Home Ownership

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19 Oct

Four Legal Pot Plants, What Are Lenders Doing?


Posted by: Garth Chapman

As we all know, recreational marijuana is now legal in Canada. The law is set, but implementation and how policies and guidelines will impact our industry are yet to be determined. Generally, 30 grams for personal possession, basically an ounce baggie for those who might relate and up to 4 plants at home.

For realtors, mortgage brokers and their clients we are facing many months of the lenders sorting out their guidelines. If a borrower or seller voluntarily discloses they have been growing four legal marijuana plants, which should produce more than 30 grams, as a point of interest, how will the lenders, mortgage insurers and home insurers react?


As of today, many lenders do not have a policy. Some say yes four plants will be OK, some say case by case, and some say four plants will be a hard no. For the common existing house stigmatized as a “grow-op”, there are still very few lender options. We do have a couple of lenders for fully remediated grow-ops, and CMHC does consider those applications.  

Mortgage Insurers:

CMHC says they will carry on the same as they have been. Genworth and Canada Guaranty are saying either, case by case or the policy will be determined shortly.

Home Insurers:

As or right now we have not been able to get any consistent information on this subject. However, home buyers and homeowners are encouraged to check with their provider for their policy information.

For those folks growing up to four plants and looking for financing, expect your clients to get mixed results from banks and many lenders. Some lenders are considering air quality tests, home inspections, statutory declarations and other means to determine if the home has been impacted or damaged by four plants. For now, we have identified willing lenders. CMHC will consider the applications.

Please contact your Jencor Mortgage Agent or me if your clients have any questions on how the new legalization laws affect their options or to avoid complications with four plant files.  

Croft Axsen – Jencor Mortgage Corporation 

18 Jan

On Protecting Your Home or Vacant Rental Property in Winter

Home Ownership

Posted by: Garth Chapman

If you are a Snowbird, a Landlord, or you want to know how to safeguard your home during a winter vacation, read on. During extended (more than a few days) absences you want to ensure your home or rental property is protected from damage or loss, and also that your property insurance won’t be void during extended absences or vacancies. Before you leave any property vacant in winter you will want to talk to your insurance broker and find out what they require to ensure your property will be covered if something bad happens. Many insurers require someone to go into the property weekly to confirm all is well. If you have a monitoring system let your Insurance Broker know as it may help you with this.

Above all SHUT OFF THE WATER SUPPLY and DRAIN the water lines. To do this go to the main water line usually in the basement and shut it off. The open all taps and flush all toilets a couple of times. Then once the lowest tap has stopped trickling water shut the taps off starting upstairs and working your way down to the lowest one. I have 2 friends who have recently suffered losses at rental properties due to water leaks or freezing, and in both cases this step would have prevented the damage.

We have a complete home automation and security system in our Alberta home that alerts us to virtually any abnormality in the home (even our hot tub water temp is monitored). It also allows us to control the home while we are away, including security settings, smoke detectors, temperatures, lighting, cameras, doors and more.

Monitoring a home does not have to be complex or expensive. There are online systems like Vivent, or more sophisticated connected systems like Control 4 to name but two. Cameras that you can monitor online are inexpensive and easy to install. Wifi thermostats can be connected to your wifi network and allow you to monitor and set the temperature in your home using an App on your smartphone. We have one of these in our winter home in Arizona. It is a Honeywell thermostat we bought at Home Depot a couple of years ago for $100 CAD. Now they are around $129.

There is a new technology just coming of age called IFTTT (If This Then That) that allows users to control SmartThings of all types. If you’ve read about the Internet of Things you probably know about this. It might just make home automation easy and inexpensive for anyone. Here is an article describing how IFTTT is creatively powering the Internet of Things – http://www.dailydot.com/technology/ifttt-internet-of-things/

SmartThings is a technology that allows you to connect a huge variety of third party devices via its Hub and App. https://www.smartthings.com/how-it-works

Here is a pretty comprehensive review of home automation software and systems and devices http://safesoundfamily.com/blog/best-home-automation-software-products/

Travel safe!