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Decluttering Your Desktop: Get Desktop under Control

May 17, 2017
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No, Im not talking about the top of your actual deskill talking about your Vista desktop. If your like me, you spend a lot of time finding just the right picture to display.

Then you get involved in a project and start saving files to the desktop because that easier than burying them in some hierarchical sub directory click here to know. Or you download a new software program and all of a sudden youve got five new shortcuts on your desktop.

I have three answers to your problem: Simple, Quick, and Slick.

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Delete them. Right click on an icon and select Delete. Or you can hold down the Control key and select several icons, then right click on them and delete all at once. Windows will give you a chance to change your mind by asking if you are sure you want to do that.

If youre worried you might delete an important program, dont be. First of all, they like to hide deep under your Program Files where its safe. Secondly, youll notice that most icons have a little curvy arrow on them. That means they are just a shortcut to a program. If you delete a shortcut, you dont delete the programyou can still start it by going to your Start Menu and finding the program folder.

As a failsafe, know that everything you delete just goes to your Recycle Bin anyway. To restore from there, open My Computer, click on the Recycle Bin on the left of the window, then right click on the file or shortcut which you wish to restore.

Any files on your dektop can be moved instead of deleted if you need to keep them. Right click on the icon, then select Cut instead of Delete. For the next step, open My Documents, navigate to a folder of your choice, then right click and Paste.

QUICK

Simple is pretty simple, but it can take a long time and requires a lot of decision making. So you might want to go straight to the Quick solution. Right click on an uncluttered portion of your desktop, scroll over to the right, and unclick Show Desktop Icons.

Now the only thing left on your screen will be your desktop background picture. You can reverse the process anytime you want by right clicking again and telling it to show your icons.

SLICK

There is, however, a way to have your uncluttered desktop and easy access to your icons, too. First, Unshow your desktop icons using the Quick method above. Then just add a shortcut to your Desktop on the Taskbar at the bottom of your screen.

Right click on the Taskbar, scroll up to Toolbars and then over to select Desktop. Now look off to the lower right corner of your screen. Click on the double arrow next to the word Desktop and all your icons will pop up above the cursor for you to pick and choose as needed. Desktop convenience at your fingertips.

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Glossary of Mortgage Terms

May 13, 2017
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When getting a new Mortgage a lot of information is being passed to you. We have compiled a list of Mortgage terminology that may help you better understand what you are signing up for!

Agreement of Purchase and Sale – A legal agreement that offers a certain price for a home. The offer may be firm (no conditions attached), or conditional (certain conditions must be fulfilled before the deal can be closed).

Amortization Period – The time over which all regular payments would pay off the mortgage.

Appraisal – The process of determining the value of property, usually for lending purposes. This value may or may not be the same as the purchase price of the home.

Appraisal Value – An estimate of the market value of the property.

Borrower: An individual who requests a loan from a bank.

Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC) – The National Housing Act (NHA) authorized Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC) to operate a Mortgage Insurance Fund which protects NHA Approved Lenders from losses resulting from borrower default.

Certificate of Title – A document setting out instruments registered against the title to the property.

Closed Mortgage: A mortgage that cannot be prepaid or renegotiated before the term’s end, unless the lender agrees and/or the borrower is willing to pay an interest penalty.

Closing Costs: Fees associated with the purchase of a home, in addition to the purchase price of the home. Closing costs – such as legal fees, transfer fees, and disbursements – are payable on the closing day of the mortgage.

Closing Date – The date on which the sale of a property becomes final and the new owner usually takes possession.

Conditional Offer – An offer to purchase subject to conditions. These conditions may relate to financing, or the sale of an existing home. Usually a time limit in which the specified conditions must be satisfied is stipulated.

Conventional Mortgage – A mortgage that does not exceed 80% of the purchase price of the home.

Counteroffer: When the seller has amended something on your original offer, such as the price or closing date. If a counteroffer is presented, you have a specified amount of time to accept or reject it.

Credit Report: The main report a lender (bank) uses to determine whether you can repay the loan. It includes information about your ability to handle your debt obligations and your current outstanding obligations.

Debt-Service Ratio – The percentage of the borrower’s gross income that will be used for monthly payments of principal, interest, taxes, heating costs and condominium fees.

Deed (Certificate of Ownership) – The document signed by the seller transferring ownership of the home to the purchaser. This document is then registered against the title to the property as evidence of the purchaser’s ownership of the property.

Default: Failure to fulfill the terms of a mortgage loan agreement. This could result in legal recourse taken against the borrower by the Lender

Deposit: Money placed in trust by the purchaser when an Offer to Purchase is made. The money is held by the real estate representative or your lawyer/notary, and is paid to the vendor when the sale is closed.

Depreciation: The decrease in value of something over time.

Down Payment: The portion of the home price that is not financed by the mortgage loan. Minimum of 5% of the purchase price. The buyer must pay the down payment from his/her own funds or other eligible sources before securing a mortgage

Equity – The difference between the market value of the property and any outstanding encumbrances.

Fire Insurance – Before a mortgage can be advanced, the purchaser must have arranged fire insurance. A certificate or binder from the insurance company may be required on closing.

Fixed-Rate Mortgage – A mortgage for which the rate of interest is fixed and will not fluctuate for a specific period of time (the term).

Foreclosure – A legal procedure whereby the lender eventually obtains ownership of the property after the borrower has defaulted on payments.

Gross Debt Service (GDS) Ratio – The percentage of gross income required to cover monthly payments associated with housing costs.

Gross Household Income: Gross household income is the total salary, wages, commissions and other assured income, before deductions, by all household members who are co-applicants for the mortgage.

High Ratio Mortgage – A mortgage that is greater than 80% of the property’s value. This mortgage will have to be insured by a mortgage insurer such as CMHC

Holdback – An amount of money required to be withheld by the lender during the construction or renovation of a house to ensure that construction is satisfactorily completed at every stage.

Inspection – The examination of the house by a building inspector selected by the purchaser. This is generally optional but definitely recommended

Interest Rate: The amount charged by a lender for borrowing money (annual percentage).

Interest Rate Differential Amount (IRD) – An IRD Amount is a prepayment charge that may apply if you pay off your mortgage principal prior to the maturity date or pay the mortgage principal down beyond the prepayment privilege amount. The IRD amount is equivalent to the difference between your annual interest rate and the posted interest rate on a mortgage that is closest to the remainder of the term less any rate discount you received, multiplied by the amount being prepaid, and multiplied by the time that is remaining on the term.

Interim Financing – Short-term financing to help a buyer bridge the gap between the closing date on the purchase of a new home and the closing date on the sale of the current home.

Lender: An organization that lends money to a borrower.

Lump Sum Prepayment: An extra payment made to reduce the balance of your mortgage, with or without penalty.

Maturity Date – The day the mortgage agreement comes to an end. Ideally you will want to visit your mortgage broker a few months in advance of this date to discuss any available options.

Mortgagee and Mortgagor – The lender is the mortgagee and the borrower is the mortgagor.

Mortgage Approval/Commitment Letter: A written notice from the mortgage lender (bank) to the borrower that approves a specific amount of mortgage funds.

Mortgage Life Insurance – A form of reducing term insurance available on mortgages.

Mortgage Loan Insurance: If you have a high-ratio mortgage (more than 80% of the lending value of the property) your lender will probably require that you purchase mortgage loan insurance, which is available from CMHC or a private company.

Mortgage Payment: A regularly scheduled payment that is often includes both principal and interest.

Mortgage Term – The number of years or months over which you pay a specified interest rate.

Open Mortgage – A mortgage which can be prepaid or paid in full at any time, without restriction or penalty.

Payment Frequency – The frequency at which the regular mortgage payments are made. They can be weekly, every other week, twice a month or monthly.

P.I.T. – Principal, interest and taxes.

Porting – An optional available on many closed term mortgages This allows you to move to another property without having to pay a penalty to do so.

Prepayment Charge – A fee to borrowers when the borrower prepays all or part of a closed mortgage more quickly than is allowable according to the terms of the mortgage agreement.

Prepayment Option – The ability to prepay all or a portion of the principal balance.

Principal – The amount of money borrowed for a new mortgage.

Refinancing – Renegotiating your existing mortgage agreement. May include increasing the principal or paying out the mortgage in full.

Renewal: At the end of a mortgage term, your mortgage may be renewed with new terms and conditions. You are not required to renew with the same lender and should visit your mortgage broker to ensure you are getting the best deal before renewing.

Security – In the case of mortgages, real estate offered as collateral for the loan.

Term: The length of time that mortgage conditions including interest rate are in effect.

Total Debt Service (TDS) Ratio – The percentage of gross income needed to cover monthly payments for housing and all other debts and financing obligations.

Variable Rate Mortgage – A mortgage for which the rate of interest may change if other market conditions change. This is sometimes referred to as a floating rate mortgage.

Vendor: The individual who is selling a property (also called the seller).

 

 

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What is Mortgage Default Insurance?

April 8, 2017
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For a lot of people the process of obtaining a mortgage can be a bit overwhelming. One of the most important things to us is that our clients complete this process feeling like they were always well informed and had a good understanding of what they were signing up for.

One of the most common things we are seeing with mortgages today is what we refer to as Mortgage Default insurance. Mortgage Default Insurance is coverage that must be placed on any mortgage that has less than a 20% down payment. The premium is based on how much is being put down and calculated using the mortgage amount after down payment is subtracted. See the table below for premium rates.

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**Table taken from https://www.cmhc-schl.gc.ca/en/co/moloin/moloin_005.cfm (CMHC is one company that deals in Mortgage default insurance)

Based on the table above we will calculate the premium for a home with a purchase price of $300000 with a 5% down payment.
$300000(purchase price) – $15000(5% down payment = $285000 x 4% (premium for 5-9.99% down payments) = $11400. This premium gets added right onto the original mortgage amount. In the example this would put the total mortgage amount at $296400.

Mortgage Default insurance is paid by the borrower and is in place to protect the lender should the client default on their mortgage. With less down payment the lender is assuming more risk and that is why the premium is the highest with a smaller down payment. Should the borrower default on their mortgage the mortgage insurer plays a strong roll in payment enforcement and any legal proceedings. In a foreclosure the default insurer will compensate the lender for any shortfall. This does not mean the borrower is off the hook they will still be held accountable to repay this money.
The benefit to borrowers is they are able to buy a home with less down payment. This means less time spent paying someone else’s mortgage in rent while trying to save up a down payment.

Mortgage Default Insurance gives the borrower the ability to invest in their own property sooner than they would be able to otherwise. With housing prices today this opens up the possibility of home ownership to a larger population of people. So while we can see that Mortgage default insurance is not cheap it has proven beneficial to many people wishing to invest in themselves and buy a home.

Jessica Bartolf
Mortgage Associate
Mortgage Alliance Advance Mortgage
Jessica Mortgage Broker Red Deer

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Steps to Obtaining a Mortgage

July 25, 2016
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Steps to Obtaining a Mortgage

If you have been curious about the process in getting a new mortgage then this blog should answer some of the questions you may have!happy new year Whatsapp status

1)Speak to a Mortgage Broker about obtaining a pre-approval. Remember a pre-approval only gives you a general idea of the price range you should be shopping in. It can also hold an interest rate for you while you search for your home.

2)Once your Mortgage Broker has given you your pre-approval you can now contact your realtor about starting the search for your home.

3)When you have found a house you want to purchase and an offer is in place you can contact your Mortgage Broker to begin the formal approval process.

4)Your Mortgage Broker will then provide the property information to the chosen lender. The lender will then review the information. They will ask for documentation to support the information that has been provided. Your Mortgage Broker will walk you through what you need to supply. These items may include but are not limited to,
– A current pay stub – A job letter – Tax related documentation
– Verification of your down payment

5)When all documentation has been supplied to your Mortgage Broker and reviewed by the lender, the lender will advise if the financing condition can be removed from your offer.

6)Your Mortgage Broker will make arrangements for you to sign any documents with them and the lender. They will also require the information for your Lawyer. Your Lawyer will be sent any necessary information and you will need to sign the paperwork they have.

7)When all these steps have been completed your mortgage will be ready to go for move in day!

Jessica Bartolf
Jessica Mortgage Broker Red Deer

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Why Are You Looking to Buy a Property?

July 18, 2016
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If you are looking to buy a home, the first thing to think about is:

Why:

There are many reasons for buying a home, is it to live in, rent out or buy and sell as an investment? All are great reasons, the why will help you know how and what??

Important before the How and What:

Get a Pre-approval!!! This is bar none the absolute most important first step! You can not get to the next step until you know if you can even purchase a home. In today’s financial system you need to prove income, debt and down payment source before it can be determined what and if you can take that next step in purchasing. A Great Mortgage Broker will help you with that, we have the knowledge to assist you and pace you through all that is needed from start to finish.
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How:

Find yourself a great realtor and know not all are made alike. Word of mouth, past dealings with one or if not sure check out some real estate websites and individual profiles. Then interview, choose and stick with the one you choose for your purchase, they are there to assist you throughout the purchase process. Yes, sometimes you may pick the wrong one, they can be fired you know. Comfort and confidence go along way it making the transaction pleasant and streamlined.

What:

What type of property are you looking for, location and of course price. Some of this will be dependent on whether you are going to live in the property or rent it out. A good realtor will assist you with that if they know the market you are looking in and they are current with that market. Your decision could very well depend on investment as well as lifestyle. Are you looking for a fixer upper or fully developed and ready to move into. Do you have the time for renovations if they are needed, building a fence and landscaping if buying a new home?? These are extremely important questions to ask yourself.

Mortgage Alliance Advance Mortgage is your first stop, we will get you to the next!!!

Brenda MacKay

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Mortgage Investing

February 20, 2016
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Are you looking to diversify your portfolio and see a positive return on your investment? Mortgage investing may be the right choice for you. At Mortgage Alliance Advance Mortgage, we help facilitate mortgage investing opportunities for those looking to dive into the world of real estate.
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We pride ourselves on excellent service and our knowledgeable team. We’ll help you navigate the complex waters of mortgage investing and do our best to educate you about your financial options.

We understand that a lot is riding on your investments, and that you’ve got plenty of choices when it comes to your hard-earned money. That’s why we pledge to take the time to explain the benefits of mortgage investing and answer any questions you have along the way.

Is mortgage investing right for you? For more information or to schedule an appointment with a dedicated member of our team, call Mortgage Alliance Advance Mortgage today.

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Credit Rating

February 20, 2016
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Your credit rating can impact your ability to secure financing. At Advance Mortgage we’ll make sure to look over your report with you. If you see errors, we can discuss how you may be able to dispute the information. When we’re filling out your application, we’ll be attentive to even the smallest details. We can explain how different mortgages work in order for you to make an informed decision!
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