General

Renewing Your Mortgage

General Greg Weaver 12 Nov

Did you know? Close to 70 percent of mortgages never make it to the end of their term! This means that, for a variety of reasons, homeowners are ending their mortgages early. However, that still leaves a solid 30 percent of home buyers who keep their mortgage until the term is up and it is time to renew!

If you are not planning to move in the near future and are happy with your current mortgage, you are likely one of the 30 percent who will renew once the term ends. So what does this process look like?

When it comes time to renew your mortgage, most lenders will send you a renewal letter when there is around 3 months remaining on your term. While nearly 60 percent of borrowers simply sign and send back their renewal without ever shopping around for a more favorable interest rate, this is actually the best time to check out your options.

Most standard terms are 5-year terms and, with that much time having passed since signing, the market rates could be very different once the term is up! Despite this, lenders tend to provide higher rates on renewals versus new clients as they are hoping that the ease of renewal will prevent you from seeking out new rates. However, shopping around for a better rate is not as difficult as it sounds – especially with the help of a mortgage broker – and it could end up saving you a couple hundred dollars a month (depending on your situation)! Ideally, you should be keeping track of your own mortgage term end date as shopping for a new rate between four and six months before your expiry will ensure you are able to find the most affordable option for you.

After shopping around, you may find that your bank is actually offering a great rate – in which case you can simply submit the renewal! But if you are able to seek out a lower rate, we promise you will thank yourself for putting in the effort to find out! As another point of interest, renewal time is also a great time to make an extra payment on your mortgage, if you are able!

Beyond renewing your mortgage, home owners also have the option to transfer or switch the mortgage. This can be done any time during the term of the mortgage but may have penalties associated with breaking the mortgage before the term is up. Transferring to another lender is generally done to get a better rate, but you will need to go through the entire mortgage process again – including the ‘stress test’ – which makes shopping around at renewal time an even smarter option.

If your mortgage is coming up for renewal and you want to find out what lower rates may await you, reach out and I would be happy to help find the best option for where you are at in your life now and help you to ensure future financial success.

 

 

Published by DLC Marketing Team

The Art of Leveraging

General Greg Weaver 5 Nov

For some people, just owning one property and having a single mortgage is enough to handle. But there may be no better way to grow your net worth than real estate. You might not realize homeownership can be a gateway to owning multiple investment properties. You might be thinking: there’s no way I can turn the value of my modest home into a real estate empire. Ok, maybe not an empire, but you can take the equity of your home and, with the right investment, get a return far greater than a stock portfolio.

Most people are trained to stay out of debt and don’t want to consider using the equity in their home to buy an investment property. But they haven’t realized the art of leveraging.

If you’re using equity from your primary residence to buy an investment property, keep in mind that the interest you’re using is tax-deductible. Consider you’re also buying an appreciating asset, and if you put a real estate portfolio to a stock portfolio side-by-side, they don’t compare. Who is a good candidate? You might be surprised to learn you don’t need to make six figures to get into the game.

Essentially, you just have to be someone who wants to be a little smarter with their down payment. Before you go down that road, there are some quick things you need to know.

With investment properties, the minimum down payment will jump to 20 or 25 percent from five percent. Rental income from the property can be used to debt service the mortgage application, while some lenders will have a minimum liquid net worth requirement outside of the property.

TO MAKE SURE YOU’RE GETTING THE BEST OUT OF YOUR INVESTMENT PROPERTY, YOU MAY WANT TO CONSIDER THE FOLLOWING:

ARE THERE EMPLOYMENT OPPORTUNITIES IN THE AREA?

Statistics Canada (www.statcan.gc.ca) offers reliable and timely data on the latest trends in the real estate market. Also, keeping up with the news will help you hear if a large corporation may be moving into the area, with families soon to follow. Consider if the property is in a college town or near a military facility where there will always be a need for rental properties.

WHERE IS THE PROPERTY LOCATED?

Walk Score is a big attraction to most renters. What is the proximity to schools, hospitals, local transportation, grocery stores, etc.? Look for properties that are in a central location so that the demand will be greater. What are the average rental rates in the area? Your monthly rent is your bread and butter. Find out what the average rental rates are in the area by visiting Statistics Canada or the Canadian Rental Housing Index.

IS THE AREA SAFE?

Once again, Statistics Canada is your go-to source for crime stats in the area. Or visit the local police department to get it right from the source. Remember, in this day and age, renters do their homework too. They will get the same info and make their decisions based on what they find out.

ARE THERE ANY AMENITIES NEARBY?

Find out what amenities are nearby like free public transportation, a community pool or center, a large shopping center, a dog park, etc. The demand for certain amenities will vary based on the area. Remember that families will want different amenities than young professionals.

ARE THERE ANY PLANS FOR FUTURE DEVELOPMENT IN THE AREA?

Sometimes a simple drive-by will show you a lot about the area. Are there quite a few empty homes, condos, or storefronts? Does it look like there is a large boom in new construction? Often a neighborhood in the beginning steps of gentrification could result in both a faster and higher appreciation for investment properties.

IS THERE A HIGH NUMBER OF PROPERTIES ON THE MARKET?

Keep an eye out for market trends in the last couple of years. Review vacancy rates for the area (your realtor will have access to this info). Make sure to determine if you could carry the mortgage for a period of time in case no one rents from you.

 

 

 

Published by DLC Marketing Team

Finding Your Financial Freedom

General Greg Weaver 26 Oct

Many Canadians will spend their entire lives without proper financial education. With the help of Enriched Academy, an online financial education platform, Our House Magazine has collected some insight and tips from experts on financial literacy to help Canadians achieve their dreams, from homeownership to a comfy retirement.

Money. It’s virtually impossible to get by in life without it, and everyone wants more of it. But many people struggle to manage their money and make it work for them. And all the stats are going in the wrong direction. More and more Canadians are struggling with debt and get by living paycheque-to-paycheque with no idea or strategy on how to turn it around.

Luckily there are many resources out there to help guide you in the right direction. How you use the information to form a strategy will determine your financial future. Jay Seabrook is the co-founder of Enriched Academy, an educational program dedicated to providing financial literacy and awareness to teens and adults.

He explained that most people don’t even get started on a healthy financial journey because of some basic money myths like, you need money to make money, or it’s too complicated to understand.

Seabrook suggested there are two key metrics people need to be aware of: their net worth and how much is needed to save every month to reach financial freedom.

Net worth is a valuation of your assets minus your liabilities or what you own and subtracting what you owe. While a general rule of thumb is putting away 10 percent of your pre-tax income a month, Seabrook suggested the number may not be enough to meet your financial goal. You’ll need to create a proper budget to determine that number you really need to put away to reach your goals.

He added by getting a handle on those two aspects and tracking them on a regular basis, chances of getting to financial freedom are dramatically higher.

Financial literacy is something deeply personal to the 42-year-old entrepreneur.

Like most people, Seabrook grew up with very little financial education. That reality hit home after college when he moved to Whistler, B.C. for work. While he was surrounded by some of the wealthiest people in the world, he couldn’t scrounge enough money for a ski pass – the purpose of moving to the resort community in the first place.

Seabrook didn’t turn his fortunes around until he met a mentor who showed him a path forward.

“Life is a buffet table of the things you can do, but I was on the bread and water part of the buffet table, and I have no idea how to get access to the rest of it. It drove me crazy,” he told Our House Magazine. “I wanted this better life, but I didn’t know how to get it.”

By the mid-2000s, Seabrook got into the ground floor of an upstart mortgage company in Dominion Lending Centres. He eventually invested in the company and worked his way up to VP of operations. Along the way, he met his business partner and Enriched Co-founder Kevin Cochran, who was also finding success at DLC. The two entrepreneurs used their own personal experience and what they had learned over the years to create the educational platform. Enriched launched in 2011, and a short time later Seabrook and Cochran got a break with a winning pitch to the Dragons’ Den that eventually grew to its current online education platform.

Now the two entrepreneurs are busy teaching the techniques and tools they’ve learned to a mass audience. Seabrook was quick to point out financial freedom won’t happen overnight, but it doesn’t take a lifetime to get there either.

“It’s actually a lot easier than people think,” he said, adding the “biggest hurdle for most people is suppressing the instant gratification of spending at the moment”.

“People spend their entire lives trying to make money, why? They want a nice lifestyle and get to a point where they can enjoy the best things in life, but if you don’t have a plan, you probably won’t get there. If you’re really serious about getting to a place where you make more money from passive income than all the hours you put in, you have to start learning it. If you get clear on some of your goals, you’ll get there.”

 

Published by DLC Marketing Team

There’s Always an Alternative

General Greg Weaver 20 Oct

When it comes down to getting approved for a mortgage, there are a lot of factors and not everyone will qualify. So what are your options if the banks say “no”?

When conventional lenders (such as banks or credit unions) deny mortgage financing, it can be easy to feel discouraged. However, it is important to remember that there is always an alternative! That’s where alternative lenders come in.

what is an alternative lender?

While the big banks, monolines, and credit unions – or “A lenders” as they are sometimes referred to – are viewed as the gold standard in the mortgage industry, some people have no choice but to consider other options for financing.

If you’re seeking a mortgage, but your credit score is damaged in some way and big institutions won’t lend you the money, you’ll find yourself in what’s commonly referred to in the industry as the “Alternative-A” or “B” lending space.

Much like the A Lender space, there are various companies that operate in the B lending space. Some B lenders are known as Mortgage Investment Companies (or MICs). Like the big banks, they’re still regulated, have shareholders and a board of directors, and essentially act like a typical company. Equitable Bank and Home Capital are examples of other institutions that offer alternative options.

Alternative lenders cater to individuals which lack a strong credit history, or a guaranteed income (recent immigrants, or the self-employed, for instance). As a result, these lenders generally have lower entry qualifications, which are offset by higher interest rates.

WHY IS ALTERNATIVE LENDING NECESSARY?

  • CRA arrears
  • Income issues such as non-traditional income as with self-employed borrowers
  • Credit issues such as low credit score, credit arrears, current mortgage or even bankruptcies
  • Unexpected liens on title
  • Foreclosure situations
  • Unique financing needs/opportunities

private or unregulated lenders

Beyond B-lenders are another alternative, which are known as Private or Unregulated lenders. These could just be individuals with money who are looking to invest. They are not regulated by any agency, and their rates and fees could be quite high.

These lenders are not required to stress test mortgage applicants, but many will abide by lower qualification rates. As a result, getting approved for a loan through an alternative or uninsured lender can be much easier than going through a traditional bank or credit union.

However, the same with B Lenders, it is vital to pay close attention to the deal an unregulated lender offers. Lower qualification rates tend to come with baggage in the form of high-interest rates or penalties.

plan b mortgage services

Cole Hennig, president of Plan B Mortgage Services, explained his company typically deals with clients who are self-employed, have damaged credit, and a score somewhere below 650. Some have difficulties proving their income. They could be looking for a second mortgage or seeking a way to keep their current home. He also noted that his clients often experienced a “trigger event”, such as a job loss or workplace injury, which forced them to take on more debt than they and can’t manage.

The point of using an alternative lender, according to Hennig, is to get back into the good books of a conventional lender. Plan B will work with their clients, offering a full assessment of their situation, and providing tools to repair their credit. However, Hennig added it’s critical his clients have a path to getting out of the B lending space.

“Usually, we’re seeing people who have hit a rough spot, and our job here is to get them an immediate solution,” he said. “But, if it doesn’t lead anywhere, it’s no good to us. We’re not going to do a deal if we don’t see how it’s going to help them get back to the best place they can be.”

At that point, Hennig said a difficult conversation with the client needs to be had, which could include advising them to sell the home to avoid foreclosure.

considerations for alternative mortgages

Due to the “B” Lender space, it is important to take a good look at the conditions for these mortgage products to ensure that you won’t get trapped with rates you can’t afford.

Before considering an alternative mortgage, there are a few things you should ask yourself:

  1. What issue is keeping me from qualifying for a mortgage today?
  2. How long will it take me to correct this issue and qualify for a mortgage?
  3. How much do I currently have available as a down payment?
  4. Am I willing to wait until I can qualify for a regular mortgage, or do I want/need to get into a certain home today?

If you are someone who is ready to go ahead with an alternative mortgage due to heavy credit score damage, or you don’t want to wait until you’re able to qualify with a traditional lender, these are five questions you should ask when reviewing any alternative mortgage product:

  1. How high is the interest rate?
  2. What is the penalty for missed mortgage payments? How are they calculated? What is the cost to get out of the mortgage altogether?
  3. Is there a prepayment privilege? For example, are you able to avoid penalties if you give the lender a higher mortgage payment once a month?
  4. What is the cost of each monthly mortgage payment?
  5. What is the fine print?

When it comes to alternative lending, things can get a bit murky. Seeking the help of a mortgage professional will ensure that you are making the best decision for you! Reach out if you have questions about various alternative mortgage products and we will review the rates and terms to ensure it is the best fit.

Downsizing Your Home

General Greg Weaver 12 Oct

Moving to a larger house is not the only time that things can change with your home and mortgage. Sometimes there comes a point when owning a home becomes a little too much to handle, or maybe you’re an empty-nester and no longer need three extra bedrooms. Whatever the reason, downsizing is a great option when you no longer need a full size home. Perhaps you want to swap your two-story family home for a rancher, or maybe a cute little apartment or townhouse! Just as there are many options for individuals expanding families, there are just as many options for people wanting to scale down.

For homeowners who are fortunate enough to now be mortgage-free and looking to scale down, you could be sitting on a gold mine!

If you do still owe on your current mortgage, it is important to remember that downsizing during your current mortgage cycle, will be breaking the mortgage. This means you will have to go through the entire qualification process again – including passing the stress test. The stress test is now required for all mortgages. Its purpose is to determine whether a homebuyer can afford their principal and interest payments, should interest rates increase. It is based on the 5-year benchmark rate from Bank of Canada or the customer’s mortgage interest rate plus 2% – whichever is higher.

Regardless of your current situation, there are some costs that go with selling your existing home and moving to something smaller or more affordable.

Some of the costs associated with downsizing are:

  • Realtor commission fees, which range from 2.5 to 5 percent of the home selling price
  • Closing costs and legal fees, which are 1 to 4% of the purchase price on the new home
  • Miscellaneous costs such as moving expenses, upgrading appliances and/or buying new furniture
  • If you are moving into a condominium or townhouse, there are strata fees to consider

WHY NOT CONSIDER A REVERSE MORTGAGE?

Most individuals looking to scale down are looking to do so for retirement or because they are now empty-nesters. However, if you are looking to downsize simply due to being unable to manage your mortgage or maintenance costs, there is an option called a “Reverse Mortgage”.

A reverse mortgage is a loan secured against the value of your home. It is exclusively for homeowners aged 55 years and older and enables the homeowners to convert up to 55% of the home’s value into tax-free cash!

With a reverse mortgage, you maintain ownership of your home and can use the loan to cover costs or pay out debts. The loan would need to be repaid in the event that you choose to move and sell the current home.

If you are looking to downsize your home, a Dominion Lending Centres mortgage professional can help! Contact one of our many experts today to help make your next move a successful one.

 

Article Published by DLC Marketing Team

Your Credit Rating: The Four C’s

General Greg Weaver 30 Sep

Buying your first home is an incredible step in life, but it is not without its hurdles! One of which is demonstrating that you are creditworthy, which all comes down to your credit rating. This is how lenders and credit agencies determine the interest rate you pay, or whether you will qualify for a mortgage at all.

As mortgage rules continue to change, the credit rating is becoming even more important as a higher credit rating could mean a lower interest rate and save you thousands of dollars over the life of your mortgage.

If you’ve never given much thought to your credit rating before, don’t worry! It is not too late and we are going to take through everything you need to know. The most important of which is that, in order to qualify for a home, you must have a credit rating of at least 680 for one borrower.

There are several attributes that factor into your credit score, and these are commonly referred to as the “Four C’s” and consist of: Character, Capacity, Capital, and Collateral. Let’s take a closer look at each:

character

The character component of your credit score is essentially based on YOU and your personal habits, which comes down to whether or not it is in your nature to pay debts on time. Some of the components that make up this portion of your credit score viability, include:

  • Whether you habitually pay your bills on time
  • Whether you have any delinquent accounts
  • How you use your available credit:
    • Quick Tip – Using all or most of your available credit is not advised. It is better to increase your credit limit versus utilizing more than 70% of what is available each month. For instance, if you have a limit of $1000 on your credit card, you should never go over $700.
    • If you need to increase your score faster, a good place to start is using less than 30% of your credit limit.
    • If you need to use more, pay off your credit cards early so you do not go above 30% of your credit limit.
  • Your total outstanding debt

capacity

The second component relating to your credit rating is your capacity. This refers to your ability to pay back the loan and factors in your cash flow versus your debt outstanding, as well as your employment history.

  • How long have you been with your current employer?
  • If you are self-employed, for how long?

Don’t be confused as capacity is not what YOU think you can afford; it is what the LENDER thinks you can afford depending on the debt service ratio. This ratio is used by lenders to take your total monthly debt payments divided by your gross monthly income to determine whether or not you are able to pay back the loan.

capital

Capital is the amount of money that a borrower puts towards a potential loan. In the case of mortgages, the starting capital is your down payment. A larger contribution often results in better rates and, in some cases, better mortgage terms. For instance, a mortgage with a down payment of 20% does not require default insurance, which is an added cost.

When considering this component, it is a good idea to look at how much you have saved and where your down payment funds will be coming from. Is it a savings account? RRSPs? Or maybe it is a gift from an immediate family member.

collateral

Collateral is something that is pledged against a loan for security of repayment. In the case of auto loans, the loan is typically secured by the vehicle itself as the vehicle would be repossessed and re-sold in the event that the loan is defaulted on. In the case of mortgages, lenders typically consider the value of the property you are purchasing and other assets. They want to see a positive net worth; a negative net worth may result in being denied for a mortgage.

Overall, loans with collateral backing are typically more secure and generally result in lower interest rates and better terms.

There is no better time than now to recognize the importance of your credit score and check if you are on track with the Four C’s and your debt habits. A misstep in any one of these areas could be detrimental to your efforts of getting a mortgage.

If you are not sure or want more information, reach out for a FREE review!

 

Article Published by DLC Marketing Team

Title insurance and Home Insurance: Do Homeowners Need Both?

General Greg Weaver 23 Sep

It’s a common question and one that deserves a little context.

Buying a home is an incredibly exciting event for any new homeowner, but with ownership of any property comes the need to protect it from a range of risks. These could include losses or damages to the home and fraudulent attempts to steal, transfer or use the ownership title. Homeowners and lenders can safeguard property from threats with the right insurance.

Many Canadians are familiar with two of the most common forms of insurance, home and title. But they may not be aware that they are two fundamentally distinct forms of coverage. This common misconception can be dangerous, and confusing the two has led many people to obtain one form of insurance, but not the other, leaving them vulnerable to greater risks down the road. The reality is, both forms of insurance are essential to provide comprehensive protection of your property.

The red-hot real estate market shows no signs of slowing down in the foreseeable future. As more Canadians become homeowners, it’s more important than ever for mortgage brokers to understand the difference between title insurance and home insurance to properly assist your clients, and the benefits of investing in both to protect what may be the largest single purchase of their lifetime.

HOME INSURANCE

Home insurance (also known as homeowners insurance or house insurance) protects a residence against losses and damages for many risks and can also include additional structures on your property. While home insurance comes in many forms in the market, the standard policy includes coverage that provides six types of protection:

  1. Dwelling coverage: the most recognized coverage, which protects from natural disasters such as fire, wind and lightening. It is important to note that flood and earthquake coverage are not always covered and may need to be purchased separately.
  2. Other structures coverage: protects sheds, fences and detached garages from natural disasters.
  3. Personal property coverage: covers the items inside the home such as furniture, clothing, electronics and jewelry. Each policy will outline the maximum amount of personal property coverage that homeowners are entitled to.
  4. Personal liability protection: pays for the legal defense if someone gets injured on the homeowner’s property. It is important to note that the policy will only pay up to the specified coverage limit. If legal costs or a settlement exceeds the coverage, the owner will be required to pay the balance out of pocket.
  5. Medical payments coverage: provides protection if someone gets injured on the property and does not want to sue. This coverage will pay for their medical expenses such as crutches or prescription medicines.
  6. Loss of use coverage: covers expenses such as a hotel stay and restaurant meals if the home becomes uninhabitable and needs repairs due to an event that is covered by the policy. Again, there is a limit to how much coverage is received for loss of use. Make sure your client checks with their insurance provider.

Home insurance is typically paid via monthly insurance premiums and the cost depends on various factors including details of the property and the province, or city. The average annual home insurance cost in Canada hovers around the $1,500-mark.

TITLE INSURANCE

Title insurance is a policy that provides protection by indemnifying against loss with respect to your ownership or true entitlement of the insured property. There are two types of title insurance: one protects property owners through an owner’s policy and the other protects lenders through a loan policy. A homebuyer receives title to a home once the previous owner has signed the deed and transferred the property over, and the homebuyer is registered in the government’s land registration system.

Many homeowners assume that title insurance is included within a home insurance policy. Because of this misunderstanding, an alarming number of Canadians today do not have title insurance. While home insurance protects homeowners from unexpected circumstances that occur on or against their property, title insurance protects the homebuyer from unexpected circumstances that affect the title to the property, such as financial loss from title fraud or other issues.

Title insurance also provides protection against loss from pre-existing issues, which may include:

  1. Challenges to title by third parties.
  2. Liens on the title due to the previous owner’s unpaid debts.
  3. Encroachment issues, such as if your client’s backyard shed is technically on their neighbour’s property and needs to be removed.
  4. Adverse matters that would have been disclosed on an up to date survey.
  5. Title fraud, which occurs when a person uses false identification to get the title of a property in order to obtain a mortgage or sell the home without the homeowner knowing or impersonating you to obtain a mortgage.

Additionally, title insurance protects homeowners from title issues that may impact their ability to sell, lease or mortgage their property in the future. It also includes a “duty to defend” to protect both buyers and lenders against expensive litigation related to title issues.

Unlike home insurance, title insurance is a one-time premium that is typically purchased at the same time as the property. However, title insurance can be purchased even if your clients already own their property. The cost of title insurance in Canada averages around $250 but can range anywhere from a few hundred to a few thousand dollars, depending on factors relating to the property.

BE PREPARED

The best way for homeowners to protect themselves from expensive and unexpected costs associated with property ownership is to understand the various risks, and to invest in the right insurance coverage.

Without question, both home insurance and title insurance are incredibly important protection options that homeowners should always consider when purchasing a home.

A home is often your clients’ most valuable asset–make sure they protect it with home insurance and title insurance.

Insurance by FCT Insurance Company Ltd. Services by First Canadian Title Company Limited. The services company does not provide insurance products. This material is intended to provide general information only. For specific coverage and exclusions, please refer to the applicable policy. Copies are available upon request. Some products/services may vary by province. Prices and products/services offered are subject to change without notice.

 

Article Published by FCT – Provided by DLC Marketing 

Registered Trademark of First American Financial Corporation.

10 Mortgage Mistakes

General Greg Weaver 20 Sep

Whether it is your first house or you’re moving to a new neighborhood, getting approved for a mortgage is exciting! However, even if you have been approved and are simply waiting to close, there are still some things to keep in mind to ensure your efforts are successful.

Many homeowners believe that if you have been approved for a mortgage, you are good to go. However, your lender or mortgage insurance provider will often run a final credit report before completion to ensure that nothing has changed. Changes in your credit usage and score could affect what you qualify for – or whether or not you get your mortgage at all.

To avoid having your mortgage approval status reversed or jeopardizing your financing, be sure to stay away from these 10 mortgage mistakes:

1. BEEFING UP YOUR APPLICATION

This is not a time to try and ‘beef up’ your financials; you must be honest on your mortgage application. This is especially true when seeking the advice of a mortgage professional, as their main goal is to assist you in your home buying journey. Providing accurate information surrounding your income, properties owned, debts, assets and your financial past is critical. If you have been through a foreclosure, bankruptcy, or consumer proposal, disclose this right away as well. We are here to help!

2. GETTING PRE-APPROVED

With all the changes and qualifying requirements surrounding mortgages, it is a mistake to assume that you will be approved. Many things can influence whether or not you qualify for financing such as unknown changes to your credit report, mortgage product updates, or rate changes. Getting pre-approved is the first step to ensuring you are on the right track and securing that mortgage! Most banks consider pre-approval to be valid for four months. So, even if you aren’t house-hunting tomorrow, getting pre-approved NOW will come in handy if a new home is in your near future.

3. SHOPPING AROUND

One of the biggest mistakes people make when signing for a mortgage is not shopping around. It is easy to simply sign up with your existing bank, but you could be paying thousands more than you need to, without even knowing it! This is where a mortgage broker can help! With access to hundreds of lenders and financial institutions, a mortgage professional can help you find a mortgage with the best rate and terms to suit YOUR needs.

4. NOT SAVING FOR A DOWN PAYMENT

Your down payment is a critical part of homeownership and a useful financial tool that you should utilize when purchasing a home. A down payment reduces the overall amount of financing you need and increases the amount of equity right from the start. Down payments also show the bank you are serious. In Canada, the minimum down payment is 5% (with mortgage insurance), with the recommended being 20% if possible.

5. CHANGING EMPLOYERS OR JOBS        

As employment is one of the most important factors that determines whether or not you qualify for financing, it is important not to change employers if you are in the middle of the approval process. Banks prefer to see a long tenure with your employer, as it indicates financial stability. It is best to wait for any major career changes until after your mortgage has been approved and you have the keys to your new home!

6. APPLYING OR CO-SIGNING FOR OTHER LOANS

Applying for additional loans or financing while you are currently in the midst of finalizing a mortgage contract can drastically affect what you qualify for – it can even jeopardize your credit rating! Save any big purchases, such as a new car, until after your mortgage has been finalized.

Also, just as applying for new loans can wreak havoc on a mortgage application, so can co-signing for other loans. Co-signing signifies that you can handle the full responsibility of the debt if the other individual defaults. As a result, this will show up on your credit report and can become a liability on your application, potentially lowering your borrowing power.

7. AVOIDING CREDIT MISSTEPS

As mortgage financing is contingent on your credit score and your current debt, it is important to keep these things healthy during the course of mortgage approval. Do not go over any limits on your cards or lines of credit, or miss any payment dates during the time your finances are being reviewed. This will affect whether or not the lender sees you as a responsible borrower.

Also, although you might think an application with less debt available to use would be something a bank would favor, credit scores actually increase the longer a card is open and in good standing. Having unused available credit and cards open for a long duration with a good history of repayment is a good thing! In fact, if you lower the level of your available credit (especially in the midst of an application) it could lower your credit score.

8. HAVING TOO MUCH DEBT

Credit card debt is on the rise and overuse of lines of credit can put you at risk for debt overload. Large purchases such as new truck or boat can push your total debt servicing ratio over the limit (how much you owe versus how much you make), making it impossible to receive financing. Some homeowners have so much consumer debt that they aren’t even able to refinance their home to consolidate that debt. Before you start considering a new home, make sure your current debt is under control.

9. LARGE DEPOSITS

Just as now is not the time for new loans, it is also not the time for large deposits or “mattress money” to come into your account. The bank requires a three-month history of all down payments and funds for the mortgage when purchasing a property. Any deposits outside of your employment or pension income will need to be verified with a paper trail – such as a bill of sale for a vehicle or income tax credit receipts. Unexplained deposits can delay your mortgage financing, or put it in jeopardy if they cannot be explained.

10. MARRYING INTO POOR CREDIT

Having the financial talk before getting hitched continues to be critical for your financial future. Your partner’s credit can affect your ability to get approved for a mortgage. If there are unexpected financial issues with your partner’s credit history, make sure to have a discussion with your mortgage broker before you start shopping for a new home.

If you are currently in the midst of a mortgage application, or are looking to start the process, don’t hesitate to reach out to Greg Weaver today to ensure that you do things the RIGHT way to succeed with your home purchase.

 

 

Article Published by DLC Marketing Team

Bank of Canada Stands Firm

General Greg Weaver 10 Sep

Bank of Canada Responds To Weak Q2 Economy–Holding Policy Steady

As we await the quarterly economic forecast in next month’s Monetary Policy Report, the Bank of Canada acknowledged that the Q2 GDP report, released last week, caught them off-guard. In today’s policy statement, the Governing Council of the Bank said, “In Canada, GDP contracted by about 1 percent in the second quarter, weaker than anticipated in the Bank’s July Monetary Policy Report (MPR). This largely reflects a contraction in exports, due in part to supply chain disruptions, especially in the auto sector. Housing market activity pulled back from recent high levels, largely as expected. Consumption, business investment, and government spending all contributed positively to growth, with domestic demand growing at more than 3 percent. Employment rebounded through June and July, with hard-to-distance sectors hiring as public health restrictions eased. This is reducing unevenness in the labour market, although considerable slack remains and some groups – particularly low-wage workers – are still disproportionately affected. The Bank continues to expect the economy to strengthen in the second half of 2021, although the fourth wave of COVID-19 infections and ongoing supply bottlenecks could weigh on the recovery” (see chart below or view here).

Bank Says CPI Inflation Boosted By Temporary Factors–Maybe

Financial conditions remain highly accommodative around the globe. And the Bank today continued to assert that the rise in inflation above 3% is expected, “boosted by base-year effects, gasoline prices, and pandemic-related supply bottlenecks. These factors pushing up inflation are expected to be transitory, but their persistence and magnitude are uncertain and will be monitored closely. Wage increases have been moderate to date, and medium-term inflation expectations remain well-anchored. Core measures of inflation have risen but by less than the CPI.”

The Governing Council again stated the Canadian economy still has considerable excess capacity, and the recovery continues to require extraordinary monetary policy support. “We remain committed to holding the policy interest rate at the effective lower bound until economic slack is absorbed so that the 2 percent inflation target is sustainably achieved.” Concerning forward guidance, the Bank said, “We remain committed to holding the policy interest rate at the effective lower bound until economic slack is absorbed so that the 2 percent inflation target is sustainably achieved. In the Bank’s July projection, this happens in the second half of 2022.” This seems to be a placeholder statement, allowing the Bank to reassess the outlook next month, possibly delaying the guidance if the economy continues to perform below their July projection.

Similarly, the Bank maintains its Quantitative Easing program at the current pace of purchasing $2 billion per week of Government of Canada (GoC) bonds, keeping interest rates low across the yield curve. “Decisions regarding future adjustments to the pace of net bond purchases will be guided by Governing Council’s ongoing assessment of the strength and durability of the recovery. We will continue to provide the appropriate degree of monetary policy stimulus to support the recovery and achieve the inflation objective.”

Bottom Line

Only time will tell if the Bank of Canada is correct in believing that inflation pressures are temporary. Financial markets will remain sensitive to incoming data, but bond markets seem willing to accept their view for now. The 5-year GoC bond yield has edged down from its recent peak of 1.0% posted on June 28th to a current level of .80%. In contrast, the Canadian dollar had weakened significantly since late June when it was over US$0.825 to US$0.787 this morning. Clearly, the Bank of Canada is committed to keeping Canadian interest rates low for the foreseeable future.

The next Bank of Canada policy decision date is October 27th. Stay tuned for the Canadian employment report this Friday.

 

Please Note: The source of this article is from SherryCooper.com/category/articles/

The Bank of Canada’s Monetary Policy Report and its Impact on You.

General Greg Weaver 2 Sep

The Bank of Canada (BoC) released its latest Monetary Policy Report (MPR), and the outlook is optimistic. With the economy re-opening, vaccinations on the rise, and supply chains finding relief from the bottleneck they’ve experienced, the future looks promising.

What impact does the MPR have on you? What are the implications for mortgages? Let’s take a look at some areas of particular interest.

SOME GENERAL POINTS

While the economy may be starting to rebound, it hasn’t made a full recovery yet. To get back to pre-pandemic levels will take time, and the road may be winding. For that reason, the bank is maintaining its key policy rate at 0.25%. The historically low rate, which has been in place since the beginning of the pandemic, will only be raised when the economy can bear the weight of higher interest.

The BoC stresses that it takes time for monetary policy actions to affect the economy. They state that policy usually takes six to eight quarters for their full effects to be felt, so it’s always a question of playing the long game.

The MPR forecasts that the economy will grow by around 6% in 2021. This means that while the economy grew at a slow rate during the first half of the year, it’s anticipated that consumers are ready to start spending more, especially with COVID restrictions being lifted to various degrees nationwide.

While employment has been recovering, the rate has not yet returned to its pre-pandemic levels. That factor, coupled with the price of gasoline and the cost of services rising as business return, led the BoC to state that inflation will run at or above 3% through the year. The rate is projected to ease to the bank’s target of 2% in 2022, rising again then settling to the target rate by 2024.

Finally, the central bank currently purchases federal bonds at a rate of about $3 billion per week. These purchases are a means to help lower the rates on mortgages and businesses loans. Because these bonds have a guaranteed return on investment, they provide assurance for the federal government that they can balance their books with lower mortgage rates. That is, they will continue to see a return on investment, even if they aren’t recovering extra money from mortgages. The purchase of bonds will be reduced to $2 billion per week, as economic conditions have improved since the start of the pandemic.

WHAT THIS MEANS FOR MORTGAGES AND THE REAL ESTATE MARKET

The good news for homebuyers is that with the Bank of Canada’s rate remaining at 0.25%, mortgages will continue to be low for the next while. If you’re looking to get a new mortgage or to refinance your current one, now is a great time to do so. You’ll be able to take advantage of the incredibly low-interest rate, securing it for your next term. This is assuming, of course, that you’re able to pass the stress test, if it applies to your purchase.

If you currently hold a variable rate mortgage, it could be time to think about locking in at a fixed rate. While the interest rates will stay low for the next while, they are destined to rise. While this may not happen until 2022, you don’t want to be caught unaware by rising interest.

When interest rates do rise, homeowners will feel the effects across the country. While cities like Toronto and Vancouver already have higher real estate prices, places like Montreal and Halifax are witnessing increasing prices as well. This, coupled with the high demand for real estate brought on by the pandemic, means that home buyers are taking out bigger loans to pay for their homes. When the mortgage rate increases, people who have more costly mortgages will have to pay more in monthly costs. In some cases, the increase in interest might make mortgage payments unendurable.

Be advised: The housing market remains competitive, and with the workforce returning, more individuals could be looking to purchase a home. If you are considering buying a home, take time to carefully calculate what you can afford for a down payment and how much of a mortgage you can handle. Knowing what you can safely afford when all your expenses are taken into account ensures that you only look at properties that are within your reach.

HOW TO PREPARE FOR HIGHER INTEREST RATES

As the rise in interest rates are inevitable, here are a few tips to help you ready yourself for the event.

  • If you are currently paying your mortgage on a monthly schedule, consider changing your payment plan to a bi-weekly one as soon as you can afford to do so. By doing this, you’ll be putting more money towards the principal of your mortgage and less to the interest.
  • Set up a dedicated account and start saving any extra money that you can. Most mortgage contracts allow for a lump-sum payment at certain times. When your time comes, apply any extra money that you have to the principal of your loan. This way, you’ll reduce the principal you have left to pay, in turn lowering the amount of interest you have to pay as well. When the mortgage rates inevitably rise, you won’t feel the effects as much as you would if you had a greater principal remaining.

Remember, the BoC states that policy actions take time and that policies must be forward-looking. When thinking about your mortgage and loans, you should be considering the future as well.

Think of ways to save money on your mortgage both in the present and in the future. Speak with your mortgage broker or lender, as they may have advice about how to lower the cost of your repayments. If you’re in the market for a new home, consider the inevitable rise in interest rates when calculating what you can afford to spend on a home. You don’t want to find yourself in a situation where you’re house poor, or even worse, having to foreclose on your mortgage.

Are you currently paying off a mortgage or looking at getting a new one? Let us know your experiences in the comments. As always, if you have any questions, please feel free to reach out to me directly.

 

This is intended to be used as general information only and does not constitute financial advice. Please do your due diligence before making any financial decisions.

Article Published by FCT and DLC

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