Mortgage Intelligence

Oshawa's Mortgage News Desk!


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Love that low loonie: is your U.S. home a piggy bank?

There’s a silver lining to the low loonie if you happen to own a home south of the border. A few years ago, a wave of Canadians took advantage of a strong loonie and low U.S. home prices – and picked up some American real estate. Those homes are as good as a piggy bank now.

Why? If you refinance your U.S. home, you can bring those U.S. dollars back to Canada at the current exchange rate. That powerful U.S. dollar is your financial friend, and we don’t know how long it will last. You could use the money to pay off any debts in Canada – or even use the proceeds to purchase another Canadian property. The goal is to get those U.S. dollars back over the border to Canada.

By the way, selling the home triggers capital gains. Refinancing does not.  Any income you generate by exchanging your dollars doesn’t count as capital gains, so you don’t pay tax when you exchange your US dollars for Canadian dollars. You also get to keep your vacation property.

Many Canadian owners of U.S. homes rent out the property when they’re not using it – giving them rental income to maintain the home and pay down the mortgage.

Most property values have rebounded well from their lows; so many owners are also taking advantage of the growth in their U.S. home equity. A U.S. bank will typically lend 60% of the appraised value of a property.

If you own a home in the U.S., let’s chat.  Contact us at 1 866 452-1100. We have an excellent relationship with a U.S. lender that is licensed in Florida and California. You may be able to give your wealth-building a boost!


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This is how to buy and renovate

Many homebuyers looking at older properties find themselves in a common predicament: they’ve found a property that suits them, but it needs some costly and immediate upgrades.  Good news. We’re got a mortgage that will keep you financially afloat!

A “Purchase Plus Improvements” mortgage adds the cost of those immediate renovations into your mortgage, so you don’t have to rack up credit card bills or sell investments to pay for the upgrades.  This mortgage will cover the sale price of the home, plus any renovations that would increase the value of the property, up to $40,000. This way you can spread your payments over the life of the mortgage and have a cost-effective way to get into your dream home. You can then use your pre-payment privileges to pay the renovation off faster.

Here is an overview of the process:

  1. Obtain cost estimates for the upgrades.
  2. An appraisal with two separate values will be required: first the value of the property “as is” and the estimated value of the property once the improvements are completed.
  3. Your lender will add the estimated costs of the renovation into your mortgage.  The committed amount of the mortgage will be advanced to your solicitor, who will be instructed to hold back the renovation funds until the work has been completed and inspected.
  4. Complete your upgrades; funds are released upon completion.
  5. There are options we can discuss for carrying your expenditures until the funds can be released.

 So if you find a home with “great bones” that can be renovated into the home of your dreams, get in touch with the experts at MiMortgage.ca early. We’re here to make sure your homebuying journey has a happy ending.


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Mortgage choice – monoline lenders

Finding a perfect mortgage that fits your life is like finding the perfect home. It’s an important decision that requires a lot of shopping around. That’s where we come in. With access to over 50 of Canada’s leading lenders, we are a one stop shop. We work with major banks, credit unions, and national, regional and private lenders. One specific lender type that we work with is called a “monoline” lender, which focuses just on mortgages and doesn’t take deposits. They don’t have other products to cross-sell, which differentiates them from a bank or credit union.  They are an important part of the mortgage market because their mortgage products and low pricing improve consumer choice and ensure that our banks remain competitive. Most monoline mortgages are only available through mortgage brokers, which is one of the reasons so many Canadians are turning to mortgage brokers for their purchases, refinances and renewals.


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The Mortgage Broker Advantage

Increasingly, Canadians are turning to mortgage brokers for their first and next mortgage, taking advantage of the value and convenience of their services. One of their most compelling reasons to work with a mortgage broker is that they have access to a wide range of lending sources, making it significantly easier to match borrowers with the mortgage product that best suits them. When you’re dealing directly with one financial institution, you just don’t know if you’re getting the best deal because they’ve only got their own menu of products to offer you.

If you are dealing with one of the largest mortgage brokers in the country, you’ll also enjoy considerable bargaining power. A large brokerage has clout with lenders to negotiate volume discounts that lead to lower rates and greater product choice than other companies. And, brokers are generally paid by the lender rather than the borrower, making it a logical choice to always consult with a mortgage broker.  They’re shopping the market for the best rates, doing all the work, and there’s no cost to you.

But a mortgage broker’s role extends beyond securing financing – to arranging the home appraisal and lawyer or notary, reviewing the purchase contract and statement of adjustments, securing mortgage life insurance, and keeping tabs on the entire closing process. And that’s just during the mortgage transaction. The broker then stays in touch, keeping clients apprised of new mortgage offers and rate fluctuations, and advising when to lock in a variable-rate mortgage.

Ultimately, the role of your mortgage broker is that of a trusted advisor and it’s a relationship that can last a lifetime. Many mortgage brokerage clients have been referred by word of mouth, and many are even second- and third generation client families.

Whether you’re taking on your first mortgage or a long-time homeowner looking to refinance, consolidate debt or leverage your equity to acquire a new property, a mortgage broker is a wealth of information. They can advise about down payment requirements, mitigating credit history issues, mortgage payment and prepayment options, interest-saving strategies, purchasing vacation, investment and commercial properties, qualifying with supplemental rental income, and mortgage options for new immigrants.

When you get a mortgage, most likely the biggest financial commitment you’ll make in a lifetime, it’s critical that the person you’re dealing with is knowledgeable, able to answer your questions, and has access to a full range of lenders so you get the best mortgage for your needs. Contact the experts at MiMortgage.ca at 1 866 452-1100 or apply online now!

 


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Love It and Renovate!

Looking to do renovations to your home this summer? Speak to an expert at MiMortgage.ca about a refinancing options that’s best suited for you. Contact the team at MiMortgage.ca at 1 866 452-1100 to speak to an expert or apply online now!


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Home Appraisals 101

When you get a new mortgage, an appraisal of the subject property is often required by your lender.  An appraisal is an unbiased determination by an accredited appraiser of the estimate of the current fair market value of the property. The appraiser provides the lender with a written opinion of the property’s value, and is client-paid for most refinances, switches, conventional mortgages and only in exceptional situations, high-ratio mortgages.  It’s required for refinances because you can only refinance up to 80% of your home’s appraised value, and for some purchases and switches because the property becomes the lender’s security.  Keep in mind that when a realtor gives you an evaluation of a property’s value, that should not be considered an appraisal for financing purposes.  And given the hot housing market in some parts of Canada that are seeing bidding wars, some buyers are paying well over asking and the appraiser may determine that the property has a lower value, which could affect the buyer’s financing.

As always, please get in touch with the team at MiMortgage.ca at 1 866 452-1100, at any time if you have any questions.