9 Jun

Summer Backyard Reno Ideas


Posted by: Mike Hattim

With summer underway, it might be time to consider a backyard upgrade! These don’t have to be luxurious or expensive, but a couple tweaks can give your yard a facelift and make your outdoor space feel brand new!

Check out my backyard renovation ideas below:

  1. Revive Your Deck: You don’t necessarily have to tear it down and start over to have a fresh deck. Chances are the structure is in good shape. A remodel job featuring new decking, rails and stairs can save a ton of money over a full rebuild.
  2. Generate Your Own Zen Space: If you enjoy spending time in your yard or on your deck, but are finding that nosey neighbours, traffic noise or barking dogs are impacting your serenity, don’t fret! A privacy fence is a great option to replace sections of your existing railing and make your deck more private, quiet and comfortable!
  3. Relax with Water Sounds: If you have space in your yard for a unique water feature, such as a fountain, pool, artificial waterfall – or even a cute pond! – this can make your space feel that much more magical.
  4. Set the Mood: When it comes to setting the mood for your backyard space, proper lighting can go a long way. From string lights to lanterns or path lighting, the options are endless (and affordable!) allowing you to create the perfect summer escape.
  5. Create Your Perfect Pathway: Another great way to give your backyard a quick makeover is to add a practical walk path. Gravel is the easiest to handle and the least expensive option. While it looks less formal than brick or stone, it can be complemented with a stone or flower border for that extra appeal.
9 Jun

Thinking of Moving? Tips for Selling in Today’s Market


Posted by: Mike Hattim

The housing market continues to favor sellers as we move into the summer months. If you’re thinking of selling, this is a great time to do so! Not only will your home likely be listed on the market for a shorter period of time, but most sellers are currently receiving multiple offers on their sale. This is due to the increasingly high demand for housing with limited homes currently available on the market.

However, even in a seller’s market, there are some things you can do to help improve your chances of selling your home and getting the best offer! Here are some tips for selling your home in a seller’s market:

List Your Home on a Friday

Depending on the location, Friday is typically the best day of the week to put your home up for sale. Most individuals have weekends free or can take Friday’s off early should they be interested in a home for sale! Be sure to include multiple photos of the home in your listing, or even a virtual tour video if possible, to get your listing off on the right foot.

Offer Limiting Showings

Another good strategy for maximizing your offers in a seller’s market is to limit your showings. Restricting the hours and days that you show your home will allow you to have multiple buyers touring at the same time, which tends to create quiet competition as the buyers know other individuals are interested.

Lower the Sale Price

While not always necessary, lowering the sale price can make your home even more attractive to potential buyers. If you get multiple buyers interested, it will leave some wiggle room for buyers to bid over the asking price.

Make the Most of a Bidding War

If you do end up with a bidding war on your home, you will want to make the most of it. Firstly, always inform buyers of the competition and encourage stronger offers. Secondly, respond to one offer with a counteroffer and set the others aside until you get a response. Thirdly, accept the best offer.

However! Keep in mind that the highest offer might not always be the best one. Some things to keep an eye out for that are conducive of a ‘strong’ offer include: a cash offer, a large down payment, few to no conditions and a flexible moving date.

If you’re looking to sell this year, make sure you utilize a top realtor who can help you navigate the current market settings so that you get the most out of your home! And don’t forget to reach out to your mortgage professional for all the information around moving and how that affects your mortgage.

9 Jun

New to Canada?


Posted by: Mike Hattim

Canada has seen a surge of international migration over the last few years. With all these new faces in town wanting to plant roots in this great country, it’s a good time to review some of the details surrounding mortgages and how individuals new to Canada can qualify to be homeowners.

Check out some details below on how to get your first mortgage in Canada!

If you are already a Permanent Resident or have received confirmation of Permanent Resident Status, you are eligible for a typical mortgage with a 5% down payment – assuming you have good credit.

If you have limited credit, or have not yet qualified for Permanent Residency, there are still options! In fact, there are several ‘New to Canada’ mortgage programs through CMHC, Sagen™ and Canada Guaranty Mortgage Insurance. Please note, for these programs you will typically require a valid work permit is valid up to 3 months post-purchase date.

To qualify for these New to Canada programs, you must have immigrated or relocated to Canada within the last 60 months and have had three months minimum full-time employment in Canada.

  • For 90% credit, a letter of reference from a recognized financial institution OR six (6) months of bank statements from a primary account will be required.
  • If you are seeking credit of 90.01% to 95% you need an international credit report (i.e: Equifax) demonstrating a strong credit profile OR two alternative sources of credit (i.e.: hydro/utilities, telephone, cable, cell phone or auto insurance) demonstrating timely payments (no arrears) for the past 12 months

Depending on your residency status and credit history, another option are alternative or private lenders as well who can fund your mortgage.

If you are unsure of your options or want to make sure you get the best mortgage product possible, please don’t hesitate to contact me. As a dedicated mortgage professional, I have access to dozens of lender options, which will allow me to find you the best options. I would love to set up a virtual appointment to discuss your financial history, goals and the mortgage process.