BC’s 2018 Budget: Does it Balance Opportunity?

Vince Olfert | February 22, 2018

BC’s 2018 budget was announced on February 20th. Its focus was to provide lower income households with tax relief. It provides some parents with reduced child care fees while also reassuring parents that spaces in child care and in schools would become more adequate.

There are numerous articles that focus on the many highlights (some are listed below) that will work to assist the many varied interests of middle and lower income households in BC. Less reported however is that in order to provide the tax relief outlined within the budget, the BC Government will undertake a record-breaking capital spend and increase overall taxes to the tune of $4.4 billion over three years.
(more…)

Read More

Financial Stress Test: New Mortgage Rules Take Effect January 1, 2018

Mike Erickson | December 14, 2017

As some of you may know, there have been some imposed changes that will decrease our borrowing power when it comes to purchasing a home.  As of January 1, 2018, you will need to qualify under more stringent rules in order to get the mortgage you desire.

Assuming all other factors remain unchanged, once the new changes are in effect you would qualify for an amount 18% less than you would under the current mortgage rules.   (more…)

Read More

Things to Think About When Purchasing a Home

Mike Erickson | December 14, 2017

In the competitive market we face today, purchasing a home can be a daunting task. There are a few things to be aware of that can help make it a little less daunting.  The First Time Home Buyers Plan and some new advantages that were recently introduced by the Provincial Government help soften the blow.

To help make this overwhelming transaction a little less arduous, the federal government allows first time home buyers to withdraw $25,000 from their hard earned RRSPs, tax free.  These funds do need to repaid back into the RRSP over a 15 year period or the portion due could become taxable.  An eligible couple could potentially withdraw a total of $50,000 between the two of them towards the purchase of a First Time Home.  For more information on HBP eligibility and repayment schedules click here.

Due to increased home prices in BC (specifically Lower Mainland), the Provincial Government has responded and provided a few additional advantages to those wishing to purchase a home for the first time.   These additional advantages are: (more…)

Read More

Mortgage Insurance vs. Life Insurance – What am I Actually Covered For?

Mike Erickson | December 14, 2017

If you have ever purchased a home or applied for a loan, you may be familiar with Mortgage Insurance. This is the insurance the bank is obligated to encourage you to take in the event you die or become disabled. It is intended to protect your loved ones from being stuck with the mortgage in the event life takes a wrong turn ie. death.   Sounds like a no brainer right? Wrong! There are MANY pitfalls with Mortgage Insurance that put the bank’s best interest ahead of yours for a price that’s not worth it. (more…)

Read More

Beware of Pitfalls When Selling Homes

Vince Olfert | December 14, 2017

A recent article in the Investment Executive, Beware of pitfalls when selling homes, draws attention to implications that can arise as a result of the changes that occurred to the Principal Residence Capital Gains Exemption.  The articles mention some important things to be aware of when selling a home that that could interfere with your tax free status of your principal residence and Estate Planning strategies.

These points are: (more…)

Read More