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Steps & tools for buying a home

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Passive Solar Designs: Energy Savings All Year

Are you considering a new house? Did you know that if you take advantage of the sun's energy you could reduce your heating costs by up to 50%?
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8 questions to ask in the sales office

Buying a brand-new home is a very different process than purchasing one on the resale market. And more often than not, it is less known! It is important to be well prepared before visiting a sales office because you want to avoid nasty surprises.
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9 strategies for improving your credit rating

Looking to buy a home, obtain a personal loan or purchase a car? All these situations call for a check of your credit history, which is why it is important to maintain a good credit score.
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When is the ideal timing to purchase a home?

For some time now, you visit real estate websites, read articles and ask your family and friends about their own house-purchasing experience. In short, the thought of buying your first brand-new home is making its way. What is THE best time to go for it?
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Luxury housing market shows no signs of slowing down in Toronto, Vancouver and Montreal

Sotheby’s International Realty Canada suggests the high-end market — described as anything that sells for more than $4 million ($1M in Montreal) — is already showing strength through the first two months of 2016 in Vancouver and also Toronto.
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10 tips for selling your home fast

Selling a house is a complex transaction that demands considerable preparation. The following 10 tips will help you sell your home quickly – and save you a few headaches.
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How to exit the housing market without exiting your house

Let’s say you’re looking to get out of the housing market and pocket your wealth. One option is obviously to sell, but then you have to either buy another place or rent. What if you could just lease back your own property?
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5 questions to help you decide whether to rent or buy a home

Rent or Buy? While there's no universal
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Foreign Investors To Target Montreal, Saskatoon Real Estate

A new report on real estate trends says foreign investors may start looking beyond Toronto and Vancouver and begin targeting markets in Montreal and Saskatoon in 2016.
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Real estate scandal in BC

While it is virtually impossible to determine the degree to which real estate professionals are personally invested in the market, anecdotal evidence of a brisk insider game abounds.
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How first-time home-buyers are bridging the gulf between their dreams and reality

Anyone wanting to buy her first home, especially in a big city, sees the gulf between her dreams and reality. It used to be that you get out of school, get your first job and there you are with your single (detached) home. There are more steps in between
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Spring work: There’s a right time for everything

There you are, rake in hand, ready to banish those last traces of winter from your property. Be careful, though! Don’t let spring fever make you forget this golden rule: when it comes to work around the exterior of your home, there is a right time – and,
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Retiring with a mortgage? Why you might want to think twice about that

Flexible use of debt through a line of credit is a sound strategy for smoothing spending in peak years, especially if your main income is from registered assets. “You’re far better off paying 2.5 to 3.5 per cent in interest for a few years than forcing yo
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Why more Canadians are turning to non-traditional lenders for mortgages

Squeezed out by stricter bank regulations, a growing number of mortgage-hunting Canadians have been turning to non-traditional lenders to overcome borrowing hurdles like bad credit.
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7 Winter home improvement tips to save you money and energy in the cold season

Now that cold weather is upon us, get your home buttoned up and ready for it with our expert hands-on game plan, which will not only make your home more comfortable and energy efficient, but save you some money while you’re at it.
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25 Design Trends Coming to Homes Near You in 2016

From black stainless steel appliances to outdoor fabrics used indoors, these design ideas will be gaining steam in the new year
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The good, the bad and the ugly of Canadian household debt: Should we be worried?

Rising personal debt is usually regarded with great consternation and yet the numbers published by Statistics Canada paint a good news story when viewed in the right light.
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Purchasing a home: 11 fees to keep in mind besides your mortgage

The scale of the costs linked to buying a property tend to be underestimated by first-time buyers. So without further ado, here are some expenses to keep in mind for a realistic portrait of what lies ahead.
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How to use your RRSP to invest in real estate

As the Canadian real estate market continues to rise, some investors want to put their RRSP money to work in a real estate investment. While there are limitations, there are also several options available to investors.
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11 Easy Apartment Upgrades You Can Do In A Weekend

Sprucing up your space doesn't have cost a small fortune. Little updates like rearranging your living room or changing the door handles on your kitchen cabinets can make a big difference without breaking the bank.
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7 Economic Benefits of Buying a Brand-New Home

You are looking for the ideal house but you do not necessarily want to spend hours upon hours making renovations . . . Are you interested by a brand new “turnkey” house? By selecting your future house wisely, you could enjoy many economic benefits…
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Five investment strategies to help you lower your taxes

Would you rather make six per cent or five per cent on your investments? Believe it or not, some investment managers and self-directed investors would rather earn five per cent. The reason is that they don’t pay any attention to taxes.
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Condo ownership: 6 questions to ask before buying

According to Nathalie Clement, director of Via Capitale du Mont-Royal, here are 6 important questions to ask before choosing the right co-ownership property for you:
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Canada's books are back in black for first time in 8 years after surprise $1.9 billion surplus

The federal government posted a surprise $1.9-billion surplus in 2014-15 — bringing the country’s books back into balance a year earlier than expected.
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CTV Morning Live: Mortgage Minute

Frank Napolitano discusses how you should be setting yourself up with a mortgage that will give you the flexibility to payout, transfer or break early with minimal penalties.
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Nearly one in six Canadians could not handle $500 increase in mortgage payment

Given that interest rates are likely to increase in the foreseeable future, BMO says there is no better time to put together a detailed debt management plan.
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How will the Liberal win affect your mortgage?

With a new government in power, a new mandate will no doubt have some affect on the Canadian economy. While election platforms are typically adjusted over time, key planks in the Liberals’ platform suggest significant new directions for Canada over the ne
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Winter Preparation Checklist

Conduct a thorough inspection before the season’s first cold snap as part of your winter preparation.
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What common-law couples should know before buying a house together

A 2013 study in the U.S by Coldwell Banker Real Estate found that 17 per cent of couples bought a home before they were married, with that number rising to 24 per cent among millennials.
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Why interest rates will stay low, and what that means for your retirement security

A powerful source looks set to keep rates low for a long time so you had better start preparing for lower investment returns, higher savings rates and a later retirement.
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Housing regulations curbing risks of consumer debt, Bank of Canada says

Bank of Canada Deputy Governor Larry Schembri said regulatory steps to rein in the country’s housing market seem to be successfully curbing risks to the financial system.
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Canadians’ mortgage debt ramping up fast as cheap money fuels leap in luxury home prices

A new report from the Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce says prices for the country’s most expensive high end homes are rising much faster than the overall market, skewing average values.
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Your personal credit history could affect your professional projects

When the time comes to seek financing for a new business, entrepreneurs may realize that their personal credit history plays a more important role than they would have expected.
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Residential Sales Increased in Canada in August

According to the Canadian Real Estate Association (CREA), 42,679 residential properties were sold in Canada in August 2015, a 4 per cent increase compared to August 2014.
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Becoming a Homeowner is a Great Move!

Are you currently renting and thinking about joining the ranks of homeowners?
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Can’t make a mortgage payment? Don’t panic, but don’t ignore it either

It’s the last thing you want to do when you can’t make your mortgage or loan payment but it’s a common response for many Canadians — stick your head in the sand and ignore it.
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8 Things to Consider Before Remodeling to Age in Place

Aging in place is almost universally accepted as a good idea because the benefits are so clear: the freedom and dignity that come from staying in your own home, the ability to make your own decisions, the maintenance of friendships and community ties.
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Borrowing…without mortgaging your future!

The basics of a worry-free mortgage loan
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Are CMHC and Genworth’s mortgage insurance fee hikes targeting first-time buyers?

The move by Genworth Canada will raise insurance costs by 15% for those Canadians with the highest debt-value mortgages allowed by Ottawa.
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Baby boomers fuelling sales of luxury homes in big Canadian cities

Many baby boomers — who were widely expected to downsize in retirement and snatch up condos in droves — are choosing instead to upsize.
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Federal Budget 2015 holds off on new measures to cool housing

Finance Minister Joe Oliver has no plans to impose further restrictions on borrowing, with the budget noting Ottawa has tightened rules on government-backed insured mortgages four times since 2008.
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Should you withdraw from your RRSP to buy a house?

Certified financial planner Jeanette Brox says young Canadians still have a good reason to withdraw from their retirement plan to buy a house: current prices.
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Why Canadians can expect low interest rates for longer — much longer:

Don’t look for another interest rate hike for two more years; in fact, there is a one in three chance the Bank of Canada will actually cut rates before the end of this year, Morgan Stanley predicts.
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Home equity line of credit popular way to finance home renovations

"The most cost-effective way, if you're going to borrow, is to use equity in your house," said Tintinalli, BMO's regional vice-president of personal banking.
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Amid tighter bank rules, more Canadians turning to alternative lenders

Squeezed out by stricter bank regulations, a growing number of mortgage-hunting Canadians have been turning to non-traditional lenders to overcome borrowing hurdles like bad credit.
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CMHC to Increase Mortgage Insurance Premiums

Effective June 1, 2015, the mortgage loan insurance premiums for homebuyers with less than a 10% down payment will increase by approximately 15%.
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The best ways to finance a home reno

One place to look is the homeowner’s existing mortgage.
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Step away from the hammer – when a reno is a good investment and when it’s not

When homeowners want to add value to their home come time to sell, they may wonder where to start ... and where to end.
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Are variable mortgages worth it if lenders don’t follow the BoC?

What happens when the central bank lowers rates and the nation’s lenders don’t pass on the full savings?
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A new mandatory warranty for new house buyers:Answers to your questions

Maybe you don’t know it, but the world of new housing projects just lived a great revolution.
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CTV Morning Live: Mortgage Minute

On this week's episode of the Mortgage Minute, Frank Napolitano talks about the recent interest rate changes and how they can affect new homebuyers as well as current mortgage holders
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Small and big condo projects: pros and cons

You start shopping around for your first brand new condo and you realize that condominiums come in all shapes and sizes! Ranging from two-unit buildings (like a duplex) to a-thousand-unit ones, there are all kinds of options on the market.
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How Much Does CMHC Mortgage Loan Insurance Cost?

The CMHC Mortgage Loan Insurance premium is calculated as a percentage of the loan and is based on the size of your down payment.
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How much home can I afford on my salary?

Buying a house is arguably the most important purchase of a lifetime. There are many benefits to home ownership, including tax write-offs and the freedom to do as you choose without having a landlord knock on your door.
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How Revolving Credit Works

Revolving Credit vs. Loans
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Residential property can bring a steady payoff

When Diane Leahy decided to become a do-it-yourself investor, she looked for a winning strategy and found that there’s no place like home
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Words to know when buying a home

Homebuying step by step
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What can home buyers learn from stock market jitters? The 10-year rule

The ugly stuff going on in the stock market lately could happen in housing. So follow the same 10-year rule as a home buyer that you should as an investor. If you can’t wait a decade or more for your transaction to make financial sense, don’t do it.
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Bank of Canada interest rate cut: 5 ways consumers may be affected

From mortgages to savings accounts, Canadians will feel the effects of the central bank's move
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Mortgage shopping? Two stars and four dogs from today’s market

Eight months ago, some were proclaiming the end of 2.99-per-cent five-year mortgage rates, for years to come.
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Cash-poor but house-rich retiree? The pros and cons of reverse mortgages

Real estate rich; cash poor: Retirees who need to free up some money may be eyeing their real estate.
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Bad news for borrowers: The economy could improve this year

Indebted people aren’t going to like the return to stronger economic growth.
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Pay off your mortgage or invest? How to figure out what’s best for you

In the perennial personal finance debate over whether you should pay off your mortgage or invest your savings, some take a firm stand.
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Mortgage or retirement?

Where should young adults put their savings?
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‘I did mess up': Even the experts admit mistakes on picking a mortgage

It can’t be easy for a certified financial planner to admit this, but Ted Rechtshaffen admits he blew it on his last mortgage.
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Why the Bank of Canada’s next move on interest rates may be a cut

Based on the most recent forecasts, 16 of 21 economists tracked by Bloomberg expect a rate hike from the Bank of Canada before the end of 2015.
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Divided and undivided Co-Ownership

What is the difference between a divided co-ownership and an undivided co-ownership?
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Conventional Mortgage vs HELOC:

Do You Know The Difference?
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Rental properties: Options for investors eyeing new income

When buying a revenue generating residential property, there are multiple ways to structure ownership.
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Canadians’ debt payoffs rise as mortgage principal payments targeted

Contrary to all the hype about consumer debt levels, Canadians are actually paying off their debts at a faster rate than the Bank of Canada estimates, says Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce economist Benjamin Tal
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Spending on renovations outpaces new home construction

More money was spent renovating homes in Canada than building new ones during the 12 months to the end of June, according to data compiled by the Bank of Montreal.
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Housing still cheaper in popular U.S. snowbird states than 2006 peak levels, new report shows

Housing prices in popular U.S. snowbird destinations are rising but are still below peak levels seen in 2006, says a new report.
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How to buy a new condo in Montreal and save money

Because you will never get a free condo in your marshmallow cereal box, you probably need some tips on how to become a homeowner without shelling out 5,000 x more than you’re paying now.
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Renewing your mortgage? Here’s why you should pick up the phone

Please do not automatically sign your bank's friendly renewal form. It could cost you tens of thousands more on your mortgage.
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Bank watchdog rejects interfering with lenders’ mortgage business

Canada’s banking regulator is washing his hands of the idea of forcing banks to assume more of the risks from their mortgage busines
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The benefits of dealing with a mortgage broker

Personalized service, sound advice, and across-the-board protection:
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Montreal housing market hits lull on lower sales, flat prices

Montreal’s housing market saw a drop in sales in August, while prices were in a holding pattern.
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CMHC could force banks to pay deductibles on mortgage insurance

CMHC, which controls a majority of the market, has been reviewing its operations since new chief executive Evan Siddall, a former investment banker, took over last year. The Crown corporation has been scaling back its in-force insurance while it no longer
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The key to real estate investing? It’s all local

Investors, even professional ones, have a tendency to lump real estate investments into one bucket, but that is unhelpful when allocating investment dollars and assessing how risk is spread across a portfolio.
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RRSPs can help first-home buyers

The Home Buyers' Plan isa great deal for those looking to purchase their first home because they can borrow up to $25,000 from their RRSPs.
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To rent or buy is the question

Most Canadians dream about buying and owning their first home. A significant rite of passage, buying a home is not only a big financial deal, it's a big life deal.
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Market is growing for shrinking spaces

The trend of micro condos, already in full force in cities like New York, Vancouver and Toronto is well underway in Montreal too.
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The Greater Montreal Real Estate Board Welcomes the Reinstatement of the City of Montreal's Housing Subsidy Program

The GMREB welcomes the reinstatement of the housing subsidy program announced yesterday by the City of Montréal.
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Avoid mistakes that can derail selling a house

No one's better able to answer those and a million other buyers' questions than you.
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Paying off mortgage safer than investing the cash

Study after study suggests that Canadians are having a tough time paying off their mortgages, as debt levels continue to hit record levels year after year. Why?
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Counting the ways to invest in real estate

Piece of portfolio in property is a good diversification strategy
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Freedom 58? How Canadians are shaving thousands off the cost of their mortgage

CIBC says even small efforts can lead to big savings for homeowners in the long run.
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‘HGTV effect’ pushes home renovation spending to record $63-billion

Altus is predicting about 3% growth in real dollar terms in renovation spending both this year and next as homeowners turn to sprucing up their abodes in the face of record home prices.
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OECD calls for Canada to shift mortgage risk from taxpayers to private-sector

OECD's concern is that already heavily indebted Canadian consumers might not be able to meet their loan payments, especially when interest rates begin to rise above the rock-bottom levels experienced in the recession.
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Mortgage 101: Where to start

The numbers behind the home
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How record low interest rates are helping us pay off our mortgages faster

CAAMP found in its May survey that the average mortgage rate of a Canadian homeowner is 3.24%, that's down from 3.5% a year ago. It said the renewal rate for what it called
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Further mortgage rule tightening will hurt Quebec, minister warns

"Contrary to other markets in Canada showing signs of overheating, like Toronto and Vancouver, Quebec's residential housing market doesn't need new measures to slow it down," Quebec Finance Minister Nicolas Marceau said.
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