28 Feb

QUALIFIED TO MAKE SURE YOU QUALIFY – OUR HOUSE MAGAZINE

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Posted by: Peter Paley & Associates

QUALIFIED TO MAKE SURE YOU QUALIFY – OUR HOUSE MAGAZINE
If you need open-heart surgery, you want to be sure the doctor in the operating room knows what they’re doing. You want to know they’ve got the professional education, skills and experience to carry out the life-saving procedure.
You would expect nothing less from the person handling the biggest financial decision of your life – your mortgage broker.
Though a mortgage broker doesn’t need quite the same qualifications as a heart surgeon, there are still rigorous standards each mortgage professional must meet to do their job.
While regulations can vary in each province, mortgage professionals need to be registered with a government body and be licensed to carry out broker activities.
First, each broker must complete a provincially approved course for mortgage brokering. These courses are offered through various colleges and institutions and can take days or months to complete. In Ontario, for instance, after completing the course, aspiring brokers need to be hired by a Financial Services Commission of Ontario licensed brokerage, in which the brokerage applies to the commission for that particular broker’s licence.
In B.C. for example, mortgage brokers need to pass a course to be registered with the Financial Institutions Commission, or FICOM, and then update their licence every two years.
Agencies like FICOM have the power to investigate public complaints, hand out fines, and suspend or revoke licences of brokers.
“The Registrar of Mortgage Brokers protects the public and enhances mortgage broker industry integrity by enforcing mortgage broker suitability requirements and reducing and preventing market misconduct under the Mortgage Brokers Act and Regulations,” notes the FICOM website.
While Greg Domville, DLC’s vice president of training and business development, noted the course for mortgage brokers is a good foundation, he suggested it’s the background and criminal checks that are most important.
“They make sure you’re a real good person,” he told Our House Magazine. If you’re going to be dealing with someone’s finances, those checks and balances are in place.”
Domville added that consumers can take comfort that their mortgage broker has gone through a rigorous screening process before they have any contact with them. Adding the standards in place are good at weeding out people in the industry.
He pointed out, at DLC, a mentoring program is in place where franchise owners can monitor and train new brokers to ensure they’re doing all the right things along the way. As Domville noted, there’s a good chance even if you’re dealing with a new broker, they’ll have a lot of experience.
There are a number of online resources available to the public through the varying licensing agencies. Don’t be afraid to ask your mortgage broker about their background, they’ll be more than proud to share with you their qualifications.

Jeremy Deutsch

25 Feb

LOOKING FOR A MORTGAGE… YOU BETTER KNOW YOUR CREDIT SCORE

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Posted by: Peter Paley & Associates

Your credit score today is SOOOOO important when applying for your mortgage. Mortgages today are more of a planning process that a transaction. As a mortgage broker, I have been predicting this change for a while. Time after time, I find my clients getting insufficient advice from their bank or credit union. The tiniest and most insignificant little detail can cost you your mortgage approval. Contact me today!

Enjoy the blog from our colleague Len Lane…

LOOKING FOR A MORTGAGE… YOU BETTER KNOW YOUR CREDIT SCORE

Over the last month, as the big banks and many of our monolines mortgage lenders wind down their fiscal year, we are starting to see some very obvious changes in what your credit score can get you.

I heard a few months ago that 720 beacons were going to become the new 650. The 650 beacon credit score for many years was the mid-range norm for most mortgage lenders. Today on many of the sites we use, we are seeing that the primary borrower must have a credit score of 720 and the secondary beacon can’t be below 650. It’s a big change from what we have seen in the past.

There are more changes coming as the banks will need to set aside more balance sheet if your mortgage is conventional. The one report I read said that if your credit score is lower, then the banks will now need to set aside 1.5% or possibly more if the score is low enough. That of course will then mean that an investor will need to be compensated more for having that in their portfolio, aka higher rates for you on a conventional mortgage.

If you are in the market for a house and you don’t know where to start, at least contact Dominion Lending Centres mortgage broker who can guide you through the process and let you know where you start. If you use a DLC broker, they can set you up with a CleverCredit account and you can work together to make sure your credit is strong enough to apply for a mortgage when the time comes.

Len Lane

20 Feb

Mortgages from banks are more costly than alternatives

General

Posted by: Peter Paley & Associates

Today’s Post in the blog is actually an article posted recently by Mortgagebrokernews.ca by Ephraim Vecina. The full article is available on their website. I have posted the link towards the bottom of the post.

Mortgages From Banks Are More Costy Than Alternatives

The lowest mortgage rates offered by the country’s leading banks are uniformly higher-priced than those available from alternative lenders, according to a new analysis by online comparison portal LowestRates.ca.

Combined with the fact that Canada’s “Big Six” banks account for a vast majority of the national mortgage market, the situation is contributing to a significant portion of consumers’ fiscal grief – and they might not even realize it.

“Brokers and smaller lenders often drop their rates first to be more competitive, and banks are slower to implement changes because they know they own the market,” LowestRates.ca CEO and co-founder Justin Thouin said.

“This will only change when Canadians realize they’re being overcharged and begin to shift away from the banks, and that will only happen as we increase awareness about the alternative market. The best deals are found online, not in your family’s legacy bank branch.”

Read more: Alternative financing increasingly popular in Ottawa

For instance, in January, RBC cut its 5-year fixed-rate mortgage to 3.74%, but LowestRates.ca found that the best currently available 5-year fixed-rate term in the non-bank lending market boasts of a 3.23% rate.

“The big banks never offer the lowest posted rates on the market, but Canadians aren’t spending enough time researching rates before signing their mortgages, and that’s potentially costing them thousands of dollars a year,” Thouin warned.

https://www.mortgagebrokernews.ca/news/alternative-lending/mortgages-from-banks-are-more-costly-than-alternatives-254417.aspx

6 Feb

WHAT QUESTIONS TO ASK WHEN CONSIDERING A REFINANCE

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Posted by: Peter Paley & Associates

Refinanincing your home can be a powerful financial planning tool. It can give your and your family the ability to pay off much, or all of your consumer debt and allow you to take control of your finances and start saving for retirement or your kid’s education. In recent years, the Government of Canada has made it a little tougher for you to refinance. However, we are often able to qualify our clients. An mortgage professional can offer you many alternatives to your mortgage. Becoming more popular in recent years are Hybrid mortgage such as All-in-One mortgages or more simply mortgage with a line of credit portion. This can help you cut your mortgage amortization by half. To discuss any refinancing strategies, please call me.

Enjoy today’s blog!

WHAT QUESTIONS TO ASK WHEN CONSIDERING A REFINANCE

Many of my clients and friends regularly ask me when or if they should consider a refinance. Here are 4 quick questions that I ask of them. The answer they give me, will very quickly tell me if we should be taking a deeper look at the mortgage refinance options available to them.

What do you believe the current value of your home is and what is the outstanding balance on your mortgage?
Have you ever heard your mortgage broker or banker talk about “loan to value”(LTV)? They are looking to determine what your outstanding balance of your mortgage is as a percentage of your property value. The reason we look at your LTV is because there are limits in Canada with respect to how large your mortgage can be based on the current value of your home. This gives your mortgage broker insight into how much equity or money you have access in the event that you were to refinance your mortgage.

What is the maturity date of your mortgage and your current rate/term length?
Understanding who your current lender is, what your maturity date is, and what your rate/term details are, will help your mortgage broker determine what type of penalty you might have for breaking your current mortgage contract. Knowing your rate will also give them the details they require to calculate the interest savings that you would receive from a refinance. When looking to refinance, your mortgage broker should be factoring these potential costs and overall interest savings into their overall benefits analysis when trying to determine if refinancing is the right option for you.

How is your household monthly cash flow impacting your short and long term financial goals?
Budget, budget, budget… this is one of those tools that we all know we should do, but it often gets very little of our attention each month. By understanding how much net income you have coming in each month and where that cash is going (cash flow) we can look at how a restructured mortgage could help. If you are finding that all of your money is disappearing each month and you’re having trouble getting by, a new mortgage can help restructure your monthly debt payments giving you some added breathing room. It is important to note that sometimes it is not about debt payments and it can be about high household expenses. Taking the time to assess your spending and cutting it back if necessary, might be enough to get you back on track. Check out our blog post on basic budgeting tips and tricks.

Looking at your outstanding debt, what are the current interest rates that you are paying and are you only making the minimum payments each month?
A quick snap shot of your current debt load, respective interest rates and monthly payments can give us some insight into how a refinance can save you interest. By understanding what your financial picture looks like and the amount of interest that you are currently paying to service that current debt, we can very quickly estimate how much interest you could save with a refinance. If you take a number of those high interest rate credit cards and roll them into a new, low interest rate mortgage, the savings can very quickly become quite substantial.

In closing, a refinance is a financial tool that can make a significant difference in your current financial picture. If you have reviewed the questions above and would like to take a closer look at your situation, there is never a better time than the present to make a change that will have a positive impact on your future.

Take the time to have a conversation with a Dominion Lending Centres mortgage broker who can give you some insight into how a new mortgage could help you with a brighter financial future.

Nathan Lawrence

4 Feb

FIRST TIME HOME BUYERS

General

Posted by: Peter Paley & Associates

First timers are my favourite. I have a soft spot in my heart for helping brand new, bright eyed clients get into their first home! I love it! There is so much to teach them. Mortgages are not just about rate and payments. There is so much information to review. Household budget, future plans, closing costs, property tax adjustments, property tax collection, Insurance….. the list is extensive. This is a great Blog by our colleague Geoff Lee.

Enjoy!

FIRST TIME HOME BUYERS

Your First Home. What a THRILLING thing that is to think about!! One of the best parts about our job is helping individuals purchase their first home. We know that the process can seem daunting at first, but we have an in-depth understanding and knowledge of what steps are required to make the process go smoothly. Follow these and you will be turning the key into your new home before you know it.

1. Find a Fantastic Mortgage Broker
Finding a mortgage broker who can help with your pre-approval process can allow you to determine the price point of home you can really afford. Finding a mortgage broker right off the bat can also give you an advantage over working with your bank:

Mortgage Brokers work for you, not the bank or lender
They have access to multiple lenders and are not limited to one single product
They are an expert in the field. They focus on mortgages and mortgages alone!
2. Get Comfortable With The Numbers
There are two numbers that all first-time homebuyers should keep in mind: 39 and 44. These two numbers can help you budget and determine what you can truly afford when looking to purchase a home. Why 39 and 44? Here’s why:

A maximum of 39% of your total income can go towards your housing costs. This will cover your mortgage payment, property tax payment, heating costs, and strata fees.
A maximum of 44% of your total income can go towards your housing costs and total debt payments. This will include ALL housing costs and all debt repayments (credit cards, car loans, student loans, etc.)
Now, here are a few other key numbers that can help you in your house hunting:

3. Know What Your Down Payment Needs to Be
You know the numbers, now let’s look at what you need to know about the down payment itself. First, if you have less than 20% down payment your mortgage will be insured and have insurance premiums added to your mortgage. If you are considering putting the minimum down, that would be 5% if the property is worth $500,000 or less. A down payment of 10% is required for any amount over $500,000. Here’s a quick example of what this looks like:

Purchase Price of $600,000

5% of $500,000 $25,000

10% of $100,000 $10,000

Total Down Payment: $35,000

4. Take Advantage of The RRSP Home Buyers Plan
The Canadian government’s Home Buyers’ Plan (HBP) allows for first time home buyers to borrow up to $25,000 from you RRSP for a d own payment, tax-free! You are able to combine this with your partner if you are both first time home buyers you can both access the $25,000 from your RRSP for a combined total of $50,000. Certain qualifications do apply for you to use this plan, we have laid them out here for you to review.

5. Don’t Forget About the Closing Costs!
This is one so many people overlook! Closing costs are something that can add up quickly when you are purchasing a home. Here is an approximate breakdown of the funds you will need:

Legal Costs: $1000
Title Insurance: $200
Appraisal: $350
Property Transfer Tax: Pending on purchase price
An additional few facts on property tax for you to consider:

This is an approximation of what your closing costs may be, but it is always good to budget for them beforehand.

6. Have your Documents Ready to Roll
Mortgages = paperwork! There are a number of documents that you will need to have to give to your mortgage broker. This will vary depending on your employment situation and where your down payment is coming from, but here is a general list you can follow:

Most Recent paystub
Letter of Employment
NOA’s (2 years)
T4’s (2 years)
Down payment verification—up to 3 months of bank statements
Contract of Purchase and Sale (Your realtor will provide this)
Property Disclosure Statement (Realtor will provide)
if you are self-employed you may also have to show:
o T1 Generals
o Articles of Incorporation
o Financial Statements
7. Start Working on Your Credit Score
Yes, your credit score does directly impact your ability to get a mortgage. Lender’s want to see that you can responsibly manage credit and debt repayment before loaning you a large sum of money to purchase a home. Your credit score will be a determining factor in the terms and rate associated with your mortgage.

Just what impacts your credit score? Good question! Here are a few things:

Late payments will lower your score
Collections, judgements, consumer proposals, bankruptcy this will lower your score
Exceeded limits on credit cards
Ideally, you will be able to show a minimum of 2 active and current trade lines
The longer your trade line is, the better increase in your score!
Lenders also like to see a minimum of $2,000 limit on your credit cards.
Understanding and using this knowledge can help make your first home buying experience a great one! Once you have gone through the pre-approval process with a mortgage broker the fun part begins! Upon you receiving your preapproval, you can begin the house hunting. From there, you can put an offer on your dream home (yay!) Once your offer is accepted, we go through the mortgage process with you and then it’s moving day for you!

This is an exciting time for first time homebuyers—we enjoy getting to help our clients go from start to finish and helping them get the keys to their first ever home. If you have questions or are looking to find out just how much you will qualify for you can check out our mortgage calculator OR you can reach out to a Dominion Lending Centres mortgage professional directly!

Geoff Lee