That’s what Equifax set out to answer in their recent Equifax Generations Survey. Read more about Canadians’ attitudes, perceptions and behaviours towards their current and future financial outlook
A coalition of environmental advocacy groups released a set of 10 demands directed towards the federal and provincial governments regarding the construction industry.
The group says these changes are necessary if Canada is to reach its overly-ambitious (some might say impossible) 2030 targets under the Paris climate change agreement.
While this energy policy manifesto covers many aspects of residential and commercial buildings, the item most likely to affect current homeowners is its call for “universal bench-marking and home energy labelling across the country.”
In other words, mandatory energy audits. While new homes across Canada may feature “Energy Star” federal government certification or similar programs, this new proposal goes much, much further by making an energy audit a requirement for every house to be sold, including older dwellings.
Read more here
Contractors may be your client’s go-to person during a home renovation. To ensure things go smoothly, realtor.com® warns of a few phrases homeowners should never say to the contractor, including:
1. “I’m not in a hurry.”
Don’t put too much pressure on the contractor. This phrase implies the contractor and crew can take as much time as they’d like with the home project, Victoria Shtainer, a residential expert at Compass New York, told realtor.com®. Time is often money and convenience.
2. “We had no idea this would be so expensive.”
“There is no worse feeling than bidding on a project, feeling good about your bid, and learning that the budget for the project is set unreasonably low,” says Nathan Outlaw, CEO of Onvico Inc., a general contracting company. “A good lesson for contractors and owners is to always get the money talks started during an early conversation.”
3. “I’ll buy my own materials.”
Contractors are often eligible for better pricing on materials. Still, “it isn't necessarily a bad idea to check what materials a contractor is using for things like the subfloor or cabinets,” Outlaw says. “But trust them to use a good, well-established supplier to have the materials brought to the job site.”
4. “I’ll pay up front.”
Don’t take away your bargaining card from the start. A contract between you and the contractor will ensure the contractor will get paid, but make it contingent on the job being done to your satisfaction. You want to be able to hold the contractor accountable for the work they do.
5. “I’m old-school. We can use a handshake.”
“When a client says this, I know it’s time to run for the hills,” says Outlaw. “There should never be any fear about getting the scope of work and payment terms in writing.” A contract protects you and the contractor from the project being done on budget and in a timely manner. Get everything in writing first.
Read more phrases you should never say to a contractor at realtor.com®.
Source: “8 Things You Should Never Say to a Contractor,” realtor.com® (Aug. 29, 2017)
www.BuzzBuzzHome.com and http://blog.BuzzBuzzHome.com ...but, otherwise, here are some greats:
RateHub: http://www.ratehub.ca/ - Compare Mortgage Rates
TalkCondo - www.TalkCondo.com - Nice clean interface, good information.
Savel Sells - www.savelsells.com and http://savelblogs.com/ - Great and insightful content.
Move Smartly - www.realosophy.com and www.movesmartly.com - Really clean and crisp design. And, I love the content on the blog and main website. Great resource.
Real Experts - http://realexpertsinc.blogspot.com Brian is not a realtor, but his info is wicked.
Properties by Manny - http://propertiesbymanny.com - Looking for some amazing Vancouver information? Check out Manny... not only great project information, but we love his word-of-the-day... always learning something new.
Braun Allison - www.braunallison.com/blog
Toronto Realty Blog - http://www.torontorealtyblog.com/ - So honest. So wonderful!
Benjamin Bach - www.benjaminbach.com
The federal government is considering implementing additional mortgage tightening rules that could have an important impact on uninsured mortgage applicants.
We believe all Canadians should have access to housing that meets their needs and that they can afford. However, the Office of the Superintendent of Financial Institutions (OSFI) is proposing a stress test for uninsured mortgages. The proposal would require lower-risk borrowers to be approved at two percent above the rate offered to them by their lender. This measure would shut many consumers out of the market, drive them into less suitable housing or entice them to visit sub-prime lenders that are not federally regulated. The reality is that homeownership is slipping out of reach for many first-time homebuyers in housing markets with a shortage of affordably priced homes.
Act Now! Scroll down to send a letter to your Member of Parliament.
For more information on the new proposed mortgage measures, visit OSFI's website.
Vacant Homes Tax - Public Consultation
What do you think of a tax on vacant homes?As part of the Ontario Fair Housing Plan, the Province of Ontario introduced legislation that would empower the City of Toronto to introduce a tax on vacant residential units, encourage property owners to sell unoccupied units or rent them out, and address concerns about residential units potentially being left vacant.
Vancouver, facing a similar issue with housing affordability, adopted an Empty Home Tax in late 2016.
City staff presented the report Implementing a Vacant Home Tax in Toronto to Council at its meeting of July 4-7, 2017. The report was adopted and Council requested City staff to undertake public consultation about:
SurveyTake the online survey on whether Toronto should implement a vacant homes tax. The survey will be open until Tuesday, September 5, 2017.
Public ConsultationThe public consultation session was held on Tuesday, August 22 at Toronto City Hall. You can review the presentation below.
A Vacant Home Tax In Toronto? Exploring Public Policy Benefits and Costs, August 22, 2017Be sure to take the online survey before September 5, 2017.
Going green is great for the environment, but that's not the only benefit. When you make green upgrades in your home, it can also lead to some major savings.