Yardale Mortgage Corporation Limited Latest News

BC Check-up 2016

bc-check-up-2016The Institute of Chartered Accountants of BC (ICABC) has benchmarked the province’s economy in the BC Check-Up since 1999.

By examining key LIVE, WORK, and INVEST indicators, we can better understand BC’s economic position and health.

Download here the bc-check-up-2016

BC Check-up 2015

BC Check-up 2015

BC Check-Up 2015The Institute of Chartered Accountants of BC (ICABC) has benchmarked the province’s economy in the BC Check-Up since 1999.

By examining key LIVE, WORK, and INVEST indicators, we can better understand BC’s economic position and health.

Download here the latest BC Check-Up 2015.

New Book Boosts Canadians’ Mortgage Smarts

New Book Boosts Canadians’ Mortgage Smarts

VICTORIA, BC – Two Victoria real estate and mortgage experts have published Canada’s definitive guide to mortgage procurement.

Authors Peter Dale and Helen Jones have teamed up to demystify the process of mortgage financing because, Dale says, “for many Canadians borrowing to buy a home is the biggest debt event of their lives.”

Dale, a registered BC mortgage broker with Sidney-based Yardale Mortgage Company, says: “For most Canadians, buying a home is the single largest investment they make. But most cannot afford to make an all-cash purchase and so they must rely on mortgage financing to buy their property.”

“Choosing the mortgage that is right for them is essential,” adds Jones, a real estate agent in Victoria since 1974.

“Once readers have digested the information in Mortgage Smarts, they will be empowered to protect their interests at every step along the path of applying for and paying off their mortgage,” Dale says.

Published through Friesen Press, Mortgage Smarts focuses the readers’ attention not just on the costs of getting into a mortgage, but the costs of getting out of one as well. It takes readers through all aspects of the mortgage application process in the order a house buyer would need it.

There is a chapter on the history of mortgages; a chapter on essential terms; and, then the specifics of the mortgage application process. Another chapter looks at how to get out of a mortgage. Other chapters relate the mortgage to the purchase of a home and special cases.

The book looks at mortgages for houseboats, mobile homes, agriculture, and, for the first time anywhere in Canada, Islamic mortgages. Finally the book covers mortgages for immigrants and for temporary workers with legal permits to work in Canada.

“We have included numerous case studies designed to draw attention to the omissions and pitfalls that face a home buyer who is blinded by enthusiasm or given ‘good advice’ by friends and relatives,” Dale says.

The book contains useful checklists and warning notes.  “Since procedures and mortgage laws vary across the country, the book contains links to further information for each of the provinces as well as Yukon, North West Territories and Nunavut,” Jones says.

Mortgage Smarts is available for order from FriesenPress.com, Amazon, and Barnes & Noble, as well as book retailers. Readers can also purchase the ebook on Kindle, Nook, iTunes, Kobo and GooglePlay.

About the authors

Peter Dale is a registered BC mortgage broker with Yardale Mortgage Company in Sidney. He is a member of the BC Mortgage Brokers’ Association of BC and the Canadian Association of Accredited Mortgage Professionals.  He also belongs to the Trust Institute of the Institute of Canadian Bankers.

Helen Jones has been a real estate agent in Victoria since 1974. In addition to owning and managing a small estate company, she offers a tutorial service that prepares students to write their licensing examinations in real estate brokering, property administration and mortgage brokering. She is a Fellow of the Real Estate Institute of Canada.

Buy your copy today – visit www.mortgagesmartz.ca

Home inspection problem is not going away, agent warns

Home inspection problem is not going away, agent warns

Written by  Grainne Burn

Canadian Real Estate Wealth

Despite horror stories about bad home inspections, buyers are still blinded by low cost providers. And they end up paying a high price for that decision, a realtor warns.

Many home buyers are facing future headaches and hefty bills by choosing the below-cost home inspection service by “inexperienced and unqualified” personnel.

“It is still a huge issue,” says Justin Kua from Re/Max Realtron – Platinum Estates Team. “I have come across a lot of home inspectors who lack the training and experience to do a good job. I see a lot of buyers who have spent almost $500k on a house and yet do not want to pay the $450 for a good house inspection. Instead, they want to pay the $250 guy.”

David Sharman from Country Home Inspection tells CREW warns buyers that it is a case of “you get what you pay for” with such low rates.

“Many of the low-cost inspections cannot carry insurance so that is the risk for a buyer. I pay $2,600 a year in insurance but more importantly can identify the things that most unqualified and inexperienced inspectors cannot,” he says. “As soon as they say $200 or $250, you know that is the time to run.”

In light of so many horror stories, Ontario is expected to implement a licensed system within the next 18 months. This move, says Sharman, should weed out some of the bad players in the market. “A lot will not meet the minimum set of requirements which is great for the client.”

He warns home buyers to ask the right questions to ensure they are legitimate. “Inspectors do not need to have construction experience but I think it’s a bonus as they can identify the problem and come up with a solution,” he says. “Look for evidence of training and experience. Ideally, get a recommendation from someone else in the property industry.”

Call to protect your property

Call to protect your property

Written by  Jamie Henry

Canadian Real Estate Wealth

As Emergency Preparedness Week begins, the Insurance Bureau of Canada (IBC) is offering new suggestions for how property owners can protect themselves and their holdings from the effects of severe weather.

Severe weather – heavy rainfall, flooding, hail damage, storm surges, tornadoes – can strike hard with little warning and can have a devastating impact on communities and property.

IBC suggests these helpful severe weather preparedness tips:

  • Assemble an emergency kit – flashlight and batteries, battery-operated radio etc.
  • Move valuable items from your basement to higher levels in your home.
  • Clear eaves troughs and downspouts – if safe to do so – to direct water away from your home.
  • Ask someone to check your property if you are away.
  • Also take these precautions if you have more time:
  • Create an emergency preparedness plan for your family.
  • Prepare a detailed home inventory. This can be done as photos or video.
  • Install a sump pump and/or sewer backup valve.
  • Elevate furnaces, hot water heaters and electrical panels in the basement or relocate them to a higher level.
  • Check with your insurance representative to make sure you have appropriate coverage.

BC Check-Up – 2013

The Institute of Chartered Accountants of BC (ICABC) has benchmarked the province’s economy in the BC Check-Up since 1999.

By examining key LIVE, WORK, and INVEST indicators, we can better understand BC’s economic position and health.

Download here the latest BC Check-Up 2013.

We’ve always known it…

We’ve always known it…

By Kate Thompson

The Victoria Foundation is one of 35 community  foundations across the country that take part in publishing an annual “Vital Signs” report taking a look at how you and I see our community.   This year’s report confirms much of what we already know, we do like living here and yes, it is expensive.

The annual surveys provide a look at what a cross-section of almost 1,200 Victorians view as the issues that need to be addressed and areas where we can try and make changes in our own community. This year the report includes a section on Youth response, food security and more responses to subjective queries such as: “Are you happy?”   Apparently, 89 per cent of respondents are happy, an excellent reflection on life in Victoria.

“Vital Signs” is a snapshot of life in our town published by the Victoria Foundation and its partners to highlight community concerns and identify the areas where the community, you and I, can help by volunteering, advocating, donating or raising funds.

Food Security is a new addition to the Vital Signs reports this year.   Access to food, locally grown food, the cost of food and the cost of producing food are briefly addressed in the report.  We all know there is more pressure on agricultural lands every year as development increases the demand for land in this desirable corner of our country.   The cost of running a farm is always increasing and the returns are less and less.  The CRD tells us local agriculture is at risk. Defenders will claim the proliferation of farm markets and buy local programs is helping, it may not be enough, and farm receipts are down 6 per cent.  Add the fact that the average farmer in the Victoria area is 54 years old and the future of local agriculture and farm-to-table food may look considerably different.

There are a number of organizations and information sources cited in the report, including West Shore Harvest and LifeCycle’s Growing Schools and the urban agricultural programs they offer the public.   Two pilot urban agricultural pilot projects are mentioned, the planting of fruit trees in parks around Fairfield and Vic West this fall, and plans to turn the garden in front of the Fairfield Community Centre into a kitchen garden.

The report doesn’t offer answers, it is meant to generate interest and support for the areas identified.   Number one on the top ten issues list is the cost of living, followed by mental illness and housing in the third spot.  The top ten includes health care, amalgamation, transportation, employment, eldercare and the economy among others.  None of these come as a surprise; instead they are reminders that we all face the same concerns in one way or another.

A section on Arts and culture is included. Statistics from various sources tell us that while there has been a slight decrease in the number of people earning a living as artists in Victoria, there is still a greater percentage of artists living and working in Victoria than anywhere else in the province.  There has been an increase in the number of people employed in cultural industries overall, an area that includes publishing on paper and online, film, broadcasting, spectator sports and heritage.

By varying degrees, up to 18 per cent of the respondents were not comfortable in this community.  Religion, ethnicity, race, language, gender and sexual orientation were cited as barriers.

Each section of the report includes a “Response” or action taken by the  Victoria Foundation and its partners to ‘respond’ to the issues identified.   For instance, under “Economy”, the Foundation is working with Island Savings, a co-sponsor, to provide access to short-term loans for up to 36-months in these uncertain times for local charities.   The Foundation funded a six-month pilot program to assist the street community by opening Our Place for lunch on the weekends, an initial success that expanded to provide access to showers, recreation, training and nutrition in a Sunday drop-in program, effectively aiding in improving the health of the community.

The majority of those responding in the online-survey are content with their lives.  88 per cent of those 55 and older hardly ever felt lonely, the same cannot be said for the younger set of 20 to 24 year olds, a full one third of whom felt lonely (no mention of hormones or attribution is included).  68 per cent of us are satisfied with our work-life balance, something that speaks volumes in a town where government is the largest employer, employing nearly double the numbers of the second largest group, defence.

The Housing statistics cited for seniors don’t contain any surprising news. CMHC numbers for 2013 show the vacancy rate for independent living suites has decreased by 1.5 per cent since 2012 to 11.1 per cent and the average monthly cost was up 1.4 per cent to $3,159.   Average rents for private apartments continue to rise as do the numbers on waiting lists for social housing for seniors.

Under Transportation, door-to-door services are identified as the single most requested service for seniors.  Vital Signs reports 3,000 clients receive services and up to 9,000 rides are provided by volunteer drivers with various community agencies.

This eighth annual report also looks at other community indicators such as health, safety, sports and recreation, learning and more.  This year’s report also includes a Youth Vital Signs in addition to the Food Security section.

You may want to take some time and read the information for yourself.  There are numerous statistics and subjective reporting observations that may help you decide where you would like to lend a hand or add your voice.  The 38-page report on the survey results is an interesting way to revisit your own community.   Previous reports are also available on the site.

For the full Victoria Foundation Vital Signs report:

http://www.victoriafoundation.bc.ca/vital-signs/victoria/2013/victorias-vital-signs-2013

 

At what cost, affordable mortgages.

At what cost, affordable mortgages.

Canada’s cities say that mounting mortgage debt held by cash-strapped Canadians is putting “our national economy at risk,” and they have urged Prime Minister Stephen Harper, in a letter, to use his government’s upcoming throne speech to set the stage for an agenda to help bring down housing costs in their communities.

The letter, dated Oct. 1, also calls on the government to pursue its new 10-year multibillion-dollar infrastructure plan as well as follow through on a recent commitment by Transport Minister Lisa Raitt to address public safety concerns about the transportation of dangerous goods, in the aftermath of the Lac-Megantic runaway train disaster and other accidents.

But the Federation of Canadian Municipalities, made up of member cities representing 90 per cent of the nation’s population, said in the letter that the high cost of housing was the most “urgent” financial issue facing Canadians today. The letter noted that total mortgage debt added up to $1.1 trillion, despite some of the steps “rightly taken” by the government to manage risks in the housing sector. It said this meant that one out of four Canadians was paying more for housing than they could afford.

“Housing costs and, as the Bank of Canada notes, household debt, are undermining Canadians personal financial security, while putting our national economy at risk,” said the letter to Harper, signed by the federation’s president, Claude Dauphin, the mayor of the Montreal borough of Lachine.

“As it stands, for those who cannot afford to purchase a home, the short supply of rental units is driving up rental costs and making it hard to house workers in regions experiencing strong economic activity.”

The letter also said that an inadequate supply of subsidized housing for those in need was pushing the most vulnerable Canadians onto the street.

Dauphin wrote that the federal government had a “limited but critical role to play” in partnership with other levels of government to restore balance to the housing system with actions to attract investment, create jobs, and support growth as well as increased labour mobility.

Stephen Lecce, a spokesman for Harper, said he couldn’t comment specifically on details in the upcoming throne speech but reiterated that jobs and growth would remain the government’s priority for the fall.

Ottawa Mayor Jim Watson noted that his own city had increased its funding for housing by millions of dollars in recent years, lowering its waiting list to below 10,000 households. But he said that people in some regions of the country can face waits of decades before finding affordable housing.

“It’s one of the fundamental basics that everyone should have,” said Watson, explaining that some have trouble finding work because they don’t have a fixed address.

The federation believes that the federal government could offer support through its housing insurance agency, the Canadian Mortgage and Housing Corporation, by backing lowinterest renewed mortgages on older buildings to help pay for maintenance and other costs.

Brian Pincott, a city councillor from Calgary, said recent flooding in his region has turned a housing challenge into a crisis by damaging thousands of homes.

He explained that the climaterelated disaster reduced what was previously a two per cent vacancy rate in rental units last spring to no vacancy in the aftermath of the flooding.

“We have a few thousand people still not back in their homes right now,” said Pincott. “We’re building temporary housing camps in Calgary.”

From Windsor Star

Hitting a bank’s brick wall

One of the most time-consuming efforts that modern man experiences is working through the maze of customer service/ customer complaints options on a bank web site. If you suspect an error has been made in your account, you may spend your afternoon looking through lists of phone numbers and email addresses in an attempt to direct your complaint to the proper department. If you succeed in locating the correct target for your complaint, are you assured satisfaction? Not always.

Enter the two independent ombuds offices in Canada whose sole purpose is to review the cases of unsatisfied bank customers – independent entities who are empowered to advise customers if they feel they have been treated unfairly during the complaint process.

The first step in making a complaint is to have your complaint reviewed by your bank and if unresolved, to contact the bank’s internal Ombudsman’s office. If you are not satisfied with the result contact:

Before you begin the complaint process, please review the guidelines provided by your bank – failure to follow procedure may result in your case being ineligible to receive assistance from the ombuds offices. The general rule of thumb is

  1. Contact your bank’s customer service/complaints department
  2. If still unresolved, contact your bank’s ombuds office
  3. If still unresolved, contact the independent ombuds office (listed above)

For more information about making complaints:

 

Mortgage financing: Pay attention to the rules and related costs!

To calculate the price of the house you can afford, taxes, rebates and hidden expenses must be factored in.

By: Kristin Kent Special to the Star, Published on Thu Apr 11 2013

When Tony Clark and his wife, Faye, started looking for a house two years ago, they had big plans: save like mad; buy a house, start a family.

“We were both putting aside 10 to 15 per cent of our income from our overall paychecks. We managed to pile away a little more than $20,000,” he says.

“We thought that would be a great down payment. And we both have great credit. But that wasn’t enough.

“We have a new little girl now, she’s 3 months old,” he says. “This has made our housing search a little more imminent.”

Tighter mortgage rules came into place last year, and, so far, it seems they have succeeded at cooling a hot market.

“Sadly, due to the circumstances for first-time home-buyers, it’s really difficult to find something that’s decent and in a good area.”

Clark says lowering the amortization period from 30 to 25 years has had a direct impact his plans. Paying higher monthly mortgage payments with a newborn isn’t feasible. Moving out of the city may come with a lower price tag, but isn’t desirable either.

“We now have to figure out what and where we can afford, where the best schools are, what areas we can live in safety-wise,” he says.

Finance Minister Jim Flaherty admits there can be an initial sting for some first-time home-buyers. But lowering the amortization by five years also means those who do enter the market will save thousands of dollars in interest paid to the lender.

Flaherty also imposed a limit on how much debt a potential buyer can carry compared to their earnings. Lenders have assessed this information in the past, but they’ve not been given a maximum.

Now, to qualify for a mortgage, the amount you pay in mortgage expenses (principal, taxes, condo fees) cannot exceed 39 per cent of your annual income.

The debt you carry (credit cards, personal loans and car loan) cannot exceed 44 per cent of your annual income.

Getting into the housing market takes work, but it’s not impossible.

It is, however, important to get your finances in order before you go shopping for a home.

“People tend to start on MLS,” says David Larock, a Toronto-based mortgage broker. “They go to open houses and they meet agents. It’s understandable and a natural evolution.

“But an experienced real estate professional will want to involve a mortgage professional as early as possible.

“If somebody gets excited about a house they can’t afford, that’s not good for anybody,” he says.

To avoid any disappointment, start by checking your own credit report to make sure the information is accurate. Only then should you approach your bank to request a mortgage pre-approval.

This is also a good time to ask your bank what costs go along with a mortgage, so you can plan accordingly.

Closing costs alone can really stretch your budget. Expect an extra 1.5 to 4 per cent of the purchase price paid in legal, appraisal, inspection, land transfer and adjustment costs.

The minimum down payment in Canada is 5 per cent. But if you’re buying with a down payment of less than 20 per cent, your mortgage has to be insured with a mortgage default insurer, such as Canada Housing Mortgage Corp.

Expect a one-time premium based on a sliding scale of how much of a down-payment you have. There’s PST on top of that insurance premium, which can come as a surprise at closing time.

To counter some of the costs of purchasing a home, first-time homebuyers are encouraged to take full advantage of rebates and offers available to them.

For those who’ve stashed their earnings into an RRSP, they are entitled to borrow up to $25,000 as part of Canada Revenue Agency’s Home Buyers Plan (HBP). Remember that this amount must be repaid in full within 15 years.

First-time buyers should also cash in on the $750 Home Buyers Tax Credit (HBTC), also offered by Canada Revenue Agency.

Provinces, territories and some municipalities may also offer their own tax credits or rebates. In Ontario, first-time homebuyers may be entitled to a Land Transfer Tax refund of up to $2,000. If you live in the city of Toronto, you may be eligible for a Municipal Land Transfer Tax rebate of up to $3,725.

It may be prudent to seek advice from a mortgage specialist who can help navigate rules, regulations and lending lingo.

You can go to your bank or seek advice from a mortgage broker.

Both are free to consumers and come with their own perqs.

“Brokers have access to multiple lenders,” says Kerri-Lynn McAllister of Ratehub.ca.

“They evaluate the products that suit your needs best. They do the work and the [mortgage rate] shopping for you.”

They are free to consumers because they’re paid a finder’s fee from the bank.

If you prefer working with a company you’ve established to be trustworthy, going with your bank may be the best bet.

It can also offer “product-bundling,” which may save you money in the end, so give it thought.

No matter what path you choose, “ask as many questions as you can as early as you can,” says Clark.

Not only will a mortgage specialist help you save for your down payment, but he or she can help find savings through the life of your mortgage.

Watch out for these costs

Don’t let any cost come as a shock. Aside from closing costs, Canadian Mortgage Housing and Housing Corporation warns you may have other costs to consider.

They may be small, but they do add up and can take a bite from your budget.

Moving expenses: Will you use a moving company? Muscling the move yourself or with friends may save you money. But is it worth it?

 Appliances: Will you need to buy a new fridge, stove or washing machine? Many times, a homeowner will take his or her own appliances with them as replacing them can be expensive. It may be up to you to purchase your own.
Window treatments: Do they come with the house or condo? Depending on the size and number of windows, this little thought-about-cost can really add up.

Outdoor enhancement: Will you need gardening gear in the summer and snow removal equipment in the winter?

Decorating: Will you need to repaint vintage trimmings or outdated wallpaper? Do you have all the hand tools you need to get the job done?