Canada’s National Housing Strategy at A Glance

Canada_Housing_Strategy

Everyone deserves a safe and affordable place to call ‘home,’” Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said in a statement. “Canada’s first ever National Housing Strategy is a once-in-a-generation vision to reduce homelessness, support community housing and shelter spaces, and address challenges of housing affordability.”

We took a major step forward on housing today, and we will continue to deliver initiatives that strengthen the middle class and lift more Canadians out of poverty. –The Right Honourable Prime Minister Justin Trudeau

The strategy was developed by the Government of Canada through consultations with Canadians who have encountered obstacles with respect to quality affordable housing, experts, stakeholders, as well as provincial, territorial and municipal governments.

“Our Government is establishing a federal leadership role in housing,” said Jean-Yves Duclos, Minister of Families, Children and Social Development and Minister Responsible for CMHC. “The National Housing Strategy will create a new generation of housing in Canada. It will promote diverse communities and will build housing that is sustainable, accessible, mixed-income and mixed-use that will be located near transit, work and public services.”

Part of the National Housing Strategy includes the $4-billion Canada Housing Benefit, which will be funded jointly by the federal, provincial, and territorial governments. Launching in 2020, the Canada Housing Benefit will put funds support into the hands of Canadians living in social housing, those on a wait-list and those living in private residences but struggling financially. The Canada Housing Benefit will deliver an average of $2,500 per year to approximately 300,000 households across Canada.

For more information, visit CMHC.

Thanks to Remax for sharing this article.

Advertisements

How the Bank of Canada’s Interest Rate Hike Will Affect You and Your Mortgage

On July 12, we saw the first rate hike from the Bank of Canada. The rate was raised 0.25% from 0.5% to 0.75%. This was the first increase since September 2010 and more will come this year.  What do these increases mean for your fixed or variable rate mortgage? 

Mortgages

Your home may be the biggest purchase of your life, and anything that could affect the amount you are paying each month is important.

 

For a Fixed Rate Mortgage:

  • Payments for current homeowners stay the same
    • The interest rate on this type of mortgage is fixed so no matter what the Bank of Canada does, your rate will not change until your mortgage is up for renewal.
  • Increase at mortgage renewal
    • If you are at the end of your mortgages’ term, you will have to renew and your rate will change accordingly. This is not all bad news as the rate that you initially had at the start of your term (typically 5 years) may have been higher than the current rate is—even with the rate increase. To check what your future mortgage payments might be, I suggest using GLM Mortgage Groups’ Mortgage Calculator.
  • Higher Rate for Prospective Homebuyers
    • First-time home-buyers may have a higher rate if they are applying for a mortgage. Remember that the Bank of Canada will raise their rates in small increments (0.25%) at a time. Also, each increase translates into around $13 per $100k—an increase that most people can afford (though it may mean sacrificing a coffee run or two per week).

 

Variable Rate Mortgages

  • Your Payments Will Increase
    • A variable rate mortgage moves up or down with the general level of interest rates in the economy. This recent Bank of Canada hike means your mortgage payments will go up, but the amount you will be paying will be affordable, working out to around $13 per 100k
  • Should you switch to a Fixed Rate?
    • Deciding to lock into a fixed rate mortgage, depends on your ability to handle an increase in interest rates over time.  Historically, borrowers who stay in a Variable Rate Mortgage (VRM) tend to save more money over the course of the term. It is important to make an informed decision and to understand how Variable Rate Mortgages work.  Locking into a fixed rate may cost you more money than what an increase in your VRM would be.

The Mortgage Payment Calculator can show an estimated mortgage payment based on a new rate.

So there is no need to panic about these interest rate increases. It is important to stay informed and to budget for them.  The effect these increases will have on the real estate market remains to be seen.  This increase was the first one since 2010 but as we continue to get information we will keep you updated!  If you have any questions, please contact Young Real Estate Group and we can put you in touch with the best professionals out there to help you navigate these mortgage rate changes.

Trending Features in Luxury Homes

Trending Features in Luxury Homes

AY 1

Whether it’s state-of-the-art monitoring systems or an outdoor fireplace, the most extravagant properties have a few things in common. Don’t worry if a luxury renovation isn’t in the cards for you, sometimes even the smallest touches can make your home feel more luxury. Here are some of the latest must-haves in the world of luxury homes.

Professional Grade Kitchens

AY 2

The heart, the crowning jewel of any home is definitely the kitchen. It’s where everyone congregates, where meals are shared, holidays are celebrated and parties are enjoyed. When it comes to luxury homes, everything needs to be bigger, shinier and in the end, fully stocked with some serious gadgetry. Large, restaurant-grade appliances, warming drawers, built-in wine fridges and ample storage in the form of deep, wide drawers, or even a walk-in pantry or butler’s area are what makes these lavish kitchens stand out.

HGTV Canada Tip: If a luxury renovation isn’t in the cards for you, fret not. Sometimes even a small and simple addition, like a standing wine fridge, custom shelving in a pantry or drawer dividers can elevate your space. Think wisely on what would make the biggest impact to your home. If you don’t entertain often, forgo the wine fridge. You want to spend on features that will make your life easier, and impress your guests or potential buyers!

Fully Functioning Outdoor Living Spaces

AY 3

From wood-burning pizza ovens to built-in barbecues and fridges, a major trend in upscale homes is to bring all the comforts of a cozy living room and state-of-the-art kitchen, and take them outside. Sleek, stainless steel prep areas, working sinks, and built-in barbecues that can handle the most extravagant entertaining and living room seating complete with pergolas, chandeliers, fireplaces and even outdoor theatres make fresh air living spaces a luxury home must-have.

HGTV Canada Tip: With a short summer season in most parts of Canada, consider outdoor additions you can enjoy year round, like a hot tub!

Hotel-Like Spa Bathrooms

AY 4

Coast to coast, serene bathrooms that would rival some of the world’s best spas are being replicated in luxury homes. From wall-to-wall stone surfaces, to big-ticket items like huge walk-in showers with multiple jets, heated floors or stand alone soaker tubs, buyers always bring a judgmental eye to bathrooms, so be prepared!

HGTV Canada Tip: If you can only afford one big, luxury renovation, and you’re debating between the kitchen and bathroom, renovate the bathroom. Buyers tend to have very personal feelings about their kitchens, while an all-white bathroom with glossy chrome hardware never disappoints!

Smart Technology

AY 5

Much like our insatiable appetite for the latest gadget, luxury homeowners are looking to integrate sleek technology into their homes in myriad of ways. From controlling the home’s temperature, to unlocking doors or setting the alarm system from the push of a button on your smartphone to mobile monitoring systems that allow you to check video surveillance while at work or on vacation, today’s luxury homeowners want cutting edge technology built into their homes.

HGTV Canada Tip: Advances your home’s technology as your needs evolve. Investing in expensive technology is pointless if it’s not a fit with your lifestyle.

Closets

AY 6

Gone are the days of simple, walk-in closets. In today’s competitive luxury market, the closet needs to resemble the extravagant change rooms at a designer showroom. We’re talking chandeliers, grand islands topped with marble, floor-to-ceiling built-in wood shelving and flattering mirrors galore.

HGTV Canada Tip: This is one space where practicality does trump design. Buyers are looking for lots of storage, in a variety of shelving and drawers. A marble-topped island is just the icing on the cake!

You might also like: The Real Cost of a Luxury Makeover, found on HGTV.ca.

Courtesy of HGTV.ca.

Save

Save

A Miracle Mom’s Story in honour of Mother’s Day

A Miracle Mom’s Story

In honour of Mother’s Day, one “Miracle Mom” shares her experience with Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals.

Original guest post found here

It was June 23, 2013. After years of infertility, my husband and I were welcoming our triplets into this world. What should have been the most beautiful day of my life turned into a chaotic and bittersweet day as I delivered my babies more than 17 weeks premature. As I look back at this day, which is forever etched into my heart and memory, I can’t help but smile. My children wouldn’t have been given a chance at life if we weren’t at St. John’s Children’s Hospital in Springfield, Illinois, a Children’s Miracle Network Hospital.

At this hospital, I celebrated the happiest day of my life, along with the two darkest days I’ve ever experienced. My children were born at 22 weeks 6 days, not even considered viable by most hospitals in our country. Yet the neonatologists were ready, in case my children showed signs of life. My daughter, Abigail, died a few hours after birth. Her brother, Parker, lived his entire 55 days in the neonatal intensive care unit (NICU). Our lone survivor, Peyton, is the definition of a Miracle Child. After spending nearly four months in the NICU, she’s alive and thriving at close to 3 years old.

A Miracle Mom’s Story
Born 17 weeks premature, Stacey’s daughter, Peyton, is the youngest baby to survive at St. John’s Children’s Hospital.

The NICU can be a scary place. For some babies, it’s a brief stop on their way home. For others, like Peyton and Parker, it becomes their home. My husband and I spent every waking hour at St. John’s Children’s Hospital, oftentimes sitting bedside at our children’s isolettes, not able to even touch our babies because they were too weak. At just over a pound each, we never expected our babies to survive. But the doctors and nurses gave us hope every single day. And even as Parker died in our arms at nearly 2 months old, the staff provided us comfort. People often ask me how I return to a hospital where two of my children died. It’s easy — the hospital staff became family. Because of top-notch medical care, each of our triplets were born alive. And even though two of our babies lived just a short life, those few memories at the hospital will last us a lifetime.

As a television news anchor, I’ve spent years volunteering for children’s organizations and interviewing families with unique stories. Never in a million years did I expect to someday become one of those families. But I feel so blessed to be part of the Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals family. You never understand the benefit of a CMN Hospital until you find yourself in need of one. For my family, we saw firsthand how donations to CMN Hospitals are being used. What may seem like a simple reclining chair is so much more to a NICU family. For us, that’s where we first held our 1-pound babies, giving us that moment where we finally felt like a family. After the NICU journey, our surviving triplet visited the follow-up clinic, where doctors checked her development. Those rooms funded by CMN Hospitals may look like a typical exam room, but for us it’s so much more. It’s symbolic of how far our Miracle Child has come.

Today, our daughter Peyton is not only a survivor, she’s a walking miracle. As a “22-weeker,” she’s the youngest baby to survive at our hospital. As I watched Peyton recently dance at a CMN Hospitals event, I couldn’t help but tear up. She has defied the odds, conquering every uphill battle that has come her way. She’s not only beautiful and full of energy, she’s healthy. And it’s all because of St. John’s Children’s Hospital.

Since partnering with Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals in 1992, RE/MAX agents have raised more than $147 million for the charity’s 170 member hospitals in the U.S. and Canada. Donations help fund pediatric medical equipment and treatments, healthcare services and charitable care. Learn more by visiting www.cmnhospitals.org/. You can follow Stacey’s journey as a Miracle Mom on her blog, “Perfectly Peyton.”