Renewing Your Mortgage

Here's the thing. I've never renewed a mortgage before. As this is wifey's and my first house, we've never had a mortgage to renew. However, as we approached the 5 year anniversary of moving into our new home, it was also time for the old mortgage term to expire and a renewal would need to be signed.

As we used a mortgage broker last time, we felt it was important to use them again to help us get the best rate possible.
After sending them our updated information, they told us to wait until our mortgage company sent us the renewal documents.
Funny enough, two days later, I was contacted by the mortgage company and we discussed what we were looking for in the renewal.

A few questions that were asked.

Are you looking to do a straight renewal or are you considering borrowing additional money and would you be interested in another variable term or are you and Wifey leaning towards a different option for your new term? Okay, really just one long question. Our situation was …

The Overheated Real Estate Market

Recently, there have been many stories about housing prices in the GTA. Like this one. Essentially, it tells us the neighbourhoods that are "affordable" I use the term lightly as the average prices listed are staggering.

In Toronto, the top five neighbourhoods to buy are:

Pleasant View $891,000East End-Danforth $824,300Victoria Village $965,200Regent Park $817,900 Parkwoods-Donalda $1,182,900
In the GTA, the top five neighbourhoods to buy are:

North Richvale, Richmond Hill $954,500Cornell, Markham $695,700Crosby, Richmond Hill $1,036,400Aurora Grove, Aurora $708,700Rouge River Estates, Markham $926,500. Frankly, if wifey and I were to buy in this market, we wouldn't be able to afford it. Combined with this story from the CBC, it makes sense that there is a lot of buyer's remorse.

Among millennials (individuals between ages 18 and 34), more than a third of them said they already own their own home. But 81 per cent of them said they planned to sell — and many will do so…

Receiving Free Money with an RESP

As I mentioned before, shortly after receiving baby girl's SIN, I opened up an RESP account at Questrade.

The first thing we did after the account was opened was to take advantage of the free government grants. How do we do that? Well, by funding the account.

There were two grants that we could take advantage of.

First was the basic one called the Canada Education Savings Grant (CESG). This one, you can receive an extra 20% on top of your contribution on your first $2,500 of contributions for that calendar year. Strictly speaking, that means you can contribute $2,500 a year to maximize the amount you can receive in the form of grants. If you contribute more than that, you would still only receive the grant on the first $2,500. Even if you contributed $5,000. There are some exceptions. Like if you missed a year and are catching up. However, as baby girl was born late in 2016 and we wanted the money in the account ASAP, we contributed $2,500 in November.

The second grant is called …