Our Mortgage Services

Mortgage Pre-Approval

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.

First Time Buyers

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.

Renewing Your Mortgage

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.

Renovation Financing

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

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.

Vacation Homes

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.

Debt Consolidation

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.

Why Choose A Mortgage Broker

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.

  1. They work for YOU, not the bank
  2. They are experts at matching you with the best-suited mortgage.
  3. Access to different lenders, banks, trust companies, investors and financial institutions.

Educational Videos

Testimonials

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.

Latest Blog Posts

Welcome

Welcome to my new Website. I hope you find the information interesting. Should you have any questions, please feel free to contact me.

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2 Out of 3 Don't Shop at Renewal

Every now and then we see a mortgage stat that’s a jaw-dropper. This finding from Manulife Bank is one of them. It suggests there are a lot more people with money to burn than one might expect.

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Latest News

2017-08-08 - After the Rate Hike... What's Next?

Your Home & Mortgage

On July 12th, for the first time in seven years, the Bank of Canada increased the overnight rate by .25%, withdrawing some of the stimulus that was needed after the oil price collapse and 2008 financial crisis.

Variable rate mortgages and lines of credit will see higher rates and modest payment increases. Fixed-rate mortgages – which are based on the bond market – had already been trending slightly upward, although if you have a fixed mortgage, you aren’t affected until it’s time to renew. Keep in mind that this is a very small increase, and we’re still in an ultra-low rate environment and an incredibly stable market. We’ve also seen increases before to only see them decrease again. But rates have risen, so here are answers to the questions I’m getting:

Should I jump into the market now?
Actually, my advice is always the same: buy when you are financially ready. Don’t jump the gun just because rates “may” go higher.  But by all means, if you’re thinking about buying, I can arrange a pre-approval so you’re protected from rate increases while you shop around.
Should I lock in my variable rate mortgage ASAP?
That depends. Your new rate with the hike is probably still less than current 5-year fixed rates, and you’ll still likely pay less if there is another .25% increase. So why pay more money than you have to? Stick with your original strategy of focusing on payment vs. rate. But if it’s going to keep you awake at night – or the few extra dollars are hard to find in your budget – then let’s talk about your conversion options. Remember though, you should be confident you’ll stay in a 5-year fixed mortgage for the full term. Breaking a fixed mortgage can result in some tough penalties.
What if my mortgage is coming up for renewal?
Don’t feel rushed or pressured by a renewal letter or call. Let’s discuss your options. We’ll review your renewal offer together and I’ll shop around to see if it’s really the best deal available. Got too much other debt? This may be the time to roll it into a new mortgage to boost cash flow and save on interest costs.
Should we talk?
Yes for sure. You should have confidence in your mortgage plan and that’s why professional mortgage advice is so critical. I have access to a wide range of lenders and know the right questions to ask to assess your situation and make sure you have the best mortgage strategy.

More Stress Testing!

The Office of the Superintendent of Financial Institutions (OSFI) is proposing the introduction of a new stress test for uninsured mortgages i.e. with more than 20% down. If implemented, these mortgages will be qualified at 2% higher than the borrower’s contract rate. Why? Similar to insured mortgages which are currently stress tested, the government wants to make sure homeowners can afford their mortgage if rates rise. This new stress test is still under discussion, so stay tuned for any new guidelines by year end.

2017-06-30 - This is How to Buy and Renovate

Your Home & Mortgage

Many homebuyers looking at older properties find themselves in a common predicament: they’ve found a property that suits them, but it needs some costly and immediate upgrades. Good news. We’ve got a mortgage that will keep you financially afloat!

A “Purchase Plus Improvements” mortgage adds the cost of those immediate renovations into your mortgage, so you don’t have to rack up credit card bills or sell investments to pay for the upgrades.  This mortgage will cover the sale price of the home, plus any renovations that would increase the value of the property, up to $40,000. This way you can spread your payments over the life of the mortgage and have a cost-effective way to get into your dream home. You can then use your pre-payment privileges to pay the renovation off faster.

Here is an overview of the process:

  1. Obtain cost estimates for the upgrades.
  2. An appraisal with two separate values will be required: first the value of the property 'as is' and the estimated value of the property once the improvements are completed.
  3. Your lender will add the estimated costs of the renovation into your mortgage. The committed amount of the mortgage will be advanced to your solicitor, who will be instructed to hold back the renovation funds until the work has been completed and inspected.
  4. Complete your upgrades; funds are released upon completion.
  5. There are options we can discuss for carrying your expenditures until the funds can be released. 

So if you find a home with “great bones” that can be renovated into the home of your dreams, get in touch early. I’m here to make sure your homebuying journey has a happy ending.

2017-06-07 - 'Conditional on Financing': The Most Important Part of Your Offer

Your Home & Mortgage

When you find the condo or house of your dreams and want to make an offer, do you need a financing condition? Unless you can pay cash for the home, then yes you do. That little phrase – “conditional on financing” – is an important protection for buyers. 

When an offer to purchase is made “conditional on financing”, we gain the time needed i.e. 3 to 5 days to ensure that you are fully approved for the necessary funds. Your lender needs to feel as comfortable about the property as you do and will likely conduct an assessment. After all, the property is the lender’s security if something goes wrong. Even if you have a mortgage preapproval, the lender may decline the property for reasons such as: 

  • The address may be just outside the acceptable location perimeter for the lender.
  • Concern over a former grow op, an environment matter, or zoning issues.
  • The appraisal may not match the offer you’ve made.

Don’t let the rush to buy overcome common sense. A preapproval is a guideline only, and a lender could disregard it: especially if your income or financial situation has changed. That “conditional on financing” gives you time to confirm with the lender, and to withdraw the offer if the lender’s queries turn up something negative about the house.

An offer without conditions leaves you and your family on the hook. If the financing falls through, you will lose your deposit, and could be sued by the seller. It’s not the happily-ever-after scenario you envisioned when you made your offer. If you really want to put in an offer with no financing conditions, I can assist you in mitigating your risk i.e. review the strata docs, listing information, and contact the lender and insurer about the property prior to writing the offer, which can help eliminate some of the risk but nothing can be 100% guaranteed. Let me help you make sure your homebuying journey has a happy ending.

Home Appraisals 101

When you get a new mortgage, an appraisal of the subject property is often required by your lender. An appraisal is an unbiased determination by an accredited appraiser of the estimate of the current fair market value of the property. The appraiser provides the lender with a written opinion of the property’s value, and is client-paid for most refinances, switches, conventional mortgages and only in exceptional situations, high-ratio mortgages. It’s required for refinances because you can only refinance up to 80% of your home’s appraised value, and for some purchases and switches because the property becomes the lender’s security. Keep in mind that when a realtor gives you an evaluation of a property’s value, that should not be considered an appraisal for financing purposes. And given the hot housing market in some parts of Canada that are seeing bidding wars, some buyers are paying well over asking and the appraiser may determine that the property has a lower value, which could affect the buyer’s financing. As always, please get in touch at any time if you have any questions.

2017-05-03 - Bridge Financing: What You Need to Know

Your Home & Mortgage

 

A bridge loan is a short-term financing tool that helps you “bridge” the gap between old and new mortgages when you move from one home to another. You may be taking possession of your new home a week or two in advance of closing on your current home, either because of how your closing dates worked out, or because you want to do some renovating on your new home before you move in. Whatever the reason, bridge financing is going to be your best friend for a few weeks: making it possible to easily transition from the old to the new.

Here’s what you need to know:

  1. It’s for a specific amount, which is your home’s selling price minus your current mortgage and costs (realtor and legal fees).
  2. It’s for a short period of time i.e. 1 to 30 days, and your lender will want to see a firm sale agreement for your existing place, with conditions waived. 
  3. Not all lenders offer bridge loans, although there are private lenders that meet this need.  Since you are working with a mortgage broker, you are in good hands: I can put together a combination of a new mortgage and bridge loan even if it’s not with the same lender.
  4. Expect to pay more. Your bridge is going to be at a higher rate than your mortgage, and will include administration fees, even when the bridge loan is with the same lender. Bridge loans from private lenders will likely have higher rates and fees, although they may offer more flexible terms.  For most homebuyers, the convenience is worth it!
  5. Plan in advance just in case.  Together we’ll discuss your ability to carry two mortgages in the event that a rare worst-case scenario plays out. Your lawyer will pay out your bridge loan from the sale proceeds of your home. If for any reason the sale falls through, your lawyer will register the bridge loan as a charge on the property. And if you require a longer bridge i.e over 30 days, or for an amount over the lender’s maximum, your lender may register a charge against the property and your costs will increase

Most homebuyers say a bridge was well worth it to buy some extra time for a smooth transition. If you think you’ll need a bridge, let’s talk. My ability to offer you multiple lending options definitely works in your favour!

Capital Gains Tax: A Quick Primer

Leading up to the last federal budget, there was speculation that Canadians should brace for some changes in capital gains rules. That didn’t happen, and that’s good news. The sale of your principal residence for a gain is still a tax freebie.  If you are selling a property other than your principal residence, then you’ll pay tax on 50% of any gain you realize. That rate first went into effect in 1972. The inclusion rate was increased to 66.6% in 1988 and then to 75% in 1990 as part of a two-stage increase.  But it was ratcheted back down in 2000, and landed once again at the 50% rate where it has remained to today. You are now required to report the sale of your principal residence on your tax return. While still tax exempt, you may be asked to prove that it was your principal residence. If the feds do once again increase the inclusion rate, we can expect the government to provide ample advance warning to allow people to adjust their financial situations. So basically no real changes, but keep good records!

2017-04-05 - What is an Interest-saving Mortgage?

One of the problems in the mortgage industry is the way mortgages are advertised – usually by rate. If an online rate says 1.9%, chances are homebuyers are going to check it out.

What many don’t realize is that saving interest is what saves money over the long term, and that rate is only part of the story. On a $500,000 mortgage, a rate of 0.1% lower does not even equate to a savings of $500 a year. The right mortgage however can save you much more than that.

Saving interest is the key to pounding down your debt and building your wealth. That means that yes, we look at rate, but the real savings results from the little things you don’t see with an advertised rate: like finding the right combination of options, privileges and payment schedules to maximize your savings.

For example, drop a few hundred dollars against your mortgage principal once in a while and you could save thousands in interest and shave years off your mortgage. That’s because if you knock down the principal even a little, every dollar you pay after that will go further.

Mortgage contracts are full of devilish details that make winners and losers of Canadian homebuyers. Rates are just the lure. Generally, the lower the rate, the bigger the catch.

With more than 50 lenders – including most of the major banks – I can build you an interest-saving mortgage. Together we’ll look at:

  • Prepayment privileges: those options that can help you slam down your debt by increasing your payments and/or putting down lump sums.
  • Portability. Unless you’ll be there for good, you’ll want favourable rates and terms should you want to port your mortgage from one property to another.
  • Fees for breaking the mortgage. This is a big one because there can be substantial differences between lenders. Remember… life happens. If there’s even a chance you’ll need to break your mortgage, going with a lender that has reasonable fees can save you thousands.
  • Minimizing all restrictions and fees as much as possible.

These key mortgage features don’t fit in a rate ad. But trust me… this is where the rubber hits the road in building the right mortgage.

Catch yourself looking at low online rates? Time to come in for a chat; let’s have a conversation about building your custom interest-saving mortgage!

Qualifying  Rate vs Contract Rate

The qualifying rate is the rate lenders are required to use to calculate your debt service ratios when reviewing your mortgage application. It’s used to ensure that Canadians aren’t getting “in over their heads” with their mortgages, and applies to all variable and fixed-rate insured mortgages and some conventional mortgages. Although I can find you a much better mortgage rate, you’ll still need to show you can handle your mortgage using the qualifying rate. While you must “qualify” at this higher rate, your actual payments will be based on your lower mortgage contract rate.

 

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