Thursday, December 28, 2017

2016 Property Assessments vs. Market Value

2016 Property Assessments vs. Market Value

Property Assessments vs. Market ValueSHORT VERSION:

Do not rely on your provincial assessment for a fair market value of your property.

The value printed on that document was arrived at during a time in the previous year, the market may have changed a bit since then, and not in the direction you might think.

Do not rely entirely on the buyer’s opinion or the seller’s opinion in an unlisted private transaction for a fair market value.

Do not rely entirely on your neighbors, friends, or family members opinions for a fair market value of a property.

Do consider ordering a marketing appraisal, but do not rely on it 100%… maybe 98% though.

Do consider an evaluation by an experienced, active, local Realtor or two. This in combination with a marketing appraisal is the best indicator of current fair market value.

Gather professional opinions from Realtor(s) and an Appraiser – these are the people with their feet on the ground and their heads in the game.

Thank you.

Tuesday, December 19, 2017

5 Common mistakes to Avoid when Shopping for a Mortgage

5 Common Mistakes To Avoid When Shopping For a Mortgage

5 Common Mistakes To Avoid When Shopping For a MortgageAvoid these 5 common mistakes, and you will have no problem getting your mortgage faster, more efficiently, and with a clear understanding of the process:

1. Thinking banks are the first and best place to go for a mortgage
Mortgage brokers can often beat the bank rates by using different lending institutions. The bank is limited to one lender, but if you use a mortgage broker, they have the option to shop for you with multiple lenders to find you the best product.

2. Not knowing your credit score
Your credit score is a HUGE factor in your mortgage application. The first thing lenders look at is your history and your score—then from there they build your file.
You should know where you stand because so much of your lending availability is tied to your credit score. In mere minutes, a mortgage broker can help you obtain a copy of your credit report, and go through it to ensure the information is correct.

3. Shopping with too many lenders
When you shop from institution to institution you will have your credit score pulled multiple times. Lenders typically frown upon this and it may interfere with your mortgage application. If you go to a mortgage broker though, your score is pulled ONE time only.

4. Not keeping your taxes up-to-date
Plain and simple: If you are self employed or the mortgage application is requiring a 2 year income average to qualify (utilizing overtime wages and/or bonuses) and you haven’t filed your taxes and kept them up to date, you cannot get a mortgage. Lenders will ask for your notice of assessment if your tax filings are not up to date, and you will not get your mortgage until they are filed properly and a Notice of Adjustment from the latest year it is received.

5. Not understanding that the real estate market you qualify in TODAY will adjust in the future.
Rates may be at an all time low right now, but new rules, government regulation, and changes when you are up for renewal can change the circumstances. You must be able to carry your mortgage payment at a higher rate or with new laws imposed.
Remember, securing a mortgage isn’t always about getting the best deal. It’s about getting a home you want and establishing yourself as a homeowner. That means not overextending yourself and taking your qualifying amount to the maximum. Leave some breathing room because no one knows what the future may hold!

Monday, December 18, 2017

Discharged from a Consumer Proposal?

Getting a Mortgage After Consumer Proposal or Bankruptcy

Getting a Mortgage After Consumer Proposal or Bankruptcy

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.

Thursday, December 14, 2017

Why so many mortgage documents?

Why So Many Mortgage Documents?

Why So Many Mortgage Documents?

Documents, documents and more documents. Yes that’s right you will need to provide your myself, yourmortgagegirl, with as many documents that we request upfront as possible.

Because the more supporting documentation you have available will help us as brokers to find you your best mortgage options. If you don’t have everything on hand e-mail a PDF of what you have and start digging up the rest as soon as possible.

Why so many documents you ask? While the lending market isn’t what it used to be, it is now much more strict and complex then a few years ago. Lenders are asking for WAY more documentation before they will lend you money.
Yes, there have been instances of mortgage fraud, that likely led to more scrutinized lending and Government regulations lenders have to abide by and they are always changing. Mortgage lenders need to protect their investors and help ensure our Canadian housing market remains strong.

It may seem like a pain but ask yourself this if you had a large amount of money would you lend it out to somebody without proof they have income stability and/or the means to pay it back? Pretty sure your answer is no (at least mine is).

Below is a list of typical documents lender and mortgage insurers request. If you would like a tailored list please contact me at 780-919-0475 or email:

Income – lenders are looking for proof of income stability.
Self-employed Income
* 2 years of Income Tax Returns, Business Financials, 2 yrs CRA Notice of Assessments. Often it’s best to have your accountant e-mail them to us so no pages are missing.

Rental income
* Lease agreements
* T1-General tax returns with the Statement of Real Estate Activities. If you don’t claim your rental income let us know as this may affect how your mortgage is approved.
* Proof of the rental income being deposit on a regular basis into your bank account.

Guaranteed Employment Income
* A couple of recent pay stubs
* A job letter confirming your position, guaranteed pay and hours, if you are seasonal, contract or any specific information that relates to your income stability. Lenders will call your employer to verify the letter and ask for more information as possible. (Sample Job Letter)
* 2 Years of CRA Notice of Assessments
* 2 Years T1-Generals

Commission, Overtime, Seasonal, Contact or Bonus Income.
* A couple of recent pay stubs
* Job letter
* 2 years of T1-General Income tax returns
* 2 years of CRA Notice of Assessments

Liabilities – We will see most of your consumer credit accounts on your credit report however we may require some additional paperwork
* Current mortgage statements
* Property tax statements and proof of payment
* Child Support Payments proof via court orders and bank statements
* Alimony via Separation Agreements
* Proof your income tax has been paid. This is the most important item to pay because the Government has more power than the lenders. If you are wanting to refinance your mortgage to pay CRA contact us to discuss your options.
* Proof debts have been paid. If a zero balance is require you must show the account at a zero balance or the current balance and the proof of payment

Down Payment & Closing Costs
* The last 90 days of savings history. Any larger deposits have to be sourced.
* Gift Letter (some lenders have prescribed forms)
* Statement showing gift deposited into your account
* Property sale contracts and mortgage statements

About Documentation from Financial Institute
* Must have account ownership proof. For example e-statements are the best as they typically have your name, account number and the providers details already on the statement
* Screenshots work if the providers logo/name are clearly shown on them as well as the account holders name. If the account number only shows then you will have to provide an additional document from the provider with both your account number and name.
* If you are having your account history printed at a Teller please have the Teller stamp the paperwork
Documentation varies by applicant and lender. Be prepared by contacting your mortgage professional today for your tailored documents list.

Wednesday, December 6, 2017

What's changing on January 1, 2018?

New mortgage rules unveiled by OSFI on Tuesday will require even those who don't need mortgage insurance to have their finances stress tested at higher rates.
Effective January 1st, 2018, new qualification rules will apply to Uninsured loans 
( 20% down or greater)

To my valued clients, I want to help you navigate through these new mortgage rule changes. I want to  help borrowers make informed decisions when buying a home in the new year.


The qualifying rate for all uninsured purchases and refinances will be the greater of:
Contract Rate PLUS 2%
The Bank of Canada Benchmark Rate
There will be no change to the qualifying rate for Insured applications. ( less than 20% down) Insured applications will continue to be qualified using the greater of the contract rate or the Bank of Canada Benchmark Rate.

The new B-20 changes will have a direct impact on your purchasing power in the new year. The table below shows what a borrower with an annual income of $67K can afford today versus what they can afford in 2018 under the new rules. 

*Example assumptions include: 5 Year Fixed Rate: 3.09% / 25 Year Amortization / $700 in other monthly debts.
All uninsured applications received prior to January 1st, 2018 where a commitment has been issued, will be subject to the old qualifying rules.GET YOUR MORTGAGE APPLICATIONS IN NOW!!!!!

Monday, December 4, 2017

3 Mortgage Terms every home owner should know

Prepayment, Portability and Assumability


One of the most common questions we get is about mortgage prepayments. The conditions vary from lender to lender but the nice thing about prepayments is that you can pay a little more every year if you want to pay off your mortgage faster. A great way to do this is through prepayments.
They’re always something to ask your broker about because each lender is very different. You can always do an increase on your payments and that means that you pay a little bit more each week or each month when you make your mortgage payment. You can also make a lump sum payment. Perhaps you get a bonus every year or you get a lot of Christmas money. You can just throw that on your mortgage. It goes right on the principle so you’re not paying interest on those extra funds. Paying a big chunk at once also means that a higher percentage of future payments will also go towards the principle.

Portability means that if you sell your house and you want to take your current mortgage and move it to your new house you can. The one thing about portability that we always have to keep in mind is that we can’t decrease the mortgage amount but we can do a little bit of an increase often through a second mortgage or an increase we call a blend and extend. It just gives you the flexibility of moving the mortgage from one property to the next property. It also gives you the flexibility of being in control of where you mortgage is going and not having to break your mortgage every time you decide to move.
Moving a mortgage to a new property avoids things like discharge fees, the legal cost of registering a new mortgage and the possibly of a higher interest rate. It’s great to be able to keep that rate for the full term rather than having to break and pay those penalties half way through.

Assuming a mortgage comes into play more often where there are family ties. Say your parents have a mortgage and you move into that house. Rather than you going out and getting a new mortgage and your parents having to pay those discharge fees, you have the ability to assume their existing mortgage at that current rate. All you have to do is apply and make sure you can actually afford the mortgage at what they’re paying. You have to be able to be approved on the remaining balance on the mortgage just like you would on any other mortgage. Just because your parents have an eight hundred thousand dollar mortgage doesn’t mean you’ll be able to take that over.

If you have any questions, contact Amy Wilson today.

Monday, November 27, 2017

Testimonials for Amy Wilson Brokers for Life,

Amy Wilson - Your Mortgage Girl, Brokers For Life Inc. Dominion Lending Centers
2nd floor, 5303 - 91 Street NW, Edmonton, AB

a week ago
Amy helped me buy my first home 6 years ago and recently just helped my husband & I buy our new one. She was a delight to deal with and helped us with any questions we had throughout the process. In both experiences she went above & beyond ...More
Response from the ownerin the last week
Thank-you so much! It is wonderful to have repeat clients! Thank-you for supporting my small business!

2 weeks ago
What an experience, never thought buying a house was this easy. Amy was absolutely wonderful to work with. Not only is she fantastic at her job, but she didn't mind when I bombarded her with questions and updates. We really appreciated ...More
Response from the ownerin the last week
Thank-you so much for this amazing feedback! It was a pleasure working with you!

a month ago
Amy went above and beyond with helping us purchase our new home! She was very knowledgeable and was always available to answer any questions or concerns we had. She made the whole process easy to understand and got us a fantastic rate! We highly recommend her, Thanks!
Response from the ownerin the last week
Thank-you! It was a pleasure working with you:)

2 months ago
Amy helped us purchase our first home. She was always available to answer any of our questions, she was very straightforward and thorough and helped us understand the process. She got us an excellent rate and we are now enjoying our first house.
Response from the ownerin the last week
congratulations on your first home, I am always happy to help in any way I can!

2 months ago
Shes amazing, very easy to talk to and reach on the phone. She keeps organized and everything up to date. Got me the best rate. Thank you Amy
Response from the ownerin the last week
Enjoy your home Chris! Thank-you for your wonderful feedback!

Monday, October 30, 2017

5 Steps to owning your own home

5 Simple Steps to Owning Your Own Home

Often, the route to owning your own home can seem like a trip to the moon and back.
Really though, it comes down to five key steps:
1 – Manage your credit wisely.
If there is one thing that will gum up the purchase of that perfect home, it’s an unwise purchase or extra credit obtained. Keep your credit spending to a minimum at all times, make every payment on time and most of all pay more than the minimum payment. Remember that if you just make the minimum payment on your credit cards, chances are you will still be making payments 100 years from now.

2- Assemble a down payment.
At first glance, the challenge of finding a down payment can seem insurmountable. In fact, you just need to consider all the sources for down payment funds. yes, you will have saved some but remember you can also, in some situations, use RRSP funds, grants ( BC Home Equity Partnership for example ) and non traditional sources like insurance settlements, severance and of course, gifted funds from a family member. Don’t forget that you’ll need to demonstrate that you’ve had the funds on deposit for up to 90 days and also that you have an additional one and a half percent of the mortgage amount for closing costs.

3- Figure out how much you can afford.
It’s at this point that most people usually stop and scratch their heads. Some even try and tough it out, using the raft of online calculators to figure it out, but new mortgage rules can make even that a challenge.
If you talk to a Dominion Lending Centres mortgage specialist ( like me! ) though, they can help you figure it out and even go as far as getting you a “pre-approval” from a financial institution. This can give you the confidence you need to actually start looking around.

4- Figure out what you want.
You’ll want to make a list of things your new home has to have and what the neighbourhood has to have. Things you want to think about are the things that are important to you now; is there access to a dog park? Is there en suite laundry? Divide the list into things you can’t live without and things you’d like to have. It’s way easier to look when you know what you want to look at.

5- Look with your head, buy with your heart.
The final step is, with the help of a realtor, look at properties that meet your requirements. Yes, the market is a little frenzied at the moment, but remember, if your perfect property is sold to someone else, the next perfect property will soon appear.
When you do finally buy, chances are, you’ll buy with your heart.
The decision which home to buy is a tricky thing, it should be made with your head and heart. Deciding, while balancing what you think and feel, really is rocket science.
I know that this may seem to be an oversimplification but really, the thing that complicates the process is your own emotions – all of the stress that comes along with making a life change can make the process challenging.

Thank-you Jonathan Barlow for this article from DLC A Better Way.

Wednesday, October 18, 2017

Do you have your 5 C's of credit

Do you have your 5 C's of credit

Your credit is made up of many things that the lenders will look at.

Character, it is determined by:
• Paying your bills on time.
• No Delinquent accounts
• Available credit – Are you using all or most of your available credit? That is not a good thing. You are better off to increase your credit limit than to use more than 70% of your limit each month. If you need to increase your score faster use less than 30% of your credit limit, and if you need to use more, pay your credit cards off early so you do not go above 30% of your credit limit.
• Your total out standing debt is considered.

Capacity: this is your ability to pay back the loan. Capacity also covers cash flow vs debt. Your employment history. How long have you been with your current employer, are you self employed, for how long? Capacity is not what you think you can afford, it is what the lender thinks you can afford based of the debt service ratio.

Capital: how much have you saved? How much do you have for a down payment and where does it come from?

Collateral: Lenders consider the value of the property and other assets as they want to see a positive net worth. If you have a negative net worth you may not be able to get a mortgage.
Not having one of these areas in order could prevent you from getting a mortgage.
Contact you Dominion Lending Centres mortgage specialist for a free review of where you stand.

Conditions: The conditions of the loan, such as its interest rate and amount of principal, influence the lender's desire to finance the borrower. Conditions refer to how a borrower intends to use the money. For example, if a borrower applies for a car loan or a home improvement loan, a lender may be more likely to approve those loans because of their specific purpose, rather than a signature loan that could be used for anything.

Thursday, September 28, 2017

Mortgage Pre Approval's made easy!

 Amy's Pre-Approval Process:

As your mortgage broker, I only represent you, my client and I am aligned with a number of lenders to secure you the best mortgage and rate.  While I am taking care of your mortgage plan, you can focus on one detail, finding your dream home!

Why is it important to go through Amy's pre approval process?

 A: to avoid disappointment when you find the house you love.  Lenders and mortgage insurers have different ways of verifying incoming and determining your debt to income qualification ratios! If you are not properly pre-qualified, you may have your heart set on a home purchase that does not work.  I take the time to bring you through the process below to ensure you have a solid pre approval in place.

 I have outlined my simple mortgage process below:
Step One:

The link below is for my website, just click on the apply now button and follow the prompts – this application will come direct to me as soon as you have completed it.

Online application - minutes to fill in

Step Two:

Upon receipt of the above online application - I will send you a consent form via docu-sign – it takes less than a minute to sign and no app download is needed.

Upon receipt of the signed consent and the application, I will contact you to fill in anything that may be missed and issue you a list of required paperwork for the lender.  Below you will see a generic list to get started with and we can update it once we have the application and consent completed.

  1. letter of employment – company letterhead, job title, start date, base income paid, name and contact number to verify the letter
  2. Most recent paystub
  3. If you earn bonus, overtime or commissions please also provide last two years Notice of assessments and T-1 generals
  4. two pieces of ID - one must be a picture ID
  5. 90 day banking history with name and account number on it to verify your down payment
  6. Void cheque
If you own another home:
  1. copy of the mortgage statement
  2. copy of the property tax assessment
  3. copy of rental agreement if you have one
  4. copy of the condo fees if there are any
Feel free to contact me anytime with any questions you may have,
Contact me today to get the pre approval process started!