When you decide to sell a condo, one of the best investments you can make is to stage it. A recent survey found that staged homes sell 2-3 times faster than non-staged homes, and for an average of 6% more1. Since potential buyers typically see your condo for the first time on MLS, you’ll want to make a picture-perfect impression that will have them begging for a viewing. You don’t need to hire a professional stager to make this happen, but you should be prepared to put in a little elbow grease – and a few dollars – to help your condo sell. Continue reading
This morning, the Bank of Canada (BoC) announced that the overnight lending rate will continue to sit at 1.00 per cent – a position its held since September 2010. The announcement aligned with reports by Reuters, where none of the 30 economists they polled last month expected to see an interest rate hike today.
What’s interesting, however, is how predictions for an imminent interest rate hike have changed over the past 12 months. In March of last year, we found that financial analysts and economists were predicting an increase would occur sometime between late-2013 and mid-2014. Today, the median forecast in the same Reuters poll mentioned above shows that an expected hike of 25 basis points – to 1.25 per cent – will occur between July and September 2015. Continue reading
The Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC) dominated mortgage news this month, with notable inclusions in the 2014 Federal Budget, as well as an announcement that it will raise its mortgage insurance premiums effective May 1st, 2014. Otherwise, mortgage rate drops made headlines early in the month, but have since remained steady around the 3.00% mark. Continue reading
Effective May 1, 2014, the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC) will increase its mortgage default insurance premiums. The news was released this morning, following the annual review of CMHC’s insurance products and capital requirements, and the increases to premiums are a direct reflection of CMHC’s increased capital targets.
Mortgage default insurance, which is mandatory in Canada for all high-ratio mortgages – those with down payments of between 5 and 19.99% – protects lenders, should borrowers ever default on their mortgage loans. The premium is a small percentage of your mortgage amount, which is then added back to your mortgage and paid off over the life of the loan.
This video explains how CMHC insurance is calculated: Continue reading
When you start the house hunting process, most homebuyers take a list of “needs” and “wants” to their realtors. Your needs may include things like the number of bedrooms, number of bathrooms, completed upgrades (so you don’t have to do any renovations), the size of the property, etc. And your wants list is likely comprised of aesthetics or conveniences, such as newer appliances, a mudroom or property entryway, closet space and more.
If you’re a young and/or growing family, one thing that’s sure to be at the top of your needs list is the home’s proximity to good schools in your city. Scholarhood is a new website that helps buyers find homes close to the best schools in Toronto. Here’s how it works: Continue reading