Wednesday, January 22, 2020

Should I sell or Wait until Spring

Thank-you Joch Hess - Realtor with Re/Max Elite for this Blog post:

Like all of you I get plenty of flyers in my mail box.  I always like to look through them to see if anything catches my eye and today I received an excellent Newsletter form Joch Hess.  I reached out to him to see if I could share his Newsletter with all of you!  Enjoy!

With the Federal election behind us, if you are considering selling your home in the near future it is better to put it on the market now or wait until the spring market?  The winter market tends to have LESS INVENTORY and the buyers that are looking ARE SERIOUS. ( It's not necessarily fun looking at acreages in the winter) - Having your house on the market this winter may be a great time to find the buyer for your property.  In the spring not only do the leaves begin to bud and the grass grow, but we generally see HIGHER PRICES IN THE SPRING MARKET! Couple that with the possibility of a pipeline being built, waiting until spring to sell, might put EXTRA DOLLARS in your pocket.

Monday, January 20, 2020

What does your Real Estate Lawyer do?

If you are planning to purchase real estate, you may be familiar with the fact that a lawyer is required in such a transaction. Whether it is your first or one of many– there still may be confusion about a real estate lawyer does.


If you are purchasing real estate, your lawyer may:

  • Arrange & view title search;
  • Ensure conditions are satisfied;
  • Deal with lender & handle funds;
  • Conduct business with seller’s lawyer;
  • Counsel & defer to you: the client.


If you are selling real estate, your lawyer may:

  • Obtain & review parcel info;
  • Receive & respond to requisitions;
  • Acquire funds from buyers for encumbrances or mortgage;
  • Conduct business with buyer’s lawyer;
  • Counsel & defer to you: the client.

At What Point In The Process Do I Contact A Real Estate Lawyer?

For both buyers and sellers, we recommend contact a real estate lawyer as soon you’re ready to sign an offer to purchase. This is a legal document that you’ll want a lawyer to review so you understand the implications. A lawyer can explain this contract to you in plain English so you’re familiar with the legal jargon. You’ll also need the help of your real estate lawyer when conditions are met and you’re ready to close.

Contact Amy Wilson today for a list of lawyers I would recommend!

Thursday, January 16, 2020

Mortgage Tips for Self Employed borrowers

Being self-employed can sometimes make securing a mortgage trickier, which is why you should contact Amy Wilson, yourmortgagegirl for your mortgage needs!

According to Industry Canada, self-employed workers represented 15.4 per cent of the workforce in 2012, about 2.67 million people. Some are likely looking at low mortgage interest rates and thinking about buying a home.

It can sometimes work against you in a mortgage application to be self-employed.  In most cases, self employed borrowers keep their money in the business and have a very low personnel income, which makes verifying affordability by the bank difficult.

As a mortgage broker, I have access to programs that can help you still get a mortgage by verifying your financial statements and showing the strength of your company.

There are tow ways for the banks to verify income:
1. declared income - a two year average of your last two years notice of assessments line 150 and t-1 generals
2. stated income - This is reasonable income based on the type and size of your business.”

Being accountable and organized is key for any self-employed clients, you must have your taxes and financials up to date!

“Self-employed workers who are looking to get approved for a mortgage should always keep their personal tax returns up-to-date and filed on time,” 
“Pay all income tax owing on time, and keep your credit repayment history clean,” 

If you are self-employed and looking to qualify for financing, here are a few things to consider:

  • Many banks and mono line are now offering mortgages specifically geared towards self employed borrowers - don't go out and hunt for them, contact Amy Wilson to do the search for you and make the process simplified.
  • Also keep in mind, as a broker, I have access to alternate lending resources as well, that may be an excellent fit for you if you have just started your business and have 20% or more to put down on a home.

Tuesday, May 7, 2019

CMHC changes will harm, not help, the real estate market

A new program the federal government has announced to subsidize first-time homebuyers isn’t likely to help the market but more likely to harm it.
And not only is it not going to help out the market, but it’s not going to help out new homeowners.
In its recently announced budget, the government is essentially putting the weight of turning around the market on the backs of people just entering the housing market.
Part of the problem with the plan is that we only know what’s happening on the front end. People buying their first home will be eligible for a 5% top up from the from the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC) to the total cost of a home. That amount increases to 10% for new constructions. To qualify, a household must have a combined income of less than $120,000, and the CMHC will only pick up a maximum of $480,000.
In exchange for this, the housing corporation gets an equity share in your home.
While we know what the government will give new homebuyers, we don’t know what it’s going to cost them down the road. Believe it or not, there’s been no announcement on what interest rates will be offered on the loans, nor what the terms of repayment would be. Complete costing isn’t expected until at least the fall, likely after the federal election.
But the real problem at the heart of this is the measures won’t do anything to help the affordability of homes. It’s not going to decrease the price of housing, and it’s just going to put the burden of propping up the market on the backs of new entrants.
In RBC’s most recent housing affordability report, released in March, the bank said a softer housing market was making houses slightly more affordable, as their national affordability index dropped 0.7 percentage points to 51.9%. (The lower the score, the more affordable homes are.)
“The fourth-quarter relief barely made a dent in Vancouver and Toronto where affordability remains at crisis levels. Owning a home in both of these markets, as well as in Victoria and increasingly Montreal, is a huge stretch for ordinary buyers,” RBC said in a press release.
In Montreal, the bank’s score is 44.5%, and RBC said the situation is not critical just yet.
“Housing affordability is eroding gradually to levels that could potentially pinch buyers—though so far they haven’t shown any sign of balking,” they said.
But with this new CMHC policy, that gradual erosion is likely to turn critical when this new wave of homebuyers crashes into the market.

One of the potential risks with this scenario is called overhang. Essentially, because a new policy has been announced, but hasn’t come into force yet, many Canadians who are likely to qualify are going to decide to put off their purchases. For now, un-bought supply will build up. But as soon as this policy goes into effect, these first-time buyers are going to suck up huge swathes of the housing market, and prices are going to skyrocket.
The new federal program is designed to lower the monthly mortgage payments of new homeowners by what amounts to a few hundred dollars a month. That can make a huge difference in the budget of a young family, but to do this, the government is putting their hands in the pockets of new homeowners for an unspecified amount, while at the same time risking further unaffordability in the housing market.
They could have had the same effect—lowering monthly payments—by re-introducing 30-year amortizations. Instead, they’ve kept the limit for CMHC-insured mortgages set to 25 years.
The shorter amortizations coupled with the continuation of the strict stress-testing rules, covered extensively in recent North East Mortgages blog posts, puts pressure on people on the lower end of the market. The stress test makes sure you can’t just handle the rate you’re signing on for, but makes sure you can handle an additional 2 percentage on top of it.
The rules the government has passed in the last few years have made it more difficult for new buyers and established buyers alike. They’ve also made it hard for people to refinance their more toxic debt, putting them into situations far riskier than the relative rarity of mortgage default.
Adjusting those rules would have a wider effect and give more people the step up they need to enter the housing market.
If the government really wanted to help with the affordability of homes, they have plenty of better options. This narrow measure is going to end up causing more harm than good.
Thank-you Terry Kilakos for this article.

Friday, February 8, 2019

Reading This Could Save You Money (How to Renew Your Mortgage in 5 Easy Steps)

If you have a mortgage, chances are unless you win a lottery (cha-ching $$$) you’ll be doing a mortgage renewal when your current term has finished.
While most Canadians spend a lot of time, and expend a lot of effort, in shopping for an initial mortgage, the same is generally not the case when looking at mortgage renewals.
So what is a mortgage renewal?
Mortgages are amortized* over a set term* which can vary from 1-10 years.
About 6 months before the end of your term, your current lender will suddenly become your “Best Friend” showering you with attention and trying to entice you with early renewal offers… Please, please, please Mortgage borrower, sign here on the dotted line to renew… it’s sooo easy!!
You have 3 options
  1. Sign and send back as is (don’t do it, really I mean it… don’t do it!!)
  2. Check the market to make sure you are getting the best rate and renegotiate with your current lender
  3. Talk to your friendly neighbourhood Dominion Lending Centres Mortgage Professional and together we can discuss the best options available for your situation.
Lenders know that 80% of people will sign their renewal forms, because it’s easy. Banks & Lenders are a business and as such they want to make the highest profits to keep their shareholders happy. As an educated consumer, you need to take the time to ensure you are being offered the best possible rate & terms you can get. Remember all those hours of research you did regarding lenders and mortgage rates when you were buying your first home?
Yes, signing the renewal document is easy, however, it’s in your best interest to take a more proactive approach. Money in the lenders pocket comes directly out of your pocket… so its time to get to work!
5 steps to save you money on your mortgage renewal
  1. Receive the renewal offer from your current mortgage lender and examine immediately, which gives you enough time to make an informed decision.
  2. Do your research via the internet and phone calls to find out about current rates.
  3. Phone your current lender and negotiate!
  4. If your lender will not offer you a better rate then it’s time to move your mortgage. YES, you will have to complete a mortgage application and gather documentation, just like you did for your original mortgage.
  5. Take a look at your budget and see if you can increase the amount of your mortgage payments above the mandatory payments and save money by paying off your mortgage quicker.
    Your mortgage is one of your biggest expenses. For this reason, it is imperative to find the best interest rates and mortgage terms you possibly can.
As you can tell there is lots to discuss about mortgage renewals.
To save money, call a DLC mortgage broker to help you shop your mortgage around at renewal time.