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Residential Market Update
Market Commentary Ahhh, election promises. Those snappy little sound bites that grab your attention and get you talking. The latest is Stephen Harpers pledge to create 700,000 new homeowners in Canada by 2020. Based on the latest available numbers which are from 2011 that would push the Canadian home ownership rate from 69% to 72.5%; a record high. It sounds exciting: job creation, financial stability, strong communities. But how? The Harper announcement was light on details and it turns out the 700,000 figure is based on projections already in place from CMHC and the Canadian Home Builders Association. They are calling for 140,000 new homeowners per year over the next six years. It also turns out the Harper pledge is somewhat inspirational. The Conservatives hope to see this kind of home ownership growth. The plan to get there includes existing programs like the increased, $10,000 contribution limit for TFSAs along with previous election promises like expanding the Home Buyers Plan, a permanent home renovation tax credit and (yet to be defined) measures to control foreign ownership. But economists and market watchers agree, the two biggest factors in driving home ownership will be real wage growth and continued low interest rates.
Top five home renovations that increase property value
Looking to increase your homes property value? Here are five of the best renovations you can do to your home to increase property value. These five renovations can sometimes have a return on investment 5-6x what they cost. #5 Flooring Flooring is one of the most important aspects of your house. You will see an immediate rise in property valuation with the installation of hardwood floors. Existing hardwood floors that you can refinish are ideal as they are less costly to restore and in higher demand than new flooring materials. For the bathroom, tile will always be in demand and retain value exceptionally well. #4 Fixtures Kitchens often look tired and dated, in large part due to old fixtures. Replacing or updating cabinet hardware, light fixtures, countertops and faucets will result in an immediate increase in your homes value. This small, but effective upgrade will also revitalize the entire home. Pot lights are in high demand in open concept style homes. #3 Bathroom Thebathroomis the second most important room in the home in terms of valuation. If you can add a three-piece bathroom to a home with only one full bathroom, you will see a dramatic rise in the market value of your home. While you should never compromise bedroom space for a bathroom, try sneaking one in dead space in the home. Scott managed to fit in a 3-piece bathroom under a staircase the width of the room measured just 44 inches. As an added tip, use glass for the shower to make the bathroom feel more spacious. #2 Kitchen Kitchens are the single most important room in the home relating to valuation. The kitchen can make a significant difference in the value of your home. As such, it is crucial that you invest in having a modern, fresh anddesirable kitchen. Modern cabinetry, under cabinet lighting and new appliances will all significantly increase the value of your home on the market. To save on cost without compromising construction and desirability, look at options like Ikea cabinets as opposed to custom cabinetry. #1 An Income Suite No surprise, but the single biggest way to increase the value of your home is to build an income suite within the property. Whether this is converting yourbasement into a rental, or another floor in the home, an income property will increase your homes worth. The main reason for this is that it covers a portion, or sometimes all of your mortgage payments, and results in your home being cash flow positive which creates real wealth that can supplement your income. sources:www.homeownership.ca; www.genworth.ca
Valuable Fraud Prevention Tips for Homebuyers and Homeowners: Part 1
March is Fraud Prevention Month. Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC) has consistently been a leader in the fight against mortgage fraud and offers the following tips to protect yourself against becoming a victim of mortgage fraud. Misrepresentation of Information Mortgage fraudoccurs when someone deliberately misrepresents information in order to obtain mortgage financing that would not have been granted if the truth had been known. This can include: Misstating ones position or inflating ones income or length of service at their job; Misstating employment status (ie. salaried/full time versus contract, part time, hourly or commission-based or self-employed); Misrepresenting the amount and/or source of the down payment; Purchasing a rental property and misrepresenting it as owner-occupied; Not disclosing existing mortgage and/or debt obligations; Misrepresenting property details or omitting information in order to Inflate the property value; Adding co-borrowers who will not be residing in the home and do not intend to take responsibility for the mortgage. Another common form of fraud is when a con artist convinces someone with good credit to act as astraw buyer.A straw buyer is someone who agrees to put his or her name on a mortgage application on behalf of another person. In return for their participation, straw buyers may be offered cash or promised high returns when the property is sold. Often, straw buyers are deceived into believing that they will not be responsible for the mortgage payments. Consequences of Misrepresentation Borrowers who misrepresent information and straw buyers who allow a property to be purchased in their name are committing mortgage fraud and will be responsible for any financial shortfall in the event of default. They may also be held criminally responsible for their misrepresentation. Reporting Fraud If you suspect that you or someone you know has been the victim of mortgage fraud, please contact your local police department or The Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre. On-line:www.antifraudcentre-centreantifraude.ca Toll Free: 1-888-495-8501 Toll Free Fax: 1-888-654-9426 Email:firstname.lastname@example.org To find out more about mortgage fraud, visit the fraud prevention section of the Canadian Association of Accredited Mortgage Professionals (CAAMP) website athttp://mortgageconsumer.org/protect-yourself-from-real-estate-fraud. For over 65 years, Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC) has been Canadas national housing agency, and a source of objective, reliable housing information. Source: CMHC