Bullying Ends Here – November Tour

General Darick Battaglia 30 Nov

My goodness a lot can happen in a month. I am really excited to share with you about the adventures that Bullying Ends Here has been on over the last 30 days.

It was on October 23rd that I worked until 6am. Having just finished a 13 hour shift, I have never had more energy. I knew that I was about to embark on a three week tour that would be starting off in Ottawa with the Dominion Lending Centres crew that I had met in Whistler. Although I was physically exhausted, I was so excited to reconnect with my new friends.

Bullying Ends Here - November TourHere I was, arriving at the Ottawa airport just going about my business and heading to get my rental car, when at the bottom of the escalator, I see three beautiful faces holding signs welcoming me to the city. I have never been welcomed at an airport before and this was overwhelming and unexpected. The journey had officially begun. For 48 hours, I was escorted all around the city while visiting with such incredible friends. It was like we had known each other for years. Needless to say, much happened that I could never write about on here :-). On the Saturday night, I was invited to attend the Kaleidoscope of Hope Gala with Jamie’s family. It’s always so good to see them again. We have a bond that is really tough to explain but so important. It was a fabulous night full of inspiration and hope.

Leaving Ottawa after 48 hours, I was then off to Kenora, Ontario for three days of presentations. I spoke at several schools (public and Catholic) and presented to a couple thousand new friends. After doing three presentations and two interviews on my final day in Kenora, it was then time for a five hour drive to Thunder Bay where I met with more of our DLC colleagues.

Nathan Lawrence and his incredible team had put two days together full of presentations and interviews. I presented the Bullying Ends Here program five times during those two days and again reached several thousand people.

It was then time to leave Ontario and head off to Nova Scotia where the tour then continued in Halifax. Over the course of the next week, I would speak seven times at five schools, doing several interviews and again reaching many thousands. By this time, my emails were filling up fast as the connection was being made with those that heard the presentation. I think I was averaging about 100 emails per day. This on top of the two presentations, interviews and travel each day. So rewarding!

Lastly, I headed off to New Brunswick where I began the final leg. During this time, I presented 6 times to almost 10,000 youth.

All in all, I presented 26 times to almost 20,000 youth. I was so humbled to have been invited to so many new communities and be welcomed with open arms everywhere I went. I know that I will be back to them all as there are many more to reach.

The emails are always the most inspirational, and heartbreaking. It always pains me to hear how youth truly feel alone – they feel like they have no one to talk to. I am so proud of them when they can share such personal stories. You can hear their pain in the email. They know that they can trust me and many commit to continuing on, knowing that you can still achieve your dreams. They use my own story to know that things will get better and the importance of speaking up. They are doing exactly what I should have done so long ago…reaching out.

Needless to say, the program is continuing to grow and help to save lives.

Bullying Ends Here - November TourUpon my return to Alberta, I was awarded with the ‘Inspiration Award’ presented by the Government of Alberta. What a wonderful feeling to be recognized for the efforts to help others. I was truly humbled and inspired to do even more.

Breakfast Television in Calgary then had me live on their morning program to talk about the successes of the program. I am becoming a master of speaking really fast as I have so much I want to get in, with only a few minutes to do so!

I am now back in Calgary and working away while having a full slate of local presentations on days off. As much as I love being on the road and doing the program, I also miss working and responding to emergency calls very much. I am lucky to be in a position where I can live my dream on a daily basis while complimenting it with the Bullying Ends Here program. Oh, I am also very excited to tell you that I have a new edition to the book that should be released within the next few weeks. I did a ‘soft launch’ of the original book a few months ago but felt that it needed some more. I really opened up and shared much more feeling and emotion. Can you believe that even with the soft launch, the book is now officially on the Best Sellers list for Amazon. Once the new edition is ready, I suspect the book will be even more successful. It should also be noted that every cent from the sale of the book goes to the charity since I refuse to accept any monies for it.

Next week the program will be in Northern Saskatchewan, which will be exciting. Coming up will be visits to Alberta, British Columbia, Manitoba and Ontario. Just so much to look forward to but it’s important to enjoy every moment by living in the NOW.

As always, I am here to message through the website www.bullyingendshere.ca. Thanks for reading and I look forward to updating you with next month’s journey.

Courtesy of Tad Milmine – Founder, Bullying Ends Here 

Get Pre-Qualifed For a Mortgage

General Darick Battaglia 27 Nov

Buying a home is one of the biggest financial decisions you will make, especially if you are buying your first home. So it is important to know your current financial situation and ensure you buy a home you can afford while still enjoying your life. For that reason I always recommend all home buyers talk to your mortgage broker first to get pre-qualified for a mortgage and secure a rate hold before you shop for a home. This way you will know what range of home prices are best for you and deal with any potential pitfalls for qualifying beforehand.

To get pre-qualified for a mortgage you will need to review the following with your Dominion Lending Centres mortgage professional:

Personal information, including identification such as your driver’s license, marital status, birth date and social insurance number (for credit purposes).

Details on your source of income (job or self employment) and proof of your hourly/salary, job position and length of employment. If you own other rental properties, the proof of income from these properties will be required (lease agreements and/or tax returns).

Information about your financial assets (savings, investments, other properties, vehicles), current liabilities (loans, credit cards, other mortgages).

Your source of down payment (minimum 5% for owner occupied home and 20% for rental properties). Details on sources of down payment will be covered in next week’s blog post.

Proof you have enough money to cover the costs of closing the sale typically 1.5% of the purchase price.

If you are separated or divorced, have any history of financial difficulty. If you own a business or are on title to other properties – or anything that could impact your current financial situation, it is essential to share that information with your mortgage broker to ensure you can get pre-qualified for a mortgage. Through open communication I can get a better picture of your situation and advise you of the best options available. If we uncover issues that have not been disclosed, it could impact your ability to get pre-qualified for a mortgage, causing you undue stress and could cost you money in the end.

Once the application is complete and we have established the best options and plan moving forward, we can secure rate holds for you and collect all documentation required to ensure a pain-free approval process when you have an accepted offer.

Get in touch with us at Dominion Lending Centres so we can help!

Couresty of Pauline Tonkin, AMP – DLC Innovative Mortgage Solutions 

Tips On Getting Ready To Be a First Time Home Buyer

General Darick Battaglia 26 Nov

Very often, the first question is “what can I afford”. To answer this for a person getting ready to buy, we need to know about what is happening now, income, bills, savings, credit score etc. There are many positive things that you can do in the year or two prior to buying.

It is always best to consult with a Mortgage Broker well in advance to get started on the right path to becoming a home owner. If you already have some savings set aside, then you already have a great head start!

Here are some simple notes and tips to get you well on your way.

Special Income Note:

If using commission, lenders want to see a 2 year average income for commission/bonus income to use it at all. So file your Taxes each year and keep your NOA, Notice of Assessment that is mailed to you.

Down Payment:

You need to have a minimum 5% of the purchase price Down Payment and 1.5% of purchase price in your own funds. This CAN be gifted from an immediate family member.

Ex.

$300,000 home = $15,000 minimum Down Payment, plus $4,500 for Closing costs

$200,000 home = $10,000 minimum Down Payment, plus $3,000 for Closing Costs

Co-signer or Co Borrower:

IF you can have a parent with good income and credit go on as a guarantor for your mortgage, then we can add their income to the file to strengthen your position.

IF you have a partner/co borrower, then their income, credit score etc. can be added to the mortgage as well to strengthen the file.

Budgeting – Try Mint.com – Free:
www.mint.com

Start tracking your expenses, start with what you think you spend and see/track the reality (1-2months!) Set up bill date reminders and get notifications on your cell phone when you go over budget!

Find and stop the bleeding; unnecessary spending that can add to your savings.

NOTE: 3% of all unsecured debt has to be used as payment – even though reality payment is lower. $10K on a credit card = $300.00 payment and nearly $75,000 less mortgage buying power!!!

Crazy…..pay them down as much as possible!

Saving in RRSPs :

Save on Income Tax for filing next spring, lock it away!

Able to use up to $25,000 each TAX FREE as a First Time Home Buyer on a qualifying home value. Once you know what you can save per month, we can make it automatic (like a bill payment) OR you can save organically and then deposit every month or two into your RRSP account.

CALL ME – I have access to full line of Bank Products; RRSPs, TFSAs, Lines of Credit, Visa etc.

Check your Credit Score:

Equifax Customer Inquiries 1-800-465-7166

Pull your own credit bureau. Identify any errors or issues and fix now. You can call me when you get it, we can review and I can provide some tips on how to improve if need be!

Pay all bills on time, more than minimum payments!

Use NO MORE than 50% of available limit on cards – Going over 65% of limit reduces your score – EVEN if you are NOT over limit! Easy TIP: Pay on time and pay down debt a bit over next few months….then call to increase your limits! This will lower your % of credit utilization immediately for free and be a plus to your credit score.

Become a Rock Star that any lender will want to work with!

I really hope that this helps you in starting forward progress – starting is the hardest, but then it quickly becomes normal. Remember – we here at Dominion Lending Centres are here to help!

Courtesy of Kris Grasty, AMP – DLC Canadian Mortgage Experts 

Is Your House Your Retirement Plan Or Is There a Better Way?

General Darick Battaglia 25 Nov

Paying off your home should be a priority, no arguments there. Are you concentrating on that goal so much that other retirement savings plans are on the back-burner until you’re comfortably mortgage free? Does this give you a level of diversity that protects you from economic or market fluctuations?

There are two schools of thought on this issue. One is that if you are mortgage free not only will you have a low cost home when you retire, you will have a large asset that will hold its value and give you a reliable nest egg when you’re ready to down-size. That’s definitely a solid plan.

The other view point is that by putting all your eggs in one “nest” this means you are limiting your ability to maximize on other, possibly more lucrative, investment vehicles that could put you further ahead come retirement.

If you are making extra payments towards your mortgage but not investing in an RRSP, is that the best way to go? If you put lump sum payments on your mortgage or double up or increase payments regularly, you could be shortening the life of your mortgage at the cost of other benefits.

For example, if you were to invest in an RRSP, the tax break you get by way of a refund would make a nice little lump sum mortgage payment each year, while building up a tax deferred savings account.

Another option, if you have significant equity in your home, is to get your home working for you.

Home Equity Lines of Credit (HELOCs) are separate from your actual mortgage. They give you on-going access to your equity. The Government of Canada restricted HELOCs to 65% of your home’s value. But for the right client, the HELOC can be a powerful investment tool.

Being separate from your mortgage, you can use a HELOC strictly for investment purposes and therefore, any interest you pay on funds drawn from that credit line can be written off.

Some savvy homeowners will use a HELOC to buy an investment property with a level of mortgage and property costs that can be supported by the rental income generated from that property. Thus they have a self-sustained investment building yet another nest egg.

Other owners draw on the credit line to make short-term, high-return investments that they then cash in to pay off the credit line and put any earnings from the investment itself back onto their original mortgage. The Smith Manoeuvre is a shining example of this technique.

There are lots of different ways to look at the retirement issue and each plan needs to be built around your lifestyle and goals. A comprehensive analysis by your Dominion Lending Centres mortgage professional, a financial planner as well as a consultation with your accountant is highly recommended.

Courtesy of Kristin Woolard, AMP – DLC National 

Taxing The Rich Is Counter-Productive

General Darick Battaglia 24 Nov

As politically popular as it is to spew “soak-the-rich” rhetoric during an election campaign, the reality is that it is a very inefficient way to raise revenues or to address income inequality. Indeed, it will actually shrink the economic pie. It provides a disincentive to entrepreneurial spirit and work effort and it will make it more difficult for Canada to attract and keep its most productive talent, particularly in light of the much lower tax regime in the United States.

Our tax system is already highly progressive and it will be more so when the federal government reduces tax rates for the middle class. The reduction in middle-class tax rates is desirable because it will increase disposable income and spending for a group that has experienced little income growth in recent years.

The proposed tax hike for high-income earners is not desirable. The higher the tax rates, the higher the incentive to avoid them. There is already a good deal of planning going on by affluent taxpayers to adjust their finances in such a way as to avoid or at least minimize the effect of the proposed tax increases on people earning $200,000 and above. In consequence, the actual revenue gain associated with such a move will likely be far lower than the government has predicted. Tax planning can involve such things as rearranging sources of income, changing jurisdictions, legally using foreign trusts or changing the timing of the sale of capital assets. These actions will line the pockets of the accountants, tax lawyers and financial planners, but will do little to increase tax revenues or reduce income inequality.

Several provinces have already imposed heavier tax rates on higher-income earners, so that if the federal proposal to raise top marginal tax rates by four percentage points is implemented, marginal tax rates for these individuals will be above 50% in many jurisdictions (Table 1, from C.D.Howe Institute E-Brief, November 19, 2015).

Targeting High-Income Earners Will Backfire

Not only are these proposed top marginal income tax rates high enough to dampen potential growth rates, but dividend tax rates and capital gains tax rates will rise as well. For example, top marginal dividend tax rates in Ontario will rise from 33.8% to nearly 40% and top marginal capital gains tax rates will rise from 24.8% to 26.8%. In contrast, the top dividend tax rate in the U.S. is 28.6% and only 23% in the OECD. The average capital gains tax rate in the OECD is 18.4%. This will discourage business and personal investment in Canada and provide an enormous disincentive for innovation and job growth.

The market for top talent is global and raising Canadian taxation will make it more difficult for Canada to compete.We run the risk of a brain drain and it will be more difficult to attract foreign talent, particularly given the depreciation in the Canadian dollar. Thus, excessive taxation is self defeating and does not generate the tax revenue that some expect.

According to a recent study by the C.D. Howe Institute,” the proposed 4 percentage points tax increase on incomes above $200,000 could result in those affected taxpayers reporting approximately 4.5 percent less taxable income, costing the personal income tax base $7.3 billion in 2016. This erosion of the tax base could reduce projected tax receipts from the hike by about 70 percent; delivering to the government only about $1.0 billion of a potential $3.3 billion. The erosion of the tax base also means that provincial governments could also suffer from lower-than-otherwise personal income tax revenues – a non-negligible shortfall of $1.4 billion in 2016″.

The best way to reduce income inequality is to provide the necessary training and relocation assistance to disadvantaged workers and to remove barriers to opportunity.

The Canadian economy is under performing, damaged by the dramatic decline in oil and other commodity prices. The Bank of Canada has reduced interest rates twice this year, but now it is time for real fiscal stimulus–government spending increases and tax cuts. Our government debt-to-income levels are among the lowest in the OECD. We can afford to invest in our future by creating the environment necessary to boost innovation and technological prowess that assures Canadian prosperity in the future.

Courtesy of Dr. Sherry Cooper – Chief Economist, Dominion Lending Centres

The Rate Mentality

General Darick Battaglia 23 Nov

THIS JUST IN, MORTGAGE INTEREST RATES ARE…..and there it is again…headline news about another low rate from one of the main lenders. But what does it all mean and why does it continue to grab the headlines on the evening news?

It probably comes as little surprise that mortgage financing in Canada is big business and very competitive business. When you sit back and think about it for a moment you’ll probably start to realize that all of those headings, almost every one of them, are talking about the low rates. “Great no frills Special”, “Employee Pricing”, “First Lender to drop their rate”. For the most part Media puts the focus on the interest rate and as a result mortgage consumers are geared…or better yet, are driven to make the interest rate the first and only thing they ask their mortgage specialist about.

Now don’t get me wrong, the interest rate is a big part of the conversation you should be having with your mortgage specialist. It is, after all, the cost you’re paying to borrow the funds. However, the conversation should never stop at just the interest rate. There are a number of other key details that you should understand, as a mortgage consumer, before you sign on the dotted line.

The conversation should focus on what your plans are over the next few years (paying special attention to the time frame that is reflective of your mortgage term length). Have you thought about any of the following?

1. What are the chances you will experience a job change over the term of the mortgage? (lay off, role change, transfer, etc.)

2. Do you have any major life changes in the near future (getting married, new child, etc.)

3. How about major expenditures? (Wedding, expanding family, replacing a vehicle, etc.)

These are just a few important details that your mortgage specialist is likely to want to know about. How you answer those questions will likely impact the recommendations they have for you with regards to lender or term.

So what gives? How will knowing those details impact their term/lender recommendations?

Well to sum things up, they want to know how to save you money upfront but also over the term of the mortgage. Lump sum payments and portability options are just two ways that they make this possible. In addition, knowing if there are any special restrictions or how the pre-payment penalty is calculated, can save you thousands should you have to break your mortgage term early.

The bottom line?

When it comes to mortgage products, there is way more to the decision than simply the rate. It is important to understand restrictions, flexibilities and how the pre-payment penalty is calculated. Never simply assume that the lender with the lowest rate is the best. Sometimes it will be, sometimes it won’t…When shopping for apples, don’t buy lemons…you probably won’t be happy with the outcome. We here at Dominion Lending Centres are ready to help!

Courtesy of Nathan Lawrence, AMP – DLC Lakehead Financial 

Mortgage With Free Legal Fees

General Darick Battaglia 20 Nov

With a competitive market in full force, banks and credit unions are offering rates for their mortgages with free legal fees. Before you sign on what seems to be a great offer, take a look at the numbers and see what a mortgage with free legal fees is really costing you.

This is one of the first times in history you can find fixed mortgage rates at the same or similar rates to a variable rate mortgage. So all the lenders are competing with this product and using marketing campaigns, including special offers, to attract borrowers. With 5 year fixed rates around 2.79% the credit unions and major banks offering higher rates from 2.99%-3.04% are looking for ways to sway customers to them. The latest promotion is a mortgage with free legal fees. On paper it sounds attractive, saving you money up front when you don’t have to pay for an appraisal or legal costs. But when you look closer, consider this.

1. The offers include legal fees. This represents less than $500 of your legal bill as other costs such as title registration, disbursements and taxes will not be covered by this offer.

2. The offer includes appraisal fees. Most non-bank lenders do not require an appraisal or will utilize a general valuation system in lieu of a full appraisal. For those lenders who do require an appraisal the cost is less than $300.

I recently had a client come to me who had an offer for free legals with the rate of 3.04%. When we calculated the difference between a rate of 3.04% and no legal fees versus a rate of 2.89% with the client paying their own legal fees (no appraisal required), the savings to the client over 5 years going with the lower rate was $5,000! So the mortgage with free legal fees was not a good deal.

Offers for a mortgage with no legal fees stating “save up to $1,500 on legal and appraisal fees” are no savings at all. Yet these campaigns attract many home buyers. Always check with us at Dominion Lending Centres to compare the best mortgage for you which includes the terms, conditions, rate and penalty costs before you sign anything – it could save you thousands of dollars in interest and help you pay off your mortgage years sooner.

Courtesy of Pauline Tonkin, AMP – DLC Innovative Mortgage Solutions 

Online Mortgage Rates and Products – Do They Apply To You?

General Darick Battaglia 19 Nov

Online access to information is fantastic! The ability to understand a glossary of terms and products out there is amazing when compared to even a decade ago. I love “Googling” and finding how to fix my car, or how to engage in my do-it-yourself home projects. I feel more informed and gain confidence embarking on new tasks.

Increasingly common is clients searching rates online or receiving rate updates via email and concluding that these are the rates they can get. The reality is that every person’s situation is unique and the property, or their scenario, may not allow for such a rate or product to be truly on the table.

The most common is that a better rate will be offered to a client with 5% down payment than one with a 20% down payment, which seems absurd on the surface, yet you have to understand that the mortgage with only 5% down payment is insured by CMHC, Genworth or Canada Guarantee. This mortgage insurance protects the lender against default, lowering lender risk and exposure, which is why a 5% down client can obtain a rate 0.05 – 0.10% better than the conventional client with more equity or skin in the game!

Other examples of factors impacting rate include lender perceived risk such as rental properties, self-employed clients, pre-approvals and credit issues. These examples can see a 0.10% to 0.50%+ surplus in posted rates.

Not to discourage folks from looking online at rate sites at all – it is important for clients to know that there are different business models out there within the Mortgage industry. There are many reputable online Brokerages that offer some low rates based on high volume alone. Volume and buying power are great and there are some clients and files that work really well in this space. One should also realize the importance of personalized professional service, future planning and that not all mortgages are created equally, nor is the service level.

There are cases where lower rate products come with restrictions or an online model fails to include your three to five year planning. Some low rate options are accompanied by high interest penalties such as 3% mortgage penalty – EVEN on a variable! I rescued a client from a mortgage they obtained online, hamstrung just like this with a contract rate over 3%; the penalty was over $20,000. I was able to get the penalty reduced, restructure all of their finances, refinance that mortgage and they were able to obtain their second home. Something that would not have been possible given the “deal” they thought they received originally.

Some offers have a cash back component with much higher contract rates than the discounted rate and are applying the cash back as a mortgage prepayment to arrive at a lower “effective” interest rate. Other lenders are offering a lower rate on the surface but the payment is based on a higher rate with higher payments. Most Cash Back mortgage rates are higher than that of a Line of Credit. With a Cash Back mortgage, you have to pay the penalty if you break the mortgage and in addition, you may have to repay the cash back advanced portion! This is still often true when used to prepay the mortgage down from the outset. I have seen set ups like this potentially cost way more in the end and prevent friends or clients from making a life change.

For Example:

Exposure to Penalties/Repayments – using a $300,000 mortgage

Low Rate Product at 2.10% with a Penalty of 3%; $9,000

Regular Variable product at 2.20% with 3 months interest Penalty; $1,500 approx.

The payment difference is approximately $28.00/month or $1,730 in five years, which looks great at first, yet the exposure to the penalty risk should not be overlooked.

Here is one example of the fine print on one offer a client recently brought to my attention:

“LESS than 20% Down Payment Purchases Mortgages OVER $500K ONLY. This is an effective rate which incorporates cash back. A higher contract rate applies, upon which the actual payment is based. You will receive a lump sum of cash back upon closing, equal to the interest savings of the advertised rate. No Pre-approvals. No Rentals.”

Reading above, definitely some considerations that may or may not apply to your situation! Once noted, it clearly was not an option for my client.

Anyone can work on a mortgage alone, however, I prefer to drill down to feasible future planning and ensure that you are able to accomplish what you intend to beyond one mortgage. I am a full service broker who will have your best interests in mind prior to pushing any file!

Unlike unlicensed bank mortgage specialists, my job as a Mortgage Broker with Dominion Lending Centres is not to sell you a mortgage; it is to advise you on your options and to help you understand the implications of your choice. I truly hope this helps you in seeing both the differences and potential pitfalls of the rate game.

Ultimately, it is your home and your mortgage. I advise – you instruct!

Courtesy of Kris Grasty, AMP – DLC Canadian Mortgage Experts 

Beers, Bikes and Mortgages

General Darick Battaglia 18 Nov

I’m sure the only reason why you clicked on this blog link was because of the title as it seemed a bit strange – I too would be curious. Why would a Mortgage Expert publish a blog about BEERS, BIKES and MORTGAGES! Simple, all three share a common thread with me…they all interest me for various different reasons plus I felt the need to spice up my website content. Now that you are here, it’s my job to keep you reading until the end. I was tired of writing about the norm; comparing mortgage products, saving thousands of dollars, the dos and don’ts of… and ‘this’ vs ‘that.’ So herein lies the blog I started writing a few months back that covers BEER, mountain BIKE(ing) and MORTGAGE financing. They each have intertwined themselves into my life and really do go hand in hand…or hand to mouth as one might say. Bear with me, if you do stick around to the end, I will connect the dots.

For me, all three are gratifying on an individual level. Once you have acquired a taste for beer, tasting a new beer for the first time is exciting; will I enjoy it or not? How visually captivating is the packaging? What lasting memory will be connected, as beer is usually enjoyed in a social setting. Riding bikes provides me with a platform for exploration, something I have loved since childhood. Setting my tires into uncharted dirt instantly provokes an un-wipeable smile on my face as I navigate each and every corner of the unknown. Needless to say, I’ve had a few social beers after riding numerous bike trails across this fine province of ours. The mortgage financing industry is very similar to riding uncharted territory and enjoying a new flavor of beer, as I never know when or from where I will receive my next client referral. With every new client comes a new challenge of uncharted territory; no mortgage or scenario is the same as the previous one. I have to gather all the client’s intel and to compile their data which will enable me to structure their mortgage application accordingly. At the same time, I have to listen to their needs and wants so that they can attain their goals while pursuing a certain lifestyle. Much like riding bikes, we have to react quickly to what is around the next corner. Being an expert mortgage consultant requires the same tactic as we react to the marketplace on a daily basis.

Beers, Bikes and Mortgages

To address ‘the elephant in the room’…NO, I don’t drink excessive amounts of beer. I do, however, like to try various flavors, especially nowadays with the whole craft beer scene upon us in Vancouver and the surrounding areas. We as consumers have been able to step away from the ‘big-box’ tasteless beers into something way more palatable. I’m sure we will soon see restaurateurs pairing beer with meals, just like the wine industry does so well. I once asked a friend ‘which’ beer I could grab him from the fridge, his response was, “cold,” and that has since stuck with as there is nothing better than a cold beer. As I am not here to shame or promote brands, I must say there are a few exceptions to that rule.

Another trait that these topics share is the huge choice of options within each space. There are thousands of different beer brands with each producing several within. How is one supposed to choose, as not all beers are going to be liked by every taste bud. It’s a good thing the providers have come up with tasting flights. This is a way to try multiple flavors of the same brand. The same issue comes with buying a bike, which brand? Which model, as each model caters to a different type of discipline in the world of mountain biking. Not every bike engineered will suit every rider’s personal riding style. For me it is easy, I have a friend who spends thousands of dollars on bikes each year and countless hours reading forums and articles about bikes; whatever he does…I do, as we enjoy the same type of riding! I guess I need to buy the Santa Cruz Nomad (OK, there, my one shameless plug). For now I’m stuck with one bike that does everything well, kinda like a variable rate mortgage. I call it my Swiss Army knife of bikes – it climbs and descends like a dream.

Beers, Bikes and Mortgages

Being a mortgage expert, I have access to countless different lenders that cover endless mortgage scenarios and solutions. First and foremost, I educate myself on the wants and needs of the client, then advise. All mortgage consumers should create a relationship with one mortgage expert. Once that is set in stone the stress of ‘shopping,’ knowing if you are getting the best product or having to re-explain your story along with goals again and again, goes out the window. Not every mortgage is designed to fulfill each financing consumer’s needs. That’s why each industry described in this piece has professionals to guide us through the options.

The ultimate situation for me is when I can tie all 3 of these topics into one scenario. On numerous occasions I’ve had the opportunity to ride a bike trail that I have never ridden before, while at the end enjoying a crisp refreshing beer, all the while sharing the moment with a new client. I’ve had the chance to do this several times in my mortgage career and it’s an awesome feeling. You know you have a client for life when you can connect with them on a social level. This business isn’t about spending thousands of dollars on marketing, it’s much simpler…business filters down through friendship and commonality. A good beer; a fresh, new, loamy trail and a proven mortgage expert should never be kept a secret. As humans, we should be socially responsible to educate each other and share information.

Home Buyer’s Plan: Understand Your Investment

General Darick Battaglia 17 Nov

Brad and Brenda have been putting some money in their RRSPs investments for the last four years. Their last statement shows that they have $12,500 in their RRSP’s savings, and they also have $5,000 in the bank in their savings account.

They decided to buy a starter home in Winnipeg, MB for the price of $250,000. According to their investments statement, they had enough money in their bank and RRSP account to put 5% down ($12,500) PLUS closing costs of 1.5% ($3750) of $250,000. If we add down payment and closing costs together, it comes to $16,250 – this is the amount they needed to buy this starter home.

They deposited $5,000 with an offer; their offer got accepted since their RRSPs investment statement shows another $12,500. They filled out the forms to withdraw all the investment money for the down payment. Once the money from their RRSP investment was transferred into their bank account, it had a $2,100 shortfall. Now Brad and Brenda has $14,150, but they need $16,250 to buy this home. Some funds do better than other funds – it totally depends on an individual portfolio.

Brad and Brenda must have knowledge of the actual amount in their RRSP investments instead of depending on investment statements.

Their meeting with a mortgage professional from Dominion Lending Centres could steer them in the right direction.

Courtesy of Gurcharan Singh, AMP – DLC Anderson Financial Team 

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