THE MOST IMPORTANT QUESTION THIS SPRING

General Peter Paley 28 Mar

THE MOST IMPORTANT QUESTION THIS SPRING
Short Version:

The most important question a home-seller must ask their Broker or their banker this Spring:

‘Do I QUALIFY to port my mortgage?’

You must re-qualify to port your mortgage to a new property, and you must re-qualify under stringent new rules.

How stringent?

Long Version:

Let’s say you have impeccable credit, a $100,000 income, and bought a house with a basement suite last year – you may have a mortgage of ~ $675,000…which you qualified for in 2017.

In 2018, you new maximum mortgage amount is closer to ~$530,000.

And if rates were to move up another 0.50% you’d be capped at ~$490,000.

If rates were to move up a full percentage point ~$455,000

Either way, even with no further upward movement, the family in this example, were they to enter into a binding sale agreement without confirming their qualifications would not be able to re-enter the market at the same price point.

Key Point – Do not ask if your mortgage is ‘portable’ (99% are). Ask if you currently qualify to move your mortgage to a new property. This will require an actual application and full review.

Key Point – The federal government has created a dynamic in which qualifying rates have shifted radically, and more precisely the ground has shifted under tens of thousands of middle class Canadians feet. You have been protected from yourself, and you don’t even know it.

Key Point – Since Jan. 1, 2018, you’re subject to the new stress test. Even though you have impeccable credit, have never missed a payment, and even got a 3% raise last year – too bad.

Conclusion

Don’t list your home for sale without having something in writing from your current lender confirming that you QUALIFY to move your existing mortgage to a new property. If you have any questions, contact your local Dominion Lending Centres mortgage professional.

And if you’ve personally been caught in this ‘portability trap’, by all means make your voice heard. Share your story with me directly and also here; www.tellyourmp.ca

DUSTAN WOODHOUSE
Dominion Lending Centres – Accredited Mortgage Professional

GETTING PRE-APPROVED FOR A MORTGAGE THIS SPRING

General Peter Paley 27 Mar

Apparently, as per the weather experts, March has a lot of snowfall and surprisingly so does April!
Hearing this on the radio gives you a wave of emotions: holy cow, oh great, I wonder how many vacation days I have left and when can I take down my Christmas lights.
Good news, those same weather experts are predicting a hot summer and you know what that means! Buy your fan(s) now before they run out and check out a pool, size and budget appropriate, for the backyard. So glad we have a compressor to blow that thing up every year; three rings take a lot of breath!
Normally by April you are thinking about moving because you need a bigger home, you need to down size, or its time to leave the basement of your family home.
Those weekends where you have little to do so you opt to go out, get a coffee and go to show homes and see how they decorate because the DIY on TV is all reruns. While you are there, you start to picture yourself living there and then begin to wonder, “can I do this?” Do I want to want to do all the landscaping, do I need a developed basement now or later, where are the schools? Maybe should I think about an already established community with lots of schools, trees, or place that my cat and I can live.
Working with your Dominion Lending Centres Mortgage Professional, we will review your options, your affordability, possible extra costs that you may have missed and finally, get you pre-approved!

Prequalified or rate hold, what is the difference?
Your broker has asked you for supporting documentation that will confirm your income, you do indeed have a down payment, and your debt is not more than you can handle along with possible new housing costs. This is so they can start the application to ensure the numbers are good and we can begin.

Rate Hold – it is just that, a rate that lender is offering and, based on the application submitted to them, it shows the numbers are in alignment for them to hold a rate for you. This rate can be held anywhere from 90 – 120 days. Remember, they have reviewed the application submitted only and no other supporting documentation.
Prequalified – it is just that, the lender has reviewed the supporting paperwork along with the application and is in happy to provide you with a prequalified letter stating they not only are they holding the rate for 90 – 120 days, depending on which lender, but you have met their criteria for lending.
o Although once you present you offer they may still have a few more items they want to check:
▪ You still working? – you will need a current paystub
▪ You still working at the same place?
▪ You didn’t buy a new car, right? Ugh!
▪ You didn’t get new furniture and finance it with the store, right? Ugh!

Ask your advisor about the DO’s and DON’Ts; this one single sheet of paper will make or break a deal!
Prequalified or rate hold, now you know the difference.

Karen Penner
KAREN PENNER
Dominion Lending Centres – Accredited Mortgage Professional

How To Be Competitive In A Hot Market

General Peter Paley 25 Mar

The Spring home buying frenzy is well underway. Many listings are starting to get multiple offers on the offer date. The questions we always get from REALTORs and Homebuyers is “How can we write an unconditional offer?”

The simple answer is you really can’t. I know, many REALTORs and many Homebuyers take huge and monumental risks by writing a clean or unconditional offer. A big risk it is too. If for some reason the application is not approved, the homebuyer faces losing their deposit and can also be sued by the vendor.

Before we talk about how to be more competitive and better prepared, I think it important to discuss what a lender and the mortgage insurer is looking for in a mortgage application.

The mortgage application is subject to many factors. The most important is the property itself. The home should be in good to great condition. It is important to review the property disclosure statement if available and to look for any questions where the vendors may have disclosed something detrimental to the application. Some examples of things that can red flag and application are; knob-and-tube wiring, aluminum wiring, foundation cracking, water seepage, wood heating and wood foundations just to name a few.

The next major factor in a mortgage application is the strength of the homebuyers. As mortgage professionals, we must check and analyze your credit, your income, and your down payment. It sounds simple, however, there are many moving parts. Let’s break this down further to give you a better understanding.

Credit: Typically we are looking for a credit score of 620 or higher. While exceptions can be made for lower credit scores, this is generally the lower limit. We are also looking for two active trade-lines. This means a borrower must have two open and active credit facilities such as a credit card, loan or line of credit. If your mortgage professional, bank, or credit union has not checked your credit, then your pre-approval is probably invalid.

Income: A borrower must be a permanent employee and off of probation. You can be Full-Time or Part-time but your hours must be guaranteed by the employer. If a borrower does not have guaranteed hours, then we must use a 2-year average for income at the same job. Lenders will now go the extra step and call your employer to verify your employment and guaranteed hours.

Down Payment: Generally, your down payment needs to be in a Canadian financial institution for 90 days. As mortgage professionals, it is imperative that we can see your banking/financial statements to verify the down payment. We must look for any large deposits in the last 90 days that are unusual. Any large deposits need to be verified. For example, a borrower has sold a car, received a gift, or deposited wedding gift monies. The funds need to be verified or the lender will not be able to fund your mortgage.

Now, how can you be more prepared and competitive in a hot market?

1). When your mortgage professional asks you for a lot of documentation. Provide it as soon as possible. Employment letters, recent pay stubs, 2 years T4s, 90-day confirmation of your down payment, void cheque and ID are standard.

2). Use a professional REALTOR and introduce them to your mortgage professional. I can speak from experience and if the REALTOR and the Mortgage Professional are on the same page, the process goes much faster and smoother for the homebuyer.

3). Found THE house and going to put in an offer? Let your mortgage professional know. Send them the MLS listing and PDS – property disclosure statement (if available) in advance so they can look for potential challenges.

4). Always keep your documentation up to date. Credit bureaus expire after 30 days, Employment letters and paystubs expire after 60 days, and most importantly a borrower must provide up-to-the minute bank and financial statements for down payment.

5). Please ensure that you offer an amount that you are actually qualified for. If you offer more than your pre-approval amount, chances are that you won’t be approved.

6). Have your deposit in your bank account and ready to go. Your REALTOR will want you to have $5,000 – $10,000.

Do not leave anything to chance. Be over-ready and confident in your offer.

I look forward to helping you with all of your home financing needs.

Peter Paley

WHAT IS A “MONOLINE” LENDER?

General Peter Paley 19 Mar

What usually follows once someone hears the term “Monoline Lender” for the first time is a feeling of suspicion and lack of trust. It’s understandable, I mean why is this “bank” you’ve never heard of willing to loan you money when you’ve never banked with them before?

In an effort to help you see the benefits of working with a Monoline Lender, here is some basic information that will help you understand why you’ve never heard of them, why you want to, and the reason they are referred to as lenders, not banks.

Monoline Lenders only operate in the mortgage space. They do not offer chequing or savings accounts, nor do they offer investments through RRSPs, GICs, or Tax-Free Savings Accounts. They are called Monoline because they have one line of business- mortgages.

This also plays into the reasons you never see their name or locations anywhere. There is no need for them to market on bus stop benches or billboards as they are only accessible through mortgage brokers, making their need to market to you unnecessary. The branch locations are also unnecessary because you do not have day-to-day banking, savings accounts, investment accounts, or credit cards through them. All your banking stays the exact same, with the only difference of a pre-authorized payments coming from your account for the monthly mortgage payment. Any questions or concerns, they have a phone number and communicate documents through e-mail.

Would it help Monoline Lenders to advertise and create brand awareness with the public? Absolutely. Is it necessary for them to remain in business? No.

Monoline Lenders also have some of the lowest interest rates on the market, the most attractive pre-payment privileges, and the lowest pre-payment penalties, especially when compared to a bigger bank like CIBC or RBC. If you don’t think these points are important, ask someone whose had a mortgage with one of these bigger banks and sold their property before their term was up and paid upwards of $12,000 in penalty fees. An equivalent amount with a Monoline Lender would be anywhere from $2,000-$4,000 in fees.

Monoline Lenders are not to be feared, they should be welcomed, as they are some of the most accommodating and client service-oriented lenders around! If you have any questions, don’t hesitate to call your local Dominion Lending Centres mortgage professional.

Ryan Oake
RYAN OAKE
Dominion Lending Centres – Accredited Mortgage Professional

Keeping Your Credit Score Healthy

General Peter Paley 17 Mar

KEEPING YOUR CREDIT SCORE HEALTHY
If you haven’t seen your credit score, you’re not alone.

Many of our clients don’t know about their credit score or even know what it is when we first meet with them. During our initial consultation, we go over your complete credit report with you. As an added bonus, we’ll even teach you how to read it.

So, how can you make sure you have a great credit score? Here are a few tips to get you started.

You need to have credit. It may be surprising – but your credit score goes up as more credit is available to you. We recommend at least two facilities: a credit card and a line of credit (or 2 credit cards).
You also have to pay your bills when they are due. That goes for your internet, cell phone and even parking tickets.
It also helps to start as soon as possible. The longer you have a clean record of paying your credit card, loans or other credit facilities, the better your credit becomes.
Finally, make sure to carry a low balance. One of the least known ways to hurt your credit is to have high utilization.
Don’t ever hesitate to contact a Dominion Lending Centres mortgage professional about your mortgage related needs when you’re buying a property anywhere in Canada.

Eitan Pinsky
EITAN PINSKY
Dominion Lending Centres – Accredited Mortgage Professional

REFINANCING IN 2018

General Peter Paley 15 Mar

REFINANCING IN 2018
Recently there were changes to the mortgage rules yet again, and one of the rule changes was regarding refinancing your home. At one point in the last 10 years you could refinance your home all the way back up to 95% of its current value, which in many cases has put that property what we call under water or upside down. Basically, real estate markets ebb and flow and if you refinanced to 95% when we were at the crest of a market wave then as markets rolled back you were underwater… clever huh.

Fast forward a few years and the government said ‘what a minute, that is dangerous’, and it was. Clients now had no options for that property except to keep it, hoping values came back or turn it into a rental and hope to break even. At this point the government now said you can only refinance your home to 80% of the value which of course meant you needed to have equity in the property of at least 20% to make a change. This was an insurable product for many of our monoline lenders at this point, so it was something that was competitive in the market.

Welcome to 2018 and today you can still refinance your home to 80% but the Office of the Superintendents of Financial Institutions (OSFI) and CMHC now say that as a lender you can no longer insure this product. What does that mean for the average consumer? First off, it means that lenders across the board are not offering the same rate for insured mortgages as they are for refinances. The point spread between insured and uninsured mortgages has grown to, on average, .30% higher for 5-year fixed rates and it is .55% higher for variable rates.

To add to this extra cost, the new rules of qualifying at 5.14% which is currently the benchmark rate, applies to all mortgages including refinancing. Overall, the changes make it tougher to refinance and forces Canadians to seek alternative options to take equity out of their homes. In many cases this will mean looking to the private sector at higher rates when they need that money. If you have any questions about refinancing, contact your local Dominion Lending Centres mortgage professional.

Len Lane
LEN LANE
Dominion Lending Centres – Mortgage Professional

WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW BEFORE YOU RENEW YOUR MORTGAGE

General Peter Paley 9 Mar

Our own Pauline Tomkin discusses what you need to know before your mortgage renews. IT is really important to do your due diligence to ensure you are in fact getting the best rate and terms for your personal situation. A 2nd opinion could save you $1000s of dollars in unnecessary interest and fees. Enjoy the blog!

WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW BEFORE YOU RENEW YOUR MORTGAGE
What you need to know before you renew your mortgage could save you thousands of dollars. Is your mortgage on your home or other properties maturing in 2018?

Typically you will receive your mortgage renewal notice from your current lender 3-4 months in advance of the renewal date. Sometimes you may receive an offer for early renewal. Either way, always reach out to your Dominion Lending Centres mortgage broker to find out your options and what you need to know before you renew your mortgage.

With the new mortgage rules in effect in October/November 2016 and subsequent changes January 1st 2018 it is more important than ever to know your options before you sign a renewal.

Did you know…?

If your current mortgage is funded before October 2016, regardless if you were a high ratio borrower or conventional borrower, the old rules for qualifying still apply
If you want to renew your mortgage at best rates you can transfer that mortgage to another lender without qualifying under the new rules
If you have any fees for transferring the mortgage they may be covered
Lenders are currently offering high renewal rates as they know 65%+ of borrowers will simply sign without doing any homework
Lenders are currently offering lower rates only after clients decline their first offer. Doesn’t seem fair does it?
Mortgage brokers have access to lots of great renewal programs from the banks, mortgage companies and credit unions.

Be informed before your mortgage renewal. Consult with an independent mortgage broker to review your financing needs for all of your properties and to set a plan well in advance of any mortgage renewal. If you are looking to make any large purchases such as investments, real estate, an automobile— know your options and the impact of these purchases on your financial situation.

Pauline Tonkin
PAULINE TONKIN
Dominion Lending Centres – Accredited Mortgage Professional

Making Smarter Down Payments

General Peter Paley 6 Mar

Our Ryan Oake explains to be more conscious about your down payment in the blog below. I would like to add that it is very important to review your retirement plan at the same time as your mortgage application. It is key to make sure that the amount of the down payment you do choose will align with your retirement goals.

I hope you enjoy today’s blog

MAKING SMARTER DOWN PAYMENTS
Mortgage Insurance Premiums. Many people know what they are- an extra cost to you the borrower. But not many people realize how they are calculated. Understanding the premium charges and how they are calculated will help lead you to making smarter down payments.

5%- 9.99% down payment of a purchase price is a 4% premium
10%- 14.99% down payment of a purchase price is a 3.10% premium
15%- 19.99% down payment of a purchase price is a 2.8% premium
So, that means with a $300,000 purchase price and a $30,000 down payment (10%), you would have a 3.10% premium added to your mortgage, making your total mortgage amount $270,000 + $8,370 for $278,370 total. The $8,370 being 3.10% of your original $270,000 mortgage.

Now let’s say you have a down payment potential of $60,000 and have the income to afford a $350,000 purchase price but you found one for $325,000. Using your entire $60,000 down payment (18.46%), your new mortgage amount would be $272,420, where $7,420 of it represents the mortgage insurance premium.

But what if you change that $60,000 (18.46% down payment) to say $48,750 and have a down payment of exactly 15%? Well, your premium is still the exact same as it would be with an 18.46% down payment because your premium is still 2.8% of the mortgage amount. That means you will now save $11,250 (difference in down payments), while only paying $7,735 in premiums (an increase of $315).

I don’t know about you, but if someone told me I could put $11,250 less down and it would only change my insurance premium by $315, I am holding onto that money. You now have more cash for unexpected expenses, moving allowance, furniture, anything you want. You can even apply it to your first pre-payment against your mortgage and pay the interest down while taking time off your loan. Obviously if cash is not an issue, putting the full $60,000 would be better seeing as you are borrowing less and paying less interest. However, if cash is tight, why not hold onto it and pay that difference over the course of 25 years?

Consult with a Dominion Lending Centres mortgage professional when it comes to structuring your mortgage request with a bank. It is small little things like this that make all the difference.

Ryan Oake

Dominion Lending Centres – Accredited Mortgage Professional
Ryan is part of DLC Producers West Financial based in Langley, BC

Need A Commercial Mortgage?

General Peter Paley 5 Mar

Getting a commercial mortgage is a tricky business to begin with. Commercial Mortgage Brokers, do not have any magic wants when it comes to commercial mortgages. We do however have access to alternative lenders. Please read below our DLC Colleague’s blog.

Need A Commercial Mortgage?

If you’re an entrepreneur, business person or commercial investor then you probably have or need a commercial mortgage.

Where should you start?

Do you call your bank, or do you call a commercial mortgage broker?

I recommend you call your bank.

Yes, that’s right; I’m a commercial mortgage broker and I am telling you to start with your bank (unless you are already out of time).

Most business people have financial resources, a good credit rating and a relationship at a chartered bank or credit union.

Common sense says: start with a commercial account manager at your bank. Take your documents with you: financial statements, your mortgage request (written down), latest appraisal (if completed) and any lease agreements. Tell your account manager you want indicative rates and fees before moving forward with a mortgage application.

Spend thirty minutes in the manager’s office, no longer. Do this quickly; don’t waste time. After all, this is just one lender and you have no idea whether your bank is competitive or even if it wants to do the loan. Tell your banker you need an answer in two days. If the account manager cannot give you an indicative rate and fees in a short timeframe, you are speaking with someone who will ultimately cause you headaches down the road.

Once you have the bank’s rates and fees, it’s time to verify the information with a commercial mortgage broker who has access to multiple lenders. Now, you could call ten lenders yourself, but again, common sense says that would be a waste of time.

Call your friendly neighborhood Dominion Lending Centres commercial mortgage broker

Depending on who you call, the commercial mortgage broker will do one of three things:

• ask you to sign a representation agreement,

• give you a song and dance about the low rates they have achieved for clients, or

• tell you the truth.

Top commercial mortgage brokers cut to the truth.

Why? They are busy. They don’t waste time on deals they can’t close.

As a commercial mortgage broker, it makes no sense to sign a representation agreement until I know I can add value. Step one is simply to determine whether the mortgage is bankable. To do this, I need documents. Yes, top commercial mortgage brokers are like bankers. With the right information, transactions can be digested in 20 minutes and can be summarized in six pages or less.

Top commercial mortgage brokers say things like:

• Tell me about your deal in 5 minutes or less; nature of transaction, deal size, legal structure, cash flow, quality of financials and timeline.

• What documents can you send me? I’ll review them in 24 hours and call you back.

• Have you called your bank yet? What rate did they give you?

Tell your commercial broker the truth. If your bank offered 4.5% fixed for 5 years then say so. Why? Because no one wants to waste time. Your commercial mortgage broker doesn’t set the rates; the lenders do. Your commercial mortgage broker knows when a rate makes sense and whether lower rates are available. For example, if I can’t save you 25 basis points (that’s 0.25% per year), the reality is, by the time we pay to move the mortgage to another lender, you’re probably better off taking your bank’s initial offer.

Top commercial mortgage brokers understand this, and they will be truthful with you.

“Hey, if you have 4.5% fixed in this market for that building, in that area; take it, don’t hesitate; it’s a good deal.” I say this to entrepreneurs who call. It serves no one to enter an agreement that won’t add value. In fact, its our fiduciary duty to tell you.

Some entrepreneurs say they already have good rate (even when they don’t). “Oh, my bank offered me between 4.6 and 5.2%.” The thinking being, if they imply they have 4.6%, then the broker will work even harder to get a lower rate.

Beep. Wrong.

Brokers don’t set the rates; lenders do. This just muddies the water. If the broker thinks you already have a good rate (and best-in-market is 4.5%, only 10 basis points less), then the broker will move on right away.

About Commercial Mortgage Brokers

All a commercial mortgage broker wants, is serve you; and that means delivering the best rates and terms. There is no financial incentive for a broker to hold back information or low rates. Similarly, holding back your bank’s interest rate just wastes everyone’s time, including yours.

As a commercial mortgage broker, if I think I help you, I’ll tell you right away. I’ll review the deal quickly, determine if its bankable and touch base with a few lenders. If lenders express interest, I’ll call you to discuss what they told me.

Transparency and open communication are the keys to saving time and to getting the most from your commercial mortgage broker.

If you are getting a runaround and want the straight scoop, call me.

Pierre Pequegnat
PIERRE PEQUEGNAT
Dominion Lending Centres – Principal Broker

TIPS FOR YOU VARIABLE RATE MORTGAGE THAT COULD SAVE YOU THOUSANDS

General Peter Paley 2 Mar

TIPS FOR YOUR VARIABLE RATE MORTGAGE THAT COULD SAVE YOU THOUSANDS
With changes to mortgage rules and interest rates on the rise here are some tips for your variable rate mortgage that could save you thousands.

Since 2009 the prime lending rate has shifted from a high of 6% down to 2% range remaining fairly level for the past few years before rising to a present day level of 3.45%. During that time, lenders have offered consumers high discount variable mortgage as low as 1.2% when rates were at their lowest, to current rates of 2.45 (depending on the lender and if the mortgage is insured or not).

Historically the choice of a variable rate mortgage over a fixed term has allowed borrowers to save in interest costs.

I always recommend if my clients can qualify and it makes sense for their specific situation to choose variable only if they will take full advantage of the lower rate. By setting their payment to the equivalent of the 5 year fixed rate at the time, the difference in payment goes directly to principal pay down.

Every 10% increase in payment shaves three years off the amortization of a five-year term so every bit extra matters and can make a difference.

If your mortgage is maturing in the next 90-180 days, it is time to talk to your Dominion Lending Centres mortgage professional for tips for your variable rate mortgage that could save you thousands.

You may feel the pressure to lock in to a fixed rate after the recent increases in the prime lending rate. For some this may be an option. However, I have the same advice every time someone asks me this question: It depends on your situation and we need to do a review. Take the extra time to review the current rate, remaining term of the mortgage, the new offer, how that will impact payments and your plans for staying in your home, moving and/or if this is an investment property.

For example Amy and Jake have a current balance of $300,000 on their mortgage with a variable rate at Prime minus .80% (2.65%). Current payments set at $703 bi-weekly. The mortgage matures in 24 months but they are considering to lock in for a new five-year term offered at 3.34%. New payments would be $739. They love their condo but not sure if they will stay or move in two years or not.

After a review of their mortgage we offer a second option. Keep the remaining variable rate mortgage in place for the remaining two years. Set payments at 3.34% or $739 bi-weekly.

They decide on this second option because:

In 24 months the savings on interest is $4,000 and their outstanding balance is $4,000 less than by staying in the fixed rate
They won’t be locked into a mortgage for another five years
If they choose to sell before the maturity date, the penalty on a variable mortgage is only three months interest
In two years they can either choose to stay with the same lender or move to another lender without penalty
With this strategy they don’t have to feel pressured into locking in today and they can continue to take advantage of the lower variable rate.

So if you are in a variable rate mortgage and not sure what to do. Remember my tips for your variable rate mortgage that could save you thousands.

Pauline Tonkin
PAULINE TONKIN
Dominion Lending Centres – Accredited Mortgage Professional
Pauline is part of DLC Innovative Mortgage Solutions based in Coquitlam, BC