Month: March 2017

21 Mar

Why So Many Mortgage Documents?

Mortgage Tips

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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 Dominion Lending Centres mortgage broker with as many documents that we request upfront as possible. Why? 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 that lenders have to abide by 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 your DLC Mortgage Professional to discuss your application.

Income – lenders are looking for proof of income stability.

Self-employed Income

* 2 years of Income Tax Returns, Business Financials, 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

written by Kathleen Dediluke, DLC Integrity Mortgage

19 Mar

Home Financing Solutions – Purchase Plus Improvements

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HOME FINANCING SOLUTIONS – PURCHASE PLUS IMPROVEMENTS

Home Financing Solutions – Purchase Plus ImprovementsAre you on the hunt for a new home but can’t find exactly what you are looking for? You’re not alone. House hunters experience this scenario every day. With real estate prices increasing you may not be able to buy your dream home the first go-round.

Think about buying a fixer-upper. There are many potential properties that you can put your own personal stamp on. Why not renovate something?

There is a mortgage product called Purchase Plus Improvements (PPI). With the PPI the lender is able to provide additional financing to improve the subject property. This type of mortgage is available to assist buyers with making simple upgrades, not conduct a major renovation where structural modifications are made. Simple renovations include paint, flooring, windows, hot-water tank, new furnace, kitchen updates, bathroom updates, new roof,  basement finishing, and more.

There are parameters to the PPI mortgage program:

  • Apply for up to a maximum of 10% of the as-improved market value
  • Utilize as little as 5% towards the down payment
  • At the time the application is submitted for approval the lender requires a construction quote to verify the work that is planned for the subject property
  • Renovation to be completed within 120 days
  • A third party (appraiser) must verify completion
  • One advance of the funds once the project is complete
  • Once the renovation is complete the lawyer would release the funds

PPI Scenario

Listed or Purchase Price: $450,000

Value of the Renovation: $45,000

As-Improved Value: $495,000 (new Purchase Price)

Maximum Borrow: $49,500 (10%)

Purchase Price: $495,000

Down Payment: $24,750 (5%)

Mortgage Amount: $470,250

Mortgage Insurance: $16,929

Total Loan: $487,179

Monthly Mortgage Payment: $2,146.17

For many, it is a daunting task to seek a mortgage plus a second type of financing to complete renovations, so why not opt for the PPI option?

If you are considering another form of financing for the renovation, some borrowers look for a line of credit, but is it really saving money and time? An interest-only payment on $49,500 is another $309.38 (based on 7.50%) which saves you $114.28 overall.

With all the different types of mortgages out there, be sure to contact your local Dominion Lending Centres mortgage professional so we can explain how “we’ve got a mortgage for that”!

written by Michael Hallett, DLC Producers West Financial

19 Mar

5 Common Mistakes to Avoid When Shopping For a Mortgage

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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!

But one thing’s for sure – you should contact a mortgage professional at Dominion Lending Centres!

written by Geoff Lee, DLC GLM Mortgage Group

19 Mar

Now Is The Time to Get Pre-Approved For Your Mortgage

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NOW IS THE TIME TO GET PRE-APPROVED FOR YOUR MORTGAGE!

Now Is the Time To Get Pre-approved For Your Mortgage!So 2016 was an exciting year in the mortgage world! The problem is that we mortgage professionals really hate it when things get exciting in our world. Between the economy and the federally mandated mortgage rule changes and their ensuing fallout, it is now more important than ever to get a solid pre-approval in place. I am not just speaking to first time home owners either! Before you list your current home or refinance your mortgage or consider buying a rental, you need to make sure that you qualify under the new mortgage rules.

The biggest change by far was the increase to the mortgage qualifying rate. Basically, no matter which term you are selecting you will have to qualify at the Bank of Canada posted rate which is currently 4.64%. The mortgage rate you are given will be considerably less than this and will be based on whichever term you choose. The rationale is that there is no way rates were going to stay at 2.39% and all of a sudden a lot of people could be hit with a significant mortgage payment increases which could mean increased foreclosures. When you remember that our federal government is actually financially backing those mortgages through the mortgage insurers, they had a vested interest in keeping the housing market secure.

So the things you need to know:

1. Rates have climbed since the rule changes were announced, so if a new home is in your future get a rate hold in place so you are protected against further increases. Most are good for 120 days.

2. Make sure they are checking your credit and not just seeing how much you are qualified for based on your income. Can you imagine selling your home only to be told that you do not qualify for the financing on the next because of something on your credit bureau? It has happened, I assure you.

3. Given the variety of ways in which we all get paid, you also need to make sure your pre-approval is solid given your situation. For example, the mortgage lenders require a 2 year history on all variable income. That means if your income is commission, bonuses, overtime or shift differential then you will need a 2 year history of it before it can be used for the mortgage qualification.

4. Porting is an area which is slightly misunderstood. You will have to qualify for the mortgage under the new rules even if you are just moving the mortgage from A to B. Please refer back to the previous horror story of the people who had sold and then could not buy a new home.

5. Ironically, the changes now mean that if you are refinancing your home, there is a possibility that you will have a higher mortgage rate than someone putting 5% down. This is because the 5% down mortgage is insured while yours with the significant amount of equity is not making it a higher risk for the bank. If you are considering a refi you may want to do it sooner rather than later given the rate increases.

6. Rental properties have been heavily hit by the changes. Our economy means that fewer lenders are willing to consider these mortgages to start with and those that still are have upped the ante. Some have increased the minimum down to 35% from 20%. Others require a very strong net worth in liquid assets. If you have multiple properties make sure they are reporting on your taxes.

So that’s about that. A solid pre-approval from a qualified mortgage professional is a very good peace of mind strategy for both the new home buyer and those veteran buyers. When you’re ready to talk of if you need more information, the mortgage professionals at Dominion Lending Centres are here!

written by Pam Pikkert, DLC Regional Mortgage Group

10 Mar

Is Today The Right Day To Buy Yourself a Home or Not

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IS TODAY THE RIGHT DAY TO BUY YOURSELF A HOME OR NOT?

Is Today The Right Day To Buy Yourself A Home Or Not?Q. Is today the right day to buy yourself a home or not?

A. Today is the right day assuming one has found a specific property that works for them on all levels.

This question arises on a near daily basis within our social circles and most of the chatter around the topic is largely noise. Noise that needs to be blocked out so that you can evaluate your own personal circumstances fairly.

If the conversation is about an owner occupied property which one plans to reside at for at least the next 7-10 years, then arguably yes the right time to buy is today.

Over a 7-10 year horizon the day to day, even the month to month gyrations of the market will tend to resemble those of a small yo-yo on a large escalator.  Some ups and downs although with the lows often not dropping below the second last high. This is true of nearly any major urban 25 year chart of Real Estate Values.

There are some key considerations that will dictate not only the continued value, but perhaps more importantly your own ability to stay put for that magic 7-10 year time frame.

  • Location
  • Layout
  • Age
  • Size
  • Recreational amenities
  • Schools
  • Distance from workplace
  • Potential basement suite revenue
  • the list goes on…

Getting all of these variables aligned is something that takes dedication on the part of the both the buyer and their Realtor.  The hunt itself can easily consume a few months or more, and for some may result in over 100 viewings.  This is more than enough to juggle without also trying to ‘time the market’ on that perfect home.

Speaking of timing; consider allowing for a small overlap during which you have access to both the current residence as well as the new one. Being able to install new flooring throughout, complete interior painting, or upgrade kitchens and bathrooms, without having to live in the middle of the disruption is well worth an extra month of rent or the marginal costs of bridge financing. The costs involved are surprisingly lower than most clients expect.

Keep in mind during your search that the MLS #’s are an imperfect indicator of what is happening today in the market, as in literally ‘today’, MLS data reflects purchase contracts that were negotiated 30, 60, 90 or even 120 days prior to the completion date which was itself in the previous months report.  In other words by the time the MLS data indicates a trend one way or another said trend has in fact been in motion for as long as 6 months and could be either reversing or ramping up further.

Where then to get the most accurate data?

Talk to front line folks, Realtors, Brokers, Appraisers, etc. for a better handle on up to the minute trends.  Ask an Industry Expert – like your local Dominion Lending Centres mortgage professional.

Short term fluctuations in values and/or interest rates are themselves not the key factors in many peoples decision to buy, instead it is finding that perfect combination of all the factors that create a home within a community and the realization that homeowners win in the long run by owning, not by sitting on the sidelines.

It is all about finding a place you can call home for the duration. To be able to plant roots and become a part of a community.  Home ownership will undeniably continue to be a part of living the Canadian dream.

Perhaps the (short term) timing will feel imperfect, as it did for presale buyers in 2007, whose completion dates were set for Spring 2009.  However 7-10 years later most will be glad that they bought when they did.  In fact many were smiling again as soon as the Spring of 2010.

Home ownership remains the one true forced savings plan, and one of the best investments we make socially as it provides an individual and/or a family with a certain sense of security, stability and community. Block out the noise and do what is right for you.

written by Dustan Woodhouse, DLC Canadian Mortgage Experts

8 Mar

How To Not Qualify For A Mortgage

Mortgage Tips

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HOW TO NOT QUALIFY FOR A MORTGAGE

How To Not Qualify For A Mortgage

If you have no desire at all to qualify for a mortgage, here are some great ways to make sure you don’t accidentally end up buying a house and taking out a mortgage to do so.

One of the best ways to ensure you won’t qualify for a mortgage is to be unemployed. Yep, banks hate lending money to unemployed people! Okay, so you have a job. Well, that’s okay, you can always unexpectedly quit your job just as you are trying to arrange financing! Even if you are making a lateral move, or taking a better job than the one you have now, that’s cool… any change in employment status while you are looking to get a mortgage will most likely wreck your chances of getting a mortgage for a while. This is because lenders want to see stability; they want to know that you have been in your current position for some time, that you are past probation, and that everything is working out well. By changing jobs right when you are looking to buy a property, you won’t instil the lender with confidence, and they probably won’t give you a mortgage. Mission accomplished.

Don’t wanna buy a house? Well, then it’s best you don’t save any money. Better yet, you should probably borrow as much money on credit as you can. One of the main qualification points on a mortgage is called your debt-service ratio. Simply put, the more money you owe in consumer debt, the less money you will qualify to borrow on a mortgage, because your ratio of income compared to your debt is higher when you owe more money. Consider this permission to go and finance a Harley-Davidson. Do it, right now. Not a big fan of motorcycles? That’s cool; a Ford 150 should do the trick nicely. The key here is to make sure you add as much monthly payment as you can. The bigger the payment, the better.

But let’s say that unfortunately your debt-service ratios are in line, you have been able to save up the necessary 5% down payment, and you are on your way to buying a house. What do you do? Ugly documentation! A great way to make sure your lender feels uncomfortable is to have really terrible bank statements. Typically when proving your down payment, the lender will require 90 days’ history of your account(s), with your name on the statement, showing that you have accumulated the down payment over time. Want to really mess things up? Make sure there are lots of deposits over $1000 that can’t be substantiated. This will look like money laundering. If that doesn’t work, you can always black out your “personal information.” Just use a black Sharpie and make your bank statements look like a classified FBI document. Lenders hate that!

So you’ve got a great job and lots of money… don’t panic, you can still absolutely wreck your chances of qualifying for a mortgage. Just don’t pay any of your bills on time. Seriously, borrow lots of money, and then stop paying! Boom. Why would any lender want to lend you money when you have a great track record of not paying back any of the money you borrow? Now, if this feels morally wrong, okay, here is an ethical way to wreck your credit. Don’t pay that cell phone bill out of principle. We’ve all been there — roaming charges, extra data charges that the cell company added on your bill… choose not to pay this on principle. This is a great way to sink your chances of getting a mortgage, I mean, how are you supposed to know that some collections (like cell phones) will show up on your credit report?

Last, if you want to make sure you never get financing, insist on buying the worst house in a bad neighbourhood. You see, the property you are looking to buy is very important to the lender. If they lend you the money to buy it and you stop making the payments, they will be forced to repossess and sell it. They are going to make sure they can recoup their initial investment. So, a “handyman special, fixer upper, with lots of potential” is a great option. As everyone knows, those words are code for “a giant dump.” Bonus points if you get those terms written in the MLS listing. Yep, insist on buying something that is falling apart and stick to it; don’t ever consider buying a solid home in a good neighbourhood.

So there you have it, if you don’t want a mortgage, no problem. Quit your job, borrow lots of money, wreck your credit, and insist on buying a dump.

However, on the off chance you feel homeownership is right for you, contact a Dominion Lending Centres mortgage professional. We can help you put a plan in place to avoid these (and many more) mortgage qualification pitfalls.

written by Michael Hallett, DLC Producers West Financial

7 Mar

Inside and Outside the Box – Mortgages in Today’s Market

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INSIDE AND OUTSIDE THE BOX MORTGAGES IN TODAY’S MARKET

Inside and Outside the Box Mortgages in Today's MarketAs we truck along in 2017, Mortgage Brokers and Lenders are adjusting to the new risk based mortgage rate pricing that came into play after the Finance Minister changed Government backed mortgage default insurance regulations in late 2016.

Lenders often choose to pay for mortgage default insurance on mortgages where the borrower was not required to pay it themselves. This method protects a lenders book of business against credit loss, helps them package more secured mortgages together to sell to investors and reduces the amount of capital they are required to maintain. This method in the mortgage industry is called back-end insuring.

The changes have limited the mortgage profiles that lenders are allowed to insure using Government backed insurers. Essentially the Government is intentionally passing on the risk to Lenders by implementing stricter insurance qualifying guidelines and limiting mortgages that can be insured to what they consider lower risk “inside the box” mortgages.

The onus is now on the lender to absorb more costs if a borrower defaults. In the end costs are passed on to borrowers by lenders applying higher rates to less secured mortgages.

If you’re looking for a mortgage in today’s market your circumstances may not fit “inside the Box” and be an insurable mortgage profile and your mortgage rate may be higher. The following is a short list of what insurers have limited their guidelines to:

  • 25 year maximum amortizations
  • Must qualify by using a rate stress test
  • Maximum Gross Debt Service Ratio (GDS) of 39% (shelter expenses)
  • Maximum Total Debt Service Ratio (TDS )of 44% (all liabilities)
  • No refinances
  • No single unit rentals
  • Purchase price must be less than $1 Million

As you can see the insurer’s list is limited making Dominion Lending Centre’s lender connections and mortgage solutions more important than ever! Our Mortgage Brokers have a vast amount of mortgage options available to cover “outside the box” uninsurable mortgage profiles. Whether your refinancing, you need an amortization over 25 years, want to buy a single-unit rental or more we have a mortgage for that!

Contact a DLC Mortgage Broker to get started on your mortgage approval today!

written by Kathleen Dediluke, DLC Integrity Mortgage

7 Mar

4 Critical Questions You Must Ask Your Mortgage Broker

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4 CRITICAL QUESTIONS YOU MUST ASK YOUR MORTGAGE BROKER

4 Critical Questions You Must Ask Your Mortgage BrokerWe have often talked about understanding the personalities of your mortgage on our blog, but another part of that is working with your Dominion Lending Centres mortgage broker to ensure that you are getting the best product and sharpest rate possible. Asking critical questions will help you to not only understand your mortgage, but to also understand the benefit of working with a broker vs. the bank. It will also allow you to rest assured that you have flexibility and security in the mortgage that is selected for you. Here are our 4 critical questions to ask any mortgage broker you work with:

Question 1: What is the sharpest rate you can get me?

Keep in mind, that if you are shopping for your own mortgage, you do not have access to the same resources that a mortgage broker does. A broker can do mortgage comparison to show you what you qualify for. In addition, a good broker can help you compare apples to apples and shops your deal to more lenders.

Question 2: What payout options are available with each loan?

Different lenders offer different payout options varying between 0-20% lump sum payments each year. Some institutions allow you to double your payments monthly and/or once a year. Others will allow you to increase your payments by 20% once per year. There are many varieties of prepayment options, so you really need a broker to seek out the best prepayment options for you.

Question 3: What are the penalties for paying out a mortgage early?

Penalties are three months of interest, or the interest rate differential (whichever happens to be greater) and pending on the type of mortgage you are in (fixed or variable). In another case, a lender may calculate your penalty based on the Bank of Canada’s 5 year posted rate as the penalty payout and not the discounted rate you are in. Unfortunately, since no one can predict the future, you can enter into a 5 year term, and you don’t know what may happen in 2-3 years. If there is a reason you need to get out of a mortgage, you must know your payout penalties.

Question 4: What about amortization?

Your amortization period is the number of years it will take you to become mortgage free. The more that you pay on a payment, the lower your amortization will be. A typical mortgage amortization is 25 years although some opt for 15-20 but others may need an extended amortization up to 35 years. There needs to be flexibility in amortization.

Note: Different lenders, especially working with people with bruised credit don’t always allow the extended 35 years.

Asking these 4 questions will help you to make critical decisions about your mortgage, and can give you peace of mind regarding your mortgage broker’s ability to get you the sharpest rate. Don’t be afraid to ask questions, and if you don’t understand something always ask for a more in depth explanation. Your home may be the biggest purchase you make in your lifetime, understanding the terms and working with a skilled DLC mortgage broker is worth an investment of your time.

written by Geoff Lee, DLC GLM Mortgage Group