26 Dec

5 House Hunting Mistakes to Avoid


Posted by: Clarissa Yap

Buying a home is one of the largest investments you will ever make! In order to make your home hunting experience the best it can be, there are a few key mistakes to avoid and be aware of before you start your journey:

  1. Not Getting Pre-Approved: One of the most important aspects of buying a home is the mortgage application and approval process. No matter what type of home you are looking for, you will need a mortgage. One of the biggest mistakes when it comes to the home-buying process is NOT getting pre-approved prior to starting your search. Getting pre-approved determines the actual home price you can afford as it requires submission and verification of your financial history to ensure the most accurate budget to fit your needs.
  2. Not Setting or Following a Pre-Determined Budget: Another mistake that people make when home-hunting is not setting, or following, a pre-determined budget. It can be tempting to start looking at the top of your budget, or even slightly over, but when you consider closing costs and the long-term financial responsibility of home ownership, it is best to avoid maxing yourself out. Getting pre-approved will help determine what you can afford, as well as making an appointment with your mortgage broker to determine your financial situation and the best options for you now, and in the future.
  3. Not Hiring a Real Estate Agent: Your mortgage broker and your real estate agent are two of the most important members of your homebuying A-Team! In today’s competitive real estate market, it can be very difficult to acquire property without the help of a realtor. One reason is that realtors can provide access to properties that never even make it to the MLS website! They can also gain access to information about homes that may come onto the market, before a listing is even signed. Most importantly though, a realtor understands the ins-and-outs of the home buying process and can tell you how to be successful in your endeavors to purchase a home by guiding you through the process from the first viewing to having your bid accepted.
  4. Focusing Too Much on Aesthetics: While we understand that bad interior design can really affect the perception of the home, you don’t want to be blindsided by it. At the end of the day, aesthetics can always be updated! Giving up the perfect price or location or size for a few aesthetic details (such as paint color, flooring, or even outdated appliances or light fixtures) is one of the biggest mistakes people make! Most homes have incredible bones that only need some minor tweaks to become your perfect space.
  5. Not Thinking Ahead: What you want and need in a house today, could be very different from what you want and need in a house in the future. It is important to be able to look ahead – are you planning on having children? Are your parents getting older and in need of a retirement space? These are things that are good to take into consideration when buying a new home. Buying a home isn’t a permanent decision as you can always sell your home later on if it doesn’t work for you in the future, but it is almost always easier to plan ahead so you can grow with—and not out of—your home whenever possible.

If you are looking to purchase a new home, whether your first space or a step-up from your current living situation, I would be happy to help! Please don’t hesitate to reach out to set up a virtual appointment and discuss your mortgage options, pre-approvals and everything you need to know BEFORE you get started.


Written by DLC Marketing Team
26 Dec

How the CHIP Reverse Mortgage helps you with your cash flow over the holiday season


Posted by: Clarissa Yap

The holiday season is certainly a time filled with joy, but it can be a very expensive time of year. Between gifts, travel, decorations, parties, and food, Canadians find themselves spending more during the season. According to a study by Ipsos, 46% of Canadians are stressed about the holiday season and think inflation will make it more difficult to buy gifts.

Despite inflationary concerns, Canadians aren’t holding back on their holiday spending; A survey conducted by the financial post revealed that 50% of Canadians will turn to their credit cards for financial relief this festive season. Since credit cards have some of the highest interest rates, consumers will have balances carrying over into the new year leading to credit card debt. Today, credit card debt is at an all-time high as usage reaches historic heights.

How the CHIP Reverse Mortgage can help

If you’re worried about racking up charges on your credit card this holiday season, the CHIP Reverse Mortgage by HomeEquity Bank can help. The CHIP Reverse Mortgage is a financial solution for Canadians over the age of 55 that gives you access to up to 55% of your home’s equity in tax-free cash.

The money received can be used however you wish. This could include consolidating debt, including credit cards, handling unexpected expenses, or increasing cash flow during expensive periods, such as holidays.

There are a couple of advantages the CHIP Reverse Mortgage has over regular credit cards. First, the CHIP Reverse Mortgage has much lower rates than your typical credit card. Second, there are no monthly mortgage payments with the CHIP Reverse Mortgage until you decide to sell or move*. This can help increase monthly cash flow and relieve the stress of holiday debt payments.

The flexibility of the CHIP Reverse Mortgage also makes it an attractive solution. You don’t have to take the full amount of the reverse mortgage you qualified for; you can access funds whenever the need for cash flow arises – for the holidays, a summer vacation or even the next holiday season. The choice is yours!

For further details and to see how the CHIP Reverse Mortgage by HomeEquity Bank can help you, please contact me at Info@ClarissaYap.com.

*You must continue to pay your property taxes and insurance and maintain your home in good condition.


Written by HomeEquity Bank

19 Dec

Home Security Tips


Posted by: Clarissa Yap

Your home is your biggest asset and it is important to protect it. When it comes to the various areas in your home, some key points for security are your windows, doors and exterior of your home.

We have put together some top tips to help get you started and avoid any unwanted attention!

Securing Windows

  • Reinforce the windows on your first floor with window stops.
  • Make sure you keep your windows locked at night or when you go out.
  • Frost the windows on your garage to avoid wandering eyes.
  • Consider adding window sensors for an added layer of protection.

Securing Doors

  • Change out the locks whenever you move into a new home.
  • Use deadbolts instead of spring-latch locks.
  • Install door reinforcement hardware on any outward facing doors (including sliding doors).
  • Consider installing a video doorbell to help you see who is at the door whether you’re home or out.

Exterior Security

  • Install motion-detector lighting outdoors to shine a light on potential intruders.
  • Keep your shrubbery short to avoid giving intruders hiding places.
  • Install security sensors in any detached buildings, like a garage or pool house.
  • Maintain any trees and shrubbery to ensure a clear view.

Interior Security

  • Install a home security system or a security camera.
  • Password protect your Wi-Fi network.
  • Always leave a few lights on at home, even when you’re out.
  • Secure your smart devices within your home and beyond, including your phone.
Written by DLC Marketing Team
12 Dec

What to Know Before You Sell Your Home


Posted by: Clarissa Yap

So, you are ready to sell your home! Whether you are up or down-sizing, selling your home can feel like a large undertaking – that’s where we come in. To help make this process as smooth as possible, we have put together a list of a few things to know before you sell:

Improve Your Curb Appeal

When it comes to selling your home, first impressions matter. If a potential buyer pulls up to see overgrown weeds, clogged gutters or cracked concrete, they may have a negative first impression of the home, making it harder to impress them once they are inside. Attending to landscaping and any outdoor maintenance or repairs will go a long way in making your home more appealing. A pressure wash and new coat of exterior paint can also do wonders to give your home a facelift!

Get Rid of Clutter

In addition to updating your homes curb appeal prior to sale, you also want to ensure that you are de-cluttering your space. Removing personalized photos, collectables, memorabilia and other Knick knacks will help open things up and allow potential buyers to envision their own belongings in those spaces. While major renovations are not necessary, a fresh coat of paint and managing any minor repairs will also help to ensure the best first impression!

Set a Reasonable Asking Price

One of the most important aspects for the successful sale of your home is to price accordingly. Even though it can be difficult, when selling your home it is vital to avoid emotional decisions or anchoring your listing price to your home’s previous value.

Choose the RIGHT Real Estate Professional

A real estate agent can help you maximize the sale of your home by working to get you the best asking price and help you walk through the sales process. Once you have a realtor in mind, it is best to conduct an interview to ensure they are the right fit for the job and that their interests align with yours.

Understand the Costs

Before you get to the point of reviewing a purchase offer, you should have a reasonable understanding of potential gains (or losses) within your acceptable price range.

To do this, you need to understand the costs of selling your home, which include:

  • Real estate sales commissions
  • Closing fees
  • Title charges
  • Transfer and recording charges
  • Additional settlement charges, if applicable
  • Debt obligations related to existing mortgages

If you’re looking to sell your home and need mortgage advice, please reach out to me at Info@ClarissaYap.com to assist you with your next steps!


Written by DLC Marketing Team


5 Dec

Facts About Using a Guarantor


Posted by: Clarissa Yap

In the mortgage world, a “guarantor” is someone who guarantees the mortgage on behalf of the mortgage holder in the case that the mortgage holder cannot pay back the loan.

Typically, a guarantor is used in a situation where the buyer has damaged or poor credit history or they lack sufficient income to qualify for the value of the loan. Adding a guarantor can help get these types of files approved as this allows the lender to know they will be paid back should the mortgage holder default.

*It is important to  note that a guarantor is not the same as a co-signer.

Below are some key facts about guarantors and what makes them different from a co-signer:

  1. The guarantor must be a spouse or immediate family member. This is not necessary for a co-signer who could be a friend or distant family member.
  2. A guarantor typically does not have their name on the title of the property but it will be on a mortgage. In the case of a co-signer, the name is typically on both the title of the property AND the loan.
  3. Guarantors cannot qualify for their own mortgage or large loans if they are responsible for guaranteeing a different loan.
  4. There is heightened risk on the side of the guarantor as they are responsible for the entire amount of the loan should the borrower default. In order to qualify, they must meet the requirements for credit check, income, liabilities and assets. Any potential guarantor should seek legal advice before signing for the loan to ensure they understand the contract.

Whether you want to be a guarantor for someone else’s mortgage, or you need one for your own, be sure to contact me at Info@ClarissaYap.com before making any decisions. I’ll be more than happy to help you review your options and explain the terms of the agreement or simply answer any questions you may have.


Written by DLC Marketing Team