Real Estate, Houses, and Mortgages

The Biggest Purchase You’ll Ever Make

Raise your hand if you’ve heard the phrase, “My home is the best investment I ever made.”. 

Now either you managed to buy a home twenty years ago in the historically ridiculous markets of Vancouver or Toronto – or you just aren’t very good at investing.

Keeping it simple.

 Free Home Purchase eBookUnderstanding how to buy a home and how to invest in real estate are two different sides of the same coin.  While I prefer to invest in more liquid assets for the time being, there is little doubt that there is money to be made as a landlord.  And just because homes shouldn’t be classified as investments, doesn’t mean that they are irrelevant to personal finance – far from it.  In fact, it’s my opinion that it’s on this issue many Canadians cripple their personal finance plans before they even get started.

You know what is a really quick way to make sure you don’t pay yourself 10%?  To pay the bank over 40% of your pay each month for your mortgage and then wonder how you can afford to buy a coffee pot to put on those gorgeous marble counter tops you had to have.

We’ll let you know the ins and outs of getting a mortgage in Canada, some tips and tricks for buying and selling home, as well as our dabbling in real estate investment. You should also read our free ebook on How To Buy Your First Home in Canada.

Most Popular Real Estate and Mortgage Articles:

Mortgage Brokers in Canada Vs. Big Banks
Variable Fixed, Open and Closed Mortgages
Real Estate Agent Commissions and Pay in Canada
Tax Deduction on Rental Property Income in Canada
How to Port a Mortgage in Canada
How to Pay Mortgage Faster?

Additional Mortgage Articles:

Check Out Our Free eBook and automatically get updates on the latest housing-related news sent straight to your inbox. Mortgage rate movements, down payment strategies, and homeowner-related tax news are just a few the topics we cover on an ongoing basis

Buying a House with a Partner – If You’re Not Married

It turns out, buying a house with a partner - even if you’re not married - isn’t the crazy, off-the-wall idea it used to be. We can thank statistics for that: In 2011, Statistics Canada released their data about marriages in Canada, and the percentage of Canadians who...

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How To Port A Mortgage

Can I take my mortgage with me if I have an excellent fixed interest rate that I want to hand on to?  Or is it possible to use the sweet variable interest rate I negotiated as a bargaining chip when I’m selling my house – can I pass that on to the new buyer?  These...

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How to Use the Home Buyers Plan

The Canadian Home Buyers Plan is a way to borrow from your RRSP in order to come up with a down payment for your first home.  Having bought my first home recently, I found the home buyers plan information on the Canada Revenue Agency website a bit difficult to...

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Variable vs Fixed / Open vs Closed Mortgages

Buying a house and getting a mortgage can be a stressful experience – especially if you’re going through it for the first time.  Whether you're going through a traditional bank or a mortgage broker, with terms such as variable, fixed, closed, open, prime interest...

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Mortgage Broker or Big Bank- Who to Choose?

You’re lookin’ to buy a place but don’t know whether to go with a Canadian mortgage broker or with a big bank, and you want to get the best mortgage rate & best deal possible (of course, what fool wouldn’t?). Or maybe you’re already in the place of your dreams and...

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Real Estate Agent Commissions – Decoded!

One of my good friends bought her first condominium through an online mortgage broker a few years ago when she was 26.  I remember her telling us the details over dinner one night - we were so excited for her!  I mean this whole adulating thing is a pretty big deal...

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The Face of Vancouver Real Estate

As a native Vancouverite I have seen this city change the most since 2010 when we hosted the Olympics and since the Canada Line (rapid transit) came about. The city is changing even more in the past year or two. Houses are being torn down and made into condos and...

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Rent Versus Sell Condo: The Low Down

We've heard of renting versus buying calculators (such as the one from the Ontario Securities Commission Get Smarter About Money) but have we thought about renting versus selling your home (e.g. condo).  I have always liked the idea of being a landlord (my dad has a...

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How My Dad Owned a Home Without Ever Having a Mortgage

My Dad has never made a mortgage payment in his life, yet owned his own home by the time he was 30. He only received a very minor inheritance when he was over 60, so that didn’t factor into it. No one gifted him a down payment. He didn’t get lucky on a stock pick,...

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What Real Estate Professionals Do You Need In Canada?

If you didn't get in on the contest for our free eBook: Getting Your Foot in the Door - Buying Your First Home in Canada, check it out now before it's too late! If you want a taste of what the free resource has to offer, take a sneak peak below at our chapter on what...

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The Nuts and Bolts of Buying a House in Canada

If you didn't get in on the contest for our free eBook: Getting Your Foot in the Door - Buying Your First Home in Canada, check it out now before it's too late! If you want a taste of what the free resource has to offer, take a sneak peak below at our chapter on what...

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5 Things to Think About Before Buying Your First Condo

In Vancouver there are a TON of new apartment and condo developments, it makes me think...who are moving into these condos? If you're thinking about buying your first condominium and you want to get in on the hot real estate market, this post might be for you.  I...

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Taking “Real Estate 101” with Your University Freshman

This article initially appeared in Canadian MoneySaver Magazine. Your firstborn is approaching one of their major rites of passage – their high school graduation – and you’ve got a couple more that are growing like weeds.  Wasn’t it just yesterday you were driving...

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Owning U.S. Real Estate- Tax Structures

Don't worry readers, I didn't end up buying U.S. real estate, but admittedly I was very tempted and enchanted by the idea that I ended up doing a bit of research to see how one goes about buying U.S. Real Estate.  In the end I thought that it seemed a bit too...

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Know Your Mortgage Penalty

With my new zest to pay my mortgage down faster it made sense to do a little research in regards to the maximum allowed payments I could make on my mortgage without having to pay a mortgage penalty. First of all, if you have an open mortgage (meaning you can pay down...

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Why I am Paying Down My Mortgage More Aggressively

I never thought I would say this because initially when I bought my condo I thought I would use the mortgage interest to offset my work at home income or to offset future rental income when I end up renting out my condo to save on income taxes.  However, a couple...

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4 Ways to Pay your Mortgage Off Faster

Our mortgages (if you have one) are by far the largest investment that you will make in your lifetime.  At the ripe old age of 31 (I kid, I kid) Sean Cooper will be mortgage free, according to an article in the Financial Post recently.  He lives in Toronto and owns a...

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Understanding How Home Equity Actually Works

If I have to listen to one more Canadian tell me that their home is, “The best investment I ever made,” I may lose my mi… well, let’s not be hyperbolic – I’ll probably just continue to internally shake my head at this statement. Yes, in this age of ever-escalating...

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4 Reasons Why You Might Not Want to Pay Down Your Mortgage ASAP

Although most financial experts agree that you want to pay off your mortgage as soon as possible, there are some instances in which it makes sense not to pay off that mortgage debt as humanly possible.  Mortgage debt isn't necessarily bad debt even though it is...

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IntelliMortgage Review – Is a DIY Mortgage Right for You?

If the HGTV-driven acronym DIY can apply to building a deck or renovating your kitchen, IntelliMortgage’s Rob McLister and Deon Yu believe that surely the same principles can be applied to setting up your own mortgage. A DIY mortgage is essentially a strategy for...

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Mortgage Broker vs Bank Mortgage Specialist?

A few years ago, when I made my first home purchase, I was inundated with recommendations on who to use for my potential mortgage.  It was overwhelming to say the least. On the internet, I could see a lot of recommendations to go with the mortgage broker because you...

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How to Avoid Bad Tenants

Not that I've had a plethora of tenant experiences to choose from... but I do have a few experiences where I am able to compare and contrast and see what a good tenant looks like.  If you are renting out your basement you really want to make sure you find a good...

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A Reply to Young – Is the Smith Maneuver Risky?

One of the things that I really like about our website here at Y & T is that you get a variety of perspectives and thoughts from a few different professionals who all know their stuff.  Now knowing your stuff doesn’t always mean that everyone is going to agree on...

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Is the Smith Manoeuvre Risky?

In the past, I was very much interested in starting the Smith Manoeuvre so that my mortgage interest could be tax deductible and I can make my mortgage work for me.  I was intent on using this strategy because it seemed so attractive, so brilliant, and so... well.....

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Why I Went With My Manitoba Credit Union for My Mortgage

If you were following my adventures from earlier in the summer, you know that I was looking at re-upping my mortgage.  The choice ultimately boiled down to a Big Six Bank that I have a couple of accounts with versus the Manitoba credit union I’ve banked with in some...

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Building Fourplex Apartments/Condos In Canada

Until a few weeks ago I had never really thought of investing in real estate.  By far the main factor in my refusal to think about purchasing an income property is the Pain In The Ass (PITA) factor.  See, I’m not much of a handyman and it’s all I can do to keep my own...

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The ONE

If you’ve got a ton of questions about buying your first home, you’re not alone. Join @RBC_Canada and a panel of 5 experts for the #FirstHome Twitter chat, on June 26 from 9- 10 pm. Get answers to your most confusing questions and a chance to win RBC Visa Gift Cards!...

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How Much Space Do You Really Need?

It is probably safe to say that most of North America is accustomed to living in 2600 square feet homes with just a family of two.  Or even 4000+ square feet homes with a family of four.  As I go apartment hunting I start to wonder how much is too small, and how much...

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Expenses to Consider when Selling your Home

Although we are currently in a buyers market (or as some may want argue, a do not buy-do not sell market), some people are still selling their homes.  Before you start asking around for realtors (or if you were super keen, doing it yourself), you should consider the...

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The Cost of a Family Cottage or Cabin

Since we are now basking in the glory of a Canadian summer, I thought I would take an in-depth look at the “Canadian Dream” today of owning a cottage. There is a reason why cottage scenes are a fixture in Canuck advertising campaigns and billboard displays. With our...

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My Experience with Home Insurance

We just got our personal home insurance renewed and it's such a b*tch to pay.  We pay it off in the full amount just because we don't want to incur any further interest charges.  Since Vancouver is due for the "big one" anytime (so they say) we decided to fork up an...

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How to Rent Out Your Basement Suite

Some people have been writing to me asking about an update on the status of my basement suite.  I didn't want to write about it prematurely because I hadn't rented it out at the time.  Now that I have some tenants on a one year lease, I feel more comfortable sharing...

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Who Needs Realtors When you can List your Home Yourself?

Just like my post about Investors Group and mutual fund advisors may enrage financial advisors, I think this post about not necessarily needing realtors may enrage a lot of realtors/ real estate agents. So please accept my apologies in advance. Because of the higher...

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Closing/ Home Costs to Think About Before You Buy your Home

There are lots of costs to think about when you buy your home (not just the down payment you have to worry about and the actual mortgage loan, but lots of other things that can add up). Here are some of these costs (HINT: They include lots of taxes.  Awesome...): Home...

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Taking the Plunge and Putting an End to Home Envy

I have been dropping subtle (okay maybe not so subtle) hints in past posts and on twitter that I have been itchin' to buy a place here in Vancouver.  I recently had an email from a reader asking me what the hell I was thinking why I am deciding to buy a place in...

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Investing In Real Estate Without All the Risk

Biography The Rat is a young investor and entrepreneur hailing from the east coast. After earning a Bachelor of Commerce, he returned home at the age of 21 to work in various capacities, most of which were in the private sector. There, he had the opportunity to...

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The Never Ending Debate: Variable or Fixed Mortgage?

Just a week or two ago, the big banks all raised their fixed mortgage rates - first RBC, then TD bank followed suit. People were frantically calling their mortgage brokers and mortgage specialists to lock in, or to get that five-year fixed rate before it went up the...

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Mortgage Rules Change- Uh Oh!

Yesterday, Jim Flaherty announced some tighter rules before getting a mortgage in hopes deterring the inflation of Canada's potential housing bubble. Beginning April 19, 2010, all new borrowers from the banks (e.g. moi and other first time home buyers) will have to...

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Rich Dad Poor Dad Seminars a Scam?

On the Canadian Money Forum (started by fellow Canadian PF Bloggers Million Dollar Journey and Canadian Capitalist), I saw a post that mentioned CBC Marketplace aired a hidden-camera investigation of the Rich Dad Poor Dad "Get Rich Quick" Education Seminars, titled...

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