The First Conservative Ontario Budget in 15 years

This week, the new Ford PC government released its first budget. The document outlines a new vision for the province and sets of the government’s fiscal strategy for the next few years. Contrary to the views of many, the budget did not implement massive cuts. Healthcare and education spending will be increasingly modestly, spending for most other areas will either rise extremely modestly and will be effectively frozen over the next few years. When adjusted for inflation, most departments and Ministries will see their budgets cut.

 

The province’s headline announcement is transit related. Premier Ford wants to see a number of new public transit lines built, including a 3-stop Scarborough subway, a subway to Richmond Hill, a downtown relief line from the Science Centre to Queen St .East westward to Ontario Place, a transit line along Sheppard Ave. East, and a subway across central Etobicoke. The province is setting aside over $11 billion to the construction of these lines and expects the federal government and the regional municipalities involved to foot the rest of the project $28 billion cost of these projects. If completed, these lines will have enormous implications for densification, land values, traffic, and economic growth. But massive public transit plans have been announced by provincial governments of all political stripes repeatedly over the last 40 years, and few projects have actually been completed.

There were few mentions of housing, housing affordability, or real estate; these announcements are likely to come later given recent reviews of the industry. There will be a new child tax credit for parents which is quite substantive. Overall, the budget is transit focused and seeks to maintain spending at levels where they are presently.

This Year’s Federal Budget

Budget 2019 is the final Liberal budget before this year’s election. It outlined billions of dollars in new spending to please key Constituencies across the country. The Federal government has seen its revenues rise by over $10 billion from a strong and growing economy and wasted no time in maintaining its deficit figures and boosting outlays.

The budget does, however, deliver major initiatives designed to address housing anxieties, this blog post will discuss those measures.

 

First time home-buyer incentive program

The Feds have announced a $1.25 billion first time home buyer incentive program. Households with less than $120,000 in income will be able to receive up to 10% of a home’s down payment interest free from the CMHC (Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation). This amount of money is expected to be repaid on the eventual sale of the home. For a $400K condo, this equates to $40K in government money for a down payment. In other words, the government will provide you with tens of thousands of dollars which will be taken away from the overall equity of the home. This will also lower monthly mortgage payments by roughly $200 a month.

 

RRSP usage

The budget also boost the amount of money a first-time buyer can withdraw from his or her RRSP for a home purchase. Individuals can withdraw up to $35,000, and a couple can withdraw $70,000 for their home purchase. This was the first time this amount was amended in over 10 years. The Feds are aiming to get both the RRSP increase and incentive program initiated and out the door by September.

 

New housing builds

The Feds also announced the construction of over 40,000 new housing units in low-supply areas to be built over the next decade. These units will be rental. This announcement builds on past promises to build more housing and honours the government’s election promise of adding housing stock.

 

Now Creative Group November 1, 2017 No Comments

Your smartphone is now your financial advisor? Applications that will set you on the path to financial success.

If you’re anything like us – you’re always glued to your smartphone device. With every application you can imagine, our smartphones have quickly become our navigational system, entertainment system – and our financial advisor? That’s right – there are a ton of very useful (and easy to use) apps out there that will not only help you track your money, but manage it as well. Here are a few of our favourites at Tembo Financial:

Mint

Mint is a free app compatible with both IOS and Androids and allows you to track your finances, let’s you know if you’re about to go over budget, as well as categorize the types of spending you do. We love this app specifically for the later feature. Four dollars a day on a cup of coffee doesn’t seem so bad – but trust us, it ads up quite a bit. Tracking where your money is going to specifically can help you make much smarter financial decisions.

LearnVests

Although this app is unfortunately only available on IOS – it has its major pros (sorry Android users). Similar to Mint, LearnVests helps you track your spending and budget. But what makes LearnVest Different is its focus on financial literacy. LearnVest’s roots are in financial literacy and education, so it offers plenty of reading material in both the app and website, based on topics you select as important to you. We think this is a great feature for anyone who is still new to the world of bills, rents and debt. Understand how to spend wisely, and save will greatly benefit you down the line.

Budget Boss

This super easy app is an amazing way to evaluate the effectiveness of your budget. Creating a budget is one thing, but is it smart? Budget Boss analyzes the budget you’ve created and makes recommendations and estimations based on those numbers. Thinking 5… Even 10 years down the line is a bit of a daunting task. Budget Boss helps you create the smartest budget for your financial future.

Although these are only three out of many financial applications available, we truly believe that investing a little time tracking your spending, and creating a budget that works for you, will set you on the path to financial success.

Now Creative Group March 20, 2017 1 Comment

Home Buying Tips for First Timers

Bigger down payments are better: Aim for 20% of the value of the home, don’t forget that you can use any RRSP funds you have towards the purchase; usually up to $25,000. Bigger down payments result in lower monthly mortgage payment.

Be mindful of closing costs: First time buyers can fail to factor in the costs of home inspection, legal fees, transfer taxes, paying for appraisal, interest adjustments, and insurance costs. All together these costs can total 1-5% percent of the overall costs.

The government will help, a little: The Government of Ontario recently doubled the first-time homebuyer’ maximum land transfer tax refund to $4,000. The increased rebate went into effect on January 1 of this year. If you’re buying a condo or home that costs less than $368,000, you won’t pay land transfer taxes.

Create a moving budget: Moving isn’t cheap. If you hire a moving company and are travelling long distances, it’ll cost you. Appliances, new furniture, renovation’s and repairs, even insurance rate changes are some of the potentially hidden costs of moving you should keep in mind.

Start with a condo: If you are like most people, you’ll want a slice of paradise and a detached home. And, like a lot of people in todays market, this will be too expensive for your reach. Buying a condo is one way that will help you build equity  within a relatively short period of time to help enable you to upgrade and afford a small home. Progressively leapfrogging from one property to another is a great path to the home of your dreams.

Have you sold your home, and now can use an advance on your equity before closing day, perhaps you need money for renovations?  Tembo Financial can help!  Tembo offers this unique service to homeowners in Ontario and the GTA. You could receive your money in as little as 48 hours with no credit check and no appraisal* for expenses that matter to you.  Don’t wait, start today!

*Subject to qualification.