Trying to become a first-time homebuyer in the Greater Toronto Area's red-hot real estate market has been one of the most challenging experiences of my life. It's become clear to us that getting a house in this market requires a lot of patience and a bit of luck.
Canadian households' debt load has surpassed the nation's economic output for the first time in history, as credit-market debt (including mortgages) swelled to 167.6 per cent of income during the second quarter of the year.
The cost of owning a home goes well beyond the price you paid for the house itself. When something breaks, you have to fix it, and those repairs can be costly. You can’t foresee or avoid every home repair, but some regular maintenance can save you hundreds—maybe thousands—on some of these big ones.
Legal fees, disbursements, discharging the current mortgage, capital gains taxes… selling a home often comes with an abundance of seemingly never-ending costs that can send your stress levels soaring, lighten up your wallet and often make you wonder why you thought selling was even a good idea in the first place. It’s no wonder more and more people are looking to save a few bucks when it comes to one of the most expensive costs—realtor fees.
Ontario may be home to one of the hottest real estate markets in the country, but that doesn’t mean residents are particularly real estate-savvy. If you’re not well-informed, you could end up with some serious regret when buying or selling your home.
During the financial crisis in 2008, Canadian banks were the envy of the world. So well regulated, our schedule A banks steered clear of the sub-prime mortgage crisis that led to the collapse of Lehman Brothers and almost took down the American economy. Others did much of the same. The U.K. had a similar meltdown with giant Bank of Scotland needing government bailout funds to stay in business.
Canadian banks allow foreign clients with no credit history, including students, to qualify for uninsured mortgages without proving the sources of their income – a practice that exempts non-Canadians who have money in the bank from the scrutiny domestic borrowers face when buying a home or an investment property.
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