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Paying down your mortgage may be poor economics
Paying down debt may seem like the best idea but if that’s at the expense of retirement funds it may be a bad decision. CIBC Wealth Advisory Services managing director Jamie Golombek says: "You may not be doing yourself any favours by rushing to pay off your home while mortgage rates are at rock-bottom levels. If you're able to take some risk in your investment portfolio, you might be tens of thousands dollars richer by investing any extra money in an RRSP or TFSA." A new poll by CIBC found that 72 per cent of Canadians would rather put spare cash into reducing debt rather than an RRSP with 56 per cent saying that their aim is to retire without debt. Golombek’s new report ‘Mortgages or Margaritas: Is paying down debt putting your retirement at risk?’ suggests that many Canadians could be tens of thousands of dollars better off by investing for their retirement while making mortgage payments at the current low rates. Read the full report.
 Canadian cities fail to make sustainable top 10
Across the world cities are failing to meet the needs of their people according to the inaugural Sustainable Cities Index from consultancy firm Arcadis. The Index explores the three demands of social (People), environmental (Planet) and economic (Profit) to develop an indicative ranking of 50 of the world’s leading cities. This year’s study found that there is no single city gaining top scores on all three metrics which highlights the difficult balance between the three. The top 3 cities overall are Frankfurt followed by London and Copenhagen. European cities dominate the top 10 with North America failing to make the top 10. Toronto is the only Canadian city to feature in the top 50, ranking 12 overall, 9 for environmental sustainability and inside the top 20 for people and profit. Read the full report.
Canadians weigh up big profits on snowbird homes
At the height of the financial crisis as the US housing market crashed badly many Canadians were able to pick up some bargain properties south of the border. Now with the US housing market recovering and the Canadian dollar weaker it could be the time to weigh up the benefits of having a snowbird home against the potentially bigger benefits of selling. Florida, Arizona, California and Texas are among the most popular locations for Canadians and also among the places where prices have increased. In Phoenix, Arizona Canadian-born real estate agent Diane Olson has noticed more of her fellow countrymen considering selling up. She told The Globe and Mail: “Some of my clients have doubled the price [they paid for the property]. They also obtained their money at or close to par when they first bought, so they basically have a 15-per-cent-plus foreign exchange gain.” However there are also those who believe that economic conditions are only going to improve and that it may be a while yet before they can sell at the top of the market. Read the full story.


Royal LePage News

Full Articles


Should you flip that house?

Northumberland - Thu Feb 12 2015

Many of us envision the gutsy move to flip a house for quick financial gains -and some people are quite successful at doing so, say advisors in this field. For those with the time, energy and technical skills, buying a property to fix up and sell later at a higher price or to rent out for a period of time, can be a worthwhile investment. But do your research.

"Challenges can quickly mount for the novice who chooses to invest in real estate," says Lincoln Thompson, broker-owner with Royal LePage Gardiner Realty in Fredericton, New Brunswick. "But if you take the time to choose the right home and rely on the right people for expertise, your investment can pay dividends."

Thompson offers three recommendations for success:

1. Take note of the taxes. As the saying goes, the only things certain in life are death and taxes. Depending upon the municipal, provincial and federal taxation requirements for your area, sales tax and land transfer tax will apply at differing levels across the country. You could even be taxed based on the level of renovations if a lot of work has been done. Also, consider the personal or business taxation implications from the sale of the property or on rental income that is generated. An accountant and lawyer are two people you'll want to bring in early before you venture into this realm. If you find the right home in the right location, taxes may not be a deal breaker, but be aware that paying them will cut into your profits.

2. Consider a joint venture, but choose your partners wisely. Each party should bring to the relationship what others within the deal cannot. For example, if you have trade or technical expertise but are lacking funds or financial expertise, you'll want to concentrate on finding investment partners who bring these skills to the relationship. Don't partner with people who have the same strengths and weaknesses as you. If you are lacking expertise in any area, including real estate, hire a real estate agent with experience in real estate investment within the location you are considering. An experienced agent will also aid in bringing together the right deal makers.

3. Don't buy a property without answering these basic questions: Can I buy it below retail market value? Can I do small renovations to increase the value? Is there an increase in demand for the area? Are there sales over list price in the area? What is the nature of the surrounding properties? What amenities and services are within walking distance? Do I need to purchase appliances? Can this property be rented? If so, what are the going rental rates for similar properties in the area?

Real estate investment is a great way to supplement your income if you do your homework and set yourself up for success with the right expertise.

More information can be found at



Are you thinking about buying your first home, or dlving into the exciting world of owning a revenue property? Our new listing at 7 Marshall Crescent is the house to satisfy either of these needs. Priced at $199,900, this Normanview based home has all new windows, laminate flooring throughout the main living area, new fencing, and more. Move-in ready! Call us for your private viewing:306-596-3439 or 306-591-3217.
Photo: New listing alert! 
Are you thinking about buying your first home, or delving into the exciting world of owning a revenue property? Our new listing at 7 Marshall Crescent is the house to satisfy either of these needs. Priced at $199,900, this Normanview based home has all new windows, laminate flooring throughout the main living area, new fencing, and more. Move-in ready! Call us for your private viewing:306-596-3439 or 306-591-3217.

Things to consider before putting your home on the market


If you are thinking about selling your home in the near future, there are a variety of things to consider to make the process as quick and painless as possible.

If you are from Regina, I imagine you have been involved in at least one conversation about the housing market. If not, I am sure you have driven by a plethora of For Sale signs, and wondered to yourself, “Wow, there sure are a lot of houses for sale.” The answer is yes, absolutely there are a number of single family and condominiums for sale at the moment. Presently 1044 on the MLS, to be exact. This, in no way should scare you off, if you are thinking of selling your home. How can you stand above the crowd you say? I have the answer to your questions, and most importantly the expertise and field experienced to back it up.


  1. I am placing this important rule as number 1, and do not forget it! When putting your house for sale on the market, the MOST important rule is the famous Three P's. PRICE PRICE PRICE! Forget location, price is the new location. Select the correct price from the beginning. Go in aggressive, as you would a fight. You wouldn't start off a fight with your weakest moves would you? No, you would go in it, to win it. Most sellers assume that going in with a high list price to test it out, and then lowering it later is beneficial. This actually has the opposite effect. Motivated buyers will assume you are not serious about selling you home, and possibly may think you are not willing to negotiate when your price it too high.

    Now that I have the main stress point out of the way, we can talk about the smaller things that will help you sell your home. Simple tricks and tips of the trade that'll get you that much closer to a quick sell.

  2. Curb appeal: When showing houses, it has come to my realization that most people, whether they like it or not, judge a book by its cover. You want to set the expectation for your home. Simple and cost effective tricks like painting your front door, adding a new mailbox, planting some flowers, or even laying some fresh sod can help portray positive first impressions to that ever so judgmental buyer. If it happens to be winter and half the options I suggested just will not suffice. Then just normal maintenance like snow removal, a winter wreath on the door, or even a friendly snowman on the lawn so that the buyer can associate your home with a happy one.

  3. Once you have the buyer through your front door, you want them to be pleased with the simple aesthetics of your home. Your interior should be clean, de-cluttered, and de-personalised. The fewer knickknacks and unnecessary furniture you have the larger your home appears. Also, de-personalizing is beneficial because, even through it still is your home, you want the buyer to be able to visualize themselves in it. Through removing family photos, and any personal religious materials, you are allowing your potential buyer to see themselves and their family within the walls of your home.

  4. Lastly, the more flexible you are about scheduling appointments for viewing the better off you will be. Try to make it as easy as possible for agents to show your home. When you put restrictions, you are setting the impression that you are difficult to work with. Also there is the small detail of the over abundance of homes on the market. Unless your home is a running favourite of the buyer, it may get skipped over for convenience sake.

These points are not to say that they are the only important factors. They are the ones that strike me as the most important and most effective ones from past experience.


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