Closing Costs – The Real Numbers You Need to Budget For.

General Leanne Mollica 23 Jul

Buying a home is one of the most exciting ventures in life! To ensure it goes smoothly, you need to have a proper budget in place to protect your financial security and help you make the best decision for your future location. However, the cost of the home is not the only cost that you need to budget for! The temptation will always be to start looking at the very top of your budget but fees, such as mandatory closing costs, can easily put you over the top. Knowing the real numbers will make it that much easier to stay within your budget and maintain your financial comfort.

Closing costs are a one-time fee associated with the sale of a home and are separate from the mortgage insurance and down payment. Typically, these costs range from 1.5-4% of the purchase price, depending on your location. This means, for an $800,000 home, you would be looking to budget around $22,000 on average.

Here are a few closing costs to keep an eye out for:

  • Land Transfer Tax: This is calculated as a percentage of the purchase price of your home, with the amount varying in each province. Some cities, such as Toronto, also have a municipal LTT.
  • Legal Fees and Disbursements: You can expect to incur a minimum of $500 (plus GST/HST) on legal fees for the preparation and recording of official documents around your purchase.
  • Title Insurance: Most lenders require title insurance to protect against losses in the event of a property ownership dispute. This is purchased through your lawyer/notary and is typically $300 or more.
  • PST on CMHC Insurance: Though CMHC insurance itself is financed through the mortgage, PST on the insurance is typically paid at the lawyers and sometimes deducted from your advance.
  • Home Inspection Fee: A home inspection is highly recommended as a condition of your Offer to Purchase to prevent any future surprises. This can cost around $500.
  • Appraisal Fee: An appraisal is performed to certify the lender of the resale value of the home in the case you default on the mortgage. The cost is usually $400 – $600 but is typically covered by the lender.
  • Property Insurance: Property insurance covers the cost of replacing your home and its contents, and must be in place on closing day. This is paid in monthly or annual premiums.
  • Prepaid Utility Bills: You may need to reimburse the previous owner of your property for prepaid costs such as property taxes, utilities, and so forth.
  • Property Taxes: Property taxes are due on an annual basis and are calculated as a percentage of the home value and vary by municipality. You also may need to reimburse the previous property owner if he/she has already paid property taxes for the full year.

Knowledge is power and understanding the hidden costs associated with purchasing a home can help you create a realistic budget and ensure you remain within your financial means. Contact a DLC Mortgage Expert if you have any questions about your current purchase process or if you are looking to buy a new home now or in the future!

DLC Marketing Team

Affording That Home Renovation.

General Leanne Mollica 15 Jul

Is your home in desperate need of an upgrade? Are you dying to renovate your bathroom, kitchen, or other space but not sure how to fund this renovation project? Did you find a home you’d like to buy but it needs work?

We’ve got good news! When it comes to covering the costs of renovating, there are some options available to you outside of some good ole savings!

Mortgage Refinancing

One option for funding a renovation could be through mortgage refinancing. Keep in mind, you’ll want to do this at the end of the mortgage term to avoid breaking your mortgage and owing penalties. Some mortgage products may allow you to refinance outside of that, but you will want to check with your mortgage professional. This is best suited to larger-scale renovations or remodels.

  • Refinancing will allow you to borrow up to 80% of your home’s appraised value (less any outstanding mortgage balance).
  • Refinancing your mortgage (if approved) will allow you to access funds immediately and tends to have lower interest rates than a standard credit card or personal loan.

Purchase Plus Improvements (PPI) Mortgage

If you haven’t yet bought that home, financing your renovation at the time of purchase with a purchase plus improvements mortgage can save you some hassle down the line. This type of mortgage is available to assist buyers with making simple upgrades, not conducting a major renovation where structural modifications are made.

  • Simple renovations include paint, flooring, windows, a hot-water tank, a new furnace, kitchen updates, bathroom updates, a new roof, basement finishing, and more.
  • Depending on whether you have a conventional or high-ratio mortgage, if it is insured or uninsurable, and which insurer you use, the Purchase Plus Improvements (PPI) product can allow you to borrow between 10% and 20% of the initial property value for renovations.

Financing Improvements Upon Purchase

Similarly to the PPI mortgage solution above, there is another option allowing you to finance your renovation project at the time of a new purchase by adding the estimated costs to your

mortgage with CMHC Mortgage Loan Insurance.

  • You can obtain financing with only 5% down payment for both the purchase of your home and the renovations for up to 95% of the value after renovations!
  • There are no additional fees or premiums and you can earn added rebates for energy-saving renos.

Line of Credit or Home Equity Loans

Lastly, you always have the option of utilizing a secured line of credit or home equity loan to pay for your renovation.

  • Securing your renovation loan against the equity in your home can typically be up to 80% of the property value; accessible at any time. This will typically provide lower interest than non-secured financing and allows you to access funds at any time.

If you’re looking at doing a small or large renovation this year, make sure to reach out to your DLC Mortgage Expert before you start to ensure you’re making your money and mortgage work for you!

 

DLC Marketing Team

Going From a Variable Rate to a Fixed Rate Mortgage.

General Leanne Mollica 5 Jul

With the anticipation of rates going down, some homeowners may be considering switching from a variable-rate mortgage to a fixed-rate mortgage to lock in their next term.

Switching from a variable-rate mortgage to a fixed-rate mortgage can offer stability in your monthly payments, protecting you from potential interest rate hikes, along with some other benefits:

  • Stability in Payments: As mentioned, with a fixed-rate mortgage, your monthly payments remain consistent throughout the life of the loan, providing predictability and making budgeting easier. This stability protects you from potential fluctuations in interest rates that could otherwise increase your payments with a variable-rate mortgage.
  • Protection Against Interest Rate Increases: One of the main reasons to switch to a fixed-rate mortgage is to ensure you are protected from rising interest rates in the market. If interest rates rise, your mortgage rate and monthly payments remain unaffected, providing financial security and peace of mind.
  • Long-Term Planning: Fixed-rate mortgages are ideal for long-term planning and financial stability. You can accurately forecast your housing expenses over the entire loan term, making it easier to manage your overall budget and financial goals.
  • Risk Management: By locking in a fixed interest rate, you mitigate the risk of future interest rate hikes, which could significantly increase your borrowing costs with a variable-rate mortgage. This risk management strategy can provide financial protection and reduce uncertainty.
  • Potential Savings: In certain economic environments, fixed-rate mortgages may offer lower interest rates compared to variable-rate mortgages. By refinancing to a fixed-rate loan when rates are favorable, you could potentially secure a lower overall interest rate and save money over the life of the loan.
  • Easier Financial Planning: Fixed-rate mortgages simplify financial planning by eliminating the need to anticipate and adapt to changes in interest rates. You can confidently plan for other financial goals and expenditures without the uncertainty of fluctuating mortgage payments.

Overall, transitioning from a variable rate to a fixed rate mortgage offers stability, protection, and peace of mind, making it a favorable option for many homeowners, particularly those seeking long-term financial security.

DLC Marketing Team

Weaker-than-expected Canadian Q1’24 GDP Growth Increases Odds of a Rate Cut Next Week..

General Leanne Mollica 3 Jun

odds of a rate cut next week rise with disappointed canadian gdp growth

The likelihood of a rate cut next week has increased due to disappointing Canadian GDP growth. Real gross domestic product (GDP) only rose by 1.7% (seasonally adjusted annual rate) in the first quarter of this year, which is well below the expected 2.2% and the Bank of Canada’s forecast of 2.8%. Fourth-quarter economic growth was revised to just 0.1% from 1.0%. These figures have led traders to increase their bets on a Bank of Canada rate cut when they meet again next week.

In the first quarter of 2024, higher household spending on services—primarily telecom services, rent, and air transport—was the top contributor to the increase in GDP, while slower inventory accumulation moderated overall growth. Household spending on goods increased modestly, with higher expenditures on new trucks, vans and sport utility vehicles.

On a per capita basis, household final consumption expenditures rose moderately in the first quarter, following three quarters of declines. Per capita spending on services increased, while per capita spending on goods fell for the 10th consecutive quarter.

Business capital investment rose in the first quarter, driven by increased spending on engineering structures, primarily within the oil and gas sector. Business investment in machinery and equipment also increased, coinciding with increased imports of industrial machinery, equipment and parts.

Resale activity picked up in Q1, driving the rise in housing investment, while new construction was flat. Ontario, British Columbia and Quebec posted the most significant volume increases in resales, while prices in these provinces fell in the first quarter.

New housing construction (+0.1%) was little changed in the first quarter, as work put in place decreased for all dwelling types except double houses. Costs related to new construction, such as taxes and closing fees upon change in ownership, increased in the quarter and were mainly attributable to newly absorbed apartment units in Ontario.

The household savings rate reached 7.0% in the first quarter, the highest rate since the first quarter of 2022, as gains in disposable income outweighed increases in nominal consumption expenditure. Income gains were derived mainly from wages and net investment income.

Investment income grew strongly in the first quarter of 2024 due to widespread gains from interest-bearing instruments and dividends. Higher-income households benefit more from interest rate increases through property income received.

Household property income payments, comprised of mortgage and non-mortgage interest expenses, posted the lowest increases since the first quarter of 2022, when the Bank of Canada’s policy rate increases began.

Bottom Line
This is the last major economic release before the Bank of Canada meets again on June 5. Traders in overnight markets put the odds of a rate cut at next week’s meeting at about 75%, up from 66% the day before. Bonds rallied, and the yield on the Canadian government two-year note fell sharply, reflecting this change in sentiment.

The Bank of Canada has good reason to cut the overnight policy rate next week. Core inflation measures have decelerated sharply in recent months, and the economy is growing at a much slower pace than the central bank expected. The Bank has been very cautious, and there remains the possibility that they will wait another month before pulling the trigger on rate cuts, but at this point, we see no reason to delay any further.

Please Note: The source of this article is from SherryCooper.com/category/articles/

Canadian Home Buyers Remain On the Sidelines In April As New Listings Surge.

General Leanne Mollica 22 May

homebuyers cautious as new listings surge in april

The Canadian Real Estate Association (CREA) announced today that national home sales dipped in April 2024 from its prior month, as the number of properties available for sale rose sharply to kick off the spring housing market.

Home sales activity recorded over Canadian MLS® Systems fell 1.7% between March and April 2024, a little below the average of the last ten years.

New Listings

The number of newly listed properties rose 2.8% month-over-month.

Slower sales amid more new listings resulted in a 6.5% jump in the overall number of properties on the market, reaching its highest level just before the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic. It was also one of the largest month-over-month gains, second only to those seen during the sharp market slowdown of early 2022.

“April 2023 was characterized by a surge of buyers re-entering a market with new listings at 20-year lows, whereas this spring thus far has been the opposite, with a healthier number of properties to choose from but less enthusiasm on the demand side,” said Shaun Cathcart, CREA’s Senior Economist.

 

Bottom Line

With sales down and new listings up in April, the national sales-to-new listings ratio eased to 53.4%. The long-term average for the national sales-to-new listings ratio is 55%. A sales-to-new listings ratio between 45% and 65% is generally consistent with balanced housing market conditions, with readings above and below this range indicating sellers’ and buyers’ markets, respectively.

There were 4.2 months of inventory on a national basis at the end of April 2024, up from 3.9 months at the end of March and the highest level since the onset of the pandemic. The long-term average is about five months of inventory.

“After a long hibernation, the spring market is now officially underway. The increase in listings is resulting in the most balanced market conditions we’ve seen at the national level since before the pandemic,” said James Mabey, newly appointed Chair of CREA’s 2024-2025 Board of Directors. “Mortgage rates are still high, and it remains difficult for many people to break into the market, but for those who can, it’s the first spring market in some time where they can shop around, take their time and exercise some bargaining power. Given how much demand is out there, it’s hard to say how long it will last.

The upcoming CPI data for April, released on May 21, will be crucial for the Bank of Canada. Given the strength in the April jobs report, the Bank is likely to hold off cutting interest rates until July.

Please Note: The source of this article is from SherryCooper.com/category/articles/

April’s Strong Job Gains Likely Postpone Rate Cuts Until July.

General Leanne Mollica 10 May

Today’s StatsCanada Labour Force Survey for April blindsided economists by coming in much more robust than expected. Employment in Canada rose a whopping 90,400 in April, the most in 15 months, following a decline in March, surpassing forecasts by a large margin. Substantial job gains were posted in both full-time and part-time work.

After four months of little change, private sector jobs finally took the lead in April. Employment gains were widespread across various industries within the services-producing sector, particularly in professional, scientific and technical services (+26,000; +1.3%), accommodation and food services (+24,000; +2.2%), health care and social assistance (+17,000; +0.6%) and natural resources (+7,700; +2.3%). However, there were declines in the goods-producing sector, notably utilities (-5,000; -3.1%).

Across Canadian provinces, employment increased in Ontario (+25,000; +0.3%), British Columbia (+23,000; +0.8%), Quebec (+19,000 +0.4%) and New Brunswick (+7,800; +2.0%).

Despite the surge in net new jobs, the unemployment rate remained steady at 6.1%. The jobless rate in April was up 1.0 percentage points from a year ago.

Average hourly wages among employees rose 4.7% in April, down meaningfully from the 5.1% pace in March. This is good news for the Bank of Canada and keeps the door open to rate cuts, probably in July. The overall strength of today’s report gives the Bank breathing room to postpone the next rate cut from June to July.

 

Bottom Line

The central bank meets again on June 5. The April CPI report will be released on May 21. This is by far the most important economic report for the Bank. They will look at the three-month trend in the core inflation measures. These figures have already fallen sharply, but given the strength in the jobs report, the central bank will likely wait another month before they begin cutting interest rates.

Please Note: The source of this article is from SherryCooper.com/category/articles/

5 Ways to Turn Your Home into a Staycation Paradise.

General Leanne Mollica 9 May

Summer is coming up fast! These 5 tips will help you turn your home into the perfect staycation paradise so that you can fully enjoy the coming months:

  1. Expand Your Outdoor Entertaining Area: Take your outdoor space to the next level by adding amenities for entertaining. Consider installing an outdoor kitchen or bar area complete with a grill, refrigerator, and seating area. Adding a pergola or canopy can provide shade and shelter, while outdoor speakers and a fire pit create ambiance for evening gatherings under the stars.
  2. Incorporate Relaxation Zones: Create multiple relaxation zones throughout your home to cater to different activities and moods. Designate a cozy corner with plush seating and soft lighting for reading or meditation. Set up a hammock or hanging chair in the backyard for afternoon naps or stargazing. Incorporate a spa-like bathroom retreat with a luxurious bathtub, candles, and soothing music for a pampering escape.
  3. Embrace Indoor-Outdoor Living: Maximize the connection between your indoor and outdoor spaces to blur the boundaries and create a seamless flow. Install sliding glass doors or folding patio doors to open up your living areas to the backyard, allowing for easy access and natural ventilation. Arrange indoor furniture to face outdoor views and encourage indoor-outdoor socializing.
  4. Infuse Tropical Vibes: Bring the vacation vibes home by incorporating tropical elements into your decor. Add pops of vibrant colors, tropical patterns, and lush greenery throughout your home. Hang palm leaf or bamboo curtains, display tropical fruits in bowls, and accessorize with seashells and driftwood for a breezy, island-inspired ambiance.
  5. Curate Outdoor Activities: Make the most of your outdoor space by curating a variety of activities to enjoy during your staycation. Set up a mini-golf course, bean bag toss, or giant Jenga for backyard games. Create a movie night under the stars with a projector and outdoor screen. Arrange a DIY spa day with facials, massages, and foot baths for a rejuvenating retreat at home.

 

By incorporating these additional ideas, you can transform your home into a staycation paradise that offers relaxation, entertainment, and rejuvenation all summer long.

 

DLC Marketing Team

Your Salmon Arm Mortgage Broker

Yard Appeal Ideas for The Biggest ROI

General Leanne Mollica 24 Apr

Summer is the time to get outside and enjoy your yard. To help you make the most of your space, I have broken down some of the top yard appeal ideas with the biggest ROI giving you the most bang for your buck and increasing your home’s equity and curb appeal at the same time!

  • Embrace Sustainable Landscaping: Incorporating native plants, drought-resistant foliage, and xeriscaping techniques not only reduces water consumption but also creates an eco-friendly landscape. Consider installing a rain garden or a drip irrigation system to conserve water and enhance the natural beauty of your yard.
  • Install Outdoor Structures: Adding functional outdoor structures like pergolas, arbors, or gazebos can provide shade, define spaces, and add architectural interest to your yard. These structures can serve as focal points and create inviting outdoor living areas for entertaining or relaxation.
  • Upgrade Your Lawn: A lush, well-maintained lawn instantly elevates the appearance of your yard. Invest in professional lawn care services, aerate and overseed to fill in bare patches, and regularly fertilize and water your lawn to keep it healthy and green. Consider alternatives like artificial turf for low-maintenance options.
  • Incorporate Water Features: Incorporating a water feature such as a fountain, pond, or waterfall adds visual interest, tranquility, and a sense of luxury to your yard. The soothing sound of running water can create a serene ambiance and attract wildlife, enhancing the overall appeal of your outdoor space.
  • Enhance Privacy: Increase the comfort and enjoyment of your yard by enhancing privacy with strategic landscaping, fencing, or screening options. Planting tall hedges, installing lattice panels, or adding trellises with climbing plants can create secluded areas and block unsightly views while adding beauty and greenery to your yard.

By implementing these additional ideas alongside the ones you’ve already outlined, you can transform your yard into a welcoming oasis that not only enhances your enjoyment but also offers a significant return on investment.

DLC Marketing Team

Canadian Federal Budget 2024: Higher Deficits, Higher Government Spending, And Higher Taxes for the Wealthy.

General Leanne Mollica 17 Apr

federal budget targets rich canadians for new spending

The budget focuses on helping Millennial and Gen Z voters experiencing rising housing costs and other inflationary pressures. The government has set fiscal anchors, such as keeping the deficit below 1% of GDP starting in 2027.

The Canadian federal government released its 2023 budget over a year ago, promising to conduct a strategic spending review to find $15.4 billion in savings. The savings were supposed to achieve fiscal credibility by offsetting the $43 billion in new government spending. However, nearly a year after its announcement, the spending review found only $9 billion in savings, while the government piles on new spending measures in this year’s budget.

The fiscal path is mostly the same as in the 2023 Fall Economic Statement, but only after revenue gains from a resilient economy and further tax increases triggered even bigger spending initiatives.

Government spending is expected to be $480 billion in the next fiscal year, including $54 billion in payments on the country’s debt.

Finance Minister Freeland also announced a soak-the-rich tax scheme, levelling higher taxes on capital gains for people who make more than $250,000 selling stock or property other than a person’s primary residence.

Currently, 50% of capital gains profits are taxed, compared to 100% of a person’s employment income. That will remain the case for the first $250,000 of capital gains income, but it will rise to 66.6% on income above that level. So, the proposal is to reduce the tax-exempt amount to one-third for capital gains exceeding $250,000.The lower exemption would also apply to businesses for all capital gains, not just those over $250,000. The additional capital gains taxes are expected to rake $19.4 billion into the government’s coffers over the next five years, which is no small measure. This will reduce business capital spending, already at rock-bottom lows, rendering the Canadian productivity problem even more egregious. Higher capital gains taxes also disincentivize investment in residential rental real estate. 

The FY24/25 budget deficit is estimated at $39.8 billion (1.3% of GDP), with the numbers massaged just enough to meet the various ‘fiscal guideposts’. Any path to a balanced budget continues to be absent.

Bank of Canada Governor Tiff Macklem has said provincial government spending is already making it harder to lower inflation. Running federal deficits — on top of large provincial deficits in Quebec, Ontario and British Columbia — is irresponsible. The government had previously set fiscal anchors, like keeping the deficit below 1% of GDP starting in 2027.

Philip Cross of the National Post writes, ”deficit spending when inflation is above target violates the 1991 accord between the Government of Canada and the Bank of Canada, which “jointly set forth targets for reducing inflation” and requires both parties to collaborate to achieve that goal.”

Cumulatively, the total deficit between FY23/24 and FY28/29 is now running $10 billion larger than in the Fall Economic Statement.

The Housing Plan

The housing measures were pre-announced, and the market impact should be minimal. However, the higher capital gains inclusion rate will impact those planning to sell valuable properties with much lower cost bases. It will change the economics of real estate investment in rental properties, an area that needs to be more generously funded. 

Some Other Housing Measures:

Allowing 30-year mortgage amortizations for first-time home buyers purchasing new builds. This measure zeroes in on a small subset of the market. In general, though, it stokes excess demand and ultimately does little to improve affordability once prices adjust. Also, limits on the size of insured mortgages mitigate its impact in our most expensive cities. Pre-construction sales usually require a 20% downpayment, which limits the use of insured mortgages, which account for only 15% of mortgage originations.

Increase the RRSP Home Buyers’ Plan limit from $35,000 to $60,000 and extend the three-year payback period.

 

Create a renters’ bills of rights and tenant protection fund. Some details here are curious, such as a national standard lease agreement (which is provincial jurisdiction). At any rate, the deck is stacked against landlords from bringing more quality rental supply to market—think taxes.

Accelerated capital cost allowances on the construction of new purpose-built rentals and removal of the HST on the construction of student rentals.

Increase the annual Canada Mortgage bond limit to $60 billion from $40 billion.

Top up the Housing Accelerator Fund to incentivize the removal of zoning barriers and tie transit funding to densification along transit corridors.

Bottom Line

This is a pre-election ‘tax and spend’ budget, which will do little to address the problems it claims to solve. It exacerbates other concerns, including insufficient business capital spending, low productivity growth, and insufficient investment in rental real estate.

Slowing the growth in nonpermanent immigration will, in time, do more to address the housing shortage than any of these measures.

Please Note: The source of this article is from SherryCooper.com/category/articles/

Bank of Canada Holds Rates Steady For Sixth Consecutive Meeting.

General Leanne Mollica 10 Apr

the bank of canada cautious, but a rate cut in june is possible

Today, the Bank of Canada held the overnight rate at 5% for the sixth consecutive meeting and pledged to continue normalizing its balance sheet. Governor Macklem confirmed that inflation is moving in the right direction, labour markets are easing, and wage pressures appear to be dissipating. In today’s release of the April Monetary Policy Report (MPR), the central bank forecasters lowered their 2024 inflation forecast to 2.6% from 2.8%. However, the Governing Council needs more evidence to be confident that the downtrend in inflation is sustainable.

In contrast, the US CPI data released today for March showed that underlying inflation topped forecasts for the third consecutive month, and the US jobs data also beat estimates. This is in direct contrast to the news of better-than-expected inflation in Canada and the easing of labour markets. The Canadian economy is far more interest-rate sensitive than the US because mortgage terms are far shorter. Over 60% of all outstanding mortgages are up for renewal in the next two to three years, adding to monthly mortgage payments. That process has already begun.

While the Canadian economy slowed at the end of last year, more recent data suggest a bounceback in the first quarter. The Bank revised up its forecast for GDP growth in the first half of 2024 but reduced its economic outlook for next year. The Bank expects inflation to hit its 2% inflation target in 2025.

Bottom Line

Governor Macklem’s prepared opening statement at today’s press conference was more dovish on inflation than in prior months. “We are seeing what we need to see, but we need to see it for longer to be confident that progress toward price stability will be sustained,” Macklem said in the prepared text.  If things go according to today’s MPR forecasts, policymakers are likely to begin cutting the overnight rate in June.

Still, Macklem called further declines in core inflation “very recent,” adding that the bank wants to “be assured this is not just a temporary dip.”

“While inflation is still too high and risks remain, CPI and core inflation have eased further in recent months,” officials said in the policy statement.

The next decision date is June 5, when overnight swaps traders pared their bets to about a 50-50 chance of a 25 basis point cut at that meeting, down from over two-thirds before today’s data release. A July rate cut is fully priced in.

We will know more this coming Tuesday when the March CPI data (along with the federal budget) are released. April CPI will be posted on May 21.  As the chart below shows, inflation data in Canada is rapidly approaching the 2% target, well ahead of the US, although set backs can’t be ruled out. For example, gasoline prices have risen since early February. However, the proportion of CPI sectors showing less than 1% gains is rising as those showing more than 3% increases are falling fast.

Please Note: The source of this article is from SherryCooper.com/category/articles/

 

123