Accessing Your Home’s Equity To Invest

Credit & Debt DAZADA DIAMOND 30 Apr

Accessing Your Home’s Equity To Invest

To tap into your home’s equity, it all starts with refinancing your home. If you own a home, the equity you have built up in it is one of the most valuable assets you have available to you. It is also much more accessible than taking out a large loan. In many cases, home equity loans and lines of credit can offer you a lower interest rate as compared to other types of loans while providing you with access to credit for investment purposes. You can view an excellent comparison of loans here.

Often times we see clients who refinance in order to:
• Renovate their home
• Purchase a secondary property for investment purposes
• Debt consolidation
• Business Development
• Assisting their children’s post secondary education
• Financing thru a “life event” such as illness

In this particular article, we are going to highlight the value of utilizing your home’s equity to reinvest in other investments such as:
• rental properties
• stocks
• bonds
• mutual funds
• RRSP’s
• RESP’s
The first question that people ask is how much can I borrow? Generally speaking, you can borrow up to 80% of the appraised value of your house. For example, if your home value of $650,000 assuming one qualifies, they can access up to 80% of $650,000 which would be $520,000, if their current mortgage is $450,000 they may be able to get a home equity line of credit for $70,000 (totaling $520,000)

Working with your mortgage broker, you can go through the refinance and approval process if this is something you are interested in accessing. It is always a good idea to consult with your broker and understand the personality of your mortgage—there may be limitations of how much equity you can access and the conditions relating to the refinancing. There are also potential costs associated with this type of refinance including:
• Penalties to break your mortgage
• appraisal fees
• title search
• title insurance
• legal costs
Keep in mind that these potential costs can be rolled within your new loan amount and will not be “out of pocket.”
Now, if you have been approved and are utilizing your home equity for one of the above investments (after speaking to your financial planner/advisor first) and can expect to see a higher rate of return than the interest you are paying to borrow the money, then it is worth considering. We emphasize that you should always proceed with caution and get advice from sound professionals before choosing to invest your hard-earned money.

We have found that this type of investing works extremely well for many and is a safer and less risky way to access funds for further investment purposes. We recognize that this option may not be suitable or comfortable for some, but it is a viable way to capitalize on the equity sitting in your home and make it work for you! If you have questions or are interested in learning more, please do not hesitate to contact a Dominion Lending Centres mortgage professional near you.

  • https://dominionlending.ca/news/accessing-your-homes-equity-to-invest/

Pre-Approvals & Pre-Qualifications

Down Payment & Buying DAZADA DIAMOND 29 Apr

Pre-Approvals & Pre-Qualifications

Throughout the mortgage and home buying process, there are many steps and many checkpoints a buyer will need to complete before they can move on to the next one. A buyer will not be able to close on a purchase if they do not have a lawyer. Financing conditions need to be lifted after confirmation from a mortgage broker that a file is broker complete. A buyer should never write an offer on a home until they have a realtor working for them. Most importantly, a buyer should never be looking at property they are considering buying until they have been pre-qualified and pre-approved.

Now, one thing we need to make clear- pre-qualified and pre-approved are two different things. Pre-qualified is when someone completes a mortgage application with a mortgage broker or a bank representative and is told how much they can afford. Pre-approved is when someone has written confirmation from a lender stating they are willing to lend based on what is stated in an application and the applicant’s current credit history.

The difference?

Pre-qualifications are based solely on the knowledge and experience (sometimes even opinion) of a broker or bank rep. A pre-approval on the other hand is backed by the lender actually willing to give you the money. When someone says they are pre-qualified, that means they have taken an application with a mortgage broker or bank and in broker or bank rep’s opinion, they can afford “x” amount on a home. A pre-approval is a written letter from a lender stating based on applicants current credit history, declared income on application and current assets, we will lend “x” amount pending confirmation everything stated in the application is verifiable and the property meets all lender requirements.

As you can probably tell, one can be more reliable than the other, especially if you are working with a mortgage broker or bank rep that is inexperienced in the industry. Pre-approvals also usually come with a rate hold. What a rate hold does is guarantee you the interest rates that lender is offering today for a certain amount of time (usually 120 days), and if you put an offer on a place within that time period, they will give you that previous rate even if they went up. If rates go down, they will allow you to access the lower interest rate as well.

You must always get yourself pre-qualified before you begin looking at homes so you know what you can afford. Once you have and you are actively looking, it is very important you try and get a pre-approval before you write an offer. It will give you that extra confirmation your application is acceptable, and protect you against interest rate increases while you look.

If you require a pre-qualification, pre-approval, or want to speak with someone about your current situation, please give a Dominion Lending Centres mortgage professional a call.

– https://dominionlending.ca/news/pre-approvals-pre-qualifications/

How to improve your credit score

Credit & Debt DAZADA DIAMOND 26 Apr

How to improve your credit score

When applying for any sort of loan, one of the most important metrics a lender is going to look at is your credit score.

But what really is a credit score, who keeps track of it, and most importantly, how can you improve yours?

There are a few simple ways to keep your credit score in good shape.

First off, prioritize paying your bills on time. Missing payments on your credit cards, lines of credit and so on, can have a very negative impact on your score.

You can spend an entire lifetime building up for good credit. All it takes is one mistake to negatively impact you.”
Second, try to keep your credit cards at no more than 65% of their limit. This is the sweet spot that credit scorers are looking for.

Thirdly, you should avoid the “free credit score” services out there because they’re just looking to sell you credit, or sell your information to someone who does.

When you’re looking for credit, what they’re going to ask you is, ‘What are you looking for credit for?’ And you’re going to say, ‘Well, I’m looking to get a mortgage, or I’m looking to get a car loan.’ And then what they’re going to do is they’re going to sell your information to banks and mortgage brokers and people out there who are able to supply you with credit.

Instead, what you should do is go directly to the credit scoring companies. They’re required by law to give you your credit information directly, without affecting your score. TransUnion offers an online form, found here. Equifax has multiple types of credit reports you can order here.

You also want to try to limit the number of credit inquiries by different lenders. When you’re shopping around at different banks, the number of inquiries can add up as each bank makes an inquiry to see what they can offer you.

But as a mortgage broker, we have access to multiple lenders all at once.

You could effectively come see a mortgage broker, get one inquiry done, and that inquiry is good for 20 financial institutions, As opposed to having to go directly to every bank. If you have any questions, contact your local Dominion Lending Centres mortgage professional near you.

  • https://dominionlending.ca/news/how-to-improve-your-credit-score/

The Family Plan Program Explained

Down Payment & Buying DAZADA DIAMOND 25 Apr

The Family Plan Program Explained

Genworth Canada, one of the three mortgage default insurers in Canada, offers a program called Family Plan. It provides you with a solution which only requires a 5% down payment to take advantage of its unique solutions to family problems.

In the past, I have used this with clients who want to purchase a home for their child or children who are going to a post-secondary educational institution in another city. Why pay high rent in residence or in a run-down over-priced rental property near the college when you can purchase a property? There are a number of advantages to owning the property your child is living in.

1- you control the maintenance and upkeep for the property ensuring a safe environment for your child.
2- You are allowed to purchase a property with 2 units – this allows you to collect rent and lower the total cost for you. You should be able to write off any renovations or improvements you make to the property- check with your accountant first.
3- when your child graduates you can sell the property for a profit , helping you to recover some of the costs for your child’s education.

Elderly Parents
If you want to find a safe and comfortable place for your parents to live, buying a property such as a condominium apartment or town home may be a solution for you. Often parents are retired on fixed income and can’t get a mortgage . Now you can help.

Providing a Home for an Adult Entrepreneur
So your adult child has decided to start their own business and they want a home. The problem is that you need to show 2 years of successful business financials to prove you can afford mortgage payments. This program allows parents to provide a home for their child right now. An exit strategy can be for them to take over the mortgage payments and then get the next mortgage term in their own name a few years down the road.
As you can see, Genworth’s Family Plan is a very useful program that can help out in a number of different situations. Let’s face it families are unique and we need programs like this to provide solutions to our problems and challenges. Be sure to call your local Dominion Lending Centres mortgage professional for more information on how you can take advantage of this program.

  • https://dominionlending.ca/news/the-family-plan-program-explained/

Stop the ageist stereotype

Down Payment & Buying DAZADA DIAMOND 24 Apr

Stop the ageist stereotype

As a society, we are continually evolving in our acceptance of past stigmas. But while we are evolving, why is ageism still so prominent and accepted. And what can we do to shine a light on this issue?

Overrepresentation of an underrepresented cohort

A recent research study with Brainsights reveals that many of us don’t know how to properly address the Canadian 55+ demographic. In fact, since only 6% of the advertising workforce is 50+, this cohort is highly misinterpreted causing many people to completely miss the mark when advertising or communicating with them. But why is this important? Firstly, this demographic is continuing to grow and is now the largest demographic in Canada (with 11 million Canadians falling into this segment), secondly a Yale University research found that older people with positive perceptions of aging lived seven-and-a-half years longer than those with negative perceptions. Knowing how to properly engage with Canadians 55+ not only make us feel better about aging ourselves, it can also help us live longer.

We’ve heard you loud and clear

Brainsights, in partnership with HomeEquity Bank, analyzed the brain activity of more than 300 Canadians, with an equal split between Canadians under 55 and over 55. These individuals were then showed 117 pieces of video content, including ads targeted at Canadians 55+, news clips, movie trailers etc. Their brain waves were recorded, measuring levels of attention, emotional resonance, connection and encoding.
This research reveals four key actions we can all take to bust the age bias.

1) Old Age Stereotypes alienate Canadians 55+
The media portrays Canadians 55+ as frail and helpless. The reality is, Canadians are living longer and healthier lives than ever before, and Canadians over the age of 55 are just as lively and adventurous as someone in their 30s. We all need to start viewing this cohort as vibrant, educated and enthusiastic.
2) Don’t underestimate the power of nostalgia
Many of the communications targeted at the Canadian 55+ demographic tend to focus on what lies ahead. But research shows that nostalgia can be very powerful especially for Canadians 55+. In fact, ads tagged with nostalgia as a theme worked well overall for the 55+ segment, driving 11% greater attention, 9% greater emotional connection, and was 13% more memorable than the average. Canadians 55+ may be experiencing anxiety or stress of not knowing what lies ahead, but nostalgia can give a sense of comfort by providing certainty and familiarity.
3) Positive recollection
Canadians 55+ have an inherent desire to leave the world in a better place, and they do so through the transfer of knowledge to their children. Leaving a legacy for future generations leads to a 27% increase in attention, 42% increase in connection and 31% increase in encoding. Canadians 55+ like to feel like they made a difference in the world and specifically in the knowledge they leave behind to their children. It’s this type of content that they connect best with.
4) Digestible chunks can go a long way

Science proves that as we age, we require more cognitive resources to process information. So, while the 55+ group likes information, it needs to be presented in smaller chunks. This may require multiple conversations or giving older Canadians time to digest what they heard. Sometimes written in an email can be better than spoken on the phone, since it provides time to review and digest the message.

In summary
By measuring the brain waves of both Canadians over and under 55, we now understand how we can all improve the way we communicate. Through this research study, HomeEquity Bank has also raised awareness to emphasize the prevalence of ageism and that Canadians are not just looking to retire in silence, but rather, retirement is a time to live a vibrant and active lifestyle in the home they love!

Why this matters to us
HomeEquity Bank is a proud partner of Dominion Lending Centres. As a 100% Canadian company working for aging Canadians, HomeEquity Bank has been in business for over 30 years as advocates for the Canadian 55+ demographic. They have been working to not only help empower the 55+ demographic, but they are always at the forefront of pushing back against stereotypes of aging. They are passionate about our aging demographic and what is needed in order to live a well-deserved retirement. It is through this, that they commissioned this research with Brainsights to further understand our aging demographic.
HomeEquity Bank is a proud partner of CARP, a non-profit organization that advocates on behalf of Canadians as we age. Under this partnership, HomeEquity Bank is now officially endorsed and recommended by CARP as a trusted financial solution during your retirement years. As a special offer, CARP members can receive a cash rebate of up to $250 on a home appraisal. Contact your DLC mortgage broker to find out more about this special offer.
Contact your DLC Mortgage Broker to find out if the CHIP Reverse Mortgage solution is the right one for you.

  • https://dominionlending.ca/news/stop-the-ageist-stereotype/

Buying your first home? – These tips will save your life

Down Payment & Buying DAZADA DIAMOND 23 Apr

Buying your first home? – These tips will save your life

So you’re wanting to buy a new home? That is some very exciting news. First question, are you prepared?!
We all know big-item purchases are scary. It’s expensive, you are fully committing to this household – there is no turn backing without that pricey consequence. We totally get it.
The ultimate first-step is to do your research. You are going to want to find out the essentials before you start hunting for those pretty houses listed on Pinterest!
Let’s start here.

Credit History
• How many credit cards do you currently have under your name?
• Do you pay your bills on time?
• How many loans do you currently have?
If you own a credit card or have a loan with an established bank, you have credit history. This information is then transferred into a financial summary known as a credit report.

Credit Report
Your credit report states these vital pieces of personal information (DO NOT let other people in on your personal finances. This should be a give-in by now!)
• first and last name
• home address
• social security number (SIN)
• credit cards
• loans
• how much money you owe
• whether or not you pay your bills on time
All this ‘credit’ talk is important because it allows lenders to determine IF they will lend you money. Your lender, whoever you choose to go with, will be on your credit situation right away. The sooner you know what is on your credit, the better!
As for your credit score, it’s best to only have it checked once as having multiple credit check by different lender can cause it to change. Let us know. We’d be happy to help here.

Employment
It is important to have a steady income and also proof of employment for the last two years. Any changes to your employment have to be explicitly explained. Gathering these documents a head of time can save headaches later.

Down payment
In Canada, you need to show a 90-day history of the down payment to prove you have not borrowed the money. We will need to see any movement of that money within the 90 days so its best not to move it around. You are allowed to get a gift from family for the down payment but this money must not be repayable and we will need a letter from that gift giver explaining that!

Consult Your Wish List
It’s good to know what you want in a home if you can do it realistically. Buying a house for two? Thinking of expanding your family? You need to consider what life will look like down the road before you commit and sign that paper. Nothing would be worse than to move into a house that eventually ends up being too small because a couple of kids came into the picture or in a similar situation those grown-up kids come back home from college, university – you get the picture.
It’s also reasonable to think about factors in your dream home such as maintenance, renovations, the longevity of your stay, etc. Cover all bases, it is way better to be safe than sorry.

Finding a Broker
Who should you use to find the best mortgage for you? We think a Broker (like us), especially if you’re a first-time home buyer. There are many lenders in Canada and a broker will be able to sort through all your options.

Finding a Realtor
When it comes to a realtor, you want someone reliable. Makes sense right? A couple ways you can find out whether or not a certain realtor is legit is by doing some online research:
• Do they have a website/social media accounts? Go check it out!
• Double-check if their licence is registered and legitimate
• Look up their client feedback/disciplinary comments against them
• Check out their current listings – price range, are they a busy/relaxed business?
• Send them an e-mail with any questions! Do they have the appropriate knowledge?

Feeling better about buying that first Home? That’s exactly what we like to hear. If you have any other questions, call a Dominion Lending Centres mortgage professional today.

  • https://dominionlending.ca/news/buying-your-first-home-these-tips-will-save-your-life/

Spring is here, make sure you’re covered by flood insurance

General DAZADA DIAMOND 18 Apr

Spring is here, make sure you’re covered by flood insurance

The sun is coming out, and the snow is disappearing. You know what that means: it’s flood season.

And because flood season is upon us, it’s time to make sure you’re covered.

What you need to do is ask specific questions. When you call your insurance company, you should say ‘I want to know, do I have flood insurance, yes or no?’ And if the answer is yes, then ask ‘To what am I covered? How much am I covered?

It’s also important for you to ask for details on what is covered by your insurance plan. Things like whether acts of God or sewer backups are covered are important to know. Otherwise, you’re going to end up in a situation where a flood—knock on wood—and you’re not going to be covered.

There are also online resources that can give you an idea not just of what to do if there’s a flood, but where in your area may be prone to flooding.
You can look at provincial government websites, there’s a whole bunch of different places where you can go and get information about flood zones, and what you can do, and how to better prepare yourself and get yourself educated.
These government website often also offers advice on what to do to prepare yourself for flooding, as well as what to do once a flood has arrived.

We do more than just mortgages. We have a team that gets you from start to finish when purchasing your home—and this includes insurance. Contact a Dominion Lending Centres mortgage broker near you if you have any questions!

  • https://dominionlending.ca/news/spring-is-here-make-sure-youre-covered-by-flood-insurance/

Flat yield curve. Best news, or borrower beware?

General DAZADA DIAMOND 17 Apr

Flat yield curve. Best news, or borrower beware?

A Flat Yield Curve
In our post entitled A Flat Yield Curve, we discussed the implications of a flat yield curve. At the time of the post, early summer 2018, rates were rising. The reverse seems now to be true, with rates recently softening, however the results are similar, a flat yield curve.

Typically a yield curve (returns one could expect on Government debt instruments) is positively sloped. That is to say that longer term yields, and by extension interest rates, are higher than shorter term yields and rates.

Why is this so?
Why? In simple terms, investors tying up their funds for an extended period, take on an extra element of risk, vs. short term investors. The risk is the uncertainty facing an investor. Economic conditions, namely monetary policy, inflation, and the general state of both the global and national economy, are difficult to predict in the short term, let alone for a period of years into the future. The result is a higher yield typically available to an investor for a longer term. Hence, a positive sloping yield curve.

At times over the past decade, the gap between short and long term yields have pushed as high as four percentage points, or 400 basis points in investment speak. Earlier this week, the difference was hovering around 10 basis points. Flat as a pancake.

What are the implications?
What are the implications of a flat yield curve, or even an inverted one (where long term yields dip below short term yields)? Quite possibly nothing at all, however inverted yield curves have historically occurred right before every single North American economic recession. Do they predict recessions, or do they simply accompany recessions? The jury is still out on that.

What are the implications for borrowers? Again, it likely depends on your investment strategy. If you are a buy and hold investor, perhaps consider going long with your debt. In absolute terms, rates are low by historical measures. You will not be penalized at today’s rate levels, for seeking a longer term for your debt.

  • https://dominionlending.ca/news/flat-yield-curve-best-news-or-borrower-beware/

What’s included in a home purchase agreement

Down Payment & Buying DAZADA DIAMOND 16 Apr

What’s included in a home purchase agreement

While a home purchase agreement may seem simple and straight forward, there are many differences that you can encounter that can be a big surprise to first-time homebuyers. While you expect the date of possession and the full purchase price to be outlined in the agreement, there are items that you may not be aware should be included.

New builds vs existing homes

If you are buying a newly constructed home, there are quite a few differences between what you get in an existing home.
Legal fees – often home builders will include the legal fees in the purchase price. You should be aware that the law firm that will provide the service is the builder’s lawyer. Should a legal dispute develop, they will take the side of the builder and you will have to find your own independent legal counsel. In fact, if you can afford it, you should consider getting your own lawyer. The $1,200 savings could end up costing you more in the long run.
You should be aware that the show home that you have visited usually has numerous upgrades. I know that when I purchased my first new home I assumed that the bathroom rough-ins in the basement were standard, only to find out later that this was an upgrade. Retro fitting plumbing pipes is a costly venture.
You should also be aware that landscaping, fences and window coverings are not usually not included in the purchase price. Double check to see if the triple-pane windows on the show home are standard or an upgrade. Hardwood floors and basement development are usually an upgrade as well.

Existing homes

When you are buying an existing home, you will find that the window coverings, fences and landscaping are included in most cases. The window coverings should be included in the offer to purchase contract.
Something that may look like it’s supposed to be there but the seller may want to take with them is the hot tub and storage shed. Don’t assume that these items are included. The legal fees are never covered in an existing home sale.

Finally, from a mortgage standpoint, you should be aware that if you are purchasing an acreage or a large property with several outbuildings, your mortgage lender will cover the cost of the home plus one out building and up to three acres of land. If there’s a garage , barn and workshop usually the garage will be included in what the mortgage company will cover but not the smaller out buildings. Check with your Dominion Lending Centres mortgage professional before you make an offer on a property like this.

– https://dominionlending.ca/news/whats-included-in-a-home-purchase-agreement/

5 Reasons why Realtors want you to have a Pre-approval

Down Payment & Buying DAZADA DIAMOND 15 Apr

5 Reasons why Realtors want you to have a Pre-approval

You’ve decided that you want to buy a home and you call up a realtor to show you a listing and the first question they ask is “ How much are you pre-approved for?” Many realtors will refuse to book home viewings until they can confirm that you are pre-approved. Why?

1- It shows that you are seriously committed to a home purchase. I have been told stories by realtors of people booking a series of homes to see and then being dropped off at McDonald’s to be picked up by another realtor to see some more homes.

2.- People have an idea of how much home they can afford. Sometimes this amount is way off. Lines of credit, installment plans, alimony or child support payments or high condo fees can make the amount of house you can afford a lot less than you would expect.

3- Surprises on your credit report. Many times home buyers haven’t checked their credit report before house hunting. An unpaid bill or a dispute with a contractor may result in a lien or collection showing on your credit. There may even be something from a person with a similar name. It’s important to make sure your credit is clean and that it is yours and not someone else’s.

4 –Income issues. A lot of people run out to get a new home when they receive a promotion at work. If the promotion includes a pay hike, is it salary or are they relying on overtime? Mortgage rules demand a two-year history for commission income, overtime or self-employed income. This also can curtail how much you qualify for.

5A – Credibility of the realtor.  When a realtor makes an offer on a home for you, they are not only investing their time and the listing agent’s time but their reputation. Making offers that will not result in a firm sale hurts their reputation in the industry. Trustworthiness and reputation are very important to realtors as they are guiding you in the largest purchase you make in your lifetime.

5B- Negotiating Strength.  In a situation where there are competing offers on a property, the sellers agent will encourage the sells to take the offer that is backed by a pre-approval over another offer that does not have a pre-approval to support it. Your chances of getting your dream home are greatly increased with it.

My one recommendation is that you take the time to contact your favourite Dominion Lending Centres mortgage broker and get pre-approved. It will save everyone time and help avoid disappointment for everyone.

  • https://dominionlending.ca/news/5-reasons-why-realtors-want-you-to-have-a-pre-approval/
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