CMHC to hike mortgage insurance premiums starting March 17

Wed, 18 Jan by The Lore Group

The Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation will charge borrowers a few dollars more every month to insure their mortgages, starting in March.

The housing agency made the announcement in a release Tuesday.

Starting March 17, CMHC will charge mortgage holders slightly more every month to insure their loans.

By law, anyone putting down less than 20 per cent of the purchase price of a home in Canada must pay mortgage insurance, even though the homeowners themselves don’t benefit from that coverage. Rather, it’s a fee borrowers pay so if they default on loans, their lenders aren’t on the hook. Instead, an insurance payout would cover any defaulted loans.

Royal Bank hikes mortgage rates
TD hikes mortgage prime rate to 2.85%

Premiums are calculated based on the amount borrowers are getting versus the size of the down payments.

Typically, CMHC fees are as little as 0.6 per cent of each loan’s value. But on smaller down payments and larger loans, the fees can mount to 3.6 per cent — more than six times as much as the lowest rate.

In an expensive market such as Toronto, for example, where the latest figures show the average house price is $730,472, a borrower with a small down payment of less than 10 per cent would have to borrow $682,425 to buy the average house in that city, mortgage comparison website calculates.

Under current rules, the CMHC charges 3.6 per cent to insure that mortgage, or $24,567 over the life of the loan.

Under new rules starting March 17, the CMHC will charge four per cent of that loan’s value to insure the loan. That pushes the premium to $27,297, an increase of $2,730 or $12 a month.

Different borrowers will pay different amounts depending on how much they are borrowing, and how much equity they have.

The fee changes are outlined below:


CMHC says the average loan on its books is for about $245,000. It expects the changes announced Tuesday to work out to an extra $5 a month, on average, per borrower.

“We do not expect the higher premiums to have a significant impact on the ability of Canadians to buy a home,” said Steven Mennill, CMHC’s senior vice-president of insurance. “Overall, the changes will preserve competition in the mortgage loan insurance industry and contribute to financial stability.”

How to score the best mortgage to wipe out that debt

The changes will only affect mortgage applications received as of March 17. Anyone who already has a mortgage or has applied for one will be grandfathered into the old rates.

As of Jan. 1 of this year, Canada’s top banking regulator the Office of the Superintendent of Financial Institutions (OSFI) requires banks and insurers to hold more capital against the mortgages on their books. One of the easiest ways to do that is to pass those costs on to borrowers by charging them more to insure loans.

The last time the housing agency hiked premiums was in 2015, when it hiked premiums by as much as 15 per cent for some borrowers.

Happy New Year!!

Thu, 05 Jan by The Lore Group

At last 2016 is in the rear view mirror! It’s been a tough one for Fort McMurray folks and most are glad to say goodbye. As we do so we would like to reflect on a few of the many things we are grateful for. For the great strength that we found in ourselves and each other during our most difficult times while fleeing a massive fire that decimated the community we love. For shoulders to lean on and the gracious and giving hearts of strangers we now call friends that reached out to the Fort McMurray community in our time of need. For the hope that inspires us as we work through the difficulties of the rebuild.

We look forward to the coming year. As we do we are reminded that many are still in need and not in their own homes. 2017 will be full of challenges to be sure, we want you to know we are here for you!

The Fort McMurray Real Estate Market will be forging new unprecidented ground this year as we enter the rebuild process aggressively in the coming months. There will be new opportunities and challenges. As a home owner it may be important for you to keep informed.

Our group will be monitioring the market, building on our preferred trades and trusted builders list from amongst the most reputable home professionals.

Please feel free to reach out to member of our group for information. No question is too small and we are here to help.

THE NUMBERS ARE IN…Here are January 2016 Fort McMurray Stats

Mon, 08 Feb by The Lore Group

THE NUMBERS ARE IN…Here are January 2016 Fort McMurray Stats

Active Listing 85
Average Sale Price $399,625
Number of Sales 4
Average days on market 345

Active Listing 382
Average Sale Price $631,014
Number of Sales 32
Average days on market 143

Active Listing 47
Average Sale Price $364,667
Number of Sales 3
Average days on market 44

Active Listing 69
Average Sale Price $505,000
Number of Sales 2
Average days on market 370

Active Listing 124
Average Sale Price $333,725
Number of Sales 4
Average days on market 225

*The interpretations of the data are the opinion Susan Lore and may not the views of the board or its members.

BUY RENT SELL with us and win!

Mon, 18 Jan by The Lore Group

Buy Sell Rent Poster 2016 (Final)

A year in the rear view mirror

Mon, 11 Jan by The Lore Group

Screenshot 2016-01-11 15.27.58

Smart Home Holiday Gift Guide

Tue, 24 Nov by The Lore Group


Believe it or not, the holidays are just around the corner. And this year, smart home products could be the perfect gift for your loved ones.

After all, research shows that Americans who have smart home technology really love it. According to an August survey from Coldwell Banker Real Estate and CNET, 91 percent of people who have smart home products would recommend the technology, and 87 percent of those who have smart home products say it makes their life easier.

If you’re thinking about gifting a smart home product this year, consider spreading holiday cheer with these great presents.

1. August Smart Lock: The August Smart Lock can turn your smartphone into a smart key – and more. You can lock and unlock your door, create virtual keys for guests and keep track of who comes and goes, all from your iOS or Android phone. The price starts at $199.


2. Lutron Caséta Wireless: This connected home solution allows for lights, battery-powered shades and temperature to be controlled from a mobile device. An easy DIY solution that’s affordable, these products are less than $150.

Caseta Collection

3. The Nest Learning Thermostat: The 3rd gen Nest Learning Thermostat helps you save energy and money! It learns what temperature you like and builds a schedule around yours. Plus, Nest allows you to see how much energy you use every day and every month, so you can adjust your behavior and save money. At $249, it could be a nice holiday gift for a friend or family member.


4. Dupont Corian Charging Surface: With this brand new technology, you can charge your smartphone wirelessly in your home by placing it on a futuristic countertop. Dupont doesn’t set prices directly, but according to CNET, consumers can expect to pay about $200 per charging station.

Corian Charging Surface Coffee Shop5. Neato Botvac Connected Robot Vacuum: This product from Neato could be the perfect gift for the neat freak in your life. With it, you can clean your home anytime, anywhere from your smartphone. It’s not cheap, though: the WiFi powered vacuum costs around $500.

neato-robot-phone-carpet6. Parrot Flower Power: Have someone with a green thumb in your life? If so, this “smart pot” could be the perfect holiday gift. Its sensor assesses your plants’ needs, and then its app sends alerts to your smartphone so you can truly take care of your plants. The product costs $60.


Get “smart” this holiday shopping season. Your friends and family members will thank you for it.

Win with LEGO!

Mon, 16 Nov by The Lore Group

Screenshot 2015-11-13 15.26.03


Mon, 16 Nov by The Lore Group


It’s not quite time yet but you’re beginning to think seriously about buying your first home. Among your early considerations are how much home you will be able to afford and how you are going to finance your purchase. You’ve heard about the Home Buyers Plan (HBP) and the Tax-Free Savings Account (TFSA) and you’re wondering which of these might be the best home-financing option for you. Take a look at both options:


Did you know you can use your RRSP savings for a DOWN PAYMENT on your home?

With the federal government’s Home Buyers’ Plan, you can use up to $25,000 of your RRSP savings ($50,000 for a couple) to help finance your down payment on a home.

To qualify, the RRSP funds you’re using must be on deposit for at least 90 days. You must also provide a signed agreement to buy or build a qualifying home.

The best part is the withdrawal is not taxable as long as you repay it within a 15-year period. The payback amount is at least one-fifteenth a year of the amount you withdrew from your RRSP.

Using your RRSP’s as a downpayment may be a great option as you have the ability to draw from some of your existing resources and it might possibly allow you to put down the 5% required to finance a home or accumulate the 20% down payment needed to avoid having to pay default insurance premiums. Even if you already have enough money for your down payment, it may make sense to access your RRSP savings through the Home Buyers’ Plan.Tax-Free Savings Accounts


There are No “first-time home buyer” restrictions and No dollar limits on the amount you can use. There is no requirement to repay your TFSA withdrawal, so you won’t encounter tax issues down the road.

You can use either or both of these options to help you buy your home. Chat with a mortgage professional to find our which options might work best for you. The Fort McMurray market has some fantastic bargains for buyers. Now could be the perfect time to buy a home.

7 Laundry Room Ideas to Fold into Your Home

Tue, 10 Nov by The Lore Group

One of the most functional rooms in the house can often be one of the most dysfunctional: the laundry room.  From clothes piled high, stale fabric softeners and leaky detergents galore, our laundry rooms can have some dirty secrets. Here are 7 laundry room ideas to help clean up your laundry act.

Consider Function FirstWe've heard of double ovens, but double laundry?  This is a phenomenal solution for a large family of hockey players.  This Miami Beach home is listed by Jill Hertzberg with Coldwell Banker Residential Real Estate.
We’ve heard of double ovens, but double laundry? This is a phenomenal solution for a large family of hockey players, or a household with plenty of guests. This Miami Beach home is listed by Jill Hertzberg with Coldwell Banker Residential Real Estate.
Clean Clothes, Clean Lines


Here’s a Bright Idea: Natural Light

Natural light can make a big difference in a laundry room.  We love the square window in the laundry room of this St. Helena, California home.

Storage: More is More 

This Laguna Beach, CA home's laundry room shows that black is always in.

Consider a Calming Color Palette

Natural wood and soft wall colors make the laundry space in this Redington Beach, FL brings the beach to a home...without the sand, of course.

Create a Folding Station

We love the idea of adding a folding station to your laundry room like the one in this Blaine, WA home.

Pack a Big Punch with Little Touches

Adding wall art, or a pretty catch-all basket can bring your laundry room to life, like in this California home.

Your Home’s November Honey-Do List

Mon, 02 Nov by The Lore Group


This month, we’re especially thankful for home. Home is where the family comes together, where we’re protected from the elements, and where love abounds. Your home’s November Honey-Do list will make sure your home is ready for the holidays, prepared for colder weather and loved inside and out.

1. Winterize your home – For most of the country, November is the time when we can no longer deny that the colder weather has settled in. Now is the time to winterize summer tools and appliances like air conditioner units, grills and lawn mowers. Bring garden hoses indoors and check your windows and doors for drafts.

2. Make a Turkey Game Plan – No coach would head to a big game without a game plan up his sleeve. Likewise, no chef should hit the kitchen without thinking through the menu and timeline first. Determine what menu items you can make ahead, decide what responsibilities you can delegate, and take an inventory of your pantry and china cabinet. Oh, and now’s the time to clean that oven, too.

3. Polish the Silver and Dust off the China – Thanksgiving is a special meal, which deserves the best of your entertaining arsenal. Because we don’t often use our special dishes year round, it’s smart to give them a good deep clean and polish before setting the table on Turkey Day.

4. Give your living room a refresh – With the holidays ahead, your living room is sure to get plenty of use. Give the space a refresh by changing out the window treatments for a new look.

5. Use some pest control – Rodents and other pests are opportunistic and seek warmer environments when the temperatures drop. Be sure that they don’t call your house their home by implementing these 5 surefire tricks to pest control.

6. Clear out the gutters – Avoid drainage problems and damage to your home’s foundation by clearing out the gutters before snow and ice wreaks havoc. Here is an easy how-to guide to cleaning rain gutters on your home.

7. Be ready for snow – Before the first winter storm, it’s a good idea to make sure your snow shovels and/or snow blower are in proper working order. Ready to invest in a snow blower after the brutal winter last year? Here is a buying guide from Home Depot that will help you make an educated purchase.

8. Start tackling the December to do list – The holiday to do list is notoriously the longest of the year. Get a head start by ordering your holiday cards, updating your address book, and making a gift wish list for each of your family members NOW. You can even start stringing twinkle lights on your shrubbery before the deep chill sets in. After all, the most important part of the holidays is taking the time to enjoy our family and friends.

The data included on this website is deemed to be reliable, but is not guaranteed to be accurate by the Ft. McMurray Real Estate Board. The trademarks REALTOR®, REALTORS® and the REALTOR® logo are controlled by The Canadian Real Estate Association (CREA) and identify real estate professionals who are members of CREA. Used under license.