Home Renovations Blog Week 6

After 6 weeks of renovations we have a functional kitchen, dining room and living room. The challenge now is get to the final items which need to be done (backsplash, stairs, and doors painted) Baseboards and casings are now complete with the front doors painted. Home Depot has an interesting product which allows you to insert a window without replacing your whole door. These inserts can be purchased in various styles, we decided to go with blinds inside the window to match the patio doors at the back of the house. These inserts come in a standard size of 22″ x 36″ and there are several varieties of looks.

We also purchased and installed the Delta Touch faucet.  No need to turn the taps, just touch the tap anywhere and it will turn on and off.  With messy hands this is really nice to work with.

The other interesting product we purchased is a table which will expand from 60″ to 132″.  There are 3 table leaves which can be added to create 4 different sizes depending on the size of your social or family gathering.  We purchased this from Dufresne Furniture and love the way this table can expand.

Here is the latest video and as our friends say, our home has a grown up look now.

The Meaning of Home

Every once in a while you find a story that touches your heart.  As a mortgage broker we get caught up in the day to day activity of mortgages, not homes.  As I heard this story, it brought home (no pun intended) the vision of why I am in this business.

At  CAAMP’s recent symposium in Winnipeg, Genworth talked about the contest they run called “The Meaning of Home” in conjunction with Habitat for Humanity.  Every year students in Grade 4 to 6 are granted entries in the contest whereby they complete a story about “The Meaning of Home”.  We take a lot for granted in our lives but this story really hit a chord on what a difference we can have in people’s lives.  Here’s the story:

Edie, Grade 4 Calgary, AB

Hi! My name is Edie.

I was born in Ethiopia and lived there until I was 7. In Ethiopia you do not have much food, water, clothes or shelter. Every day I would walk to the river and stand at the edge getting water in my bucket. Then I would walk all the way home with the bucket on my head so I could use the water to wash clothes, faces, dishes and give water to plants. At the end of the day I would use the water to make dinner. We would all sit together and have a great time! I did not go to school, only my brother did. In Ethiopia most girls stay at home and let their brothers go to school. There was a lot of love in my family but I was having a hard life.
My Birth Mom told me that she was sending me to a place where they would take care of me better. When I was at the place, Mom adopted me and brought me to Canada to live a better life. Now I am in a perfect school with friends. I am in grade four and I have the best education I could possibly imagine. Water comes out of a tap and I know it is clean and safe. I am having a great life and I never want to leave it because of all the love everyone is giving me.

With all that I have been through, home is different to me than to a lot of other kids. Home means a person, place or thing that makes you feel good when you are around them. It is a place were people love you and you love them back. Home means a person you can cry on when you are down. Home means a person you can tell secrets to. Home means a person you can jump up and down with when you are exited. Sometimes things in life can be hard but having a good home can make a difference.

Home means fun, love and care!

This story kinds of puts things in perspective for all of us, for that I thank you Edie.

If you are a teacher and would like to involve your students in this activity, please follow this link.  http://www.genworth.ca/contest/teacher.html

The Value of Good Mortgage Advice

A recent situation arose where a client was preapproved for a new home purchase by their bank.  Great, right?, not necessarily, they owned an existing home and were told by the bank representative that they should sell their home first and then purchase a new one.  They were moving down in price so the client assumed this was a no brainer.  The bank representative did not do the diligence in exploring their current situation.

They proceed to sell their home, agree on a price and then go out looking for a home.  They would have some equity to purchase a home however, were hoping to buy a new home with 5% down payment as pre approved by the bank.  The only catch in this situation is that in Canada an insurer(a 2nd step in the approval) needs to approve the mortgage with less than a 20% down payment.  The clients were not made aware of this and their application was not approved with 5% down payment.  Instead the insurer requested 10% down payment with some conditions that the client had to meet before the bank could get it approved.  The clients are now scrambling to look at options so they can own a home rather than rent.

The moral of this story is as follows:

1)  Get a second opinion after meeting with your bank.  The experience and knowledge of the bank representative may not be as good as you think.  Ask about their experience in mortgages and how many times they have handled a situation like yours.  A mortgage broker with the Accredited Mortgage Professional (AMP) designation is committed to ongoing education and professional development, a great first step in identifying someone who is committed to the consumer.

2)  Speak to your realtor about your options.  A professional realtor will review the options with you and team up with your mortgage advisor to assist you in a smooth transaction.  Making an offer, “subject to sale of your existing home”, may offer you the necessary security to ensure your new home and fianancing is approved before you sell your existing home.

Good advice from a team of professionals acting in your best interest is the key.