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Follow these six tips to save money and time during the back to school season!

1. What do you already have?

To avoid unnecessary shopping trips and expenses, take some time to go through your home to see if any of the stationary supplies that you already have, such as binders, calculators or art supplies, can be reused.

2. See what fits

Heading back to school season is a great reason to go through your children’s clothing to make sure it all still fits. If things don’t, make space for stuff that does by donating outgrown items to charity or a clothing drive. If you have multiple children who are separated in age, saving your eldest’s clothes for the younger one will help extend the lifecycle of your closets, and save you money.

3. Make a list and set a budget

Once you have assessed which clothes and supplies you need for the new school year, create a list and come up with a firm budget to work within. This is a good opportunity to involve your children to teach them about budgeting.

4. Follow your favorite stores

Most companies share sales and promotions via email or social media. To help you stay within your budget, stay in-the-know when it comes to special deals by following your favourite stores on Facebook and Twitter, or subscribe to their emails.

5. Plan the shop

Once you have gathered coupons or noted which stores have sales, it’s a good idea to plan out your shopping trip to make the most of your time and energy. Organize your list into sections based on what you need at each store. To help stay within your budget, don’t forget about your local dollar store for school supplies!

6. Don’t shop by brands

Children always want the latest and trendiest items, whether it’s a Hugo Boss t-shirt or a Star Wars backpack, but brand name designer items will empty your wallet and break the budget fast. It’s always a good idea to research comparable items that you can purchase for a fraction of the cost.

Debt Consolidation

  • Do a complete review of your financial situation. we will look at your income, expenses, debts and assets.
  • We will enrol you in a Debt Consolidation Program or find another solution that puts you in control of your finances.
  • We’ll teach you about rebuilding credit and managing a budget so you can live life free from debt problems.

Condo Market Toronto

A rising share of condo investors in Canada’s hottest housing markets are snapping up multiple units in hopes of capitalizing on rising prices and lucrative rental income.

Over all the condo investment market has been stable, Canada Mortgage and Housing Corp. found in a new survey of more than 42,000 condo owners in the Toronto and Vancouver regions. About three-quarters of condo buyers reported that they owned only one unit, a share that has remained roughly consistent for the three years the federal housing agency has conducted its annual survey.

At the same time, the total number of investors in the two regions who say they have purchased at least two condo units in addition to their primary residence has risen nearly 13 per cent over the past two years. Nearly a quarter of condo investors told CMHC they owned least two units, with close to 10 per cent reporting they owned three or more condos.

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The new down payment rule: what changed on February 15

On February 15, the Government of Canada effected a change to the rules for down payments. The change, which was officially announced on December 11, 2015, increases the minimum down payment for new insured mortgages from 5 per cent to 10 per cent, for the portion of the house price above $500,000.

The change does not affect home owners who hold mortgages obtained prior to February 15, and the 5 per cent minimum down payment for properties up to $500,000 remains unchanged.

What does this mean for consumers?

Before February 15, 2016, a 5 per cent minimum down payment was required for insured mortgages up to $1 million. For example, an insured mortgage for a home purchased for $800,000, prior to February 15, would have required a minimum down payment of $40,000 ($800,000 @ 5%).

After February 15, 2016, down payments for insured mortgages are divided in two: a 5 per cent minimum down payment is required on the first $500,000 of property, and 10 per cent is required on the remaining value. For example, an insured mortgage for a home purchased for $800,000, after February 15, will require a total minimum down payment of $55,000 (the first $500,000 @ 5% and remaining $300,000 @ 10%).

“We recognize that, specifically in the Toronto and Vancouver markets, we have seen house prices that have been elevated,” Finance Minister Bill Morneau told reporters “and we want to make sure we create an environment that protects the people buying homes so they have sufficient equity in their home.”


Keep your credit history in shape!

With Holidays come the purchasing of presents and quite often credit utilization.

As credit history is one of several main components of a qualifying for a mortgage, budgeting for the Holidays and, furthermore, not maxing out your credit can avoid negative surprises in 2016. 

While building a budget, you need to ask yourself one of the many important questions:

“What is my Holiday budget, based on my current financial situation?”

The answer to this question will take into consideration your credit utilization and your future projects and goals.

Several elements are considered when it comes to your Credit Score also taking into consideration your homeownership goals.  As a first time home buyer, are you or will you be saving for a Down Payment? As an existing homeowner, maybe you will be looking at refinancing or renewing your mortgage?

A few key questions should be asked in order to determine a budget for the Holidays:

1-    How much can you (and are you willing to) spend?

2-    Who are you going to purchase presents for?

3-    What does my credit utilization look like right now? Have I made any late payments recently and what is my actual percentage used of my credit limits?

4-    Will I have the funds during all celebrations to pay these purchases in time?

5-    How will these purchases affect my long term financial goals?

6-    How can I track my Holiday spending?

Getting by making the minimum payment is not enough. Add on Holiday spending, and even your minimum payments can become no longer affordable. Keep in mind that credit delinquency appears for 6 years on your Credit Report, therefore maxing out your credit might not be worth it. Just remember, your friends and family wouldn’t want you to go into debt for the holidays.

After Christmas, to get a handle on credit card debt, make a list of your unpaid balances, match them with their interest rate, and pay down the one with the higher interest rate first.

Some of us may not have immediate home ownership or refinancing projects, but the Holidays happen every year. For those planning on ownership and refinancing, CENTUM Mortgage Professionals are always looking for your best interest and can help you accomplish your projects.  If you have any questions or require assistance we have access to tools, services and education needed to improve your credit score along with guidance on how to get there.

Our 2016 Pledge To You.

For most people, the purchase of a home is the single largest financial investment they will make.

This means that the process can be very stressful without the right support.

As a consumer, you have a lot of options when it comes to selecting the right team of real estate and mortgage professionals.  Surrounding yourself with experts who understand the market and industry can make a huge difference in your journey to home ownership.

As your CENTUM Mortgage Professional I will work closely with you to ensure that your needs are first and foremost.  I want your home buying experience to be as smooth as possible, so that you can focus on this exciting new chapter in your life.

My pledge to you is simple.  I will:

1) Present you with options so that you can make informed decisions.

2) Communicate clearly with you throughout the mortgaging process.

3) Treat you with respect and understanding.

4) Look Out for Your Best Interest®.

A home is more than just a roof and four walls.  It is an investment in your family’s future, and a place where memories are made.  It is important that you are able to make decisions based on as much information as possible so that when you look to the future, you are confident that you have done everything you can to protect your investment.

My duty is to find you the best rate, and ensure that the mortgage you acquire is flexible enough for your specific financial goals.  I work with multiple lenders so that you can decide the best fit for your financial requirements. 

At CENTUM, our business and client relationships are built on integrity and honesty.  Our relationships are the reason we can proudly say that we are Canada’s premier mortgage brokerage brand.