Mortgage Intelligence

Oshawa's Mortgage News Desk!


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Broker vs Banker

You want it all: the best available rate with exactly the right features you need to live comfortably with your mortgage and pay if off in record time. If you want the perfect mortgage, you need to shop around. And that’s my strength. I offer access to over 50 of Canada’s leading lenders, including major banks, credit unions, and national, regional and private lenders. I do the research for you, finding you the best mortgage across multiple lenders.

Your bank, as great as they are with your day-to-day banking, may not be the best choice for your mortgage because they represent just one available lender. Access to lender choice is one difference between getting a mortgage from a Broker vs a Bank, here are more:

  Your Mortgage Broker Your Bank
Mortgage Rates Mortgage brokerages negotiate discounted rates with lenders, and have access to rate promotions and specials. Rates are set by the Bank. If there’s a better deal in the marketplace, you’ll have to find it yourself.
Objectivity Your Mortgage Broker works for you, not any one lender. Mortgage specialists are there to build business for the Bank.
Solutions Brokers have access to mortgages for the self-employed and those with past credit issues. It is difficult to get a mortgage for certain client situations.
Cost The winning lender pays your Broker for the services and solution provided. Mortgage specialists are paid and incented by the Bank.
Ongoing Service Brokers offer ongoing advice after your mortgage closes i.e. how to pay off your mortgage faster, power down debt, finance renovations or invest in property.  There have been many regulatory changes, so it’s important to have access to a mortgage expert. No proactive ongoing advice is typically provided. You will get an annual mortgage statement.
At Renewal Your Broker will go to bat for you again to make sure you have the best deal possible. You may not be offered the best deal initially, requiring you to proactively contact the Bank to negotiate.

Getting a mortgage is a very significant financial event. That’s why you want someone who is highly specialized in the mortgage marketplace and focused solely on your needs. Get in touch with the experts at MiMortgage.ca for advice that is relevant to your situation.

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5 Surprising Facts & Money Saving Tips

There’s something about September that signals a fresh start. It’s a perfect time to get serious about saving money on your mortgage. So get out your notebook: here are five surprising mortgage facts that can save you money over the long term!

Fact #1: Your credit score matters even more
Lenders are beginning to review client files prior to renewal, which means if your credit score has slipped, you may be offered a higher rate at renewal, even if you have never missed a payment. Regardless of where you are in your mortgage term, it is very important to always pay your bills on time, use only 30% of your credit limits, and monitor your credit score regularly.

Fact #2: Refinancing is still one of the best ways to get debt under control
If you’re holding too much high-interest debt and you have enough equity, consolidating all of it into a low-interest mortgage can save you thousands in interest, lower your monthly payments, boost your cash flow, and eliminate the stress of multiple debt payments. It can also improve your credit score!

Fact #3: Interest-only mortgages are once again available for those with more than 20% equity in their homes
While not a product for everyone, this can be a great financial strategy for those who want to minimize their mortgage payments to free up cash flow for other uses like investing, business needs, post-secondary education, maternity leave or other life situations. Lump sum payments can be made when the time is right for principal paydown.

Fact #4: Variable mortgages are popular
While fixed rates are higher today than they were a year ago, many lenders are offering exceptionally low rates on their variable rate mortgages. In addition to offering the ability to save on interest, a variable mortgage can be significantly less expensive if you need to get out of your mortgage later.

Fact #5: Insured mortgages get the best rates
If your mortgage is not insured, it’s possible that you weren’t eligible for the best rates available at that time. Some uninsured mortgages can now be switched at renewal to a new lender that will offer an insurable rate, a move that could offer huge savings. Not sure if your mortgage is insured or not? We can find that out for you.

If you have any questions about your current mortgage strategy, are thinking of refinancing, or getting closer to renewal, get in touch. We’re here to help you, your family and friends understand which mortgage facts are the most important at any given time. Contact the team at MiMortgage.ca at 1.866.452.1100 to speak to an expert or apply now.


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Top five reasons to refinance

For many Canadians, their home is a terrific repository of wealth. Home equity can build nicely by chipping away at payments and through increasing home values. Accessing home equity through a refinance (min 20% home equity) has for years been an easy, low-cost way to get needed funds. Various new mortgage rules and “stress-testing” has made refinancing more complicated, but it’s a strategy that continues to make good financial sense for certain homeowners that qualify. Here are five reasons why:

  1. Fresh start. If you have too much high-interest debt, you may be able to roll everything into one manageable monthly payment on a low-interest mortgage. Then you get a financial re-set, and can potentially save thousands of dollars in interest.
  2. Dream home. If you’ve found the perfect cottage, chalet, or the retirement home of your dreams, refinancing may be the way to make that purchase happen now if you’re not quite ready to sell your primary residence.
  3. Renovate. Renovating your home is often a less expensive option than moving. And the right renovations can improve the quality of your life and increase the value of your home.
  4. Wealth building. A rental property can give you a great wealth building opportunity and a source of retirement income. Or you may want to invest in a new business venture.
  5. Large expenditures. You may be able to get the funds you need for major expenses (tuition, wedding etc.): a much better strategy than loading it all onto high-interest credit cards.

We have access to dozens of lenders, including alternative lenders that are not subject to the new rules and have less stringent qualification guidelines. If you are interested, we can provide you with a personalized analysis so you can determine whether a refinance makes sense. Contact the team at MiMortgage.ca at 1.866.452.1100 to speak to an expert now. Our job is to help you pay down debt, build wealth, create financial security, and enjoy life to the fullest!

 


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Ten great reasons to use a mortgage broker

For many Canadians, mortgage payments are their single biggest expense. Yet most don’t comparison shop to ensure they’re getting the best mortgage rate and terms available, which can cost tens of thousands of dollars over their mortgage years. Don’t make the same mistake! Here are 10 reasons why you need a mortgage broker working for you:

  1. Choice.  A wide range of lenders, including major banks, credit unions, and other national, regional and private lenders will instantly become accessible to you, ensuring that your specific needs are matched to the right mortgage.
  2. Great rates. Get money in your pocket by taking advantage of Mortgage Intelligence’s clout with lenders. Our stellar reputation and longstanding experience allows us to negotiate great rates and access limited time specials.
  3. A focused expert.  A mortgage is a very significant financial event. That’s why you want someone who is highly specialized in the mortgage marketplace and focused solely on your needs. You’ll get advice that will make a significant difference in your financial life.
  4. Independence & objectivity.  We work for you, not the lender.
  5. Solutions when you need them.  We can provide funding for bank turndowns, the self-employed, past credit problems, etc. There are mortgages for almost any situation and we know them all.
  6. Save time. Everything relating to your mortgage can be managed around your busy schedule.
  7. Service, service, service. We will be with you every step of the way, to answer all your questions, outline your best options, and efficiently guide you through the process.
  8. Ongoing support.  My services don’t stop after the mortgage closes. We will stay with you for the life of your mortgage with advice and opportunities.
  9. No cost (oac). The winning lender pays compensation for the services and solution provided, which means no fees for you in the vast majority of cases.
  10. Your satisfaction.  Our goal is to ensure that you are so completely satisfied with your mortgage experience that you will be happy to refer us to your friends, family and colleagues.

If you are looking to purchase, refinance or coming up for renewal, the experts at MiMortgage.ca can help. We will assess your circumstances and advise mortgage financing options available to you. Call us at 1.866.452.1100 to speak to expert now.

 

 

 


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What’s a monoline lender and how is it different from a bank?

We’re often asked about monoline lenders – who are they, what benefits do they offer, and how do you get access to a monoline lender anyway?

These are all good questions.  “Mono” means “one”.  So it’s a “one-line” lender that doesn’t do anything else except mortgage lending.  They won’t be asking you to do your banking with them, or try to cross-sell you investments. They do one thing: mortgage lending.  They’re an important factor in the mortgage market here in Canada because they improve consumer choice and ensure that our banks remain competitive!

How do you access a monoline lender? Our only job is to get you the perfect mortgage – a combination of rate and features that allows you to live comfortably with your mortgage and save money in the long term. To do that, we work with most of the major banks and credit unions, private lenders, and we work with several monoline lenders. There are a few reasons why a monoline lender might be the perfect option for you.

  1. Lower penalties. A monoline lender’s penalty to break a fixed-rate mortgage is typically much less than what Banks charge. If your circumstances change and you need to get out of your mortgage, this could save you thousands.
  2. Easier to transfer. A mortgage with a monoline lender is registered on title as a “standard charge” rather than a “collateral charge”. That means it can be easier and cheaper to transfer your mortgage to another lender at renewal for a better deal.
  3. Great rates. Monoline lenders do not have bricks and mortar branches so they can keep their overhead costs low and focus on competitive interest rates.

Most monoline lenders 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.  Get in touch with the experts at MiMortgage.ca  at 1.866.452.1100 for a review of all your lender options for your next mortgage.

Some of the Monoline Lenders we deal with – Merix, First National, MCAP, RMG, CMLS


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How to get a kitchen with your new mortgage

Canadians know that a smart home renovation can both increase their property value, and improve the way they live in their home. Putting a renovation on your high-interest credit card can wipe out the value you’re adding, and create months – or years – of financial stress. Good news, there is a better way. You may be able to get that new kitchen (or bathroom, backyard etc.) through your mortgage, typically your most cost-effective way to finance. Here’s how we can help:

PURCHASE Plus Improvements: Perfect for those looking at buying a fixer-upper, a Purchase Plus Improvements Mortgage covers the sale price of the home, plus the cost of any renovations that will increase the value of the property, up to $40,000. Then you can look at financing up to 95% of this future post-reno value. If you’ve found a house with “great bones” that can be renovated into the home of your dreams, then this is the mortgage that can make those dreams come true.

REFINANCE Plus Improvements: Tailor-made for those that don’t have enough equity to refinance, the Refinance Plus Improvements Mortgage allows you to finance up to 80% of the improved value of your home once the up to $40,000 in home improvement renovations are completed. Your lender will advance the total mortgage, pay off your existing mortgage, and instruct the solicitor to hold back the amount for the improvements. Once the lender is satisfied the renos are complete, the solicitor is instructed to release the funds for the renos. There are options we can discuss for carrying your expenditures until the funds are released. Should you have more than 20% equity in your current home, you may be able to simply do a conventional refinance and take out the equity you need.

It’s almost always better to protect your savings, keep large expenses off your credit card, and simply access funds through your mortgage. The team at MiMortgage.ca can even help structure a mortgage with features to help you pay your project off faster – for more savings. There are several steps required to complete these types of mortgages and our experts would be happy to review the process with you. Let’s make your dream a reality!

 


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Why Variable Rate drops are creating a surge in activity

This Spring we’re seeing lenders getting aggressive with their pricing for variable rate mortgages: a sign that lenders are fighting for market share, making it a great time to be shopping for a mortgage!

First a reminder of the difference between fixed vs variable.  Fixed rates are often well suited to first-time buyers or those who haven’t owned a home for long because they want to know with absolute certainty what their payment will be for a set number of years.  A variable mortgage has an interest rate that will move in conjunction with your lender’s Prime rate, which in turn tracks the Bank of Canada’s overnight rate, and will be expressed as “prime minus x percent.”  If the Bank of Canada raises or lowers its rate, then you’ll likely see that reflected in your mortgage payment.

Right now, lenders are shaving off those variable rate mortgage offers: creating some of the best rates we’ve seen in many months. Consider the advantages:

  1. Save big on interest. It’s true that your payments could go up if the Bank of Canada’s rate starts to move up. But it would have to go WAY up to wipe out the savings you’d get from some of the current deep “prime minus” variables being offered right now.
  2. Build a buffer. You can set up your payments at what they would be if you took the higher fixed rate, which helps you pay down your mortgage faster, and creates a financial buffer for you if rates rise later.
  3. Easier to get out. If your circumstances change and you need to get out of your mortgage – a situation that happens more frequently than people anticipate — you will appreciate the lower penalty to get out of a variable vs a fixed mortgage. You could save thousands!
  4. Lock in later. Most variables allow you to exercise an option to “lock in” a fixed rate at any time for the remaining portion of your mortgage term or longer.

We’ve even got clients breaking their existing mortgages to take advantage of this sudden crop of very low variable rates being offered right now.

However variable rates are not for everyone. But the possibility of big savings is out there right now, and it won’t last forever. Get in touch with the team at MiMortgage.ca at 1.866.452.1100 and we can review the numbers to see if it’s something you should be taking advantage of.