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Home Ownership

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Moving is pretty much the worst. If you don’t believe me, it’s because you haven’t moved recently enough to remember how crappy it is. The endless packing (and unpacking), the overwhelming stress, the exhaustion, and the endless amounts of junk food. Not good times. I’m fresh off a big move and wanted to share a few of the moving tips I picked up along the way, and things I would do better next time. But hopefully there isn’t a next time for many years. Before the Move Purge, Purge and Purge Some More This is key. The less stuff you have, the less stuff you have to move, and the less it’s going to cost to move it. Moving is the perfect time to declutter. You’re going to have to touch everything anyways, so you might as well get rid of the junk at the same time. Not everything will…

This week I’m turning over the writing reins to a guest publisher. Angela from Zumper has an excellent post for you that is packed with fun projects you can tackle to update your home and make it a little more you. This topic is near and dear to me right now as we’re moving to a slightly bigger place and we’ll have plenty of wall space to fill up on the cheap!  PS. I also have a guest post over on Zumper on how to reduce pet expenses, so head over there and check that one out too.  When money is tight, it’s a good idea to ditch the designer stores and turn to some cheap home decor projects. These 8 DIY decorations will not only freshen up your space; they’ll save you cash at the same time! Here are some great ideas that you can dive into this weekend…

As you guys know, we recently bought a new house. And a new house means a new mortgage. And a new mortgage means debt. And debt is bad, right? Well yes…and no. If you can pay cash for something (and by that I mean charge it to your credit card for the points and pay it off stat), then you should. Paying the bank to charge to lend you money is a loss, there’s no arguing that. But very, very few of us would ever be able to afford to buy a home if we always stuck to that rule. Good Debt VS Bad Debt Let’s say there is a sliding scale of awfulness when it comes to debt. Payday loans are the worst of the worst. They’re like the Charles Manson of debt. They are incredibly punitive, with interest rates often reaching 300% annually. At the other end of…

If you follow me on social media, you may already know this, but I have some exciting news to share. The bf and I have bought a new house!!! We’re going to be packing up and moving a whole three blocks from our existing place to a house that’s more suited for the long term. To say we’re committed to the neighbourhood doesn’t quite do it justice. I’m thrilled about the new place but also anxious about the whole thing because it was completely unexpected. Our original plan was to potentially move or rebuild on our existing lot in another year or two. There was zero talk of making a move this year until less than a month ago. Sometimes life comes at you fast! Why Now? Our neighbourhood is an interesting one because we are central and there has been a push for infill. That means the larger lots with…

If you own or are planning to buy a home in Canada you have likely heard of the Canadian Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC). They are a crown corporation that is assigned the task of maintaining Canada’s housing market on behalf of the federal government. It has been around since 1946 and was initially created to help house veterans returning from WWII. While the creation and maintenance of affordable housing are still one of the mandates of CMHC, they have also branched out into insuring mortgages and developing policy. The reason we’re talking about CMHC today is because many of us Canadians pay them to get into the housing market. I was curious where that money went and why CMHC actually exists. What does CMHC do? While you may know the Canadian Mortgage and Housing Corp for mortgage insurance, they do perform other roles for the federal government. These range…

Today I’ve got a fantastic guest post for you from Britt over at Tiny Ambitions. Britt is a minimalist, a simple living advocate and a tiny house enthusiast. So pretty much everything I’m not, which is why I’m so thrilled to have her input on the blog this week. Minimalism is something I’ve always been interested in but have never had much success pursuing. As much as I want to simplify life, I still like stuff. You might not be onboard with full-blown minimalism but there are factors that will be helpful for everyone, and reducing clutter is definitely one of them.  Without further ado, here’s Britt to help us get our clutter under control…  I know it seems weird to even consider that your stuff is costing you money. How could something you have in your closet or your kitchen cupboard cost you anything – you already own it?! But, when…

Owning your own home is the dream right? Even with the current bloated house prices and terrifying real estate market 86 percent of millennials still consider home ownership important. The problem? It costs a hell of a lot of money to buy a place. The average house price in Canada is sitting at $504,458 (as of June 2017), so even if you put down the smallest possible down payment, that is still going to be over $25,000. If instead, you want to avoid having to pay additional mortgage insurance to CMHC, you are going to have fork over a 20% down payment, and that will cost you over $100,000. That’s a lot of money, and it doesn’t even factor in the additional costs associated with your first home. And I’m going to go out on a limb and guess that you don’t have Rihanna levels of money…you know, since you’re reading…

You’ve likely already heard that the Bank of Canada raised their overnight interest rates last week from 0.5% to 0.75%, but do you really know what that means and how it affects you? For the last decade, we’ve been living with historically low rates in Canada. This is the first time in 7 years that rates have gone up. If you’re a millennial like me, you’ve lived almost your entire adult life under these conditions, but that doesn’t mean it’s the norm. Take a look at the graph below; it was way back in 2008 when rates plummeted after the financial meltdown. I was still in University way back then with little to no clue (or interest) in how that would affect me. Flash forward to 2017, and I have to say that I have benefitted quite substantially from the low-interest rate environment. We bought our house in 2010 and at…

Buying your first home is a HUGE deal! It’s an exciting, stressful and overwhelming time. And more often than not you will feel like you are in way over your head. I remember all too well the whirlwind of emotions throughout the buying process. As a first time home buyer, you want to enjoy the process but it’s also important to go in with your eyes wide open. It can be way too easy to make mistakes and get yourself into trouble. Buying your first home is so much more than just finding a house, getting a mortgage and then owing the bank a huge chunk of money. There’s a lot of factors to consider, and you need to make sure you’ve done your research. It’s common for first-time buyers (sometimes experienced buyers too), to make certain mistakes. Today we’re going to talk about a few of those so that…

It might not look like it from the summery looking shot above, but winter struck Edmonton with a vengeance this week, and it doesn’t look like there is much relief in the near future. The one positive is that we got a little bit of snow, so everything is now white instead of brown, but that doesn’t nearly make up for having to suffer through -30 temperatures for the next week or so. I really hate the cold weather…I realize I’m not alone in this and that I did decide to plant roots here in Edmonton but complaining about the weather (not risk taking) is about the most Edmonton thing we can do 😉 One thing this weather makes me appreciate is where I live; there’s no long commute for this girl! When we decided to buy a house six years ago the most important thing for us was to…