- Business Administration Degree with a Major in Marketing from Red River in 2007
I first joined the team of Accredited Mortgage Professionals at One Link back in 2007 when I finished my schooling at Red River College. I worked in the industry for 2 years to become eligible to apply for the Accredited Mortgage Professional designation (AMP) and later that year moved to Calgary and became an underwriter for, at the time, the top mortgage broker lender, FirstLine Mortgages. I spent a year there before moving back to Winnipeg and returning to One Link to once again partner up with Diane Macpherson.
I think it’s very important for people to work with a professional and someone they trust. There is so much information out there and mortgage products that will suit a person’s needs. Rate is important but knowing the mortgage you're getting into is more important, there are a ton of hidden fee’s and restrictions that can be associated with rate specials on the market so make sure you’re talking to a professional to see if a certain mortgage product is good for you. I work for YOU not the lender and better yet my services are FREE!!!
Are These Professionals In Your Life? If Not It Could Cost You!
Aside from having professionals like your family doctor and dentist you see once a year, it is very important to have people you trust working for you. People you can phone and pick up right where you left off whether its been 1 month or 5 years. Most professionals work on a commission basis or earn money based on making you happy or continually bringing you benefit. A good professional will keep you up to date and have your best interest front of mind with any transaction you need. Professionals in your life not only help save you thousands of dollars but also help you sleep easier knowing you and your family are being looked after. Here are some professionals you should have in your life;
1) Mortgage Broker- Mortgages are the largest debt you will take on in your life. They are very complex especially with constant changes happening in the industry. You need someone who focuses on mortgages day in and day out knowing which mortgage products are best suited for you so you dont incur large penalties down the road. Mortgage professionals can help you achieve your goals of homeownership and becoming mortgage free faster. Best of all, mortgage broker services are free!
2) Financial Planner- Who wants to retire when theyre 80?! Having a financial planner working with you as early in your life as possible will really help you understand the value of saving early. Financial planners not only help you reach retirement goals, they can help save money on taxes through RRSPs. Theyre also licensed life insurance agents to ensure you are fully covered incase something unfortunate happens. They make a good chunk of their money off commissions, so when you do well, they do well.
3) Realtor- I cant stress enough the importance of using a realtor, especially when you are a first time buyer. It doesnt cost you anything and their opinion on the house, location, resale value are invaluable when everything is so new to you. A realtor is there to represent you and your best interests. They have access to multiple marketing sites and also have valuable information about comparables to ensure you dont over pay when buying and to price your house right to sell it quickly, maybe even receive multiple offers. Working with a realtor you trust is an important asset to you. If youre buying a home using a realtor is no cost to you.
4) Insurance Broker- Who gets home insurance and reads it thoroughly to make sure everything you possibly need to be insured for is insured? I know I dont. Its important to have low insurance payments but its even more important to make sure youre being covered for what you need. Insurance agents are commission based, working with a trusted advisor can help save you time knowing they are looking for the best coverage and premium for your needs.
5) Lawyer- There are 2 types of lawyers I would suggest working with. 1) Family lawyer: these lawyers will help set up wills and amend wills 2) Real Estate Lawyer: some lawyers are well versed in family and real estate law but if you have a lawyer that isnt actively participating regularly in real estate I would strongly suggest you find a lawyer that is. There are many mortgage lenders in the industry, from monolines to banks to credit unions to private lenders and each lender is unique. The documentation a lawyer is required to produce for some monoline lenders is heavier than some traditional lenders but that monoline may offer a better mortgage for you. If youre using a lawyer that isnt familiar with the paper and processes of certain lenders it could end up costing you more in the end for the extra time and efforts the lawyers need to process your mortgage.
6) Accountant- For salaried and hourly people this isnt as important but once you have some fluctuating income, youre a sales person, or business for self, it is very important you have an accountant that makes sure your is are dotted and your ts are crossed. They could save you a ton of money in the end not to mention if CRA comes knocking you want to be sure you have a professional behind you that did your taxes.
7) Health and Fitness professional- You wont need any of the above for a very long time if you dont take care of yourself. In my mind if you dont have your health then your life isnt going to be enjoyable. Whether its walking, running, going to the gym, playing sports, personal training, crossfitting; whatever it is, spend that little extra money each year to make your health a priority. Having a nutritionist and massage therapist isnt the worst thing either. A lot of employees have benefits, which include a certain dollar amount for health each year. I have seen some companies pay for healthy related things like gym memberships, hockey registrations, nutritionist consultations, and massages. So, if you have benefits, make sure youre using them!
8) Car Repair Shop- I dont know a lot of people who enjoy taking their car in to get fixed. Personally I know nothing about cars but I do know when I call my car shop they know me by my first name and dont even have to look up the car Im driving. When I take my car in they could be speaking gibberish to me but because I have someone I trust isnt taking advantage of me and will fix my car right and quickly, I can hand over my keys feeling a little less stressed.
Written by Caily MacGregor, AMP
Canadian home sales edge down from December to January
According to statistics released today by The Canadian Real Estate Association (CREA), national home sales were down slightly in January 2017 on a month-over-month basis.
- National home sales declined 1.3% from December 2016 to January 2017
- Actual (not seasonally adjusted) activity in January was up 1.9% from a year earlier
- The number of newly listed homes dropped 6.7% from December 2016 to January 2017
- The MLSHome Price Index (HPI) in January was up 15.0% year-over-year (y-o-y)
- The national average sale price was little changed (+0.2%) y-o-y in January
Sales activity was down from the previous month in about half of all local markets, led by three of Canadas largest urban centres: the Greater Toronto Area (GTA), Greater Vancouver, and Montreal.
Actual (not seasonally adjusted) sales activity was up 1.9% compared to the same month last year. While sales were up from year-ago levels in about two-thirds of all local housing markets including in the GTA, Calgary, Edmonton, London and St Thomas, and Montreal, they were down significantly in the Lower Mainland of British Columbia.
The number of newly listed homes dropped 6.7% in January 2017, the second consecutive monthly decline. New listings were down in about two-thirds of all local markets, led by the GTA and environs across Vancouver Island.
With the monthly decline in new listings surpassing the decline in sales, the national sales-to-new listings ratio jumped to 67.7% in January compared to 64.0% in December and 60.2% in November.
The ratio was above 60% in about half of all local housing markets in January, the vast majority of which are located in British Columbia, in and around the GTA and across southwestern Ontario. A monthly decline in newly listed homes further tightened housing markets that were already in sellers market territory.
There were 4.6 months of inventory on a national basis at the end of January 2017 unchanged from December 2016 and a six-year low for the measure.
The imbalance between limited housing supply and robust demand in Ontarios Greater Golden Horseshoe region is without precedent (the region includes the GTA, Hamilton-Burlington, Oakville-Milton, Guelph, Kitchener-Waterloo, Cambridge, Brantford, the Niagara Region, Barrie and nearby cottage country). The number of months of inventory in January 2017 stood at or below one month in the GTA, Hamilton-Burlington, Oakville-Milton, Kitchener-Waterloo, Cambridge, Brantford and Guelph.
In the Fraser Valley and Greater Vancouver, prices have receded from their peaks posted in August 2016. That said, home prices in these regions nonetheless remain well above year-ago levels (+24.9% and +15.6% respectively).
Meanwhile, benchmark prices continue to climb in Victoria and elsewhere on Vancouver Island together with Greater Toronto, Oakville-Milton and Guelph. Year-over-year price gains in these five markets ranged from about 18% to 26% in January.
By comparison, home prices were down 2.9% y-o-y in Calgary and by 1.0% y-o-y in Saskatoon. Prices in these two markets now stand 5.9% and 4.3% below their respective peaks reached in 2015.
Home prices were up modestly from year-ago levels in Regina (+3.8%), Ottawa (+3.7%) and Greater Montreal (+3.1%). In Greater Moncton, home prices for the market overall held steady (-0.2%), reflecting an increase in townhouse row units prices (5.8%) that was offset by a decline in prices for one-storey single family homes (-1.0%).
The actual (not seasonally adjusted) national average price for homes sold in January 2017 was $470,253, almost unchanged (+0.2%) from where it stood one year earlier.
The national average price continues to be pulled upward by sales activity in Greater Vancouver and Greater Toronto, which remain two of Canadas tightest, most active and expensive housing markets.
That said, Greater Vancouvers share of national sales activity has diminished considerably over the past year, giving it less upward influence on the national average price. The average price is reduced by almost $120,000 to $351,998 if Greater Vancouver and Greater Toronto sales are excluded from calculations.
Canadian Housing Starts Trend Increased in January
The trend measure of housing starts in Canada was 199,834 units in January compared to 197,881 in December, according to Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC). The trend is a six-month moving average of the monthly seasonally adjusted annual rates (SAAR) of housing starts.
CMHC uses the trend measure as a complement to the monthly SAAR of housing starts to account for considerable swings in monthly estimates and obtain a more complete picture of the state of Canadas housing market. In some situations analyzing only SAAR data can be misleading, as they are largely driven by the multi-unit segment of the market which can vary significantly from one month to the next.
The standalone monthly SAAR for all areas in Canada was 207,408 units in January, up from 206,305 units in December. The SAAR of urban starts increased by 1.0per cent in January to 189,688 units. Multiple urban starts increased by 4.2per cent to 125,886 units in January and single-detached urban starts decreased by 4.6 per cent, to 63,802 units.
In January, the seasonally adjusted annual rate of urban starts increased in Ontario and Atlantic Canada, but decreased in British Columbia, the Prairies and Quebec.
Rural starts were estimated at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 17,720 units.