DECEMBER 2019 REALTY INSIGHTS
We're in the Home Stretch
A new year is on the horizon, and as we enjoy the "indoor season" many of us take the opportunity to reflect on the highlights of the outgoing year. From a real estate perspective there's been plenty of news and opinion as housing markets across the country remain, in many cases, resilient. Yet, some areas continue to ebb and flow in sync with more local events.
Yes, there are positive economic signals here and south of the border. There's an eye on interest rates as the U.S. Fed continues to send mixed signals that their rate cuts are on hold for the time being. On December 4th, the Bank of Canada indicated that Canada's growth performance is as forecast and once again held the Key Rate steady at 1.75%.
Yes, it’s a season of celebration. And "home" is where we celebrate. One of the real joys of this time of year is the opportunity to reconnect with friends and family.
Wishing you, your friends and your family a wonderful holiday season. Together, let’s all look forward to a wonderful 2020.
Are the Facts Your Credit Score is Built on Correct?
A good Credit Score can make a big difference on the interest you pay when getting a loan. Yes, your Credit Score is important but more important is that the information it's based on is correct. A credit application you make can land in a "higher risk" category because of wrong facts used in building your Credit Score - which could then have you paying a higher interest rate, or even outright refusal of a loan.
Do an annual Credit Report review. If you see a lot of Credit inquiries by lenders or credit card companies, but have done nothing to initiate them, it's a red-flag that your credit profile is likely being scammed.
Fix errors immediately. With data breaches, identity theft, card hacks and card frauds, your Credit Score may be blemished by false or mistaken data – that you don’t even know about. Fixing wrong information is not always easy and it takes time because information needs to be verified as incorrect.
Keeping tabs on your Credit History today can mean smooth sailing instead of a delay to "fix an error" when you decide that it's time for a move or need credit approval in a hurry.
Contact both Equifax Canada and TransUnion Canada, as each may have different information on file.
Get your Credit Report - Free!
Equifax Canada, 1-800-465-7166, http://www.equifax.ca
Click "Credit Report Assistance" and then click "Get Your Free Credit Report"
TransUnion Canada, 1-800-663-9980, http://www.transunion.ca
Free Report: https://www.transunion.ca/product/consumer-disclosure
There are apps that you can use to get a rough idea of your Credit Score. These apps may also send alerts of Credit Score changes which can help you spot signs of identity theft. Checking your credit on these apps won't affect your score.
Whether you live in a house or a condo, there are a few things to take care of before you head out on vacation:
• Check your insurance policy to see how many days you can be away without it affecting insurance coverage.
• Leave a key with a trusted neighbour or friend so your place can be accessed if necessary. In a condo, make sure the Condominium Management knows who to call in case there’s a need. And leave a phone number where you can be reached.
• If snow is in the forecast, arrange for show clearing or ask a neighbour to drive in an out of your driveway so it looks like there's activity at your place.
• Test the water-leak alarm. If it's battery powered, replace the batteries too.
• Pre-pay monthly expenses such as: cell phone, electricity, taxes, cable, internet, and condominium fees to be sure everything's up-to-date while you're away.
• Set lights and radio on a timer, or if you have a Smart Speaker you can create a Smart Home routine.
• Get a "Fake TV" light. Plug it in, set the timer and the different coloured LED lights flicker with the same kind of pattern that a television makes. It looks like the television is on and to a potential intruder it makes the house an unappealing target. Check out: www.faketv.com
If you're looking to add some "smarts" to small home appliances such as coffee makers, lamps, and TVs a Smart Adapter may be the answer. No re-wiring necessary. Just plug it into a standard outlet and connect it to your Wi-Fi. Then use your SmartPhone to turn it on or off, or if you have a Smart Assistant, use your voice with Alexa or Google.
When considering a Smart Adapter, look for one that offers independent controls for each of the two outlets, has a USB charging port, and has an app that enables you to monitor how much electricity the plugged-in device consumes.
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