16 Feb

HIGH RATIO AND CONVENTIONAL MORTGAGES

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Posted by: Sangeeta Sangeeta

What is – HIGH RATIO AND CONVENTIONAL MORTGAGES? Check this out !!

There are two different types of mortgages when it comes to their balance in relation to the value of your home- high ratio or conventional.

When you applying for a mortgage, lenders use a ratio called loan to value. Your loan to value is exactly what it sounds like, the size of your mortgage in relation to the value, written as a percentage.

For example, if you have a $500,000 home and your mortgage is $300,000 and your down payment/equity is $200,000, your loan to value is 60%. This means that the bank owns 60% of your home and you technically own 40%, because if your house sold for $500,000, you would only get $200,000 as the remaining amount goes to the lender to pay out your mortgage.

When some one says high ratio and conventional mortgages, that is referring to your loan to value. If your loan to value is more than 80%, you have what is called a high-ratio mortgage. A high-ratio mortgage is when you own less than 20% of your home. You will also be required by law to pay what is called mortgage default insurance to help protect the lender if you were unable to maintain your mortgage payments.

A conventional mortgage is when you own 20% or more of your home and your mortgage amount is less than 80% of the value of your home. You do not need to pay mortgage insurance premiums if you purchase a home with 20% or more as well. When refinancing your home and borrowing against your equity, lenders are not allowed to increase your mortgage to an amount above 80% of your homes value. This means, if you own less than 20% of your home, you cannot refinance or take equity out.

You are also not allowed to purchase a rental property and receive a high ratio mortgage as you are required to put 20% down. Conventional and high ratio mortgages will also affect your interest rates as most lenders incentives high ratio buyers to work with them by offering lower interest rates.

There are several other categories when looking at loan to value and what each one can give you in terms of borrowing power, however, when it comes to high ratio and conventional, these are the biggest differences.

If you have any questions relating to a high ratio or conventional mortgages, contact your local Dominion Lending Centres mortgage professional.

9 Feb

GET TO KNOW TITLE INSURANCE

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Posted by: Sangeeta Sangeeta

Check this out !!

Are you officially Mortgage Free? CONGRATULATIONS! That is a monumental milestone to achieve!

With that significant accomplishment, you should look at obtaining a Title Insurance Policy. What most people don’t realize is that when you had a mortgage, the lender will likely have had this in place for you. Once your mortgage is paid out in full the insurance is no longer in place. It is crucial that once your final payment is made that you, as a homeowner, now get a policy.

What is Title Insurance? Good question!

Title Insurance protects you, the homeowner. It’s not like traditional insurance in that it does not ONLY cover things that might happen, but it also covers things such as property defects that have already occurred in the past.

A title insurance homeowner policy will cover:

  • Forgery – If someone forges your signature on a registered document that entitles them to sell or mortgage your home.
  • Duty To Defend – If you experience title risk, the policy will cover the legal fees and costs associated with restoring and protecting your title.
  • Lack of Building Permits – Prior to purchasing the home, if there were renovations performed without the proper building permits you may be required to remove or fix the structure.
  • Fraud – If someone fraudulently transfers your property without your consent.
  • Encroachments – If a structure built by a previous owner is outside the property boundaries, or if a neighbor builds a structure that is on your property.

Title Insurance offers you peace of mind if anything should happen to your property once you are the owner. It is relatively low cost, on average coming in at $200-$400. It is a one-time purchase and does not need to be purchased each year. More than reasonable right?

If you are still on the fence about obtaining title insurance, we’ve recently had a client who experienced title fraud:

A woman went to her bank to make a payment on a line of credit that was secured by a mortgage on her property. When she arrived, she was told that her $30,000 line of credit had been paid in full and that according to the lawyer who sent the funds, her house had been sold.

This left her quite perplexed, so she followed up with the land registry office. They confirmed the sale of the property for $350,000 and that a new mortgage was registered on the property for $325,000. The woman was stunned to find out that she had been the victim of a title fraud scheme—and that the fraudsters had collected $350,000 on the deal.

Thankfully, in the above case, the woman was covered by a Title Insurance Policy which fully covered all her legal fees to remove the mortgage from the title and rightfully transfer it back to her. Having the coverage saved her approximately $12,000 in legal fees, time, and stress.

Your home is a sizable investment and one you worked hard to purchase! Title Insurance can protect you and your property should there be anything that comes up. For the $200-$400 it costs, we feel that’s a low price tag for peace of mind. Ready to get a quote? Let us help you by contacting Dominion Lending Centres mortgage professional to set up your Title Insurance Policy!

2 Feb

NEW YEAR, NEW WAYS TO MANAGE THAT HOLIDAY DEBT!

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Posted by: Sangeeta Sangeeta

NEW YEAR, NEW WAYS TO MANAGE THAT HOLIDAY DEBT!

We hope your holidays were spent warm, safe and in the company of family and loved ones. We also hope that you’re not drowning from all the holiday purchases such as the dinners, the appetizers, the gifts, the gift cards, the drinks, the party favors – shall I continue?
It is expected that most people will spend over their budget during the holiday season. In fact, Canadian consumers spent 3.7% higher than they did last year. According to PwC, Canadians spent, on average, $1,563 each on consumer products this holiday season.
Are you among that group who spent 3.7% higher than last year? Not too worry, we get your generosity and as always, we are here to help you during this NORMAL time period of financial anxiety and discomfort.
Once again, we’re all in this together. You are not alone in your debt situation no matter how high or how low.
Our first suggestion is to put those credit cards on ice and leave them for a while. Cut out the temptations completely and focus only on the necessary transactions including home utilities, car insurance, mortgage, etc.
This extra money can be put aside and stored in your savings for multiple reasons. It is important that you DO NOT SPEND this lump sum of cash on clothes, electronics, or big-ticket items. Just because this money is readily available to you – doesn’t mean it should be spent on materialistic items.
Don’t know what to do with that extra cash and want to make good use of it? Direct this money towards credit card debt (this one is important!!) or perhaps a “nest egg” before a move across the country, retirement, whatever suits you best.
We highly suggest not letting that holiday debt get the best of you by addressing it first and foremost. Do not let this debt slide under the radar and come back mid-year with more debt racked on top of it. Trust us! Addressing your Christmas dues now will make the rest of your financial year reasonably better without having those regrettable thoughts about giving your gifts to your families.
Since it is the beginning of January and new year resolutions are [hopefully] still fresh in peoples minds, make it your 2019 goal to create a monthly spending plan. Setting up a budget will put an end to bad spending habits and increased debt if you take your budget seriously as well as make realistic changes that are suitable for your current lifestyle.
Having a financial plan will force you to look at the numbers and assess your spending. You may be very surprised by the amount of money you are currently using towards just a simple cup of coffee on the way to work.
If you have questions as to how to get started, here is a link to the 10 Basic Steps provided by Smart About Money that takes you through your motivations about your money, how you would like to utilize your money and how to put your budget into action.
Lastly, and this tip is easy if you already have one or two credit cards that are racking up debt – do NOT apply for a new credit card. We assure you handling one monster at a time is better than taking on multiple beasts.
If you have any questions or concerns as to how you should be spending your money on your mortgage, contact a Dominion Lending Centres mortgage professional near you.

25 Jan

5 REASONS WHY REALTORS WANT YOU TO HAVE A PRE-APPROVAL

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Posted by: Sangeeta Sangeeta

5 REASONS WHY REALTORS WANT YOU TO HAVE A PRE-APPROVAL

You’ve decided that you want to buy a home and you call up a realtor to show you a listing and the first question they ask is “ How much are you pre-approved for?” Many realtors will refuse to book home viewings until they can confirm that you are pre-approved. Why?

1- It shows that you are seriously committed to a home purchase. I have been told stories by realtors of people booking a series of homes to see and then being dropped off at McDonald’s to be picked up by another realtor to see some more homes.

2.- People have an idea of how much home they can afford. Sometimes this amount is way off. Lines of credit, installment plans, alimony or child support payments or high condo fees can make the amount of house you can afford a lot less than you would expect.

3- Surprises on your credit report. Many times home buyers haven’t checked their credit report before house hunting. An unpaid bill or a dispute with a contractor may result in a lien or collection showing on your credit. There may even be something from a person with a similar name. It’s important to make sure your credit is clean and that it is yours and not someone else’s.

4 –Income issues. A lot of people run out to get a new home when they receive a promotion at work. If the promotion includes a pay hike, is it salary or are they relying on overtime? Mortgage rules demand a two-year history for commission income, overtime or self-employed income. This also can curtail how much you qualify for.

5A – Credibility of the realtor.  When a realtor makes an offer on a home for you, they are not only investing their time and the listing agent’s time but their reputation. Making offers that will not result in a firm sale hurts their reputation in the industry. Trustworthiness and reputation are very important to realtors as they are guiding you in the largest purchase you make in your lifetime.

5B- Negotiating Strength.  In a situation where there are competing offers on a property, the seller’s agent will encourage the sells to take the offer that is backed by a pre-approval over another offer that does not have a pre-approval to support it. Your chances of getting your dream home are greatly increased with it.

My one recommendation is that you take the time to contact your favorite Dominion Lending Centres mortgage broker and get pre-approved. It will save everyone time and help avoid disappointment for everyone.

19 Jan

5 C’S OF CREDIT TO GET A MORTGAGE

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Posted by: Sangeeta Sangeeta

5 C’S OF CREDIT TO GET A MORTGAGE

Whether you are buying your first home or have been a homeowner for years, when you are looking at purchasing a property, finding the best mortgage solution for your specific situation can be an intimidating experience.

Working with a licensed mortgage broker will ease that tension, along with knowing the basics of what lenders are looking for will help you better understand the process.

The Five C’s of Credit/Mortgages
The five Cs of credit is a system used by lenders to gauge the creditworthiness of potential borrowers. The system weighs five characteristics of the borrower and conditions of the mortgage, attempting to estimate the chance of default and, consequently, the risk of a financial loss for the lender.

Higher Risk = Higher Rates!

Know Your 5 C’s:

Every client has individual mortgage needs when buying a home and my goal is to find a mortgage loan that’s the right fit for your situation! The first step in getting the mortgage process started involves understanding what lenders are looking for in order to get mortgage approval.

The approval process is called the Five C’s of Credit and they consist of:
• Collateral– the property that you are planning to purchase
• Credit – do you have good credit? Do you have a good history of repayment for all loans?
• Capacity – Proof of being able to pay for your mortgage with your provable income
• Capital – How much equity do you have in the property? The borrower’s net worth
• Character – The borrower’s willingness to repay the loan and their reliability

1. Collateral
Collateral reflects the strength of the property itself. Lenders look at if the property is owner-occupied (do you live there) or is it a rental dwelling? Is the property home, condominium or cottage? Is the property located in a metropolitan neighborhood or a rural area? Is there a single family living in the home or multiple families? All these factors are considered by the lender for marketability when rating your property. An appraisal is one of the tools that will be used to assess the value of the property.

2. Credit
Shows the lender a snapshot of what the borrower’s repayment history has been over a period of time. This is the only way a lender can predict the borrower’s propensity to make future payments. The credit score (also called credit history, credit report, credit rating) is the primary measurement factor.
When you borrow money, your repayment history is reported to the credit bureau – this rating is called your credit score. How do you pay your bills – always on time or sometimes a few days late or not at all, will determine what type of credit rating will apply. Some other factors that affect your credit rating are if your credit card balance is greater than 25-50% of your credit limit, if any accounts have gone to collection, or if there have been multiple inquiries into your credit.

3. Capacity

The most important by far! How are you going to pay for your mortgage? The lender’s main concern is how you intend to repay your mortgage and will consider your income (from all sources) against your monthly expenses. Proof of income will differ depending on your employment status: salaried, commissioned, self-employed, full time, or part-time. Lenders will determine what types of documents are required to confirm your provable income and how much mortgage you can qualify for. This is represented as TDS Total Debt Service Ratio and GDS Gross Debt Service Ratio.

4. Capital
Capital refers to your personal net worth and how much equity you have in the property. Where is your down payment coming from? In Canada, your minimum down payment is 5% for a “high ratio” insured mortgage* or a “conventional” mortgage with 20% down. The downpayment money can come from your own resources or can be gifted from a family member.

5. Character
The character is a subjective rating and basically reflects a combination of the above four factors. Your character tells a story to the lender about your individual situation. Lenders want to know that as a borrower, that you are trustworthy and will meet your payment obligations to them. Lenders will take factors such as length of employment, your tendency to save and use credit responsibly to establish your character and determine whether you are a borrower that they can trust with their mortgage.

The goal is to get a yes with your lender. The Five C’s of credit outlined above determine a borrower’s ability and willingness to make payments. Understanding what a lender is looking for allows you to set yourself up to put your best foot forward.

There you have it – the 5 C’s that lenders analyze when reviewing a mortgage application.

If you have any questions or concerns feel free to contact a Dominion Lending Centres mortgage professional, they’re here to help!

11 Jan

3 THINGS FOR EVERY HOMEOWNER TO DO IN JANUARY

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Posted by: Sangeeta Sangeeta

3 THINGS FOR EVERY HOMEOWNER TO DO IN JANUARY

As we enter the New Year, there are a few things that we should all think about as homeowners.

1 – Replace your furnace air filter – if you read over the instructions for your furnace you will know that you are supposed to either clean or replace your furnace filter. We are three months into the heating season so a replacement now will last you until spring.

2 – Put a copy of your last pay stub for last year with your house papers & keep an eye out for your annual mortgage statement – put this statement in with your house papers along with your last pay stub.

3 – Check all your credit card balances before they are due – as the holiday season has just ended, you may have spent more money than you have in your bank account. If there’s a shortfall between what you can pay and what you owe you will now be stuck with a credit card balance with an interest rate of 19-25%.
There’s a solution. If you have enough equity in your home, you can apply through your mortgage broker for a home equity line of credit (HELOC). This is a re-advanceable account and should have an interest rate of closer to 4 %. Remember you still owe this money but it’s a lot easier to pay off a balance when the interest compounds at 4% rather than 25%.
Contact your favorite DLC mortgage broker and ask them if you qualify for this money-saving option. The first thing that your broker will ask you is for a mortgage statement and your last pay stub from last year which you will have easily at hand. Now there are just a few more steps and you are on the way to getting your holiday debts into a manageable situation. Dominion Lending Centres providing solutions to Canadians.

5 Jan

ARE YOU BEHIND ON YOUR CRA TAXES?

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Posted by: Sangeeta Sangeeta

ARE YOU BEHIND ON YOUR CRA TAXES?

Nothing weighs heavy on one’s shoulders than owning a home and getting behind on your Canada Revenue taxes. Most banks will not be able to help you refinance your home to pay them off as CRA has first dibs on your house and assets. We have clients owing anywhere from $5,000- $300,000 in back taxes and have threatening letters from CRA that would keep anyone up at night.

There are options and strategies we can assist with financing your CRA debts:

1: We use alternative lenders that charge higher fees/rates for a 1-year term

2: Short-term 2nd mortgage to pay off your CRA debts and then refinance back with your lender.

Find out who we can help with a no-obligation application. Let a Dominion Lending Centres mortgage professional get you back on track!

Some CRA notes on penalties for filing late:

The first time you file late you’ll pay:

  • a late-filing penalty –5% of the amount of tax you owe, plus 1% for every month that your return is late, for up to 12 months. That adds up to a maximum of 17% of the tax you owe.
  • interest – at the prescribed interest rate on the amount you owe, beginning on May 1. You’ll also be charged interest on any late-filing penalties. Interest is compounded daily, not monthly or annually. The prescribed interest rate can change every 3 months.
  • If you miss the deadline again, the late-filing penalties are doubled. For example, if the CRA charged you late-filing penalties for any of the 3 previous years, you would pay a penalty of up to 50% made up of 10% of the taxes you owe, plus 2% of the taxes you owe for each full month that your return is late, to a maximum of 20 months.
28 Dec

CONGRATULATIONS ON THE MORTGAGE! NOW LET’S GET RID OF IT!

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Posted by: Sangeeta Sangeeta

CONGRATULATIONS ON THE MORTGAGE! NOW LET’S GET RID OF IT!

So now that you’re a homeowner, what are your next steps? Well first, you will have to figure out exactly how you are going to get RID of that mortgage. Yes, that’s right. Now that you got it, here are four ways you can pay it off and be done with it!

1. ACCELERATE YOUR PAYMENT FREQUENCY

Making the change from monthly payments to accelerated bi-weekly payments is one of the easiest ways you can make a huge difference to the bottom line of your mortgage. A traditional mortgage splits the amount owing to 12 equal monthly payments, however, an accelerated bi-weekly payment is simply taking a regular monthly payment and dividing it in two. Instead of making 24 payments, you will make 26. The extra two payments really accelerate the repayment of your mortgage!
Here is an example of what I’m talking about.
Bob currently has a $300,000 mortgage at a 4% fixed rate with a 25 year amortization period. He will save $32,000 just by moving to biweekly accelerated payments from biweekly. Go, Bob!

2. INCREASE YOUR MORTGAGE PAYMENT AMOUNT
Unless you opted for a “no-frills” mortgage, chances are you have the capability of increasing your regular mortgage payment by 10-25%. This is a great option if you have some extra cash to spend on your budget. This money will go directly towards paying down the principal amount owing on your mortgage. The more money you can pay down when you first get your mortgage, the better. At the end of the day, you will pay less interest over the lifespan of your mortgage. By voluntarily increasing your mortgage payment, it is metaphorically like you are signing up for a long-term forced savings plan where equity builds in your house rather than your bank account.

3. MAKE A LUMP SUM PAYMENT

Again, unless you have a “no-frills” mortgage, you should be able to make bulk payments towards your mortgage. Depending on your lender and your mortgage product, you should be able to put down anywhere from 10-25% of the original mortgage balance. Some lenders may be particular about WHEN you can make these payments, however, if you haven’t taken advantage of a lump sum payment yet this year, you will be eligible.

4. REVIEW YOUR OPTIONS REGULARLY

As your mortgage payments are withdrawn from your account, it is easy to put your mortgage payments on auto-pilot especially if you have opted for a 5-year fixed term. Despite the term of your mortgage, it is highly encouraged to give your mortgage an annual review. This review gives you a conscious look at the overall stance of your mortgage which could rise to opportunities for refinancing or lowering your interest rate!
If you have any questions about your mortgage, how to get a mortgage, or how to get rid of the mortgage you have, please don’t hesitate to contact a Dominion Lending Centres mortgage professional today!

21 Dec

VARIABLE RATE? TO LOCK IN OR NOT?

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Posted by: Sangeeta Sangeeta

VARIABLE RATE? TO LOCK IN OR NOT?

This post applies if you are taking a new mortgage, whether it’s for a purchase, refinance, or renewal. The variable remains the main contender.

But what about all the economists saying if you are currently in a variable rate mortgage then you should rush to ‘lock-in’?

You mean the economists that are employed by profit-driven shareholder-owned institutions that directly benefit from your locking-in (banks) via instantly increased profit margins and massively higher (up to 900% higher) prepayment penalties that 2/3 mortgage holders will trigger?

A bit biased, that crowd.
Also, they are generalists, they’re not specialists.

But what about independent real estate experts?

While these experts may have their finger on the pulse of many facets of the real estate market, many remain totally unaware of how exactly mortgage prepayment penalties are calculated, and just how likely you are to trigger them.

Also, generalists, are unaware of many nuances of mortgage products.

So what’s my game?

I’ve never really had the game, so to speak. And I don’t stand to profit from your locking in, or from your staying variable. In fact, as I type this on a stunning day I’m wondering just what I’m doing in my office at all.

I’m just a Mortgage Broker offering an opinion. An opinion that reflects my personal policy, an opinion shaped through 25 years of experience with my own mortgages, an opinion based on 11 years of experience with 1,673 client’s mortgages.

I’ve seen a few things, mortgage specific things.

I’ve watched 2/3 of my clients break their mortgages and trigger penalties. Almost every single one of them a small and relatively painless penalty thanks to staying variable.

But what about these rising rates?

If you are currently in a Prime -.65% to Prime -1.00% variable then to lock-in would be to inflict an immediate rate hike on yourself that might take the government another 12-18 months to pull off… if they pull it off.

Stay variable.

If you are in a Prime -.35 or shallower mortgage, we should discuss restructuring that into a Prime -1.00% mortgage and reducing your rate by .65% or more.

Staying variable.

My crystal ball says yes, perhaps another two or three 0.25% hikes through 2019, but at that point the odds favor (heavily) an economic contraction that will, in turn, trigger a corresponding reduction in interest rates.

It is my theory, and that of others smarter than I, that the fed is pushing rates up aggressively to beat said economic contraction because they want to have the tool of ‘reducing interest rates’ back in their toolbox when the rainy days come. And we are overdue for stormy economic times. And when those times arrive it will not be prudent to be locked-in.

In short, life is variable – your mortgage should be as well. If you have any questions, contact your local Dominion Lending Centres mortgage professional today.

14 Dec

WHY CAN’T YOU PORT YOUR MORTGAGE?

General

Posted by: Sangeeta Sangeeta

WHY CAN’T YOU PORT YOUR MORTGAGE?

Policies are always changing, and when you port a mortgage, a FULL application must be approved and completely underwritten with full, credit, income, property and policy review.
It’s a mistake to believe that just because you already had a mortgage, you will easily get a new one. Policies and rates are changing rapidly and you need a strategy to stay informed. SO BEFORE you consider a move, understand the worst case scenario of what you qualify for without porting your mortgage so you avoid the disappointment of falling into the 70% of people that don’t end up porting. Mortgages can be made simple when you are empowered with relevant information relating to the current market and your life stage. Depending on those factors, you might be happy to get rid of your old mortgage and get in with the new! We have a mortgage for that and can help. On average less than 3% of mortgages are portable.
Let me list a few of the reasons why
1. Dates– most lenders have a different policy on the dates that will allow to port the mortgage; it can be weeks or months. Your closing date will determine that.
2. Amortization– porting a mortgage means you port the same amortization, so if you are moving up the property ladder, that may mean your payments are significantly increased making it less affordable or meaning you can’t qualify with your income.
3. Amounts– some have a 10% variance limit up or down, where the penalty will trigger or it’s no longer a fit within the policy.
4. Change in credit– depending on the credit score and outside debts you have will determine if you still fit the credit profile your previous mortgage had.
5. Income– if there has been a change in your income type or amount this will also impact the options.
6. Property type– some lenders only lend on single-family homes, or a particular zoning, or don’t do private sales- even if they did when you originally got your mortgage with them.
7. Rate– may be the change in rates either way of the product type you took doesn’t allow for a port due to one or a few of the combined factors. For example, going from the insured to uninsured comes with different policies.
8. Product– may be the product you had no longer exists for your particular profile.
9. Inspections – may be the lender approved it initially but after your inspection just as you wanted a reduction in price, they decide they are no longer going to lend on it or decide it doesn’t fit the profile or they won’t do it under that program ( instead you need a purchase plus improvements or a hold back they may or may not participate in and maybe want a different fix that you or a strata council agree on.)
10. Bridge – if you want to buy before you sell, all the above factors come into play. Maybe the original lender doesn’t allow the length of time you need, their cost to bridge is much higher, or maybe they don’t approve that portion of the loan, which puts you back at square one.

Purchasing a home is complex, with many moving parts and needs to be understood as such. When you have an experienced Dominion Lending Centres mortgage broker by your side while lots of things can come up, we can guide you through what is best for your family, which is why we encourage you to be educated and empowered so you are ready for your next part of your ownership journey.