ASK ME ANYTHING

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GOT A QUESTION?

You may not be planning to move for a while, but may still be curious about what’s happening in the local real estate market. So, any time you have questions, please give me a call!

416-779-8732

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446 Rutherford Road North, Brampton ON

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Spacious 5-Level Backsplit with Separate Entrance in Brampton

✯ Large Principle Rooms
✯ Newly Renovated Kitchen & Bathrooms
✯ Finished Basement with 2 Bedrooms
✯ Family Room with Walkout to Backyard
✯ Grand Foyer

Call 416-779-8732 to Learn More!

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New Mortgage Rules In Affect Jan. 1, 2018

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Make sure the new rules don’t affect your ability to buy or sell in the new year! Call my office to learn more and get the full details on the changes coming soon and the impact it may have.

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Richard Robbins Insight to New Mortgage Rules

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Happy Thanksgiving

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Five orange pumpkins sit in a row in front of a distressed, wooden background.

Hoping that you all enjoy today with your family and friends. We went to my cousin Ann’s for dinner Yesterday. All of her children and grandchildren were there. It was so exciting to have 5 babies at the dinner, so for us it is a true week-end of celebrating with family and friends.

I had to marvel at the Kids ( all now 25+) and their and babies. It was heartwarming to look around the room, take it all in, and take pride in the Circle of Life. There were so many young adults there and it made me proud. Ann and my Parents are gone now. We are the Old ones, the keepers of the family. I am an only child but was blessed with parents who never missed a party and so very often hosted it, so I have many cousins who have substituted for brothers and sisters all my life. I am rich in family and friends.

Indeed we have a lot to be thankful for. Enjoy Thanksgiving.

May your Stuffing be tasty,
May your Turkey be plump,
May your potatoes and gravy have nary a lump,
May your yams be delicious and your pies take the prize,
And my your holiday dinner stay off of your thighs!

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Released from Department of Finance regarding New Mortgage Rules

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New Mortgage Rules Released Yesterday!

 

Technical Backgrounder: Housing Insurance Rules and Income Tax Proposals

The Government of Canada recognizes the importance of a healthy, competitive and stable housing market for all Canadians, including the many Canadian families who count their principal residence as both their home and single biggest asset.

The actions described below are meant to respond to the effects of years of low interest rates and changes in the way the market operates. They build on one of the Government’s first steps since being elected nearly a year ago when it raised the minimum down payment for homes priced above $500,000.

In-depth analysis, along with an exchange of views and priorities with provinces and municipalities, has informed this series of complementary measures. They are aimed at protecting the financial security of Canadians, supporting the long-term stability of the housing market and improving the integrity and fairness of the tax system, including ensuring that the principal residence exemption is available only in appropriate cases.

The Government is also evaluating the long-term structure of the housing finance system and is considering whether the distribution of risk is currently balanced and appropriately reflects all parties’ abilities to share in and manage housing risks.

Mortgage Insurance
Federal statutes require federally regulated lenders to obtain mortgage default insurance (“mortgage insurance”) for homebuyers who make a down payment of less than 20 per cent of the property purchase price, known as “high loan-to-value” or “high-ratio” insurance.1 The homebuyer pays the premium for this insurance, which protects the lender against mortgage loan losses if the homebuyer defaults.

By reducing risk to lenders, mortgage insurance enables consumers to purchase homes with a down payment as low as 5 per cent of the property value and at lower mortgage interest rates that are comparable to those received by homebuyers with higher down payments.

Lenders also have the option to purchase mortgage insurance for homebuyers who make a down payment of at least 20 per cent of the property purchase price, known as “low-ratio” insurance because the loan amounts are generally low in relation to the value of the home. There are two types of low-ratio mortgage insurance: transactional insurance on individual mortgages at the point of origination, typically paid for by the borrower, and portfolio (bulk pooled) insurance that is acquired after origination and typically paid for by the lender. The majority of low-ratio mortgage insurance is portfolio insurance.

Lender access to low-ratio insurance supports access to mortgage credit for some borrowers, but primarily supports lender access to mortgage funding through government-sponsored securitization programs.

All mortgage insurance in Canada currently covers 100 per cent of eligible lender claims for insured mortgages that default. Mortgage insurance is provided by Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC), a federal Crown corporation, and two private insurers, Genworth Financial Mortgage Insurance Company Canada and Canada Guaranty Mortgage Insurance Company.

The Government backs 100 per cent of the mortgage insurance obligations of CMHC, in the event that it is unable to make insurance payouts to lenders. In order for private mortgage insurers to compete with CMHC, the Government backs private mortgage insurers’ obligations to lenders (in the event that a private insurer is unable to make insurance payouts to lenders), subject to a deductible charged to the lender equal to 10 per cent of the original principal amount of the loan.

The Government guarantee of mortgage insurance is intended to support access to homeownership for creditworthy buyers and promote stability in the housing market, financial system and economy. As part of its role to promote stability, and to protect taxpayers from potential mortgage loan losses, the Government sets the eligibility rules for new government-backed insured mortgages.

Between 2008 and 2015, five rounds of changes were made to the eligibility rules, aimed at encouraging insured borrowers to build and retain housing equity and take on mortgage debt that they are able to service over the economic cycle.

Applying a Mortgage Rate Stress Test to All Insured Mortgages
Today, the Government announced a change to the eligibility rules for new government-backed insured mortgages. Effective October 17, 2016, all insured homebuyers must qualify for mortgage insurance at an interest rate the greater of their contract mortgage rate or the Bank of Canada’s conventional five-year fixed posted rate. This requirement is already in place for high-ratio insured mortgages with variable interest rates or fixed interest rates with terms less than five years.

The Bank of Canada’s conventional five-year fixed posted mortgage rate is the mode (i.e., the most common occurring number) of the conventional five-year fixed mortgage rate advertised by Canada’s six largest banks. The rate is updated weekly and is available on the Bank of Canada’s website (CANSIM table 176-0043). The Bank of Canada’s posted rate is typically higher than the contract mortgage rate most buyers actually pay. As of September 28, 2016, the Bank of Canada posted rate was 4.64 per cent.

For borrowers to qualify for mortgage insurance, their debt-servicing ratios must be no higher than the maximum allowable levels when calculated using the greater of the contract rate and the Bank of Canada posted rate. Lenders and mortgage insurers assess two key debt-servicing ratios to determine if a homebuyer qualifies for an insured mortgage:

Gross Debt Service (GDS) ratio—the carrying costs of the home, including the mortgage payment and taxes and heating costs, relative to the homebuyer’s income;
Total Debt Service (TDS) ratio—the carrying costs of the home and all other debt payments relative to the homebuyer’s income.
To qualify for mortgage insurance, a homebuyer must have a GDS ratio no greater than 39 per cent and a TDS ratio no greater than 44 per cent. Qualifying for a mortgage by applying the typically higher Bank of Canada posted rate when calculating a borrower’s GDS and TDS ratios serves as a “stress test” for homebuyers, providing new homebuyers a buffer to be able to continue servicing their debts even in a higher interest rate environment, or if faced with a reduction in household income.

The announced measure will apply to new mortgage insurance applications received on October 17, 2016 or later. This measure will not apply to mortgage loans where, before October 3, 2016: a mortgage insurance application was received; the lender made a legally binding commitment to make the loan; or the borrower entered into a legally binding agreement of purchase and sale for the property against which the loan is secured. Mortgage loans for which mortgage insurance applications are received after October 2, 2016 and before October 17, 2016 are also not affected by the rule change, provided that the mortgage is funded by March 1, 2017. Homeowners with an existing insured mortgage or those renewing existing insured mortgages are not affected by this measure.

Changes to Low-Ratio Mortgage Insurance Eligibility Requirements
The Government also announced today changes to the eligibility rules for newly insured low-ratio government-backed insured mortgages. These new eligibility criteria will help target the funding support provided by government-backed low-ratio mortgage insurance towards safer forms of lending.

Effective November 30, 2016, mortgage loans that lenders insure using portfolio insurance and other discretionary low loan-to-value ratio mortgage insurance must meet the eligibility criteria that previously only applied to high-ratio insured mortgages. New criteria for low-ratio mortgages to be insured will include the following requirements:

A loan whose purpose includes the purchase of a property or subsequent renewal of such a loan;
A maximum amortization length of 25 years;
A maximum property purchase price below $1,000,000 at the time the loan is approved;
For variable-rate loans that allow fluctuations in the amortization period, loan payments that are recalculated at least once every five years to conform to the original amortization schedule;
A minimum credit score of 600 at the time the loan is approved;
A maximum Gross Debt Service ratio of 39 per cent and a maximum Total Debt Service ratio of 44 per cent at the time the loan is approved, calculated by applying the greater of the mortgage contract rate or the Bank of Canada conventional five-year fixed posted rate; and,
A property that will be owner-occupied.
These changes will apply to low-ratio mortgage loans insured on November 30, 2016 or later. Low-ratio loans for which mortgage insurance applications were submitted prior to October 3, 2016 will not be affected. These new criteria will also not apply to loans for which mortgage insurance applications were submitted between October 3, 2016 and November 30, 2016, provided that the loans are insured by November 30, 2016.

Forthcoming Consultation on Lender Risk Sharing
Today, the Government announced that it would launch a public consultation process this fall to seek information and feedback on how modifying the distribution of risk in the housing finance framework by introducing a modest level of lender risk sharing for government-backed insured mortgages could enhance the current system.

Canada’s system of 100 per cent government-backed mortgage default insurance is unique compared to approaches in other countries. A lender risk sharing policy would aim to rebalance risk in the housing finance system so that lenders retain a meaningful, but manageable, level of exposure to mortgage default risk.

Implementing a lender risk sharing policy would be a significant structural change to Canada’s housing finance system. Today’s announcement will be followed in the coming weeks by a public consultation paper, which will begin a consultation process with stakeholders to determine the suitability and potential design of a lender risk sharing program for Canada’s housing finance system.

Proposed Income Tax Measures
The income tax system provides a significant income tax benefit to homeowners disposing of their principal residence, in the form of an exemption from capital gains taxation (“the principal residence exemption”). However, there are limits to the exemption. The exemption is intended to be available only to Canadian resident individuals and trusts. Also, families are able to designate only one property as the family’s principal residence for any given year.

The proposed tax measures announced today would improve tax fairness and the integrity of the tax system. The first two measures would better ensure that the principal residence exemption is available only in appropriate cases, and in a manner consistent with the Canadian resident and one-property-per-family limits. Specifically, under these measures:

An individual who was not resident in Canada in the year the individual acquired a residence will not—on a disposition of the property after October 2, 2016—be able to claim the exemption for that year. This measure ensures that permanent non-residents are not eligible for the exemption on any part of a gain from the disposition of a residence.
Trusts will be eligible to designate a property as a principal residence for a tax year that begins after 2016 only if additional eligibility criteria are met. These criteria will improve fairness and integrity by better aligning trust eligibility for the principal residence exemption with situations where the property is held directly by an individual. A trust will be required to be—in each year that begins after 2016 for which the designation applies—a spousal or common-law partner trust, an alter ego trust (or a similar trust for the exclusive benefit of the settlor during the settlor’s lifetime), a qualifying disability trust, or a trust for the benefit of a minor child of deceased parents. In addition, the trust’s beneficiary who, or whose family member, occupies the residence for the year will be required to be resident in Canada in the year, and will be required to be a family member of the individual who creates the trust. Transitional relief is provided for affected trusts for property owned at the end of 2016 and disposed of after 2016.
Today’s announcement also includes changes to improve compliance and administration of the tax system with respect to dispositions of real estate. In this respect, the following additional changes are announced for tax years that end after October 2, 2016:

The Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) will require a taxpayer to report the disposition of a property for which the principal residence exemption is claimed. The CRA currently does not require this reporting where a property is eligible for the full principal residence exemption. The change means that, when a taxpayer disposes of a principal residence, the taxpayer will be required to provide basic information in the taxpayer’s income tax return for that year in order to claim the exemption. In addition, the CRA will be explicitly authorized to accept late-filed principal residence designations. More details are available on the CRA’s website.
A proposed measure would provide the CRA with authority to assess taxpayers, beyond the normal assessment limitation period for a tax year, in respect of a disposition of real estate by the taxpayer (or a partnership of which the taxpayer is a member), in cases where the disposition is not reported in the taxpayer’s tax return (or in the case of a partnership, the partnership return) for the year in which the disposition occurs. In the case of property disposed of by a corporation or partnership, the measure would apply only to property that is capital property.
The CRA will continue to work with provincial partners to seek ways to further improve information collected on real estate transactions, and to ensure the effective sharing of this information with tax authorities.

A Notice of Ways and Means Motion with respect to the proposed income tax measures, together with related explanatory notes, are included in today’s release. References in the Notice of Ways and Means Motion and explanatory notes to Announcement Date refer to October 3, 2016.

1 Federally regulated financial institutions cannot provide government-backed insurance on properties at $1 million and higher.

From the

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Happy Hogmanay!!!

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Hogmanay

 

As the year come to a close, I’d like to wish you and yours all the best for a Happy and Prosperous 2016.  

In Scotland New Year is called Hogmanay. It is a great festive time, seeped in many customs and traditions. Hogmanay is a bigger celebration than Christmas, especially for adults. This may stem from the ban on Christmas that existed for 400 years.

Nobody knows for sure where the word “Hogmanay” came from. Opinions differ as to whether it originated from the Gaelic oge maidne (“New Morning”), Anglo-Saxon Haleg Monath (“Holy Month”), or Norman French word hoguinané, which was derived from the Old French anguillanneuf (“gift at New Year) This is my favorite as it goes well with the Scottish tradition of First Footing.

Here are some of the Hogmanay traditions:

I can remember my mum furiously cleaning the house for New Year’s Eve to welcome the New Year. It is considered ill luck to welcome in the New Year in an unclean house so the house was made especially pretty on New Year’s Eve.

Another old Scottish tradition at midnight the man of the house would open the back door to let out the old year, then open the front door to let the New Year in. People would also open the windows to let the old year out. Some Households would make as much noise as possible to scare off the evil spirits and would read the ashes of the last fire of the year to see their luck (like tea leaves) for the New Year. Scottish people are superstitious and dramatic.

All over Scotland, the tradition is to hold Hogmanay parties or Ceilidhs (pronounced “Kailey”), involving singing, dancing, the eating of steak pie or stew, storytelling and consumption of copious amounts of alcohol, which usually extend into the daylight hours of January 1 and maybe the 2nd and 3rd. The first stroke of the Chimes at the New Year is known as the Bells. At midnight people link arms and sing Auld Lang Syne.

After the bells, people go out visiting friends and family. This is called first footing. Some people carry a gift or a bottle of whiskey. Traditionally people would carry a lump of Coal to give as a gift to the friends and family signalling prosperity for them in the New Year. A toast of Lang May Yer Lum Reek (may your fireplace always have smoke- Live long and prosper) or a Guid New Year to ane an a and mony may ye see (A good new year to one and all and many may you see).

The last time I spent New Year in Scotland we went to a Dance at the Ex Service Mans Club and then the entire family made their way down to Rick’s Gran and Granddad’s house to first foot them. His Gran was happily waiting for us all with a good few bottles and a big pot of Stovies. That was the beginning of a week-long New Year’s Party as we first footed every family home.

My Uncle Bobby and Aunt Jean were the New Year’s Day hosts. Each New Year’s Day we would visit them and enjoy another party with a Steak Pie Dinner, Neeps (Turnip) and Tatties (Potatoes). There would be another sing song and dance as the celebrations continued.

 

Auld Lang Syne – Robert Burns

Should auld acquaintance be forgot,
and never brought to mind ?
Should auld acquaintance be forgot,
and auld lang syne* ?

CHORUS:

We twa hae run about the braes,
and pu’d the gowans fine ;
But we’ve wander’d mony a weary fit,
sin auld lang syne.

CHORUS

We twa hae paidl’d i’ the burn,
frae morning sun till dine ;
But seas between us braid hae roar’d
sin auld lang syne.

CHORUS

And there’s a hand, my trusty fiere !
and gie’s a hand o’ thine !
And we’ll tak a right gude-willy waught,
for auld lang syne.

CHORUS

Lang my yer lum reek!

All the best for a Healthy Happy and Prosperous New Year, Enjoy it, when it comes.

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Online Coupons – Save money when you shop

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If you think about cutting back on your expenses when you are shopping, consider online coupons which can help you save a considerable amount of money.

When I heard free coupons, I thought of the good old days when we used to cut them out of the newspapers or magazines and take them to the stores to cut back a few bucks. But in the recent times, free coupons usually refers to the Internet coupon codes that are to be used while shopping at online stores. Online coupons work the same way as the traditional paper ones. The coupons offered by websites are codes that help you get discounts on many items such as groceries, clothes, shoes, gadgets, jewelry and many other products. Some of these codes are numeric or alphabetic whereas others are alphanumeric.

You can purchase many items online and get good discounts with the help of these coupons. All you have to do is search for a website that offers free coupons to get discounts on a varied range of items. When you find such website, you can get all the great discounts offered by numerous online stores. Many of the discounts expire unexpectedly, so you should ensure that you are entering a coupon code that is valid at the time. You can find coupons at these websites along with the relevant information such as the actual discount available on products, the store where it can be redeemed and the date it expires.

Most of the websites directly link you to the website of the store when you click on the coupon. When you visit the online store through these websites, you automatically get a discount on the product you wish to purchase. You can click on as many coupons you like and check out the product on the website. The other kind of coupons are printable coupons that you can get printed from the computer and redeem the discount at an actual store, not the virtual one. You can take the coupon print to the store and save a considerable amount of money on each purchase.

Many online stores also give away free coupons as part of their brand marketing campaign. They want more and more people to visit their stores. Discount coupons, free coupons, freebies and giveaways are the incentives used by manufacturers to attract consumers towards their products. This way they get consumers to try out their products and beat the competition with their counterparts. Some companies give discounts on services as well.

In order to mark their presence over the Internet, all the major companies use many tactics to attract new costumers as well as hold on to the existing ones. The online printable coupons and free coupons are the easiest way to achieve this. The discounts offered by the companies draw people towards the free coupons that let them purchase many products at low prices. If you really want to benefit from the great discounts that are offered by many online stores, you should visit these websites regularly to get free coupons and save some bucks on each purchase.

by: Gagan Singh

http://www.articlecity.com/articles/business_and_finance/article_15910.shtml

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Are you ready for financial independence?

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(NC) Beginning a career and moving out on your own are two big steps toward financial independence. But becoming financially independent requires a plan. In Canada, November is Financial Literacy Month-the perfect time for young adults to review their short- and long-term financial goals and make a plan to put them into action.

Whether you’re saving to buy a TV for your new apartment, to make a down payment on your first home, or to pay down student debt, a good plan will help you reach your goals. Make them a reality by listing them and assigning a timeline to each. Once you’ve established your goals, incorporate them into your monthly budget.

While a new job may mean a higher income, moving out on your own brings many new expenses. How do you know that you’re ready financially? With the added financial commitments, how will you work toward your financial goals? How will you prepare for life’s costly surprises?

The Financial Consumer Agency of Canada (FCAC) has resources, available at itpaytoknow.gc.ca, to help young adults plan to achieve their life goals. The Moving out on Your Own life eventhelps work out the costs associated with moving out and living on your own as a tenant or homeowner, and provides useful information on how to make a household budget. The Starting your First Job life eventhelps individuals manage their money wisely as they enter the workforce.

A realistic budget is only one aspect of securing your financial independence. An unforeseen event could become a budget breaker, which is why FCAC recommends building an emergency fund that covers three to six months of expenses.

It may require a new approach to your finances, but financial independence is attainable.www.newscanada.com

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Tricks to take care of clogged drains

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(BPT) – “The bathroom sink drain is clogged!”

Those words strike fear and loathing into a homeowner’s heart. Nothing can ruin a pleasant day faster than the thought of shutting down a crucial room in your home until the plumber arrives. But it’s a fact of home-owning life: At some point, the drains in your home will become clogged. The question is, will you be caught by surprise, or be prepared and possibly avoid the problem altogether?

A little preventive maintenance now can go a long way when it comes to drain-related problems. Plan ahead, and you’ll avoid the all-too-common clogged drain frustrations: an out-of-order bathroom, waiting for the plumber, a bathroom floor covered in water, etc. Believe it or not, all these nightmares can be prevented with a little planning.

What’s the key to preventing a clogged drain? Choosing the best preventative products that allow you to live your life while minimizing those pesky drain issues for you. Choose wisely, and these products will save you from frustration, save you money and save you valuable time. Choose wisely, create a bathroom with a difference, and enjoy a carefree, clog-free life.

Here are few easy ways to avoid clogged drains:

For the kitchen disposal, you can run hot or cold water through the drain. Cold water run liberally through the sink will loosen stuck items, while hot water will help get rid of food residue. Instead of pouring hot grease down the kitchen drain, pour it into another container and then throw it away. Don’t forget to clean the drain pieces regularly to keep them in good working order. If long hair or pet hair is a problem, consider strainers over every drain in the house.

While many companies offer drain-clearing products, we recently came across one with a completely different approach to addressing the issue. PF Waterworks focuses on eliminating the problem with a line of clog-prevention products that reduce the build-up of clogs and the need for drain cleaning products, thereby reducing frustration and saving time and money for the homeowners. For more information, visit www.pfwaterworks.com.

PF Waterworks will be introducing a new product: the FlushSAVER Dual Flush Converter reduces water usage by 30 percent or more, even in already low-flow toilets. A unique patented design converts single-flush toilets to dual-flush with easy installation, no tank removal and no tools required. The FlushSAVER could save up to 15,000 gallons of water per year for a family of four.

You can free yourself from the frustration of clogged drain hassles, expensive plumber visits and schedule-shattering plumbing issues by choosing and installing safe, effective products designed to keep money in your pocket, minimize household downtime and make your life much, much easier.

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