REVERSE MORTGAGE – SOME COMMON MISCONCEPTIONS

Mortgage Tips Darick Battaglia 29 Mar

The words reverse mortgage carry some negative connotation. What does it really mean? What makes reverse mortgage different than a regular or demand mortgage in Canada? There are no payments required if 1 applicant lives in the home. Payments can be made if they wish, they are truly optional.

No medical required and limited income and credit requirements.
Clients can receive up to 55% of the value of their home in tax free cash, depending primarily on their age, property type as well as location.

COMMON MISCONCEPTIONS & OBJECTIONS:

I heard they were restrictive and bad for seniors.

Much of the negative press around reverse mortgages originated out of the U.S. The rates, fees, and restrictions are quite different from what is offered in Canada. The reverse mortgage providers in Canada follow the same chartered bank rules as other major lenders.

The bank will own my house.

This is only a mortgage; the title and deed remain in the client’s name. The owner will not be asked to move, sell, or make payments for as long as at least 1 applicant lives in the property.

I’ll lose all my equity.

The maximum the lender can finance is 55% of the value of the home. The average advance is more like 35% of the value, leaving ample equity to fall back on. If the real estate market increases at an average of about 2% to 2.5% per year over time, clients will find their home value increasing just as much over time as the balance owed.

The costs are too high.

The closing costs are the same as a regular mortgage, approximately $1,800, includes the appraisal and lawyer fee.

A line of credit is better and cheaper.

A line of credit is a great solution for someone with good credit, cash flow and most importantly someone with a regular income.

I paid off my mortgage, I don’t want more debt.

Leveraging money from your home is not debt. It’s the equity accrued over the duration of ownership. Only the interest is debt.

Why are the rates higher than a regular mortgage?

Other lenders can lend out money at lower costs. This is because they have other services to sell the client to help recoup their cost. The regular mortgages also require a regular repayment frequency; thus, the lender is constantly receiving funds back to re-lend.

I heard they have high penalties and you can’t get out very easily.

This is well suited for seniors looking to keep the reverse mortgage in place for 3 or more years. There might be other solutions for a timeline that is shorter. Penalties are always waived upon death of the last homeowner. Penalties are reduced by 50% if selling and moving into a care facility.

I don’t need money very much so it’s not worth it.

The newest program offered is called Income Advantage. It allows clients to access money on their own timeline, when they need it or a pre-determined auto-advance. Borrower only pays on the amount advanced. The minimum advance required is $25,000.

Courtesy of Michael Hallett, AMP – DLC Producers West Financial

THE MOST IMPORTANT QUESTION THIS SPRING

Mortgage Tips Darick Battaglia 28 Mar

Short Version:

The most important question a home-seller must ask their Broker or their banker this Spring:

‘Do I QUALIFY to port my mortgage?’

You must re-qualify to port your mortgage to a new property, and you must re-qualify under stringent new rules.

How stringent?

Long Version:

Let’s say you have impeccable credit, a $100,000 income, and bought a house with a basement suite last year – you may have a mortgage of ~ $675,000…which you qualified for in 2017.

In 2018, you new maximum mortgage amount is closer to ~$530,000.

And if rates were to move up another 0.50% you’d be capped at ~$490,000.

If rates were to move up a full percentage point ~$455,000

Either way, even with no further upward movement, the family in this example, were they to enter into a binding sale agreement without confirming their qualifications would not be able to re-enter the market at the same price point.

Key Point – Do not ask if your mortgage is ‘portable’ (99% are). Ask if you currently qualify to move your mortgage to a new property. This will require an actual application and full review.

Key Point – The federal government has created a dynamic in which qualifying rates have shifted radically, and more precisely the ground has shifted under tens of thousands of middle class Canadians feet. You have been protected from yourself, and you don’t even know it.

Key Point – Since Jan. 1, 2018, you’re subject to the new stress test. Even though you have impeccable credit, have never missed a payment, and even got a 3% raise last year – too bad.

Conclusion

Don’t list your home for sale without having something in writing from your current lender confirming that you QUALIFY to move your existing mortgage to a new property. If you have any questions, contact your local Dominion Lending Centres mortgage professional.

And if you’ve personally been caught in this ‘portability trap’, by all means make your voice heard. Share your story with me directly and also here; www.tellyourmp.ca

Courtesy of Dustan Woodhouse, AMP – DLC Canadian Mortgage Experts

GETTING ON THE PROPERTY LADDER

Mortgage Tips Darick Battaglia 27 Mar

As property prices continue to rise across Canada, the conversation around “how to climb the property ladder” has made a subtle shift to “how to get on the property ladder in the first place.” Especially if you’re single.

Whereas before it was assumed anyone would qualify to buy a starter home (or condo), nowadays with increased housing prices and the government making it tougher to qualify for a mortgage through a financial stress test, becoming a homeowner isn’t a walk in the park. Qualifying for a mortgage on a single income is becoming increasingly difficult.

Unfortunately, just because you have a proven ability to pay rent on time doesn’t mean you will qualify to make mortgage payments in the same amount. So if you are looking to get into the housing market, but don’t qualify on your own, maybe you should consider co-ownership as an option!

So what is co-ownership anyway? Well, co-ownership is when more than one applicant takes on the financial responsibility of owning a property together. Co-ownership can take on many forms. Obviously owning a home with your spouse or life partner is the most common form of co-ownership, while having your parents co-sign on a mortgage is another. But for the sake of this article, let’s think past these arrangements.

Did you know that there are really no limitations with whom you can purchase a property? This is assuming they meet the lending criteria.
Maybe a brother, sister, cousin, neighbour, co-worker, friend, your mechanic, financial advisor, or some distant relative just happens to be looking to get into the housing market as well? There is a good chance that by combining your incomes together, you will qualify for a mortgage that neither of you would qualify on your own. Bringing someone else into the picture, or even a group of people, can significantly increase the amount you qualify to borrow on a mortgage. Most lenders will accept up to four applicants on a mortgage, while some lenders have even gone as far as launching products designed to make buying with friends and family easier. Buying a property with someone(s) in a co-ownership arrangement is becoming way more commonplace.

However, before making the decision to buy a house with someone, there is no doubt going to be a list of things you are going to want to work through. You will want to get everything out in the open and ask yourself questions like…

Do I trust this person?
Can I live with this person?
Am I comfortable making decisions about the home with this person?
How will conflict be managed when it arises?
What happens if either party runs into financial trouble?
What is the exit plan?
The more you work through ahead of time, the better chance you have at successfully co-owning a house with someone. A lot of people who purchase a property in a co-ownership agreement treat it like a business arrangement.

Courtesy of Kris Grasty, AMP – DLC First Pacific Mortgage

GETTING PRE-APPROVED FOR A MORTGAGE THIS SPRING

Mortgage Tips Darick Battaglia 26 Mar

Apparently, as per the weather experts, March has a lot of snowfall and surprisingly so does April!
Hearing this on the radio gives you a wave of emotions: holy cow, oh great, I wonder how many vacation days I have left and when can I take down my Christmas lights.
Good news, those same weather experts are predicting a hot summer and you know what that means! Buy your fan(s) now before they run out and check out a pool, size and budget appropriate, for the backyard. So glad we have a compressor to blow that thing up every year; three rings take a lot of breath!
Normally by April you are thinking about moving because you need a bigger home, you need to down size, or its time to leave the basement of your family home.
Those weekends where you have little to do so you opt to go out, get a coffee and go to show homes and see how they decorate because the DIY on TV is all reruns. While you are there, you start to picture yourself living there and then begin to wonder, “can I do this?” Do I want to want to do all the landscaping, do I need a developed basement now or later, where are the schools? Maybe should I think about an already established community with lots of schools, trees, or place that my cat and I can live.
Working with your Dominion Lending Centres Mortgage Professional, we will review your options, your affordability, possible extra costs that you may have missed and finally, get you pre-approved!

Prequalified or rate hold, what is the difference?
Your broker has asked you for supporting documentation that will confirm your income, you do indeed have a down payment, and your debt is not more than you can handle along with possible new housing costs. This is so they can start the application to ensure the numbers are good and we can begin.

Rate Hold – it is just that, a rate that lender is offering and, based on the application submitted to them, it shows the numbers are in alignment for them to hold a rate for you. This rate can be held anywhere from 90 – 120 days. Remember, they have reviewed the application submitted only and no other supporting documentation.
Prequalified – it is just that, the lender has reviewed the supporting paperwork along with the application and is in happy to provide you with a prequalified letter stating they not only are they holding the rate for 90 – 120 days, depending on which lender, but you have met their criteria for lending.
o Although once you present you offer they may still have a few more items they want to check:
▪ You still working? – you will need a current paystub
▪ You still working at the same place?
▪ You didn’t buy a new car, right? Ugh!
▪ You didn’t get new furniture and finance it with the store, right? Ugh!

Ask your advisor about the DO’s and DON’Ts; this one single sheet of paper will make or break a deal!
Prequalified or rate hold, now you know the difference.

Courtesy of Karen Pennder, AMP – DLC Jencor Mortgage Corporation

SPRING INTO ACTION: REFINANCE YOUR MORTGAGE WITH THE HELP OF A MORTGAGE BROKER

Mortgage Tips Darick Battaglia 23 Mar

We sprung forward last 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!

Courtesy of Max Omar, AMP – DLC Capital Region

HISTORY OF MORTGAGE CHANGES

Mortgage Tips Darick Battaglia 22 Mar

The mortgage industry seems to be ever-changing. What was applicable one day seems to no longer apply to the next and at times, it can be confusing to navigate through what all of these changes mean–and how they impact you directly. As Mortgage Brokers, we firmly do believe that although the industry has gone through MANY changes over the years, each time our clients are able to overcome them by practicing the same sound advice–which we will reveal at the end! But first, a walk through of the mortgage changes over the past few years and how the industry has changed:

LOOKING BACK

Before 2008

During this time, lending and mortgages policies were much more lenient! There was 100% financing available, 40-year amortizations, cash back mortgages, 95% refinancing, 5% down payment required for rental properties, and qualifications for FIXED terms under 5 years and VARIABLE mortgages at discounted contract rate. There was also NO LIMIT for your GROSS DEBT SERVICING (GDS) if your credit was strong enough. Relaxed lending guidelines when debt servicing secured and unsecured lines of credits and heating costs for non-subject and subject properties.

July 2008

We saw the elimination of 100% financing, the decrease of amortizations from 40-35 years and the introduction of minimum required credit scores, which all took place during this time period. It was also the time in which the Total Debt Servicing (TDS) could only be maxed to 45%.

April 2010
This time period saw Variable Rate Mortgages having to be qualified at the 5-year Bank of Canada’s posted rate along with 1-4 year Fixed Term Mortgages qualified at the same. There was also the introduction of a minimum of 20% down vs. 5% on investment properties and an introduction of new guidelines on looking at rental income, property taxes and heat.

March 2011

The 35-year Amortization dropped to 30 years for conventional mortgages, refinancing dropped to 85% from 90% and the elimination of mortgage insurance on secured lines of credit.

July 2012

30-year amortizations dropped again to 25 years for High Ratio Mortgages (less than 20% down). Refinancing also dropped down this time to 80% from 85%. Tougher guidelines within stated income mortgage products making financing for the Business for Self more challenging and the disappearance of true equity lending. Perhaps the three biggest changes of this time were:

● Ban mortgage insurance on any million dollar homes
○ 20% min requirement for down payment
● Elimination of cash back mortgages
○ Federal guidelines Min; requirement of 5% down
● Introduction to FLEX DOWN mortgage products

February 2014

Increase in default insurance premiums.

Februrary 2016

Minimum down payment rules changed to:
● Up to $500,000 – 5%
● Up to $1 million – 5% for the first $500,000 and 10% up to $1 million
● $1 million and greater requires 20% down (no mortgage insurance available)

Exemption for BC Property Transfer Tax on NEW BUILDS regardless if one was a 1st time home buyer with a purchase price of $750,000 or less.

July 2016

Still fresh in our minds, the introduction of the foreign tax stating that an ADDITIONAL 15% Property Transfer Tax is applied for all non residents or corporations that are not incorporated in Canada purchasing property in British Columbia.

October 17, 2016: Stress testing

INSURED mortgages with less than 20% down Have to qualify at Bank of Canada 5 year posted rate.

November 30, 2016: Monoline Lenders

Portfolio Insured mortgages (monoline lenders) greater than 20% have new conditions with regulations requiring qualification at the Bank of Canada 5 year posted rate, maximum amortization of 25 years, max purchase price of $1 million and must be owner-occupied.

AND HERE WE ARE NOW…

January 2018: OSFI ANNOUNCES STRESS TESTING FOR ALL MORTGAGES + NO MORE BUNDLING AND MORE RESTRICTIONS

•If your mortgage is uninsured (greater than 20% down payment) you will now need to qualify at the greater of the five-year benchmark rate published by the Bank of Canada or the contractual mortgage rate +2%

•Lenders will be required to enhance their LTV (loan to value) limits so that they will be responsive to risk. This means LTV’s will need to change as the housing market and economic environment change.

•Restrictions will be placed on lending arrangements that are designed to circumvent LTV limits. This means bundled mortgages will no longer be permitted.

*A bundled mortgage is when you have a primary mortgage and pair it with a second loan from an alternative lender. It is typically done when the borrower is unable to have the required down payment to meet a specific LTV.

BOTTOM LINE: WHERE DO WE GO FROM HERE?

As you can see, the industry has always been one that has changed, shifted and altered based on the economy and what is currently going on in Canada. However, with the new changes that have come into effect this year, we recognize that many are concerned about the financial implications the 2018 changes may have.

We cannot emphasis the importance of this enough. We have up to date, industry knowledge, access to all of the top lenders and we are free to use! We guarantee to not only get you the sharpest rate, but also the right product for your mortgage.

Courtesy of Geoff Lee, AMP – DLC GLM Mortgage Group

MARCH IS FRAUD AWARENESS MONTH

Mortgage Tips Darick Battaglia 21 Mar

You may have heard that March is Fraud Awareness Month. Authorities are trying to raise awareness of identity theft , phishing schemes and other forms of fraud. What you may not know is that as many as 1 in 5 Canadians are committing mortgage fraud whether they know it or not.

Fraud for Shelter

Is defined as any time a person “intentionally provides inaccurate, fraudulent or incomplete information to a lender in order to secure a mortgage that they might not otherwise be granted,” according to the Canadian Bankers Association.

You may intend on paying off the mortgage according to the terms in the contract but you may have fudged the numbers a bit to help you obtain the mortgage. Perhaps you borrowed the down payment money and intend on paying it back but you did not declare it as a gift; you may ask a friend to go on the application as a co – borrower when they won’t be living in the house with you. You might be friends with your boss at a small company and ask him to fudge your income to show you make $50,000 instead of $40,000 or alter your employment letter to show you make more than you do or have been on the job longer than you actually have been. This is all fraud.

What can happen to you if the truth comes out? Not only will the lender call the loan and you have to find alternative financing within 24 hours, but you could end up with fraud showing on your credit report. Imagine how unhappy your employer would be if they find out?

Fraud for Profit
You want to buy a rental property but you only have enough for a 5% down payment, nowhere near the 20% required to purchase a property that you don’t intend to live in.

Something that also happens too often is a friend or acquaintance tells you that they want to buy a property, but their credit won’t be in good shape for another 3-6 months. They offer to pay you $5,000 to use your name and credit to purchase the home and then they will take you off title when everything is good. Don’t fall for this. You are what the RCMP call a “straw buyer”. What they do is buy a home from another member of their gang at an over inflated price. They then make 2 or 3 monthly payments and then they take off leaving you stuck with a home you can’t sell for that price and obliged to make up any shortfall between the foreclosure selling price and the amount the lender mortgaged the home for.

Title Fraud
In this case, you are the victim. If you own a home free and clear, the fraudsters steal your identity, take out a mortgage on your property without you knowing it and take off with the funds leaving you to prove that you didn’t refinance your home The legal bills and the damage to your credit rating will be ongoing for a year or two at least.

In conclusion, mortgage fraud is a concern to all of us. It affects us directly as fraudulent mortgages cost lenders on average $300,000 each; a cost that is passed on to us with higher interest rates and fees. Be careful and be aware. Mortgage fraud is a problem for all Canadians who are home owners or potential home owners.

Courtesy of David Cooke, AMP – DLC Clarity Mortgage

WHAT IS A “MONOLINE” LENDER?

Mortgage Tips Darick Battaglia 19 Mar

What usually follows once someone hears the term “Monoline Lender” for the first time is a feeling of suspicion and lack of trust. It’s understandable, I mean why is this “bank” you’ve never heard of willing to loan you money when you’ve never banked with them before?

In an effort to help you see the benefits of working with a Monoline Lender, here is some basic information that will help you understand why you’ve never heard of them, why you want to, and the reason they are referred to as lenders, not banks.

Monoline Lenders only operate in the mortgage space. They do not offer chequing or savings accounts, nor do they offer investments through RRSPs, GICs, or Tax-Free Savings Accounts. They are called Monoline because they have one line of business- mortgages.

This also plays into the reasons you never see their name or locations anywhere. There is no need for them to market on bus stop benches or billboards as they are only accessible through mortgage brokers, making their need to market to you unnecessary. The branch locations are also unnecessary because you do not have day-to-day banking, savings accounts, investment accounts, or credit cards through them. All your banking stays the exact same, with the only difference of a pre-authorized payments coming from your account for the monthly mortgage payment. Any questions or concerns, they have a phone number and communicate documents through e-mail.

Would it help Monoline Lenders to advertise and create brand awareness with the public? Absolutely. Is it necessary for them to remain in business? No.

Monoline Lenders also have some of the lowest interest rates on the market, the most attractive pre-payment privileges, and the lowest pre-payment penalties, especially when compared to a bigger bank like CIBC or RBC. If you don’t think these points are important, ask someone whose had a mortgage with one of these bigger banks and sold their property before their term was up and paid upwards of $12,000 in penalty fees. An equivalent amount with a Monoline Lender would be anywhere from $2,000-$4,000 in fees.

Monoline Lenders are not to be feared, they should be welcomed, as they are some of the most accommodating and client service-oriented lenders around!

Courtesy of Ryan Oake, AMP – DLC Producers West Financial

KEEPING YOUR CREDIT SCORE HEALTHY

Mortgage Tips Darick Battaglia 16 Mar

If you haven’t seen your credit score, you’re not alone.

Many of our clients don’t know about their credit score or even know what it is when we first meet with them. During our initial consultation, we go over your complete credit report with you. As an added bonus, we’ll even teach you how to read it.

So, how can you make sure you have a great credit score? Here are a few tips to get you started.

You need to have credit. It may be surprising – but your credit score goes up as more credit is available to you. We recommend at least two facilities: a credit card and a line of credit (or 2 credit cards).
You also have to pay your bills when they are due. That goes for your internet, cell phone and even parking tickets.
It also helps to start as soon as possible. The longer you have a clean record of paying your credit card, loans or other credit facilities, the better your credit becomes.
Finally, make sure to carry a low balance. One of the least known ways to hurt your credit is to have high utilization.

Courtesy of Eitan Pinsky, AMP – DLC Origin Mortgages

CANADIAN REAL ESTATE; CANDY FOR THE KIDS

Mortgage Tips Darick Battaglia 15 Mar

Housing & Smarties

All levels of government are trying to control a situation akin to that of 22 kids that want a Smartie, and there are only six-and-a-half Smarties to be had.

As authority figures tend to, they are creating all kinds of rules about which kid can have a Smartie, and some kids are being marginalized. As any parent knows, efforts to try and suppress Smartie demand by dealing with the kids themselves is foolish.

And no parent would ever suggest that these Smarties were the last Smarties on the planet Earth.

Seriously, just get another box or two of Smarties (approx 15 smarties per box). Then, each kid can have one, even that kid visiting here from another country. Why not show them some hospitality if we now have more than enough Smarties to go around.

But we clearly do not have enough Smarties on hand, and they seem to be tough to find.

So, why not call up the Smarties manufacturer’s and see how we can help them increase supply?

Let’s build more Smarties!

Instead of consistently singling out one kid or another and saying ‘no Smarties for you’, or ‘you pay extra’, and you over there ‘you need to work harder to earn the right’… in other words restrictions and punishment… let’s start building supply.

Then everyone can have one, two, three, or more.

More importantly when you have enough Smarties, then people will still want to come over to your house, and those people will add value – they’ll do chores in order to pay off those Smarties.

It’s a win-win.

Smarties for all!

Courtesy of Dustan Woodhouse, AM – DLC Canadian Mortgage Experts

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