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.


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.


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.


Somehow September snuck up without us paying attention, perhaps it’s because many of us work out of our homes these days, and no longer need to venture outside. One day becomes the next, and then it’s the weekend again. Maybe you haven’t left your home for several days, this can easily lead to a humdrum existence.

Something as simple as packing a sandwich to go across the street to the park will brighten your day. It is truly amazing how rejuvenating it can be to sit and watch the waves and feel the breeze on your face.

With fall around the corner we should take time each day to enjoy the sunshine. Whether a short walk or coffee in the park, I’m sure you’ll agree it just makes life “that much better”.

Get creative, even when it rains you can still have a picnic in your car and watch the birds. The key is to just get outside.


Are you waiting on the sidelines, listening to others tell you that house prices will continue to plummet, hoping you can snag a deal?

Many of us are, but please keep in mind that the pendulum will sway back and forth, making it very hard to predict what and when price changes will happen.

I have been looking at market data and properties for sale every day and have noticed an interesting trend. Even though there are properties showing price reductions, I am also seeing quite the opposite with some properties bumping back up. What might be the reasons for this? It may be something as simple as the property wasn’t priced correctly to start with and they have decided to make an adjustment, or, they were just testing the market to see where they might fit in but what if something else is going on?  

No matter what you hear or read, nobody has that crystal ball that will tell you when to “jump in”. In order to make an informed decision, my suggestion is to determine your “comfort zone”. If you found the perfect property last year, at what price would you have been happy to make an offer on that specific property?

In Greater Vancouver, the July sales were 9.4% above the 10 year sales average. This confirms that people are taking advantage of the very attractive interest rates which are still below 2% on a 5 year term! If interest rates rise even just a little bit while you are waiting for prices to drop, you will not realize the savings.

The only time you will be aware prices have reached the bottom, is when they’ve already started to climb back up and you have the numbers available to make a comparison.

Now is the time to get your ducks in a row. You don’t want to be scrambling around in the dark when you find the right place. You want to be prepared to take the next steps when the home of your dreams is on the market.

Let me do the footwork while you enjoy the experience. My job is to make it easy for you. Remember, a Buyer’s Agent doesn’t cost you a dime, but they are invaluable.

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