First Time Home Buyer in Minnesota

As a potential first time buyer in Minnesota of a house, the whole process of buying a home may be quite overwhelming. There are various sources of information like online articles, books, newspapers and others that may seem to offer numerous facts about buying your first house. Researching alone on what you need to know to continue with the process of buying a house can be a great investment already, let alone the actual paying of the down payment.

Minnesota has instituted a first-time buyer program that involves educating and teaching home buyers. Since owning a house can be quite complex and at times can also be overwhelming to many people, particularly first time buyers.

Since owning your own house gives that owner a sense of achievement and pride, it just makes sense that they are well informed on the various details of what it means to have your own house and how to maintain it. The Minnesota first time homebuyers program are offered in-person and through online.

For those who are new to Minnesota and are first time home buyers, they will discover that there are great programs available for them. For first time home buyers who are applying for the program in Minnesota, it is imperative that they must not have owned a house in the past 3 years. Many first time home buyers programs are being issued on a first-come-first-served basis. Because funds for the program may expire. This first-come-first-served basis, which helps you reserve funds will depend on an accepted purchase agreement. Furthermore, after new funds for the programs are being re-issued by the cities, there could be changes in the rates and parameters.

After learning the program may it be in-person or online, Minnesota’s first-time buyer program is made to provide you with the information to be smart in the decisions you will make. Topics that will be discussed on the program may include things like how to choose your best and most applicable mortgage options, managing credit so owning a house is affordable and understanding the process of loan closing. Minnesota’s first-time buyers program will help also help you to figure out your financial situation so you properly decide on the right house for you and your family. Moreover, you will also learn more about down payment help and also special loans that you can avail.

Buying a house is one the biggest and most important purchases in life. It will cost a huge amount of money and will take up a big part of your life. That is why it is a good thing to know that Minnesota is offering a first time home buyers program which gives emphasis on homebuyer education so people will not delve into the whole process blindly.

How Is Your Mortgage Registered

There are two ways to register a mortgage and they differ greatly. It’s important to speak with a Brampton mortgage broker about your registration and understand the options before your meeting.

Standard Charge Mortgage

A standard charge mortgage registration means your title is only registered for the amount you’re mortgaged for. So if you made a downpayment of 25% on a $400,000 house and have only borrowed $300,000 for your mortgage, then your standard charge mortgage is only registered for $300,000.

Unlike the alternative, a standard charge mortgage allows for flexibility to switch lenders upon renewal time, without very large fees. In essence, the lenders have to earn your mortgage again, which puts you in a great position to shop around and get a better rate.

Collateral Charge Mortgage

A collateral charge mortgage registration means your mortgage is registered on the title for more than you are mortgaged for. For the same $300,000 mortgage from the above example you may be registered for up to $400,000. In other words they register the title for more than the closing costs.

Why is collateral charge mortgage registration a poor choice?

When you’re up for renewal, this means you will have hefty legal fees to switch lenders if you find a better deal. Or if you happen to sell your home and close the mortgage before the 25 or 35 term is up, again you’ll be hit with these nasty fees.

Why is it even an option and who offers collateral mortgage registrations?

Mostly the big banks will offer collateral mortgage registrations and it ensures you’ll keep your mortgage with them come renewal time, in order to avoid the legal fees. However they are still able to sell the idea to a few folks who haven’t done their research. And here’s why – they sell it as easy access to your equity, but for the inside scoop contact a trusted Brampton mortgage broker like myself.

5 Reasons To Hire A Tax Lawyer

As a small business owner you might be wondering if you need to hire a tax lawyer in Victoria BC. Perhaps your business tax filing is not that complex or complicated. Hiring yet another professional may put an added strain on your budget and you just can’t afford it right now. Canada Revenue does not allow much room for errors so there could be a huge benefit to hiring a tax lawyer. Here are 5 reasons to hire a tax lawyer.

  1. Time is money Understanding tax laws and regulations is something best left to a lawyer who specializes and is familiar with Canadian tax laws. Allowing a tax lawyer to deal with any issues frees you to concentrate on your business.
  2. Provincial and Federal taxes Depending on which province you do business in or if you are a national company different taxes apply. Maybe you ship to other provinces or even out of the country, a tax lawyer can sort through all taxes that are necessary.
  3. Employee taxes Who’s an employee and who’s considered an independent contractor.  If you own a small business are you an employer or employee or both? A tax lawyer is well versed in the important distinctions.
  4. Don’t miss out on deductions Travel, new equipment even coffee and doughnuts may be deductible business expenses. Knowing the specific requirements is one more aspect a tax attorney can clarify.

Their advice on how to make the most of allowable deductions canhelp optimize your income.

5) “ I didn’t know “ is not an excuse Canadian tax laws undergo changes as do regulations. As a business owner do you really have the time to keep up with and interpret the changes.” I didn’t know “will not work.  And not knowing the regulations and laws is not an excuse for not following them. Hiring a tax lawyer is your best insurance against Ignorance, possible avoiding an audit by the Canadian Revenue Agency.

Contact The Victoria Tax Law Group At Cook Roberts for more information.

Understanding Home Equity: Line of Credit vs Home Equity Loan

As a Toronto & Brampton Mortgage Agent, I get asked a lot of questions when it comes to mortgages. One I recently got was what is better, a line of credit or home equity loan. Read on to find out my answer.

What is a home equity loan?

A home equity loan or also referred to as “ the second mortgage” is a type of loan with a fixed and low-interest rate, which makes it a good source of money. A home equity loan is much easier to include in your budget as the payment is the same for every month.

What is home equity line of credit?

A home equity line of credit (HELOC) and home equity loan are the same in the sense that you will borrow money against your home equity. However, a home equity loan normally gives a total amount at a single time, while a home equity line of credit is the same with a credit card: You will have a definite amount of money for you to borrow and then pay back, and you can get the amount anytime you need it. Therefore, your minimum monthly due varies as a credit line normally has a fluctuating interest rate. It is important to take note the terms in your HELOC as most likely you will have a limited time to use the money.

Which is better?

Appropriating funds against your equity can be helpful in financing any projects that you may have. It is also possible for you to deduct the interest so it will be more inexpensive. So before you decide to for HELOC against a home equity loan, take into considerations the amount of money that you will need and how you’re planning to use the money. Consider the appraisal and closing fees, tax advantages, interest rates and monthly payments as you assess your options.

  • Home equity loan is great for attaining more costly goals, like college tuition fees, remodelling a house and debt consolidation. Due to its fixed payment, it is more practical for individuals with fixed incomes.
  • Home equity line of credit is great for paying for medical expenses, minor home improvement projects and paying bills that will quickly increase if not paid.

If you require a financial help to pay your bills or attain your goals, you can go for low-interest funding. May it be home equity loan or a line of credit, you can utilize the value of your property as a mean to manage your debt and improve or sustain your lifestyle.

If you have any other questions regarding your mortgage in Toronto or Brampton, please contact me and I’d be happy to assist.

What You Didn’t Know About Condo Fees

For those that are condominium owners, you may have decided to own the home that you do because of its size, its proximity to the city, or perhaps not having to deal with the maintenance of a larger house. However, there are some extra fees involved with owning a condo that can be confusing for some owners. Nevermind having to review the condo documents We’ll try to break down those monthly fees to give you a better picture of what you’re paying for.

Not For-Profit

Whereas rent is generally calculated for the investor to make a profit, maintenance fees are inherently not for-profit. They are calculated by taking the cost of running the building as a whole, and then depending on the size of your condo, the percentage of space you take up out of the whole building corresponding to the cost of running the building is the fee that you will pay monthly for maintenance. However, these fees may change year by year according to the building’s annual operating budget.

They Cover Necessities

Depending on the layout of your condo (for example townhouses will often have separate utility meters), the maintenance fees may be covering your utilities, such as water, gas, and electric. Not only that, but the fees will also include things like window cleaning, snow shovelling, housecleaning, gardening, and other necessities. These types of services may be part of the reason you decided to live in a condo, as it can be wonderful to not have to deal with them yourself.

Contingency Fee

Every condo must maintain by law some money set aside, which contributes to your monthly fee, known as a contingency fee. This money set aside can be used for any special costs that occur, or any emergencies as well. For example, if the building needed a new roof, or if there were special repairs needed for the heating, this money would come from the contingency fee. Although this may seem as though it’s another expense out of the many you pay for your condo, in reality the contingency fee is keeping you safe and allowing you to have peace of mind if anything were to happen, and that you would know there are resources available to fix the problems as soon as possible.

Overall, owning a condo can be a great investment, especially if it’s an area that is getting a lot of attention from other investors. However, knowing about what you pay every month and where it goes will help to eradicate any confusion you have, and allow you to enjoy your home!

This post was written by the fine folks at Condo 411 Calgary.

What are condo papers?


Before purchasing or investing in a condo or any type of property you are going to want to make sure that what you’re getting into is a safe investment and your money is protected. Buying a condo is like investing in a business, you are going to want to make sure that said business is financially stable and it is a good idea to lend your money to such a venture. You are going to want to conduct a full Calgary condominium document review of the condominium venture to make sure you know what you are getting into.

Now you are probably wondering what condo docs consist of. They include variety of documents from declaration, by-laws, rules/regulations, financial statements, budgets, and minutes from meetings. These are just some of the documents included but condo docs are not limited to just these documents.

The financial statements and budget contain crucial information on the status of the condo building. You are going to want to pay attention to the condo’s reserve funds and operating budget. A reserve fund is used by condominiums for major repairs and improvements to the building, such as windows, roofing, or flooring. A percentage of owners monthly fees should be put in the fund so that the condo can build up their reserves for future repairs. If your prospective condo has a low reserve fund it will require additional fees when a major repair is necessary. The operating budget is what most of your monthly funds goes towards. Experts say that about two-thirds of the operating budget should be used towards expenses. Owners should pay attention to how your condo fees are allocated and if your condo has a 24-hour front desk, swimming pool, or elevator to name a few things, your expenses will add up, therefore leading to higher fees. Owners should keep in mind that the condo association should not be dipping into the reserve fund to pay for basic maintenance such as trash removal, landscaping, or facilities.

Upon review the condo documents, prospective buyers should get in contact with board members or the property to ask some questions such as; are there any upcoming projects planned?; were there any major issues discussed at the last board meeting?; will projects be paid through reserves or special assessment? These are just a couple questions to ask before purchasing a condo. It is always a good idea to have a team of condominium specialists like Condo 411 Calgary who can help review condo documents and reduce risk associated with the transfer of ownership of a condo unit.

How Web Design Helps SEO

Hiring a professional web designer does more than just help you to have a better looking, more functional website. It can also help your business to get picked up more by search engines. Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is the process of altering your website so it better conforms to search engine algorithms and thus can get more hits from potential customers. The best type of SEO will help you to reach a targeted audience rather than just any audience who may or may not actually be interested in you. So how can using professional services aid you as you seek to improve upon your website in this crucial way? Here are few points to keep in mind from our professionals of BCS web design.

#1: The use of Responsive Web Design

With more and more people using smartphones and tablets to access products and services on the web, instead of only using desktop computers, having a website that can efficiently be used on different types of screens is good on a basic level and in terms of improving the SEO of your site. Responsive web design is the way to go if you want to develop a site that everyone can access by using just the one URL. The benefit of having just this one site is that you will be able to build backlinks to the one site instead of having to work on getting backlinks to a regular site and a mobile-specific site here. SEO becomes simpler.

#2: Limiting categories and subcategories

Having an adequate amount of content on your site is important if you want to get picked up by search engines–if you have too few pages or each page does not have enough words on it, your site may get passed over. However, search engines are also able to pick up on whether your content is really organized well on your site partly based on whether people actually look around once they click on a link. That’s why it is important to find the right balance between having enough content and having relevant content that is organized adequately. Our web design in Belfast has the experience needed to find that balance.

#3: Linking keywords to the right content

Similar to this is the need for you to choose the right keywords while developing content that people care for. The right web designers can get you started.

Getting a Mortgage When You Are Retired

If you are looking to move once you are retired, whether you are moving to a new area or you are downsizing, you may be worried about securing a mortgage. You likely do not have as much of an income as you did when you were working and you may feeling like lending agencies will treat you differently because of your age and your situation. The good news is that it is entirely possible to get a mortgage when you are retired. Just keep these few things in mind as you started getting connected with Toronto mortgage brokers.

Your pension income is treated the same as any other income

While lenders may have different regulations for providing mortgages to people who are self-employed or who receive commission as part of their salary,  your pension income will not be treated differently. It’s just like having a regular salaried income when it comes to qualifying for a loan for a home.

Lenders are not allowed to discriminate against you because of your age

Much as with most other services provided to the public, age-based discrimination is not allowed when your loan application is being considered.

You may encounter difficulties with getting a mortgage while on a fixed income

While no one is allowed to use the fact that you are on pension to discriminate against you, you could have difficulties if your fixed income is determined to be not sufficient for you to maintain making payments and cover your living expenses. It can be helpful to determine how much you want to spend on a home and what you estimate living costs are to determine what will be available for loan payments.

The length that you will be receiving income can impact your eligibility

Each lenders can have different policies on how long you must be on a fixed income in order for the income to qualify for a loan. Some lenders, for instance, may require that you have this particular fixed income for at least 3 years, or else they will not even consider it when looking at your application. This should not be an issue if you are on pension, but if your income comes from another source, problems may arise.

Our Toronto mortgage brokers are committed to helping you secure the best possible mortgage that will suit your needs, no matter what your age is. Contact Rakhi Madan Mortgage Agent to get started.


Six Reasons to Become a Dog Trainer

The top reason why you may want to become a dog trainer, outside of the fianancial rewards, may be because you love dogs, but really there are plenty of other reasons why this is a great career field to pursue. Here are just six reasons why you should become a dog trainer online.

#1: You could specialize in any number of types of dog training

From training dogs to enter dog shows, to offering obedience training, to training dogs to perform certain jobs, to working with dogs only of a certain breed, you can choose any area to specialize in and really get into learning and gaining skills just there. Finding your passion and becoming an expert is possible

#2: You can be your own boss

Once you have knowledge and skills for training dogs in your chosen area, you can figure out yourself how will your manage finances, what you will charge, in what ways you will train the dogs, and more. Self-employment in this field is common and freeing.

#3: Formal training is accessible and won’t take you multiple years to complete

You do not need a degree to get started in this field, nor do you necessarily need to move away your current home to complete any sort of hands-on training. Taking a Dog Training Certification Online can provide you with knowledge and with practical experience.

The best of these programs will give you an opportunity to show your instructor how you are doing with the practical parts of the program, such as by allowing you to send in a video of your work training a dog.

#4: It’s challenging

Working with dogs will force you to become a problem solver. You need to know your stuff when it comes to animal behaviour patterns and know how to put that knowledge into action. If you are an observant, inquisitive person who love animals, this could be a great field for you.

#5: It’s a great part-time career

Maybe you have other work already or you’re busy raising kids. Dog training is a viable option for part-time work for you, then, because you can take on as many or as few clients as you like and you can choose your own hours.

#6: Dog trainers are increasing in demand

With people becoming more and more willing to spend time and money on their pets, dog trainers have become more needed. People have been showing that they care for their dogs’ wellbeings more than ever before, so with the right training you can find yourself succeeding in this rewarding line of work.

Fixed or Variable Mortgage Rate?

There are a few basic types of mortgages. Many of these options should be discussed from an agent like Rakhi Madan in person. But here we’re going to discuss the differences between fixed and variable mortgage rates and why you might choose one type over the other.

First of all, we have to define what each type entails. With a fixed mortgage rate, you’ll be paying the same rate monthly for however long the mortgage lasts, while with a variable rate the rate will be lower for a specified number of months and then change. Depending on the size of the mortgage, you could have initial savings of over a hundred dollars a month–which over a period of sixty months, for example, would mean that you’ve paid at least $6,000 less than you would otherwise.

A variable mortgage rate can have great benefits, but it’s not perfect for everyone. If you can afford to pay the monthly amount for a fixed mortgage that’s you’re considering, you have to really consider the costs associated with the variable option. For instance, the size of your mortgage has an effect on how much you’re actually saving per month. A mortgage of $200,000 on a variable mortgage rate could save you maybe $140 per month, while comparably a $100,000 mortgage will save you $70 a month.

Are the monthly savings significant enough that you should take this option? Keep in mind that risks are involved with variable mortgage rates. This includes the fact that different versions of this mortgage type exists. With some, you will have a fixed rate for 5 years, then the rate will change on a yearly basis afterwards. Some, less common options will have rates that change less often than a year.

A related factor to consider is that after the initial period with a fixed rate ends, the new interest rate will be based on current market conditions. Your mortgage will come with terms stating by how much percentage it can increase by each year after the initial fixed rate as well as by how many percentage points in can increase by in total. A standard example is that your rate could increase by up to 2% in one year but overall the rate cannot end up over 6% higher than what you started with.

You could end up benefitting in the long run or wishing you’d taken a safer route. There’s a lot to think about, and a Toronto mortgage broker can get you on the right track.