The Bank of Canada maintained its overnight rate at 0.25 per cent this morning, a level it considers its effective lower bound. The Bank reiterated what it calls "extraordinary forward guidance" in committing to leaving the overnight rate at 0.25 per cent until slack in the economy is absorbed and inflation sustainably returns to its 2 per cent target. The Bank projects that will not occur until the second half of 2022.  The Bank announced that it is adjusting its quantitative easing (QE) program down to purchasing $2 billion per week Government of Canada bonds per week. In the statement accompanying the decision, the Bank noted that it expects a strong pick-up in economic growth over the second half of the year as vaccinations progress and restrictions are lifted.  The Bank expects growth of close to 6 per cent this year, followed by 4.5 per cent growth in 2022.

As we hopefully approach the end of the COVID-19 pandemic, the issue of inflation has arisen as the most hotly debated topic among economists and analysts.  Specifically, whether current elevated inflation of around 3.5 per cent is a sign of accelerating prices or merely the transitory effect of supply constraints brought on by the pandemic.  The Bank of Canada is firmly on the side of believing higher than normal inflation is a temporary phenomenon. In today's announcement, the Bank noted that base-year effects, meaning we are comparing prices in a recovered economy now to one in which prices were falling amidst a severe recession one year ago, rising gasoline prices and pandemic related bottlenecks in supply chains account for most of the increase in inflation.  The Bank expects inflation to remain above 3 per cent through the remainder of this year before easing back toward its 2 per cent target in 2022.  Given that outlook, and uncertainty surrounding timing of when the economy may be fully back to normal, the Bank seems to be on a path to raising its policy rate between the end of 2022 and early 2023.

Published July 14, 2021 BCrea - Economics Now

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It takes Skill, Patience, Communication, and Perseverance to ensure a smooth transaction for everyone involved.

As soon as a Seller hires me to list their Tenanted Property, I ask to meet the tenants to get to know them, find out how long they have lived there as well as what their goals are. Building rapport with the tenants is an important component of the selling process.

During our meeting, I explain the selling process and the various scenarios depending on the type of purchaser. We discuss the outcome if an Investor purchased the property to keep it as a rental as well as someone wishing to live in the property, or a purchaser buying it for a family member.

I inform them of the proposed viewing schedule and ask for feedback. By law, we are allowed to show a tenanted property with a 24 hour notice, however, I believe it is in our best interest to contact the tenants to make sure it doesn't interfere with their schedule, after all, this is their home.

I explain how having a clean home for a showing is to their benefit. It helps sell the home faster, inconvenience the tenant less and demonstrates the type of tenant they will inherit.

I also ask if they have installed any fixtures that will be removed when they move out and document those items so all potential buyers are aware of items that may be removed. This is also great protection for the tenant, so they don't get charged upon move out. Examples of some items tenants have installed in the past are shower rain heads, cupboard organizers, ceiling fans and light fixtures and much more. 

When you are thinking of selling a Tenanted Property, make sure you contact someone who is comfortable dealing directly with your tenants to ensure the process is as smooth as possible.

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I recently had the pleasure of partaking in a presentation with Dr. Aaron Goodarzi discussing Radon in our homes. It was exceptionally well done and thoroughly informative. I learned a great deal about it and thought to pass it on here.

Radon is a radioactive gas that naturally occurs in our environment. It has no colour, odor or taste and can easily access our homes through any opening where the house is in contact with the ground; cracks in the foundation and floor slabs, construction joints, and even well water. Radon can affect our health by targeting our DNA and is a substantial cause of lung cancer in non-smokers.

The cause is currently unknown, but there has been a significant increase of radon levels in newer homes, approximately 1 in 6 tested have dangerously high levels. Radon levels increase in poorly ventilated spaces, like basements and crawlspaces. The Kootenays and the Okanagan area known to have high radon levels, however researchers do not have enough data for the Greater Vancouver area.

Dr. Goodarzi is encouraging everyone to join the “Evict Radon Research Project”. The data collected will help researchers understand radon exposures across Canada and provide ways to mitigate exposure to keep us healthy.

Babies and young children are most at risk, as they breathe 2-3 times faster than older children and adults do. Lung cancer from radon is preventable and shouldn’t be occurring. By joining the study you will be helping our future generation from suffering the effects of radon as well as gaining peace of mind regarding the levels of radon in your own home.

If you are interested in having your home tested for radon, while also contributing valuable data to this research, please click on the link below. The link provides some eye opening information as well as an opportunity to purchase the 90 day Radon Test Kit (supplied at their cost to you).

Click Link below

Evict Radon Research Program

Dr. Goodarzi is the Canada Research Chair for Radiation Exposure Disease and is both the Education Lead and Microscopy Lead for the University of Calgary’s Charbonneau Cancer Institute. Dr. Goodarzi is also the founder and leader of Evict Radon (excerpt from his biography)

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Do you own property registered under a corporation, trust or partnership? If so, you’ll want to read about the new Land Owner Transparency Act.

The Province of British Columbia initiated the Land Owner Transparency Act on Nov 30, 2020. This registry was put in place to end “hidden ownership” (e.g. registering a property under a Numbered Company, where the owner isn’t identified).

What does this new transparency act mean?

As of Nov 30, 2020 a transparency declaration must be filed with the Land Title and Survey Authority of British Columbia (LTSA), for every change in title to a property in British Columbia.

All properties owned by a company, or properties held in trust for another party under a trust or partnership, must file a transparency declaration to confirm who the interest holders of the corporation, the trust, or the partnership are.

What about properties registered prior to Nov 30, 2020?

If your property was registered under a company name, partnership or trust prior to Nov 30, 2020 you must still file a transparency report by Nov 30, 2021, disclosing who the interest holders of the property are. 

Failure to file, or providing false or misleading information, could result in fines up to $100K or 15% of the assessed value of the property.

You may want to reach out to your legal professional to assist with filing the report.

Click below to read more about the Land Owner Transparency Registry

More Information

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Well, it's that time of year again and a touchy subject for many, but a necessary evil that we have to deal with if we own property in Vancouver.

As you probably already know the City of Vancouver administered a tax on under-utilized or empty properties, this tax is called the Empty Home Tax or Vacancy Tax.

Whether you personally live in your home or not, you must make a declaration prior to the deadline to determine whether your property is subject to the tax. Only one declaration per property is required.

You should have received your 2021 Advance Tax Notice in the mail, this notice contains the Folio Number and Access Code which are required to complete your declaration online.

The declaration is very easy to complete and should take less than 5 minutes.

  • If you don’t make your declaration by the deadline, your property will be deemed vacant and subject to 1.25% of the property’s assessed 2020 taxable value
  • False declarations will result in fines up to $10,000 per day
  • If necessary, you may authorize someone else to complete your declaration on your behalf
  • Please note: The Empty Home Tax does not apply to your personal residence or properties that are rented for at least 6 months per year, however, you are still required to submit your declaration
  • The deadline to file for 2020 is February 2, 2021

Click below to complete your declaration today, this will take you to a login screen, make sure you have your Folio Number and Access Code ready


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It’s an exciting time … you’ve made the decision to purchase a home!

Now is the time to speak with your mortgage broker or bank and obtain written mortgage approval, in essence, your approved buying power.

Knowing your approval amount will help guide you towards homes that fit your budget. Having your financing in place will allow you to make an offer with confidence.

Having your financing in place is great, but how is your mortgage approval amount determined?

  • Your lender will use Debt Service Ratio (DSR) calculations to determine whether you have the capacity to make your mortgage payments.
  • In order to calculate your DSR, they will look at your monthly debt divided by your gross monthly income (before taxes).

The two calculations used to determine your DSR are: Gross Debt Servicing (GDS) and Total Debt Servicing (TDS)

    Gross Debt Servicing (GDS)

  • GDS is the maximum costs you can afford each month for shelter
  • GDS = (Total Shelter cost* x 100) / Gross Income
  • This is used to determine if too much of your income is being spent on household expenses
  • Typically, this should not exceed 30% of your income

    Total Debt Servicing (TDS)

  • TDS = (Total Shelter cost* + debt payments** x 100) / Gross Income
  • This is to determine if too much is spent on house expenses and debt payments
  • Typically, this should not exceed 40% of your income

Your mortgage approval (buying power) is an excellent starting point for your home search. Take a few minutes to contact your bank or broker and obtain your written mortgage approval. When you find that perfect property, your written approval will make your offer stronger and some brokers will guarantee their interest rate.

Please reach out to me if you’d like names of mortgage brokers that have successfully helped my clients with their home purchase. Getting the paperwork out of the way will allow you to enjoy the process of house hunting and to be ready to act when that perfect place comes along.

  *Shelter Costs: Mortgage or Rent Payments, Property Taxes, Utilities, 50% of condo fees

**Debt Payments: Loan Payments, Credit Card payments (3% of outstanding balance), Line of credit payments (interest charges)

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It’s hard to believe Christmas is only 16 sleeps away! It is so nice to see people getting into the spirit of the holidays, decorating their homes and making their places festive.

I’ve had the pleasure of sharing some joy with families all over the lower mainland, handing out gingerbread houses and holiday pies and the responses have been very touching.

The gingerbread houses were a big hit, it brought families together to create masterpieces, taught patience and showed the potential of youngsters who may become the next Planner or Project Manager Smile. I’ve received numerous photo submissions for the gingerbread contest and I must say the submissions have been very creative and a great deal of whimsy. Winners of the contest will be announced next week.

We held our Customer Appreciation day on the weekend and it was a huge success. We gave away over 1000 holiday pies while maintaining social distancing. The weather cooperated and it was great to see everyone. I received reports that the pies are definitely delicious!

I’d like to wish everyone a very merry holiday season, if you feel overwhelmed and need someone to speak to, remember I’m only a phone call away and a great listener.

Stay Safe and Have Fun!

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Happy Holidays

I hope you enjoy this recipe as much as my family does.

My favorite pie is Pecan, Strawberry/Rhubarb is a definite contender!

I'm excited to try the Blueberry/Rhubarb this weekend, one of the 3 pies available for pick up during our Community Appreciation Day

Take home a FREE Pie

3995 Fraser Street, Vancouver

Dec 6th 12-3pm


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Join Us Dec 6th 12-3pm


Covid Protocols in place


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There are two types of relationships that you may have with a real estate professional that involves buying, selling or leasing a property.

If you’re shopping for a new home, or ready to sell your current home, there comes a time where you will need to reach out to a real estate professional for help and guidance. But, before disclosing confidential information, you should decide what type of business relationship you want to have.

Prior to providing services, a real estate professional must present you with the “Disclosure of Representation in Trading Services” form. This Disclosure of Representation was put into place by the Real Estate Council of BC in order to regulate real estate professionals and to protect you the consumer. On this form, you will have the opportunity to choose whether you will be represented as a client or a non-client

As a Client

If you choose to be a “client” of a real estate professional, they will work on your behalf and will have special legal duties to you:

1)    Loyalty

Your real estate professional will act in your best interest at all times

2)    Full Disclosure

Your real estate professional must disclose everything they know that may influence your decision in a transaction

3)    Avoid Conflicts of Interest

They must avoid situations that affect your real estate professional’s duty to act in your best interest

4)    Confidentiality

Your private information cannot be revealed by your real estate professional without permission (even after your relationship ends). This includes:

  • reasons for buying, selling or leasing
  • minimum/maximum price
  • any preferred terms and conditions you may want included in a contract

As a Non-Client

A real estate professional may only provide limited services to a Non-Client. If you chose a Non-Client relationship, the real estate professional will not be obligated to you for any of the special legal duties noted below:

1)    Loyalty

The real estate professional may be representing a client who has competing interests in a transaction, that real estate professional owes their loyalty to their client, not to you

2)    No Duty of Full Disclosure

A real estate professional does not have a duty to provide you with all the relevant information

3)    No Duty to Avoid Conflicts

A real estate professional is not acting in your interests

4)    No Confidentiality

A real estate professional must share any information you tell them with their clients in a transaction

Whether you chose to be a Client or Non-Client, when a real estate professional works with you in a real estate transaction, they still have the responsibility to act honestly and with reasonable care and skill but may only provide limited services as a Non-Client

Please Note: The Disclosure of Representation in Trading Services is NOT a contract, it is a document designed to protect you, the consumer.

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You had a little extra time on your hands and looked online to see what’s new in the real estate market. Many of us like to window shop online and it’s certainly a great way to peruse what’s out there whether we are actively looking or just curious. When checking everything out you may come across an interesting property on a real estate website or perhaps Facebook that has piqued your interest. But on some of these sites, you cannot retrieve all the information you want until you sign up.


Facebook is a common tool used by many realtors. It helps us connect with prospective clients and helps to connect your property for sale with prospective buyers, but it has its drawbacks because we do not have the opportunity to ask you how we may help or how we can refine your search.


Another drawback is if you click on many Facebook ads and sign up to each one, you are now potentially connecting to many different realtors and possibly receive more calls and emails than you would like. Most of us do not want to drive you crazy with phone calls and emails. As your advocate; we really do want to help you make informed decisions without overwhelming you.


This is not an attack on Facebook. It can be a powerful tool to sell your home and an excellent opportunity to increase exposure of your listing to a larger group of people in a specified area.


My suggestion; find a good realtor you are comfortable with and talk to them. A short conversation to discuss your needs/wants is invaluable. Once you are done, your realtor can generate a customized search where refined listing results go directly to you on a schedule that works for you. The results can be re-customized at any time if your needs change.


If you prefer to look at properties on your own, without being emailed and phoned every time you click on an ad, I invite you to my website. The benefit of an account is the ability to create and share multiple searches and favourites using varied criteria, plus, access to sold history. You can look at your leisure and when you’re ready for the next step, I’m only a phone call away.


Feel free to contact me if you have any questions.

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How your Credit Score is Calculated

How your Credit Score can be improved

Part 3

Now that you understand how your credit score is calculated, and ways to improve it, you want to ensure your credit stays intact.

It is important to review your credit report once per year, consider this general housekeeping.

Start by requesting your credit report and review it for inaccuracies. If you find any errors dispute them, and have it rectified.

Checking your credit report will not affect your credit score as it is considered a "soft hit". You may find a credit card listed as delinquent, when in fact you paid off the balance and closed the account. You may even find a bill listed that isn’t yours.

Both Equifax and TransUnion will allow you one free credit check per year (by mail). If you do it strategically (alternating every six months) you will be able to detect issues sooner.

Equifax Credit File Disclosure (credit report)

You can order your report two ways;

1) Order by Phone 1.800.465.7166 (may be a cost).

2) Request the report using their form (free).

Two pieces of ID are required and your report will be mailed to you.

TransUnion Consumer Disclosure (credit report)

You can order your report two ways;

1) Order by Phone 1.800.663.9980 (may be a cost).

2) Request the report using their form (free).

Two pieces of ID are required and your report will be mailed to you.

If you need help re-establishing your credit, contact Credit Canada for a free and confidential session and move forward with your financial goals. 1-800-267-2272

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Last week we covered How your Credit Score is Calculated, this week we will cover How your credit score can be improved.


There are several ways you can improve your credit score.


The number one way to increase your score is to always pay your bills on time. But if you can’t pay the full amount, make sure you are always paying the minimum amount due. Making a full payment a few days late is actually worse and deemed a missed payment.


Lower your credit usage so your credit utilization is decreased. Call your credit card companies and request a higher limit. As long as you don’t use the extra credit card room (don’t over spend). Increasing your credit utilization will raise your score.


If you cannot obtain a regular credit card, you may want to apply for a Secured Credit Card, (this is different than a prepaid credit card). Basically, you send the bank money that is kept as collateral and returned when you pay off your card and close the account. You receive a credit limit based on your collateral (e.g. if your credit card has a limit of $2,000, you will be required to put $2,000 into a designated account). You use the card like a regular credit card and your payment history is reported to the credit bureau as you use it. It’s a good idea to stay below your credit limit and make regular payments to help repair your credit rating.  


You can also raise your score by becoming an authorized user on someone else’s account. If you know someone with a really good score they can add you to their credit card as an authorized user which will impact you positively, they don’t even have to give you a credit card to use.


Close extra cards. Many of us may sign up for bonus miles with various cards, but having more cards can hinder your credit limit, you really only need 1 or 2 credit cards.


If you write cheques, be sure that your account has enough funds. Cheques that are returned due to insufficient funds may be reported to the credit bureau.


If you are having a hard time financially, contact the credit bureau (Equifax or TransUnion) and ask for a note to be put on your file explaining your financial difficulties e.g. Job loss, sickness or debt incurred by your partner or spouse.


No matter how bad your credit is, you can improve your score by 100 – 200 points if you start to make changes now.


Next week find out how to obtain a copy of your Credit Report

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When you apply for a vehicle loan or mortgage, your lender will look at your credit score to determine your risk compared to other consumers. If you know you have an excellent credit score, consider taking advantage of your excellent score, you may be able to negotiate a better interest rate.

Your credit score is a calculation from your credit report which is based on; payment history, credit utilization, length of credit history, credit diversity and number of hard inquiries. Credit Scores ranges from 300 – 900, with 300 being poor and 900 excellent.

Let’s take a look at each factor that makes up your credit report:

Payment History

Extremely important and accounts for approximately 35% of your score. Any missed or late payments may drop your score. If you are having trouble paying your bill, contact your lender right away. Even if you have to dispute a charge, it is wise to pay the bill now and resolve it later to keep your credit rating up.

Credit Utilization

Credit utilization is approximately 30% of your credit score. This is the average credit you use each month compared to the amount of credit you have available. 

E.g. A credit card with a $5K limit and average borrowing amount of $1K is 20% usage. Add up all of your available credit (credit card limits, line of credit) and try to use less than 35% of your available credit each month. Maxing out your credit cards will bring down your score. The best approach is to ask for a credit increase (but don’t increase your spending).

Credit History

Your credit history makes up about 15% of your credit score. Consider keeping that old credit card or line of credit even if you don’t use it often. If you’ve thought about closing your old line of credit due to lack of use, think again, keeping it will help to retain your credit history and also your credit utilization (the amount of money you have at your disposal versus what you are using – the higher your disposal the better).

Credit Diversity

This accounts for approximately 10% of your credit score. It’s always best to have several types of credit such as a line of credit, car loan, and credit card. This variety may improve your credit score as it indicates to the credit bureau that you are a good borrower and can handle several payments.

Hard Inquiries

Hard inquires make up about 10% of your credit score. When a lender or bank checks your credit report it is considered a hard inquiry. This may occur when you apply for any new credit.  If you have a large number of hard inquiries (hits) to your report, creditors will wonder why you are applying to so many places at once, so it is best to limit the number of times you apply for credit. If you are shopping around for a new vehicle or mortgage, try to do all your inquires within a short time-span such as two weeks so it’s deemed as one hit to your credit score.  If, however you order your own credit check, it is considered a soft hit and will not affect your credit rating.

Credit Scores

800 - 900 Excellent

720 - 799 Very Good

650 - 719 Good

600 - 649 Fair

300 - 599 Poor

Join me Next Week when I discuss how you can improve your Credit Rating

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In a nutshell, if you are a homeowner and over the age of 55, you can access up to 55% of your homes equity and receive the funds in two basic scenarios; a one-time lump sum payment or monthly payouts.


Many people are using their reverse mortgage to enter into early retirement, pay off debt, increase their investment portfolio or help loved ones enter the housing market. If you have children, you may have a plan set out for what they will inherit. How rewarding would it be, to help them now, rather than later.


As with standard mortgages, there are some fees involved with obtaining a reverse mortgage. These include; an appraisal of your property, legal advice, closing costs and administration fees. And most importantly, a reverse mortgage also allows you to maintain ownership and title and control of your home, but keep in mind, the lender would be listed on title as a first mortgage.


The mortgage amount is only payable when you sell or move, and is based on the original principle balance plus accrued interest. Historically, your equity in your home will continue to grow, and is usually higher than the interest accrual.


Contact your financial institution to see if a reverse mortgage may be the right decision for you or your parents.

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Do you like fresh fruit and veggies? Imagine having them at your doorstep, even if your doorstep leads to a small deck or patio. You can grow quite a lot in a shallow space along the railings with the right planters.

One positive thing many have recognized in the last 7 months is healthy eating. Many of us that previously ate out several times per week have started to explore the art of cooking and finding happiness in the preparation and experience of new cuisine and building their cooking skills.

A large part of the attraction of cooking your own food is controlling the type and quality of the ingredients. For many, this may start with growing your own herbs and vegetables. Imagine being able to pick fresh herbs or tomatoes for that new dish you want to try, just steps from your door.   This makes cooking much more fun and exciting, new tastes will explode in your mouth, you’ll never want those canned tomatoes again, unless of course you’re canning tomatoes you have grown yourself!

When considering what to plant, first look at your outdoor space and type of sun exposure. Even the area outside your front door could get in on the action. If you have plenty of sun, you can even grow something in a decorative pot so it looks cute as well as being edible.

Most gardens require at least 6 to 8 hours of direct sunlight, so you may need to rearrange your BBQ and patio furniture to allow access to those life-giving sunbeams.  If you don’t receive a lot of sun you may want to grow greens and herbs as they require less sunlight.

To make your endeavors sustainable, make sure you have the correct set up. Will it be convenient and easy to water your plants? Will you have to carry jugs of water from the kitchen sink, or can you rig up a soaker hose system. Another option is to purchase self-watering planters.

Soil is another key factor for raised garden beds or planting pots. It is best to purchase soil specifically designed for planters. This type holds and releases moisture as the plant requires it. Keep in mind that your planters should also have drain holes to prevent the soil from staying too wet and developing mold.

There are so many interesting and creative ways to grow your goodies in containers. Vertical planters work well at utilizing smaller spaces, even a simple ladder would hold several small pots and add color to your space, or hang a chain of planters from the underside of your balcony overhang.

Also, in order to get a jump on next season, plant your seeds indoors even as early as mid-January to give them a head start, it’ll give you something to nuture during the rainy days ahead, and something to look forward to as new shoots sprout from the dirt below.

Have fun and let me know what interesting fruits and veggies you’ve managed to grow, I’d love to see your garden!

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Are you planning a move, do you know where you want to live?

There are so many interesting neighbourhoods in the Greater Vancouver area that it’s almost impossible to know them all. Inside those neighbourhoods, it’s very possible to find those “hidden pockets”, but you may need to do some footwork.

If you are limiting your search to a specific area or city, what are your reasons? Is it close to work, family, transit or perhaps it has to do with familiarity?

Consider taking trips out to various areas and take the time to walk and explore. How do you feel walking down the street, is it well lit in the evening, are the people you encounter friendly, does it give you a good vibe? How is the noise and traffic? Can you visualize yourself living there?

It’s also good to visit the areas at different times and days of the week including the weekend. Does it have enough parking for your family and friends when they visit, and how is the transit? Do you need to be in a specific school catchment or be able to walk to the grocery, bank, and other amenities?

Discovering different areas can be fun and enlightening, you might find an area you haven't considered. Something that offers you more for the way you want to live and spend your time.

You may be pleasantly surprised by this worthwhile adventure, as it certainly is a great way to broaden your knowledge and learn more about this wonderful area of the world.

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Deduct your mortgage interest! Yes, that’s correct

You may be aware that you can deduct the mortgage interest if you own a revenue property. But did you know there may be a way for you to deduct the interest on your principal property?

If you are in a position where you can buy your principle property with cash, then the following scenario may work for you.

The first step is to obtain mortgage approval. Depending on your personal life situation, whether you work fulltime, self-employed, or retired, will determine the amount of mortgage you will be approved for, and the interest rate they are willing to give you.

Once you find the property you wish to buy, you would use your personal money to purchase the property, then obtain a mortgage for the property you just purchased.

You could then use the mortgage money to invest.

Because mortgage rates are at an all-time low, you can borrow money using the mortgage for very little, then claim the interest expense as a deduction which further reduces the cost of borrowing, then invest the money to earn more money. It represents an opportunity to increase your rate of return over time.

This isn’t for everyone, but if this intrigues you, speak with your financial advisor to see how it may apply in your situation.

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If you asked a group of people where they think the hub of the house is located. The answer would most probably be the kitchen.  It is the hub of the home and a great deal happens right in that space. Everybody loves to hang out and chat in the kitchen, it’s the magnet that attracts friends and family and the location in your home where all the action is.

If you are renovating your kitchen, I would highly recommend adding an island to the design. Most everyone could use the extra prep space, and who wouldn’t love the storage that pot & pan drawers provide. If you have an electrician performing part of your reno have him/her install a couple of receptacles into the island, it’s inexpensive but very useful and much safer than running extension cords. Top that off with receptacles that also include USB chargers for your devices.

Also, turn your new island into an eating and breakfast bar by extending the countertop at least 12” past the cabinetry. This will create easy access seating so family members can help prepare dinner, have a quick meal, or perhaps finish their homework. It’s also a great place for that laptop to work from home or for quick access to that special recipe you have saved.

A kitchen island is a hot commodity and may very well help you sell your home in the future. But don’t worry about that, do it for yourself and for what it will add in fun and functionality.

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Are you throwing free money out the window?

No matter how small and insignificant it seems, free money should be grabbed!

Did you just get hired with a company offering a Group RRSP Plan? Or perhaps you took a job some time ago but didn’t join the company plan? If that is the case, it may be time to revisit HR.

Most companies offering a Group RRSP will allow you to put 3-5% of your earnings into a company plan where they match a portion or possibly all of your contribution. Many would consider this free money. Even a modest 25% match is an instant 25% return on your investment, that is hard to achieve elsewhere.

Many people believe they can’t afford to contribute to an RRSP and forego the deduction without really understanding the benefits. Every year that passes, more “free money” is left on the table.

Your RRSP contribution is deducted prior to taxes being paid, so technically you will pay less taxes each month. When these automatic RRSP deductions are moved at “source” you will not have the chance to spend the money, and really won’t notice the difference.

For example, if you have an income of $4K per month, contribute 3% to the company RRSP Fund, and your employer matches your 3%, you will have $2,880 in your Group RRSP at year end! Your monthly contribution of $120 is deducted prior to taxes, therefore you won’t notice the full $120 missing from your cheque.

Once your deductions are set up at source, it is amazing how quickly we adapt. Your new cheque amount will quickly become the “norm”, and you may forget you are actually saving for your future – now that is a bonus!

An additional benefit is first time home buyers can borrow up to $35,000 from their RRSP for a down payment tax free ($70K if both are first time homebuyers). Note that this is considered is a loan from your RRSP and must be repaid within 15 years.

Time passes very quickly and soon enough another year will have gone by. Make it a priority today to schedule time with HR to discuss your company RRSP plan. Have them set up your contribution so it changes as your income changes. You will be happily surprised a few years from now.

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The data relating to real estate on this website comes in part from the MLS® Reciprocity program of either the Real Estate Board of Greater Vancouver (REBGV), the Fraser Valley Real Estate Board (FVREB) or the Chilliwack and District Real Estate Board (CADREB). Real estate listings held by participating real estate firms are marked with the MLS® logo and detailed information about the listing includes the name of the listing agent. This representation is based in whole or part on data generated by either the REBGV, the FVREB or the CADREB which assumes no responsibility for its accuracy. The materials contained on this page may not be reproduced without the express written consent of either the REBGV, the FVREB or the CADREB.