5 Best Kitchen Upgrades

Today we have a feature article from Lucas Contracting. If you’ve decided to undergo a kitchen remodel, you probably have a lot of ideas floating in your head or people whispering in your ear about what design choices to make. It can be hard to settle on what kind of finishes to choose, but we consider these the five best kitchen upgrades:

Granite Countertops

Granite countertops look incredible, help improve the resell value of your home, and are also very durable. The great thing about granite is that it is a natural product, yet comes in a wide variety of colour and design options to suit your particular style and the feel of your new kitchen. While you may flirt with other countertop options or try to skimp on the budget, there is no doubt the most appealing and valuable countertop option is granite.


While your old white stove might still work perfectly fine, it can be an eyesore. Potential buyers are often turned off by an amazing kitchen that happens to have older appliances. So treat yourself and add to the resell value of your home by investing in stainless steel appliances. These instantly upgrade the look of your kitchen, but also provide great practical function. Above all, make sure your appliances match – nothing disappoints a buyer more than three great stainless steel appliances brought down by an old and ugly fridge.


Often overlooked, kitchen lighting is the final touch to really make a kitchen remodel pop. You may not even notice good lighting, but you’ll definitely notice poor lighting. Whether you choose under-cabinet lighting, recessed lighting, elegant hanging lights, or an industrial look, you can find the right lighting options to suit your style.


It is important to choose the right kind of kitchen flooring. You need a material that can stand up to the test of time, and that can handle the action of one of the most highly-trafficked areas in your home. Tough and low maintenance porcelain tile, slip-resistant cork flooring, or affordable and comfortable vinyl flooring are all great options.


Finally, you’ll want to make sure you’ll invest in many storage options. You don’t want to design a beautiful and impressive kitchen yet realize you have nowhere to store the turkey pan, blender, or backup wine glasses. Make sure you have plenty of cupboard space to suit your needs, a deep and inviting pantry, lots of drawers, and a practical storage design. Think of your largest or most awkwardly-sized cooking item and make sure it will have a nice home in your brand new kitchen.

With these recommendations in mind, you’ll have a perfect kitchen renovation that is as stunning as it is practical. Bon appétit!

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Your Ottawa Home Mortgages Questions Answered

Choosing a mortgage plays a key role in your finances will work. You need to know what you’re up against before you can when making this important decision. You will make a better decision if you are in the know.

Before you start looking for home mortgages, have a look at your credit report to make sure everything is okay. Credit standards are becoming even more strict, so make sure that your credit is free of any errors that could prove to be costly.

Avoid spending any excess money after you wait for closing day on your mortgage. Lenders recheck credit before a mortgage close, and they may issue a denial if extra activity is noticed. Wait until after you have signed your mortgage contract.

You won’t want to pay more than thirty percent of your gross monthly income in mortgage payments. Paying a mortgage that is too much can cause problems occur later on if you were to have any financial problems. You will have your budget if your payments are manageable.

Do not give up if you are denied a loan.Different lenders have their own standards for loan qualification. This means it is a good idea to apply at several places to get optimal results.

Search for the most advantageous interest rate you can find. The bank wants to give you to take the highest rate possible. Don’t be a victim to this type of thing. Make sure you’re shopping so you’re able to have a lot of options to choose from.

Just because one company denies you are denied once doesn’t mean you should lose hope.One lender’s denial does not represent them all. Keep shopping and looking for more options. You might need someone to co-sign the mortgage that you need.

Ask around for advice about getting a home mortgages. They may give you with information about what to look for. You can avoid bad situations by learning from negative experiences they have had.

If you are having difficulty paying a mortgage, seek help. Counseling might help if you are having difficultly affording the minimum amount. There are various agencies that offer counseling under HUD offices around the country. These counselors offer free advice to help you prevent your home from being foreclosed. Call HUD or look online for a location near you.

Reduce your debts before applying for a mortgage. A home mortgage is a huge responsibility and you want to be sure that you will be able to make the payments, and you should be able to comfortably afford it.Having fewer debts will make it that much easier to do just that.

Do your homework about any potential mortgage lender prior to signing on the bottom line. Do not just assume your lender at their word.Look them up on the Internet.Check out lenders at the BBB. You should have to know as much as possible before you can be prepared to secure favorable loan terms.

Adjustable rate mortgages or ARMs don’t expire when their term is up. The rate is adjusted accordingly using the rate at the application you gave. This could result in the mortgagee at risk for ending up paying a high interest rate.

Once you get a mortgage, start paying a little extra to the principal every month. This will help you get the loan at a faster rate. Paying as little as an additional hundred dollars more per month on your loan can actually reduce how long you need to pay off the loan by ten years.

Know as much as you can about all your fees will be before signing on the dotted line. There are itemized costs for closing, commission fees and some miscellaneous charges. You can negotiate a few of these fees with either the lender or the seller.

Cut down on the credit cards you use before you get a home. Having too many credit cards can make you look financially irresponsible.

Learn about the fees and costs are associated with getting a mortgage. There are often odd-seeming line items involved in closing on a loan. It can make you feel very daunting. But with some homework, this will better prepare you for the process.

Avoid a home mortgage that has a variable interest rate mortgages. The main thing that’s wrong with these mortgages is that they mirror what is happening in the interest rate to increase. You could end up owing more in payments that you can’t afford it.

If it is within your budget, think about getting a 15- or 20-year loan. These short-term loans have lower interest rates and a larger monthly payments that are slightly higher in exchange for the shorter loan period. You will save thousands of dollars by choosing this option.

The rates a bank are not the set rates.

Don’t change jobs while you are in the middle of getting a home loan. Your lender will find out that you’ve switched job and this could lead to delays on your closing.

Keep in mind that brokers make more money off of fixed rate products than they do from variable rate. They may try to intimidate you into taking a locked in option. Avoid this fear by understanding the true terms and taking your own terms.

Always have a home inspected by your own inspector before considering purchasing it. The inspector hired by the lender is likely to act in their best interests. It’s a matter of trust here, so even if you’re dealing with a lender that’s scoffing at this, it will serve your interests better if an independent person inspects the property.

Assumable mortgages are usually a less stressful option for getting a loan. You take over someone else’s loan payments rather than getting a loan for your own mortgage. The cash to the owner of the property up front. It usually meets or exceeds what the down payment might be.

Implementing all you’ve learned is key to helping you choose the mortgage that’s right for you. There are numerous resources available to help ensure you get the best loan available. Use the tips from above to guide you through the process.

Posted in Mortgage, Mortgages, Residential Mortgages | Leave a comment

Home Mortgages Confusing You? Try These Tips Out

Have you found yourself looking at homes wondering how you can afford? Are you unfamiliar with home mortgage options available to buyers? Regardless of your reason for being here, it is possible for everyone to get some useful home loan information from this article.

Get your documents in order. Most lenders require basic financial documents. These documents include prior year tax returns, bank statements, income tax returns and bank statements. The whole process will run more quickly and more smoothly when your documents are all in order.

Educate yourself about the tax history when it comes to property tax.You have to understand just how much your property taxes will increase over time.

Look out for the lowest interest rate possible. The bank is seeking the best way to get you to pay a very high interest rate that is high. Don’t be a victim to this type of this. Make sure you’re shopping around so you know your options.

Ask family and friends for advice when you know for home mortgage wisdom. They might have some helpful advice that you need to look out for. You can avoid bad situations by learning from negative experiences.

If your mortgage has you struggling, seek out help. Counseling is a good way to start if you are having difficultly affording the minimum amount. There are various agencies that offer counseling under HUD offices around the country. These counselors offer free advice to help you avoid foreclosure. Call or look online for a location near you.

Balloon mortgages are among the easiest loans to get approved.This is a short-term loan option, and the balance owed on the mortgage needs to be refinanced when the term of the loan expires. This is a risky due to possible increases in rates or your financial health.

Once you have taken out your mortgage, you should try to pay extra towards the principal each month. This will help you reduce your loan much faster. Paying as little as an additional hundred dollars more per month could reduce the term of a mortgage by ten years.

Know what all fees related to a mortgage. There are itemized costs for closing, in addition to other commission fees and miscellaneous charges. You might be able to negotiate some of these terms with either the lender or the seller.

Be sure to be totally candid when seeking a loan. A lender will not put their trust in you if you are untrustworthy.

A good credit score generally leads to a great mortgage rate in our current tight lending market. Get credit reports for errors. Banks usually avoid consumers with a credit score of less than 620.

Many sellers just want out and will help you out. You will then need to make two payments every month, but it can get you the mortgage you want.

Make certain your credit report is in good before applying for a loan. Lenders want customers that have great credit.They do this because they need to know that you owe. Tidy up your credit report before you apply.

If you get approved for a loan bigger than what is realistic within your budget, then this offers you some wiggle room. Doing this might mean serious financial troubles later in the future.

If you want to buy a house in the next year, make sure your relationship with your current financial institution is a good one. You might even get a personal loan to purchase household furnishings to establish a good credit rating. This places you in good standing with them ahead of time.

Check on the BBB before picking a mortgage broker that you may be working with. Some brokers are predators trying to get as much money for themselves. Be wary of brokers that expect you to cough up high fees.

The best way to get a better rate is to ask for one. Your mortgage will never be paid if you do not have the courage to ask.

Try to save as much cash as you can before you apply for the mortgage. You will need to have to pay at least 3.5% of the loan as a down payment. You must pay an extra fee for any home bought with less than 20%.

Check out the resources available at your neighborhood library on mortgages. Your library should have a few and they are free source of information on home mortgage buying process.

Never use a broker that approaches you via email or phone.

The Internet is something you to research a lender. You should check message boards and online reviews to learn more about different lenders. Read reviewers from actual borrowers have to say about the lenders before applying for a loan. You might be surprised to learn lots about lenders and their practices.

Now that you’re done reading this article, you should be better equipped to apply for your home mortgage. Now you understand how the right mortgage can help you get a great home and save money. Use the tips laid out here when you need a mortgage for your dream house.

Posted in Mortgage Agent, Mortgage Broker, Mortgage Rates, Mortgages, Ottawa | Leave a comment

Home Mortgage Advice Straight From The Experts

Have you ever applied for home mortgage in the past? No matter if you’re a new home buyer or just a person that needs refinancing or to buy yourself another home, there are many things to know about the changing mortgage market. You need to stay abreast of these changes if you want to get the best mortgage for your situation. This article has some valuable and interesting information to help you.

Start the process of taking out a home mortgage way ahead of time. Get your budget completed and your financial documents in order. This includes saving money for a down payment and organizing your debts. You may not be approved if you hold off too long.

Get all your paperwork together before applying for a home loan. Having your information available can make the process go more quickly.The lender is likely to want to look over all of those materials, so getting it together for them can save time.

Even if you are far underwater on your home, the new HARP regulations can help you get a new loan.This new program allowed many who were unable to refinance before. Check the program out and a higher credit score.

You have to have a lengthy work history to be granted a home mortgage. A steady years of work history is important to mortgage loan. Changing jobs can also disqualify you ineligible for mortgages. You never quit your job during the application process.

Many purchasers are afraid to discuss their home because they do not understand that they still may have options to renegotiate it.Be sure to call the mortgage holder.

Make certain your credit is good if you are planning to apply for a mortgage. Lenders carefully scrutinize your past credit to determine how much of risk you are to them. If you’ve had poor credit, work on repairing it before applying for a loan.

Search around for the best possible interest terms possible. The bank wants you to take the highest rates they can. Don’t let yourself be a victim to this. Make sure you’re shopping around so you know your options.

This ought to encompass closing costs associated with the loan. Most lenders are honest from the start about what is going to be required of you, but you may find some hidden charges that may sneak up on you.

Be sure you’re looking over a lot of institutions to deal with your mortgage lender. Check online for reputations, their rates and any hidden fees in their contracts.

Minimize your debts before attempting to purchase a home. A home mortgage is a huge responsibility and you want to be sure that you will be able to make the payments, and you should be able to comfortably afford it. Having minimal debt will make it that much easier to get a home mortgage loan.

Once you have taken out your mortgage, try paying extra for the principal every month. This practice allows you to reconcile the mortgage loan at a much quicker rate. Paying only 100 dollars a month could reduce how long you need to pay off the loan by 10 years.

Think about working with places other than banks for mortgages. You may also be able to work with a credit union because they have great rates usually. Think about all the options when choosing a home mortgage.

Be sure to be totally candid when applying for a mortgage loan. A lender won’t allow you if they find out you’ve lied to them.

Look through the Internet to finance a mortgage.You used to have to physically go to a physical location to get a loan. There are many reputable lenders online that only do their business on the Internet. They have the best deals and are much quicker at closing.

Speak to a broker and ask questions as needed. It is very important that you know exactly what is going on. Be certain your mortgage broker with all relevant contact information. Look at your e-mail often just in case you’re asked for documents or new information.

Make certain your credit report is in good before applying for a loan. Lenders in today’s marketplace are looking for people with excellent credit. They need to know that you’re good at paying back money you are actually going to repay your debt. Tidy up your credit before you apply for a mortgage.

If you get approved for an amount higher than what you can really afford, it will give you a little wiggle room. This could cause you a big headache in serious financial trouble down the future.

If you know what to look for in a home loan, then you can find the best one for you. This is an important commitment, and you need to make sure you can keep control. You need a mortgage that you are comfortable with.

Posted in Financial Planner, Mortgage Advice, Mortgage Expert, Mortgages | Leave a comment

Looking for a Real Estate Agent in Ottawa?

Are you looking for a real estate agent in Ottawa? I recommend Donna Boruck. She is a Sales Representative with Royal Lepage Performance Realty. She specializes in dealing with First Time Home Buyers, but deals with any residential or income property deals. She has an outgoing, bubbly personality but also knows her stuff when it comes to homes.  You can also reach her at (613) 769-7317

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Property rental – What expenses can be deducted from income?

If you rent out one or more rooms in your home, or if you own a rental property, there are many expenses that can be deducted in calculating your net rental income. These expenses include mortgage interest (but not principal), property taxes, utility costs, house insurance, maintenance costs, advertising, and property management fees. Rental income and expenses can be recorded using the cash basis of accounting, unless the property rental is considered business income, in which case the accrual basis of accounting must be used.. See Rentals – Property or Business Income for more information.

Rental losses can generally be used to reduce income from other sources. If the rental loss exceeds income from other sources, and cannot be deducted on the current year tax return, it becomes a non-capital loss, which can be carried back or forward to reduce taxable income in other years.

If you rent out only a portion of your home, you would only be able to deduct a portion of the costs. If you rent a room to a friend or relative at less than fair market value and this results in a rental loss, you would not be able to deduct the rental loss.

Capital cost allowance (CCA) may be claimed based on the purchase price of the building, furniture and fixtures, etc., but not the land, and may not be used to create or increase a rental loss. If you only rent a portion of your home, then you would only be able to claim a portion of the CCA, and this may result in the loss of the principal residence exemption when you eventually sell your home. The claiming of capital cost allowance will probably result in a recapture of the CCA when the property is sold. This will happen if the selling price of the building is greater than the remaining undepreciated capital cost (UCC) at the time of sale. The difference between the original cost and the UCC will be added back to income. If the selling price is greater than the original cost of the building, then the difference between the selling price and the original cost will be a capital gain. When purchasing or selling a rental property, it is important to break down the purchase or sale price between buildings and land.

A change in use of your home from personal residence to rental property, or from rental property to personal residence, can result in a deemed disposition for tax purposes. This means that you will be considered to have sold your home and repurchased it immediately thereafter for fair market value. There are many factors which affect this, and professional advice is recommended.

Posted in CCA, Property Rental, UCC | Leave a comment

Back to School…Investment Opportunity

Back to School…Investment Opportunity

If you have kids that have just recently left home to either start or go back to university then here is an opportunity for you.

All over Canada there are students and their parents everywhere that are helping to pay down a landlord’s mortgage. In some cases its necessary; but in many cases it’s not.

Let’s say a landlord is charging $500/month. Multiply that by 9 months and your cost out of pocket is $4,500/year…and what do you have to show for that?

Buy a 3 bedroom property with a finished basement for your son or daughter, and put 2 roommates upstairs and 1 in the basement…and charge them $500 each. At the end of the 9 months you have $13,500 + the $4,500 you saved in rent paid to a landlord. Even if you don’t rent this property out over the summer… With a 20% down payment at these interest rates…it’s possible to have a mortgage payment of under $1,000/month. As well…you likely now have a taxable deduction. At $1,000/month plus property taxes you are looking at taking in nearly having enough income to cover the costs of the property. You would definitely be in a better position than just paying someone $4,500 in rent.

When your child is finished school…you could keep this property as an investment and use as a rental. Also…keep in mind that the property is likely appreciating by at least 4%/year in value…so you could always sell it and make a profit.

This is something that many many parents are looking into doing as the idea has merit. So think about it…and if you have any questions…just let me know. Yes…It’s a little bit of work; but its well worth it

BTW…don’t worry too much about the fact that the property is in another city and you’re not there. You could hire a property management firm that handles everything from renting out the rooms to collecting the rent, and handling any maintenance issues that could arise. Typically these companies will only charge about 5% of your monthly rental income – in this case $75/month.

Posted in Interest Rates, Mortgage Rates, Mortgages | Leave a comment

Car Loan AFTER the Mortgage…not before

If you are thinking about buying a new car…and also thinking about purchasing a home…you want to get approved for the mortgage first. The car loan is much easier to qualify for than the mortgage. Often…you will shop different dealerships for a car. Every time you apply for financing the dealership will run your credit bureau.

What you don’t want is for the bank to see that you went from dealership to dealership trying to get a car loan..it makes them nervous and it drives your beacon score way down. Let me know if you have any questions.

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Bond Yields and Fixed Mortgage Rates

BOND YIELD WARNING !!! What does that even mean ??? Does is matter ??? Let me explain the factors that affect: Fixed Mortgage Rates The main factor affecting fixed mortgage rates is Government of Canada bond yields. Fixed mortgage rates typically move in alignment with government bond yields of the same term. Fixed Mortgage Rate: a fixed rate enables you to “lock in” a predetermined rate for a set period of time, or the term, with the most popular fixed term being 5 years.

For example, if the Government of Canada’s 5-year bond yield increases, the 5-year fixed mortgage rate would normally increase as well. There are some periods where they may not move directly in sync with each other, but this is the general trend. Have you been noticing the bond yields lately….they were up again yesterday. Don’t be surprised if you continue to see lenders increase rates.

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Canadian Mortgage Rates On The Rise

Canadian banks have been raising mortgages rates recently. Those looking for a new mortgage or renewing an existing one have to decide if now is the time to capitalize on rates and lock in – or to wait and see if this is just a blip.

Posted in Canada, Interest Rates, Mortgage Rates, Ottawa | Leave a comment