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

2016-12-05 - 5 Ways to Improve Mortgage Qualifying Success

Yes new mortgage rules have made it harder to qualify for a mortgage, whether you are a first-time buyer or looking to renew or refinance your mortgage with a new lender. That’s why you should get yourself mortgage ready well in advance.  Here are 5 tips to help you do just that:

  1. Get your credit report. Getting a copy of your credit report will let you know how you will be viewed by lenders. You can order yours for free through the mail or for a small fee online at www.equifax.ca. If you spot a problem, contact Equifax to resolve the issue.
  2. Polish your credit. You can boost your score by several points fairly quickly with continual good credit habits. Most importantly, pay your bills on time, every time. Don’t let your credit accounts exceed 50% of the credit available. Before you cancel any credit cards, get advice. And don’t apply for a store card just to save on your purchase that day. Make a habit of checking your credit score each year, and watch how those good credit habits push your credit score skywards!
  3. Cash is king. Plan to go into homeownership with the maximum downpayment possible. If you are in the 'saving up' stage of preparing for homeownership, now is the time to meet. There are several downpayment savings strategies available that we can put to work for you.
  4. Get a boost from family. Parents and grandparents have enjoyed the personal and financial benefits of home ownership themselves, and see how hard it is today to make that important first step into the market. Check to see if they are willing to help by gifting or loaning some or all of the downpayment, or by helping you with other debts.
  5. Start a dialogue early. Get in touch early to talk about your purchase, refinance or renewal plans. I can help you be fully prepared to get you where you want to go, and to make sure you can take advantage of any opportunities that come your way.

Also remember, history has proven that it is almost impossible to perfectly time the market. Home ownership has proven to be a very solid investment over the long term, so focus on buying a home when you are financially ready and when it fits your lifestyle;

Enjoy more, stress less!

Make a plan to spend December in a way that will be the most enjoyable for you. Don’t stretch yourself too thin, use the power of saying 'no' and set boundaries with family, friends and colleagues. Find other ways you’ll guarantee yourself more enjoyment and less stress.  Be sure to exercise, make time for yourself, watch a movie, take a long walk on a sunny day, go phone and computer free for an evening, stick to your holiday list and budget, give back to a cause or your community, simplify your holiday décor, focus on what’s important and be grateful for what you have.  Always remember that it’s A Wonderful Life!                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                           

2016-11-02 - Should you stress about the stress test?

Your Home & Mortgage

What you should know about new mortgage rules.

On October 3rd, Finance Minister Bill Morneau announced that new mortgage rules will include more stringent “stress testing” for borrowers. The new rules are designed to lower debt levels, enforce some belt-tightening, and protect the housing market over the long term. Here’s how these new rules will affect Canadians.

THE HIGH-RATIO RULE

There has been a long-time rule that you must have “high-ratio mortgage insurance” if you have less than 20% downpayment. This insurance is there to protect the lender, and the premium is almost always added to your mortgage amount.

What’s changed? If you require an insured mortgage, you must qualify for your mortgage using the Bank of Canada qualifying rate (currently 4.64%) regardless of what your actual mortgage rate will be.

That means that – although I can find you a much better mortgage rate – you’d still need to show you can handle the mortgage using the qualifying rate. This financial “stress test” was already applicable for fixed and variable mortgages with terms of 1 to 4 years. Now, it also applies to fixed-rate mortgages of 5 years or longer.

Why the new rule? The government wants to be sure that borrowers can withstand any increases in mortgage rates when their mortgages come up for renewal.

Will my payments be higher? No. Your payments will still be based on your much lower actual mortgage contract rate. Keep in mind that mortgage rates are expected to stay at record lows into 2020. So this new rule isn’t costing you more. The potential change will be in how much mortgage you will qualify for: up to 20% less. You may need to plan on purchasing a less expensive home, or save up a larger downpayment, or ensure you eliminate all or most of your other debts.

Are any loans grandfathered? The new mortgage stress test does not apply when:

  • A mortgage loan insurance application was received before October 17, 2016;
  • The lender made a legally binding commitment to make the loan before October 17, 2016; or
  • The borrower entered into a legally binding agreement of purchase and sale for the property against which the loan was secured before October 17, 2016.

THE CONVENTIONAL MORTGAGE RULE

Maybe you have more than 20% down or equity in your home and you are planning to purchase, renew or refinance. Since you have strong equity, you aren’t considered a “high-ratio” borrower.

What's changed? Effective November 30th, any mortgage loans that lenders insure using portfolio insurance must now meet eligibility criteria applicable to “high ratio” mortgages, including the new qualifying stress test. This means that rental properties, properties over $1 million, and mortgages with an amortization greater than 25 years will no longer be eligible for portfolio insurance.

Does this mean I will have trouble getting a mortgage? Certainly not. The change will only affect certain lenders that insure or securitize these types of mortgages. I have access to a wide range of lenders, which means I can help you find the best mortgage for your situation. But if you are thinking of refinancing, get in touch now just to be sure you lock in a low rate.

THE CAPITAL GAINS REPORTING RULE

Canadians love the capital gains exemption they get on their primary residence: if your home grows in value, you aren’t taxed on that growth when you sell.

What's changed? Starting this tax year, the sale of a primary residence must be reported at tax time to the Canada Revenue Agency, even though all capital gains are still tax exempt.

Why? This new rule was designed to prevent foreign property purchasers from claiming a primary residence tax exemption to which they are not entitled.

Although there are definite regional variations, the Canadian housing market is strong. A good part of the reason for that strength is that we have had stringent mortgage requirements. Mortgage defaults in Canada continue to be very low: in spite of the ups and downs of the economy.

The new rules are aimed at ensuring home ownership continues to be a solid, long-term investment. Give me a call: I’ll help ensure you make the most of it!

2016-10-05 - Which renovations go right to your bottom line?

Whether you are looking to buy a fixer-upper or renovate your existing home to improve the quality of life for you and your family, it’s worthwhile to understand which home renovations can help boost the value of your home and go straight to your bottom line. According to the Appraisal Institute of Canada (AIC), the top four renovations with the highest return on investment (ROI) include:

  • Updated kitchen – the kitchen is almost always the heart of the home, so it’s no surprise that kitchen renovations consistently provide the best return on your renovation investment. If payback is important to you, keep the project in line with the style and quality of the rest of the house and neighbourhood.
  • A sparkly bathroom  – bathroom renovations are also very reliable when it comes to boosting the overall value of your home.
  • Fresh painting – whether it’s inside or outside, a fresh coat of paint can work wonders on the overall impression of your home. If you are looking to sell, choose neutrals that have wide-ranging market appeal.
  • Focus on decor – updating lighting and plumbing fixtures, counter tops, and replacing worn flooring or refinishing hardwood floors are also definite ROI winners.

Of course it’s also important to budget for those renovations that are necessary just to maintain your home’s worth. According to the AIC, it’s essential to replace the roof, update heating/cooling systems and replace windows/doors as they near the end of their life expectancy. The AIC also lists finishing the basement, garage improvements, sun rooms and other additions, decks and fences, and landscaping as the top renovations that generally offer the highest enjoyment value.

If you’re thinking renovation, let’s talk. I can help you finance your reno so you can maximize your bottom line and personal home enjoyment. If you’re buying and planning immediate renovations, I can bundle the cost of your planned renos right into your mortgage: so instead of sky-high credit card and line of credit bills, you’ll have your mortgage and renovations looked after in one easy monthly payment.

 

Your source for lowest-cost funds

Canadians are looking to their mortgage for low-cost funds. According to a 2015 survey by Mortgage Professionals Canada, for those who were qualified to do so (homeowners with at least 20% equity), and did take equity out of their home, the average amount withdrawn was $70,000, up from $51,000 in the previous survey. The top reasons for refinancing include:

  1. Paying down debt (35%)
  2. Renovations (23%)
  3. Investments (19%)
  4. Purchases or education (14%)

Your mortgage can be your best route to low-interest debt. Whatever your need might be, I can crunch the numbers to see if your mortgage is your most cost-effective option.

2016-09-07 - 5 Ways to Plug the Money Leaks

The brisk back-to-work attitude of September makes it a great time to review your finances and particularly your spending. Whether you are saving to buy a home or pay one off, your “money leaks” can add up to some big bucks over time. Here are five ways to find some of your missing money:

  1. Spending while unconscious. Track your spending and consider your impulse buys at the grocery, gas station, convenience and other stores; the services you are being charged monthly for that you don’t really use; or your brand name buying when generic will do. Look for the leaks, and then resolve to spend consciously. If impulse buying is a big culprit, always make a list and stick to it, only grocery shop once a week and never on an empty stomach! 
  2. Convenience costs.  It’s a lot easier to spend more than you intend to when you exclusively use your credit cards because you aren’t seeing the money. You just press some buttons and presto, your purchase is made. You might not be so liberal with your money if you actually had to hand it over. Consider withdrawing a fixed amount of cash for your spending every week.
  3. Examine your bills. Take a good hard look at your monthly bills and go through them line by line. Look for small, unexplained charges, fees, and add-ons. Some of them may be for services you don’t use or perhaps don’t remember requesting. Or they could be for services that you can actually live without. Even if the amount is small, why have it charged every month?
  4. It doesn’t hurt to ask. Whether you are signing up for internet or buying a car, ask “is this the best you can do?” or “can you make it more affordable?” Do research in advance so you are prepared and knowledgeable on all things related to what you are buying.
  5. Plug your biggest money leak: high interest. All of the savings you make in lifestyle choices mean nothing if you don’t put a plug on paying high interest. Always pay down your credit cards as much as possible. If debt is choking your cash flow and you have enough equity in your home, you may be able to move that debt to your lower-rate mortgage and save thousands. If high interest debt is a big money leak for you, get in touch. Using home equity to pay down debt is one of my specialties.

Vancouver’s Foreign Buyer Tax

The BC government moved to address the lack of housing affordability with an additional 15% property transfer tax on foreign nationals and corporations buying in Metro Vancouver. Foreign nationals may now look to other cities, adding some price pressure to those markets. The measure isn’t expected to have a significant slowing effect. According to the Provincial Finance Minister, foreign nationals accounted for only a small percent of the overall market, 5.1% of sales in the region during a 3 week period in June. In today’s shifting marketplace, it’s never been more important to get expert and timely mortgage advice and access to as many options as possible.

2016-08-03 - This is the homebuyer of the Future

This past June, Mortgage Professionals Canada published their survey results on the Next Generation of Homebuyers; adults under the age of 40 who don’t currently own a home but expect to own in the future. If you are planning on buying, or help a child get into homeownership, these results can be an interesting comparison to your own situation.  Here are some of the key findings:

  • 52% are under 30 years old, 48% aged 30 to 39
  • 55% singe, 39% married/living with a partner
  • 81% have no children
  • 72% agree that mortgages are good debt, and 76% agree real estate is a good long-term investment. 58% are optimistic about the economy in the next 12 months.
  • The decision to buy is often influenced by key life events – start a family (33%), getting a promotion/raise (30%), getting married (29%), inheritance (8%).
  • Primary downpayment sources are personal savings (73%), gift/loan from a family member (36%), TFSA (33%) and RRSP (29%).
  • Average downpayment savings is $37,000 among imminent buyers.
  • Neighbourhood (61%), safety (58%), and potential for increase in value (50%) are the most important home features. Features that are considered to be worth a premium are nice neighbourhood (33%), short commute (31%) and safety (29%).

In terms of where to source their mortgage, 59% said they will likely use a Mortgage Broker once aware of their services. The top five reasons cited for using a mortgage brokers are:

  1. They are experts/specialize in mortgages
  2. Getting the best rate
  3. Help you negotiate a better deal
  4. Access to more lenders
  5. Convenient, one-stop shopping

Wherever you are in your homeownership journey, I am here to answer your questions and help you find the right mortgage, with the rate and flexibility you need to be a happy homeowner. 

Real estate and rates post Brexit and OSFI tightening

The uncertainty created with Brexit, in which Britons voted to leave the European Union, will keep interest rates low in the U.S. and Canada well into 2019 according to most economists. The impact on Canada for both its real estate markets and interest rates looks bright.  Foreign money, in search of stable, safe havens for housing assets will naturally gravitate to Vancouver and Toronto now that Britain looks riskier. A continued low interest rate environment for many years will allow buyers outside of those areas to purchase with confidence, knowing that rates will remain low and affordable for some time.

The Office of the Superintendent of Financial Institutions (OSFI) on July 7th released a letter to all federally regulated financial institutions (FRFIs) to engage in prudent mortgage underwriting. They are clearly concerned these low rates will continue to fuel the housing market, and want FRFIs to place increased focus on verifying borrowers’ income (particularly for sources outside of Canada), have greater scrutiny of loans to borrowers with high debt or low credit scores, and ensure borrowers can make mortgage payments if rates rise. As a result, mortgage applications will become subject to more scrutiny and requests for increased documentation. It has never been more important to deal with an experienced mortgage professional who has access to as many options as possible, including lenders not subject to federal regulations, and will work with you to ensure your situation is clearly represented with your lender.

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