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Many homeowners have chosen to defer mortgage payments through the Covid-19 pandemic. We had written an article about the pros and cons of deferring your payments a few months ago, however, we did not touch on how this may affect your credit.


In a perfect world, deferring your mortgage payments should not affect your credit score at all, however, there are a few people who have notices their credit scores dropping and it's due to deferred payment errors. 


Mortage deferrals need to be reported in a certain way and it needs to be done within 30 days, if not done correctly, it can negatively affect your credit score. A false late or missing payment can affect your credit score by up to 150 points! Correcting this can take months and it may never be fully repaired correctly until your deferrals have ceased and you're able to build your credit score back up again. 


If you have chosen to defer your mortgage payments, I suggest you speak with your bank as soon as possible and ask them how they are reporting your deferred payments and how often. I also suggest obtaining a copy of your most recent credit report to review your score and recent history to ensure this has not affected your score negatively. 


As we all know, our credit scores are extremely important and can impact many things in our lives, not just our mortgages. Credit scores are used to obtain a cell phone plan, buy a new vehicle, rent an apartment, and so much more.


If you find that your credit score has been impacted negatively due to deferrals, we suggest speaking with your bank immediately and asking them to provide the credit bureau with the correct information. But keep in mind, this update will not happen overnight and may take months to fix so getting on top of this now is imperative!

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Secrets to get your home off the market quickly! 


Once you’ve made the decision to sell your home, you want the sale process to happen as soon as possible! Homes that sit on the market for long periods of time tend to have price reductions and receive lower offers from potential buyers. Also, the thought of paying for 2 homes, if you’ve already purchased a new one, is not ideal for anyone. 


We have previously discussed how to sell your home quickly, but we wanted to share a few extra tips and a couple of reminders to give you the best opportunity to sell your home fast! 


Price it right

Pricing your home right from the start. Agents typically look each and every morning to see new listings that have just opened on the market and if your home is priced right, they will be bringing their potential buyers right away. A home that is priced correctly will likely receive multiple offers in the first few days and can choose the offer that suits them best. However, a home that is not priced correctly will be bypassed by agents and buyers, and will likely be subject to a price change in the near future. A price change can often insinuate an urgent need to sell, giving potential buyers the idea that you will be willing to entertain much lower offers. 


Pre-sale home inspection

Having a home inspection completed prior to selling is an excellent way to take care of any issues in advance and therefore increase the value of your home. It is also a great benefit to share with your buyers, as they can quickly cross one thing off their list and appease their lenders immediately. 


Sell when the market inventory is low

Selling your home when there are not many other options available on the market will ensure that your home stands out. Also, keep an eye on the types of homes that are listed. For example: If the market is saturated with 2 bedroom ranchers with a small backyard, but your home is a 2 story, 4 bedroom home with a large yard, it’s definitely going to catch the eye of buyers and is likely to sell faster. 


Curb appeal

First impressions last a lifetime! This is the first thing your buyer is going to see when they drive up to your home and you want to ensure it shows it’s best. Mow the lawn, weed the garden, add some lighting, and plant some flowers or add some potted plans. Curb appeal is what will immediately attract or turn off buyers from your home, do yourself the favour and spruce this up before selling your home. 


Paint the interior walls

A fresh coat of paint will make your home look clean, fresh, and updated. We suggest hiring a professional painter and choosing neutral colours. 


Front door

The front door is often overlooked, but again, this is one of the first things your potential buyers see. Ensure it’s clean or freshly painted, has ample lighting, and a friendly welcoming touch such as a plant or flowers. 


Open houses

Host at least 2 open houses per week, ideally over the weekend, on Saturday and Sunday. We understand this may be inconvenient for a week or two but its the best opportunity to showcase your home to as many potential buyers as possible. 


If people are not interested in your home, ask them why

While it may seem like an awkward conversation to have, this will give you the best opportunity to change, update, or fix something that you may be overseeing that potential buyers are noticing. Remember, do not take their feedback personally, their comments are to help you, not hurt you! 


Sell your home furnished

Many buyers look at a home and love the furnishings, they can’t imagine living there without your dining room table and sofa. Being open to selling some of your furnishings can be the perfect way to seal the deal! 


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4 Things that change when you make the move from renting to homeownership


The benefits and responsibilities



We've all been raised to think that life happens in a certain order. First, we complete our education, then we find a great job, we get married, and we buy a home to raise our family in. What we are not taught are all the responsibilities and benefits that come along with homeownership. While a few of them may not seem like a benefit at the time, in the long run, homeownership is definitely the best investment for your money. 


1. Repairs

As a homeowner, you don't have the ease of calling your landlord to tell him that your fridge has broken or you need a new stove, these costs fall on you and you'll need to save for them. With any home, there is constant wear and tear, things that will break down, or require repairs, and as a homeowner these are your responsibility. Always try to have a backup plan for these repairs if and when they are needed. 


2. Separate bills

As a renter, you may have had the benefit of paying just one bill to your landlord and having all your utilities included. However, as a homeowner, this is no more. Along with the pride of owning your own home, you also have the responsibility of paying all the associated bills. you will receive separate bills for everything, including internet, cable, phone, electric, and don't forget there will be a few that are likely new to you such as garbage collection and water bills. 

 

3. Property taxes 

Property taxes are another bill that you will be responsible for. While many banks will include the taxes in your monthly payments, some may not and you will be responsible to come up with this amount each year. Also, be aware that if you choose to build an addition onto your home, you may be charged a higher amount for that extra space. 


4. Build equity

As a renter, you are paying into something that is not gaining you any future value. Whereas a homeowner is building equity in their home that can be used for future home purchases, loans, and of course, a greater profit when selling the home. Making your mortgage and utility payments on time each month will also help to build your credit, which is extremely beneficial for future purchases and loans. 

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