Your credit score is essentially your passport to financial opportunities. With a possible range of 300 to 900, your number tells lenders what kind of a risk you are likely to be as a borrower. A low credit score can prevent you from getting the lowest mortgage rate, or even from getting a mortgage at all. That’s why it’s important to know the six credit behaviors that can keep your score high, or give it a boost!
Know what you’re working with. Get a copy of your report and see what your lender sees. Credit reports can be ordered for free through the mail or, for a small fee, online at www.equifax.ca
On time, all the time. The single biggest factor in your credit score is having a timely bill payment history. Start today with a commitment to never let a bill get past due.
Know your limits. Your credit score is based on your balances relative to your available credit. Look at your credit limits and try not to use more than half of the available amount.
A longer history is better. Don’t cancel your oldest credit card. In fact, get advice before you cancel any cards. A long steady history of using cards responsibly demonstrates trustworthiness.
Be selective. When you’re asked “would you like to apply for our Store Card to save $X dollars on your purchase?” Don’t do it. These pitches can be a credit pitfall. Regularly looking for more credit will flag you as a potential credit risk.
Keep it balanced. Creditors like to see that you can handle a wide variety of credit types.
I would be happy to review your situation. If you need to improve your score, I can outline your best options for credit improvement. If you want to get a mortgage while you work on bettering your score, I can also advise how that may be possible.
Financial Comfort & Joy
It’s tempting to overspend at this time of the year so take a quick assessment of your financial situation before you get started on your holiday shopping. It can help make sure you don’t suffer from “plastic shock” when your credit card bills arrive in January. Are you carrying too much credit card or other high interest debt? Are you struggling to keep up with your monthly obligations? If so, it might be worth having a conversation about streamlining your finances now, before the holidays are upon us. You may be able to take advantage of today’s great rates to consolidate your debts into a smart plan with sensible payments. If you are worried that your locked-in mortgage means your options are limited, I can do a quick review. There’s a good chance the savings each month will far outweigh any penalties. Give me a call. I love to help at this time of year. Financial comfort and joy: what a wonderful gift!
Compliments of Lori Pollice Mortgage Agent 519-589-5437
FIRST OPEN HOUSE
Come out tomorrow, this is a property you have to see in person! Located just 15 minutes from Kitchener. Take a hike across the 6.64 acres of land! Beautiful and unique home, with incredible views every season.
March 23rd at 1825 Huron Road, Petersburg from 2 to 4pm! $994,900
Happy Valentines Day!
We're having a special Valentines Day Open House this Sunday, February 15th from 2 to 4pm.
There will be treats, and we're handing out roses to all the women!
15 Gerber Meadows, Wellesley
540 Riverbend Drive, Kitchener, Ontario, N2K 3S2
KITCHENER-WATERLOO HOME SALES FINISH STRONG IN 2014
KITCHENER-WATERLOO, ON (January 7, 2015) –– The end of 2014 brought with it a 7-year high for home sales in the Region with 6,564 residential sales processed through the Multiple Listing Service (MLS®) of the Kitchener-Waterloo Association of REALTORS® (KWAR), an increase of 3.0 percent compared to 2013.
Things got off to a sluggish start early in 2014, with sales lagging behind home sales in 2013 for the first five months of the year. However, home sales did ramp up again with a delayed spring market which took off in June of 2014. The year ended strong with 314 residential sales in December compared 283 the same time last year resulting in an 11.0 percent increase.
“With ice storms and polar vortexes in early 2014 the spring market started much later than usual but once it got going, home sales ramped up making last year one of the best on record” said Mark Wolle, President of the KWAR.
A total of 6,564 residential properties were sold compared to 6,371 at the end of 2013. Total residential sales in 2014 included 4,384 single detached homes (up 3.3% from 2013), 470 semi-detached (down 6.9%), 444 townhomes (up 11.3%) and 1,206 condominium units (up 4.7%).
“Hot markets like Toronto and Vancouver got everyone talking about housing bubbles this past year, but real estate is very local,” emphasizes President Wolle. “Locally, Waterloo Region remains a strong and stable housing market and a desirable place to live and invest.”
The dollar volume of sales in 2014 increased 7.2 percent over the previous year, totalling $2,207,485,532 surpassing the “2 billion” dollar mark for only the second time in the KWAR’s history.
The average sale price of all residential sales in 2014 increased 4.0 percent to $336,302 in comparison to 2013. Single detached homes sold for an average price of $382,798 (up 4.3%), semi-detached for $256,606 (up 2.9%), townhomes for $287,951 (up to 3.4%) and condominiums sold for an average of $222,359 (up 2.5%).
The KWAR cautions that average sale price information can be useful in establishing long term trends, but should not be used as an indicator that specific properties have increased or decreased in value. The average sale price is calculated based on the total dollar volume of all properties sold. Those requiring specific information on property values should contact a local REALTOR®. REALTORS® have their fingers on the pulse of the market. They know the questions to ask, the areas to probe and what to look for so that you get a complete picture of the property and community you’re considering.
Media Contact: Harminder Phull, Communications & Government Relations Assistant,
This new year, take control of your financial future by thinking smart about your mortgage. Here are our top 10 tips to help you do just that!
1.Get a mortgage checkup. That’s right. Every year… no matter where you are in your mortgage. You get a checkup for your car to keep it running smoothly for the long-term. Your financial future deserves the same kind of attention.
2.Deal with the holiday hangover. Many Canadians can go a little overboard financially during the holiday season. If your credit card balance is more than you can pay off in the next few months – and especially if you have other loans – then do yourself a favour and come in to chat. The right debt consolidation strategy could save you thousands and put you on the right financial path.
3.Speed up your mortgage paydown. Try to find a way to use your prepayment privileges this year… at least once. Tax refund, financial gift, small inheritance… or just a little extra disciplined saving. Every single payment you make after that will go further. And instead of paying your mortgage monthly, pay weekly or bi-weekly. That small change can save you thousands.
4.Renew with your eyes open. When your lender sends out a letter suggesting you renew your mortgage at their current offer, get advice. Don’t renew with your eyes closed! This is your opportunity to negotiate the best possible deal!
5.Cramped? You could renovate, not relocate. Maybe you think this is the year you need to move up. Maybe. But the right renovation – an addition, a new family room, a fresh kitchen – might be all it takes to turn the house you’re in, into the home of your dreams. It is almost always less expensive to renovate than to relocate! We have great renovation financing options if that’s what’s in your future this year!
6.Take care of your credit. It’s so important to have good credit behaviours so you always qualify for the best mortgage rate. Pay your bills on time. Don’t let your credit accounts exceed 30% of the credit available. Before you cancel any credit cards, get advice. And don’t apply for a store card just to save on your purchase that day!
7.Choose low-interest debt. Whatever your need might be – funding education, a large purchase, investments, renovations, or paying down debt, your mortgage might be your most cost-effective financing option.
8.Don’t leave money on the table if you bought last year. If you bought your first home in 2014, you may be able to take advantage of the $5,000 non-refundable Home Buyer Tax Credit amount, which provides up to $750 in federal tax relief. Not sure if you qualify, ask!
9.Talk to us if you are going through a separation or divorce. Your home can be the asset that gives you both a fresh start. And if one of you wants to keep the marital home, we have some great mortgage options!
10.Build a financial cushion. Your high-interest credit card should not be your emergency fund. This year, build a financial cushion: get in the habit of putting a small sum from every pay cheque into a special emergency fund.