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Whether you qualify for a mortgage through a bank, credit union or other financial institution, you should be aiming for a credit score of 680 for at least one borrower (or guarantor), especially if you are putting under 20% down. If you are able to make a larger down payment of 20% or more, then a score of 680 is not required.

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New Year is always an exciting time. The end of one year and the beginning of the next. And, of course, as always, along with the celebration, it’s a time where many people set new goals for themselves. New Years resolutions. Health Clubs in January do brisk business, as do health food and diet supplements.

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Who would have thought back in December 2020, when for the first time in over 35 years, we had to cancel our annual Christmas Gala due to COVID-19, that one year later we would still be contending with the same issue? But contend we were.

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A vast majority of parents are currently supporting their children (ages 18-35 years) financially, spending an average of $5,623 per year! This is an extensive additional cost that most parents cannot afford. In fact, over 30% of parents are seeing delayed retirement in order to help kids with post-secondary costs and are facing an inability or delayed timeframe in paying off their own debts.

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Last month we took a look at expenditures you might make on your investment properties in the way of repair, maintenance and upgrades, and we saw that those costs could be handled in one of two ways, depending on the nature of the work done. They could either be expensed or they could be capitalized. Expensed, we saw resulted in a dollar-for-dollar deduction against income, while capitalized items would add to the capital cost of the property. And that capital cost, could if you so chose, be depreciated over time. Today I’d like to look at that whole issue of depreciation.

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Last month, you may recall, we saw a slight dip in the average sale price across the region, down in November to $745,970 from the $753,060 figure in October. A drop of less than 1%, but a drop nonetheless. And, in fact, that drop was reflected in every one of the municipalities we track across Niagara, with the exception of Welland. That drop we felt was not an indication of any sort of downward trend. Monthly fluctuations are often the norm even in an accelerating market. And, in fact, now that the December figures are in, we see the average price across the region has bounced back up to $752,221, pretty much where it was in October.

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COVID-19 has brought many challenges for people when entering contracts. With new variants unfolding routinely, the disruption can leave many people facing delays or cancellations of things that they have contracted for, such as weddings and events. It is worth considering how this uncertainty may impact real estate transactions and businesses generally.

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