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Fall Home Maintenance Checklist & Tips | Prep Your Home For Fall

Fall Home Maintenance Checklist & Tips | Prep Your Home For Fall What are the most important fall home maintenance tasks to complete? Home maintenance is important no matter what time of year it is. However, there are certain tasks that you really should complete in the fall, especially if you’re listing your house for sale in the Okanagan. Deferring cleaning & maintenance is one of the top reasons buyers are scared away from a home, so it’s important you don’t neglect these tasks! Reduce these issues to avoid and hiccups during the home inspection process and set yourself up for a quick sale! The following are 10 of the most important tips for preparing your home for the fall. #1 Care for your Trees, Bushes & Shrubs The scorching heat of our Okanagan summer can leave your yard parched. If you’ve kept up with regular watering over the past few months it’s still very likely that your bushes are still lacking water. Apply fresh mulch to the underside of shrubs & bushes to trap in that much needed moisture. Set your trees, bushes & shrubs up for the winter by properly pruning & trimming them. This will help promote blooming in the spring & you’ll thank yourself for winterizing your yard now. Plant new bushes or trees. Since there’s less chance for extreme weather changes in the fall this will give them ample time to settle before the winter arrives. #2 Rake your Leaves Raking your leaves seems like a no-brainer. Even more so if your Realtor is showing your house to potential buyers. Give these buyers a...

New Mortgage Rules Making Big Waves

We have a little over a month before Canada’s Banking Regulator launches the new controversial mortgage stress test. It’s aimed squarely at those who carry a heavier debt-load and more than 20% equity. Looking at where Canada’s home prices and debt levels are, this is quite clearly the most significant mortgage rule change to date. Uninsured borrowers can qualify today for a five-year fixed rate as low as 2.97%. In a little over 30 days that will jump to nearly 5%. If the changes affect you, you could need upward of 20% more income to qualify for the same mortgage that you could get today. Approximately one in six uninsured borrowers could feel the effects of these new rules based on the Bank of Canada estimates of “riskier borrowers” and predictions from industry economists. Those affected could be forced to defer buying, pay higher rates, find a co-borrower and/or put more money down to qualify. Why are the rules changing you ask? Well, forcing people to prove they can afford much higher rates will substantially increase the quality of borrowers in Canada’s banks. The Office of the Superintendent of Financial Institutions (OSFI) argues that this will insulate our banking system from economic shifts, which, if they’re correct, is a good thing. Many buyers with higher debt, relative to income, will resort to higher-cost lenders who allow more flexible debt ratio limits. At the very least, more borrowers will choose longer amortization periods and take longer to pay down their mortgage. Non-prime lenders will become pickier because they’ll see an influx of formerly “bankable” borrowers who are now being declined...