tips for getting organized

7 Tips for Getting Organized When Moving Into a New Home

You’re super excited to move into a new home, but it comes with a catch. You need to pack up your old home and move into the new one in only a few days. So much for that plan of slowly moving things over time. If you have ever moved before, you know how stressful this can be. Packing everything, cleaning, sorting and unpacking are not exactly your favorite activities. But when you add all the other responsibilities of work and life, the situation becomes even more challenging. Fortunately, there are ways to ease the stress and get organized when moving into a new home so that you can enjoy your new space from day one and feel good about it from day one as well as long after that. Here are 7 tips how:

Plan Before You Start Packing

If you have ever been in a rush to pack, you know how chaotic the process can become. You might be tempted to just pack everything, but that simply isn’t a good idea. You need to plan out your packing strategy in a way that best suits your needs and the nature of your items. Here are some tips to get you started:

– Create categories of items – Decide what items go where in your house (e.g. kitchen items, bathroom items, etc.). This will help you create categories of items that you need to pack.

– Create a packing chart – This will help you know what you need to pack and in what order. Make sure you include all the items you need such as bedding and kitchen items.

– Pack like items together – There are many ways to pack your items when you move. If you decide to pack things yourself, it is best to pack like items together so you don’t have to unpack them later.

Start With the Most Important Rooms

Moving is always a great opportunity to make some changes in your home. If you start your packing and organizing with the rooms where you spend the most time, you will get a lot accomplished. In fact, we recommend that you start with your bedroom, bathroom and kitchen. These are rooms where you will spend a lot of time and want them organized to your liking as soon as possible. These rooms also tend to have a lot of stuff that you don’t need or use. These are great rooms to clear out old items and make room for new items that you will use more often. You can also start with the rooms that have the most items that need to be packed. You can pack these items first and be done with them. These rooms can include the kids’ rooms, the garage and the living room or den.

Hire Professional Help

Moving is hard work. There is no doubt about that. If you are in a hurry and/or live in a large home, you should consider hiring professional help. This will help you get done faster and more efficiently. You will also greatly reduce your risk of injury while saving time that you can spend on other important tasks. You can hire help for packing your items, hauling them to the new home and unpacking them. Also, you can hire a cleaning service to help you clean your old home. They will do a thorough job, and you will be free to do what you need to get done. You don’t need to spend a fortune on professional help. You can often find reliable helpers and cleaning service providers at discounted rates. Also, you can use discount services like Man with a Van or Handy.

Create a Moving Checklist

This is a common tip for those who love to be organized and efficient. You can create a checklist that includes all the tasks that need to get done before you move. This will ensure that you don’t miss anything and will make your life much easier. Here are some checklist items that you might want to consider: – Cleaning – Clean your old home thoroughly before you move out to ensure it is in good shape for the next tenants. This will also help you identify what needs to go.

– Packing – Pack your items and mark them clearly so you know what goes where. This will make unpacking a breeze.

– Moving logistics – Organize the moving logistics so that you know exactly when and how everything will happen. This will help you avoid stress and last-minute issues.

– Visiting your new home – Take some time to visit your new home and get familiar with it. This will help you plan how to unpack and organize your things.

– Hiring employees – If you own a business, you need to let your employees know that you are moving. This will help you keep your employees informed and make it easier for them to get to work.

Label Everything

Labeling your boxes and items can help you get things organized. You can also use this to identify areas of the new home where you should store things. This will help you avoid clutter and keep your new home clean and organized. If you have kids, consider labeling areas where they can keep their items. This will help them keep their spaces tidy and organized. You can also consider labeling cabinets and drawers in the new home for an easy way to get organized. If you have a lot of items that need to be labeled, you can use a labeling machine to save time. You can also consider hiring a professional organizer to help you get started with the labeling process.

Set Up a Workspace and Storage Area

You should set up a workspace in your old home where you can pack, organize and clean items. This will help you get things done in a timely manner and keep your house clean and tidy while you are busy with other things. You can set up a clean and safe space in a garage or a room where you can store boxes until it is time to move them to the new home. This will keep things out of sight and make the process much easier. You can also set up a storage space in your new home where you can store items that you don’t need often but that you don’t want to get rid of. This will make it easier for you to unpack the items when you need them. You can store these items in cabinets, on shelves or in boxes.

Only Bring What You Need and Will Use

You don’t need to keep every item that you have ever owned. In fact, it is better to get rid of excess items and only bring what you need and will use. This will help you de-clutter your new home and make it easier to keep tidy and organized. Start by going through all the items that you have packed and get rid of anything that you don’t need. You can also ask yourself if you will use the items in the future. If the answer is no, you don’t need to bring those items with you. You can trash them, donate them or sell them for some extra cash. This will help you declutter your new home and make it easier to get organized.

Conclusion

Moving into a new home is a great time to get organized. You can start with the rooms where you spend the most time and then work your way through the rest of the house. You can create a checklist of tasks to get done, hire professional help and label everything. Take the opportunity to only bring what you need and will use with you to the new home.

We here at Capital Mortgages in Ottawa look forward to assisting you with all your Ottawa mortgage refinancing needs. Contact us today by calling us at: 613-228-3888 or email us direct at: info@capitalmortgages.com

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Capital Mortgages opened in January 1999 and has since serviced thousands of clients and arranged several billion dollars in mortgages in Ottawa area.

Tips For Listing Your Home In A Seller’s Market

It bears no need for repeating, but we’ll say it once again – Ottawa (and most of Canada) is experiencing the hottest ever real estate market in history. If you’re a property owner and are looking to move this year, there’s no better time to list your home and reap the rewards of your initial financial investment. It’s not uncommon to see homes selling for more than what is the asking price, due to the incredibly high demand we’ve been seeing. But that being said – it’s also not the rule.

Here are a few tips to set you on the right track when listing your home for sale:

1. Consider whether you have a new home to move into

This one may seem obvious, but considering how expensive prices have gotten, it’s worth having your next home lined up before deciding to sell yours. The goal is to make sure you have an option set in stone that meets your style, size and location specifications and that you won’t have to settle for a property that doesn’t meet these criteria if you don’t, due to current market pricing.

2. List your home just under market value

This is a strategy seemingly favoured by many realtors. While this strategy isn’t always necessary, it attracts more buyers and will likely spark a bidding war, for a lack of a better term, that will get you the offer you’d like – and fast!

3. Get ready to move quickly

Because of high demand and scarcity of properties for sale today, you might see buyers being willing to purchase your home in cash or with minimal financing. Be prepared for the process to move quickly and that you may close on your home’s sale in a very short period of time.

4. Manage your expectations

Just because it’s a seller’s market, it doesn’t mean that your home is automatically going to sell for more than the listing price. Many factors can influence your final sale price, including location, availability within your area or other homes in your neighborhood offering different features. Carefully evaluate each offer you receive, and don’t discount it immediately because it doesn’t meet your initial expectations.

 

If you are looking to purchase a new or secondary home this summer, please don’t hesitate to reach out to Capital Mortgages to get started on the pre-approval process and put your rate hold in place!

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Capital Mortgages specializes as a service-oriented brokerage that prides itself on integrity and maintaining a service level second to none in the industry.

What is a Purchase Plus Improvement Mortgage?

When you are preparing to purchase a new home, you will be introduced to plenty of new jargon related to your mortgage. Purchase Plus Improvement is one of the important ones – because understanding this term could end up saving you lots of money in the long run.  

Are you interested in purchasing a new home that requires renovations? Do you intend to do those renovations? Are these renovations capable of truly transforming the structure of your home (i.e. a new kitchen, bathroom, roof, flooring, windows or doors)? Do you need access to funds to complete those renovations right now? If you answered yes to any of these questions, then perhaps a Purchase Plus Improvement Mortgage is for you.  

 

How it Works: 

If you are certain that you will be fronting the bill for some home renovations in the new home you are purchasing, you can actually roll all of those dreaded renovation costs directly into your mortgage. The CMHC Purchase Plus Improvement Mortgage enables buyers to borrow as much as 10% of the estimated value of their home, post-renovation. If you believe you can renovate and improve the value of your home by $30,000, then you will be considered for a mortgage approval that tacks that amount onto your initial pre-approved mortgage amount. That means that all of those expenses are held and managed in one place.  

  • First off, you must outline what renovations are required and the estimated cost of these renovations. 
  • Next, you submit your mortgage application on the house as it currently is, and receive a pre-approval from your mortgage broker.  
  • Now is the hard work – you have to go and get specific quotes (with the exact renovation work that will be done).  
  • Present these quotes to your mortgage broker and your mortgage will be reassessed to include the cost of the quoted renovations. 
  • Now you have your new home and renovations can get underway immediately by a professional contractor or, yourself (but only material costs, not your labour, would be covered)! Do not go over the allotted maximum amount you were approved for. 
  • To confirm the completion of the renovations, a bank representative / appraiser will visit your home and cross reference the work with your initial documents.  
  • Your renovation funds will be released. 

 

Example:

Here is a real-life example of a purchase plus improvement mortgage situation after a 5% down payment is paid (which includes the renovation cost):
  

Home Purchase Cost: $350,000 

Cost of Renovations: $35,000 

Revised Purchase Price: $385,000 

Mortgage Amount: $365,750  

CMHC: $13,167 

Total Mortgage Amount: $378,917 
  

It is without a doubt that this Purchase Plus improvement Mortgage is the most effective and affordable way to finance big home renovations. If you are interested in learning more about this mortgage option, contact our team at Capital Mortgages today for more information. 

 

Capital Mortgages specializes as a service-oriented brokerage that prides itself on integrity and maintaining a service level second to none in the industry.

5 First-Time Homebuyer Mistakes and How to Avoid Them

Congratulations! You’ve decided to take the plunge into homeownership and purchase your first home. Now, you have all the excitement of house-hunting and finding your perfect home to look forward to! However, there are some bumps you may encounter along the way if you aren’t properly prepared for them. To help you, here are 5 first-time homebuyer mistakes and how to avoid them:

 

Not doing your homework

Purchasing your first home is a huge step and not one to be made in a hurry. Make sure that you do your homework by researching different neighbourhoods and considering which are most suited to your needs now, as well as 5 or 10 years in the future. Things to consider include walkability, green space, nearby schools, and whether or not the city has any upcoming plans for development.

 

Maxing out your budget

It can be easy to get swept up into the excitement of house-hunting and to start looking at homes that are in the top-end, or even above, your budget. One of the best things you can do before you begin to look at homes is to obtain mortgage pre-approval. With mortgage pre-approval, not only will you demonstrate to sellers that you are a committed buyer, but you will know exactly how much you can afford and what your monthly mortgage payments will be.

 

Not taking other costs into account

There are more costs to take into consideration than simply your monthly mortgage payments. By purchasing a home you are also committing to pay utilities, insurance, maintenance, possible condo fees and property tax. A good way to gain an accurate idea of what costs you can expect is to ask your realtor. You should also factor closing costs, such as legal fees, property tax adjustments and the land transfer tax, into your final numbers.

 

Skipping the home inspection

A home inspection is vital in ensuring you know exactly what you’re getting in terms of the current state of your home. A professional home inspector will look carefully at your home’s foundations, windows and roof, and will tell you if there is any water damage, mould, or structural issues that you need to address. If possible, include a home inspection as part of your conditional offer.

 

Making assumptions

You think the previous owners are leaving behind their appliances, only to arrive on move in day to find they have taken them with them and you are now left to replace a costly washing machine and dryer. If you think the previous owners may leave items behind, or if you have even discussed this with them — make sure to get it in writing. Items such as window treatments, lighting fixtures, and appliances are most often left behind but just make sure you clarify first exactly what you’re getting without making an assumptions.

 

Feeling overwhelmed? Let our team guide you through the homebuying process with ease. Capital Mortgages offers step-by-step personal assistance from knowledgeable mortgage brokers and an easy online application process. We’ll be by your side each step of the way, from helping you understand your options and what to expect, to mortgage pre-approval, and all the way through finalizing your mortgage and the purchase of your home.

 

Ready to talk? We’d love to help!

Reach out to us by phone at 613-228-3888 or by email at info@capitalmortgages.com

 

If you found this information useful, make sure to like and follow us on Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter and Instagram! We are constantly posting valuable home tips, pertinent news articles, and reliable mortgage advice to better educate and inform our clients.

 

Capital Mortgages specializes as a service-oriented brokerage that prides itself on integrity and maintaining a service level second to none in the industry.

4 Mortgage Pitfalls to Avoid as a First-Time Homebuyer

There are a lots of different factors to consider when purchasing your first home, such as which neighbourhood to buy in, what type of home you can afford, and securing the right type of financing. It is easy to get swept up in the excitement of making your first home purchase however, there are many mistakes to be made if you aren’t careful. Here are 4 mortgage pitfalls Capital Mortgages can help you avoid as a first-time homebuyer:

 

1) Not Getting Pre-Approved

Mortgage pre-approval should be your first point of call as a first-time homebuyer. Not only will a mortgage pre-approval help you understand your upper loan limit and the amount and type of loan you can afford, but it is the perfect time to discuss with your Capital Mortgages broker the whole process of purchasing your first home and arranging the mortgage best suited for you.

 

2) Taking On More Than You Can Afford

It’s normal to want to buy the biggest home you can afford, however, this may not be the wisest move. A larger home means larger mortgage payments, but it also means more expensive home ownership costs, such as property taxes, maintenance fees, and utility bills. Before purchasing a home, you should take all these costs into consideration and avoid taking on more than you need, even if it is affordable.

 

3) Longer Amortization Period

Your mortgage amortization period is the number of years you will need to pay off your mortgage. It is an important decision that can affect how much interest you pay over the life of your mortgage. The most common amortization period is 25 years, but you can choose a shorter or, if uninsured, a longer period of 30 years. A longer period means that your monthly mortgage payments will be lower, but it will take you that much longer to be mortgage-free. More interest will be paid over the life of the mortgage and you will build the equity in your home at a slower pace. It is also worth noting that if you choose an amortization over 25 years, you must have a down payment of at least 20%.

 

4) Not Reading the Fine Print

When applying for a mortgage, it is in your best interest to understand all the terms and conditions that apply to you and be clear in what you are committing to. Your Capital Mortgages broker will be able to go through all documentation with you, step-by-step, and clearly explain anything that you do not understand.

 

We understand that purchasing your first home can be an overwhelming and intimidating experience. With over 20 years experience in the mortgage industry, the team at Capital Mortgages has the necessary knowledge to help guide you effortlessly through finding your first mortgage and beyond. Contact us today to get started!

 

Capital Mortgages Inc is an independent brokerage in the Mortgage Centre Canada Network and one of Ontario’s leading real estate mortgage brokerages with offices in Ottawa and the valley.

Why Getting Mortgage Pre-Approval is so Important

Searching for a home can be an exciting but overwhelming task. To make things go as smoothly as possible when hunting for your dream home, consider getting pre-approved for a mortgage first. Mortgage pre-approval can save you time and hassle when you finally find the perfect home! Here are a few things you should know about obtaining a pre-approved mortgage:

 

What is mortgage pre-approval?

A mortgage pre-approval will help you to determine certain financial factors before you start looking for a home, such as the maximum amount you can afford to spend on a home and the expected monthly mortgage payments associated with that price. Applying for mortgage pre-approval is free of charge and doesn’t commit you to one specific lender.

 

Why should I get mortgage pre-approval?

  • The information you receive in obtaining a pre-approved mortgage will aid you in your home search. You will be able to budget accordingly and only look at homes within your financial range of affordability.

 

  • Mortgage pre-approval also allows you to ‘lock in’ a mortgage rate for a 120 day period. This means that even if interest rates go up while you are searching for a home, you are protected and guaranteed a mortgage at the agreed upon rate provided you purchase and close on a home within the 120 day period. If your mortgage lender’s rate falls during this time, the lender will honour the lower rate.

 

  • Being approved for a mortgage also signals to real estate agents that you are a serious buyer. When it comes to placing an offer on a home, your mortgage pre-approval shows the seller that you are stable in regards to financing. It could also help bolster your chances in a multiple offer scenario.

 

How can I get pre-approved for a mortgage?

The first step in getting mortgage pre-approval is to meet with an experienced mortgage agent who will be able to help you determine the best mortgage for your individual needs. They will ask you a series of questions and request specific documentation to get a thorough overview of your financial situation.

 

Capital Mortgages offers step-by-step personal assistance from knowledgeable mortgage brokers and an easy online application process. We’ll be by your side each step of the way, from mortgage pre-approval to finalizing your mortgage and the purchase of your home. Don’t hesitate — contact us today!

 

Capital Mortgages Inc is an independent brokerage in the Mortgage Centre Canada Network and one of Ontario’s leading real estate mortgage brokerages with offices in Ottawa and the valley. thank you

Talking Mortgages with Your Partner

Your relationship with your partner will experience many exciting milestones: your first kiss, moving in together, getting engaged, having children… But one of the most important steps in your relationship will be buying a home together and getting your first mortgage. A home will likely be the largest joint purchase you ever make, and you need to be sure you are making the best financial decision to fit your specific needs as a couple. Here are a few pointers on how to talk mortgages and finances with your partner:

 

Share your financial goals

The most important thing to remember when discussing your finances with your partner is to be open and honest. Share your financial situations and goals with one another and make sure that you are both on the same page. Are you looking for a home to start a family or are you looking for more of a centrally located condo or even an investment property? This may not be one specific discussion, but an ongoing series of conversations between you and your partner to best ensure a financially secure future together.

 

How to get the conversation started

Financial matters can be sensitive and personal topics to some people so make sure you approach this conversation seriously. Some items to consider and discuss:

  • Your credit ratings
  • Any outstanding debts (e.g. car or student loans that still need to be paid off)
  • Your salaries (if one of you is a significantly higher earner, will you still split the mortgage payments 50/50?)
  • Your savings (what are you both contributing to the down payment?)
  • Other unique obligations, such as supporting family members

 

Visit your mortgage broker together

After discussing your financial goals and plans, visit your mortgage broker. Having a goal in mind will help your mortgage broker ascertain what financing best suits your needs. Capital Mortgages offers step-by-step personal assistance from knowledgeable mortgage brokers and an easy online application process. We’ll be by your side each step of the way, from helping you understand your options and what to expect, to mortgage pre-approval, and all the way through finalizing your mortgage and the purchase of your home. We may even be able to help you discover other options to realize your goals sooner.  

 

Have a follow-up discussion and make a unified decision

Once you have confirmed your joint goals, met with your Capital Mortgages broker, and have all the information you need, have a follow-up discussion. You and your partner should reassess your joint situation before you make a final decision.

 

As you enter your house-hunt well-informed and prepared, remember it can take months to find your dream home, and financial situations can change in that time. For this reason it’s important to stay in touch with your Capital Mortgages broker to ensure you are always best positioned financially. Remember your pre-approval will only lock in that interest rate for 120 days!

 

Capital Mortgages Inc is an independent brokerage in the Mortgage Centre Canada Network and one of Ontario’s leading real estate mortgage brokerages with offices in Ottawa and the valley.

9 Packing Tips to Make Moving Home Easier

Congratulations on your beautiful new home! Now, you face the less-than-fun part: Packing all of your many belongings so they can safely arrive at your new place. This is easier said than done, but here are a few tips to ensure your move is streamlined and stress-free:

 

 

1) Purge as much as possible

 

Take this opportunity to de-clutter, donate and get rid of anything you don’t really use or need. That way, you’ll have a LOT less to move on moving day (and you won’t have the same unnecessary items attracting dust in your closet).

 

 

2) Hire movers at least a month out

 

Make sure to research and hire movers at least a month ahead of time so you can plan and take time off work, etc., as needed. Many movers get busy on weekends, especially in warmer months and peak moving seasons, so consider saving money by moving on a weekday.

 

 

3) Pack in shifts

 

Pace yourself when it comes to packing! Packing slowly over time will be much less stressful than packing it all last-minute.

 

 

4) Protect your delicate items

 

Pack delicate items and expensive electronics (like TVs) in their original packaging (if possible). Or, wrap these items in packing paper, bubble wrap or quilts to ensure they aren’t broken when jostled or moved.

 

 

5) Disconnect your services

 

Utilities are often one of the last things you think about when you move, but you’ll save money and confusion later if you contact your utility companies ahead of time to disconnect your services. Also file a change of address with the postal service and any other important companies a few days before you move.

 

 

6) Accurately label moving boxes

 

Being careful about labeling your moving boxes will help you to find and organize your household items once you start to unpack. Include details about where the items were found or which room the items should be placed in.

 

 

7) Use smaller boxes for heavier items

 

For heavier items—such as books—you’ll want to use smaller boxes. Heavier items in larger boxes will be harder to lift and to balance when moving.

 

 

8) Stack dishes vertically

 

Dishes will be safer and easier to move when stacked vertically versus horizontally. Place packing paper or bubble wrap between each plate for extra protection.

 

 

9) Set aside cleaning supplies

 

Rather than packing up all your cleaning supplies to use at your new place, leave some behind at your old place. That way, you can do a deeper clean of all the spots you couldn’t reach when your furniture was in the way.

 

For all your mortgage needs, including information on renewing your mortgage or refinancing your property, the experienced team at Capital Mortgages can help! Do not hesitate to reach out with any questions or concerns you may have — we look forward to hearing from you.

 

 

8 Smart Spring Cleaning Tips for Your Home

 

Spring is upon us, and with the fresh spring air (and hint of warmer weather) typically comes the cleaning bug. Is your goal to clean smarter this year? Throw open those windows, turn on your fans and use these brilliant tips to tackle spring cleaning your home:

 

1) Clean windows with a windshield squeegee

Struggle with paper towels or cleaning wipes when cleaning your windows? A windshield squeegee (the same you use for your car windshield) helps get those windows sparkling without the streaks.

 

2) Freshen blankets and pillows by airing them outside

Sometimes instead of a wash, blankets and pillows that have been sitting inside just need a fresh air infusion. Hang them up on a clothesline or let them sit in the sun and let nature do the spring cleaning.

3) Use vinegar to remove mineral deposits

Did you know you can use paper towels soaked in vinegar to remove lime buildup around faucets and other surfaces in your bathroom? If you have dirty or closed shower head jets, vinegar can also be used to clean off built up mineral deposits.

4) Rent a professional carpet cleaning device

Many home improvement stores offer professional-grade carpet cleaning devices for rent. This offers a much deeper clean than simply vacuuming, and at a much cheaper cost than hiring professionals.

5) Wipe down your walls

Often walls get neglected when it comes to home cleaning, even though they get dirty from falling dust and other debris. Clean your walls by using a sponge mop or wet towel with watered down dish soap.

6) Disinfect your sink disposal with lemon

Over time, your sink disposal can get somewhat stinky and have food build-up. Send some cut-up lemon, ice and salt down the disposal to help rub off food particles and get rid of any unwelcome smells.

7) Protect shower doors with a water repellent

Once you’re done cleaning shower doors, apply a coat of auto rain repellent — the same as you would on your car’s windshield. The water will bead and slide off instead of building up on your glass.

8) Get rid of unworn clothes and garments

Use this rule of thumb: If you haven’t worn it in a year or more, ditch it! Clearing your clothing clutter will create much-needed space in your closets and drawers.

 

Spring is the season of growth and rebirth, making it the perfect time to make a change. Do you need help obtaining a mortgage this season? We can help! Contact a member of our experienced Capital Mortgages team today and we’ll talk you through the process.

5 Questions to Ask Before Buying Your First Home

 

Finding and purchasing your first home can be both thrilling and frightening all at once—thrilling because you’re taking a major step toward independence, and frightening because of the added responsibility that step means.

 

Buying a home is easily one of the biggest financial decisions you’ll make in your life, so it shouldn’t be entered into without asking yourself some critical questions:

 

1) Am I ready to become a homeowner?

Homeownership requires more commitment and maintenance than other alternatives (such as renting). As a homeowner, you’ll be responsible for fixing anything that breaks, as well as maintaining the interior and exterior of your home. It also means you’ll be less mobile, since you will be legally and financially bound to your home (until you decide to sell it).

 

2) How much can I (reasonably) afford?

One major mistake first-time home buyers often do when house-hunting is to ignore the price tag. Take a look at your finances (i.e., income, debt, expenses) and determine what portion of your budget you could dedicate to a mortgage payment. As a general rule of thumb, you’ll want to keep your home payment less than 35% of your monthly income.

 

3) What will be my total out-of-pocket costs?  (i.e., utilities)

There are plenty of “hidden” costs when it comes to purchasing a home, including closing costs and possibly condominium association fees. In addition to figuring out your future monthly payment, you’ll want to decide how much you’ll want to save for your down payment, minimum 5%, and additional costs incurred during and after your home’s purchase such as property taxes. You’ll need to include utilities and any other new expenses when doing budget forecasting.

 

4) What loans do I qualify for?

After you determine how much of a mortgage you can reasonably afford, you’ll need to apply for a mortgage to see how much a lender is willing to lend you (or, the maximum loan amount). This amount will differ based on variables such as your credit history, debt-to-income (DTI) ratio and employment and income. Pre-qualifying before determining a final mortgage allows for more flexibility in your mortgage rates and amount.

 

5) Will this home fit my long-term needs?

Do you foresee your job moving locations in the near future? Will you be expanding a family or taking care of a parent? You’ll need to make sure that whatever home you choose to invest in will not only cover your immediate needs, but your future needs in years to come.

 

Are you ready to take the leap into home ownership? Capital Mortgages can help you find the best mortgage by searching the most competitive lenders in Canada. Contact us today!

 

Buying a New Home: Capital Mortgages Ottawa

Home Heating Safety

 

You should always expect your heating systems to always operate safely whether you are using natural gas, oil or propane. Heating equipment is a leading cause of home fire deaths so ensuring your systems are in great working order helps to safeguard you as well as your family.

Here are some simple steps to ensure your heating system stays up and running during the winter months.

Chimney and stovepipe checkup

Make sure your fireplaces and stoves are operating correctly to avoid potential hazards when you want to enjoy a crackling fire during the cold season.

Clean and inspect the chimney

The Ontario Fire Code requires all homeowners to maintain all their heating appliances in safe operating mode. This should include the inspection of the chimneys at least once every year.

Check connections and stovepipes

Make sure that all the screws used for every joint and every connection has a secure and tight fit. Look out for white powder or dark staining at the joints also referred to as leeching. Rust is normally a clear indication that its time the stove pipe was replaced.

Look out for creosote

This is a byproduct of the process of combustion something that forms pretty fast on the chimney’s interior walls. This should never be allowed to build up as it causes the majority of chimney fires.

Check the walls for excessive heat

If the wall above the wood stove or fireplace gets hot, it could be a sign that the chimney has not been installed properly and this is a potential fire hazard.

Protect floors and walls from sparks and heat

All combustible objects should be kept away from fireplace or wooden stove. A properly fitted screen should be used to cover the openings of the fireplace. Non combustible shields should also be used to protect the walls and floors.

Install rain cap

When placed on top of a masonry or metal chimney it normally prevents moisture from seeping through to cause corrosion and rust. Inspect the spark screen on a regular basis to check for blockages.

Be on the lookout for warning signs

Check the outer shell of the metal chimney for rust and corrosion. Look out for corrosion and bulges on the liner. White powder, loose bricks, dark stains and crumbling mortar indicate that the chimney has some problems that should be immediately rectified.

Always contact a professional to handle the inspection process to be on the safe side and remember to test smoke alarms monthly.

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Mortgages explained

Buying a new home is a major landmark in your life – especially if it’s the first time you have ever purchased a property. It’s also most likely to be the biggest financial commitment that you will ever make in your life. If you are taking out a mortgage (and you most likely are), you’ll need to understand the different options available to you.

It is imperative that you do your research before you negotiate your mortgage, and you will need to be comfortable with the person you are talking to. Owner of Capital Mortgages in Ottawa; Stefan Krepski explains how you should ask lots of questions when looking for a mortgage, and will need to be comfortable with the financial product being advised to you.

Your research can start online. You will be able to search for mortgage advice on the website of Capital Mortgages, as well as those of the major banks. Here you’ll find glossaries of important terms, calculators and how-to guides.

Stefan Krepski talks about the importance of using a qualified mortgage professional to find the best rate. A broker will take your details (proposed home purchase, income details etc), and obtain the best deal from credit unions, banks and trust companies on your behalf.

How long your mortgage lasts for until you need to renegotiate is an important piece of information you need to find out, especially as this ranges from six months to ten years. You will also need to find out about interest rates, and choose a longer term if you believe interest rates will rise.

Next you will need to choose between a fixed-rate mortgage and a variable mortgage. The former can offer more predictability, says Stefan Krepski – however, many variable mortgages will enable you to “lock in” a rate if they start to rise. However you will need to find out about penalties for costs if you take this route.

Remember – making more frequent payments on your mortgage can affect your accumulation of equity and how quickly you will pay off your mortgage. Many consumers are choosing weekly or bi-monthly payments instead of the conventional monthly option. Stefan Krepski explains how spreading your payments over 48 or 52 weeks could help you to pay your principal more quickly.

Finally, you may want to consider amortization, which is the number of years it will take to pay off the entire mortgage. The longer this period, the lower your monthly payments will be – definitely something to consider.

Buying a New Home: Capital Mortgages Ottawa

Reducing Electricity Cost

A lot of people are looking to save money these days on their home costs. A major household expense for most of us is our electric bill and our electricity usage is a great place to start when we’re looking at how to lower our bills. This does not have to be hard so here are few things you can do to get this done.

Watch the clock

Studies have shown that the easiest way to use less electricity an save money on this expense is by using the off- peak power range. Ontario Energy Board studies show that most of the residents pay electricity on time of use basis. However they explain that using off- peak hours to do household chores like laundry. They also advice on minimizing use of electricity by doing things the old fashioned way. An example is sun drying clothes as opposes to using a dryer. Off- peak hours are normally from 7 a.m to 7 p.m but are on throughout the day on weekends.

Warming up your refrigerator.

Refrigerators are the most energy consuming appliances in homes. The main reason for this is because they are always left on throughout the day. Since switching off could lead to deterioration of food, it is advised that you regulate the temperature of the refrigerator. The temperatures should be above 0 degrees Celsius but lower than five degrees Celsius to prevent food spoilage arising from inadequate freezing temperatures. You can do this for your freezer as well to get similar results. It is important to know that your freezer and refrigerator function best when fully packed.

Phantom power thieves

It is important for you to be aware of phantom power thieves. This happens mainly when you have your device on and consuming electricity when you are actually not using it. You should therefore switch of all devices that are not in use. There are other ways in which you can be using up electricity without being aware. This is sometimes from electronics which can utilize electricity even when they are not in use. It is advisable to unplug them from the socket in such scenarios. A power par with an on/off switch can also come in handy as it stops the power supply in the electronics.

Efficient decorating schemes.

The use of blinds can be a very important aspect in controlling your electricity bills. This can be one by keeping them closed when it is too hot to prevent sun rays from entering the house and air conditioning will not be necessary. It can also be done by using your drapes to cover the windows to prevent cold during winter.

Avoid Air Leaks

Weather stripping methods to repair cracks around walls and windows can be used as alternatives for air leaks that use electricity.

Florescent bulbs

It has been repeatedly advised that using florescent bulbs is more economical than the incandescent lamps. Beginning January 1, 2014 there was a ban on the incandescent light bulbs, followed by a ban of the 40 watt to 60 watt bulbs on December 31, 2014. The fluorescent bulbs might be more expensive but they save a lot of energy compared to the incandescent bulbs.
The other obvious way to save electricity is by turning off the lights when you are not using them.

At Capital Mortgages in Ottawa we strive to be your personal mortgage broker for life.

Why a home inspection is essential before buying

The purchase of one’s new home is often one of the largest investments made by
an individual during the lifetime. You want the purchase and the aftermath to be a
satisfactory experience. A wise action that should be taken before making the
home choice is to arrange for a home inspection. Not checking for defects can
cause costly and unpleasant surprises on closing and move-in day. Here are
some reasons why a home inspection is essential before buying.

The legal system has determined that two rules apply. In Canada, a seller
doesn’t have to point out defects that are visible to a prospective buyer. On the
other hand, the seller cannot make any effort to conceal obvious defects from
the buyer. To a prospective buyer, this conflict between the two side of this
issue can be confusing at best. It is particularly problematic if the buyer is
unfamiliar with the codes and regulation that apply in many locales.

When looking at a potential purchase, it is the buyer’s responsibility to perform
due diligence on the property before making an offer. The windows should open
and the artwork moved to check the walls behind. The rugs should be lifted and
any items on the counters should be moved to check for defects. Appliances
should work properly, electrical outlets should be live and the faucets
operational.

The list goes on and on. Many things which should be checked require
knowledge that a homebuyer would be unlikely to have. Even a contractor
brought in to look over the premises may be well qualified in one area such as
electrical wiring, but know nothing about roofing or foundations. For this reason,
a reliable and knowledgeable inspector is a must for protection against
extensive and costly problems with the property.

An inspector goes over every inch of the property. Compliance with health and
safety standards is checked and approved. Each of the results are shown to
potential buyers so that they are fully informed before the offer to purchase is
made.

When a buyer doesn’t see potential problems they can be costly. If the courts
determine that they should have seen the problems, there is an expensive
series of repairs or renovations that might be necessary. Conversely, if a legal
battle is settled in favor of the buyer, the seller may be responsible for extensive
damages and even criminal charges. These are some of the reasons why a
home inspection is essential before buying.

Just as your Capital Mortgage Broker for a referral of a Home Inspector in Ottawa. We would be glad to assist you.