Preparing To Take On A Mortgage


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Canada has long been an attractive area for investors, both domestically and internationally. And with current real estate prices set to remain low until the final quarter of 2023, those looking to purchase a new home should move quickly to ensure they get the best deal on their home.

That being said, putting in the prep work and getting your ducks in a row prior to finding the house of your dreams is highly advisable to ensure you don’t miss out on the best mortgage rates or offers for you and end up investing in a property that is beyond your capabilities or stretching your finances to the hilt.

So what do you need to know before purchasing a property?

How Much Can You Realistically Afford?

We’ve all seen the memes and questioned mortgage companies’ decisions when refusing home loans for a lower amount than the rent you are paying. However, buying a house is a more complex financial burden than finding rent every month. You need to sit down and look at what you can realistically afford. While you might be able to afford higher rent than your projected mortgage, you also need to factor in other costs, such as taxes, insurance, home repairs, and fluctuating interest rates that can affect your repayments.

You also need to look at your income, how stable it is and what you would do if you lost your primary source of money; how would you afford your mortgage payments? Set a figure you can comfortably afford to repay and then look at if this is realistic for taking on a mortgage.

What Your Debt to Income Ratio Is

One of the most extensive loan agreements you will ever make is taking on a mortgage. As such, it’s imperative that you understand your debt-to-income ratio to ensure complete affordability. This means keeping your debt levels below 35% of your income. You have probably heard of things like the 50/30/20 rule meaning that 50% of your income should be your needs, 30% for your wants and 20% for savings and debt if you have any. While this is an excellent rule to follow, keeping debt levels as low as possible will ensure you are able to focus more on your remortgage payments.

Property Taxes

The size of the home you are planning to buy and the cost of the house will dictate exactly how much you will end up paying in property taxes. Typically property tax is 0.5% to 2.5% and will vary depending on the factors mentioned above and the factors set by your municipality. You can expect to pay these taxes each year, so be sure you can afford the cost when looking to buy a new home, especially if you are jumping up in size or value.


Much like anywhere in the world, buying a home comes with many different fees that likely will need to be paid for upfront and not from your mortgage. So as well as needing to find your deposit, you will need to have the funds available to help you cover these costs. Generally, buyers can expect to pay for things like; appraisal fees, closing costs, legal fees, title insurance, property adjustment taxes, and your realtor. You can expect to pay anywhere up to 4% of the value of the home on these types of costs.

Finding The Right Realtor

Your realtor should be your main source of information and support during this time, so it’s essential you pick them well. Then send to have extensive knowledge of the area you are buying in and have a good portfolio of clients and properties to ascertain their ability to help you with buying your next home. Meet with a few realtors to see how you deal with them before embarking on your home-buying journey. You need someone who understands what you want and can find it for you easily without wasting your time. Look online for reviews, ask family and friends, check out reviews and social media accounts and meet with them in person to help you make the right decision on who to go with.

Negotiating Home Repairs

After an offer on a house has been accepted, an inspection may reveal necessary repairs such as hot water tank repair, electrical work or even plumbing work that need doing. Prior to signing any contracts, it is crucial for both parties to understand who will pay for expenses associated with repairs. Buyers should negotiate repairs with sellers prior to finalizing their purchase agreement. Negotiations over repairs costs could result in either a lower selling price, or having the seller perform repairs before closing. Prioritize repairs that affect home safety or functionality as soon as they arise to avoid more significant issues and expenses later on. Negotiating successfully for repairs will save money while guaranteeing you move into an ideal property condition when moving in.

Buying your new home shouldn’t be one without a lot of thought and consideration on your part. You need to make sure you can afford the repayments, you have a good credit score, and you are able to cover all of the costs and taxes associated with one ownership easily to ensure you don’t end up struggling to pay your mortgage down the line.


The Importance of Privacy in Today’s Digital Age


Because we live in a digital age, the internet is now an essential component of our day-to-day lives. It has completely altered how we educate ourselves, communicate with one another, perform our jobs, and even go shopping. Concerns regarding users’ ability to maintain their privacy and safety while using the internet are unavoidable, despite the many advantages and benefits that the internet provides. When we use the internet, we leave a digital trail of our activities that can be followed, monitored, and used in a variety of contexts by a number of different organizations and individuals. So, how to see what google knows about you (and the rest of the internet), and how can you restrict this knowledge?

To begin, it is essential to have a solid understanding of the myriad of ways in which the internet gathers information about us. Search engines such as Google, for instance, keep a record of our previous searches, as well as our location and preferences, in order to tailor the search results they return to us and the advertisements we see. Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter are examples of social media platforms that keep a record of our interactions, likes, and shares in order to compile a profile of our behaviors and interests. E-commerce websites like Amazon and eBay keep track of our browsing history and purchases in order to make product suggestions.

In addition, our internet service providers, mobile carriers, and the apps we use collect data about the way we use our devices, as well as our location and the activity that occurs on the networks we connect to. All of this information can be put together to form a detailed profile of our activities and preferences while we are online. This profile can even include our personal information, such as our name, address, and other contact details.

So the question is, how can you keep a certain amount of this information secret? Here are some tips:

Make use of a Virtual Private Network (VPN): A Virtual Private Network (VPN) can encrypt your internet connection and hide your IP address, making it difficult for websites and advertisers to track your activity while you are online.

Change your privacy settings: Many websites and apps allow you to change your privacy settings, giving you control over the data that they collect and share about you. For instance, you can change the privacy settings on social media platforms to limit the people who can see your posts and the information you share about yourself.

Utilize the private browsing mode: The vast majority of web browsers come equipped with a private browsing mode that prevents your browser history, cookies, and other data from being saved.

Delete your data: If you want to limit the amount of information that is available about you online, you can delete your search history, cookies, and other data from your web browser and social media accounts.

Make use of secure passwords: Protecting the personal information you store online by establishing robust, one-of-a-kind passwords for each of your accounts is an important step towards mitigating the risk of unauthorized access.

Take precautions before disclosing any personal information: When conducting business online, it is best not to reveal sensitive personal information such as your social security number or the specifics of your bank account.

Utilize two-factor authentication: Two-factor authentication increases the security of your online accounts by requiring a second verification method, such as a code sent to your phone or email.

Utilize ad-blocking software: Ad-blocking software can prevent websites and advertisers from tracking your online activity and displaying targeted advertisements.

Implement the use of a password manager: Using a password manager can assist you in coming up with robust and one-of-a-kind passwords for each of your online accounts, allowing you to better protect and manage those accounts.

Be careful when using public Wi-Fi: Because public Wi-Fi networks may not be secure, you should avoid using them for activities that involve sensitive data, such as shopping or banking online.

Maintain an up-to-date version of your software: Be sure to update your operating system, web browser, and app software on a regular basis to keep yourself protected from potential security flaws.

To summarize, the internet does collect a significant amount of data about us, but there are measures that we can take to limit the scope of this knowledge. We are able to regain control of our online privacy and security if we make use of a virtual private network (VPN), modify our privacy settings, browse the web in private mode, delete old data, select secure passwords, and exercise caution before disclosing personal information. It is critical that we are conscious of the information that is gathered about us by the internet and that we take active measures to safeguard our private data.


Don’t Forget these expenses when moving into your home


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Congratulations on taking the big step of moving into your very first home! It’s an exciting time, full of new possibilities and the chance to make your space truly your own. As you prepare for this exciting new chapter, it’s important to remember that many expenses come with owning a home beyond just the purchase price or rental deposit. In fact, several often-overlooked expenses can catch new homeowners off guard if they’re not prepared. From unexpected repairs to ongoing maintenance costs, it’s essential to understand all the expenses you’ll need to manage clearly. 

Maintenance and Repair Costs

One of the most significant expenses many new homeowners overlook is the cost of ongoing maintenance and repairs. 

As a homeowner, keeping your property in good condition is up to you. This includes everything from mowing the lawn and trimming the hedges to changing the filters in your HVAC system or undertaking massive repairs such as needing new floor joists, for example, or foundation repairs.


Another often-overlooked expense for new homeowners is insurance. When renting a property, your landlord typically has insurance to cover the building and any associated liability. However, as a homeowner, it’s up to you to secure your own insurance policy to protect your property and assets.

There are several types of insurance that you may need as a homeowner, including homeowner’s insurance, flood insurance, and earthquake insurance, depending on where you live. It’s important to shop around for insurance policies and compare quotes from different providers to ensure you get the best possible coverage at a reasonable price. Consider bundling your insurance policies with one provider to save money on premiums.

Moving Costs

Whether hiring professional movers or doing it yourself, there are a variety of expenses associated with moving into a new home. These can include the cost of renting a moving truck, packing supplies, and hiring help to load and unload your belongings.

To help keep moving costs under control, it’s a good idea to start planning well in advance. Create a detailed moving checklist and timeline to ensure you have ample time to pack, sort, and prepare for your move. Book your moving company as soon as possible for the best prices.

Buying Furniture

Once you’ve moved into your new home, you’ll likely need to buy furniture to fill your space. This can be a significant expense, especially if you’re starting from scratch. From buying new living room furniture to remembering to buy pots, pans, cutlery, towels, bedding, and so on, it all adds up, especially for those who need everything.

Another important consideration is the layout and size of your new home. Before buying furniture, take measurements and create a detailed floor plan to ensure you buy pieces that will fit comfortably in your space. This will help you to avoid purchasing items that are too big or too small for your new home.

The First Food Shop to Fill the Cupboards

Finally, one last that many new homeowners overlook is the cost of stocking their kitchen and pantry. When you move into a new home, you’ll likely need to buy all the basics, including food staples like flour, sugar, and spices.

Your shopping list needs to incorporate those foods you typically find in a cupboard, but you won’t yet have. Check the cabinets where you currently live, be it family or friends, and get an idea of the items you might need before you move out. You don’t need everything at once, but getting the right bits will ensure you have what you need.


Moving into your first home is exciting, but it’s important to remember that many expenses come with homeownership beyond just the purchase price. By planning ahead and budgeting carefully, you can set yourself up for success and enjoy your new home to the fullest.