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I save you money by sourcing the best products at the best rates – not only on your first mortgage but through every subsequent renewal. So whether you're buying a home, renewing your mortgage, refinancing, renovating, investing, or consolidating your debts — I’m your personal mortgage consultant who will help you get the right financing, from the right lender, at the right rate. 

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BLOG / NEWS Updates

Sep 29


Teach kids early about money responsibilities

Many of us agree that it takes decades, if not a lifetime of trial-and-error to master sound money management so lets make it easier for our kids.November is Financial Literacy Month across the country and that presents an ideal opportunity for families to explore teachable moments. Attaining financial literacy is often one small step at a time, but each experience adds to our knowledge, skills, and confidence with day-to-day money decisions, says Tony Garcia, president and CEO at ForestersTM, an international financial services provider known for its commitment to enhance family well-being. Those skills are fundamental to the well-being of families and of course, children do learn quickly by example. Since the average lifestyle today must deal with an increasing number of financial decisions at an ever-younger age, it is an eye-opener when Canadians admit to significant money challenges from reading financial statements, to managing credit cards, to planning for retirement. Did you know, for instance, that 38 per cent of households say they do not follow a budget, according to anABC Life Literacysurvey conducted by Ipsos Reid1? This number wont improve if children in those homes grow up to do the same. Parents are exacting on some things, like arranging for life insurance to replace lost income in the event of their death, but they may miss those little opportunities, like involving children in adding and subtracting household money, Garcia continues. The key to raising money-smart kids is to involve them in some of the day-to-day money decisions. Foresters, which provides its members with access to competitive scholarships and emergency assistance grants2, and is also known for building playgrounds and providing funding and volunteer opportunities for organizations like Ronald McDonald House Charities, has posted some valuable tips (at foresters.com) for guiding children towards healthy financial habits, including: Talk to young kids about the family grocery budget in the supermarket Link their allowance to household chores so it shows the connection between money and work Explain to teens the difference between needs and trendy must-haves Ask for a contribution to their expenses (like cell phone bills and sports) if your teen has a part-time job Demonstrate caution with a first credit card, explaining how interest is charged and the consequences of not paying the monthly balance Show young adults how to manage their cash flow and stick to a monthly budget Clearly define the repayment terms and conditions if you make them a loan.

Sep 24


Five tips for quick and healthy school lunches

Youre out of bread, cant find a water bottle and the school bus will arrive in four minutes. Is this a familiar scenario in your house? If making your childs lunch seems stressful, here are five tips to ensure their lunchbox is filled with healthy, quick options. Think about balance:Use a lunch container with divided compartments, so you remember to add the four food groups: Vegetables and Fruit: such as carrots, grapes and watermelon Grain Products: such as whole grain bread, corn bread and bulgur Milk and alternatives: such as cheese, milk and yogurt Meat and alternatives: such as tofu, eggs and chicken Stock convenient items:You can still include whole grains without preparing ingredients from scratch! Use whole grain breads, wraps and crackers to get Canadas Food Guides recommended Grain Products at lunchtime. Choose foods that list 100% whole grain as the first ingredient. Use the freezer:Stock your freezer with items that can be defrosted for quick lunches: Quick-to-cook vegetables like peas as great additions to grain-based salads. Whole grain breads for quick sandwiches and wraps. Sliced peaches, pineapple or mango for fruit salad or kebabs. Convenience tip: you can prepare and freeze soy butter and jam sandwiches, which can be slipped into lunch bags as-is they will defrost by lunch! Organize a snack drawer: For easy snacks, pre-fill containers with trail mix made with soy nuts, raisins and whole grain cereals. You can also have a snack drawer in the fridge, filled with ready-to-go Greek yogurt, cheese strings or hummus cups. Have a go-to lunch: When supplies are low, dont stress. Have a staple lunch in mind one thats made from on-hand ingredients. The go-to lunch for my daughter is whole grain crackers, cheese cubes and soy butter, artfully arranged in paper muffin cups in a square container. With some fruit on the side, lunch is ready. To learn more about the goodness of grains, visit www.goodineverygrain.ca or www.healthygrainsinstitute.ca.

Sep 18


CREA Updates Resale Housing Forecast

The Canadian Real Estate Association (CREA) has updated its forecast for home sales activity via the Multiple Listing Service (MLS) Systems of Canadian real estate Boards and Associations for 2014 and 2015. The deferral of sales and listings during an extraordinarily bleak winter delayed the start to the spring home buying season earlier this year. This deferral boosted activity in May and June as properties were snapped up after finally hitting the market, particularly in markets with a shortage of listings. Although this boost was and still is expected to be transitory, sales have yet to show signs of cooling as activity strengthened slightly further over the summer. The increase reflects continuing strength in home sales among large urban markets that initially drove the spring rebound together with gains in markets where activity had previously struggled to gain traction. Lowered mortgage interest rates supported this trend. Sales are now forecast to reach 475,000 units in 2014, representing an increase of 3.8 per cent compared to2013. This is upwardly revised from CREAs forecast of 463,400 sales published in June, and reflects stronger than expected sales in recent months. Even so, sales activity is expected to peak in the third quarter as the impact of a deferred spring dissipates and continuing home price increases erode housing affordability. This would place activity in 2014 slightly above but still broadly in line with its 10-year average. Despite periods of monthly volatility since the recession of 2008-09, annual activity has remained stable within a fairly narrow range around its 10-year average. This stability contrasts sharply to the rapid growth in sales in the early 2000s prior to the recession. British Columbia is forecast to post the largest year-over-year increase in activity (11.9 per cent) followed closely by Alberta (7.7 per cent). Demand in both of these provinces is currently running at multi-year highs. Activity in Saskatchewan, Manitoba, Ontario, Quebec and New Brunswick is expected to come in roughly in line with 2013 levels, with sales increases ranging between one and two per cent in the first three provinces and edging lower by about one per cent lower sales in the latter two provinces. Sales in Nova Scotia and in Newfoundland and Labrador are projected to be down this year by 3.9 per cent and 5.2 per cent respectively. Mortgage interest rates are expected to edge higher as Canadian exports, business investment, job growth, and incomes improve. These opposing factors should benefit housing markets where demand has been softer but prices have remained more affordable. Sales in relatively less affordable housing markets are likely to be more sensitive to higher fixed mortgage rates. National activity is now forecast to reach 473,100 units in 2015, representing a decline of four tenths of one per cent. Sales activity is forecast to grow fastest in Nova Scotia (+3.3 per cent), followed by Quebec (+1.3 per cent) and New Brunswick (+1.3 per cent). Alberta is the only other province forecast to post higher sales next year (+1.0 per cent). In other provinces, activity is forecast to decline in the range of between one and two per cent. In British Columbia and Ontario, this trend reflects eroding affordability for single family homes. The national average price has evolved largely as expected since the spring, resulting in little change to CREAs previous forecast. The national average home price is now projected to rise by 5.9 per cent to $405,000 in 2014, with similar price gains in British Columbia, Alberta, and Ontario. Increases of just below three per cent are forecast for Saskatchewan, Manitoba and Prince Edward Island. Newfoundland and Labrador is forecast to see average home price rise by about one per cent this year, while Quebec is forecast to see an increase half that size. Prices are forecast to be flat in New Brunswick and recede by almost two per cent and Nova Scotia. The national average price is forecast to edge up a further 0.7 per cent in 2015 to $407,900. Alberta and Manitoba are forecast to post average price gains of almost two per cent in 2015, followed closely by Ontario at 1.3 per cent. Average prices in other provinces are forecast to remain stable, edging up by less than one percentage point.

Sep 16


New tax relief will save small businesses more than half a billion dollars over two years

Minister of Finance Joe Oliver announced more action by the Harper Government to create jobs, growth and long-term prosperity: the introduction of the new Small Business Job Credit which is expected to save small businesses more than $550 million over the next two years. The Small Business Job Credit will effectively lower small businesses Employment Insurance (EI) premiums from the current legislated rate of $1.88 to $1.60 per $100 of insurable earnings in 2015 and 2016. Any firm that pays employer EI premiums equal to or less than $15,000 in those years will be eligible for the credit. Almost 90% of all EI premium-paying businesses in Canada will receive the credit, reducing their EI payroll taxes by nearly 15%. The Canada Revenue Agency will automatically calculate the credit on a business return, ensuring no new paper burden will be imposed on business owners. In addition, all employers and employees will benefit from a substantial reduction in the EI premium rate in 2017 when the new seven-year break-even rate-setting mechanism takes effect. This will ensure that EI premiums are no higher than needed to pay for the EI program over time. Quick Facts Canada has created more than 1.1 million net new jobs since the height of the recessionone of the strongest job creation records in the Group of Seven (G-7). In 2013, Canada leapt from sixth to second place in Bloombergs ranking of the most attractive destinations for business. According to KPMG, total business tax costs in Canada are the lowest in the G-7 and 46% lower than those in the United States. In September 2013, the Government announced a three-year freeze of the EI rate at its 2013 level of $1.88 to prevent it from rising to $1.93 in 2014, saving employers and employees an expected $660 million in 2014 alone.


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