Mortgage Intelligence

Oshawa's Mortgage News Desk!


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After the rate hike, what’s next?

On July 12th, for the first time in seven years, the Bank of Canada increased the overnight rate by .25%, withdrawing some of the stimulus that was needed after the oil price collapse and 2008 financial crisis. Variable rate mortgages and lines of credit will see higher rates and modest payment increases. Fixed-rate mortgage – which are based on the bond market – had already been trending slightly upward, although if you have a fixed mortgage, you aren’t affected until it’s time to renew. Keep in mind that this is a very small increase, and we’re still in an ultra-low rate environment and an incredibly stable market. We’ve also seen increases before to only see them decrease again. But rates have risen, so here are answers to the questions we’re getting:

Should I jump into the market now?  Actually, our advice is always the same: buy when you are financially ready. Don’t jump the gun just because rates “may” go higher.  But by all means, if you’re thinking about buying, we can arrange a pre-approval so you’re protected from rate increases while you shop around.

Should I lock in my variable rate mortgage ASAP? That depends. Your new rate with the hike is probably still less than current 5-year fixed rates, and you’ll still likely pay less if there is another .25% increase. So why pay more money than you have to? Stick with your original strategy of focusing on payment vs. rate. But if it’s going to keep you awake at night – or the few extra dollars are hard to find in your budget – then let’s talk about your conversion options. Remember though, you should be confident you’ll stay in a 5-year fixed mortgage for the full term. Breaking a fixed mortgage can result in some tough penalties.

What if my mortgage is coming up for renewal? Don’t feel rushed or pressured by a renewal letter or call. Let’s discuss your options. We’ll review your renewal offer together and we’ll shop around to see if it’s really the best deal available. Got too much other debt? This may be the time to roll it into a new mortgage to boost cash flow and save on interest costs.

Should we talk? Yes for sure. You should have confidence in your mortgage plan and that’s why professional mortgage advice is so critical.  We have access to a wide range of lenders and know the right questions to ask to assess your situation and make sure you have the best mortgage strategy. Contact the team at MiMortgage.ca at 1 866 452-1100 to speak to an expert or apply online now!

 


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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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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.


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The Green House. Look to your mortgage for energy savings.

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Image by courtesy of fsb1879.com

If you buy an energy-efficient home or make energy-saving renovations you may be able to get a savings boost from your mortgage!  Canadian mortgage insurers have a program that helps homeowners save when they buy energy-efficient homes.

Homeowners purchasing a qualifying energy-efficient home are eligible for up to a 25 per cent mortgage insurance premium refund. If you purchase a qualifying $400,000 home with 5 per cent down, you are eligible for up to a 25 percent refund of your $15,200 in mortgage insurance premiums. That’s $3,800, a substantial savings!

Existing homeowners who make retrofits to improve energy efficiency can also apply for this refund. You’ll be required to complete an NRCan energy assessment evaluation pre and post retrofit, and you’ll need to improve your home’s energy efficiency by the required amount. Of course, your home’s energy improvements will also reduce your costs for years to come!

To find out more information about energy savings improvements and how it can benefit you, speak to an expert at MiMortgage.ca. Contact us at 1 866 452-1100 or apply online now!


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Bridge financing: what you need to know

A bridge loan is a short-term financing tool that helps you “bridge” the gap between old and new mortgages when you move from one home to another. You may be taking possession of your new home a week or two in advance of closing on your current home, either because of how your closing dates worked out, or because you want to do some renovating on your new home before you move in. Whatever the reason, bridge financing is going to be your best friend for a few weeks: making it possible to easily transition from the old to the new.

Here’s what you need to know:

  1. It’s for a specific amount, which is your home’s selling price minus your current mortgage and costs (realtor and legal fees).
  2. It’s for a short period of time e. 1 to 30 days, and your lender will want to see a firm sale agreement for your existing place, with conditions waived.
  3. Not all lenders offer bridge loans, although there are private lenders that meet this need.  Since you are working with a mortgage broker, you are in good hands: We can put together a combination of a new mortgage and bridge loan even if it’s not with the same lender.
  4. Expect to pay more. Your bridge is going to be at a higher rate than your mortgage, and will include administration fees, even when the bridge loan is with the same lender. Bridge loans from private lenders will likely have higher rates and fees, although they may offer more flexible terms.  For most homebuyers, the convenience is worth it!
  5. Plan in advance just in case. Together we’ll discuss your ability to carry two mortgages in the event that a rare worst-case scenario plays out. Your lawyer will pay out your bridge loan from the sale proceeds of your home. If for any reason the sale falls through, your lawyer will register the bridge loan as a charge on the property. And if you require a longer bridge i.e over 30 days, or for an amount over the lender’s maximum, your lender may register a charge against the property and your costs will increase

Most homebuyers say a bridge was well worth it to buy some extra time for a smooth transition. If you think you’ll need a bridge, let’s talk. Contact the team at MiMortgage.ca at 1 866 452-1100 to speak to an expert now. Our ability to offer you multiple lending options definitely works in your favour!