

I have talked about planning your day and working your plan in the past. Recently while reading an excellent book called The Ultimate Sales Machine, the author Chet Holmes talked about a simple yet effective strategy of touching something once. What this basically means if you are going through your email for example and the note requires action, do it right away and then move on to the next task. No more piling things up for odd chance that you will complete it later.

It is small but effective strategies like this that will allow you to accomplish more in your days, weeks and years. Don’t fill your day … Read more

Back to normal

Back to Normal?

Whenever massive changes happen to us as individuals or as a society there is always a pull to return to the previous norm or the baseline. Take weight loss or weight gain in terms of muscle mass. Sometimes people who have undergone radical personal transformations whether through losing massive amounts of weight or gaining muscle mass often return to their previous state once the catalyst is no longer present. People get married, or divorced, get promoted and or lose a job or a thousand other things thus causing them disruptions to their previous habits and returning them to their previous state.

Now that our daily infection rates have been steadily dropping and vaccinations rates have been steadily increasing are we going to return to exactly how we have lived before? Are people going to continue to wear masks out in … Read more

Go for the easy win

Go for the easy win

After a year and a half into this pandemic many of us are feeling burnt out, overwhelmed or just plan run down. The good news is that the end is in sight with more people getting vaccinated and new infections steadily decreasing. Nova Scotia and many other provinces are entering a phased reopening so things will slowly get back to normal.

In the meantime a few simple things to lift your spirits and give you a sense of accomplishment that may help you feel less stressed out. Try a 5-10 minute meditation to help change your state of mind. Go for a good 20-30 minute walk in the sunshine, the endorphins and the sun will definitely improve your mood. Make your bed immediately upon getting up as this is will put the first check in the win column for the … Read more

Rainy Days and Monday's

Rainy days and Monday’s

These are a few of the things that should not get you down. In fact no outside influence should have any effect on your overall mood. It should not really matter if it is rainy or sunny, your team wins the big game or looses, you get the date with your crush or they turn you down, you got the job or not or if your offer was accepted or not on the home you wanted to purchase.

The only one who decides your current mood is you. So when you get up in the morning, decide right away that it is already going to be a great day irregardless of what happens. Just having the right attitude will tend to make more of the great things come your way in the first place.

Today I am thankful for how … Read more

Plan of Attack

Plan of Attack

Do you have a plan of attack for your days, your month or your year? Or do you just react to what life throws at you and hope for the best? Sure you’re probably really busy if you are always in reactive mode, but are you really getting anything accomplished as you are most likely just treading water?

If you really want to make progress toward your goals, then you definitely need a plan of action. This applies if your goals are getting in better shape, paying off your debts or buying your first home or your dream home.

Plan your workouts, plan what you will be eating, use YNAB to plan your budgeting and talk with a mortgage professional to get pre approved then work with one of the excellent Realtor’s in the market.

The best way to do … Read more