Friday, May 30, 2014

Are baby boomers skewing housing prices?

There's been a lot of talk in the media lately about the "bank of Mom and Dad effect" on the Canadian housing market. CMHC has recently launched a study to determine how much this phenomenon is affecting the real estate market. A few experts have argued that gifted down payments from parents have allowed many millennials to buy into the housing market when they otherwise wouldn't qualify. Others argue that providing financial assistance to children so they can buy their first home is a right of passage. They also argue that they are helping their children attain financial freedom by investing in the housing market sooner than they could afford on their own.

There's no question that there is a large prevalence of gifted down payments and financial support from baby boomer parents to their millennial children. The question is whether this support will help or hinder their children in the future and the housing market as well.

Listen to an episode of CBC's "The Current" investigating this topic here:

Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Trading in my laptop for a paint brush...

On May 2nd, I had the pleasure of spending the day on Habitat for Humanity's Southside build with an awesome group of Axiom employees and Mortgage Brokers. It was a real pleasure to learn more about this organization, spend the day away from my computer, and have fun making a difference in the lives of a few families here in Edmonton. 

I can't say enough positive things about my experience there. The staff members were friendly, knowledgeable and put a lot of effort into making sure the homes are perfect for the new families that will be living there. I highly recommend taking a day out of your busy lives to work on one of their projects! 

Tuesday, May 27, 2014

New rules for prepaid credit cards (finally)

If you’ve ever used a prepaid credit card, you’re likely familiar with their flaws. Fortunately, the Federal government has also caught onto them and has recently created new rules to govern them.

Despite the government’s move to eliminate expiry dates on gift cards, prepaid credit cards—which are essentially gift cards you can use anywhere—were, until recently, allowed to do so. They were also allowed to charge exorbitant “activation” fees (which could be as high as $5 on a $50 card) and “monthly fees” (which could be as much as $2.50/month if you didn’t use up the balance after six months).

Thankfully, the government’s moves will now prohibit expiry dates and maintenance fees (within the first 12 months of activation), and will require all key information to be revealed in a manner that is “clear, simple and not misleading”.

Do you have a prepaid credit card horror story to share? Would you ever consider giving them another try, now that the new rules are in place?

Thursday, May 22, 2014

The four best money-saving rules

It's been such a busy spring marketing Edmonton that I haven't had much time to focus on my blog lately. However, I came across this article earlier today and wanted to post it as it offers some great advice on how to save big.
Hope you're enjoying the warm weather (finally)!