April 11, 2017
So, you've decided to take the big step and look into getting what will likely be the biggest loan of your entire life: a mortgage. Applying for a mortgage can be a bit of a nerve-wracking process, esRead More...
Find out how much you can afford before you go househunting! This will keep you focused on shopping for homes within your price range. If you qualify for a preapproved mortgage, you'll be certain of the size of mortgage for which you qualify and guaranteed a rate for a specific period of time. If you don't qualify for a pre-approved mortgage, we will be able to help you estimate a mortgage-qualifying amount.
Buying a home is an exciting time! You're about to take a big step so you'll definitely need some advice from a mortgage professional. We'll give you the facts your bank won't tell you about financing your next purchase. With access to multiple lenders, we'll help you find the best rates and best mortgage options to help you buy your dream home. Our best advice? Begin with a conversation with a mortgage professional in your area.
If your mortgage renewal is fast approaching then you’ll soon be at an important financial milestone. Now's a great time to look at the many innovative options and competitive rates available. Lenders send out renewal forms just prior to renewal dates to those with good payment histories, with about 70% of homeowners sending it back without asking any questions. In today’s hectic world, that can be the easiest and best route, but you should ask yourself some questions before you sign on the dotted line. This could be an important moment of opportunity.
Maybe it just needs some new landscaping, an extra wing for your growing family, an expanded kitchen, or a swimming pool in the backyard! A record number of Canadians have taken advantage of the historic low mortgage rates and rising real estate values and have tapped into their home equity through equity take-outs. There's never been a better time to access the extra funds that can help bring your home to that next level of comfort. Consider accessing the cash you need for the renovations and improvements you've been dreaming about!
Investment properties - particularly smaller, residential real estate - are now accessible to many average Canadians. And as any homeowner will confirm, real estate has been one of the most attractive investment categories in Canada for the past decade. If you're considering an investment in real estate, start by having a conversation with an experienced Mortgage Broker, to explore some of the innovative new options and great rates available today.
There are many Canadians jumping at the chance to own a recreational property. The aging baby boomer population is flush with capital and an insatiable desire for a waterfront or other recreational property. And with the advent of better roads, Internet and telephone service, satellite service, and winterization expertise, people are realizing that vacation properties can make ideal retirement homes. No longer just perceived as a welcome retreat from the city, a second home is now viewed as a solid financial investment with the added value of a potential retirement property.
Many Canadians are taking advantage of refinancing some of the equity in their mortgage to reduce their credit card debt. Why pay high interest rates on your bank's credit card debt when you can add that debt to your mortgage and pay a much lower interest rate! One important part of a strategy is knowing "good debt" from "bad debt". A well-planned mortgage can help you turn those bad debts into good debts and get them out of the way.
Mortgage Brokers primary expertise is locating funding for mortgage financing. They know where the best rates can be found. What's more, they have the knowledge required to present a proposal for financing to lenders in the best way possible to successfully obtain mortgage financing.
Excellent service, great rates and attention to detail. You walked us through everything so there were no surprises at all. Were grateful that we found your services! Highly recommended for sure.
We wanted to get a mortgage through our bank but came across your website on the internet. Are we ever glad we did. We saved literally tens of thousands of dollars and the whole experience was a breeze.
April 4, 2017
Going house hunting can be fun and exciting at first, but the more houses you look at, the more frustrating you might become -- especially if you just can't seem to find the perfect home. No oneRead More...
If you are rate shopping, you’ll notice that the lowest available rate will be for a variable mortgage, which is why I’m often asked “what does variable mean and how is it different from a fixed-rate mortgage?”
With a variable mortgage, your rate will move in conjunction with your lender’s Prime lending rate, which in turn tracks the Bank of Canada’s rate, and will typically be quoted as Prime minus a specified percentage. It can be difficult to predict our economic future so you won’t know for sure what kind of rate ups and downs might be ahead of you.
With a fixed-rate mortgage, your payments are fixed for the term of the mortgage, which offers stability. Fixed-rates are usually better suited to first-time buyers or those who haven’t owned a home for a very long period. Ask yourself these questions: Do you like or need to know exactly what your payment is going to be over a longer period of time? Do you want to avoid the need to consistently watch rates? Do you have less than 20% down? If you answered “yes” to all or most, a fixed-rate mortgage could be the better choice for you.
A variable-rate mortgage is best suited to people who have a flexible budget and can tolerate slightly more risk. Ask yourself these questions: Do you watch market conditions? Can you handle any rate increases that could increase your payment? Do you have more than 20% equity in your home? If you answered “yes” to all or most, a variable-rate mortgage might best suit your needs. Most variables allow you to exercise an option to “lock in” a fixed rate at any time for the remaining portion of your mortgage term or longer. You can also set up your payments at what they would be if you took the higher rate, which helps you pay down your mortgage faster, and creates a financial buffer for you if rates rise later.
If the uncertainty of a variable rate is going to give you sleepless nights, you’re in good company. Many Canadians prefer the certainty of a fixed-rate mortgage. They know exactly how much they will pay over the term of their mortgage, and they can plan accordingly… with no financial surprises. However, lower-rate variable mortgages with a strong Prime minus offer give you the potential to save a lot on interest. And, if your circumstances change and you need to get of out of your mortgage, you will appreciate the lower penalty to get out of a variable versus a fixed-rate mortgage.
Your best option is to get professional and personalized advice. I would be happy to help you determine which option is best suited to your needs.
For many Canadians, their home is a terrific repository of wealth. Home equity can build nicely by chipping away at payments and through increasing home values. Accessing home equity through a refinance (min 20% home equity) has for years been an easy, low-cost way to get needed funds. Various new mortgage rules and “stress-testing” has made refinancing more complicated, but it’s a strategy that continues to make good financial sense for certain homeowners that qualify.
Here are five reasons why:
I have access to dozens of lenders, including alternative lenders that are not subject to the new rules and have less stringent qualification guidelines. If you are interested, I can provide you with a personalized analysis so you can determine whether a refinance makes sense. My job is to help you pay down debt, build wealth, create financial security, and enjoy life to the fullest!
Some retirees still believe that sometime during retirement, they must leave the home they love. But it is possible to stay home and have the mortgage they’ve paid all their lives start paying them. That’s the concept of a reverse mortgage, a potential route to financial freedom. There are no payments required, and ownership of the home is always maintained. The tax-free cash received from a reverse mortgage can be taken over time or in one lump sum, which can create a financial cushion and help manage ongoing bills, or can provide the funds needed to pay off debts, purchase a second home, start a new business, fix up the home, travel, or help a loved one buy a home. If you – or someone you know – is age 55 or over and is exploring their retirement options, get in touch for more details and a personal analysis.
Simply put, it’s become a lot more complicated to renew a mortgage in Canada. Some clients are surprised to discover they don’t qualify for the best rates with their current lender, or that they can’t switch their mortgage to a new lender for a better rate. My advice? Start preparing early. Here’s why:
New accounting rules called IFRS 9 (IFRS stands for International Financial Reporting Standard) will cause lenders to pay closer attention to any warning signals that clients may have trouble paying their mortgage. As a result, if your lender feels your risk has increased i.e. perhaps your credit score has slipped, they may then offer you a higher rate at renewal, even if you have never missed a payment. Good news – download my MOPOLO app to monitor your credit score monthly!
Do you have an “uninsured mortgage”? If you want to switch to a new lender for a better rate, that new lender will need to qualify you using the new .”stress test”, which may affect your ability to move your mortgage, and giving your lender no incentive to offer you the best rates at renewal. I can help you understand your options. One of the things we’ll look at is whether we can switch your mortgage to a lower-rate insurable mortgage: a move that could offer huge savings over the long term. Not sure if your mortgage is insured or not? I can find that out for you.
Mortgage rate trends. While fixed rates are higher today than they were a year ago, many lenders are offering exceptionally low rates on their variable rate mortgages. In addition to offering the ability to save on interest, a variable mortgage can be significantly less expensive to get out of should you need to. It’s critical that you work with a mortgage expert who has access to more than 50 different lending options, including credit unions that aren’t subject many of the same rules. So as soon as you hear from your lender about your mortgage renewal, get in touch! Or let’s have a conversation about credit improvement tips or discuss the potential impact of changes in your personal situation like reduced household income.
Canadians know that a smart home renovation can both increase their property value, and improve the way they live in their home. Putting a renovation on your high-interest credit card can wipe out the value you’re adding, and create months – or years - of financial stress. Good news, there is a better way. You may be able to get that new kitchen (or bathroom, backyard etc.) through your mortgage, typically your most cost-effective way to finance. Here’s how I can help:
PURCHASE Plus Improvements: Perfect for those looking at buying a fixer-upper, a Purchase Plus Improvements Mortgage covers the sale price of the home, plus the cost of any renovations that will increase the value of the property, up to $40,000. Then you can look at financing up to 95% of this future post-reno value. If you’ve found a house with “great bones” that can be renovated into the home of your dreams, then this is the mortgage that can make those dreams come true.
REFINANCE Plus Improvements: Tailor-made for those that don’t have enough equity to refinance, the Refinance Plus Improvements Mortgage allows you to finance up to 80% of the improved value of your home once the up to $40,000 in home improvement renovations are completed. Your lender will advance the total mortgage, pay off your existing mortgage, and instruct the solicitor to hold back the amount for the improvements. Once the lender is satisfied the renos are complete, the solicitor is instructed to release the funds for the renos. There are options we can discuss for carrying your expenditures until the funds are released. Should you have more than 20% equity in your current home, you may be able to simply do a conventional refinance and take out the equity you need. It’s almost always better to protect your savings, keep large expenses off your credit card, and simply access funds through your mortgage. I can even help structure a mortgage with features to help you pay your project off faster – for more savings. There are several steps required to complete these types of mortgages and I would be happy to review the process with you. Let’s make your dream a reality!
New mortgage rules might mean that you need a bigger downpayment than you expected. Here are some of the sources that can be used:
If you still need help qualifying, we can discuss having a parent cosign the mortgage with you, which is very common with millennial homebuyers. I’m here to help, so get in touch for answers to all your questions!
This Spring we’re seeing lenders getting aggressive with their pricing for variable rate mortgages: a sign that lenders are fighting for market share, making it a great time to be shopping for a mortgage!
First a reminder of the difference between fixed vs variable. Fixed rates are often well suited to first-time buyers or those who haven’t owned a home for long because they want to know with absolute certainty what their payment will be for a set number of years. A variable mortgage has an interest rate that will move in conjunction with your lender’s Prime rate, which in turn tracks the Bank of Canada’s overnight rate, and will be expressed as “prime minus x percent.” If the Bank of Canada raises or lowers its rate, then you’ll likely see that reflected in your mortgage payment.
Right now, lenders are shaving off those variable rate mortgage offers: creating some of the best rates we’ve seen in many months. Consider the advantages:
I’ve even got clients breaking their existing mortgages to take advantage of this sudden crop of very low variable rates being offered right now.
It’s not for everyone. But the possibility of big savings is out there right now, and it won’t last forever. Get in touch and we can review the numbers to see if it’s something you should be taking advantage of.
Is your mortgage coming up for renewal this year? If so, you’re not alone. In fact, there’s an unprecedented spike in the number of mortgages renewing in 2018! If you’re one of them, then you’ve got a perfect moment of opportunity to potentially save thousands of dollars. Together we can review what your current lender is offering, but we should also look at the marketplace to see if it makes sense for you to take your mortgage elsewhere.
Is your current mortgage insured? If not, you likely didn’t get the best rate available. One of the things we’ll look at is whether we can switch your mortgage t
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