Qualified to make sure you qualify – Our House Magazine

General DAZADA DIAMOND 28 Feb

Qualified to make sure you qualify – Our House Magazine

If you need open-heart surgery, you want to be sure the doctor in the operating room knows what they’re doing. You want to know they’ve got the professional education, skills and experience to carry out the life-saving procedure.
You would expect nothing less from the person handling the biggest financial decision of your life – your mortgage broker.
Though a mortgage broker doesn’t need quite the same qualifications as a heart surgeon, there are still rigorous standards each mortgage professional must meet to do their job.
While regulations can vary in each province, mortgage professionals need to be registered with a government body and be licensed to carry out broker activities.
First, each broker must complete a provincially approved course for mortgage brokering. These courses are offered through various colleges and institutions and can take days or months to complete. In Ontario, for instance, after completing the course, aspiring brokers need to be hired by a Financial Services Commission of Ontario licensed brokerage, in which the brokerage applies to the commission for that particular broker’s licence.
In B.C. for example, mortgage brokers need to pass a course to be registered with the Financial Institutions Commission, or FICOM, and then update their licence every two years.
Agencies like FICOM have the power to investigate public complaints, hand out fines, and suspend or revoke licences of brokers.
“The Registrar of Mortgage Brokers protects the public and enhances mortgage broker industry integrity by enforcing mortgage broker suitability requirements and reducing and preventing market misconduct under the Mortgage Brokers Act and Regulations,” notes the FICOM website.
While Greg Domville, DLC’s vice president of training and business development, noted the course for mortgage brokers is a good foundation, he suggested it’s the background and criminal checks that are most important.
“They make sure you’re a real good person,” he told Our House Magazine. If you’re going to be dealing with someone’s finances, those checks and balances are in place.”
Domville added that consumers can take comfort that their mortgage broker has gone through a rigorous screening process before they have any contact with them. Adding the standards in place are good at weeding out people in the industry.
He pointed out, at DLC, a mentoring program is in place where franchise owners can monitor and train new brokers to ensure they’re doing all the right things along the way. As Domville noted, there’s a good chance even if you’re dealing with a new broker, they’ll have a lot of experience.
There are a number of online resources available to the public through the varying licensing agencies. Don’t be afraid to ask your mortgage broker about their background, they’ll be more than proud to share with you their qualifications.

  • https://dominionlending.ca/news/qualified-to-make-sure-you-qualify-our-house-magazine/

 

View the latest Our House Magazine

  • http://adiamondmortgage.ca/our-house-magazine/

JIDD Happens

General DAZADA DIAMOND 27 Feb

JIDD Happens

You may have heard people say “s@@t happens. In the mortgage broker world, JIDD happens. These are unexpected events that can turn a happy homeowners’ life upside down. JIDD consists of:

Job Loss – often unexpected and with no time to save for emergencies, things get ugly pretty quick. E.I. payments can run out leaving you with the option of buying food for the family or paying your mortgage.

Illness – Cancer treatments can be so hard on a person that even if it’s only a 5 minute radiation treatment, you are left feeling unable to work for the rest of the day. Short term disability plans usually top out a 75 per cent of your average salary. However, when you’re ill, your bills don’t drop by 25 per cent. In fact, they often increase due to extra medication, medical equipment rentals etc.

Death – one of the borrowers dies leaving the other person to pay out the mortgage by themselves on one income.

Divorce – once again one income where there were two and often expensive legal fees and bills that get forgotten in a tangle of emotions and a spouse moving out.
While you can find a job again or get over an illness, often there’s a period of time when you need to catch up on your bills and this is when people fall behind in their mortgage payments.

What should you do if you are in one of these situations?
Call all your Dominion Lending Centres mortgage professional and tell them what has happened. Let them know as soon as possible. They will look up your mortgage and let you know who the lender is and who your mortgage was insured with. They can guide you through the process of contacting the lender and insurer to see how they can help you out.

What can CMHC, Genworth or Canada Guaranty do for you? Depending on your circumstances they will allow you a forbearance which is a temporary mortgage payment deferral. They also may change your mortgage amortization lengthening it to lower your payments. They may also take your missed payments and just tack them on to your mortgage balance without a penalty. All these options are available but you have to contact your mortgage professional in order to get the ball rolling. JIDD happens but you’re not alone.

  •  https://dominionlending.ca/news/jidd-happens/

Transfers and Switches

Mortgage Tips DAZADA DIAMOND 26 Feb

Transfers and Switches

Transfer/Switches are when you opt to transfer your mortgage to a new lender in order to take advantage of a lower rate. A transfer/switch does not include additional money to the existing mortgage balance owing, your mortgage amount will remain the same, however lenders will allow you to increase the mortgage up to $3,000 to cover legal costs, possible appraisal fees and if applicable, penalty fees – more on that below.

*Note: If you do require new money or funds (more than $3,000.00) this would then be considered a refinance.

There are two scenarios where you would utilize a Transfer Switch:

1. When your mortgage term is up, and the mortgage is renewing with your existing lender. If you choose to transfer/switch your mortgage at renewal you will not have to pay a penalty. You will still need to qualify and there may be legal and appraisal costs associated with the transfer/switch, just as you would with a new mortgage. However, many lenders offer you the option to include the legal and appraisal fees into you new mortgage and some lenders may cover these costs for you.
2. The second scenario you may choose to do a transfer/switch is when you are in the middle of the term of your mortgage. The only reason you would do this is to take advantage of a lower rate which means a lower monthly payment. This would have to make sense financially for you to do as you will have a penalty associated with breaking the current mortgage.

If your mortgage is up for renewal, or if you are considering a transfer/switch in light of recent rate changes, a mortgage broker can assist you in making the right decision. Similar to when you first financed your mortgage, having a broker assist you gives you:

A DEDICATED INDIVIDUAL SHOPPING FOR YOU:
Reputable brokers have your best interest in mind first!

Your mortgage professional will shop the market to find the best overall cost of borrowing for the client. Broker’s will look at all angles of the product to ensure that the client is getting one that will suit their unique and specific needs. Not once will the client be expected to shop their mortgage around or to speak to the lender.

ACCESS TO THE BEST RATES & PRODUCTS
A mortgage professional has access to:
• Tier 1 banks in Canada
• Credit Unions
• Monoline Lenders
• Alternative Lenders
• Private Lenders

This extensive network of lender options allows brokers to ensure that you are not only getting the sharpest rate, but that the mortgage product is also aligned with the client’s needs.
Now, a few details that you should know before you transfer/switch your mortgage:

YOU WILL HAVE TO SUPPLY DOCUMENTS
Just like when you went through the process the first time, you will have to supply documents to the new lender in order to transfer/switch.

YOU MAY HAVE TO PAY OUT CERTAIN COSTS
As mentioned above, there costs associated with your transfer/switch. If your mortgage is up for renewal and you are opting to transfer/switch these may include admin and legal fees. If you are opting to transfer mid-term to take advantage of a lower rate with a different lender, these may include your penalty and legal/admin fees. However, many lenders will offer up to $3,000 financed into your mortgage to assist in covering these if applicable

YOU WILL HAVE TO QUALIFY UNDER CURRENT REGULATIONS
With a transfer/switch, you are required to pass any and all regulations and stress testing measures may be applicable, however If you are looking at a transfer/switch and your previous mortgage funded prior to November 30, 2016 old mortgage rules apply (no stress test is required). This means
• You are grandfathered in previous under mortgage rules
• You can qualify at the contract rate rather than the stress test of contract rate plus 2% or the benchmark rate (currently at 5.34%)
• In simple terms: no stress testing required.

Before you consider moving, you should run through the numbers with a broker and ensure you qualify. To find out more about stress testing measure, click here.

UNDERSTANDING YOUR PENALTY
If you are switching/transferring mid-term a penalty will apply to your mortgage. To find out what that penalty will look like, you can check out our article here, but we also encourage you to speak to your Dominion Lending Centres mortgage broker and have a clear understanding of what you will be paying out. If you are up for renewal and are looking to transfer, you will not have to pay a penalty and may or may not have the aforementioned fees associated with setting up the new mortgage with a new lender.

Remember, a broker is there to work with you to determine if a transfer/switch is right for you and to help you establish which lender will give you not only the best rate, but the most suitable mortgage product too!

  • https://dominionlending.ca/news/transfer-and-switches/

Looking for a mortgage… you better know your credit score

Credit & Debt DAZADA DIAMOND 25 Feb

Looking for a mortgage… you better know your credit score

Over the last month, as the big banks and many of our monolines mortgage lenders wind down their fiscal year, we are starting to see some very obvious changes in what your credit score can get you.

I heard a few months ago that 720 beacons were going to become the new 650. The 650 beacon credit score for many years was the mid-range norm for most mortgage lenders. Today on many of the sites we use, we are seeing that the primary borrower must have a credit score of 720 and the secondary beacon can’t be below 650. It’s a big change from what we have seen in the past.

There are more changes coming as the banks will need to set aside more balance sheet if your mortgage is conventional. The one report I read said that if your credit score is lower, then the banks will now need to set aside 1.5% or possibly more if the score is low enough. That of course will then mean that an investor will need to be compensated more for having that in their portfolio, aka higher rates for you on a conventional mortgage.

If you are in the market for a house and you don’t know where to start, at least contact Dominion Lending Centres mortgage broker who can guide you through the process and let you know where you start.  If you use a DLC broker, they can set you up with a CleverCredit account and you can work together to make sure your credit is strong enough to apply for a mortgage when the time comes.

  • https://dominionlending.ca/news/looking-for-a-mortgage-you-better-know-your-credit-score/

Minimum Down Payments

Down Payment & Buying DAZADA DIAMOND 22 Feb

Minimum Down Payments

Are you looking for that new dream home, or anything that will get you out of your current rental property so you can officially become a homeowner?

If so, what is the minimum amount you are required to put down?

Below are three different purchase price categories. Each one has their own minimum down payment requirements and we have included some important notes to also consider at those prices.

| $1-$500,000 | Minimum 5% Down Payment |

  • The lowest amount you need as a cash down payment for a purchase up to $500,000 is only 5% of the purchase price.
  • For a $300,000 home, this would be $15,000.

| $500,001 – $999,999 | Blended Down Payment |

  • The minimum down payment if your purchase price falls in this category is 5% on the first $500,000 and 10% on the remainder up to a million dollars.
  • For a $650,000 purchase price, you would be required to put down $25,000 (5% on amount up to $500,000) and $15,000 (10% of the amount above $500,000 [$150,000 in this case]) for a total minimum down payment of $40,000. This would be a 6.15% down payment.

| $1,000,000 + | Sliding Scale |

  • 20% requirement on entire amount up to $1,250,000 and 50% down payment on amount over $1,250,000 subject to a 75% loan to value.
  • A $1,100,000 purchase price would be a minimum down payment of $220,000 (20%).
  • $1,350,000 purchase price would require $250,000 (20% on $1,250,000) plus an additional $50,000 (50% of amount above $1,250,000 [$100,000 in this case]).
  • Some lenders may make different exceptions depending on the strength of an application but, for the most part, the sliding scale information above is quite accurate.

There you have it! The three most common sized purchase prices and their required minimum down payment. Please keep in mind that almost all lenders will require you to have an additional 1.5% of the property value available in cash to cover all closing costs which may include, for example, lawyer fees, property transfer tax, and insurance. If you have any questions, contact a Dominion Lending Centres mortgage professional near you.

  • https://dominionlending.ca/news/minimum-down-payments/

5 Reasons Why You Don’t Qualify for a Mortgage

Down Payment & Buying DAZADA DIAMOND 21 Feb

5 Reasons Why You Don’t Qualify for a Mortgage

It’s not just because of finances.

As a mortgage broker I receive calls from people who want to know how to qualify for a mortgage. Most of the time it comes down to finances but there are other reasons as well.
Here are the 5 most common reasons why your home mortgage loan application could be denied:

1. Too Much Debt

When home buyers seek a mortgage, the words “debt-to-income ratio” quickly enters into the vocabulary, and it’s not without reason. Too much debt is a red flag to lenders, signifying you may not be able to handle credit responsibly.
Lenders will analyze how much debt you carry and what percentage of your income it takes to pay your debt. Debt ration is just as important as your credit score and payment history.
Two affordability ratios you need to be aware of:
• Rule #1 – GROSS DEBT SERVICE (GDS) Your monthly housing costs are generally not supposed to exceed 32% of your gross monthly income.
• Rule #2 – TOTAL DEBT SERVICE (TDS) Your entire monthly debt payments should not exceed 42% of your gross monthly income.

If you don’t have a good debt to income ratio, don’t give up hope. You have options available including lowering your current debt levels and working with your Dominion Lending Centres Mortgage Broker.

2. Poor Credit History

Some people don’t realize if they are late on their credit card/loan/mortgage payments the lender sends that information to the credit bureaus.
• Late/non payments on your credit report will make your score drop like a rock
• Exceeding your credit card limit, applying for more credit cards/loans will lower your score.
• Bankruptcy or Consumer Proposal will significantly impact your score, and stay on your credit report for up to 7 years.
Your credit history is a great way for a lender to tell whether you’re a risky investment or not. Lenders look not only at your minimum credit score, but also at whether you have a significant amount of late payments on your credit report.
Your Mortgage Broker will run your credit bureau to see if there are any challenges you need to be aware of.

3. Insufficient Income and Assets

With the high price of homes in the Vancouver & Toronto area, sometimes people simply don’t earn enough money to afford: mortgage payments, property taxes and strata fees along with their existing debt (credit cards, loans, lines of credit etc.).
You need to prove your previous 2 years’ income on your taxes with your Notice of Assessments (NOA). This is the summary form that the Federal Government sends back to you after you file your taxes, showing how much you filed for income and if you either owe money or received a refund.
If you can’t provide documentation to prove your income, then you will likely get denied for a home mortgage loan.
Some home buyers will need to provide more money for a down payment (perhaps a gift from their family) or try to purchase a home with suite income. In some cases, home buyers will need to add someone else on title of the home, in order to add their income to the mortgage application.

4. Down Payment is Too Small

A lender looks at the down payment as how much of an investment a buyer will be putting in their future home. Therefore, bigger is always better when it comes a down payment to satisfy your home mortgage loan application. Start saving now.
To qualify for a mortgage in Canada the minimum down payment is 5% for the purchase of an owner-occupied home and 20% for a rental property.
In Canada if you have less than 20% down payment, the federal government dictates that the home buyer must purchase CMHC Mortgage Default Insurance which is calculated as a percentage of the loan and is based on the size of your down payment. The more you borrow the higher percentage you will pay in insurance premiums.
For those with less than 20% down payment, the maximum amortization is 25 years, with more than 20% down payment 30-35 years (depending on the lender).

5. Inadequate Employment History

Most lenders will want to see a consistent employment history of 2 years when applying for a mortgage, because they want to know you’re able to hold down a job long enough to pay back the money they’ve loaned you.
To prove your employment, you will need to prove a Job Letter with salary details.

If you’ve been denied a mortgage, chances are it was because of one of the above five reasons. Don’t be deterred, with a little patience and some work on your end, you can put yourself in a position to get approved the next time you apply.

  • https://dominionlending.ca/news/5-reasons-why-you-dont-qualify-for-a-mortgage/

Tax Rebates for Homeowners

General DAZADA DIAMOND 20 Feb

Tax Rebates for Homeowners

It’s getting to be that time of year when we are collecting our tax receipts to file taxes and hopefully get a nice cheque back from CRA.

1st time homebuyer’s Tax Credit
If you purchases a home in 2018 don’t forget to apply for the $5,000 tax credit. This could result in up to $750 in cash back in your pocket. In order to qualify you must have purchased a home in 2018. It must be registered in your name or your spouse’s. You and your spouse can not have owned a home in the previous four years. What that means is if you owned a home 5 or 6 years ago you would qualify as a first time homebuyer because of the amount of time you had been renting and not a homeowner. Homes include mobile homes, modular and floating homes.

GST/HST New Housing Rebate
This rebate is for people who built a home during 2018 and they can apply for a tax rebate. However, they can also qualify if they owned a home and did major renovations such as adding an addition to a home.
Granny Suites – you may also qualify for this rebate if you converted a non-residential building into a residential property. That means that if you turned your garage or barn into a granny suite for you or a family member you can claim the rebate.
Co-op Shares – if you purchased shares in a housing co-op for you or a relation to live in as your primary residence , the rebate can also be claimed.

Land Transfer Tax Rebate
If you live in Ontario, B.C. or PEI you also may qualify for a fist time homebuyers rebate on the land transfer tax and for the city of Toronto you can apply for a $3,725 municipal land transfer tax rebate. Put it all together and there’s a lot of money available for first time homebuyers if they know they qualify. Be sure to check with your Dominion Lending Centres mortgage professional to see if you do qualify.

  • https://dominionlending.ca/news/tax-rebates-for-home-owners/

Growing cannabis at home? Let’s weed through those mortgage issues!

General DAZADA DIAMOND 19 Feb

Growing cannabis at home? Let’s weed through those mortgage issues!

As many of you already know, Canada just became the second country in the world to legalize marijuana for medical and recreational purposes. Of course, this historic moment in Canadian history has cannabis activists jumping for joy while others are not s-toked on the idea.

With legalization comes the realities of growing your own pot at home which already has Global News giving Canadians a step-by-step guide on how to do so properly and legally — sorry Manitoba and Quebec!

We always have clients contacting us for restructuring advice on their current mortgages. However, through our initial discussions, we have found out that some have started growing pot plants within their homes. Since this legislation is new to everyone, including the mortgage community, we had to do some research.

Prior to September 17, growing cannabis at home was a legal grey area. Mortgage wise, it was a red flag. Any home that has previously or is currently being used in the growing of cannabis was treated as a “grow-op” and as a result is NOT financeable.

grow-op: a concealed facility used for marijuana plantation.

Since legalization day on October 17, the federal government officially set a limit of four pot plants per household — NOT by person. This information DOES NOT have to be disclosed on a property disclosure UNLESS damage has occurred within the household because of cannabis cultivation.

Just as a FYI — ALL property owners should consult their realtor or lawyer about how to properly disclose when selling their household.
After talking to our local Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation representative (CMHC), she notified us that mortgage insurers are currently leaving lenders to create their own policies on how to deal with marijuana plants and their effect on existing mortgages. We contacted lenders about this ‘budding’ home-grown industry but were met with no answers.

This situation is certainly a waiting game and we’re all holding our breath waiting for the first move!

Let us share our advice.
If you are looking to sell your property or refinance your mortgage — get rid of those pot plants now!
Any home appraisal company can disclose in their report that cannabis is present within your home which could place your home on a list that DOES NOT foresee future sales or refinances.
It is your safest bet to keep your cannabis plant growth up to the licensed growers located across the country.
If you have any questions, contact your local Dominion Lending Centres mortgage professional.

  • https://dominionlending.ca/news/growing-cannabis-at-home-lets-weed-through-those-mortgage-issues/

3 Reasons why your Realtor would like you to have a garage

Mortgage Tips DAZADA DIAMOND 15 Feb

3 Reasons why your Realtor would like you to have a garage

Your realtor will be happy to list your property and sell it for you. However, if you have a garage, they will be much happier. Why?

Here’s the reasons why realtors prefer to sell homes with garages:

1 – Homes with a garage, attached or detached sell faster and for more money, usually $20-30,000 more.

2 – Curb appeal – a house with a garage looks cleaner and neater than a house with a driveway or parking pad. Once again, it’s easier to sell.

3 – Clutter storage – If you’ve lived in your house for 20-plus years you probably have a little too much stuff. Putting one piece of furniture in the garage from each of the main rooms makes the house look more spacious and – it’s easier to sell.
If there are several homes like yours for sale and none of them have a garage, here’s an idea. Instead of lowering the asking price on the house by $20,000, ask your realtor if building a new garage would help sell the property. Depending on city permits and your local renovation market, you could build a garage in two weeks and sell your house quickly.
Speak to your favourite Dominion Lending Centres mortgage professional about a Refinance plus Improvements mortgage to get that garage built.

  • https://dominionlending.ca/news/3-reasons-why-your-realtor-would-like-you-to-have-a-garage/

High Ratio and Conventional Mortgages

Down Payment & Buying DAZADA DIAMOND 14 Feb

High Ratio and Conventional Mortgages

There are two different types of mortgages when it comes to their balance in relation to the value of your home- high ratio or conventional.

When you applying for a mortgage, lenders use a ratio called loan to value. Your loan to value is exactly what it sounds like, the size of your mortgage in relation to the value, written as a percentage.

For example, if you have a $500,000 home and your mortgage is $300,000 and your down payment/equity is $200,000, your loan to value is 60%. This means that the bank owns 60% of your home and you technically own 40%, because if your house sold for $500,000, you would only get $200,000 as the remaining amount goes to the lender to pay out your mortgage.

When some one says high ratio and conventional mortgages, that is referring to your loan to value. If your loan to value is more than 80%, you have what is called a high-ratio mortgage. A high-ratio mortgage is when you own less than 20% of your home. You will also be required by law to pay what is called mortgage default insurance to help protect the lender if you were unable to maintain your mortgage payments.

A conventional mortgage is when you own 20% or more of your home and your mortgage amount is less than 80% of the value of your home. You do not need to pay mortgage insurance premiums if you purchase a home with 20% or more as well. When refinancing your home and borrowing against your equity, lenders are not allowed to increase your mortgage to an amount above 80% of your homes value. This means, if you own less than 20% of your home, you cannot refinance or take equity out.

You are also not allowed to purchase a rental property and receive a high ratio mortgage as you are required to put 20% down. Conventional and high ratio mortgages will also affect your interest rates as most lenders incentives high ratio buyers to work with them by offering lower interest rates.

There are several other categories when looking at loan to value and what each one can give you in terms of borrowing power, however, when it comes to high ratio and conventional, these are the biggest differences.

If you have any questions relating to high ratio or conventional mortgages, contact your local Dominion Lending Centres mortgage professional.

  • https://dominionlending.ca/news/high-ratio-and-conventional-mortgages/
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