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Cut the tax take on cottage sales

Beware capital gains tax on non-principal residences With real estate prices going through the roof across the country, you may seriously be considering selling the family cottage to capitalize on the investment your great grandparents made 50 years ago – or that...


Got the first-time home buyer blues?

Learn the basics of financing before plunging in – no math degree required Young couples shopping for their first home are faced with the bewildering new language of the real estate market – mortgages alone often seem to require a degree in higher mathematics. It’s...


Snowbirds are vulnerable to mortgage fraud

Title insurance can protect you while you’re away If you typically spend the winter months in the sunny south somewhere, your Canadian home is likely to be unoccupied. That could leave you open to mortgage fraud (even though you might not have had a mortgage on the...


Time to use the HBP to crack open the RRSP?

First-time home buyers can use RRSP funds to top up their down payment Now that the Bank of Canada has cut its benchmark interest rate to 0.5%, it looks like mortgage rates will also fall. But the government may try to head off a real estate market bubble by...


Cut your tax bill when selling that piece of paradise

How cottage improvements can save you a bundle in taxes Thinking of selling your cottage? If your cottage or recreational property is not your principal residence – and for most people, it’s not – when you sell it, you’ll pay capital gains tax on any appreciation...


Time to lock in low mortgage rates?

A mortgage rate hike could put you in a cash crunch If you currently have a fairly large variable-rate mortgage on your home, it’s probably set at a very low rate, which makes your monthly payments affordable. But with interest rates apparently ready to rise, is...


The 3 hidden financial traps of cottage ownership

It’s not all piney woods and gorgeous sunsets The cabin in the woods or cottage by the lake can make a great retreat from the big smoke. But with vacation properties in prime areas pushing a million bucks or more, buying one has become a major financial planning...


Do you really need mortgage insurance?

High cost, tight restrictions make it poor value for the money You’ve bought a new house, and you’re sitting with the bank’s loans officer ready to sign for that mortgage. Then she casually asks, “Would you like mortgage insurance with that?” Almost like your...


Six rules to help you survive the mortgage market

Take on life’s biggest debt…and win! Even though much of Canada is still covered with a thick layer of snow and ice, the so-called spring real estate market is gathering momentum. And banks, finance companies, and lawyers are all gearing up to take their cut,...

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