March 26, 2018
Five credit habits that can boost your score Your credit score is essentially your passport to financial opportunities. With a possible range of 300 to 900, your score tells lenders what kind of a riRead 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.
February 21, 2018
“Conditional on financing”: the most important part of your offer When you find the condo or house of your dreams and want to make an offer, do you need a financing condition? UnlesRead More...
Sensible strategies to help you thrive in 2022
Canadians keep talking about the housing market! Are we in a housing bubble, will rates rise in 2022 and by how much, is this the right time to buy or refinance, is a lender’s renewal offer the best available, and on and on! For many, it feels like some uncertain times ahead. Often, it’s just a few sensible strategies that can help you thrive in the current climate. Here are my top tips for the year ahead:
New year and a new chance to make sure your mortgage plan is helping you build wealth and thrive! Get in touch at any time for a discussion on your best mortgage strategy.
Preparing for higher rates
Given inflationary pressures, the Bank of Canada indicated in their last rate announcement that rate hikes could take place earlier than previously indicated, in mid-2022, which means variable rates that rise and fall in tandem with the key rate will start climbing. Views among economists vary as to how many hikes we’ll see in 2022 and 2023 because no one really knows whether inflation is truly transitory given supply chain issues, or even if it won’t be a long-term issue at all.
Keep in mind that even with the projected increases, we’ll still be 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 will likely rise, so here are answers to the questions I’m getting:
What is the impact on my current mortgage? With variable rate mortgages, as rates rise so too will be the amount of interest you pay. While your payment often doesn’t increase, you’ll pay less principal and more interest. Fixed-rate mortgages - which are based on the bond market – have already been trending slightly upward, although if you have a fixed mortgage, you aren’t affected until it’s time to renew. Consider taking advantage of your prepayment privileges and increase your payment so at renewal, you are accustomed to paying the higher amount.
Should I refinance now? Many have already taken advantage of low covid mortgage rates to refinance their current mortgage to get a lower rate, for debt consolidation, renovations, or to help a child buy a home. If you feel this is a good opportunity and want to access these low rates that won’t be around too much longer, please get in touch for an analysis of whether it makes good financial sense.
Should I lock in my variable rate mortgage? A key question to consider is - why pay more money than you have to? It will take several prime rate increases for variable rates to be on par with a fixed rate, and you are likely better off sticking with your original strategy of focusing on payment vs. rate. Preparing for higher rates is different than locking in. You can prepare by increasing your payment amount if your budget allows, so you are paying down more principal and building a buffer for later.
But if it’s going to keep you awake at night 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 entire term. Breaking a fixed mortgage can result in some onerous penalties. If you aren’t sure you’ll stay in the mortgage for 5 years, the interest rate risk of a variable mortgage may be a better option than the penalty risk of breaking a fixed mortgage.
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. Do you have 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 I jump into the market now? The prospect of higher rates could cause a sense of urgency among homebuyers to get their mortgages before those increases take place. My advice is always the same: buy when you are financially ready. Don’t jump the gun just because rates “may” go higher. But, if you’re thinking about buying, I can arrange a pre-approval, so you’re protected from rate increases for up to 120 days while you shop around.
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 for whatever is ahead.
The lowdown on appraisals
Whether you’re purchasing a new home or want to complete a refinance of your current mortgage, it’s important to understand the role of the home appraisal and how it can impact the outcome of your mortgage application.
After you submit an application, your lender may require an appraisal, which is simply an unbiased determination by an accredited independent appraiser of the market value of the property your lender will be financing.
When you purchase a home, your lender wants to be sure that the home’s selling price is an accurate representation of the home’s condition and neighbourhood, and that you are not borrowing more than what the home is worth. The lender also wants to be sure the property meets its lending guidelines.
When you refinance your mortgage for debt consolidation or to access funds for other needs, the appraisal will be used by the lender to determine the amount of funds that you can borrow since you can only refinance a set amount, up to 80% of your home’s appraised value.
When switching your mortgage to a new lender at renewal to get a better rate or terms, the appraisal is required to verify the property’s value.
To complete the appraisal process, an appraiser typically visits the home to get the information needed. The appraiser will also analyze market comparables and then provide the lender with a written opinion of the property’s value. If the appraised value is sufficient, your mortgage approval is finalized assuming all other conditions have been met. The cost is often passed along to you, typically forming part of your closing costs.
What’s important for you?
As always, please get in touch at any time if you have any questions regarding a home purchase, refinance, or a switch at renewal. It’s always a good idea to get advice well in advance of the mortgage financing process so you know what to expect and are fully prepared.
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 -
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!
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:
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.
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