So you've decided to jump head first into purchasing a home. Congratulations! It's time to take the first step in your home buying journey - getting a mortgage pre-approval to find out how much house you can actually afford.

You may be tempted to run to your bank and start the mortgage application process but there is another way that has some major advantages. Working with a Mortgage Broker is a great alternative and here are my top reasons why.

  • Mortgage brokers compare loans and rates from multiple lenders to offer you a greater selection whereas a traditional bank can only offer you their mortgage products.
  • Mortgage brokers (like Realtors) have your undivided loyalty and work in your best interest.
  • They may be able to offer you a discounted…

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With spring finally on the horizon, our minds turn to purging and cleaning. If you find yourself moving house or looking to get rid of some things this year, please consider the options below.
Edmonton Reuse Centre One of my favourite places to donate bits and bobs from around your house! It's free to shop at the REUSE Centre and they are committed to keep useful items out of the landfill and give them a second life. If you have children, this is a craft supply paradise. SPCA Donate your clean linens. The SPCA accepts towels, flat sheets and blankets (without stuffing). You can find additional items in demand on their website. Find This is a not for profit collecting furniture and household items to help Edmontonian's transition…

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The market is hot, house prices are increasing and so is the interest rate. There are higher barriers to entry for a first time home buyer than there were last year. If you're having trouble qualifying for a mortgage, a co-signer might be the answer. Here are a few things you need to know.

What is a co-signer? A co-signer is a person who is taking responsibility, along with the primary borrower, to ensure the mortgage is paid. The co-signer acts almost like insurance to the lender that if the primary borrower does not follow through on payments, the co-signer is held legally responsible for ensuring the payments are made. 

When is a co-signer required? A co-signer is required if the primary borrower has uncertain income, is self-employed, or at a…

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Imagine it. You've found the home you've been searching for. It's got all the features you need and it's in the perfect location. You ask your Realtor to write up a purchase contract only to find out the seller has accepted another offer. Oooff, now what?

One option is to submit a backup offer. If the seller agrees to the terms, then a clause will be written that yours will take immediate effect if the first (or second or third) purchaser in line does not meet their condition deadline.

This allows you to continue searching for another property while the first buyer on the first property tries to satisfy their conditions.

Exercise caution if you plan to write an offer on another property. Be sure you're protecting yourself from inadvertently buying two…

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What exactly is a seller's market? It is simply when the number of available properties for sale is drastically lower than the number of buyers looking for a home. As you can imagine, this situation can lead to buyers fighting over one particular property and ultimately driving up the prices.

Like me, you may be wondering what is causing the seller's market this spring. Below are some of my musings and it mostly has to do with more buyer's in the market!

  • The spring in general always brings out more buyers
  • You may remember putting off your fence or deck project last summer due to the seemingly insane price of lumber at your local building centre. Builders were also feeling the squeeze and the number of new housing starts last spring reduced…

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Using Your RRSPs to Purchase a Home

When looking at purchasing or building a home, the biggest worry for buyer's is where to find the money for a down payment. A 20% down payment of the purchase price of the home is typically required. If 20% is not feasible, a 5% option is available. At 5%, you are required to have mortgage insurance through CMHC in order to qualify.

Regardless of the down payment percentage, the Government of Canada allows home buyers to use their RRSPs to purchase a home. There is no penalty for making this withdrawal. This government program is called Home Buyer’s Plan (HBP).

Before you make a withdrawal, the following conditions must be met:

1) You must be a resident of Canada.
2) The maximum amount for withdrawal is…

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