The latest Coronavirus news from the Province

As the Ontario government carefully and gradually reopens the province, those taking public transit, returning to work or going out shopping are being urged to continue to adhere to public health advice as the best line of defence against COVID-19. To assist the public, the Ministry of Health today released specific recommendations on how to choose, wear and care for appropriate face coverings used in public where physical distancing is not possible, along with additional safety measures for provincial transit agencies.

The details were released today by Premier Doug Ford, Christine Elliott, Deputy Premier and Minister of Health, and Caroline Mulroney, Minister of Transportation.

“Now that we are in Stage 1 of our Framework for Reopening the Province, more people will be returning to workplaces, going to stores and parks, and using public transit,” said Premier Ford. “I strongly urge everyone to continue following the public health advice, such as physical distancing and restricting gatherings to five people or less. Although we are making progress, COVID-19 is still a risk that we must guard against. Please stay safe and protect yourself and others.”

Since the beginning of the outbreak, Dr. David Williams, Ontario’s Chief Medical Officer of Health, has advised people to wash their hands often, stay at home if feeling ill, and practise physical distancing by staying at least two metres apart from anyone outside their household. Now that the province is reopening, the Chief Medical Officer of Health and other health experts are recommending that individuals wear a face covering where physical distancing is not possible, such as on public transit or in a small grocery store or pharmacy. In order to assist people and reduce the risk of transmission of COVID-19, the Ministry of Health released the following face covering recommendations:

  • Wear your face covering safely and snugly to cover your nose and mouth, without any gaps. Ensure your face covering is made of at least two layers of tightly woven material and can be cleaned multiple times without losing its shape;
  • Medical masks, such as surgical and N95 masks, should be reserved for use by health care workers, those providing direct care, first responders and individuals who are ill and must leave their home for essential reasons such as seeking medical care, picking up medication or groceries;
  • Face coverings should not be placed on or used by children under the age of two; anyone who has trouble breathing; and anyone who is unable to remove it without assistance.

“If you need a face covering, it is critically important people wear one that is appropriate for the situation,” said Minister Elliott. “Those taking transit or going out who can’t physically distance should wear non-medical grade cloth masks. We need to reserve all of the medical masks to protect our frontline health care workers, first responders and people who are ill.”

Workers and employers may also consider using face coverings as an additional public health measure in addition to mandatory occupational health and safety measures.

To assist provincial transit agencies in protecting transit staff and riders in this new environment, the Ministry of Health is also recommending the following measures be put in place:

  • Physical distancing of at least two metres by admitting fewer passengers and using physical markers between seats;
  • The use of face coverings, particularly when physical distancing is not feasible;
  • Ensuring the availability of alcohol-based hand rub upon entering and exiting the vehicle;
  • Implementing engineering controls like plexiglass windows between drivers and passengers; and
  • Enhanced cleaning, particularly of high-touch surfaces.

5 easy at home projects to boost curb appeal

With the current situation and many people not wanting to have open houses, it is becoming more important to boost your curb side appeal.

Here are some easy tips from Tembo to help you sell your home!

1. Make sure your grass looks fresh and is cut!

2. If you have any areas of the outside of the home that need touch up paint jobs, be sure to do so before putting on the market

3. Plant flowers/ have a garden! This will brighten up the home and show potential buyers the natural beauty of your home

4. Clean the outside of the home by pressure washing.

5. Wash the windows. An easy tip to make your house more appealing! Window washing should be done to show how you maintain your property!

These 5 easy tips should help attract buyers. Boosting curb side appeal right now is more important than ever, especially while not having as many open houses!

Stay positive and remember that its the little things that count! Something as small as planting a few flowers will brighten up the outside of your home in no time!

Good luck with the sale of your home!

What is Loan to Value?

In a past blog post we touched on the topic of Loan to Value.

Loan to value is the amount of money that you owe on your property, divided by the amount that your home is worth.

There are many ways to determine the value of a property. Some are appraisals, and comparing other houses in the area. Tembo financial does not always require an appraisal on the home, and also uses and internal system that can give a proper valuation of the home.

Loan to value is important when applying for a loan. It can mean that certain lenders will give you the loan, and some will not.

The higher the loan to value of the property is, the harder it may be to qualify for a mortgage.

If you have questions about your loan to value and how you can qualify for a loan, call us any time!

Predictions for the future of real estate & renting

Tembo would like to share some quotes from key stakeholders in the financial, real estate, and banking sector on the medium term to longer term impacts of COVID-19 on the real estate and rental markets.

These quotes were pulled from a blog entry on Toronto Storeys’ website. We have taken a few of the many quotes outlined in the broad blog post, and have added some others as quoted by various media outlets:

TD Bank – “TD said its forecasts are subject to an “extremely high degree of uncertainty.”

CIBC – “Overall, as the fog clears, we expect to see average prices 5-10% lower relative to 2019 levels, with high-cost units in the high-rise segment of the market seeing the most notable price declines.”

RBC – “We believe the extraordinary policy response from all levels of government and the Bank of Canada, as well as accommodating measures offered by financial institutions, will soften the blow.”

RE/MAX – “What is more likely to happen, as a result of this public health crisis, is more of a levelling off, rather than significant dips. The prices have been climbing at such a steep, unsustainable rate, that they were bound to be reined in at some point. However, with levels of housing inventory so low in so many of the country’s hottest markets, it’s unlikely that any price change will be jaw-dropping, or even noteworthy.”

Urbanation (rental activity) – “As rental demand declines as job losses mount, incomes are reduced, and immigration shrinks, the slowing in the GTA rental market that appeared in the last half of March will progress for at least the next few quarters given the current economic outlook. The impact on rents will be something to watch, which will also be influenced by the timing of the record number of units that were expected to complete this year.”

CREA – “The expected volatility in overall economic activity in the coming quarters will not skip the resale market,” CIBC economists Benjamin Tal and Katherine Judge wrote in a report released Friday. “By 2021, as the economics of housing returns to fundamentals, we expect an array of factors to result in a weaker market with some downward pressure on prices.”

Dream Office REIT CEO Michael Cooper – “Really, 2022 is going to be a time frame where you can look at what the value of a building is and deal with it with confidence — you know what the rental rates are, what the demand is. I’m planning for tough, tough times ahead, just because I think it’s prudent.”

Housing sales are down

In April, 16.6K seasonally adjusted sales were completed across the country according to the Canadian Real Estate Association (CREA).
The last time we saw sales fall to these kinds of low levels was December 2008 – in the immediate aftermath of the 2007-8 recession. At the time, the blip in sales quickly turned into a historic bull run in real estate values, activity, sales, and enthusiasm which was effectively sustained right up until the cool down in the market in 2018. We can’t predict the future but if economic activity stabilizes it’s likely that the housing market will recover with similar levels of gusto and force as in the last major financial and economic downturn. 
It’s important to note that the pace of sales price changes in the immediate aftermath of the 2007-8 soared. From lows of 40% declines in sales at the end of 2008, to sales increases at over 70% by late 2010. 2013-16 saw a sustained boom in housing that routinely saw sales increases in the 5-20% increase year on year. In Toronto alone, the number of housing sales was just over 2,500. This equates to a 69% decline, only exceeded by Montreal. The lowest fall in sales occurred in Winnipeg, where a less than 40% decline was noted. Manitoba has not been hit particularly hard by COVID-19, with most of the damage being felt by Ontario and Quebec. Manitoba went as far as voicing its preference to potentially shutting down non-essential border traffic with Ontario.
While the sheer number of housing sales has fallen precipitously, prices and demand are effectively frozen in place. Luxury sales and buying is still healthy, and by many indicators is and will do better as skittish capital rich individuals from abroad move their money into Canadian real estate. Highlighting the importance of construction, Ontario never fully locked down the construction sector – pieces of it were deemed essential from the get-go. As of May 19th, most construction activity will return to normal. This is good news for the market as it proves that the supply equation will not evaporate to the extent that buying transactions have. Overall, our housing market has held firm against the onslaught of COVID-19, and is likely simply in a deep freeze. 

What is a private lender and when are they useful? 

Private lenders are able to lend you money just like the regular banks would, however, the criteria and way that they lend will be different. 

Rather than having a set rule for criteria, private lenders are generally more flexible about the types of clients they can loan money to. 

For example, being self employed, you may have a hard time finding a bank that will offer you a mortgage.

Often, self employed workers work with private lenders who do not look at your employment as criteria. Rather, private lenders will often look at your loan to value, and how much equity is available in your home. 

Loan to value is the amount that you currently owe on your home, divided by what your home is worth. To determine how much your home is wroth, there are many ways in which lenders may look at the value. Having an appraisal done is one way, however, Tembo Financial does not always require this.  Comparing other homes in your area, and an internal system may give all the information needed for a home valuation. 

Private lenders can lend you more money than the banks generally would, so many people use them as a second mortgage in order to take out more equity in their home. 

Contact us at Tembo Financial to see if a private mortgage is right for you! 

Relaxing from home

During this hectic time in our lives, it’s important to take a second to your self and relax. Living with others for a long period of time may be difficult for some, and being alone for an extended period can also be hard on people. It is important in these times to remember that this is all temporary. 

Relaxing can come from any aspect of your life. It can mean taking a quick walk around the block to get fresh air, working out, calling a friend, doing a puzzle, or simply just meditating for a couple of minutes.

Tembo Financial understands the stress that you are under. We are here to help alleviate any financial stress that you may be under right now and are here to support you through some of the toughest times of our lives.

Please reach out to us if there is anything we can assist you with, and remember to take a moment out of each day, just to relax! 

6 Ways to prepare for an online webcam meeting:

During this time while everyone is at home and meetings have become virtual, we have noticed a few steps to take in order to ensure that you are prepared for your virtual meetings! 

  1. Clean the area which is in the view of the webcam. Try not to have clutter or things that could distract your audience during your call.
  2. When you are not speaking in the meeting mute your self! While others are talking you do not want to move your computer and make noise for everyone else to hear. 
  3. Put a note on your door for others in your home to know that you are in a meeting. Sometimes it can be hard when sharing a workspace at home. Putting a note on the door of your meeting times should help.
  4. Maintain engaged. Try not to wander your eyes around your room. Being at home can be distracting! 
  5. Test your speaker and wear earphones to ensure your speaking clearly and your viewers can hear without a lot of background noise.
  6. Make sure that the room you are in has light coming from in front of you. Natural light behind you will make your screen appear dark for your viewers.

We hope these tips come in handy for any virtual meetings that you may have! 

Getting your home ready for a virtual tour

Preparing your home for an open house is extremely important. It shows potential buyers what they can do with the space upon move in. In today’s day, with all tours being virtual, there are some key points to note while listing your property for sale.

  1. Make sure that your virtual tour is filled with light. Natural light will help highlight the key elements of your home
  2. Be sure to de-clutter! Even though you are not having buyers walk through your home, remove any clutter so that the buyers can really get a grasp of the space they are looking at.
  3. Curbside appeal. Without being able to physically walk through your home, it is possible that your potential buyers will want to drive by the home before putting in an offer! Be sure to polish your front lawn and have a clean outside area. This will attract buyers without them even being inside of your home!

Virtual tours are taking over the real estate market. Don’t let that fool you! People will still be looking at every corner of your home and it is as important as ever to present your home well.

Debt Consolidation Loans

During stressful times it is easy to fall behind on bill payments. With many jobs laying their employees off, and the uncertainty that we are living in, it is easy to put off paying your bills. Falling behind on bill payments will impact your credit score and may effect your financial decisions in the long run.

Instead of falling behind on your payments, you can take a home equity loan. Using the money tied up in your home can give you the funds you need to stay on top of payments, and not accumulate more debt. This is money that can be made available to you, with few documents needed.

Tembo Financial offers debt consolidation loans so that you can take away the stress of missed and late payments, while paying a lower interest rate. The loan from Tembo Financial differs from regular banks and institutions by not looking at your credit score as a credential for approval!

Tembo Financial help you raise your credit score in uncertain times, and assist you in refinancing when the time is right for you. Speak to a representative at Tembo to see how you can qualify for a debt consolidation loan!