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Our Five Favourite Posts from 2013

Flickr: conversely

As you probably gathered from Alyssa’s post last week, 2013 was another big year for – especially on the content side of things. On top of producing new education centres – including one for investment property mortgages, as well as the alternative mortgages section – the content on our blog took a turn for the better. This year, we partnered up with new freelancers, mortgage brokers and real estate professionals, to produce more insightful content than ever before.

Today, we rounded up a handful of our favourite posts from the past year. In case you missed any of them, read our favourites over the holidays – then we’ll be back at it next week. Enjoy!

#5: How to Afford a House When Housing Becomes Less Affordable

Last year, a number of potential buyers were pushed out of the housing market, as a result of the new mortgage rules that were put in place. This year, many continued to sit tight, as fixed mortgage rates began to climb. At a time when purchasing a home seems unattainable to so many Canadians, we decided to look at how unaffordable the housing market actually was. Fortunately, the situation isn’t as dire as you might think. Here are a few things all buyers should consider, before taking the plunge into homeownership in 2014.

#4: Getting a Self-Employed Mortgage Isn’t Easy

While 2012 saw mortgage rule changes that would affect full-time employed mortgage applicants, 2013 saw some changes that would have a serious affect on the ability for self-employed individuals to get mortgages. Our friend Jake Abramowicz, a mortgage agent with Mortgage Edge in Toronto, wrote this guest post to outline the application requirements for self-employed Canadians. The first two things you should know: it all depends on the size of your down payment and the reasonability of your income. If you’re one of the 16% of Canadians who are self-employed, keep reading.

#3: 2013 Mortgages: A Canadian Market Overview [Infographic]

Our first infographic of the year was a compilation of results from Canada’s two authorities on mortgage reports: the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC) and the Canadian Association of Accredited Mortgage Professionals (CAAMP). In the spring, we pulled data CMHC’s 2013 Mortgage Consumer Survey and CAAMP’s Change in the Canadian Mortgage Market, and drew up the good, the bad and the downright ugly things happening in Canada’s mortgage market. Some of the numbers were awesome, and some were downright scary…

#2: What if My Co-Purchaser and I Don’t Both Qualify as First-Time Homebuyers?

Have you ever wondered what would happen if you wanted to buy a home with someone but only one of you was a first-time homebuyer? At first, you might think that’s not a big deal – but there are credits and rebate programs up for grabs that you might not be able to take advantage of, if you find yourself in this situation. Alyssa and her boyfriend inspired this post, because she’s a first-time homebuyer but he is not – and we knew that what they discovered about purchasing a home together in Toronto had to be shared! (Don’t worry, we looked at all the other provinces too.)

#1: Savers & Spenders: 2013 Mortgage Stats [Infographic]

Finally, we kept with a tradition we started last year, and created an infographic with stats pulled from CAAMP’s Annual State of the Residential Mortgage Market. This year, however, we decided to organize it by doing an analysis of the saving and spending habits of Canadian homebuyers and homeowners. For example, Canadians saved $2.623 billion on home purchases with mortgage rate discounts, but spent a whopping $59 billion by accessing home equity! Click over to see the infographic in its entirety.

*BONUS: Looking Back at 2013

Last week, Alyssa shared the milestones and changes we experienced as a team this year, as well as some of her reflections on how far the company has come. From changes to the site, to the press coverage, the workshops and the team updates, it was a busy 12 months. And it’s hard to believe that just four years ago, she was sitting at her kitchen table, getting the site up and running! If you missed her post last week, make sure you read it now.