Deedrie’s Traditional Almond Roca Square

Deedrie’s Traditional Almond Roca Square

1 cup butter, melted

1 cup brown sugar, packed

1 ½ cups flour

1 tsp, almond extract

1 ½ cups semi-sweet chocolate chips

1 ½ cups almonds, roasted and chopped

Melt butter, add brown sugar, flour and almond extract.  Press into a 9” x 13” baking dish and bake at 350 for 20 minutes.  Remove from oven and immediately sprinkle with chocolate ships.  Spread the melted chips and top with roasted almonds. Press lightly.

AFP’S outstanding volunteer award last night!

Realtor Deedrie Ballard was named Outstanding Fundraising Volunteer for raising more than $10 million for charities ranging from the Victoria Hospitals Foundation, Victoria Hospice Society and Broadmead Care Society to the Victoria Symphony and the Art Gallery of Greater Victoria. Her efforts have ranged from sitting on high-level boards to collecting and washing coats at home to distribute to children in need.

You can read more about this event here.

Rower John Wallace proud of his Olympic achievement

Aldershot grad is only Burlington-born and bred athlete to win Olympic gold

Of all the talented athletes born and raised in Burlington, John Wallace is the only one to win an Olympic gold medal.

He turned the trick as a member of Canada’s eight-man rowing crew that edged Romania by 0.14 seconds in Barcelona in 1992.

At the time, Wallace, who grew up in the Marley Court neighbourhood in west Burlington, said the experience, especially moments just after the race ended, was a thrill he would never forget.

His sporting preference growing up was running the 800 and 1,500 metres for the Burlington Legion-Optimist Track and Field Club, often sharing the track at Nelson Stadium with fellow future Olympian Paula Schnurr.

It wasn’t until his final year at the University of Western Ontario (now Western University) that Wallace started rowing competitively, and he was 30 at the Barcelona Games.

Gruelling training under head coach Mike Sprackland, who took over coaching the rowers in 1990, made the difference.

Of those two years, he said at the time: “You basically led a one-dimensional life. It was like a nine-to-five job, but in our case it was a seven-to-five job.”

Twenty-five years later, living in Victoria, B.C. with his wife Alexandra Rose and four children, Wallace can put the accomplishment in perspective.

“It was an incredible feeling and I would have loved to bottle it and open it up again,” said the 55-year-old mortgage broker. “I feel fortunate to have had the opportunity that one time.”

The euphoria over an Olympic medal win was No. 1 on his list of life highlights until he started a family.

Content taken from


Victoria ranked fourth best for real estate investment in B.C.

The Real Estate Investment Network has ranked Victoria as the fourth best place in B.C. for real estate investment.

Victoria is the only Vancouver Island city mentioned in the top-10 list, trailing only Surrey, Abbotsford and New Westminster.

The report gives credit to Victoria’s strong rental market as a key factor, with a vacancy rate in the B.C. Capital hitting 0.5 per cent.

The study also found “a diverse economy, inherent seat-of-government stability, location, relative affordability, and high median income” helped land Victoria in the fourth spot.

The report says Victoria is quietly becoming a centre for technology and entrepreneurial opportunities and credits the local economy for being in a position to have a strong future.

Victoria’s real estate market is reported to be in the “middle to end of recovery” and researchers say the “fix and flip” tactic will be optimal for investors.

Content taken from

Purchase or Refinance Now, Before Rules Change in January

Written by: John Wallace – Mortgage Consultant

If you’re looking to buy and will have more than 20 percent down, or if you are considering refinancing, then you might want to do so before January 1, 2018. Why? On October 17, the Office of the Superintendent of Financial Institutions (OSFI) released new guidelines for residential mortgage underwriting at all federally regulated financial institutions. Beginning January 1, 2018, a new ‘stress test’ will be applied to all new conventional mortgages – and not just those mortgages that require mortgage insurance (downpayment or equity of less than 20%).

The so-called “stress test” is designed to protect homeowners should interest rates rise. Lenders will be obligated to qualify all new conventional mortgages at the greater of the Bank of Canada’s five-year benchmark rate (currently 4.89%) or the contracted rate plus 2%. So if your contract rate is 3.29%, you will be qualified at 5.29%.

Here’s what that might mean for you:

You want to buy a home with more than 20% down. Your payments will always be based on your contract rate so this new rule isn’t costing you more. However, the new rule might change how much mortgage you qualify for. If that’s the case, you may need to look at a less expensive home, save up for a larger downpayment, or reduce any other debt. Or we can take a look at a variable rate mortgage that lowers your qualifying rate (if the rate plus 2% is less than the benchmark 4.89%) and has the option to convert to a fixed mortgage.

You want to refinance to pay off debt or buy an investment property. Here too, your actual mortgage payment will not be affected.  But the new rule could slow you down by making it more difficult to qualify for your refinance. You may need to wait and accumulate more equity, or look at a lower-rate variable mortgage.  If that refinance is important to securing your own financial health, get in touch ASAP.

Your mortgage comes up for renewal next year. This more stringent qualifying requirement will not apply to mortgage renewals. If you go shopping for a better deal with a new lender, however, that will require that you re-qualify… and the new rule will kick in for you too. It still is very important that we review your options together.

What can you afford?

New mortgage qualifying for purchases with 20% down

Get in touch now – you have the rest of 2017 to get in under the old rules. Going forward, I’m here to work with you early in the process to make sure you are fully prepared for your purchase or refinance. I’m always here to answer your questions, so feel free to call or email at any time!


Sourced from: John Wallace – Mortgage Consultant

T: 250-213-5080