CMHC UPDATE—Currently the Government of Canada backs billions of dollars in conventional mortgages in Canada. Their current funding limit, to cover conventional mortgages, is $600 billion and recently, the public was advised that they are nearing their limit by $60 billion. Some are under the impression that if CMHC does reach their limit, that means mortgage default insurance will have to be supplied by Genworth and other smaller default mortgage insurance providers until they reach their limits. The fear that some people may have after hearing this information could be the misleading idea that the 5% down payment and 30 year amortization might cease to exist. This is extremely unlikely. The Harper Government understands the value of the liquidity in the Canadian Real Estate market and will most likely boost their limit to accommodate home buyers who will rely on the 5% down & 30 year amortization period.
Whatever happened to CalgaryRealtor.com? You would think this would be a highly desirable web address for a realtor in Calgary, and you would be right. So, why is it that if you go to CalgaryRealtor.com, there’s nothing there – not even a placeholder?
The fact is that CalgaryRealtor.com is owned by a realtor in Calgary – but he’s not allowed to use it. Way back, many years ago, the Canadian Real Estate Association (CREA) trademarked the word ‘Realtor’, as well as the acronym ‘MLS’. Today, under the bylaws set out by CREA for its members (that would be every realtor in Canada as membership is mandatory) no realtor may use the word ‘Realtor’ or the acronym ‘MLS’ in conjunction with a place name in a web address. Why? Well, that’s a good question. CREA would claim it’s to protect the integrity of the trademark. But, according to the law, trademark copyrights do not extend to domain names except where that trademark is being used in a defamatory manner. One is hard pressed to understand how a realtor could be using the word ‘Realtor’ in a defamatory manner.
It’s also interesting to note that when CalgaryRealtor.com was shut down by CREA (through the use of ominous letters from CREA’s legal department) not only were a number of other CalgaryRealtor domains still in operation but the realtor who owned CalgaryRealtor.com was strongly urged to simply hand this address over to the Calgary Real Estate Board.
How do I know all this? As you may have guessed I am that realtor. And by the way, I most certainly did not ‘hand over’ the address to CREB. I still own it and will until the day CREA or the Calgary Real Estate Board offer to pay me what it’s worth.