By: James Hand

Should You Purchase a Cottage or Vacation Property?

Tags: buying a vacation home, buying a cottage in Ontario, buying a second property in Canada

      The benefits of owning a vacation property are obvious. A cottage, cabin, condo or trailer a short drive from your home can provide a quick weekend recharge. A property down south can serve as a regular vacation destination or extended winter stay for a snowbird. There are many emotion-driven reasons for buying a vacation property, or not. I like to evaluate a property pu...Read More

By: James Hand

Tax Deductions & Credits for Canadian Homeowners

Tags: home owner tax deductions, Canadian tax deductions, can I write off my home expenses in Ontario

                                                              Owning a home in Canada can be very expensive and very rewarding at the same time.  As a homeowner, there are some Federal and Provincial tax deductions and tax credits which, d...Read More

By: James Hand

The 'Hidden' Costs of Buying a Home

Tags: costs of buying a home in Ontario, Costs associated with buying a house, what costs are part of buying a home in Ontario

  The purchase price of your home is only one of the costs you’ll encounter. Here are other possible costs you need to consider:   Appraisal – $250 – $350 This is the fee for determining the property’s lending value for mortgage purposes. This value may or may not be the same as the purchase price of the home.   Home Inspection Fees – $2...Read More

By: James Hand

The markets are up? Why and what does it all mean?

Tags: Stock markets Canada

While we all continue to hunker down and do what is right by practicing social distancing, even missing our family get togethers this past Easter weekend and while many of us are also wondering what is going to happen to our personal finances as well as the economy as a whole, something is happening that could confuse many of us. The stock market is on the rise. While stocks are still down by...Read More

By: James Hand

COVID-19: Is It About To Cause A Housing Crash?

Tags: coronavirus housing prices

    We're all obviously well aware of the COVID-19 coronavirus and how it's impacting so many peoples health, the worlds economy and adding so much uncertainty to our everyday lives. It's an outbreak being felt across the world and in so many ways. I hope everyone is taking the proper precautions and that everyone stays healthy and safe during this time and if there is anyt...Read More

By: James Hand

Joint Mortgages, The Pros & Cons

Tags: affordable home purchase ontario

  Buying a home in Canada is steadily becoming more challenging. With rising home prices and the impact of the stress test becoming more acute, more and more Canadian families no longer qualify for a mortgage large enough to support the purchase of a home. In response to these pressures, a type of mortgage that used to be reserved for income properties is gaining popularity: the jo...Read More

By: James Hand

2020 Mortgage Stress Test Changes

Tags: hamilton mortgages

We prepare for the worst every day: We carry umbrellas when it’s cloudy, pop Gravols before a long flight, and buy travel insurance when going overseas. Why should taking on a mortgage be any different? A mortgage stress test is one way of preparing for the worst… as many of us know, it’s also a legal requirement in Canada. What is a stress test? In finance, planning for ...Read More

By: James Hand

2020 Housing Market: What to Expect

Tags: Ontario housing market

  The good news is that 2020 is looking up for Ontario's housing market with a combination of renewed competitive mortgage rates, increased buyer demand, first-time buyer incentives and rising population and employment rates. In the last days of 2019, many observers of Canada’s real estate marketplace were more than a little relieved. The year had started on a sour note ...Read More

By: James Hand

New Favourites That Opened In 2019

Tags: Hamilton restaurants

It’s hard to keep up with Hamilton’s food scene but it's also really enjoyable :) The list of new local restaurants, bars, and must try destinations continues to grow, with enough delicious options and quality to make anyone’s head spin. In fact, it’s tough to walk down any main Hamilton street nowadays without passing by at least one hot spot that plays a rol...Read More

By: James Hand


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