Friday, February 19, 2016

Navigating the financial fallout from a divorce...

Divorce will create havoc in your emotional life, but likely even more so with your finances. I have long said that it is way too easy to tie the knot, and too difficult to untie it. There's some great information in this article about how you can mitigate the financial ravages of divorce.
But, if you are in the throes of divorce, what happens to your marital home?
No one really wants to think about the possibility of divorce when you buy your home as a couple, but as we all know, it does happen. So what happens to your mortgage if you decide to call it quits?
Typically, couples have a joint mortgage where both of their names are listed on the title of the home as well as the mortgage itself. This leaves you with a couple of options:
1. Sell the property, split the proceeds fairly and go your separate ways. 
2. One individual buys the other out of their part of the mortgage and property title*.
How do you know which is the right decision for you?
Well, the first option is significantly less complicated. You simply put your home up for sale, sell it, and split the proceeds according to a predetermined agreement.
The other option depends on a variety of factors. Especially if you face other troubling circumstances at this time, like if young children are involved and need to remain in the house, or the market is down and neither of you can afford to face the loss. Sometimes the second option is the only option.
If that’s the case and you’re going to be the one buying out the other half, you will have to refinance your mortgage using a single income. A good rule of thumb is to find out whether or not you can afford the new mortgage payments. Any lender will ask for proof that you are capable of paying the new mortgage payments even before you are able to apply for refinancing.
You will also need to negotiate and agree on an amount to buy your ex-partner out. If the equity in your home is sufficient, you may be able to withdraw it to pay out your existing spouse.  If you do decide to go this route and refinance your mortgage post-separation, please contact me to help you navigate this, sometimes daunting, process.
Above all else, if you are facing a divorce or separation that will affect your mortgage – get informed first. It is difficult to know if you are making the right decision unless you discuss it with an experienced mortgage provider. I can help by informing you of your options and the necessary steps to proceed with obtaining a mortgage on your own, and ultimately help you find a solution that best fits your current financial situation.

Don’t hesitate to call me today if you need help or have questions about your mortgage 780-722-6287. 

Thursday, February 11, 2016

Save on your income taxes and save for a down payment at the same time!

Did you know? If you are a first time buyer, you are able to withdraw up to $25,000 from your RSP account, tax free. The funds can be used for the down payment on your new home. The program stipulates that you have 15 years to re-pay the money back into your RSP account. If you don't have an RSP, or have not made a contribution for 2015 tax year, this might be the time to persue this down payment strategy! You have until February 29th to contribute to an RSP for a tax deduction for 2015. Please get in touch with me at 780-722-6287 or if you want to discuss this program in more detail!  
For more information on the Home Buyer's Plan click HERE

Wednesday, February 10, 2016

Why it's a good idea to check your credit once a year...

It's a good rule of thumb to check your own credit, once a year, to find out what your score is and to make sure there aren't any mistakes reporting. I am available to answer any questions you may have about how credit works and how you can improve your score. Unfortunately, this sort of thing is not taught in school and I really believe that information is power! So, please get in touch with me if you have any questions at all about your credit situation.