About Patricia McKean

This author has not yet filled in any details.
So far Patricia McKean has created 50 blog entries.

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


What Services Does a Mortgage Broker Provide

​​If you're in the market for a home loan because you’re looking for your dream home, you should consider working with us, a mortgage brokerage, to help you find the right financing solution. We are a licensed professional who works as an intermediary between you and lenders to help you secure the best home loan on the market. Want to know more about what we can do to help, here are a few services that we can provide: Access to Multiple Lenders: One of the primary benefits of working with a mortgage broker is that we have access to multiple lenders. This means we can shop around for you and find the best loan options and rates available for your specific situation. Expertise and Guidance: A mortgage broker can provide expert guidance throughout the home buying process. We can help you understand the different types of loans available, including fixed-rate, adjustable-rate, and government-backed loans. We can also help you determine which loan options are best for your financial situation and help you navigate the loan application process. Loan Pre-Approval: A mortgage broker can help you get pre-approved for a home loan. This can be particularly useful if you're shopping for


Rural Financing – What to Know!

Rural financing refers to the funding of agricultural or (other rural-related projects) in a rural area. When considering building or buying a home on raw land (raw land = land that has not been developed, subdivided, or improved in any way ie: in its natural state, without any infrastructure or buildings on it) or running a hobby farm, it is important to take into account the all of the factors. Let’s take a closer look at a few. Building on Raw Land Buying a parcel of land and building your dream home is an exciting venture – but here are some key points to consider: Higher down payment (35 - 50%) Higher interest rates Zoning laws and building codes Access to utilities (water, electricity, sewage) Soil quality and topography Environmental factors (flood zones, endangered species, etc.) Permits and fees, transportation access Proximity to amenities (schools, stores, hospitals) Future resale value.  Rural financing on raw land typically involves obtaining a loan from a specialized lender or government agency that provides financing for rural properties. The loan terms may vary depending on factors such as the size of the property, intended use, and creditworthiness of the borrower so it’s important to do


Credit Scores and Home Buying

Ready to Purchase? When it comes time to purchase a home, one of the most important factors to consider is your credit score. A credit score is a three-digit number that reflects how you have managed your financial responsibilities in the past. It is used to determine how likely you are to repay a loan and it is a key factor in determining your ability to obtain a mortgage. A good credit score is generally considered to be any score over 700. However, it is important to remember that banks and/or lenders may not just look at your credit score, but also the amount of debt you have, the length of your credit history, and other factors. Having a good credit score can help you get better interest rates on your mortgage, and it can also open up more options for you when it comes to mortgage lenders. It’s important to make sure you maintain a good credit score before you apply for a mortgage, and also to be aware of any potential issues that could affect your ability to get a loan. The Five C's of Credit There are five C's of credit: Capacity, Capital, Collateral, Conditions and


Renting vs. Buying a Home

Conversation Starter Buying a home - it’s a big deal and a huge decision to make with a lot of factors that play into it. If you’re in our current rental market, chances are you’re paying a pretty penny every month so why not take the next step and use that money to pay your own mortgage? Let me expand on that. Let’s start the conversation… It's important to understand the pros and cons of both options before making a decision.  Renting When it comes to renting, one of the major benefits is the flexibility it provides! You can typically move-out with only one months’ (30 days) notice and don't have to worry about the costs of maintenance, repairs and in some cases, outdoor maintenance (depending on what type of property you are renting). On the flip-side, you don’t have the permission to make any aesthetic changes to the property as you see fit and if you do, you could lose the damage deposit that all landlords take for such cases. That said, with approval from the landlord they may allow you to renovate, paint and make certain changes, but it’s at your own cost and not an expense you


What women need to know about their finances

What women need to know about their finances Women need to take charge of their finances and make sure they understand their financial situation. It's important to create a budget, track your spending, and set financial goals. Too often I see women take a back seat and don't make sure their are a priority in all aspects of their life. It is important to ensure you have set yourself up for financing success. Here are a few ways to help with this: Ensure you have at minimum 2 active trade lines on your credit bureau. A suggestion is a major credit card and Line of credit. They don't have to be large just a $200 minimum each. Use these monthly to pay for groceries, fuel or any other household debts and pay off each month. This will ensure you have an active credit bureau. If for what ever reason you were on your own and haven't set these up prior you would be forced to start again with no credit and if you are not working that maybe very hard to be approved for. Here is a great read on how to build credit: Increasing your credit score in