About Patricia McKean

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So far Patricia McKean has created 45 blog entries.
  • Family Day Calgary

Creating Memories: 2024 Family Day Fun in Calgary, Alberta

Family Day is just around the corner, and there is no better way to celebrate than by creating unforgettable memories with your loved ones, while enjoying a fun experience. I thought it would be great to get together a few awesome ideas for you and your family to celebrate this day! Here are three activities around Calgary, Alberta for the whole family to enjoy for Family Day 2024. Family Day Brunch at Heritage Park Treat your family to a delightful brunch at Heritage Park! This event is hosted in the unique setting of what Heritage Park calls: Gasoline Alley. Gasoline Alley is home to the park's impressive antique car collection. They plan to serve up pancakes, Belgian waffles, eggs benedict, an assortment of desserts and more! They also have featured some options from the Alberta Bakery, making it one of Calgary's best brunch experiences. They also have options for those who may have dietary restrictions, such as being gluten free, dairy free or vegetarian. But, the Family Day Brunch doesn't just stop at food; it extends to a day filled with exploration. After your meal, dive into the Gasoline Alley Museum. They offer you a closer look at their

  • understanding finances

Understanding Your Finances: How To Build Your Budget to Buy Your Home

Understanding Your Finances: How To Build Your Budget to Buy Your Home My name is Patricia McKean, and I have spent the last 20 years as a mortgage broker in Alberta, Canada. Throughout my career, I've witnessed the dreams of many aspiring homeowners come true, and I've also seen the challenges that can arise when financial planning is not given the attention it truly deserves. With that in mind, I created a course to help you make sense of the whole journey. It is my pleasure to introduce: Understanding Your Finances. Designed to assist you with  the knowledge and education you will need to have a successful financial future. The journey to homeownership is undoubtedly an exciting one, but it requires some planning and financial discipline on your part. The first step in this process is understanding and taking control of your finances. Your budget is the foundation upon which your dream home will stand. Building a solid budget involves understanding your income, expenses, and financial goals. To begin, map out to following: Income: Start by creating a detailed list of all your monthly income, including your salary, bonuses, and any additional sources of income you might have. Expenses:

  • first time homeowner

How Can The Government Help You Buy a Home: Canada’s First-Time Homebuyer Incentive

How Can The Government Help You Buy a Home: Canada's First-Time Homebuyer Incentive Are you dreaming of owning your first home but find the financial aspect a bit overwhelming or confusing? I have some good news for you! The Government of Canada has a program in place to help ease some of that money overwhelm: The First-Time Homebuyer Incentive. It is designed to soften the burden and make homeownership more achievable for Canadians. (That could be you!) This initiative is a game-changer for those who qualify, offering various options to help first-time buyers step into the home owning space with confidence. The primary goal of the First-Time Homebuyer Incentive is to reduce the strain on your monthly mortgage payments, making the prospect of purchasing your first home a more realistic and less financially daunting task. Which means that you can own your home a little more stress free. Let's dive into some of the details of this incentive: One of the key features of the incentive is the flexibility it provides to first-time home buyers. Depending on your specific circumstances, you can choose between different options. If you have your heart set on a newly built home - the


Looking to save a down payment for your first home

Are you a first-time home buyer looking for a way to save for your down payment? Look no further than the First Time Home Buyers tax-free savings account program! This new initiative allows Canadians to contribute up to $8,000 per year (up to a lifetime limit of $40,000) towards their first down payment within 15 years of opening their account. The best part? Contributions are tax-deductible, just like a Registered Retirement Savings Plan (RRSP), and withdrawals for the purpose of purchasing a first home are non-taxable. So, who can open a First Home Savings Account (FHSA)? Any Canadian resident who is at least 18 years old and has not owned a qualifying home as their principal place of residence for the year the account is opened or the preceding four calendar years. You can contribute up to $8,000 in any given year, including 2023, when the program is set to launch. Unused contribution room can be carried forward, and you can even hold more than one FHSA, as long as the total contributions don't exceed your annual and lifetime limits. The FHSA can also be combined with the Home Buyers' Plan, which allows you to withdraw up to $35,000 from


Embrace Tiny Home Dreams in Alberta with the Help of a mortgage specialist

Are you dreaming of a simpler, minimalist lifestyle in the beautiful province of Alberta, Canada? Are you yearning for the freedom and flexibility that comes with tiny home living on leased land? Look no further! I have over 20 years of experience, am here to help you turn those tiny home dreams into a reality. In this blog, we'll explore the world of tiny home living in Alberta, the financial aspects of it, and how I can guide you through the process. **The Alberta Tiny Home Revolution** Alberta, with its stunning natural landscapes and a growing interest in minimalist living, is the perfect place to embark on your tiny home journey. Whether you're considering a serene escape in the Rockies or a rustic homesteading future, owning a tiny home on leased land in Alberta offers countless possibilities.  Here are some key points to consider: **Tiny Living as a Lifestyle Change**: Tiny home living is not just about downsizing; it's a lifestyle change. It's about reducing clutter, simplifying life, and focusing on what truly matters. Embracing minimalism can be a refreshing departure from the norm and an opportunity to live more intentionally. **Less Stuff, Less Maintenance**: One of the most


First Time Home Buyers: Essential Steps and Tips for a Successful Purchase

Becoming a first-time homebuyer is an exciting milestone, but it also comes with its share of challenges and responsibilities. To ensure a smooth and successful home buying journey, it's important to be well-prepared and well-informed. We’d like to help in any way we can, to make this transition as seamless and enjoyable as can can. Let’s explore the key steps and helpful tips that every first-time homebuyer should consider before making this significant investment. Mortgage Pre-Approval Before you start house hunting, obtaining a mortgage pre-approval is a MUST-DO! You’ll want a detailed assessment of your financial situation so you can understand your budget and get specific about your home search. A pre-approval not only gives you a clear picture of what you can afford, but also makes you a more attractive buyer in the eyes of sellers. In this market, you want all of your ducks-in-a-row (for lack of a better term) so when you find your house, you are ready to make an offer without any hesitation. Home-Ownership Costs While the allure of homeownership is easy to get caught up in, it's also important to be mindful about the ‘other’ associated costs beyond your mortgage payment. Property taxes, utilities,


How the Recent Bank of Canada Interest Rate Increase Impacts Prime and Rate Renewals: Save Money by Shopping Around and Avoid Falling for Bank Promises

Recently, the Bank of Canada has taken significant steps to address economic change, inflation and maintain financial stability. How? A prime interest rate increase, which can have significant implications on a number of financial aspects, including rate renewals. As a consumer, understanding these changes and taking proactive measures can help you save money and avoid falling for enticing (and potentially misleading) promises from certain financial institutions. Let’s explore the impact of the Bank of Canada interest rate increase rate renewals where I’ll provide actionable tips on how you can save money by shopping around. The Bank of Canada Interest Rate Increase The Bank of Canada periodically adjusts its benchmark interest rate in response to economic conditions. An increase in the interest rate can have a domino effect on borrowing costs, impacting various financial products offered by banks. Two key areas that often feel the impact of interest rate changes are prime rates and mortgage rate renewals. Understanding Prime Rates and the Impact Prime rate serves as the foundation for many lending products, including variable-rate mortgages, lines of credit and personal loans. When the Bank of Canada raises its interest rate, banks may follow suit and increase their prime rates accordingly.


Accelerate Your Mortgage Payoff: The Benefits of Bi-Weekly Payments

For many new homeowners, the idea of a mortgage can be frightening, mix in the costs associated with being a homeowner and it’s a double-whammy. The idea of paying off a mortgage early may even feel like a dream, but it’s very doable with a little planning! While there are various strategies to achieve that goal, one option that has gained popularity is making bi-weekly mortgage payments. Let’s explore some of the benefits of bi-weekly mortgage payments, including how they can help save you money and reduce your debt. 1. Accelerated Reduction of Principal One of the biggest advantages of bi-weekly mortgage payments is the ability to accelerate the reduction of your mortgage principal. By making payments every two weeks instead of monthly, it goes without saying that you end up making an additional payment each year. This extra payment goes directly toward reducing your principal amount, which can have a significant impact on the overall duration of your mortgage. 2. Interest Savings Reducing your principal amount through bi-weekly payments also means substantial interest savings over the life of your mortgage. With each extra payment, the outstanding balance decreases, resulting in less interest accruing on your loan. Over time, this


How to Prepare Yourself to Buy a Home in the Second Half of 2023

Buying a home is an exciting and very significant milestone in life. Whether you're a first-time homebuyer or planning to upgrade your current home or area, it's essential to be well-prepared. We’re in mid-May and we are seeing a unique market right now with low inventory and higher prices. As the second half of 2023 approaches, now is the perfect time to start taking the necessary steps to ensure a smooth home buying process. I’d like to go over some of the crucial aspects to consider and actions you can take to prepare yourself to buy a home in the latter part of 2023. Get Pre-Approved for a Mortgage 1. One of the most important initial steps is to get pre-approved for a mortgage. This involves meeting with a mortgage broker or lender to assess your financial situation and determine the loan amount you can qualify for. Pre-approval gives you a clear understanding of your budget, streamlines the home search process and makes you a more competitive buyer. Especially in a market where we are seeing bidding wars and homes going for OVER list-price. Have a Pre-Approval Letter Ready 2. Once you've obtained pre-approval, ensure you have a pre-approval letter


Support Through Divorce: How We Can Assist with Your Home

Divorce is a challenging time for many people, and it can be even more challenging when trying to navigate assets (such as a home) so it's important to consider how mortgage decisions can be impacted. These are some solutions and advice I offer on the mortgage side of the transaction: Understand your options: If you own a home together, there are a few options for handling the mortgage. One spouse could sell the home and divide the proceeds, one spouse could keep the home and use our spousal buyout program to obtain a mortgage in their name (I can do this up to 95% of the home value to include all debt payouts as agreed in their agreement), OR you could continue to co-own the home and both contribute to the mortgage payments. Consider the financial implications: Each option has financial implications to consider. Selling the home could result in a loss if the home has decreased in value since it was purchased. Spousal buyout of the mortgage in one spouse's name could result in higher monthly payments if that spouse has a lower credit score or income. Continuing to co-own the home requires a high level of trust and