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.

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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.

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2021-10-06 - What’s involved in giving your child a boost to home ownership?

What’s involved in giving your child a boost to home ownership?

With the financial demands of school loans, living expenses, and finding a career path, many young people struggle to purchase their first home. Often, parents and grandparents are very sympathetic. They’ve enjoyed the financial benefits of long-term home ownership themselves and see how hard it is today to make that important first step into the real estate market. And when you add in the run up in home prices over the last 18 months, it’s not a surprise that homebuying assistance using these two strategies is up dramatically -

  1. Gifted downpayment – you sign a gift letter for the lender that says the funds are a gift and are not required to pay the money back at any time. 
  2. Co-signing the mortgage – you assume a shared legal responsibility, agreeing to repay the mortgage if your child is unable to do so.

You do want to put some careful thought into this before you help. Here are some things you may want to consider:  

Your own financial situation. Your first responsibility is to your own financial security, so you need to consider what kind of help you can afford. Can you afford to gift the money, and if so, how much? Will you be okay to assume responsibility of the mortgage payments if you co-sign and the primary borrower defaults? Co-signing could also limit your ability to borrow and affect your credit score. 

Family dynamics. Are there siblings or other family members to consider? Will there be an issue of fairness that you need to manage?

Homeownership is a big financial responsibility. You know there are more costs to homeownership than just paying the monthly mortgage payment, like heat, hydro, insurance, cable, taxes, and of course repairs and upkeep. Before you offer your child a boost to homeownership, consider whether they’re ready for the financial responsibility.

If your child is married or living with a partner, consider property law. Should your child’s marriage break up, you may discover that 50 percent of the money goes free and clear to your child’s partner as part of a settlement of family property. If this is a concern to you, be sure to get in touch with a lawyer to discuss what protections you may be able to put in place before funding.

Get in touch! Your child is preparing to embark on an important financial journey, and you want to do your best to help get them on the right path. The best place to begin is with sound, expert advice. Start them on a good financial habit and have them get in touch for access to the most mortgage options and clear-eyed, common-sense advice. The earlier the better!

 

2021-09-08 - Six tips for financial fitness this Fall

Six tips for financial fitness this Fall

It’s September and there is some optimism that we may be moving towards the end of life in a global pandemic. The Fallhas always been a great time to go back to school on financial fitness, and this year it may be more important than ever. Here are some tips to help make sure your finances are fit and stay that way: 

  1.  Splurge, just a little. Many of us dealt with stressors that we didn’t even know existed, like not being able to see loved ones. That’s why we all want to live a little, but perhaps do it strategically so you don’t break the bank. Maybe have some celebratory days with a set amount that you can spend where you go out and do the things you’ve really missed.
  2. Revisit (or start) your budget. Having a budget is one of the most important ways to achieve a solid financial future. It might not be the most thrilling task, but it’s one that will give you a clearer picture of where you stand and how much you can truly spend. You’ll also be able to determine how much money you can allocate to your “live a little” fund. While preparing your budget, first take a new look at your monthly bills and go through them line by line. You may have signed up for services you never really use or perhaps don’t remember requesting. Look for small, unexplained charges, fees, and add-ons, and the services that you can now live without. 
  3. Maintain your credit. Your credit score is essentially your passport to financial opportunities. It can mean the difference between getting approved or denied for any kind of credit and can prevent you from getting the lowest mortgage rate. The good news is that you have a lot of control over your score. That’s why it’s important to always have good credit behaviours. The single biggest factor to having a good score is a timely bill payment history so never let a bill get past due. Be sure to know your credit limits and try not to use more than 30% of the available amount, don’t be tempted to apply for store cards just to save on your purchase that day, and before you cancel a credit card get advice.
  4. Focus on your high-interest debt. Always keep an eye on your high interest debt and pay down your credit cards as much as possible. If you find that your debt is making things difficult, you may be able to move that debt to your lower-rate mortgage if you have enough home equity. You could save thousands in interest, have one lower monthly payment that greatly improves your cash flow, and enjoy much reduced financial stress.
  5. Spend time, not money. We’ve all gained a new appreciation of the value of being able to spend time with loved ones in person, that it’s something to treasure. Focusing on this may keep you from spending money you might not have or might not want to spend! 
  6. Help others. There are many that weren’t very fortunate during the pandemic. Consider committing some money to giving back – charities, shop local, tip restaurant workers and others generously.  

I’m here to help so please get in touch at any time. It’s my goal to help you maximize your financial fitness so you can build wealth for the long term.  

 

2021-07-02 - 6 Ways for Homeowners to Build Wealth

6 Ways for Homeowners to Build Wealth

History has proven that homeownership is a solid long-term investment. You build your equity stake through your regular mortgage payments and your home’s price appreciation over time. But wealth building doesn’t have to stop there. Here are 6 ways to do more throughout your mortgage years.  

  1. Speed up your mortgage paydown. Change from monthly payments to weekly or biweekly, effectively increasing your number of payments, which will take years off your mortgage. Also consider putting found money like raises and tax refunds against your mortgage principal. Check your mortgage contract for the amount you can prepay each year.  
  2. Get a financial reset when needed. Too much high-interest debt over long periods of time is a definite wealth killer. It chokes your cash flow and having multiple debt payments can be stressful. If you have enough equity, you may be able to move that debt to your lower-rate mortgage, giving you one comfortable payment and thousands in interest savings. 
  3. Renovate using your lowest-cost funds. With historically low mortgage rates, homeowners with enough equity are using the opportunity to roll the cost of their renovation into their mortgage for one easy monthly payment, and then using their prepayment privileges to pay it off faster. It’s a win-win when you increase the comfort and enjoyment of your home, while also improving the long-term value. 
  4. Apply for incentives to help pay for energy-saving investments in your home.The federal government recently launched a new program that offers Canadians grants of up to $5,000 to pay for energy-saving home upgrades – such as insulation, furnaces, solar panels, windows, and doors – and up to $600 to help with the cost of home energy evaluations. Additionally, if you paid mortgage default insurance when financing your home, you can also get a savings boost from your mortgage insurer. If you make retrofits to improve energy efficiency, you can apply for a refund of either 15 or 25% of the default insurance premium that you paid. Applications are accepted within two years of the closing date of your mortgage.
  5. Look at your mortgage renewal as an important moment of opportunity. When your lender sends out a letter suggesting you renew your mortgage at their current offer, get in touch. Everything pertaining to your mortgage can be renegotiated, giving you the opportunity to get the best possible deal for your current situation, which may be very different from when you first got your mortgage. 
  6. Know your prepayment penalty. When choosing between fixed-rate mortgages, be sure to compare how the early payout penalty will be calculated. If you ever need to get out of your mortgage early, having the right mortgage could save you thousands. If you take a lower rate mortgage with a high prepayment penalty, the benefit of that lower rate could mean nothing if you overpay on the penalty to get out of your mortgage. 

I’m here to save you money and help you build wealth throughout your mortgage years. Get in touch at any time! 

2021-05-31 - Fixed or variable-rate mortgage?

Fixed or variable-rate mortgage? 

This spring we’re seeing aggressive pricing for variable-rate mortgages, while fixed mortgage rates continue to be at historically low levels. Which is best for today’s uncertain environment? 

First, a refresher on the differences. With a fixed-rate mortgage, you’ll know with absolute certainty what your rate and payment will be each month for the term of your mortgage, offering you stability and peace of mind. Since fixed rate mortgages are not affected by fluctuating interest rates, you can "set it and forget it." Typically preferred by those on a tight budget, first-time buyers, or those who haven’t owned a home for a long time.

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. Since it can be difficult to predict what kind of rate ups and downs are ahead, a variable-rate mortgage is best suited to people who have a flexible budget and can tolerate slightly more risk. 

Right now, variable rate offers are very compelling causing the demand to be at some of the highest levels ever seen. But it’s not just about the rate. If your circumstances change and you need to get out of your mortgage – and approximately 2 out of 3 people with fixed mortgages do end up breaking their mortgage -- you will appreciate the much lower penalty to get out of a variable vs a fixed mortgage.  It’s important to consider the many “what if” scenarios that could happen over the term of your mortgage.  

Most variables allow you to exercise an option to “lock in” a fixed rate with no penalties when the time is right for you to lock into a fixed-rate mortgage. You can also set up your payments at what they would be if you took the higher fixed rate, which helps you pay down your mortgage faster, and creates a financial buffer for you if rates rise later.

With inflation concerns on the horizon, the Bank of Canada may raise the overnight rate sooner than expected, which will affect those in variable mortgages. While most economists agree that no one can predict what will happen with inflation as the economy continues to reopen, it is a going forward concern. 

Bottom line is to always get advice; the best choice depends on your situation. If you are looking to purchase, renew, or refinance to get today’s low rates or for debt consolidation, get in touch so we can discuss your situation and determine the best option for you. 

 

New stress test for all mortgages now in effect 

The Department of Finance has announced that insured mortgages will have the same stress test that OSFI recently introduced for uninsured mortgages. The stress test for both will be the greater of the borrower’s mortgage contract rate plus 2% or 5.25%, up from the current 4.79%, which means qualifying has become slightly harder for some. 

 

2021-05-04 - Recent Mortgage Rule Changes

Recent mortgage rule changes

There had been speculation that the government would act to cool the hot housing market, but the industry saw only modest measures in the April 19 federal budget. A national annual tax on foreign-owned properties that are left vacant or under-occupied was announced, which will take affect in 2022.  This will only apply to "non-residents” to discourage offshore buyers.

New stress test. The budget also referenced the recent announcement by the Office of the Superintendent of Financial Institutions (OSFI), which is proposing a new stress test rate for uninsured mortgages of 5.25% effective June 1. This is higher than the current 4.79% and, going forward, will no longer be based on bank posted rates. It will be set a minimum of once per year by OSFI. 

What is the stress test? When getting a new mortgage, lenders must ensure that you pass a stress test, which means that you can handle payments at a certain qualifying rate. This is not the same rate as your actual contract rate, it’s for mortgage qualifying only.  

Why June 1 matters. Uninsured mortgages (i.e. when you have more than 20% equity) approved before June 1 are not subject to this tougher stress test so qualifying will be slightly easier. This applies to purchases that close after June 1 with a signed purchase and sale agreement. As a result, if you are thinking refinance to get a lower rate or for debt consolidation, or a purchase with more than 20% down, it’s a good idea to get in touch so we can discuss your situation.

What about high-ratio mortgages (i.e. less than 20% down)?  This stress test has not changed but it is certainly possible that it may also become slightly tougher at some point.  If you are looking to purchase, get a pre-approval so you are house shopping within your budget and have rate protection. It’s important to purchase when you are financially ready and not be driven by market conditions.

I am here to help so if you have questions on any matter, please let me know.

Be safe. Be well. Be happy.

 

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