Calculating CMHC Insurance

By / June 24, 2014 / Buying a Home

Mortgage Insurance Calculator

If you have less than 20% as a downpayment for your home purchase your mortgage is referred to as a "High-Ratio" mortgage.  A High- Ratio mortgage must be insured in Canada.  The Canadian Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC) and Genworth Financial both provide this type insurance.  The cost for mortgage insurance is based on the percentage amount of your downpayment and the purchase price of your home. Click to calculate the premium of a CMHC insured mortgage.  If you are fortunate enough to have 20% or more of a downpayment, you have what is referred to as a "Conventional" Mortgage and you are not required to insure the mortgage.

For more information, on Home Buying, visit CMHC's website.


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First Time Buying on Your Own

By / June 16, 2014 / Buying a Home

First time home

For as long as I can remember, I always dreamed of owning my own home.  While a young girl, I took great pride in keeping my portion of the room that I shared with my younger sister as neat and tidy as possible.  

As a young adult, just graduating from university and gainfully employed, I started to pay down my student loan.  Once that was finished, I saved for and bought my first new car.  I promptly paid the balance of the car loan and decided that my next purchase would be a house.  Well, needless to say, there were a lot of co-workers, friends and family willing to tell me that perhaps I could not and should not do this, "after all you are not married yet".  Well, for those of you that know me, their reactions only made me more determined to go forth with my quest for single home ownership. 

At the time, I was working for the Head Office of an Insurance Company that offered savings plans where they would take a certain amount off of each pay; a forced saving plan if you will.  After 2 years of contributing to that savings plan, I had saved a decent downpayment, even for today's standards and then set out to find a home that I liked and buy it.  Well, at the time, the Hamilton market was brisk to say the least.  It seemed that every home I liked had more than one offer.  I was out-bidded time and time again.  Although, I was frustrated, I continued and there was a bit of a levelling off of the market.  I took this opportunity to put an offer in on a 2.5 storey, 3+2 bedroom home off of Locke Street South.  The sellers and I were not able to come to an agreement on price on the first round of negotiations.  After a couple more months of the house being on the market,  the sellers accepted my original offer.  I was so excited.  My hands were sweating so much that I could barely keep my shaking hands on the pen while I signed the final documents.   I thought to myself...I HAVE BOUGHT A HOUSE, LOOK WHAT I HAVE DONE, I HAVE BOUGHT A HOUSE ON MY OWN!  The next day, when reality sank in I thought to myself, oh no,,,I bought a house, WHAT have I done, what was I thinking?  Well, I calmed down, fulfilled all the conditions on the offer and waited impatiently for the completion date to arrive.  I spent many a night walking by that house and standing behind a nearby hedge so that I could look at my soon-to-be-mine home.  I fell more in love with that house with each passing day.

When the time finally arrived and I was given the keys to my very own home, I went by myself to take it all in.  I opened the door and breathed in the enormity of what had just happened.  I had bought my own home, my own home on my own.  Wow, what a feeling.  I was walking around, checking out all the rooms and reminding myself what everything looked like with tears running down my face.  What a thrill; what an accomplishment to buy a home on my own.

Now, as a Realtor, when I get the privilege of working with a single First Time Buyer, I am taken back to that very exciting and scary time.  I am so glad that I decided to make that first purchase alone.  I know that it was not the best home I will ever own but it certainly was the best feeling I ever experienced while buying a home. I hope my single First Time Buyers will have these same wonderful memories of their first home purchase.

Sitting on the fence and not knowing whether to buy on your own?  I say, Go for it!  You'll be glad you did.  I know was!

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Top 6 steps for a dry basement

By / June 16, 2014 / Home Improvement

 Flooded basement cartoon

With all the snow and rain we have had this year, the basement repair and waterproofing companies are busier than ever.  Once you have a leaky basement it is probably wise to contact one of your area's basement professionals.  We have a number of terrific companies in the Hamilton, Dundas and Ancaster area that I have used both professionally and personally.

Follow these simple steps to keep your basement dry:

  1. Ensure that the grading of your land (including any aspahalt or concrete driveways or sidewalks) is sloping away from the foundation so that water travels away instead of towards your home.  As a matter of maintenance, consider a bead of caulking along where a hard surface such as a driveway abutts the foundation of your home.  This is a simple and easily forgotten step in water prevention.
  2. Do not have your downspouts going into the ground.  If your downspouts currently empty into the ground, cut it and cap the part of the downspout remaining in the ground.  From the piece of downspout hanging down from above, attach an elbow piece for the downspout and attach another piece of downspout that you can then direct water away from the house and foundation.  You can purchase varoius different products from your local hardware, Canadian Tire or Home Depot that are specifically designed to attach to your downspout for this very purpose. 
  3. Do not have any gardens and or soil above the foundation.  People create these beautiful raised flower beds at the front of their homes that are higher than their foundation.  Wooden framing and brick is porous and over time, water may penetrate these surfaces causing water to enter their basement and potentially causing serious structural issues with the foundation. 
  4. Do not have steps or hard-scape materials built over the height of the foundation.  Again, lovely flower beds that are made of stone or brick walls that extend over the height of the foundation allow water to accumulate and pool at the foundation and through the brick of the home.  This increases the probability of a water issue in the basement.
  5. Check for leaks in the evestrough and repair and replace as necessary.  Also, keeping your evestrough clear of leaves, which will allow water to travel efficiently down the evestrough .  If not, water in the evestrough can overflow and pour water directly below and against your foundation.
  6. Never build a wooden set of stairs over a set of old concrete stairs.  What happens is the wood on top of the stairs will retain moisture and water from rain and ice within the concrete stairs below.  The freezing and thawing of these concrete stairs will cause water in the foundation and ultimately may cause shifting of the foundation as well.

When buying a home, be sure to speak with your Home Inspector if you have any concerns about water getting into the basement or any cracking of the foundation.  Feel free to contact us at 905-525-2720, if you would like the names and contact information for recommended professionals in the Hamilton/Ancaster/Dundas/Burlington area.





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May 2014 Market Report

By / June 15, 2014 / Press Release

May Market Report Hamilton

 Highlights from the May Market Report provided by RAHB are as follows:

  • The number of sales are up 4.1% in May 2014 versus May 2013
  • The number of listings are up 8.0% in May 2014 versus May 2013
  • The average sale price is down 1.8% in May 2014 versus May 2013

 To view the full Market Report and to see what the May 2014 sales statistics were for the various areas serviced by the Realtors Association of Hamilton Burlington click for ...more

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Multi-Residential and Commercial property at 142 Charlton Avenue West

By / June 15, 2014 / Featured Properties

142 Charlton Avenue West

Terrific Southwest investment that generates in excess of $34,000.  Five residential units plus one commercial space.  The property offers 3 parking spots on site. There are one, 2 bedroom units, plus Four, 1 bedroom units in addition to the 1160 square feet of commercial space.  Call Cameron Nolan at 905-525-2720 for more information.  For the full listing information click below to view...more

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