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Blog by Micah Verceles

Residential Market Commentary - Dirty money in the real estate market

May 16th, 2019
Some startling numbers released last week show how deeply Vancouver real estate is influenced by money laundering.

A report prepared for the British Columbia government says about $7.4 billion was laundered through the province in 2018. More than two-thirds of that money, about $5 billion, was used to buy real estate.

It is estimated that money laundering activity raised the benchmark price o ...

'Done with asking nicely': B.C. announces public inquiry into money laundering

May 15th, 2019
British Columbia will hold a public inquiry into money laundering, sparked by a set of explosive reports showing widescale laundering in the province's real estate, gambling and luxury car sectors.

B.C. Premier John Horgan announced the decision, flanked by Attorney General David Eby and Finance Minister Carole James after a cabinet meeting Wednesday morning.

"It became abundantly clear to us ...

Where are Canadian interest rates heading in 2019? It depends on who you ask

May 14th, 2019
If you’d asked a big bank economist last year where interest rates were headed in 2019, they’d probably have said they were going up.

They had good reason to believe it. The Bank of Canada had hiked its policy rate, which influences mortgage rates, five times since summer 2017, including three times in 2018. The central bank also said this past October that “the policy rate will need to rise. ...

Residential Market Commentary - The Fed holds firm

May 9th, 2019
Market watchers have received one of the strongest signals yet that interest rates are not going anywhere, anytime soon.

The U.S. Federal Reserve has held the line on its trend-setting policy rate, maintaining it in the range of 2.25% to 2.50%. The central bank also made it clear (or, at least, as clear as central banks ever do) that it will not be moving rates given the current state of the ...

Don’t kill the mortgage stress test — modify it: CIBC’s Benjamin Tal

May 7th, 2019
Benjamin Tal, deputy chief economist of CIBC, speaks with the Financial Post’s Larysa Harapyn about interest rates, Canadians’ insolvency rates and the B-20 mortgage stress test, introduced in January 2018 to cool the housing market.



Residential Market Commentary - Bank of Canada pulls up a seat on the sidelines

May 3rd, 2019
As expected the Bank of Canada has, once again, moved to the sidelines when it comes to interest rate policy. This time, though, the bankers appear to have unfolded their lawn chairs, taken a seat and put their feet up; settling-in for an extended period of inactivity.

The central bank’s benchmark policy rate was left unchanged at 1.75% during last week’s setting. More significantly, the Bank ...

The Real Estate Board of Greater Vancouver - April 2019 Stats

May 2nd, 2019
Reduced demand and increased supply remain the trend across Metro Vancouver’s housing market

Decreased demand continues to allow the supply of homes for sale to accumulate across the Metro Vancouver* housing market.

The Real Estate Board of Greater Vancouver (REBGV) reports that residential home sales in the region totalled 1,829 in April 2019, a 29.1 per cent decrease from the 2,579 sales ...