In October and November this year the Government of Canada made changes to mortgage insurance requirements. Mortgage insurance is provided by three companies in Canada. The biggest provider of mortgage insurance is CMHC a crown corporation. This insurance is paid for by the borrower and protects the lender in case of default. It reduces the lenders risk therefore enabling consumers to purchase homes with as little as 5% down.
Knowing how much you can reasonably, comfortably and responsibly contribute to home ownership is paramount in your making a wise and sound investment on your Canadian property. The big four factors that generally contribute to this mortgage amount are:
- Monthly income generated
- The amount you can contribute to your down payment
- The mortgage interest rates and term you qualify for
- Other financial commitments or debts you are obliged to pay
Lenders basically use two rules to determine the mortgage you are eligible to be funded to receive, in addition to examining your credit history and FICO score:
- Gross Debt Service Ratio (GDS)
- Total Debt Service Ratio (TDS)
Finding the right home for you and your loved ones really comes down to three chief factors:
- Affordability: Does the home fit into your budget? Have you determined the financing you can qualify for through a mortgage pre-approval? Have you factored in mortgage insurance, utilities and heating expenses, association fees and taxes?
- Lifestyle: Is the home located in an area within the proximity of the amenities you and your family require? Is the lot large enough for your pet(s)? Will owning this home impede you from doing the things you love doing? Are you close enough to work, family and friends?
- Future Needs: Are kids a possibility in the future? Is the home large enough for a family? Is the basement developed? Are there schools nearby? Or, if you are close to retirement, is the home too large? Are there too many stairs and floors in the home to negotiate?
Protecting Your Identity
Your DNA solely codes you. Your fingerprints will never match someone else’s. There is no reason why your identity should be any different.
The vast majority of people rarely think about the possible ramifications for using their identity improperly, or how devastating an identity theft can be to their personal lives. We come across emails every day wherein people include all of their personal information.
Our online mortgage application is secure, firewalled and password protected, but email is not. Email transmissions are not protected from hackers, phishers, thieves, and con artists.
Take these measures to keep your identity protected:
Your mortgage is one of the largest purchase items you will probably take on in your life. In making that commitment, you will most likely seek advice from several people: your family, your partner, your real estate agent, your financial planner and your mortgage broker.
Ensuring that you employ the best real estate professionals that you have access to – home buying professionals with your best interest in mind – will save you exponentially down the line. It takes a solid team to secure an optimal home.
Finding a well-connected Canadian mortgage broker is your first step. A mortgage broker will help you ascertain the true amount you can afford to spend on your new home, before you start shopping. A mortgage pre-approval will give you powerful buying power with home sellers, and will hold for you the best mortgage rates available, usually within 90 days. With one mortgage application, a mortgage broker will scout the Canadian mortgage market for you, and find the mortgage product that best suits your needs, be it through a bank, trust company, credit union, insurance company or private lender.
Mortgage Down Payment
Today’s mortgage market allows potential homeowners to purchase their dream property in Canada with as little as five per cent down.
Any down payment that totals less than 20 per cent of the property value will require mortgage default insurance, and is considered to be a high ratio loan.
A conventional mortgage is defined as a mortgage loan where 80 per cent or less of the property value is financed through a lender. The percentage of your home value that is financed, or not paid for by the down payment, is defined in a Loan to Value ratio (LTV) (loan amount divided by property value). The LTV has a large influence on the mortgage product you will be eligible to qualify for on the purchase of your new property.
The greater the down payment you can accumulate, the greater the contribution you are making toward the principal value of your home, and thus the less of the mortgage loan amount you will be paying interest on over time.
Halloween aside, this October has plenty of reasons to get you spooked, what with a recession, a long and tiring election campaign, and recent world events. Plenty of reasons, but your mortgage need not be one of them.
We’re here to help in this frightful time, no matter if you’re buying a home, renewing your mortgage, or looking to refinance.
Mortgage brokers have access to a wide range of lenders and products, and we can find a mortgage that’s right for you. After all everyone’s mortgage needs are different. You may require the certainty that your mortgage payment will stay the same from the first day of your term to your last. You may want flexibility, to be able to pull equity out of your home to finance a renovation or a new car. Regardless, you should be able to do so with the lowest mortgage rate available in Canada.
Mortgage rates are incredibly low right now, but you likely wouldn’t know it if you looked at your local bank’s rates. Go with your bank’s mortgage rates, you’ll probably end up paying a ghastly premium.
The Dirty “R” Word
If the word “Recession” fills you with unease, you’re not alone. The word doesn’t sit well with many people. Unless you are in the rare circumstance of having just come into a gratuitous fortune, or you are employed in a sector of the economy that has somehow been unaffected by it, a recession will to affect you. Even then, depending on the severity of the recession, unaffected sectors can be effected by proxy.
With the latest Bank of Canada (BoC) rate cut to 0.50% comes a reminder that many would like us to believe our housing market is tenuous. Once again there is a lot of discussion about just how overheated our market is and the dire circumstances many current home buyers are likely to find themselves at renewal time.
First, let’s think about why the Bank of Canada decided to cut interest rates once again last week. In January the BoC surprised many of us and cut the overnight rate in response to a rapid decline in oil prices. This time around it did so because the Canadian economy has not rebounded the way the Bank had hoped.
In an effort to stimulate spending, the Bank used one of its levers to lower the cost of borrowing. In doing so the value of the loonie further decreased thereby making imports more expensive and exports cheaper. The hope is that foreigners will both invest in and buy Canadian goods. The caveat to that appears to be Canadian real estate where many economists and policy makers would prefer that no additional investment takes place. The problem is, it’s hard to have it both ways. Continue reading
Most Canadians know it's a better idea to stick to their budgets than get sucked into a bidding war, according to data from the Bank of Montreal.
Figures from the BMO Home Buying Report, which polled 2,000 adult Canadians, show that only 28 percent of homebuyers are willing to fight over a property. This number was higher for first-time homebuyers, with 39 percent saying they'd be willing to enter a bidding war over a home.
Data also shows that bidding wars were more likely to occur in Toronto, Vancouver and Calgary. In fact, a quarter of home sellers in Calgary said they purposefully under-priced their properties in an attempt to spur competition among homebuyers. Continue reading