fiThe Fraser Institute measures and studies the impact of competitive markets and government interventions on individuals and society. They provide unbiased reports about how organizations are performing. 

When considering a move to a new neighbourhood or city, Canadian parents often turn to the Fraser Institute reports to evaluate school options for their children.

I regularly receive the Fraser Institute reports and would be happy to share them with you. If you are researching educational opportunities and a new home in Port Moody, Coquitlam, Port Coquitlam or elsewhere in the Lower Mainland, please be in touch with me. 
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I was recently reading this blog posting over at Macdonald Realty and I found it very interesting.

Though our real estate market has been somewhat unsteady over the past year, it seems the 2010 Olympics did help attract an international audience, especially those from China.

Canada is certainly attractive to outside investors. Not only is the Greater Vancouver area the most beautiful place on earth (!!), Canada is in the most secure fiscal position in all of the G8 countries. 

 
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If you are in the process of looking to buy a home, it's time to get pre-approved! RBC Royal Bank and TD Canada Trust have already increased their 5 year fixed posted rate to 5.44%. Speculation is that the Bank of Canada will be raising their Benchmark Rate to 5.44% on Monday, February 14, 2011.

What does that mean for buyers? Time to get yourself pre-approved! In some situations this raise will mean that the mortgage you qualify for could be significantly reduced. This will especially impact buyers with less than 20% and clients interested in variable rate mortgages or fixed rates of 1-4 years.

Please also remember CMHC's announcement from last month - the mortgage rules change on March 18, 2011 and the maximum amortization period lowers to 30 years (from 35 years). This can also lower the total mortgage amount that you may qualify for.

Contact me today and I will help get your pre-approval...
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360As a Port Moody REALTOR®, I am often asked about other area specialists. I would like to introduce you to Desiree & Kelly of threesixty Financial Group. They are a Port Moody-based insurance duo who you need to know! threesixty offers life, mortgage, critical illness, disability, corporate, travel and long term care insurance.

I recommend following along with their blog, where they have recently covered great topics such as:

Get free money just by contributing to your RRSP!

Is your man your retirement plan?

Expect the best, plan for the worst.

Check them out at www.threesixtyfg.ca! 

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No Property Transfer Tax

* Purchase must be less than $425,000 (up to $6,500 in savings)

Home Buyers Plan (HBP)

* RRSP withdrawal to assist with first home purchase
* Just increased in 2009 to $25,000/person or $50,000/couple

1st Time Home Buyers Tax Credit
* Up to $750 tax credit to help with closing costs

Buyer's Realtor
* Buyer's don't pay for REALTOR services - the Seller pays

Say NO to Boxes
* Get a discount on environmentally friendly reusable moving crates

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The REBGV has released the statistics from January 2011. It seems the market started off the new year quite balanced with buyers and sellers, with a slight decrease in overall sales. 

Stability and regional ‘hot spots’ characterize 

January housing market 


The Greater Vancouver housing market remained in balanced market conditions in January, although higher levels of buyer demand were seen in some of the region’s largest communities.
 

The number of properties listed for sale and those sold on the Multiple Listing Service® (MLS®) last month outpaced the 10-year average in both categories for January.
 

“There was a healthy balance between the number of home buyers and sellers in our market in January, but there’s always variation in activity from region to region,” said Jake Moldowan, president of the Real Estate Board of Greater...

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