Harry

How one's financial life divides up in Canada

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johankok

Is there perhaps someone with recent SA / Toronto comparisons?

e.g. R 20K / per month = approx. CAD xx per month (obviously something like that will also depend on lifestyle).

I'd like to know the similar for Alberta as well.

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miena

Not a full answer but helpfull...

World's Most Expensive Cups Of Coffee

Zack O'Malley Greenburg 07.24.08, 12:01 AM ET

Vladimir Ilyich Lenin must be rolling over in his grave. Just 17 years after the collapse of the Soviet Union, the one-time capital of communism is now home to the world's most expensive cup of coffee. The average cup of joe in Moscow is $10.19, including service, according to a new survey by the London office of U.S. consulting firm Mercer.

The rest of Europe isn't much kinder--coffee is $6.77 in Paris and $6.62 in Athens. International travelers looking to satisfy their caffeine cravings should look to South America and Africa for relief: At $2.03 per cup in Buenos Aires and $2.36 in Johannesburg, both continents offer relief to cash-strapped java seekers. New York is far from the most expensive, weighing in at a mere $3.75.

"The cost of living survey is conducted in stores of international standard, frequented by expatriates," says Nathalie Constantin Métral, a research manager at Mercer's office in Geneva, Switzerland. "We collected the price for a cup of coffee in bars and cafés of international standard frequented by expatriates in Moscow, and those places are very expensive."

The figures are a part of Mercer's annual cost of living survey, which covers 143 cities across six continents and measures the relative cost of more than 200 items in each location, including housing, transportation, food, clothing, household goods and entertainment. The results are used to help government agencies and multinational companies determine compensation allowances when sending employees abroad.

They better up the budget for Moscow trips, if they haven't already. Along with that $10 cup of coffee, an international newspaper clocks in at $6. So along with something to eat, even a modest-spending business traveler has racked up more than $20 in expenses from waking up and starting the day just as he or she would at home.

In addition to purveying the world's most ruinous roast, Moscow topped Mercer's overall cost of living index for the third year in a row, finishing ahead of Tokyo and London. The average monthly rent on a two-bedroom luxury apartment in Moscow costs $4,500. (In Tokyo, where space is at a premium, the apartment rent averages out to $5,128.84 ... but the coffee there is only five bucks, not 10, and the morning paper will only run you $1.40).

Though it can feel expensive at times, New York isn't even among the top 20 most expensive cities, according to Mercer. This year the Big Apple slipped from No. 15 to No. 22 on the list, and is the only American city in the top 50.

What's the most you've ever paid for a single cup of coffee? Share your experiences in the Reader Comments section below.

Coffee isn't the only everyday commodity that will cost U.S. citizens abroad. A ride on London's tube costs $5.89, the highest mass transit cost of any city on Mercer's list. If you want to buy a CD, don't go to Prague--unless you want to dish out $33.53, on average. Americans traveling to Dublin might want to go on a vegetarian diet--the average burger is $10.12, nearly twice as much as Moscow's $5.75.

Moscow's prices continue to rise across the board, but there is some relief in sight for coffee drinkers. Last year, beleaguered Starbucks (nasdaq: SBUX - news - people ) opened its first location in the Russian capital following a victory in a lengthy dispute with a Russian patent squatter. Muscovites complained about the prices from the get-go, but Starbucks' brew is actually lighter on the wallet than most. According to The Moscow News, the company's notorious lattes ranged in price from 150 to 200 rubles, or $6.42 to $8.56 at today's exchange rates.

Here is the link...http://www.mercer.com/costofliving

also noteworthy....

Toronto 54th and...

The lowest ranking city from Europe, Middle East & Africa was Johannesburg, South Africa (140th)

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JanSalJanNat

@Harry would you recommend a newcomer not buy a house for the first year/ years in order to save up a deposit as much as possible?  We bought a house in SA, which we will be selling before we leave, and it's really sad to see how much of our bond we pay on interest.  The interest rate is not that high in Canada but it seems there's a lot of extra's that you need to consider.

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Tracey22

Everybody has an experience in buying houses that range from getting one before you arrive to not buying one at all.  I have a friend who does not believe in home ownership, and has rented the same home for 25 years.

We rented for the first 6 months of being here.  this helped us decide what area we wanted to live in.  The difference a deposit makes on buying house is whether or not you have to pay for mortgage insurance, and at what rate.  the cost of mortgage insurance ca be found on CMHC, Genworth or Canada Guarantee's website.

properties in GTA, GVA are priced way above the national average.  So the decision to buy really depends on where you want to live, and whether you buy into the mass belief that property ownership produces wealth.

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M-N
On 2018-01-10 at 4:44 AM, JanSalJanNat said:

@Harry would you recommend a newcomer not buy a house for the first year/ years in order to save up a deposit as much as possible?  We bought a house in SA, which we will be selling before we leave, and it's really sad to see how much of our bond we pay on interest.  The interest rate is not that high in Canada but it seems there's a lot of extra's that you need to consider.

I usually recommend waiting. 

1. If you're not used to Canadian winters it's easier to live in a condo if you are able to.  You don't have to do any winterizing and it gives you time to get used to winter and learn the ins and outs.  Owning a home in Canada is a bit different than owning one in SA.  

2. If you're in a new city you may want to first get to know the city before choosing a suburb. You may decide you like the idea of living close to downtown and end up hating it. So decide what you like and rent first. 

3.  Mortgage rules have changed from this year meaning they will now do a stress test to see if you can afford a mortgage. Here an Article explaining what it's about. Basically  even if you qualify for 600k the stress test may put you at 500k.  

We rented a condo for about a year and ended up buying in the opposite end of the city, lol.  

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JanSalJanNat

Great advice, thanx @M-N

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JanSalJanNat

Hi, I see this is an old post but I have a question.  We moved to Canada in May, we settled in Montreal and are currently renting a furnished condo & starting to look at our options for renting or buying next year.  The rent in my opinion is the same or more than what a bond would be but the catch is you need to put down atleast 5% of the property's value as a deposit.  With all the expenses that comes with emigrating, we can only now start putting money away which means we won't be able to have a full 5% deposit by May 2019.  We also have a house in SA still that we are struggling to sell which means most of our cash is still in that house until we manage to sell eventually. 

The real estate agent we are speaking to gave us a recommendation but we are on the fence about this.  There's something called an RRSP loan, as first time homeowners we are allowed to take an X amount from our RRSP loans and then we can get a Line of credit to make up the deposit.  She then has a bank that gives you a loan at 5.5% interest rate with a 5% (of the propety's value) cashback which you can use to immediately pay back the RRSP loans and Line of credit.  Where my issue comes in is that a lot of people are telling me that the interest rate now is between 3.5-4%, which means we will be paying A LOT extra on interest if we go that route but the house prices are increasing like crazy at the moment so we want to get into the market before it becomes much more difficult to buy.

What would be your opinion on this, do we take the hit & just get into the market or do we rent another year and hope the market stays like this for another year?

 

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Karen 1225

Good luck with the conundrum. I would just suggest that you speak to an attorney. Apparently you only get the perks of first time home owner if its your first home ever. Forst time home buyers in canada do not have to pay transfer fees, BUT when she looked into this it came out that since we had homes in SA we do not qualify for this. 

 

Since you will be in canada for at least a year you will have a bit of credit history and i think it is different per province but we had to put down 20% so just double check on thaoe things. Alot of the time we as new comers do not really qualify for all these fancy stuff that they have. 

 

But i would say if possible do it. Its only 1,5% and usually you have to refinance after 5 years anyway. 

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JanSalJanNat

Thank you Karen.  Luckily we qualify even though we have property in SA, I have asked them about this & they said they don't look at our property in SA at all.  In Quebec, the minimum deposit is 5% but 4 of the 5 goes into mortgage insurance.  The larger deposit you put down the less % goes to mortgage insurance.

It's scary though to spend that much money on a house but if we don't spend it on our house we will be spending it on someone else's.

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LidiaS77
3 hours ago, Karen 1225 said:

Forst time home buyers in canada do not have to pay transfer fees,

This is true, but in BC it is only applicable if the home is less than I think $500k. If it's more than $500k you still pay the transfer fees, even if you are a first-time home owner. Also, as far as I know they do not consider you a first-time home owner in BC if you've owned a house in another country.

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MaryJane

5.5% seems high actually. My mortgage is fixed at 2.99% and at the time, I thought this was already high.

If you are able to scrape the 5% deposit for a home now (plus all the extras that you need to pay when you buy), I'd urge you to make the purchase as soon as you can, if you are thinking of buying anyway. As you've said, property value increases are crazy. If you do not have the deposit money yet, then I think you need to re-assess if you want to jump in with a mortgage at 5.5% I believe you can shop around and see if there are others, at more competitive rates. I would try and minimize the rate if at all possible. Having a high interest rate at the start of the loan will really hit you as the balance of your loan tends to be higher at the start (of course!).

I don't believe you can get around the mortgage insurance unless you can get to a 20% deposit.

The RRSP loan you mention might be the Home Buyers' Plan. You can withdraw up to $25,000 against your RRSP.

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Jules

The moment you hear the words “cash back” in a mortgage deal then know that you will be paying extra interest. Every penny they give back to you means you will then repay it back again to them through interest. The deal looks good but is designed to profit the bank. 

My advice is to save for the down payment. If you have a large RRSP then yes make a loan from that but without any cash back deals unless they offer an unusuallly low rate. 

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JanSalJanNat

Thanks @Jules for your comment, unfortunately I've noticed that as a newcomer they have a lot of deals to help you get started but in the end it does cost you much more if you don't have a lot of cash😢 

@MaryJane this is exactly why I am in such a Catch22, don't want to equip ourselves with a lot of dept & be in over our heads.  You got a really good interest rate, I am super jealous😂

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M-N

We bought our house about 2 years after landing.  We put down a 5% down payment and our interest rate was 2.49% however at the rates things are going now, that will double by the time we renew our mortgage.  

I would 100% recommend speaking with a recommended realtor. Ours was amazing and she laid everything out for us.  Made the process so much easier and we knew exactly what fees would apply.  

Also, personally we wouldn't have withdrawn from our RRSP.  It's not worth it.  Also be careful of buying at your maximum approval amount. I've read articles of how people go house broke.  We decided to buy way under our approval limit and not one regret.  

Also considered bi-monthly payments. The overall interest is significantly lower. Makes a huge difference. The only catch is that some months (3x a year I think), you'll have 3 payments go off instead of 2.  

Anyway, good luck.  

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