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Linda Klein, Kamloops real estate. How to Finance your Renovation

Wednesday, June 3rd, 2015
Courtesy of Mark Bertoli, Abbott Wealth
Home improvement is always in fashion. But the big question for many homeowners isn’t what to do, it’s how to pay for it. There are many ways to secure the financing you need, and each has advantages in certain situations.

Home equity line of credit
A line of credit gives you access to a predetermined amount of credit on demand. Generally, you can borrow up to 75% of the appraised value of your home — up to 90%, if the line of credit is insured. You take what you need, when you need it, and pay interest only on the outstanding amount.

A line of credit secured against the value of your house will typically be issued at a lower rate than an unsecured loan or personal line of credit. Accessing the home equity line of credit is easy and convenient. You may have the option of writing cheques or using a credit card or bank card.

Repayment is also flexible. You can pay some or all of the outstanding balance at any time without penalty, or make interest-only payments.

Increase your existing mortgage
Increasing the amount of your mortgage may be the right renovation-financing option for you if your mortgage is coming due, if you are selling one house to buy another, or if you are taking out your first mortgage.

It may also be a smart move if you’re locked in to a long-term mortgage at a significantly higher rate than is currently available. In this case, any penalty you may incur could be offset by the savings in interest over the long term.

While this option lacks the flexibility of a line of credit, the advantage for many is knowing that the borrowed funds are structured to be paid back in a set amount of time. And interest rates can be fixed, if you choose — unlike a line of credit, which floats against prime.

A second mortgage
A second mortgage is just that — a mortgage that is in addition to your first mortgage. Like a first mortgage, a second mortgage is a loan with a specified rate of interest and repayment schedule.

A second mortgage can be a good choice for homeowners who are locked in to a longer-term mortgage, but wouldn’t benefit from breaking their first mortgage. Lending rates for a second mortgage may be higher than a first mortgage.

Like increasing your mortgage, this option trades repayment flexibility for the peace of mind of knowing the debt will be paid down if you stick to the repayment schedule. Every situation is unique. But we can help you determine your best option.

Linda Klein Kamloops Real Estate Mortgage rates for week of February 9th 2015

Wednesday, February 11th, 2015

DLC Weekly Rate Minder courtesy of Starr Webb

• Explore Mortgage Scenarios with Helpful Calculators on
Terms Bank Rates Our Rates
6 Month 3.14% 3.10%
1 YEAR 2.99% 2.69%
2 YEARS 2.94% 2.39%
3 YEARS 3.44% 2.54%
4 YEARS 3.94% 2.64%
5 YEARS 4.79% 2.74%
7 YEARS 6.04% 3.79%
10 YEARS 6.50% 4.39%
Rates are subject to change without notice. *OAC E&OE
Prime Rate is 2.85%
Variable rate mortgages from as low as Prime minus 0.65%

Linda Klein Kamloops Real Estate, Property assessments as a measure of value

Thursday, February 5th, 2015

When homeowners receive provincial Property Assessment notices, some will smile and have a bit more spring in their step, feeling the assessed value is accurate or perhaps even overly positive. Others will wilt and lament a modest gain or even a decrease in the assessed value over the previous year or period. Reactions will of course vary factoring in the potential increase in property taxes that tends to come along with stronger assessments.  The reality, setting aside taxation concerns, is that neither parties’ emotions should be tied to the ‘value’ printed on these notices. 

A provincial property assessment is an approximate value based on the (broadly) estimated market value as of the previous years. There is a lag time between the estimation of valuation and delivery of the envelope. It also fails to involve a formal site visit or viewing of the inside of the home to consider either significant upgrades or significant deterioration.

To put this in perspective, few lenders will work with a detailed official appraisal report that is even 90 days old.  Most prefer a report completed with 30 days, as markets can move significantly month over month.

For these reasons, among others, a provincial property assessment should not be relied upon as a totally concrete indicator of value for the purposes of either purchase, sale, or financing.

Always enlist a licensed professional, or perhaps even two or three, in order to get a timely and detailed appraisal of current market value. This will provide a much more accurate reflection of current market values reflecting recent comparable sales, value for zoning, renovations and/or other unique features to the property.  An appraiser is an educated, licensed, and heavily regulated third party offering an unbiased valuation of the property in question.

Think of your provincial property assessment as something akin to a weather forecast spanning far larger and more diverse areas than the unique ecosystem that is your neighborhood, street, and specific property.

The forecast may call for rain in your city, yet you might have a ray of sunshine radiating upon your street specifically.





Kamloops homes, Linda Klein Realtor, Property Transfer Tax Information

Monday, February 2nd, 2015

Use our Property Transfer Tax Calculator.

The Property Transfer Tax is a tax payable to the Provincial Government by purchasers of real estate. The tax applies to all types of real estate, whether residential, commercial or industrial.

The amount of the Property Transfer Tax is 1% on the first $200,000.00 of the property’s fair market value and 2% on the remaining fair market value. For example, if the fair market value of the property is $200,000.00, the tax payable would be $2,000.00 (1% of $200,000.00). If the fair market value of the property is $250,000.00, the tax payable would be $3,000.00 (1% on the first $200,000.00 = $2,000.00 and 2% on the remaining $50,000.00 = $1,000.00).


“Fair Market Value” is best described as the price that would be paid for a property on the open market (which is usually the actual purchase price paid for the property).

There are a number of exemptions available to avoid this tax, the most common being for “First Time Home Buyers”. To qualify as a First Time Home Buyer, the following criteria must be met:

  • Purchaser must never have owned an interest in a principal residence anywhere in the world at any time;
  • Purchaser must be a citizen of or a permanent resident of Canada;
  • Purchaser must have resided in B.C. for 12 consecutive months immediately before the date they become the registered owner, or the Purchaser has filed two income tax returns as a British Columbia resident within the prior 6 years of becoming the owner;
  • To obtain full exemption, the purchase price must not exceed $475,000.00. A partial exemption is available for homes between $475,000.00 and $500,000.00 (see formula below);
  • Purchaser must move into the property within ninety-two days after registration of the purchase of the property and reside in the property for at least one year;
  • Pro rata exemption where property exceeds .5 hectares or a portion of the property is not residential (i.e. commercial lofts) – purchase price of entire property must not exceed the price limitations.

Other exemptions exist as well, such as a transfer of a principal residence between family members. For details on this and other exemptions, go to and pick the “Property Transfer Tax” button located on the right hand side on this screen.

Property Transfer Tax should not be confused with Property Tax. The Property Transfer Tax is a one time tax paid to the Provincial Government by purchasers of real estate. The Property Tax is the tax paid on an annual basis to the local City/Municipality.

Please remember that the Property Transfer Tax Act may frequently change along with the exemptions for payment of this Tax. While we try to keep our website up to date as much as possible, please do not rely upon the information without talking to one of our lawyers.

The information you obtain at this site is not, nor is it intended to be, legal advice. You should consult a lawyer for individual advice regarding your own situation.


Copyright © 2008 by The Spagnuolo Group of Real Estate Law Firms. All rights reserved. You may reproduce materials available at this site for your own personal use and for non-commercial distribution. All copies must include this copyright statement.

RBC reduces mortgage rates

Tuesday, January 27th, 2015

RBC cuts mortgage rate, price war coming?
It was always going to happen, but while last week the big lenders were reluctant to pass on the Bank of Canada’s interest rate cut to borrowers, this week there’s talk of a price war. Royal Bank of Canada is the first of the big banks to cut mortgage rates, dropping its five-year fixed rate deal to 2.84 per cent and also cutting its other fixed products. Flexible rates are unchanged though along with other lending from the bank. Of course, these rates are the bank’s published deals and brokers frequently secure better ones, but a ‘battle of the rates’ creating headlines can only help the perception that now is a great time to buy. How low those rates go is anybody’s guess, but there are already predictions of sub-two per cent mortgages.

Buying a home in Kamloops – Title Insurance

Wednesday, January 21st, 2015


What started years ago as a replacement for a survey certificate has now become standard on real estate purchase or refinance transactions. If you are buying or refinancing your home, expect title insurance to be a requirement of your lender.

What is Title Insurance?

In its simplest form, title insurance protects the lender and homeowner against a number of risks related to the property’s title or ownership.

What does Title Insurance cover?

From the point of view of most lenders, the main coverage is fraud, which can occur in a variety of ways.

With identity theft on the rise, it is not difficult for a fraudster to obtain legitimate identification claiming to be the true owner. The fraudster then deals with realtors and lawyers as if they were the owner, and proceeds to sell the property. Alternatively, the fraudster may work with a lender or mortgage broker, again with identification, to place a new mortgage on the property. In either situation, the true owner is unaware of the fraud and the fraudster absconds with the sale or mortgage funds.

Other typical examples include spousal impersonation and lawyer fraud.

In most cases the Assurance Fund of the Land Title Office may reimburse the true owner, but this may take several months and thousands of dollars in legal fees. Title Insurance is usually quicker and less expensive.

In addition to protecting against title fraud, title Insurance can cover:

a. violations of municipal by-laws;
b. encroachments onto an adjoining property;
c. property tax arrears;
d. existing work orders;
e. lack of legal access to the property;
f. unpaid strata assessments;
g. zoning and setback non compliance;
h. forced removal by a governmental authority of a structure built without a required building permit;
i. legal status of any septic system;
j. gap coverage.

How much does Title Insurance Cost?

For properties with a purchase price under $1,000,000.00, the cost of title insurance is generally $225.00, with $175.00 to the Lender Policy, and $50.00 to the Owner Policy. For every additional $1,000.00 over a purchase price of $1,000,000 the price increases by $0.90.

Unlike life or house insurance, purchasing title insurance is a one time cost, with no annual premium.


Courtesy of Spagnuola Group

Copyright © 2015 by the Spagnuolo Group of Real Estate Law Firms.  All rights reserved.  You may reproduce materials available at this site for your own personal use and for non-commercial distribution.  All copies must include this copyright statement.

Weekly Mortgage rates for week of January 12th 2015

Tuesday, January 13th, 2015

DLC Weekly Rate Minder courtesy of Dominion Lending Centres

Terms Bank Rates Our Rates
6 Month 3.14% 3.10%
1 YEAR 2.99% 2.69%
2 YEARS 2.94% 2.59%
3 YEARS 3.44% 2.69%
4 YEARS 3.94% 2.79%
5 YEARS 4.79% 2.89%
7 YEARS 6.04% 3.79%
10 YEARS 6.50% 4.39%
Rates are subject to change without notice. *OAC E&OE
Prime Rate is 3.00%
Variable rate mortgages from as low as Prime minus 0.65%

About Royal LePage

Thursday, January 8th, 2015


Royal LePage is Canada’s oldest and largest Canadian owned real estate company. Founded in 1913 by Albert LePage when he was just 26 years old, Royal LePage is now Canada’s largest real estate company with more than 14,000 agents in more than 600 locations across the country. And we firmly believe that you can only become the oldest and largest company by being the best.

Over the years, we’ve learned a lot about real estate – and how to provide the best possible service for our clients. Since the mid-1990s, Royal LePage has more than tripled the size of its sales force and almost doubled its market share.

Throughout our successes, we remain dedicated to helping you through the real estate process. Our commitment to innovation and customer service is as strong as ever.

We offer all of our REALTORS® – from those serving tiny communities to those in major urban centres – strong support from our national pool of knowledge, skill and technical expertise. We regularly invest time, money and resources to develop and provide the knowledge and tools they need to best market your home, including:

  • Up-to-date information about local market conditions
  • Quarterly housing reports
  • Creative brochures and newspaper ads to showcase your home
  • Ongoing negotiation, marketing and technical training

Tuesday, January 6th, 2015

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Pillar To Post: The Home Of Home Inspection - New Years Resolutions for the Home
Many of us make optimistic resolutions for the New Year. Whether it’s deciding to take a class, stick to a budget, or to finally drop those 20 pounds, we’re full of ideas on how make ourselves and our lives better. Because your home is such an important part of your life, why not make some worthwhile resolutions for it as well? Here are some ideas to get you started.
One of the most important things you can do as a homeowner is to make sure routine maintenance is part of your plan. Catching problems early can often help you avoid larger issues down the road. What is now a minor plumbing or roof leak can cause major problems if not detected and fixed immediately. Check around your home for cracked or peeling paint, have chimneys and fireplaces inspected and cleaned, and make sure the driveway and walkways are not cracked or lifting.
If you’re like many homeowners, it’s probably been a while since you’ve reviewed your home insurance policy and reassessed the value of your home’s contents. An updated home inventory of your possessions can help you determine if you have the proper type and amount of insurance. Your insurance company may make forms available to help you organize and record your inventory, and there are several home inventory software programs available. You also can download a free program from Should you have an insurance claim for property loss or damage, your inventory can help make the process and accurate valuation easier.
There are simple things that every homeowner can do to improved energy efficiency and save on utility bills. Switching from conventional light bulbs to compact fluorescent versions wherever possible saves money and makes things easier for you, too. For example, you will need to replace bulbs in awkward places less often. Make sure windows and doors are caulked and in good repair; this will save energy in both winter and summer. If you’re planning to replace any appliances this year, shop for and compare efficient, energy-saving models.
Everyone knows the importance of having a plan in place should a fire occur in your home. But each year, tragedy strikes homes and families who didn’t think about it or who promised to make a plan “one of these days”. The basics include working and properly installed smoke detectors, fire extinguishers, and an escape plan for every room. Your local fire department is an excellent resource for directions on creating a plan designed to keep you and your loved ones safe. Give yourself some peace of mind by making this the year to put that plan in place.

For more information about home inspection and for additional resources, please contact your local Pillar To Post office.

Cliff Brauner

Certified and Registered Home Inspector

Member of CAPHI, NAHI and ASHI

Proudly Serving the Kamloops, Merritt, Chase, Cache Creek, Sorrento, Shuswap and Barrier areas.

We know our stuff!


Phone: 250-579-8309

Fax:      250-579-8378

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Pillar To Post | 869 Ida Lane | Kamloops | British Columbia | V2B 6V2 | Canada

Canadian home sales hold steady in November

Tuesday, December 23rd, 2014

Ottawa, ON, December 15, 2014 – According to statistics released today by The Canadian Real Estate Association (CREA), national home sales activity was unchanged on a month-over-month basis in November 2014.


  • National home sales were unchanged from October to November.
  • Actual (not seasonally adjusted) activity stood 2.7% above November 2013 levels.
  • The number of newly listed homes edged down 0.4% from October to November.
  • The Canadian housing market remains balanced.
  • The MLS® Home Price Index (HPI) rose 5.2% year-over-year in November.
  • The national average sale price rose 5.7% on a year-over-year basis in November.

The number of home sales processed through the MLS® Systems of Canadian real estate

Boards and Associations was unchanged in November 2014 compared to October. As a result, activity remains much improved compared to the quiet start to the year.

November sales strengthened in half of all local housing markets, with monthly increases in Montreal, Edmonton, Winnipeg, Hamilton-Burlington, Barrie, and Windsor-Essex tempered by a monthly decline in the Greater Toronto Area.

“The Canadian housing market remains a story about how sales and prices are still running strong in some areas while others are seeing subdued levels of activity with slower price gains or modest price declines,” said CREA President Beth Crosbie. “All real estate is local and your REALTOR® remains your best source for information about how the housing market is shaping up where you currently live or might like to in the future.”

“The effect of lower oil prices on Canada’s housing markets is something of a wildcard at the moment,” said Gregory Klump, CREA’s Chief Economist. “It’s not clear how far oil prices may drop or for how long they’ll stay down. How that plays out may affect the outlook for interest rates, job growth, consumer confidence, and sentiment about making major purchases.”

Actual (not seasonally adjusted) activity in November stood 2.7 per cent above levels reported in the same month last year. November sales were up from year-ago levels in about half all local markets, led by Greater Vancouver and the Fraser Valley, Calgary, and Greater Toronto.

Actual (not seasonally adjusted) sales activity for the year-to-date in November was five per cent above levels in the first 11 months of 2013. It was also slightly above (+2.4 per cent) the 10-year average for year-to-date sales.

The number of newly listed homes edged down 0.4 per cent in November compared to October. Led by Greater Toronto, new supply was down in just over half of all local markets.

The national sales-to-new listings ratio was 56 per cent in November. While this is marginally tighter compared to the previous three months in which it averaged 55.7 per cent, the broader trend for the ratio indicates that it has remained balanced and largely stable for the past four months.

A sales-to-new listings ratio between 40 and 60 per cent is usually consistent with a balanced housing market, with readings above and below this range indicating sellers’ and buyers’ markets respectively.

The ratio was within this range in almost 60 per cent of all local markets in November. About 60 per cent of the remaining markets posted ratios above this range, almost all of which are located in British Columbia, Alberta and Southern Ontario.

The number of months of inventory is another important measure of the balance between housing supply and demand. It represents the number of months it would take to completely liquidate current inventories at the current rate of sales activity.

There were 5.8 months of inventory nationally at the end of November 2014. As with the sales-to-new listings ratio, the number of months of inventory has been stable for the past four months and remains well within balanced market territory.

The Aggregate Composite MLS® HPI rose by 5.19 per cent on a year-over-year basis in November. Price gains have held steady between five and five-and-a-half per cent since the beginning of the year.

Year-over-year price growth decelerated among all property types tracked by the index in November compared to October.

Two-storey single family homes continue to post the biggest year-over-year price gains (+6.79 per cent), followed closely by townhouse/row units (+5.63 per cent). Price growth was comparatively more modest for one-storey single family homes (+4.20 per cent) and apartment units (+3.18 per cent).

Price growth varied among housing markets tracked by the index. As in recent months,

Calgary (+8.53 per cent), Greater Toronto (+7.73 per cent), and Greater Vancouver

(+5.69 per cent) continue to post the biggest year-over-year increases. By contrast, prices in Regina declined by 3.36 per cent.

In other markets from West to East, prices were up between 1.6 and 2.8 per cent on a year-over-year basis in the Fraser Valley, Victoria, and Vancouver Island, by less than one per cent in Saskatoon and Ottawa, flat in Greater Montreal, and down by less than one per cent in Greater Moncton (Table 1).

The MLS® Home Price Index (MLS® HPI) provides a better gauge of price trends than is possible using averages because it is not affected by changes in the mix of sales activity the way that average price is.

The actual (not seasonally adjusted) national average price for homes sold in November 2014 was $413,649, up 5.7 per cent from the same month last year.

The national average home price continues to be raised considerably by sales activity in Greater Vancouver and Greater Toronto, which are among Canada’s most active and expensive housing markets. Excluding these two markets from the calculation, the average price is a relatively more modest $331,743 and the year-over-year increase shrinks to five per cent.

– 30 –

PLEASE NOTE: The information contained in this news release combines both major market and national sales information from MLS® Systems from the previous month.

CREA cautions that average price information can be useful in establishing trends over time, but does not indicate actual prices in centres comprised of widely divergent neighbourhoods or account for price differential between geographic areas. Statistical information contained in this report includes all housing types.

MLS® Systems are co-operative marketing systems used only by Canada’s real estate Boards to ensure maximum exposure of properties listed for sale.

The Canadian Real Estate Association (CREA) is one of Canada’s largest single-industry trade associations, representing more than 109,000 REALTORS® working through some 90 real estate Boards and Associations.

The data included on this website is deemed to be reliable, but is not guaranteed to be accurate by the Kamloops 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.