Calgary proposes mass rezoning to ease tight rental market
Hundreds of Calgary
homeowners and investors have been given the chance to have their say on a proposal to allow more secondary suites, or mother-in-law suites, in four wards of the city. The city council wants to rezone the wards to double the number of properties that are permitted to add an additional dwelling. Currently, 32,000 single-family homes in wards 7, 8, 9 and 11 are able to create a secondary suite, consisting of a bedroom, bathroom and kitchen in a self-contained unit; the new plan would make an extra 35,000 homes eligible. Although building and developments permits would still be required there would no need for homeowners to plead to the council for permission. The Calgary Herald
reported that there were two open houses over the weekend for people to go along and have their say on the proposals and that many were in favour of the potential new homes. The proposals will need the approval of the Planning Committee, which meets this month and the full council meeting in May before they can progress. Read the full story.
Canadians urged to check their credit score
Many Canadians who are planning to secure a new mortgage or rent an apartment have no idea if they have a good credit score, or even what would be considered good. A study by Bank of Montreal has found that more than half (56 per cent) of Canadians have never checked their score and just 14 per cent do so at least annually. Millennials were found to be more aware of credit scores and how it might affect lending decisions, but across all age groups around a third of respondents don’t know how to improve their rating. BMO advised that one of the best ways to do so is to pay your bills on time, and if you’re behind with payments then get up to date as soon as you can. Secondly, manage your credit cards but don’t cancel them; having them can improve your score but only if you use them wisely. Thirdly, the bank advised checking your score through credit agencies, such as Equifax, Experian and TransUnion. Check that the information they hold on you is accurate. BMO's Tony Tintinalli commented: "A poor credit rating results in significant financial limitations – everything from being approved for a loan to renting an apartment. A financial advisor can help advise you on the factors and behaviours that can build or maintain a good credit score." Read 'The 5 critical C's of credit every investor must understand'
Zoocasa to stop publishing home sales data
Online real estate brokerage Zoocasa said it will stop publishing home sales data from the end of this week. The Globe and Mail
reported that the site has “bowed to pressure” from the Toronto Real Estate Board, which recently reminded Realtors that they could be blocked from the MLS Listings service if they reveal certain sales data online. Strict rules mean that online services can only provide information with the permission of both buyer and seller, and that the data should be for subscribers only, not publicly available. The debate over what data should be shared and how has been raging for some time. Read the full story.
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