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Christine MacPherson Mortgage Associate

Christine MacPherson

Mortgage Associate


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164 Crystal Green Dr, Okotoks, Alberta

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Largest portions of household budgets go to shelter and transportation

Shelter remained the largest budget item for households in 2017, at 29.2% of their total consumption of goods and services. Spending on transportation, the second-largest expenditure category, accounted for 19.9% of total consumption, followed by food expenditures at 13.4%. Households spent an average of $18,637 on shelter, up 3.4% from 2016. Included in this total was an average of $16,846 paid for principal residence (which includes rent, mortgage payments, repairs and maintenance costs, property taxes and utilities) and an average of $1,791 for other accommodation, such as hotels and owned secondary residences. In 2017, two out of every three Canadian households owned their home, and more than half of homeowners had a mortgage. Homeowners with a mortgage spent an average of $25,904 on their principal residence, compared with $9,642 for homeowners without a mortgage and $13,499 for renters. Canadian households paid $12,707 for transportation in 2017, up 6.7% from 2016. They spent an average of $11,433 on private transportation, which includes the purchase of cars, trucks and vans, as well as their operating costs. Households, on average, spent $2,142 on gasoline and other fuels in 2017, up 9.8% from 2016, reflecting the 11.8% annual average increase in gasoline prices. Spending on public transportation, which covers public transit, taxis, intercity buses, trains and air fares, remained relatively unchanged at $1,274. In 2017, 84.0% of households owned or leased a vehicle. Vehicle ownership was highest in rural areas (94.9%) and lowest in cities with a population of at least one million residents (79.0%).

Stress Test Best Practices Tool Kit

With the new Office of the Superintendent of Financial Institutions stress test rules firmly in place since January, Canadian homebuyers have learned they need to arm themselves with practical information on how they can ensure they are stress-test ready. The following is a guide and best practices tool kit for those about to embark on securing their new or next mortgage: Make a financial plan Any time a big purchase is at stake, laying out a financial plan is always the best first step to take. By creating a plan, home buyers can protect themselves from increased interest rates and ensure they are staying on budget. Have a contingency fund Without question and now more than ever, home buyers need to establish contingency funds. Its incredibly important to have funds set aside when unexpected costs such as property repairs arise. An established contingency fund also looks good to financial lenders. Pay off debts and increase downpayment The most important tool in the Best Practices Tool Kit is to pay off debts as quickly as possible and maximize your down payment. If you already have a mortgage, increase the frequency of payments by taking advantage of what the financial institution offers such as accelerated bi-weekly payments. Broaden search parameters Although you may have an ideal neighbourhood in mind, it is important to also consider broadening those search parameters. Often there are homes in other neighborhoods that could be a perfect choice if you are willing to commute a little longer. Im here to help you I can help you to navigate confusion surrounding the stress test. Ultimately, being stress test ready means being ready for future increases in rate so that you can afford your next home comfortably on your budget.

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