Button down the hatches as Hurricane Dorion heads towards the Maritimes this weekend! Who would ever guess on this gorgeous blue-sky Friday that anything is amiss? Is this the calm before the storm? I’ve heard Mama talk about ‘The Ground Hog Gale’ of 1976 as an event that she will never forget. Nicholas, Papa (who was living in Ontario at that time) and I listen in awe to the horror story that was the worst gale in Atlantic Canadian history and was broadcast on news stations around the world. One of Mama’s aunts was visiting Sydney, Australia and was shocked when she turned on the TV and saw Saint john NB being pounded by this unbelievable storm with the footage showing telephone poles falling like matchsticks along Main St and Rothesay Ave. It hit at 11 am on Ground Hog day and Mama says the morning up to that point was so still and quiet with not a drop of wind. Then it hit with a vengeance and the large office building where Mama was working quickly had the roof torn right off. All the staff were looking up from their desks at the sky and took off for home on the bosses order! Mama was a young girl in her teens, still living at home in Hampton with her parents and she’ll never forget the terrifying drive home. Roofing shingles and debris were flying everywhere and siding was floating across fields through the air like ribbons. Winds gusts reach 120 mph/193 kph and it raged on all night. Her family had horses and a pony who were petrified and everyone was so worried that the barn would come down during the night but it stayed standing! The neighbour next door was not so lucky and his 30 milk cows were found running wild through the town of Hampton the next day. It was excruciatingly cold as temperatures plummeted and everyone lost power for many days. Her parents had 3 wood stoves and a wood-burning fireplace and all were kept stoked until power was restored and the furnace came on days later. No wonder Mama and all of her generation who lived through that terrible gale cringe at the sound of high winds!
Good news for first time home buyers and those who have suffered a marriage or common law partnership breakdown! As of September 2, 2019, the First-Time Home Buyer Incentive became available for qualified first-time homebuyers and those who experienced a marriage breakdown. For many, especially young people and first-time buyers, finding an affordable place to call home is not just a challenge – it feels like an impossibility. This initiative is designed to make owning a home more affordable. You are considered a first-time homebuyer if you meet one of the following qualifications; you’ve never purchased a home before, you’ve recently experienced a breakdown of a marriage or common-law partnership or in the last four years, you did not occupy a home that you or your current spouse owned. Keep in mind you still need a down payment to qualify, you can apply for a 5 or 10% shared equity mortgage, your income can’t be any higher than $120,000 and your total borrowing is limited to a 4 x the qualifying income. There are many details to review for mortgage qualifications so please call Mama or Charlie if you are thinking about buying a new home. If they can’t answer all your questions they can head you in the right direction to mortgage specialists who can help!
Due to the pending storm Mama and Charlie will not be having open houses this weekend as they had originally planned but will continue on with those Sunday September 22. Please watch for details. Have a safe weekend and be very careful on the roads if you must go out! Nicholas and I will be staying close to home curled up on the sofa!