Bank of Canada December Update
As you know, variable rate mortgages, lines of credit and/or student loans are all based on the prime rate and here is an update from me on the recent Bank of Canada announcement on changes to their Overnight Lending Rate which in most cases impacts your Prime rate.At 10:00 am EST, Wednesday December 4th, 2013 the Bank of Canadaagain did what we expected them to do... they continued to maintain their overnight rate.What this means to you is that once again the prime rate on your mortgage, line of creditor student loan willnotchange and remains at 3.00%. This is fabulous news but don't forget to make themostof the low payments you still have, as the ratewill increase in the future. Theholiday season is upon us which often means ourpersonal spendingon gifts and celebrations will potentiallyblow our budgetsas we spend more than we maybe should... let me help you get back on track with a review of your financial situationwhichmight be a savings plan,purchasing anincome property or debtconsolidation topay off high interest loans or credit cards. If you would like to chat about some budgeting and saving strategies - let me know as I would be happy to assist.Here is an excerpt from the announcement from the Bank of Canada and what they had to say about their decision:"The global economy is expanding at a modest rate, as the Bank expected.Although growth in several emerging markets has continued to ease, growth in the US during the 3rd quarter of 2013 was stronger than forcasted.Even if some of this pickup was due to temporary factors, the data is consistent with the Bank's view of gathering momentum in the US economy. In Canada,the housing sector has been stronger than expected but is consistent with updated demographic data and a pulling forward of home purchases in light of favourable financing conditions. The Bank continues to expect a soft landing in the housing market. Non-commodity exports continue to disappoint and the price of oil produced in Canada has eased further.Business investment spending is up from previous low levels, but is still recovering more slowly than anticipated. On balance, the Bank sees no reason to adjust its expectation of a gradual return to full production capacity around the end of 2015"Based on this news and continued slower level of economic activity in Canada, the Bank does not expect to increase their rate in the foreseeable future with any change most likely to occur in late 2014 or even not until 2015! Remember that any increase to the prime rate since 1992 has only been by 0.25% at anyONE time, so you won't see a large significant increase all at once.Fixed rates did go up but then have come back down since. Right now they are sitting at around 3.39% to 3.59% for a five year fixed term.Based on this recent announcement, and the anticipation that the prime rate will still remain low for a while now, unless you feel otherwise, I'd recommend that you remain with your current variable rate product as the interest is lower than a fixed term rate right now. However if having a fixed payment is important to you, call me so I can calculate what your new payment would look like and also if it is suitable for you. The next announcement on any change to the prime rate is January 22, 2014.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.