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Shawna and her staff would always update on what was happening and what I needed to have

posted by The Mortgage Associates    |   November 24, 2014 08:18

Shawna MacDonald"As a first time home buyer I had no idea about the whole process. I was recommended to go to Shawna from my sister and I am so glad I did! Shawna and her staff were there to answer any question that I had and they would always be updating me on what was happening and what I needed to have. They made the extra effort to always contact me only when I could be reached and the whole process went smoothly! Thank you so much Shawna for everything and I will be sure to pass your name on!"

Mark Romanowski, November 2014






All the single ladies ... are driving Canada's condo market

posted by The Mortgage Associates    |   November 21, 2014 08:51

All the single ladies ... are driving Canada's condo market

Article by Bertrand Marotte, The Globe and Mail, November 20, 2014

"The one-person household is the fastest-growing category in Canada’s housing market as the population ages and more people opt to live alone.

One-person “households are expected to show the fastest pace of growth to 2036, making it the single biggest type of household by the 2020s,” according to Canada Mortgage and Housing Corp. statistics for 2013.

And home ownership by one-person households is also on the rise as seniors become wealthier and young people delaying marriage flock to budget-priced, one-bedroom condominiums.

Women are overrepresented in the singles condo market, according to CMHC."

To read the full article, please click here.

Housing Bubble Begone

posted by The Mortgage Associates    |   November 20, 2014 09:33

The Danger of Low-Rate Tunnel Vision

posted by The Mortgage Associates    |   November 18, 2014 11:14

The Danger of Low-Rate Tunnel Vision

Article by Robert Mclister, canadianmortgagetrends.com

"Mortgage advisors know that a great rate and a great mortgage are not synonymous. Regular interest expense is only one component of total borrowing cost.

But how do you convince consumers of this when rates are the only thing they can easily compare? How do you convey that avoiding potential costs (like high mortgage penalties, refinance restrictions, etc.) often justifies paying more up front?"

To read the full article, please click here.

Shawna really makes you feel like you are an important client and not just a number.

posted by The Mortgage Associates    |   November 17, 2014 08:11

Shawna MacDonald"Our mortgage was recently coming up for renewal and there was no question in our mind to call Shawna and use her services again.  She did a really great job getting us the lowest rate possible the first time and was always very personable.  She really makes you feel like you are an important client and not just a number.  We don't even live in Saskatchewan but with the use of phone, fax and email, everything was able to be completed very quickly and efficiently.  We will be using her again in the future and would highly recommend her."

Beth Denbow, November 2014





BMO's Doug Porter: Ten reasons to cheer Canada's economy

posted by The Mortgage Associates    |   November 14, 2014 13:02

BMO's Doug Porter:  Ten reasons to cheer Canada's economy

Article by Michael Babad, The Globe and Mail, November 14, 2014

"Mr. Porter cites 10 reasons to “appreciate” the current economic climate:

1. At 6.5 per cent, the jobless rate is at its lowest level in 40 years, but for a “three-year slice of Nirvana” from late 2005 to when the recession whacked the country and the commodity boom was ending.

2. Consumers have “barely blinked.” Note that car and truck sales are “easily on track” to best last year’s record.

3. The housing market is “unstoppable.” In Toronto, Vancouver and Calgary, anyway. But “that doesn’t detract from the broader picture that housing has surprised – yet again – to the upside this year.” Canadian home prices should rise 5 per cent this year.

4. Okay, household debt is at about record levels, but so is net worth when measured against disposable income, or $5.40 in assets for each $1 of debt.

5. The federal government is on track to slay the deficit. Many of the provinces, not so much."

To read the full article, please click here.

Can this couple save for a wedding, repay debt, plan a family & retire?

posted by The Mortgage Associates    |   November 13, 2014 09:08

Can this couple save for a wedding, repay debt, plan a family and retire?

Article by Dianne Maley, Special to the Globe and Mail, November 3, 2014

"As their wedding date approaches, Ruth and Cameron are looking for a financial road map to guide them through the various stages of their lives, from paying off debts to raising a family to long-term financial security.

At least Ruth is. Cameron seems a bit of a spendthrift.

Ruth is 30, Cameron 33. Both have good jobs, bringing in $260,000 a year including bonuses. They have a home in Toronto and a rental property, both with substantial mortgages. As well, Cameron has $27,000 in consumer debts.

“We’re trying to save for a wedding, a hypothetical maternity leave and pay off my boyfriend’s consumer debt – all while saving for retirement,” Ruth writes in an e-mail. “I’m worried that we’re not paying down his debt aggressively enough, yet he wants a lavish wedding,” she adds. “Obviously, we’re not seeing eye to eye when it comes to household finances.”

Longer term, they want to upgrade their house and eventually move to a larger one.

“Please help us create a strategy to balance short-term financial commitments, pay off consumer debt and plan for both a family and an early retirement,” Ruth writes.

We asked Ngoc Day, a financial planner at Macdonald Shymko & Co. Ltd. in Vancouver, to look at Ruth and Cameron’s situation.

What the expert says

Ruth and Cameron need to make paying off debt a priority, Ms. Day says. They should also take full advantage of the tax savings offered by their registered retirement savings plans.

Cameron could consider selling his $2,100 in stock and liquidating his $6,000 tax-free savings account to pay off his $8,000 credit card balance, the planner says. They are putting aside $500 a month for their wedding, so they will have saved $6,000 by next September. That, plus Ruth’s TFSA, will give them $11,700 for the wedding, short of their target.

They should scrutinize their wedding budget to find ways to reduce expenses, Ms. Day says, so they don’t allow the wedding expenses to create additional debts.

Any extra cash flow (beyond RRSP contributions, wedding savings, emergency funds and home renovations) should be directed immediately to paying down Cameron’s personal loan, the planner says. She suggests they transfer $2,000 a month directly from their chequing account to the personal loan each month. As well, the car loan will be paid off in January, at which point the car payment of $597 a month should be redirected to the personal loan. This approach forces discipline to pay off their consumer debts."

To read the full article, please click here.

3 simple things that can destroy your credit score

posted by The Mortgage Associates    |   November 12, 2014 08:31

3 simple things that can destroy your credit score

Article by Gail Johnson, October 7, 2014

"As a small-business owner who happens to travel the globe, Trish Sare is always looking for deals. The founder of BikeHike Adventures, a Vancouver-based tour company for the physically active, she’s the first to admit she used to be a sucker for all the promos and bonuses offered by credit card companies to get people to sign up.

“I used to apply for credit cards that offered deals all the time,” Sare says. “I never had any intention of using the card; I just wanted the deal. Then I found out that doing that wasn’t good for my credit score.”

To read the full article, please click here.

Six renovations that don't add value to your home

posted by The Mortgage Associates    |   November 10, 2014 09:19

Six renovations that don't add value to your home

Article by The Globe and Mail, August 5, 2014

"Every homeowner must pay for routine home maintenance, such as replacing worn-out plumbing components or staining the deck, but some choose to make improvements with the intention of increasing the home's value. Certain projects, such as adding a well thought-out family room - or other functional space - can be a wise investment, as they do add to the value of the home. Other projects, however, allow little opportunity to recover the costs when it's time to sell.

Even though the current homeowner may greatly appreciate the improvement, a buyer could be unimpressed and unwilling to factor the upgrade into the purchase price. Homeowners, therefore, need to be careful with how they choose to spend their money if they are expecting the investment to pay off. Here are six things you think add value to your home, but really don't."

To read the full article, please click here.

Homeowners have plenty of choice in Saskatoon

posted by The Mortgage Associates    |   November 7, 2014 08:36

Homeowners have plenty of choice in city

Article by the StarPhoenix, November 6, 2014

"There are more than 1,500 homes currently for sale in Saskatoon and area, up 15 per cent from the same period last year."

Click here to read the full article.