Tag Archives: Real Estate

Top 8 Ways to Get a Mortgage with Bad Credit

Flickr/TheTruthAbout

Flickr/TheTruthAbout

Perhaps you’ve fallen on hard times or made some financial mistakes. If you’re lucky, you’ve learned from those mistakes, and are on better financial footing. Even so, it can take some time for your credit score to reflect that, making it hard to get any kind of loan or mortgage. If you’ve already been turned down by your bank for a mortgage, you may not realize that it’s actually quite easy to get a loan when you have bad credit. The catch is that you’ll pay through the nose for it.

Getting a mortgage when you have bad credit means making some concessions in terms of the price of the home you buy and the interest rate you accept. Plus, if you want to stay on firm financial footing in the future, you’ll also have to make a serious effort to improve your score.

Check out a few options to consider in my new post on Dividend.com.

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Does Your House Suck? Here’s How to Sell It Anyway

Flickr/thinkpanama

Flickr/thinkpanama

Read any list of recommendations about how to sell your home and you’ll get the same advice about how to bring out the best in your property to get top dollar. But let’s face it. A lot of homes have more than just cosmetic issues you can fix with a little spackle, paint, and cleaning. Some homes just, well, suck.

Maybe your home’s perched on a really busy road, or has major structural issues, or a wet basement. Sure, you could fix those things, but with real problem homes, making major repairs can, in itself, be a real financial risk. What to do? Get some tips on how to get your home sold – despite its flaws – in my new post on WiseBread.com.

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What You Don’t Know About Buying a Fixer Upper

Flickr/drewish

Flickr/drewish

It’s cute, it’s got character and you’re ready to fall in love. Fixer upper homes, despite all their flaws, can still sweep home buyers off their feet. We see potential. We see profit. What we often don’t see is that this is one complicated love affair – one that could end badly.

Thinking about sinking money into a “handyman’s special”? Check out a few things you should know before saying “I do” in my new article on GoldenGirlFinance.com.

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4 Things Fools Overlook in the Home-Buying Process

Flickr/gnatallica

Flickr/gnatallica

Wise men say only fools rush in. Actually, Elvis said that. He was referring to love, but he could have been talking about real estate (he did have a seriously sweet pad). But contrary to wise words, buying a home often does happen in a bit of a rush. And here’s where the problem lies…

Real estate transactions are more complicated than they seem. Worse, most homebuyers understand a lot less than they think they do. With this in mind, before you rush into spending hundreds of thousands of your hard-earned dollars, check out a few of the crucial things homebuyers often just don’t understand in my new post on GoldenGirlFinance.com.

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Are You House Poor?

Flickr/brytown

Flickr/brytown

Buying a home of your own is a beautiful thing, but there’s one important caveat: you have to be able to afford it. And we mean really afford it. Too many homeowners fail to fully grasp what that means, signing on to a mortgage that’ll leave them house poor without even knowing it.

So what about you? Do you know what house poor looks like? Find out in my new article on GoldenGirlFinance.com.

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The Crucial Element of Home Renovations You’re Forgetting

Flickr/sunfrog1

Flickr/sunfrog1

Home renovations rarely go as planned. The job always takes longer, costs more and makes you waaay crazier than your HGTV-fueled dreams can ever account for. Maybe that explains why, according to a recent TD poll, many homeowners forget one very important thing. No, we’re not talking about the latest fixtures or low VOC paint. What most of us are actually forgetting is how renovations will affect our home insurance policy.

Research from TD Insurance found that only 6 percent of homeowners checked their policies before pulling out their tool kits. Unfortunately, this means you may be putting yourself at risk if you have to file an insurance claim. So, in honor of renovation season, let’s take a look at some of the insurance issues homeowners should be aware of – and what can go wrong if you get too focused on design and forget about the bottom line. Read more in my new post on GoldenGirlFinance.com.

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5 Hurdles to Becoming a Homeowner – and How to Leap Right Over Them

Flickr/OrangeCounty_Girl

Flickr/OrangeCounty_Girl

If you were to grow up in New York City or London, England – or even Vancouver – owning a home might not have been one of your fantasies of grown-up life. For most Canadians, however, the idea that we’ll grow up, get a job and buy a house is almost a given. Indeed, in most parts of the country, there’s space galore for suburbs and two-car garages and tidy backyards. And it’s places like these where many of us were raised. Unfortunately, higher prices, tighter lending conditions and more debt are making it increasingly difficult to make that dream a reality.

According to a recent poll by TD Canada Trust, today’s first-time homebuyers say they’re up against challenges their parents never had to face – and they’re right. The real estate market is a lot less affordable than it was 30 years ago or even 10 years ago. According to a report released by TD in April, home prices have risen by about 7 percent per year over the last decade, considerably faster than both wages and inflation. Top that with five-digit student debt loads and tighter lending standards, and it’s no wonder that young people report feeling that prices are too high (53 percent), their wages too low (48 percent), and a solid down payment too hard to scrape together (57 percent).

Fortunately, aspiring homeowners seeking the property-owning dream don’t have to give up. I asked Farhaneh Haque, director of mortgage advice at TD Canada Trust, for some tips on the hurdles new homeowners are facing – and how they can leap right over them. Check it out in my new article on GoldenGirlFinance.com.

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Can Rent-to-Own Help You Buy a Home?

Flickr/hownowdesign

Flickr/hownowdesign

New mortgage rules that went into effect in Canada in July shortened mortgage amortizations, pushed up qualification rates and reduced the debt ratio limits for borrowers. The bottom line? Getting a mortgage got harder, especially for first-time buyers. That may be a good thing for the housing market, but it’s a real heart-breaker for those who just can’t shake the desire to own their own home. In response, some buyers and sellers are getting together on rent-to-own deals in an effort to forge an easier path to homeownership. A February report by the CBC found that new rent-to-own websites have proliferated over the past year, suggesting that the phenomenon is becoming more common. But can you really rent your way to home ownership? Find out all about rent-to-own in my new article on GoldenGirlFinance.com.

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Water Damage: What’s Covered by Your Insurance – and What’s Not

Flickr/Stuck in Customs

Flickr/Stuck in Customs

April showers bring May flowers and something that is much less welcome: water damage. According to the Insurance Bureau of Canada, water damage is the No.1 cause of property damage in Canada, and the largest cost in residential insurance claims.

Do you know how to stay dry – and what your insurance will cover if you end up all wet? We talked to Dave Minor, Vice President at TD Insurance, about how to seal up any cracks in your insurance plan by checking into your water damage coverage. Check it out in my new article on GoldenGirlFinance.com.

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Buying Your First Home: What To Do and When to Do It

Flickr/Stuck in Customs

Flickr/Stuck in Customs

Buying your first home is a beautiful thing. Actually, scratch that. Moving in to your first home is the beautiful part. Most of the stuff that comes before that is demanding, difficult, and often downright stressful. After all, for most people, that home purchase is the most money they’ll ever spend in one shot and the biggest loan they’ll ever ask for. But before you run screaming for the closest rental property, there is some good news — much of the stress associated with home buying can be mitigated through preparation and organization. 

Is a new home on your horizon? Find out what you should be doing before, during, and after the big purchase in my new post on WiseBread.

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