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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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!


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Verifying Your Income

Collecting documents that you need to verify your income is a critical component of mortgage financing. Rushing around at the last minute to collect income verification documents only adds unnecessary stress.

Here’s what you need to provide depending on your employment status:

If you are thinking of getting in to homeownership, it’s time to meet with the team at MiMortgage. We will carry-out an assessment and let you know how much financing you would qualify for, and the documents you need to provide. Contact us at 1 866 452-1100 to speak to an expert or Apply Online now!


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Downpayment Savings Strategies

Saving for a down payment requires descipline & determination, whether you’re working towards saving for a minimum downpayment like most first-time homebuyers or 20% down.

Here are a few strategies that will help you to get started with saving.

If you are at the stage of working out your downpayment strategies towards homeownership, it’s time for a meeting with the team at MiMortgage.ca. Contact us at 1 866 452-1100 or apply online now!


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Are you ready to buy a home?

There’s lots of perks for owning your own home – monthly payments you make will be towards paying off your mortgage instead of paying a landlord, build home equity, become a part of a community and you can decorate the way you want!

Here’s what you need to know, to get started..

To find out more about how much you can qualify for, get in touch with the team at MiMortgage.ca. Call us at 1 866 452-1100 to speak to an expert or apply online now!

 


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Why Mortgage Before March 17?

db14142_fb_homeowners_i14759090_miIf you’re in the market for an insured mortgage, then you might want to get that mortgage before March 17.

Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC) is raising premiums for insuring mortgages on Canadian homes for the third time in three years. Canadian homebuyers are required to have mortgage insurance if they have less than a 20 per cent downpayment. The insurance provides protection for the lender in the case of a default.

How will it hit your wallet? The increase is not too significant for those making the minimum downpayment required. A homebuyer with a $250,000 mortgage and a 5 per cent downpayment will only pay about $5 per month more in insurance premiums.  We can calculate exactly how much the increase will mean to you if you get your mortgage approval on or after March 17.

The increases are actually more substantial for larger downpayments of 15 per cent or more. Those with 20 per cent or more downpayment aren’t required to have mortgage insurance, although it’s used by lenders that securitize their mortgages. As a result, any increased cost will likely be passed on to customers through higher rates.

Premiums are also increasing for “non-traditional” insured mortgages i.e. home buyers with borrowed downpayments, a type of mortgage downpayment that could grow in popularity as homebuyers strive to gain entry in the housing market.

The premium change will come into effect on March 17. Homebuyers will be able to access the current lower rates if they have bought a home and are approved before the March 17 deadline, even if they have a later closing date.

If you are looking to buy, get in touch with the team at MiMortgage.ca today!


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The Mortgage Kit: Start with proof of your income

DB15036_concepts_57933601We’ve all heard the scout motto “Be prepared”. It’s great advice if you need a mortgage. Assembling everything your lender needs to verify your income is a critical component of mortgage success.  A last-minute scramble for documents just adds to stress. Get a Mortgage Kit folder ready and begin collecting the verification you will need for your income type:

  1. Full-time salary:  Provide a recent pay stub and a “letter of employment” on company letterhead that confirms a) your position, b) your annual salary, and c) the length of time you’ve been in your position. If you’re a fairly new employee, lenders will want to know that your probationary period is over. And they will follow up. Commissions and bonuses can be supported by your last two notices of tax assessments.
  2. Commission, contract, part-time and seasonal employment: Company letter and paystub are required. Income must be consistent and can be proven with a 2 year average of tax assessments or T4s. If the position is contract, a copy of the contract and any renewals is required.
  3. Self-employed: Assemble:  a) two years of tax assessments, b) business license or registration, or articles of incorporation, c) your T1 general tax returns for the last two years, OR the last two years of accountant-prepared financial statements (if incorporated). Lenders recognize that self-employed income is kept low, so some expenses on your statement of business activities can be added back. If income is difficult to prove, be sure to have a strong credit history and downpayment.
  4. Child support: A copy of the separation/divorce agreement and three to six months bank statements are typically required. This income should be less than 30% of total income.
  5. Disability:  A letter confirming permanent status along with a paystub.
  6. Maternity Leave: Some lenders use full employment income if the employment letter confirms a return date within one year.
  7. Pension, RRIF, Investment income: Most recent tax assessment, T4A’s for pension income. There must be sufficient funds in the investment for the income withdrawal.

If you are fully prepared, then you’re always ready to take advantage of opportunities!