Sunday, August 11, 2019

Downsizing: How To Do It Right No Matter What Your Needs Are!

Downsizing: How To Do It Right No Matter What Your Needs Are!

Downsizing can come in many forms for different people; for first-time homebuyers, there may be an issue of too many belongings gathered over the years to fit into the new space, and no one wants to start their time in a new home with a lot of clutter. For seniors, it’s usually all about moving into a smaller home and reducing possessions for greater ease of living. 

Fortunately, there are many easy ways you can downsize and still keep all the things that are important to you, whether you’re buying your first home or are looking for something a little smaller. The key is to start with a great plan and know exactly what you want before you begin looking; read on for the best tips on how to get started.

Know what you want and need
Finding the right home is the first step in downsizing, and depending on your needs, that may take a little while, so it’s important to stay patient and make a list of things you want but can live without as well as deal breakers. For seniors or individuals with special health considerations, downsizing often means finding a home that has no stairs, a small yard to take care of, and an accessible kitchen and bathroom; however, if you find a home you like that needs a little work, there are modifications that can be done for a price. You’ll want to talk to a local contractor and get estimates before making any decisions. Most importantly, talk to your trusted realtor about your concerns and your needs when looking at homes in Peoria and surrounding areas. 

Clear out the clutter
Many young homeowners find that their collections--books, DVDs and Blu-rays, and CDs and records--take up a lot of room they just can’t afford to lose in the new place. If this is the case for you, clear out the clutter and downsize your collections by going through them and weeding out the items you can live without. Special editions or favorites can be put to the side, but the items you don’t use often can be donated to the local library or sold to used bookstores. In fact, the library is a great place to go for these items rather than buying more.

Paperwork and documents can often be digitized, but if you’d rather have physical copies on hand, it’s best to get them organized to keep them from contributing to the clutter. Create a filing system and get everything neat; a large set of folders can help with this (which costs less than $20 at Walmart). Go through closets as well, and take out any outgrown or unused clothing and accessories to donate. It’s best to do this at least twice a year, especially if you have children who grow out of things rapidly.

If you need help with getting your items in order, hiring a professional organizer is a good option. This professional can take care of all your organizational needs, from sorting the bills to figuring out ways that you can keep your entire home clutter-free. The average national cost of hiring a professional organizer is $482, so make sure there’s room in your budget for this service.

Make the moving process go smoothly
One of the most difficult parts of downsizing is the actual move, especially if you’ve had to part with many of your belongings in an emotional process. Help make it go as smoothly as possible by making sure you have the right movers for the job, and keep communication open with friends and family so they can help out when the big day arrives. Prepare for the chaos of the day by having pets tended to by a friend, staying hydrated, and remembering to eat. 

While any move can be frustrating, try to look at this next chapter of your life with excitement and joy. Downsizing can mean a much easier path in life, no matter your age or goals, and with a good plan, you’ll be able to keep stress and anxiety at bay.

Hazel Bridges

Thursday, July 4, 2019

First Time Home Buyer Incentive

This year on September 2nd the first-time buyer incentive will be available.  It is a program designed to reduce mortgage payments for qualifying first-time buyers with a minimum 5% down payment required for a fully insured mortgage.  This is achieved by sharing in the equity of your home.  Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC) will provide you with 5% of the cost of an existing home, or 10% of a new home. 

This does not have to be paid back until you sell the property and there is no interest charged!  Of course no great deal is without some fine details, so please take note of the following:    

  1.  If your household income is more than $120,000, you are not eligible for this incentive.    
  2. Your total borrowed amount (including the CMHC equity incentive) must not be more than 4  times your household income.
 An example scenario would be if your household income is $120,000, the maximum purchase price would be approximately $505,000 with 5% down and $565,000 with a 15% downpayment.
*You are required to pay the incentive back when you sell the home or after 25 years and the repayment amount is based on fair market value.

To help you secure the best possible rates and terms. Contact us today at 1-416-822-5886

Don’t just dream about home ownership! Let us help you make this dream come true!

Saturday, June 22, 2019

Final Expense Insurance!

The price of a funeral in Canada can often be more than $25,000. If you aren’t properly prepared, your funeral can be a large financial burden on your loved ones and a responsibility they don’t need during an already difficult time. Make it easier on your family by planning ahead for the costs that come with your funeral.

* You can obtain coverage oftentimes without a medical exam, and even without needing to answer any health questions.
* You can obtain a $25,000 with guaranteed eligibility for most individuals ages 40 to 80.
* You can take out a policy and get it issued immediately, with no lengthy waiting periods.

$25,000 whole life coverage could cost as little as $20/per month... Based on the average life expectancy of each applicant you will usually see almost a 2 to 1 return on your invested premiums...guaranteed return on your investment.

By partnering with leading Canadian insurers, MoneyValue makes it easy for Canadians to get affordable no medical coverage.

Apply for a quote and discover your options now.

Apply Here for a Quote

Thursday, June 6, 2019

How Seniors Can Easily Save Money on Travel During Retirement!

One of the perks of your golden years is being able to get out and see the world. But when you are living on a smaller budget during retirement, you need to find easy ways to save on all those vacation plans. Thankfully, planning a budget-friendly trip from start to finish is pretty simple, so long as you do a little research. If you need some ideas on how to save on your next adventure, look no further than these simple cost-cutting tips.

When you plan a trip, you probably always think about hotels, flights and packing. Using sites like Priceline can help you save money on all your travel plans, and even provide cashback opportunities.

Get Discounts on Cars, Hotels and More

Wherever your travels take you, you are going to need a place to stay. Luckily, discount travel sites like make it easy to find a hotel with all the features you need, at a price you are very comfortable with. Look for last-minute deals or rebate offers, which can give you some additional money back on your bookings for hotels, flights and other travel needs. You can use that money to plan your next big trip.

If you are flying, you can try discount sites like Priceline to help you snag the best deals on every leg of your journey -- you may even be able to snag a coupon if you dig a little deeper. Alternatively, you can use flight tracker apps that send notifications to your phone as soon as prices drop or increase, which can make it much easier to find a flight to fit your budget.

If you need to rent a car for your trip, you can find ways to save there as well. Rental companies like Enterprise typically offer promotions and discounts that can help reduce those rental rates, especially on weekends. You can save even more with cashback offers on rental cars, so be sure to shop around before you book your ride.

Pick a Destination That is Budget-Friendly  

If you are really savvy, and flexible, you can definitely book budget-friendly international trips. For example, if Paris is calling your name, you could always book a cheaper trip to Budapest and experience many of the same kind of attractions at a fraction of the price of traditional Parisian adventures. You can also check sites like Groupon for savings on experiences and dining, even in popular destinations. When you need an easier way to save, however, try choosing a destination that is a little closer to home. There are so many exciting and beautiful places to see in Canada, so consider getting out and exploring areas you have never been to before.

Don’t Forget to Prepare Your Home

It’s important to give some serious thought to preparing your home before you leave. The last thing you want after saving yourself so much on your vacation is to come home to a very expensive problem. Before you go, check around your house to make sure batteries are replaced in smoke detectors and that all your windows are closed and locked. If you are leaving in the winter, you may also want to leave a faucet dripping to prevent pipes from bursting. It’s also always a good idea to have a friend or family member stop by your house to check things out during your vacation. This can be especially helpful if you forget to put a hold on your mail, or if you need someone to help water plants while you are away.

Living on a smaller budget in retirement is no reason to limit yourself from seeing the world. With a little time and some basic planning, you can put together budget-friendly trips that will really add some joy to your golden years. So what are you waiting for? Start planning your next vacation today, and don’t forget to look online for money-saving discounts, promo codes and rebates to help you save.

Hazel Bridges

Photo Credit: Pixabay

Wednesday, May 8, 2019

Case Study: 85% rental offset on a basement rental.

  • To purchase a new home with basement rental unit
  • Qualify for 80% LTV using the rental unit income
  • Stable salaried position earning $75,000
  • $800/month rental income as proven by signed lease agreement, and can provide fair market rent analysis with 2 comparables
  • 580 FICO due to missed bills during time of marital breakdown
  • Excellent mortgage repayment history
  • GDS/TDS is 24/35% with stressed TDS of 44% using the mortgage rate plus 200bps
  • $450,000 property value
  • Self-contained basement rental unit with own entry, full kitchen and bathroom
  • Good condition, well maintained property
  • Suburban area with DOM under 30
Down Payment
  • $30K from client's own savings
  • $50K gifted from family member

Deal Rationale:

Client was offered the following options:

  • A 1 year mortgage at 80% LTV for 5.14%
  • A 2 or 3 year mortgage at 80% LTV for 5.39%

The client chose the 1 year term at 5.14% offer and we used the client's $800 in monthly rental income to offset the client's expenses:

Mortgage Details
Property Value$450,000
Mortgage Balance$360,000
Mortgage Rate5.14%
Stressed Rate7.14%

85% Rental Offset
Salaried Income$75,000
Monthly Expenses (PITH)
Stressed Monthly Mortgage Payment
85% Rental Offset
Stressed TDS44%

Good or bad credit,
Call Us for all your Mortgage Needs.
Call +1 416 822 5886

Tuesday, April 23, 2019

Tips on Guiding Seniors Through the Funeral-Planning Process

The death of a loved one is a difficult time for families to endure. There often is confusion, shock, denial, despair, anger, and almost every other possible human emotion. There can be great financial stress as well due to the expense of the funeral itself and uncertainty about the future if the deceased was the primary income earner.

Because of this stress, many people opt to pre-plan their funerals as part of their routine estate planning. A pre-planned funeral can help your family better deal with your death. Here are some ways to make a funeral and other arrangements less of a burden on you and your family.

The Ins and Outs of Funeral Pre-Planning

When a funeral is pre-planned, every aspect can be considered, from the wording of the obituary, type of service, casket model, and more. People tend to have strong personal opinions on such decisions as to whether to be buried or cremated, whether to have an open-casket service, and even what musical selections will play during their funeral. Pre-planning allows individuals to organize the exact funeral they desire. Again, this is not a morbid thought but a way that you can lessen the burden when you pass away. With pre-planning, families can feel assured that they are following the deceased’s wishes.

The financial aspects of a funeral are addressed with pre-planning as well, from payment in full of an amount sufficient for a funeral. Pre-planning my provide you with the option of pre-paying for your funeral, possibly securing lower rates and avoiding the problem of liquidating estate assets to pay for a burial.

Most funeral homes offer pre-planning services, where they can discuss your wishes and create a roadmap in the event of your death. There are some obvious potential problems with a pre-planned arrangement. For example, you might not be living near the funeral home at the time of your death -- you are likely hoping your funeral plans will be long off in the future, and who knows what life you’ll be living then.

Other arrangements for handling the payment portion of a funeral is to take out an insurance policy with a benefit that would cover funeral expenses or to set up a burial trust fund.

When the Funeral Is Not Pre-Planned

Although many are arranging their funerals in advance, most people don’t like to think about their deaths, so they neglect pre-planning arrangements. In the event that you are guiding someone through the loss of a loved one, there are several ways to provide support and help them make choices in a stressful moment.

People grieve in their own way, so it’s not especially helpful to be intrusive during this time. Offer your support in tangible ways, such as helping with funeral arrangements. Offer to speak with the funeral director yourself so that the grieving family member does not have to be inundated with the death process. However, make sure to include the person in decisions and listen to the funeral director’s advice. Since they deal with grief on a daily basis, they often can provide insight, guidance, and assistance during this time.

Beyond planning for a funeral, a grieving person might need your help in navigating the world after the death. When the funeral is over and the shock begins to subside, this person may need to create a new life. Offer to help address long-term decisions and connect with support services that may be available.

Death will bring shock and stress for families and surviving spouses. Consider how pre-planning can lessen that for your family, and when you know of others going through the stress, be there to provide support.

Hazel Bridges

Photo Credit: Unsplash