4 WAYS TO MAKE THE MORTGAGE PROCESS SMOOTHER

General Cindi McLean 19 Sep

4 WAYS TO MAKE THE MORTGAGE PROCESS SMOOTHER

 Mortgages are complicated – we get it! But there are steps that you as a homebuyer can take to make the process a much smoother one (plus let you walk away with the sharpest rate!)

  1. Use a Broker

This should be the first step you take when getting a mortgage! Enlisting a trusted broker to work with you can help you secure the sharpest rate and the right mortgage product too! This is one of the biggest (if not the biggest) purchase you will make in your lifetime. Working with a professional will make all the difference.

  1. Budget, Budget and Budget Some More

Budgets aren’t the most glamorous element of home buying but they are a necessity. Why? Because often you will have overlooked costs that can make or break you getting into your home. A few things to consider:

  • Property transfer taxes
  • Legal fees
  • Home inspection/appraisal fees
  • Down payment (this is kind of a big one)
  • Mortgage insurance

And the costs don’t stop once you own the home.

  1. Understand the Importance of the Down-Payment

Many home buyers focus on just simply putting money aside for the down payment. While this is crucial, there are other considerations.

  • How big of a down payment can you make? You must meet the federally mandated minimum down payment: 5% for all mortgages up to $500,000 and 10% on any portion above $500,000 up to $999,999.99 (CMHC-insured mortgage loans are only available on properties valued under $1 million). But the size of the down payment will also reduce the interest you pay out over the life of your mortgage and reduce the size of the CMHC mortgage premium too.
  • Take advantage of the Home Buyer’s Plan to withdraw up to $25,000 tax free from their Registered Retirement Savings Plan (RRSP). This can help to supplement your down payment as long as you understand the rules for paying it back.
  • Leave plenty of time to transfer the funds from whichever source you are pulling them from. You will also need to leave adequate time for a certified or cashier’s cheque to be produced before the closing
  1. Don’t Become Hyper Focused On the Rate

Yes, the rate is important, but don’t be hasty and jump into a mortgage purely based on the rate. Consider other areas such as the terms, the penalty to break, the amortization, and all other factors before signing on the dotted line. Your broker can help you to understand the ins and outs of a mortgage.

Considering these four things can help you be more prepared when beginning the mortgage process. Remember, a Dominion Lending Centres mortgage broker will help you and guide you through each of these things to ensure you are getting the best mortgage possible and with minimal stress too!

 

Article written by Geoff Lee, Dominion Lending Centres – Accredited Mortgage Professional, Vancouver, BC

Would you like to do renovations on your home but don’t have the cash? Give me a call, I may have a solution for you. 705-783-8383

General Cindi McLean 19 Jul

WHAT IS A MORTGAGE “REFINANCE” AND HOW DOES IT AFFECT ME?

Refinancing a Home is one of those things where people understand what it is but have trouble explaining How it works. To put it simply, refinancing your Home allows you to access the equity you have built up, by changing the mortgage amount.

Let’s say you bought a $300,000 condo and you paid 20% ($60,000) as your down payment and had a mortgage of $240,000. Over the next 4 years, you continue making payments to pay down the $240,000 you owed and now that amount is only $230,000. Your mortgage is up for renewal in one year however, you want to do some renovations and you need to access the equity in your Home—this is where a refinance could come into play.

What this means is you will get an appraisal, or in simpler terms an evaluation, of your current Home and submit that information to a lender. Let’s say your $300,000 condo is now worth $350,000 and you owe $230,000. You have built up an additional $60,000 in equity ($350,000 – $230,000 owing – $60,000 initial down payment= $60,000). You have a mortgage of $230,000 on a Home worth $350,000, therefore your equity in the Home is $120,000.

To access that $120,000, you can refinance your mortgage. So let’s say you want to go back and take $50,000 from the $120,000 you have built up. Your new mortgage would go from $230,000 to $280,000, and that $50,000 will be transferred from the lender to you. You are essentially borrowing money from the lender while also adding money back on top of your mortgage.

This is why people will refinance their Home to make larger purchases. The bank will lend you the money now and get it back in the future, plus interest, because it is being added to the mortgage.

This is just one way people are able to use their Home to access cash. Other ways people can do this, especially if they are looking to complete renovations, is through home equity, lines of credit, collateral charges and purchase plus mortgages.

Knowing this information before you buy can be extremely beneficial. That is why it is important to work with a qualified HomeHow mortgage specialist. Contact a Dominion Lending Centres mortgage professional today for more questions about refinancing!

Article Written By:

CHRIS CABEL

Dominion Lending Centres – Accredited Mortgage Professional
Chris is part of DLC HomeHow Mortgage based in Calgary, AB.

FREE!

General Cindi McLean 10 May

WHO PAYS YOUR MORTGAGE BROKER? NOT YOU!

If you’re looking to get a mortgage and considering a mortgage broker, there’s a good chance you’re wondering about how much the service costs.

 

Good news! Clients looking to get a standard residential mortgage pay no fees to the broker.

On standard residential mortgages, it’s 100% free for the clients. We’re paid by the bank or by the lending institution that we give the mortgage to.

But it’s not the only advantage a broker can bring you. When you’re shopping for a mortgage at a bank, they’re only able to offer you something from their stable of products. A broker, however, is able to shop at different banks to get you the best product for your needs.

If you don’t fit in the bank’s box of products, then you don’t get the mortgage. When you go to a mortgage broker, the mortgage broker has access to every lender on the market and is able to sell you basically everything to find a solution that makes the most amount of sense for you.

Because they’re able to shop around, in many cases the broker is able to find you a better rate on your mortgage.

In addition, mortgage brokers are licensed professionals covered by provincial governing bodies that looks out for you, the consumer. In many cases, the person you’re dealing with at the bank is just a salesperson, without any requirement they be licensed.

So, if you’re in the market for a new home, try a mortgage broker. It’s the safer, smarter choice for your mortgage. We’d encourage you to shop around, then get in touch with us for a no-obligation chat with a Dominion Lending Centres mortgage professional near you.

Article Written by:  Terry Kilakos
Dominion Lending Centres – Accredited Mortgage Professional
Ville Ste-Laurent, QC

 

How to get a free copy of your credit bureau

General Cindi McLean 12 Apr

Think of your credit score as a report card on how you’ve handled your finances in the past. A credit score is a number that lenders use to determine the risk of lending money to a given borrower.

There is always someone willing to lend you money however, higher risk = higher rates!

Step 1 for good credit – you need to know your credit history
• In Canada there are 2 credit bureaus – Equifax and TransUnion.
• You can receive a FREE copy of your credit report from both Equifax Canada and TransUnion Canada once a year
• You can pay Equifax or TransUnion for a digital copy, which is much faster, BUT you have to pay, which sucks.

I recommend you order a copy of your credit report from both Equifax Canada and TransUnion Canada, since each credit bureau may have different information about how you have used credit in the past.

Ordering your own credit report has no effect on your credit score.
• Equifax Canada refers to your credit report as “credit file disclosure”.
• TransUnion Canada refers to your credit report as “consumer disclosure”.

Once you have obtained your free credit report, check it for errors:
• Are there any late payments that have been erroneously attributed to your credit history?
• Are the amounts owing in your credit report accurate?
• Is there anything missing on your credit bureau
o Sometimes the credit bureau has more that one file with your name, which can be merged, but it takes time.

If you find any errors on your credit report, you need to dispute them with your credit bureau.

How can I get a copy of my credit report and credit score?

There are two national credit bureaus in Canada: Equifax Canada and TransUnion Canada. You should check with both bureaus.

Credit scores run from 300 to 900. The higher the number, the greater the likelihood a request for credit will be approved.

The “free-report-by-mail” links are not prominently displayed, since credit bureaus would love to sell you instant access to your report and credit score online.

Equifax, the instructions to get a free credit report by mail are available here.

For TransUnion, the instructions to get a free credit report by mail are available here.

The bottom line: when it comes to financing your life, through credit cards, mortgages, car loans or any other kind of debt – your credit score has a BIG impact on what kind of terms you can negotiate.

Keeping an eye on your credit score is important — if there’s a problem or an error, you want to know and have time to fix it before you apply for a loan. If you have any questions, contact a Dominion Lending Centres mortgage professional near you.

Article written by Kelly Hudson, Dominion Lending Centres, Accredited Mortgage Professional, Richmond, BC

 

Happy Holidays!

General Cindi McLean 20 Dec

From my home to your home, wishing

happy memories made this holiday season!

Best wishes for 2019

Cindi

Safety tips for a spook-tacular Halloween

General Cindi McLean 26 Oct

Halloween safety: Tips for families – published by Canadian Paediatric Society

Halloween can be a fun and exciting time for kids. These safety tips for parents, children and homeowners will help keep everyone safe and happy this Halloween.

For parents:
– Do not use masks. Masks make it hard for children to see what’s around them, including cars. Try a hypoallergenic (less likely to cause an allergic reaction), non-toxic make-up kit instead.
– Make or buy costumes in light-coloured material.
– Place strips of reflective tape on the back and front of costumes, so that drivers can better see your child.
– Costumes should fit properly to prevent trips and falls. Avoid items such as oversized shoes, high heels, long dresses and long capes.
– Dress your child for the weather. Add layers if needed.
– Put your child’s name, address and phone number on his costume.
– Children under 10 should be accompanied by an adult for trick or treating. By the age of 10, some children are ready to go trick-or-treating with a group of friends.
– Keep in mind that gum and hard candy can pose a choking risk for young children.
– Remove make-up before bedtime to prevent possible skin and eye irritation.

If your child is going out without an adult:
– Make sure your child is in a group of at least 3 people.
– Give them a flashlight. A cell phone is also a good idea if you have one.
– Discuss in advance the route they should follow. Ask them to call you if they plan to go on a street that isn’t on the route.
– Set a curfew (and make sure they have a watch with them).
– Tell your children not to eat anything until they get home.

For children and youth:
– Carry a white bag or pillowcase for your candy, and add some reflective tape.
– Dress for the weather. Cold weather or water absorbent materials in the rain can be very uncomfortable.
– Bring a cell phone, in case you need to make an emergency phone call.
– Always travel in groups. Be sure there are at least 3 of you at all times.
– Let your parents know where you’re going to be at all times.
– Don’t visit houses that are not well lit. Never go inside a stranger’s house.
– Use the sidewalk whenever possible. If there’s no sidewalk, walk on the side of the road facing traffic.
– Don’t criss-cross back and forth across the street. Work your way up one side of the street, and then start on the other.

If you have any allergies, tell the person who is giving out the treats.
– Don’t eat any of your treats before you get home. Once home, ask your parents to look through your treats with you to make sure everything is okay.

For homeowners:
– Turn on outdoor lights, and replace burnt-out bulbs.
– Remove items from your yard or porch that might trip a child.
– Sweep wet leaves from your steps and driveway.
– Use alternative to candles in your pumpkins, such as a flashlight or a battery-operated candle.
– Remember that some children have food allergies. Consider giving treats other than candy, such as stickers, erasers or a yo-yo.

Alternatives to traditional trick-or-treating
Local community centres sometimes offer Halloween night activities.
Local shopping centres often have trick-or-treat nights for young children in a more controlled environment.
Plan a Halloween night at home with themed games and movies. Invite friends.

Wishing everyone a safe and spook-tacular Halloween!

Cindi and Debbie

5 WAYS YOU CAN KILL YOUR MORTGAGE APPROVAL

General Cindi McLean 16 May

So, you found your dream home, negotiated a fair price which was accepted. You supplied all the needed documentation to your mortgage broker and you are waiting for the day that you go to the lawyer’s to sign the final paperwork and pick up the keys.

All of a sudden your broker or the lawyer calls to say that there’s a problem. How could this be? Everything has been signed and conditions have been removed. What many home buyers do not realize is that your financing approval is based on the information the lender was provided at the time of the application. If there have been any changes to your financial situation, the lender is within their rights to cancel your mortgage approval. There are 5 things that can make home financing go sideways.

1 Employment – You were working for ABC company as a clerk for 5 years making $50,000 a year and just before home possession you change jobs. The lender will now ask for proof that probation for this new job is waived and new job letters and pay stubs at the very least. If you change industries they will want to see more proof that you are capable of keeping this job.
If your new job involves overtime or bonuses of any kind that vary over time, they will ask for a 2 year average which you will not be able to provide.
Another item that could ruin your chances of getting the mortgage is if you decide to change from an employee to a self-employed contractor just before possession day. Even though you are in the same industry, your employment status has changed . This is a big deal killer.

2. Debt – A week or two before your possession date, the lender will obtain a copy of your credit report and look for any changes to your debt load. Your approval was based on how much you owed on that particular date. Buying a new car or items for the new home need to be postponed until after possession of your new home.
Don’t be fooled by “Do not pay for 12 months” sales campaigns. You now owe this money regardless of when the payments start. Don’t buy a new car and don’t buy furniture for the new home. This will increase your debt ratio and can nullify your financing.

3. Down payment source – And yet again I reiterate that the approval is based on the initial information you have provided. You will be asked at the lawyer’s office to verify the source of the down payment and if it is different than what the lender has approved, then you may be in trouble. For example, you said that you were going to save the funds and then at the last minute Mom and Dad offer you the funds as a gift. There’s no problem accepting the gift if the lender knows about it in advance and has included this in their risk assessment, but it can end a deal.

4. Credit – Don’t forget to make your regular credit card payments. If your credit score falls due to late payments, this can kill your financing. If you have a high ratio mortgage in place which required CMHC insurance, a lower credit score could mean a withdrawal of their insurance once again , killing the deal.

5-Identity Documents – This can be a deal killer at the lawyer’s office. The lawyer is required to verify your identity documents and see that they match the mortgage documents. Many Canadians use their middle names if they have the same name as their parent. Lots of new Canadians adopt a more Canadian sounding name for their day-to-day lives but their passports and other documents show another name.

Be sure to use your legal name when you apply for a mortgage to avoid this catastrophe . Finally, keep in touch with your Dominion Lending Centres mortgage professional right up to possession day. Make this a happy experience rather than a heartbreaking one.

Article Written By:
David Cooke
Dominion Lending Centres – Accredited Mortgage Professional
David is part of DLC Clarity Mortgages in Calgary, AB.

SPRING INTO ACTION: REFINANCE YOUR MORTGAGE WITH THE HELP OF A MORTGAGE BROKER! Give me a call. I’m here to help! 705-783-8383

General Cindi McLean 26 Mar

We sprung forward earlier this month by changing our clocks one hour ahead. For some, their microwave and oven clocks are once again displaying the correct time since the last time we needed to adjust our clocks (in the Fall). Patience is a virtue – except for when it comes time to refinance a mortgage!

The Spring is a busy time for mortgage brokers across the country. We welcome this change in season knowing that we are in the best position to give families mortgages that make sense for them.

This is the time of year that banks begin to send out their mortgage renewal notices. Some people will simply sign the documentation sent over from their bank and take on a new mortgage at the rate the bank has suggested. However, this may not be the best rate for which you and your family can qualify.

What is a Mortgage Renewal?

A mortgage renewal is when the current terms of your mortgage come to an end and you sign on for a new mortgage term.

The time is now to spring into action, up to three months ahead of your mortgage renewal deadline. By shopping around for the best mortgage rate for your financial circumstances, you may save yourself thousands of dollars. To do that, you may want to consider working with a seasoned professional – your local mortgage broker.

The benefits of working with a mortgage broker to help find a mortgage solution that works best for you are three-fold.

A mortgage broker gives you a second opinion.
While your current mortgage lender claims to have your best interest at heart, getting a second opinion on your financial situation does not hurt. There may be new options and products available for you that your current lender is forgetting or unable to offer. A second opinion on your changed financials may be able to save you money or highlight some new options that may be better suited to your needs.

A mortgage broker does the work for you, at no cost.
Some people are still concerned that hiring a seasoned professional to look at your finances and find new mortgage rates will cost a lot of money. This is a myth! Mortgage brokers provide their services at no charge (yes, free!) and take a fee from the lending institution, not the client. So, let us look around for the best mortgage rates available to you on your behalf – all at no cost to you.

A mortgage broker does ONE credit check but can check MULTIPLE lenders without lowering your credit score.
One of the biggest advantages to having a mortgage broker shop around on your behalf is having them conduct one credit check and then using that information to shop around among several different lenders. If you wanted to shop around on your own, you would have to allow each institution to run a credit check and, as a result, lower your credit score. Working with a lender also means a lot less paperwork for you, too!

In short, a Dominion Lending Centres mortgage broker does the legwork on finding the best mortgage rate for you, at no cost and with only one credit check. Be sure to spring into action this Spring to get a jump on your mortgage renewal process.

Article written by:
Max Omar
Dominion Lending Centres – Accredited Mortgage Professional
Max is part of DLC Capital Region based in Edmonton, AB.

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