Month: April 2017

What Does It Actually Mean To Co-sign For a Mortgage?

Mortgage Tips DAZADA DIAMOND 28 Apr

What Does It Actually Mean To Co-sign For a Mortgage?

What Does It Actually Mean To Co-sign For a Mortgage?There seems to be some confusion about what it actually means to co-sign on a mortgage and you know that where there is confusion, your trusted mortgage professional seeks to offer clarity. Let’s take a quick look at why you may be asked to co-sign and what you need to know before, during, and after the co-signing process.

So why are you being asked? Last year there were two sets of changes made to the mortgage world which can likely explain why you are receiving this request in the first place.

The first occurred early in 2016 whereby the overall lending standards were increased in regards to an individual’s management of their credit and the resulting responsibility of Canada’s financial institutions to ensure they are lending prudently. We have seen an increase in requests for co-borrowers to help strengthen applications when credit or job stability is an issue.

The second happened just in October. A new ‘stress test’ rate applies which has especially impacted borrowers with less than 20% down. They must qualify at a rate of 4.64% though their actual interest rate is much lower. This has decreased affordability for many which means they could be looking for a co-borrower to increase how much home they can qualify for.

If it was me, I would ask questions as to exactly why the applicant needs a co-borrower. If it is a credit issue then you need to assess if that an acceptable risk. If it is a matter of not enough income, you need to assess that instead. What is the exit strategy for you all from this joint mortgage?

What can you expect? You will be required to complete an application and have your credit pulled. As you are now a borrower the banks will ask you for all the documentation that the main applicant has already provided. This can include but will not be limited to:

  • Letter of employment
  • Paystubs
  • 2 years Notice of Assessments, Financial Statements and complete T1 Generals
  • Mortgage statements on all properties you own
  • Bank statements if helping with the down payment
  • Property tax bills
  • Lease agreements
  • Divorce/separation agreement

So you get the idea. You are now a full applicant and will be asked for a whole bunch of paperwork. It is not just a matter of saying yes. Once the application is complete and all conditions have been met with the mortgage, you will have to meet with the lawyer as well.

What do you need to be aware of?

  1. This is now a monthly liability according to the world. You will have to disclose this debt on all your own applications going forward. It can affect your ability to borrow in the future
  2. Each lender is different in their policy as to how soon you can come off the mortgage. Familiarize yourself with this. Are you committing to this indefinitely or only for a couple of years?
  3. Mortgages report on the credit bureaus so you could be adversely affected if there are late payments
  4. If the main applicant cannot make the payment for whatever reason, you are saying that you will. Make sure your budget can handle that for a few months.

A few things you may want to consider if you do agree to co-sign:

  • Ask for an annual statement to be sent to you as well on both the mortgage and the property taxes.
  • Consider a joint account for mortgage payments so that you can check in every so often to ensure all payments are being made on time
  • Talk about life insurance! If the worst occurs, then at least have enough of a policy in effect, with yourself as the beneficiary, to cover a year of mortgage, taxes and bills so that you are not hit with an unexpected series of expenses until the property sells.

So though you just want to help your loved one into their dream home, you are all better served if you know exactly what you are getting into and are prepared for the contingencies. We here at Dominion Lending Centres are ready to help!

Practice Tip: Educate Your Clients on Pre-Build Mortgage Approvals

Mortgage Tips DAZADA DIAMOND 26 Apr

Practice Tip: Educate Your Clients on Pre-Build Mortgage Approvals

Sometimes your client’s new home purchase collapses because the lender refuses to fund the mortgage it approved prior to the home’s construction. The buyer loses the new house and often loses a significant deposit.

Why are lenders changing their minds?

Builders often require a mortgage broker to sign a form indicating there is an “unconditional mortgage approval” for the buyer before proceeding with the sale and construction of a new home. However, many lenders only give borrowers conditional approval, and even after waiving conditions, the lender may carry out additional due diligence.  A lot can change in a borrower’s circumstances in the time between getting a mortgage commitment and taking possession of a completed property. If the lender determines the borrower no longer qualifies for the mortgage they approved months earlier, they may refuse to fund the mortgage.

As a mortgage broker, there are things you can do to protect yourselves and your clients.

Changes in your borrower’s circumstances

You all know that terms such as “Pre-approval” or “Approval in Principle” or “Conditional approval” mean a lender will likely fund the mortgage if all of the assumptions the lender made are true and remain true at the time of funding.

A loan that is “pre-approved” or “approved in principle” is not the same as loan that is approved.  If there are any material changes to the borrower’s circumstance between the time of purchase and the construction of the property, the lender reserves the right to withhold funding. This is usually the case, but the issue is magnified when, with new construction, it’s often a full year or more before the lender actually advances the funds for the mortgage.

Subject to valuation

“Subject to valuation” is another typical requirement attached to a conditional loan approval with builders. Markets change over time, and during a lengthy construction period there may be changes to the property specifications. Sometimes the valuation will show your borrower paid or agreed to pay too much for the property. The lender or insurer may require an appraisal to determine if the property value is adequate security for the proposed financing.

Educating your borrowers

Borrower(s) must understand the risks of waiving their financing condition, particularly when dealing with new constructions and a long possession date. If they are unable to get their mortgage funded on possession day, they could forfeit their deposit, and the builder may take legal action.

RECA recommends using a disclosure form with borrowers that explains the risks of waiving their financing condition. Such a formal could include a checklist of the discussion points between you and the borrower, statements about income, job stability, added debt, missed payments, change in market value, upgrading building specifications (cost doesn’t always equal value), and so on.

Borrowers typically choose to proceed with the transaction, but it is important that you educate the borrower so they understand that all of their information, including the value of the property, must meet lender requirements at the time of funding, and that there are consequences if that is not the case.


RECA. “Practice Tip: Educate Your Clients on Pre-Build Mortgage Approvals.” The Regulator. RECA, 26 Apr. 2017. Web. 26 Apr. 2017.

How a DLC Mortgage Broker Can REALLY Help You!

Mortgage Tips DAZADA DIAMOND 26 Apr

How a DLC Mortgage Broker Can REALLY Help You!

How a DLC Mortgage Broker Can REALLY Help You!While it’s certainly easy to be intimidated by the prices that you might see as you browse MLS into the wee hours of the night, mortgage interest rates are still at a historical low.  If you’re looking at purchasing for the first time, you’re thinking, “What does that mean?!”

With rates as low as they are, the cost of borrowing associated with your mortgage is lower than ever before.  You also need to look at other fees that can be tied to different mortgage products.  For example, some mortgages don’t allow for additional or increased payments, while others allow you to pay down your principal mortgage amount by up to an additional 20% per year, saving you money over the lifetime of your mortgage. It’s important to recognize and understand these options and fees, and that is where a Dominion Lending Centres Mortgage Broker comes in.  Brokers and their agents are experts in the products that they offer and will work to save you the most money.

Don’t worry!  A Broker can also help you take advantage of low interest rates as a homeowner, too!  It could be the right time to look at your other financials and consider consolidating other outside debts to take advantage of the savings that could be available to you.  It isn’t hard to see the savings between a balance owed on a credit card at 19% or the balance owing on your car at 6.25% and consolidating one (or both!) with your mortgage balance at much lower interest rate.  A broker can look at your current mortgage terms and timelines and can help you save a considerable amount of money each year!

A Mortgage Broker’s service doesn’t stop there.  Since the demand for new homes is so high right now, a Mortgage Broker will also help both first-timers and home-owners peeking around the markets with a pre-approval before you start considering making an offer on a new home. This means that you can confidently make an offer on the home that you love without making a condition on financing.  In a busy market, where purchases often end in bidding wars, having your financing in line could make your offer stand out against the rest.

Since properties are being scooped up like hotcakes, homeowners can also take advantage of selling their homes to downsize and save for retirement, or vacations, or spoiling their grandkids!

Now if you’d rather “love it” than “list it”, you can benefit from today’s high demand, too!  If you have been thinking about adding that basement bathroom, or are in need of upgrading your furnace and air conditioning units, a Broker can help you take advantage of the equity that you have gained in your home since you bought it.  In the last year, the demand for homes has soared, which means that your home could be worth a good chunk more than you might think.  Regardless of if your mortgage is up for renewal or not, a Mortgage Broker can help you make sense of the mortgage that you’re in, and look at payout options that could work in your favour.  And a mortgage evaluation will always be free with a licensed Broker.

Today’s market has a lot of characteristics that can work in your favour, but can also throw a little wrench in your plans.  Always make sure to sit down with a licensed, local Dominion Lending Centres’ Broker to make sure you’re armed with the knowledge that you need to get the most for your money!

Determining the Best Mortgage…For YOU!

Mortgage Tips DAZADA DIAMOND 21 Apr

Determining the Best Mortgage…For YOU!

Determining the Best Mortgage…For YOU!So you have saved, and saved and you are finally ready to start house hunting…but before you do, there are a few things that you should be looking into BEFORE you start buying. Namely, your mortgage options. Did you know that there are various mortgage products? Or that each mortgage product has it own personality? They all do, and there is a mortgage product that is just right for you…we just have to find it first!

1. Understand your Expenses.

a. Do you know what you spend in a month? Do you have a monthly budget? With buying your new home, there are several associated costs that you should consider. These include the down payment, closing expenses, ongoing maintenance, taxes and utilities. If you have a budget, revamp it to maximize your saving. If you don’t have one, it is a simple thing to do! Track your spending by listing your household income and your expenses. This will give you what you spend in a month, how much you can save, and a guideline to follow.

2. Knowing your Job Stability

a. This is key to understanding and finding the right mortgage. You need to if you are in an in-demand occupation, or if your position maybe obsolete in a few years. You should also consider the length and term of your position—how long have you been there and how long are you planning to be there?

3. Consider your Limits

a. You and your Dominion Lending Centres broker need to understand what your payment and price limits are. This will determine if a fixed or variable rate mortgage is better for you.

b. You also need to know your amortization. This is the length of time that it will take for you to pay off your mortgage, based on the factors we previously discussed.

4. Know what you want in your home

a. To ensure that your home will grow with you consider these 4 questions:

i. Location: Are you close to the amenities you desire?

ii. Size: Can you comfortably accommodate your family and daily activities?

iii. Special Features: What do you want for added comfort & convenience in your home

iv. Lifestyle: Are you planning on adding to your family, or moving away soon?

Finally, and this is CRITICAL! Get PRE-APPROVED before you begin shopping for your new home. Know your financing, and what is available for you—this way you can shop stress free and you can negotiate for the home of your dreams!

Down Payment Verification – 5 Key Points

Down Payment & Buying DAZADA DIAMOND 20 Apr

Down Payment Verification – 5 Key Points

Down Payment Verification - 5 Key PointsOne of the essential aspects of every mortgage application is the discussion pertaining to your down payment. Home purchases in Canada require a minimum down payment of your own funds to be put towards the deal. Your stake in the purchase. It is important that during the discussions with your Mortgage Broker that all the cards are on the table pertaining to your down payment. Be upfront about your down payment and where it is coming from. Doing so can save you time and stress later on in the process.

Most home buyers are aware that they will require a certain amount of money for a down payment. What many do not realize is that lenders are required to verify the source of the funds to ensure that they are coming from an acceptable source. Here are a few facts to keep in mind:

1. Lenders require a 90-day bank account history for the bank account holding the down payment funds. The statements must include your name, account number and statement dates.

2. A common hesitation that we often hear from clients is that their bank statements include a lot of personal details. As professionals, we completely understand our clients concerns pertaining to your personal information and we always ensure that information is protected. Statements provided with blacked out names, account numbers or any other details are not acceptable. Unaltered documents are a requirement of confirming the down payment funds.

3. All large or unusual deposits need to be verified to ensure the source of those large deposits can be confirmed and can be used towards the down payment.

• Received a gift from an immediate family member? Easy, Gift Letter signed.
• Sold a vehicle? Easy, provide receipt of sale.
• CRA Tax Return? Easy, Notice of Assessment confirming the return amount.
• Transfer of funds from your TFSA? Easy provide the 90-day history for the TFSA showing the withdrawal.
• Friend lent you money for the house purchase…. Deal Breaker.
• A large deposit into your account that you cannot provide confirmation for…. Deal Breaker!

4. You were told that your minimum down payment was 5%, great! However, did you know that you are also required to show that you have an additional 1.5% of the purchase price saved to cover closing costs like legal fees?

5. Ensure that the funds for the down payment and closing costs stay in your bank account once you’ve provided confirmation. Those funds should only leave your account when they are provided to your lawyer to complete the purchase. Lenders have the right to request updated statements closer to closing to ensure that the down payment is still there. If money is moved around, spent or if there are more large deposits into your account, those will all have to be confirmed.

The last thing that anyone wants when purchasing a property is added stress or for something to go wrong late in the process. Be open with you Mortgage Broker, we are here to help and to guide you through the process. Not sure about something pertaining to your down payment funds? Ask us. We are here to work you through the buying process by making sure you know exactly what you need to do.

Thinking about buying a home, rental or vacation property? Talk to a dedicated Dominion Lending Centres Mortgage Professional in your area to find out about what your down payment requirements will be.

Independent Legal Advice – Do You Know Who Can Give It To You?

Latest News & Economy DAZADA DIAMOND 18 Apr

Independent Legal Advice – Do You Know Who Can Give It To You?

Independent Legal Advice - Do You Know Who Can Give It To You?First off, I’m sure some are saying what is Independent Legal Advice? ILA is just as it sounds – the need to seek independent legal advice. At Dominion Lending Centres, we always suggest that clients get ILA.

Many times especially, in private deals and builder mortgages, you will see that there is only one lawyer working for both parties. This means that the lawyer at some point must say to one of them, please be advised that should there be an issue with this file that I represent client A. Client B should then be aware that if he wants to make sure that he is being protected that he talk to another lawyer.

What is the difference between a Lawyer a Paralegal and a Notary Public?

First let’s look at the difference, first off, a lawyer is able to deal in all things pertaining to the laws of Canada in the province in which they are licensed. In real estate, they can do all the necessary steps including assisting a client in writing a real estate contract to representing them in court.

Paralegals do independent legal work under the general supervision of lawyers and that is the key difference, they can assist in just about every process that a lawyer might find themselves involved with but they are there to assist and not give legal advice.

BC Notaries are governed by the Notaries Act of BC and the discipline of their professional society. Today, the position of Notary as a member of one of the branches of the legal profession is sanctioned and safeguarded by law. BC Notaries are unique in North America, providing non-contentious legal services to the public. The definition of non-contentious is that it is legal work that relates to transactions occurring between one or more parties ie real estate. They are insured as we have learned lately from the case in BC but they cannot represent you in court as a lawyer would.

As you can see while there are several people who look like they can give Independent Legal Advice in the end only a lawyer can actually do that for you.

Brokersforlife. “Independent Legal Advice – Do You Know Who Can Give It To You?” Dominion Lending Centres, 17 Apr. 2017, Accessed 18 Apr. 2017.

The Two Types of Mortgage Penalty Calculations

Mortgage Tips DAZADA DIAMOND 13 Apr

The Two Types of Mortgage Penalty Calculations

We have all heard the horror stories about huge mortgage penalties. Like the time your friend wanted to refinance her home so that she could open a small business only to find out that it was going to cost her a $13,000 penalty to break her mortgage.

This should not come as a surprise. It would have been in the initial paperwork from the mortgage lender and seen again at the lawyer’s office. A mortgage is a contract and when it is broken there is a penalty assessed and charged. You will have agreed to this. The institution that lent the money did so with the expectation that they would see a return on that investment so when the contract is broken there is a penalty to protect their interests.

If you think about it, there is even a penalty to break a cell phone contract so the provider can recoup the costs they incurred so it stands to follow that of course there would be a penalty on a mortgage.

The terms of the penalty are clearly outlined in the mortgage approval which you will sign. The onus is on you to ask questions and to make sure you are comfortable with the terms of the mortgage offer. With so many mortgage lenders in Canada, you can very easily seek out other options if needed.

There are two ways the mortgage penalty can be calculated.

1. Three months interest – This is a very simple one to figure out. You take the interest portion of the mortgage payment and multiply it by three.

For instance: Mortgage balance of $300,000 at 2.79% = $693.48/month interest x 3 months or $2080.44 penalty.


2. The IRD or Interest Rate Differential – This is where things get trickier. The IRD is based on:

The amount you are pre-paying; and,
An interest rate that equals the difference between your original mortgage interest rate and the interest rate that the lender can charge today when re-lending the funds for the remaining term of the mortgage.

In Canada there is no one size fits all in how the IRD is calculated and it can vary greatly from lender to lender. There can be a very big difference depending on the comparison rate that is used. I have seen this vary from $2,850 to $12,345 when all else was equal but the lender.

Things to note:

You will be assessed the GREATER of the 2 penalties.
You should always call your lender directly to get the penalty amount and do not rely on online calculators
You can avoid the penalty by porting the current mortgage if you are moving or waiting until the end of the term
A variable rate mortgage is usually accompanied by only the 3 month interest penalty

Given that 6/10 mortgages in Canada are broken around the 36 month mark, wouldn’t it be better to find out before you sign how your mortgage lender calculates their penalty just in case??…and the best way to get more information is to contact you local Dominion Lending Centres mortgage professional.

Pam.pikkert. “The Two Types of Mortgage Penalty Calculations.” Dominion Lending Centres, 12 Apr. 2017, Accessed 13 Apr. 2017.

Why You Should Speak To Your Mortgage Broker

Mortgage Tips DAZADA DIAMOND 12 Apr

Why You Should Speak To Your Mortgage Broker Before You Sell Your Home

Why You Should Speak To Your Mortgage Broker Before You Sell Your HomeWhile many people will speak to a mortgage broker before buying a home, few people call a mortgage broker before selling a home. Calling could save you thousands of dollars and many sleepless nights.

Why? Brokers understand mortgages and ask the right questions. How long do you have remaining in your present mortgage? Do you know if it’s portable to a new property? Have you heard of increase and blend?

A mortgage broker can help you to anticipate a penalty to break your present mortgage and see if porting or taking your mortgage to your new property is a good idea. Need more money? Blend and Increase will allow you to increase your mortgage amount and blend the old rate with the present day rate and save you thousands in penalties.

If you are at the stage in life where you have children leaving for university and you are down-sizing, perhaps a line of credit might be useful for helping to pay tuition and dorm fees.

While you may like your home it may need a new roof. Most home buyers do not want a fixer-upper and will discount your selling price to account for this. It may be easier to get the price you want and sell faster if you replace the roof, furnace or whatever is old yourself. The problem is that you are saving money for a down payment. Your mortgage broker can come to the rescue with a line of credit, either secured or unsecured which can be paid out with the home sale. In short, “we’ve got a mortgage for that!”.

Remember, calling your Dominion Lending Centres mortgage broker before buying is a no-brainer but why not call them before you sell.

David Cooke
Dominion Lending Centres – Accredited Mortgage Professional

Bank of Canada Upgrades Forecast

Banks & Bank of Canada DAZADA DIAMOND 12 Apr

12 Apr 2017

Bank of Canada Upgrades Forecast, But Keeps Rates Unchanged

Bank of CanadaFor years now, the Governor Stephen Poloz and his Bank of Canada colleagues have held the key overnight rate unchanged at 1/2 percent, while at the Federal Reserve has hiked rates several times with more to come. The jobless rate is at a mere 4.5 percent in the US, clearly at or near full employment and the Fed policy makers have suggested they will reduce liquidity further this year and next. Once again today, the Bank of Canada has held the key overnight rate steady while upgrading their outlook for the economy.

Economists now expect the Canadian economy to grow at a rate of roughly 2.5 percent, compared to 1.4 percent last year and a mere 0.9 percent the year before. Indeed, economic activity has accelerated sharply since the middle of last year–up at a 4.3 percent annual pace over that seven-month period. Job creation has been strong since the summer. The Business Outlook Survey suggests that business investment–a disappointing underperformer–is poised to rise as the oil sector digs itself out of the rut caused by the collapse in oil prices in mid-2014. Export growth accelerated sharply until February, which hopefully is a one-month aberration and housing activity certainly remains strong–too strong in the Greater Toronto Area and its environs, as well as in parts of British Columbia.

No one expects the Bank of Canada to raise rates simply because of the housing market, as housing markets are not overheated in much of the rest of the country.

Bank of Canada Upgrades Forecast, But Keeps Rates UnchangedIn today’s Monetary Policy Report (MPR), the Bank boosted their forecast of Canada’s economy this year to 2.6 percent from 2.1 percent in the January MPR. For 2018, growth is now projected to be 1.9 percent (slightly below the January forecast). However, the Bank suggested that the “composition of aggregate demand is uneven.” According to today’s MPR, “In the oil and gas sector, a resumption of growth in investment spending is under way in the wake of significant adjustments to past declines in commodity prices. This contributed, together with very strong consumption and residential investment, to a temporary surge in growth in the first quarter. In contrast, non-commodity business investment and exports remain weak, raising questions about the medium-term sustainability of the upturn”.

“Economic activity will be supported by rising foreign demand, federal fiscal stimulus and accommodative monetary and financial conditions. In addition, the composition of demand growth is expected to broaden: the pace of household expenditures, especially residential investment, moderates as the contributions from exports and business investment increase, albeit at a much slower pace than would normally be expected at this stage of the cycle. Ongoing competitiveness challenges and uncertainty surrounding the prospects for global trade are expected to limit this broadening of growth. A notable increase in global protectionism remains the most important source of uncertainty facing the Canadian economy”.

The Bank’s forecast remains a bit below the consensus view of Bay Street economists. The Bank has underestimated growth for many quarters. The MPR suggests that “while the degree of excess capacity has declined since the January Report, the Bank judges that in the first quarter of 2017 it remains material, between 1 1/4 and 1/4 per cent”. The output gap is now projected to close in the first half of 2018, a bit sooner than the Bank anticipated in January.

Bank of Canada Upgrades Forecast, But Keeps Rates Unchanged

Dr. Sherry Cooper
Chief Economist, Dominion Lending Centres