Attn: SELLERS – QUICK TIPS for Getting Insurance Documents Ready for your Sale

With recent changes to strata insurance policies, buyers are proceeding with more caution than ever before. If you are in a position where you are listing your strata property in the near future here are some quick tips on preparing for buyer’s questions and buyer’s request of documents:

  • obtain a copy of the strata corporation’s insurance policy or policies.
  • gather advice from your insurance provider to understand your liability if the insurance doesn’t cover the strata corporation’s deductible.

Ideally, each strata owner should:

  • have a unit owner’s insurance policy,
  • have a policy that covers the higher deductible (insurance deductible insurance) to cover a loss in their unit, and
  • understand the risk of not having enough coverage.

If you are looking for a real estate advisor to represent you in the sale of your home, and protect your interests, we warmly welcome you to book a 30 minute FREE phone consultation with one of our Real Estate Advisors.

Wi-Fi Slowing you down?

So, you’ve just moved into your new home…Congratulations! But have you noticed that the Wi-Fi speed and/or coverage is less than ideal, even though you just signed up for the newest high-speed internet plan? Nobody else is using the Wi-Fi, so you know it’s not an issue with bandwidth or that there are too many users on your Wi-Fi network. If your Wi-Fi just can’t perform for your needs, with some network changes you could have full coverage for your house!

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Changes to the benchmark rate

Minister of Finance Bill Morneau has announced changes to the benchmark rate used to determine the minimum qualifying rate for insured mortgages.

Instead of the Bank of Canada 5-Year Benchmark Posted Rate, the new benchmark rate will be the weekly median 5-year fixed insured mortgage rate from mortgage insurance applications, plus 2%. These changes will come into effect on April 6, 2020.

The new benchmark rate will be published on a Wednesday and come into effect the following Monday.

The minimum qualifying rate for insured mortgages will now be the greater of the borrower’s contract rate, which is the mortgage interest rate agreed to by the lending institution and the borrower; or the new benchmark rate.

The new Benchmark Rate for insured mortgages will be published weekly on the Bank of Canada’s website, and will be based on submitted mortgage insurance application contract rates. If, on any given week, there are any delays in updating the new Benchmark Rate, the previous week’s published Rate will stand until a new Rate is published.

Today’s qualifying rate is 5.19%. If we were to apply the new rules today the qualifying rate would be approximately 4.89%. Reducing the qualifying rate from 5.19% to 4.89% increases borrowing power by approximately 2.0%.

An income of $100,000 will increase one’s borrowing power from $480,000 to $490,000.

Not sure how this is going to help borrowers in Vancouver but as I said in a previous email, it’s a start!

Please let me know if you have questions.


Katherine Martin
Mortgage Specialist

What is the Formula for Calculating a Monthly Mortgage Payment?

Flour, sugar, milk and maybe chocolate chips? Trying to determine your monthly mortgage payment is like trying to bake a cake without the recipe. Having all the information before you start house hunting means you will have the right recipe for success.

Part of creating a smooth process for yourself when purchasing a new home is being well prepared — the fewer surprises during the process, the better chance you have of securing your dream home. By soliciting the help of a professional Mortgage Broker or Specialist, the process will seem less like cooking in the dark and more like an exciting adventure.

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Rates are coming down

Bond yields were down 24% in January, which means rates will be dropping. We’ve already seen some movement and I’m sure there’s more to come! If you have clients who were issued a mortgage approval in December and aren’t closing until late Feb – March you may want to suggest they go back to their lender in the coming weeks to see if they can offer a better rate. Great touch point and imagine how grateful they would be to you for making the suggestion!!

Please let me know if you have any questions.

Have a great week and thank you for your continued support.


View the complete newsletter from Katherine Martin here.

January 2020 Snapstats for Metro Vancouver and Greater Vancouver

Home sale and price activity remained steady in Metro Vancouver to start 2020 while home listing activity declined in January.

The Real Estate Board of Greater Vancouver (REBGV) reports that residential home sales in the region totalled 1,571 in January 2020, a 42.4 per cent increase from the 1,103 sales recorded in January 2019, and a 22.1 per cent decrease from the 2,016 homes sold in December 2019.

Last month’s sales were 7.3 per cent below the 10-year January sales average.