Purchasing a home in itself can be stressful enough. Being bombarded with unfamiliar jargon can add to that stress. Fortunately for you, we've created a helpful cheat sheet that will make you a mortgage expert in no time!

No-Frills Mortgage
It is a basic, bare-bones fixed-rate mortgage. While the rates quoted are generally quite low, there are some downsides to the low rates which we will touch base on below. 

Advantages of a No-Frills Mortgage
- Low interest rates (Generally cheaper than fully-featured mortgages)
- Stability in payment amounts

Disadvantages of a No-Frills Mortgage
- Very limited prepayment privileges (Restrictions on how many prepayments you're allowed to make)
- High penalties incurred for refinancing or paying out the mortgage
- No added flexibilty for payment options 

 By the end of this 4-part series, you'll be well informed on the various elements involved in mortgage plans and you'll be able to decide on what plan is best suited for your needs.

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Purchasing a home in itself can be stressful enough. Being bombarded with unfamiliar jargon can add to that stress. Fortunately for you, we've created a helpful cheat sheet that will make you a mortgage expert in no time!

Prepayment Privileges
Your mortgage has an option to make extra payments up to a certain percentage of the whole without incurring any penalties. There are 3 ways you can make extra payments towards your mortgage:

[1] Additional Payments: This option is simply where you can opt into making additional payments towards your mortgage with one lumpsum payment or several lump sum payments. 

[2] Increased Payments: This option allows you to increase the payment amount arranged annually. This can often be done in conjunction with the additional payments.

[3] Lump Sum Payments: Most lending institutions allow you to make large lump sum payments towards your principal. In doing so, you will rapidly decrease your balance owing. 

Advantages of Prepayment Privileges
- You'll be able to pay off your mortgage faster 

Disadvantages of Prepayment Privileges
- No real disadvantage considering these are just options that are available for mortgage repayments. 
- If you don't foresee any extra money in your budget, you may not want to consider the options available for prepayment privileges. 

Every lending institution has different policies on their prepayment privileges terms so consult your lender to determine what mortgage plan is right for you. 

By the end of this 4-part series, you'll be well informed on the various elements involved in mortgage plans and you'll be able to decide on what plan is best suited for your needs.

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I have sold a property at 2801 651 Nootka WAY in Port Moody.
Incredible Burrard Inlet & Mountain view from this luxurious 2 bed/2 bath PENTHOUSE in Port Moody's most sought after neighbourhood. This beautiful well laid-out home features; hardwood floors, granite tops, gas stove, stainless steel appliances, open floor plan, fireplace, massive wrap around deck & 1 parking spot. You can also enjoy the CANOE CLUB with amenities that include: outdoor pool, tennis court, media & games room & gym. All conveniences at your doorstep.
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Purchasing a home in itself can be stressful enough. Being bombarded with unfamiliar jargon can add to that stress. Fortunately for you, we've created a helpful cheat sheet that will make you a mortgage expert in no time!

Variable-Rate Mortgage
Your mortgage rate will fluctuate with any changes with the current prime interest rate. In essence, if the prime rate declines, more of your payment will go towards paying off your principal. However, if the prime rate increases, more of your payment will go towards covering interest costs.

As a whole, you may end up paying a lower average rate in comparison to a fixed-rate mortgage. If interest rates are cliombing, you can switch over to a fixed-rate mortgage.

Advantages of a Variable-Rate Mortgage
- Due to the fluctuations, any decreases in the prime rate will work in your favor.
- Generally variable-rates are lower than fixed-rates as a way to compensate for the risk factor.

Disadvantages of a Variable-Rate Mortgage
- More risk involved due to the lack of security & stability.
- Financial uncertainty - Significant increases in prime rate will increase your interest payable which will consequently increase your financial burden.

By the end of this 4-part series, you'll be well informed on the various elements involved in mortgage plans and you'll be able to decide on what plan is best suited for your needs.

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Purchasing a new home can be quite costly. For properties purchased in BC, the government has levied a tax payable called the Property Transfer Tax (PTT). The tax is 1% on the first $200,000 of the property value and 2% on the remaining balance. However, first-time home buyers may be qualified for $7,500 in tax savings (Effective as of February 19, 2014). Follow along to see if you satisfy the requirements necessary to qualify for the tax savings!

[1] You have never owned an interest in a principal residence anywhere in the world at any time.

*Principal Residence - Place of residence where an individual normally resides or occupies the property.

[2] You must be a Canadian citizen or permanent resident. Also, you must have lived in BC for 12 consecutive months immediately before the date you register the property.

However, if you have not lived in BC for at least 12 consecutive months, you may still be eligible given you satisfy the requirement of having filed at least 2 income tax returns as a BC resident in the last 6 years.

Note: If you are not currently a Canadian citizen or a permanent resident but you become one within 12 months of when the property is registered, you may apply for a refund of the tax. 

[1] The fair market value must be less than $475,000 if registered on or after February 19, 2014.

Under the PTT First-Time Home Buyers' Exemption program, qualifying first-time buyers can buy a home worth up to $475,000. The previous market value threshold was $425,000. With the threshold being increased, home buyers can now save up to $7,500. For partial exemption, the government has laid out tax savings applicable to properties valued from $475,000 to $500,000. A breakdown of the tax savings on the partial exemption properties can be found here: Proportional Exemptions

[2] The property must be 0.5 hectares (or 1.24 acres) or smaller.

[3] The property must only be used as your principal residence.

You must have moved into your residence within 92 days of transfer of title and must have occupied the property for the remainder of the first year. If you did not move in within 92 days, you will be charged the tax. If you moved out within the first year, you will be charged for a prorated portion of the tax.

Please note, all exemption claims submitted will be audited by the government. Any false claims submitted will be subject to a penalty equal to twice the amount of tax you would have saved. If you are uncertain about your eligibility status, consult with a legal advisor.

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Transform your house into a home by adding a personal flair with a few of these simple & inexpensive DIYs. 

*Image courtesy of nuchylee/ FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Adding some greenery into your living space in decorative pots can add a bit of a personal touch. Liven up your window sill, coffee table or patio with potted plants as a decorative accent or as a natural air freshener.

*Image courtesy of Stephanie

Who said decorating your home can't be fun? Turn this DIY into an exciting craft project perfect for you and your family. Grab a few canvases and some painting supplies from your local art supplier and create masterpieces that can then be used as an art installation in your home! Nothing says personal touch quite as well as handpainted art pieces. Plus, you can wow your guests with your one-of-a-kind masterpiece, just like the one in the picture above.

As we conclude this 3-part series, we hope these useful tips will become handy to you, whether you're starting from scratch or revamping your current living space. 

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Transform your house into a home by adding a personal flair with a few of these simple & inexpensive DIYs. 

*Image courtesy of Sira Anamwong/ FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Light fixtures can do wonders to transform and illuminate your living space. Opt for energy efficient lighting to not only conserve energy but to also keep your wallet feeling a little fuller. Put in some dimmer switches and programmable panels to adjust your lighting according to your mood. Plus, you can instantly create a warmer ambience by adjusting to dimmer lighting.

On another note, simply changing your switchplate covers can be an inexpensive way to add a little drama into your living space in a subtle way. These decorative accents come in a plethora of designs, colors and materials and can complement key pieces in your living space.

*Image courtesy of Vichaya Kiatying-Angsulee/ FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Let's face it, some of the more outdated houses have bathtubs to match. While the bathtub looks like it's still stuck in the 70s, we are not. Ditch the salmon pink retro style bathtub and have it refurbished to match the decade that we're in. While this is typically not something that would be considered a DIY unless you are equipped with the necessary tools and skills, there are other elements in the bathroom that are simple to do yourself. Replacing faucets and shower heads can instantly add some elegance at an affordable cost.

Stay tuned as we uncover more useful DIY tips in subsequent posts.

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Transform your house into a home by adding a personal flair with a few of these simple & inexpensive DIYs. 

*Image courtesy of Stoonn/ FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Fresh paint can easily transform the ambience of a room. The amazing thing about paint is how it can personalize a home without a hefty price tag. It is nearly effortless, comes in an array of colors and shades and best of all, it's cheap! If you're someone who enjoys frequent changes, you can easily create a new look by painting your room again.

Having an accent wall can add character into a room by incorporating a striking design element in your space. You can create a stunning, unique space by painting your accent wall a different color or pattern. To create a bold statement, you can make the accent wall pop by choosing a bold, colorful shade that will accentuate the space without overpowering it. In contrast, you can opt for a sleeker look by designing an accent wall that is a gradual contrast rather than a bold one. Try a color that is a few shades deeper than the rest of your walls.

*Image courtesy of Sira Anamwong / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Miniscule details such as door knobs, cabinet hardware and hinges are often overlooked despite the fact that they are used on a daily basis. Replacing antique, outdated hardware for modern, sleek ones can transform the look of your cabinets & doors completely. Just like a fresh coat of paint, this DIY is effortless and inexpensive.

Stay tuned as we uncover more useful DIY tips in subsequent posts.

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Leasehold properties allow home buyers to climb the property ladder in a much more affordable manner. With savings of $100K or more, choosing this route seems like a wise decision, especially in this day and age where housing costs seem to be increasing exponentially. But what exactly is a leasehold property?

In layman's terms, a leasehold property is basically an ownership agreement in which you purchase the home but rent the land. In Vancouver, this type of ownership is not as common as freehold ownership but it is more prominent in certain areas of the West End, False Creek and UBC. In contrast to their freehold counterparts, leasehold properties are, generally speaking, more attractively priced, more spacious and in better neighbourhoods.

Getting into the technical details, leasehold properties are owned by the city, governments, First Nations bands, universities and other approved public authorities. The land is leased out to a developer typically between 50 to 99 years. The land is used for developing housing which is then sold or rented out to homeowners at a far more affordable price in comparison to freehold ownerships.

For all your real estate needs, contact us today by email at amalia@wesellvancouver.ca or by phone at 604-618-7000!

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