Helping Frustrated Renters Become HAPPY Homeowners

There might be a silver lining to this Covid crisis we are gradually emerging from but is still very much a part of our lives.

It’s giving us an excuse for everything.

“My partner and I have never fought so much in our lives. Blame it on Covid!”

“Sorry, I forgot to call as promised. My head is all screwed up. Blame it on Covid!”

“My bill is overdue? Didn’t Covid exempt me from paying it? I’m calling the credit bureau to take it off my report because of Covid.”

“Self-isolation has made me a Netflix addict. Blame it on Covid!”

“I was so antsy to get out of the house, I went on a shopping binge. I maxed out my credit card. Blame it on Covid!

These are just samples (not from my life). You’ve heard them, too, some perhaps legit, many probably just convenient.

Last Tuesday was an absolutely chaotic day in my world, partly because it became an absolutely chaotic day in someone else’s world, and compounded by a misunderstanding by another party in my life adding another layer of chaos. Chaos upon chaos upon chaos, all to be sorted out in one day. It was nuts! I’m sure it must have been Covid!

Sunday, my houseboat broke down. Had to be Covid!

A bit of good news in real estate

A few weeks ago this blog informed you of a coming change in CMHC policy that would make it a little tougher (though not by much), to qualify for a mortgage. CMHC is the government-controlled insurer of most high ratio mortgages (i.e., any with less than 20% down), all of which must be insured. Once again, Big Brother had decided he knew better than we what was good for us and needed to protect us from ourselves.

But, although the law requires that high ratio mortgages be insured, it does not require the insurance to be with CMHC. There are other, private insurers, as well: Genworth Financial and Canada Guarantee. They typically follow the lead of CMHC.

This time they didn’t. They came out with their own statements indicating that they disagreed with CMHC reasoning in tightening the rules, that they didn’t feel Canadians were that vulnerable at this time, and that they would not be changing their policies.

Good on them, taking a stance independent of Big Brother!

But one wonders how long they can maintain it. They’ll now get the insurance contracts on the deals that CMHC refuses—in other words, the marginal ones, leaving them with a disproportionate number of marginal files. Default rates may climb, forcing them to charge more for their insurance or step in line with CMHC.

But, for now, it means home buyers’ qualifying limits don’t need to be further compromised.

Fifteen minutes of fame

I don’t know whether any readers saw my articles in The Sun and Province last Tuesday, June 30 (Yes, the same day I was dealing with chaos upon chaos upon chaos.)

I guess it must have been a slow news day.

Anyways, they published a somewhat edited (shortened) article I’d submitted back in February about my bucket list adventure in Central America. It filled two full pages in The Province and one full page in The Sun.

I’d obviously hoped they’d publish the story when I submitted it. I didn’t expect to be so late though, and that I be prominently featured.

At least the temporary notoriety was an exciting adventure, Covid and chaos notwithstanding.

They published the full, unedited version online. In case you are interested, here is the link.