How to Qualify for Your First Mortgage

Buying your first home can be confusing – especially if you're following the news and wondering just what impact new mortgage qualifying rules will have on you. When we talk about qualifying for your mortgage, we mean looking at the ratio of your debt vs. your income and seeing whether you will realistically be able to make mortgage payments.

Top 5 Tips to Survive Your Home Renovation

Your home renovation is the key to your dream home. Unfortunately, the road to that dream has a construction zone, and you'll need to find a way through it. Living through a renovation can be relatively easy if you have the option to live away from your home for an extended period of time, but that's not possible for most people. If you're going to be living in the middle of your reno, here are our top 5 tips for survival:

Is My Mortgage Rate About to Skyrocket?

If you've been worrying about rising mortgage rates, you're not alone! With home prices still near all-time highs in Victoria and Vancouver, Canadian home owners owe more on their mortgages than ever before. How dire is the situation? We took a look back to see what could happen.

Earthquakes and Your Home Insurance

In the 2015 movie San Andreas, a magnitude 9 earthquake hits the entire state of California. Dwayne Johnson plays a rescue pilot who needs to fly across the state to rescue his daughter – and along the way he witnesses the devastation to communities first-hand. While this example is a hyped-up Hollywood disaster flick, earthquakes are a reality of life for us in British Columbia.

Top 5 Myths About Home Insurance

If you're like most people, your home is your largest investment. You probably put a large portion of your money into the purchase of your home and it stores valuable belongings that you have earned over the years. You might eventually plan to sell your home and use the money for retirement. If not properly insured, all of that could be gone in a flash.

Can Appliances Really Impact My Mortgage?

When you're shopping for your new home, you might fall in love with the kitchen that will let you host the parties of your dreams. Or it could be the mudroom that's perfect for your family to toss in their sports jerseys right after practice. But are you falling for the functionality and flow of the rooms, or are you really attracted to the matching stainless steel fridge and stove or the high-efficiency washer and dryer?

We know that staging can make all the difference in your decision to put in an offer on a home. If you're at the point of writing that offer with your real estate agent, you'll want to make sure to include conditions that will avoid surprises – like moving in and finding that those great appliances have moved on with the previous owner.

Know the Details About Your Condo Insurance

Condos are an increasingly popular property choice, whether you're a first time home buyer, a professional moving to a new city, or a retiree looking to downsize. Insurance is just as important for a condominium as it is for a traditional home, but there always seems to be confusion around what a condo policy covers. At its core, condo insurance covers your contents and liability, while the strata corporation covers insuring the structure. It's important for you to understand what's included in these policies and where you want to make sure your coverage is sufficient.