Shift into winter driving

An early blast of winter will make for a messy and slow commute across Canada this week. That's why CAA is reminding members to be prepared for higher than normal call volumes and longer than normal wait times. Remember that winter driving takes a change in mindset and technique. Winter driving tips: Check your local [...]

2018-02-02T18:47:35+00:00February 2nd, 2018|

17 per cent of first-time homebuyers’ down payment comes from family

First-time homebuyers on average make a 21 per cent down payment on the purchase of their new home; since the 1990s, about 40 per cent of this has come from personal savings, suggesting Canadians wait to be financially stable before purchasing. But recently, as home prices have risen, 17 per cent of the down-payment has [...]

2018-02-02T18:43:00+00:00February 2nd, 2018|

Four warning signs to replace your car battery

Bone-chilling temperatures gripped southern Ontario during this past winter – one of the longest and coldest in 20 years. Parts of the province plunged into a deep freeze and 'polar vortex' made its way in to everyday conversations. Before the deep freeze returns this year, remember to have your car battery tested by a professional [...]

2018-01-31T20:15:32+00:00January 31st, 2018|

Picking a real estate agent is like flipping a coin for most Ontarians

Ontario home buyers and sellers could use better tools and resources to help pick the right real estate agent. A recent survey release today from Zoocasa and Survey Sampling International (SSI) revealed most (86%) Ontario home buyers and sellers used a real estate agent on their last transaction, but only half (50%) reported being confident [...]

2018-01-31T20:14:00+00:00January 31st, 2018|

Freshen Your Home for the Holiday Season

(NC) During the holiday season, our homes often become a revolving door for friends and family but the constant entertaining can make it difficult to keep your home smelling fresh. As people spend approximately 90 per cent of time indoors where the air can be 2-5 times more polluted than outdoor air it is important [...]

2018-01-31T20:11:39+00:00January 31st, 2018|

Tips to make your mortgage renewals work for you

In a Manulife survey in 2011, almost 2 out of 3 respondents failed to compare mortgage products and rates from various lenders when their mortgage came up for renewal.  Not knowing what your options are could costs you thousands if not tens of thousands of dollars in extra interest and fees. Here are some things [...]

2018-01-31T20:10:03+00:00January 31st, 2018|

Canadians spending more on home improvement and travel

Canadian consumer spending increased by a small margin following two consecutive quarters of stagnant growth, according to the Quarterly Spending Report released by Moneris Solutions Corporation ("Moneris"), Canada's largest credit and debit card processor. Moneris' Quarterly Spending Report revealed that consumer spending rose 0.40 per cent relative to the same period last year. Spending climbed [...]

2018-01-31T20:08:56+00:00January 31st, 2018|

Boomers: how will you finance your ‘grey’ divorce?

With the number of grey divorces on the rise in Canada, many Boomers may not realize the cost of maintaining two homes can increase expenses by as much as $20-$30,000 per year. This can have a serious impact on finances during retirement. In fact, according to Statistics Canada 2011 census data, divorce among Baby Boomers [...]

2018-01-31T20:07:10+00:00January 31st, 2018|

The turkey has been carved, pies have been devoured and belts loosened. But what can you do with all the turkey leftovers?

Here are some great ideas to ensure that no morsel goes to waste! Tastes like thanksgiving casserole - This hearty, rich-tasting main dish is sure to be a hit with your family. It's a delicious way to use up Thanksgiving turkey, and you can substitute 5-1/2 cups leftover mashed potatoes for the 6 potatoes. —Mary [...]

2018-01-31T20:03:50+00:00January 31st, 2018|

List of Canada’s Top 100 Neighbourhoods to Invest for 2015 Officially Released

Alberta is now vying with Ontario for the best and, indeed, the largest number of real estate investment opportunities this country has to offer, according to the annual Top 100 Neighbourhoods report from Canadian Real Estate Wealth Magazine. "The sea-change in Canadian real estate is coming, if it's not, in fact, already here," says Canadian Real Estate Wealth [...]

2018-01-31T20:01:43+00:00January 31st, 2018|

Top 5 Picks for a greener household

In these heady days of innovation, we don't necessarily need to hire someone to do the dirty work of a home renovation. Some of the household upgrades may be easier than you think. Start by familiarizing yourself about the job at hand. There are many reliable self-help books and websites dedicated to giving you the [...]

2018-01-31T19:59:59+00:00January 31st, 2018|

Teach kids early about money responsibilities

Many of us agree that it takes decades, if not a lifetime of trial-and-error to master sound money management – so let's make it easier for our kids. November is Financial Literacy Month across the country and that presents an ideal opportunity for families to explore 'teachable moments.' “Attaining financial literacy is often one small step [...]

2018-01-31T19:58:57+00:00January 31st, 2018|

Five tips for quick and healthy school lunches

You're out of bread, can't find a water bottle and the school bus will arrive in four minutes. Is this a familiar scenario in your house? If making your child's lunch seems stressful, here are five tips to ensure their lunchbox is filled with healthy, quick options. Think about balance: Use a lunch container with divided [...]

2018-01-31T19:57:56+00:00January 31st, 2018|

CREA Updates Resale Housing Forecast

The Canadian Real Estate Association (CREA) has updated its forecast for home sales activity via the Multiple Listing Service® (MLS®) Systems of Canadian real estate Boards and Associations for 2014 and 2015. The deferral of sales and listings during an extraordinarily bleak winter delayed the start to the spring home buying season earlier this year. [...]

2018-01-31T19:57:02+00:00January 31st, 2018|

New tax relief will save small businesses more than half a billion dollars over two years

Minister of Finance Joe Oliver announced more action by the Harper Government to create jobs, growth and long-term prosperity: the introduction of the new Small Business Job Credit which is expected to save small businesses more than $550 million over the next two years. The Small Business Job Credit will effectively lower small businesses’ Employment [...]

2018-01-31T19:56:02+00:00January 31st, 2018|

Canadian economy can’t sustain growth without low interest rates and a weaker dollar: CIBC

Unexpected growth in consumer spending and residential construction have seen the Canadian economy outperform in 2014, but continued low interest rates and a cheaper loonie are necessary to sustain growth going forward, finds a new report from CIBC World Markets. The report notes that while Canada's economy will see better than three per cent growth [...]

2018-01-31T19:55:00+00:00January 31st, 2018|

Canadian employees will see average salary increases of 2.6 per cent in 2015 according to Hay Group’s survey of top employers

Canadian employees can expect to see average base salary increases of 2.6% in 2015, according to a national survey of over 400 Canadian public and private sector employers conducted by Hay Group in June and July. Participants include many of Canada's leading employers. The 2.6% projected increase is the same as that in 2014, and [...]

2018-01-31T19:51:06+00:00January 31st, 2018|

Department of Finance reports a $1.6-billion surplus in June 2014

Finance Minister Joe Oliver released The Fiscal Monitor for June 2014 last week. There was a budgetary surplus of $1.6 billion in June 2014, compared to a surplus of $0.2 billion in June 2013. Revenues increased by $0.9 billion, or 3.8 per cent, due mainly to higher revenues from non-resident income tax, excise taxes and duties, and Employment [...]

2018-01-31T19:50:09+00:00January 31st, 2018|

C.D. Howe Institute Monetary Policy Council Urges Bank of Canada to Hold Overnight Rate at 1.00 Percent for Next Six Months.

The C.D. Howe Institute's Monetary Policy Council (MPC) recommends that the Bank of Canada keep its target for the overnight rate, the very short-term interest rate it targets for monetary policy purposes, at 1.00 percent at its next announcement on September 3, 2014. Looking ahead, the Council called for the Bank to hold the target [...]

2018-01-31T19:49:12+00:00January 31st, 2018|

Tenant insurance offers peace of mind

Leaving home for the first time, going away to school and renting an off-campus apartment can make for an exciting yet stressful time for students and parents alike. As college and university students head to the classroom this fall, CAA Insurance Company (Ontario) is encouraging parents of post-secondary students to invest in tenant insurance. Whether your child [...]

2018-01-31T19:46:48+00:00January 31st, 2018|

Summer flooding in Prairies pegged at over $60 million in insured damage

Insurance Bureau of Canada (IBC) reports that the estimated insured damage caused by heavy rains and high winds across southern Saskatchewan and Manitoba in late June and July was just over $60 million, according to Property Claim Services (PCS). "The flooding, wind damage and transportation disruptions caused by these storms disrupted people's lives and businesses," [...]

2018-01-31T19:44:32+00:00January 31st, 2018|

Canadian home sales edge higher in July

Highlights: National home sales rose 0.8% from June to July. Actual (not seasonally adjusted) activity was 7.2% higher than July 2013 levels. The number of newly listed homes edged up 0.4% from June to July. The Canadian housing market remains in balanced territory. The MLS® Home Price Index (HPI) rose 5.3% year-over-year in July. The [...]

2018-01-31T19:43:09+00:00January 31st, 2018|

Soft Landing Still Likely for Canadian Condo Market

Population, economic and employment growth all point to a stabilizing of the Canadian condominium market, according to the latest Conference Board of Canada condo report commissioned by Genworth Canada. The Summer 2014 Metropolitan Condo Outlook forecasts that while pockets of higher risk still exist in Toronto and Vancouver, a broad-based downturn is unlikely. “The report findings align [...]

2018-01-31T19:41:55+00:00January 31st, 2018|

CMHC’s Survey of Condominium Owners in Toronto and Vancouver

Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC) released the results of its 2013 Condominium Owners Survey today showing that 82.9% of the condominium owning households surveyed reside in their unit and 17.1% are condominium investors. “As information on condominium investment is rather limited at this time, CMHC has gathered new data on a segment of domestic [...]

2018-02-09T20:20:41+00:00January 31st, 2018|

Industry intentions for large buildings and single family homes on the rise

According to the latest statistics from StatsCan, contractors took out building permits worth $8.0 billion in June, up 13.5% from May. The June increase was mainly due to higher construction intentions for institutional and industrial buildings in Quebec and commercial buildings in Alberta. OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA In the residential sector, the value of [...]

2018-02-09T20:22:46+00:00January 31st, 2018|

TORONTO COUPLE WINS $5000 FOR RENOS! ASK ME HOW!

VERICO Canada and VERICO Capital Mortgages Inc. are pleased to announce the June winners of the VERICO Purchase Plus Improvements Contest. Brad Nemes of VERICO Capital Mortgages along with Martin Marshall, Eastern Regional Sales Manager of VERICO Canada, presented a cheque to winners Marc Pepin and Rebecca Thompson of Toronto, ON. "When Brad called we [...]

2018-01-31T19:32:55+00:00January 31st, 2018|

Number of home sold edged up slightly in June

According to statistics released by The Canadian Real Estate Association (CREA), national home sales activity edged up almost one per cent on a month-over-month basis in June 2014. Highlights: - National home sales rose 0.8% from May to June. - Actual (not seasonally adjusted) activity stood 11.2% above June 2013 levels. - The number of [...]

2018-02-09T20:25:31+00:00January 31st, 2018|

Should you invest in an income property?

Owning a rental property can be a profitable investment - but it's not for everyone. It’s important to do the research needed to have a clear understanding of the steps in financing an income property and all the responsibilities that will come with an investment. I’ve provided some information below to help you get started. [...]

2018-01-31T19:29:37+00:00January 31st, 2018|

Are housing starts rebounding?

Consensus is looking for Canadian housing starts numbers for the month of June to come in near 190k, down from the strong 198.3k in May but still stronger than levels seen earlier this year when a mix of harsh weather and uncertainty weighed on overall levels of construction, driving housing starts to an annualized low [...]

2018-01-31T19:28:41+00:00January 31st, 2018|

Major Real Estate Boards Report June Results

The spring market unofficially ended last month and Canada’s three most followed housing markets finished off the spring selling season strongly. Sales volumes, prices and new listings each increased in June in all three cities. Low interest rates continue to fuel strong buyer demand. Vancouver Sales volumes were up in Vancouver by 29% in June, [...]

2018-01-31T19:27:55+00:00January 31st, 2018|

Canadians’ Confidence in the Housing Market Keeps on Surging

Most Canadians expect home prices to keep on surging in 2014, according to a survey conducted by Point2 Homes, one of Canada's largest real estate portals. Canadian respondents who anticipate an increase in residential property prices think prices will rise by an average of 8%. 73% of survey participants in Alberta are confident local prices will [...]

2018-01-31T19:26:52+00:00January 31st, 2018|

High Net Worth Canadians may have cash on hand, but some also have mortgages

A recent survey of high net worth Canadians, those with investable assets of $500,000 or more, reveals that for this group, having a mortgage may be a considered and deliberate investment strategy. Sixty-seven per cent of those who have a mortgage indicated they have the cash available to pay for their home in-full. "The notion [...]

2018-01-31T19:24:55+00:00January 31st, 2018|

Cook up some space in the kitchen

It's the central hub of the home where we do homework, pay bills, charge electronics, surf the web and cook up a meal or two. We spend hours in the kitchen so it's not surprising that a recent survey from the Research Institute for Cooking and Kitchen Intelligence (RICKI) found that four out of five [...]

2018-01-31T19:23:56+00:00January 31st, 2018|

CREA Updates Resale Housing Forecast

The Canadian Real Estate Association (CREA) has updated its forecast for home sales activity via the Multiple Listing Service® (MLS®) Systems of Canadian real estate Boards and Associations for 2014 and 2015. Extraordinarily bleak winter weather made for a slow start to 2014 national sales activity. As the first quarter ended, sales momentum heading into [...]

2018-01-31T19:22:46+00:00January 31st, 2018|

Make two company, not a crowd, in your master bath

They say: “don't marry the person you can live with, marry the person you can't live without.” But while you may be ready to share your life with someone, you may quickly realize you aren't willing to share everything, and some of your partner's habits you could definitely live without. So how can you achieve togetherness with [...]

2018-01-31T19:21:43+00:00January 31st, 2018|

Canadian home sales up in May

According to statistics released today by The Canadian Real Estate Association (CREA), national home sales activity posted a sizeable month-over-month increase in May 2014. The number of home sales processed through the MLS® Systems of Canadian real estate Boards and Associations rose 5.9 per cent from April to May 2014. This marks the largest month-over-month [...]

2018-01-31T19:20:14+00:00January 31st, 2018|

Four kitchen fixes for great compliments

No matter if you're an aspiring chef or TV dinner connoisseur, if the look of your kitchen makes you want to dine out it may be time for an upgrade. The kitchen should be the heart of your home where you entertain, hold family meetings and even pay bills. So why not take it from [...]

2018-01-31T19:18:30+00:00January 31st, 2018|

Five reasons why every Canadian woman should have her own will

Making a will is a sensible and worthwhile task that everybody, whatever their age or financial status, should do. However there are some special reasons why women should make a will of their own: • Women usually live longer than their husbands, so it's a good idea for each of you to have your own will. [...]

2018-01-31T19:17:25+00:00January 31st, 2018|

Canadian Mortgage Market Rests in Delicate Balance (Part 2)

Low interest rates stimulate home purchase, mortgage debt reduction, optimism Canadians are reducing their mortgages by negotiating lower interest rates, making lump sum pre-payments and repaying their mortgages at, on average, two-thirds of their contracted amortization periods. This has created an attractive landscape for new homeowners, as historically low interest rates have attracted increasing numbers [...]

2018-01-31T19:15:45+00:00January 31st, 2018|

Canadian Mortgage Market Rests in Delicate Balance (Part 1)

The Canadian mortgage market rests in a delicate balance: CAAMP Housing activity high in three major markets; while most of Canada experiences slowdown First time home buyers continue to enter the Canadian housing market in substantial numbers, encouraged by low interest rates and acting in response to their own favourable economic circumstances, according to the [...]

2018-01-31T19:12:48+00:00January 31st, 2018|

May 2014 Housing Starts in Canada

Housing starts in Canada were trending at 184,438 units in May compared to 183,872 in April, according to Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC). The trend is a six-month moving average of the monthly seasonally adjusted annual rates (SAAR)1 of housing starts. “In May, the trend in housing starts was virtually unchanged for the third consecutive [...]

2018-01-31T19:11:42+00:00January 31st, 2018|

YOUNG BC FAMILY WINS $5000 FROM VERICO TO RENOVATE PURCHASE INTO DREAM HOME!

VERICO Canada and VERICO Compass Mortgage Group are pleased to announce the first winners of the VERICO Purchase Plus Improvement Contest. Dean Larson and Aaron Marsh of VERICO Compass Mortgage along with Sean Widdess, Vice President of Business Development and Jared Dreyer, Vice President of Corporate Relations, VERICO Canada, presented a cheque to winners Ryan [...]

2018-01-31T19:10:42+00:00January 31st, 2018|

How to be a road warrior

For many of us, exercise isn't easy. So it's no surprise that when taken out of our regular routines it's one of the first things to fall to the wayside - along with that 'strict' diet you've been following, of course! Whether you're flying or driving, at a hotel with a gym or without, here [...]

2018-01-31T19:09:14+00:00January 31st, 2018|

Housing Starts on stable trend says CMHC

Housing starts in Canada were trending at 183,515 units in April compared to 184,602 in March, according to Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC). The trend is a six-month moving average of the monthly seasonally adjusted annual rates (SAAR) of housing starts. “In April, the trend in housing starts was essentially stable at 183,515 units. [...]

2018-01-31T19:08:00+00:00January 31st, 2018|

Join in the discussions about your Canada Pension Plan

Are you one of millions who wonder how your CPP contributions are invested? This is the year to find out. On June 9, 2014, the Canada Pension Plan Investment Board (CPPIB) is inviting Canadians to join their “electronic town hall”, an interactive webcast to hear about the organization's most recent financial performance, and pose any [...]

2018-01-31T19:07:12+00:00January 31st, 2018|

Ways to use the equity in your home

Once you’re a homeowner, the payoff can be great. When you make a mortgage payment each month, you build equity in a place of your own. As the equity in your home grows, your financial flexibility also increases. Think of it as an extra source of financing for when the unexpected happens. An added benefit [...]

2018-02-09T20:32:42+00:00January 31st, 2018|

Buy a home sooner to build equity

Buying a home can be very beneficial to your finances in the long-run. This is because a home allows you to build equity. When you make a mortgage payment each month, you build equity in a place of your own (unlike renting). Equity is the difference between the value of the home and your outstanding mortgage. The [...]

2018-01-31T19:03:30+00:00January 31st, 2018|

Canadians are locking into Fixed Rate Mortgages (Part 2)

New homeowners looking for greater predictability A recent poll conducted by Nielsen finds that Canadians are increasingly focused on moving to fixed-rate mortgages. The poll also revealed that younger Canadians are even more likely to choose a fixed rate mortgage, with 56% of Canadians aged 25-34 saying they would lock in to a fixed rate today; the number has [...]

2018-01-31T19:02:00+00:00January 31st, 2018|

Canadians are locking into Fixed Rate Mortgages (Part 1)

A recent poll conducted by Nielsen finds that nearly half of Canadians don't think low rates will last forever and expect mortgage rates to be higher a year from now. The poll also shows that Canadians are increasingly focused on moving to fixed-rate mortgages. According to the Consumer Insights survey, many Canadians still prefer fixed mortgage [...]

2018-01-31T19:00:23+00:00January 31st, 2018|
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