29 May

RENEW YOUR MORTGAGE OR SWITCH LENDERS?

General

Posted by: Crystal Stewart

Renew (the mortgage industry meaning): to remain with the current lender by simply signing the renewal letter that comes in the (e)mail.

Switch (again, the mortgage industry meaning): to move from the existing lender to a different lender without leveraging any additional funds/equity; the outstanding balance remains the same.

Is renewing your mortgage with the current lender the best option, or should you consider switching to a new lender? The answer is provided with some simple math. As mortgage consumers, we want to save as much money as possible, plain and simple.

Seventy percent of borrowers that currently hold a mortgage simply sign the renewal letter they get. Most of the time they are leaving 20 – 40 basis points or 0.20% – 0.40% on the table. This puts millions of dollars back into the pockets of the lenders and their shareholders.

There are times when the current lender does not offer the best market rate or product for your situation. How will you know you are getting the best rate for your scenario? By contacting Dominion Lending Centres Mortgage Professional who works for you… not the lender.

So first things first: contact your DLC Mortgage Broker four months before the term matures to discuss the next term’s strategy. What do the next two, three or even five years look like? This will then lead to an interest-rate discussion. Can there be some money saved?

I have been working with a client over the past couple of weeks as her current mortgage is coming to maturity. Had she just signed at the bottom of the renewal letter she would have been overpaying by 30 basis points.

Current lender offered 2.84% for a 5-year Fixed term (Renew)

New lender offered 2.54% for a 5-year Fixed term (Switch)

Here’s what that looks like. Note the mortgage balance used was $330,000 (25-year amortization). This just happens to be the average mortgage amount in British Columbia.

Monthly Payment Annual Payment Payments Over 5 Yrs O/S Balance After 5 Yrs Interest Paid
2.84% $1,534.74 $18,416.88 $92,084.40 $281,194.12 $43,278.52
2.54% $1,484.87 $17,818.44 $89,092.20 $279,529.82 $38,622.02
Total Savings $49.87 $598.44 $2,992.20 $1,664.30 $4,656.50

The biggest saving is in the total interest saved over 5 years. At the end of the day this borrower saved $4,656.50. Guess what she decided to do? Yes, SWITCH lenders.

In this scenario, it will cost the borrower $0 to make a switch. Would you put four 1000-dollar bills, six 100-hundred-dollar bills, one 50-dollar bill, one five-dollar bill, one loonie and two quarters in the fire? No, you would not.

Bottom line, make sure you have a discussion with your independent Mortgage Broker before (potentially) burning thousands of dollars.

Written by:

MICHAEL HALLETT

Dominion Lending Centres – Accredited Mortgage Professional

23 May

GETTING A MORTGAGE AFTER CONSUMER PROPOSAL OR BANKRUPTCY

General

Posted by: Crystal Stewart

Life can definitely throw some challenging financial situations your way. As mortgage professionals, we can provide solutions and strategies during or after these challenging times in order to get you back on track. We have access to banks, trust companies and mortgage companies that specialize in this transitional period to help you move forward with the best mortgage plan for you. We protect your credit by negotiating with multiple lenders to find a solution for you.

If you have never owned a home and have had a consumer proposal, the good news is that you are already accustomed to the discipline of saving money every month. Should you choose to continue to grow your savings, those funds can then be put toward a down payment and re-establishing credit.

If you own a home already, there are lenders that will help you refinance and pay out your proposal earlier in order to accelerate your transition period.

After bankruptcy, different lenders will issue mortgages based on the amount of time since you were discharged, the amount of down payment on a purchase and/or the current equity in your home if your already own. Lenders then price their rates based on these aspects of your application.

At Dominion Lending Centres, we look forward to learning about your journey while protecting your credit and guiding you through the best strategy on a moving forward basis.

 

Written by:

ANGELA CALLA

Dominion Lending Centres – Accredited Mortgage Professional
Angela is part of DLC Angela Calla Mortgage Team based in Port Coquitlam, BC.

17 May

A CONVERSATION ABOUT MORTGAGE PRE-APPROVALS

General

Posted by: Crystal Stewart

Thinking of buying a property, but don’t know where to start? Well… that’s where a mortgage pre-approval comes in. Start here. Just like you wouldn’t go into a restaurant without having enough money to buy your meal, so you shouldn’t start shopping for a home without an understanding of how much you can afford. So let’s have a conversation about a mortgage pre-approvals so you can get this house hunting party started.

Although a pre-approval is the best way to get started, we have to be honest about what a pre-approval is and what it’s not.

NOT MAGIC. NOT BINDING.

Let’s start at the beginning and dissect the word pre-approval. Pre means before, in advance of, or prior to, and in this case means before the approval. A pre-approval is not an approval, let me say that again (in italics) for emphasis, a pre-approval is not the same as an approval. It’s not a guarantee of financing. it’s not magic, and unfortunately it’s not binding. There are a number of factors that come into play after the pre-approval is in place that can derail your dreams of homeownership.

  • as a mortgage approval requires a property to be scrutinized, and a pre-approval doesn’t look at any property, it can’t be guaranteed.
  • as your employment status can change after a pre-approval, all employment documents have to be verified as part of the approval process.
  • a secondary credit report can be pulled by the lender or insurer after the pre-approval is in place, if there are discrepancies, they could decide not to proceed with financing
  • mortgage rules can change and sometimes come into effect with no grandfathering.

SO WHAT GOOD IS A PRE-APPROVAL THEN…

A pre-approval is simply a formalized gathering of your ducks, and putting them in a row. It won’t guarantee you will get the mortgage, but it will certainly uncover any major obstacles that might be in your way. Consider a pre-approval a pre-screening, where we take a look at your employment, credit history, and your downpayment, and figure out the maximum mortgage amount you can qualify for. We will also have a look at all the mortgage options available to you on the market, so you can decide in advance what product meets your financing needs.

Obstacles, like what? Well, the truth is, you only know what you know, said in another way, you don’t know what you don’t know. Did you know that they figure about 10-20% of credit reports have some kind of error on them. By taking a look at your credit report as part of the pre-approval process (instead of when you have already found the house of your dreams), you have time to fix any errors before hand. This might not sound like that big of a deal, but it could be the difference between getting financing or not.

A pre-approval usually comes with a rate-hold, this is a good thing. Rates are like gas prices, they fluctuate and go up and down from time to time. As part of taking a preliminary look at your mortgage application, lenders will typically offer a rate hold for 90-120 days on a specific mortgage term. This means that if you find a property to buy in the allotted time, even if rates have gone up in the mean time, you will get the rate that was guaranteed. What happens if rates go down, well… you get the lower rate. It’s a win win.

IT’S A PROCESS

Buying a home is a process, a process that has a lot of steps that come into play. A pre-approval is one of the first steps you take. A pre-approval allows you to collect all your documentation ahead of time, handle any obstacles that may come up, have a look at your mortgage options, secure a rate hold, and will give you piece of mind as to the next steps in the process. Regardless if this is your first time buying a place or your twentieth, a pre-approval is the best place to start. Even if it doesn’t guarantee you will get the mortgage in the end.

So if you are thinking about buying a home, let’s get started, as we would love to help you secure a pre-approval. And if for some reason you are faced with some obstacles, we will help you get on track. Contact a Dominion Lending Centres mortgage professional today!
Written by:

MICHAEL HALLETT

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

4 May

HEY LANDLORDS! YOU NEED TO READ THIS!

Latest News

Posted by: Crystal Stewart

If you have not yet found yourself skimming the news online, you may not have heard yet about the Provincial Government’s announcement regarding the Ontario Housing and Rental Markets.

The Provincial Liberal Government, laid out for the Province their plan to address issues in key aspects of the Real Estate and Rental Property Markets in the Province. There were 16 steps in total, however for this post, we are going to focus solely on the announced changes that deal directly with Rental Properties and Landlords. These changes may directly impact our clients whom have or plan to acquire rental property. (Keep in mind that these were just announcements and many of them will have to be passed in the legislature before officially becoming law, although passing is highly likely).

1. Standardized Lease Agreements – The new plan stipulates that rental agreements/leases in Ontario for rental properties will be standardized. This helps the government ensure that lease agreements meet legislation requirements pertaining to landlord/tenant relationships and their respective rights.

2. Expansion of Rent Controls – Currently, any privately owned rental properties that are newer than 1991 are not impacted by Ontario’s rent control legislation. Meaning that a landlord has complete control on rent setting.

To gain control of skyrocketing rents (typically being experienced in Toronto and the Golden Horseshoe markets) the Province is expanding the Rent controls to all privately held rental properties regardless of the year they are/were build. The change would mean that rental rate increases would be capped at annual amount stipulated by the Landlord and Tenants Board. Those increases are typically in line with or around the rate of inflation. Even though this increase needs to come through approved legislation, the change will take effect, April 20th.

3. Vacancy Taxes – Although a specific tax is not being created by the Province, they are creating new powers for Toronto and other municipalities to introduce a tax on vacant homes in their respective communities. The tax is designed to encourage owners of vacant properties to make these available to tenants or be forced to pay a tax to the municipality.

4. Creating a rebate program designed help with Development Cost Charges to incentivize the building or more rental housing.

5. Ensuring that Property Tax for new multi-residential apartment buildings is charged at a similar rate as other residential properties. Designed to encourage developers to build more new rental housing.

As we have become accustom to in the industry, change is always inevitable and many of the changes laid out are not a surprise. Some of these have been rumored or discussed for some time. The most substantial of those changes impacting owners of rental properties is likely the changes proposed to the rent control rules, although this truly only impacts those owners who have properties that are newer than 1991.

Should you have any questions about any mortgages on properties that you own, please feel free to contact your local Dominion Lending Centres mortgage professional. We would be more than happy to complete a full review of your property portfolio and discuss what options might exists for either saving money on interest or accessing equity for another investment.

Written by:

Nathan Lawrence

Dominion Lending Centres – Accredited Mortgage Professional
Nathan is part of DLC Lakehead Financial based in Thunder Bay, ON

3 May

THINKING HOME RENOVATIONS OR PAYING OFF DEBT?!

Latest News

Posted by: Crystal Stewart

Looking to access equity in your home to pay off debt or renovate this spring? Let’s talk about refinancing your mortgage. When we refinance we are looking to move debt from bad (unsecured) debt to good debt where it is secured against an appreciating asset. Having high usage of your credit limits is likely eroding your credit score and costing you more over time than is necessary.

The major benefits of a refinance are puting all expenses into one low interest debt, reducing your overall monthly interest cost yet most important for families is the monthly cash flow improvement!!

Many people simply get a bit too deep into multiple lines of credit, new car payments and credit cards. It happens all too quickly where people overestimate what they can comfortably afford. The focus of debt cost unfortunately has shifted where folks are not concerned about the total debt amount or payoff schedule, the determining factor seems to have evolved to whether they can handle the monthly payment; cars, toys, vacations all start to add up.

This is a prime time to reassess your current financial situation. The market is hot right now and equity in your home has most likely increased a large amount! If you owe significant amounts on credit cards, lines of credit or other consumer debts, there may be enough headroom in your equity to allow you to refinance. Another prime reason to consider a refi would be property improvements and renovations, where you may be accessing equity yet the added debt may be directly offset by the increase in your property value and quality of living.

Ultimately, it is best to consult with a mortgage professional first. Let the math and numbers show you whether it makes sense to make the change. Our job is not to sell you a mortgage. We offer solutions or strategies through showing the numbers in a way that may have not occurred to you before! I can be contacted at your favouite method of communication – Text, Call, Email, Facebook, Instagram etc. Contact me for a FREE evaluation of your home value, mortgage and refinancing options!

3 May

Baby Boomers – What You Need To Know About Reverse Mortgages

Baby Boomers

Posted by: Crystal Stewart

Reverse Mortgages have had their share of misconceptions. In fact, we are often approached with false assumptions and unfounded facts about the product that steer the public to think of the product in a negative light. This article will cover one of the most common myths and the real facts behind this myth that has long been misinterpreted.

Myth: One of most common misconceptions that we hear time and time again is that you will lose ownership of your home to us.

Fact: This statement is false. HomEquity Bank, the provider of the CHIP Reverse Mortgage has taken several measures that ensure the protection of your equity.

1) Retain ownership of your home: Just like with any other mortgage, your home is used to secure the loan, which means that HomEquity Bank is registered as a standard charge on title. You, as a customer DO NOT transfer ownership of your home to us. In fact, once it’s time to pay back the mortgage you or your heirs have the choice to settle the loan however you or they want. Selling the home is the most common option, but it is not mandatory.

2) Our conservative lending practices: In our ads and on our website, we remind the customers that they can get up to 55% of the value of their home in a reverse mortgage loan. Of course, this amount does depend on the borrower(s) age, their property type as well as the location of their home. But as a rule of thumb, the younger the borrower is, the less they will qualify for and the older the borrower is, the more they will qualify for. This is because we want to make sure that the borrowers reverse mortgage loan doesn’t exceed the value of their home.

3) The potential value appreciation of your home: Many people don’t realize that their home may appreciate in value, however the interest that accrues only accumulates on the small borrowed amount of the home. That is why we say in our marketing pieces that “99% of homeowners have money left over” when their loan is settled.

This graph illustrates how the interest is affected when a home appreciates in value. For illustration purposes, we have used 3%, a modest level of home appreciation, which allows for equity preservation after a borrower takes out a CHIP Reverse Mortgage for 15 years. This example illustrates the following:

  • Home appraised at $500,000.
  • Homeowner(s) qualify for $200,000 (40%) of the value of their home in a CHIP Reverse Mortgage.
  • The homeowner(s) take the CHIP loan for 15 years before they move, sell or pass away.
  • The home appreciates at 3% and the new home value after 15 years is $778,984.
  • The principal plus interest total $457,288 and the estate still has $321,696 in equity (41% of the home value at time of sale).

Home Equity Preservation Graph – CHIP Reverse Mortgage
The following graph is for Illustration purposes only *

Home Equity Preservation Graph – CHIP Reverse Mortgage The following graph is for Illustration purposes only

4) Negative equity guarantee – Many people ask, “what happens if the house doesn’t appreciate in value, and in fact depreciates?” Our negative equity guarantee ensures that if your home depreciates in value at the time the home is being sold, and the loan amount due is more than the sale amount of the property, the homeowner or the heirs will not be financially penalized for being on title of the home. In fact, HomEquity Bank, will pay the difference between the sale amount and the loan amount when the loan amount due is more than the sale amount of the property. However, just like all other home equity loans, the homeowner(s) must keep their property taxes up to date, and maintain the condition of their home. If these conditions are met, the borrowers will never owe more than the fair market value of their home, when the home is sold.

The above measures are all the reasons why a CHIP Reverse Mortgage customer will not lose their home to the lender. A CHIP Reverse Mortgage provides a great solution for a growing number of Canadian retirees. For more information on this solution for homeowners 55+, contact your local Dominion Lending Centres mortgage professional.

 

* The illustration uses conservative values:

  • Example based on the national price of Canadian homes of $500,000 (Average home price in Canada is $519,521 according to the CREA, February 2017)
  • Example based on CHIP Reverse Mortgage advance of 40%
  • Home appreciation of 3.00%. Average home appreciation is 7.16% annually. (Source: CREA, Canadian Real Estate Association 15-year national house appreciation average, February 2017). HomEquity Bank makes no representations on future housing market performance.
  • CHIP interest rate of 5.59%. The Annual Percentage Rate (APR) is 5.79%, which is the estimated cost of borrowing for 5 years expressed as an annual percentage. The APR includes interest and closing costs.
 Written by:

YVONNE ZIOMECKI

HomEquity Bank – Senior Vice President, Marketing and Sales