IMPORTANT NOTICE: Property Taxes & Home Owners Grant Due July 2, 2019


The deadline for property taxes and to claim your Home Owner Grant (HOG) without penalty is July 2, 2019.

You may want to double check if you or your lender are paying your property taxes. If it is you, ensure you have your payment in by July 2, 2019, to avoid penalties. If your lender is paying on your behalf, especially if you are in a new mortgage, you may want to call them directly to ensure they have the correct details for making the tax payment on your behalf. If they don’t have the proper details, it can delay payment and trigger penalties.

July 2, 2019, is also the deadline to claim your Home Owner Grant (HOG). Regardless if you are paying or your lender is paying your property taxes, you are responsible for claiming your HOG. For most municipalities, this can be claimed online in less than two minutes. Google your city/township + home owner grant and a link should be available. You will need your 2019 Property Tax Notice for the FOLIO NUMBER and ACCESS CODE to process your claim.

If you have questions feel free to contact me, or reach out to your municipality or lender to verify the required information.

Irene Strong

First Time Home Buyers Incentive - Still waiting

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On March 19, 2019 the Government of Canada announced a program, First-Time Home Buyers Incentive (FTHBI), where insured first-time home buyers can purchase through a shared equity mortgage with Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC). A 2019 Budget strategy that is said to support affordable housing for the middle class while easing the pressures on the limited rental supply and rental rates.

A follow up announcement by CMHC on April 4, 2019 provided a bit more insight to the reasons for the program, but offered little as to how the program will be administered. There are still far more questions than answers and the projections as to how many Canadians this program will help, an estimated 100,000, is questionable. With the limits to the household income of $120,000, the mortgage amount capped at four times the household income and a max purchase price of $505,000 including mortgage default insurance, there is only a very small fraction of the market that will be able to qualify or utilize the incentive.

I have held off commenting on this as there is so little information available to comment accurately and fairly on the merits of this plan. It is expected for this program to launch in September 2019 and, I, for one hope to hear more from CMHC over the coming weeks as to how they see this in operation. Understanding how it will impact a borrower’s overall equity, legal costs for set up of this type of mortgage and how the lenders will qualify each applicant are some of the questions needing answers before anyone can consider applying.

As details are released, I will continue to inform.

Debt: take the pressure off

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There has been a common trend with clients and colleagues over recent months. Life here in the Lower Mainland is expensive. Demands on our finances are high. In fact, Vancouverites carry more non-home equity debt than any other Canadians. And for many that is held on lines of credit and high interest credit cards. 

So why am I telling you this? Many clients are turning to Strong Mortgages to help. And we want to make sure you also know we are here for you and for those you care about. Home equity can often be refinanced to pay down or pay off other debt and rebuild your financial strategy and alleviate the immense emotional stress. 

While this may not apply to you personally, based on statistics, it absolutely applies to at least one of your neighbours. And that is why I am always available to connect by phone or via email for a confidential and candid conversation about refinancing options.

Busy schedules and ignorance will not make it go away. Dealing with debt head on and as early as possible opens avenues of great potential to be in control and managing your debt the way you want to.

Tips to make debt consolidation a successful venture..

Irene Strong

Possible: Mortgage access denied

Possible: Mortgage access denied

IMPORTANT: This could be your face if you were planning to buy or refinance in a couple of weeks. Impending mortgage rules are expected to be announced next month and they will impact 80% of the residential real estate market.  

In July 2017, the Office of the Superintendent of Financial Institutions (OSFI) released draft changes to Guideline B-20 for public consultation. The B-20 Guideline establishes OSFI's expectations for prudent residential mortgage underwriting and is applicable to all federally regulated financial institutions. Public concerns could be addressed up to August 17, 2017.