Mortgage Intelligence

Oshawa's Mortgage News Desk!


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Purchase or refinance now before rules change in January

If you’re looking to buy and will have more than 20 percent down, or if you are considering refinancing, then you might want to do so before January 1, 2018. Why? On October 17, the Office of the Superintendent of Financial Institutions (OSFI) released new guidelines for residential mortgage underwriting at all federally regulated financial institutions. Starting from January 1, 2018, a new ‘stress test’ will be applied to all new conventional mortgages – and not just those mortgages that require mortgage insurance (downpayment or equity of less than 20%).

The so-called “stress test” is designed to protect homeowners should interest rates rise. Lenders will be obligated to qualify all new conventional mortgages at the greater of the Bank of Canada’s five-year benchmark rate (currently 4.89%) or the contracted rate plus 2%. So if your contract rate is 3.29%, you will be qualified at 5.29%.

Here’s what that might mean for you:

You want to buy a home with more than 20% down. Your payments will always be based on your contract rate so this new rule isn’t costing you more. However, the new rule changes how much mortgage financing you would qualify for. If that’s the case, you may need to look at a less expensive home, save up for a larger downpayment, or reduce any other debt. Or we can take a look at a variable rate mortgage that lowers your qualifying rate (if the rate plus 2% is less than the benchmark 4.89%) and has the option to convert to a fixed mortgage.

You want to refinance to pay off debt or buy an investment property. Here too, your actual mortgage payment will not be affected.  But the new rule could slow you down by making it more difficult to qualify for your refinance. You may need to wait and accumulate more equity, or look at a lower-rate variable mortgage.  If that refinance is important to securing your own financial health, get in touch with the team at MiMortgage.ca ASAP.

Your mortgage comes up for renewal next year. This more stringent qualifying requirement will not apply to mortgage renewals. If you go shopping for a better deal with a new lender, however, that will require that you re-qualify… and the new rule will kick in for you too. It still is very important that we review your options together.

What can you afford?

New mortgage qualifying for purchases with 20% down

Household Income Purchasing Power Today Purchasing Power    Jan 1, 2018
$60,000 $409,626 $334,323
$100,000 $682,710 $557,206
$150,000 $1,024.065 $835,809
$200,000 $1,365,420 $1,114,411

For illustration purposes only. Based on 25 yr amortization, 20% down purchases, 5 yr term, qualifying rate 3.29% today and 5.29% January 2018. Does not include property taxes, heat or condo fees. OAC.

Get in touch now – you have the rest of 2017 to get in under the old rules. Going forward, we’re here to work with you early in the process to make sure you are fully prepared for your purchase or refinance. We also have access to non-federally regulated lenders that do not fall under this new guideline. We’re always here to answer your questions, so feel free to contact the experts at MiMortgage.ca at 1 866 452-1100 or by email any time!

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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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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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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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Is An Error Destroying Your Credit?

Your Credit Could Be Destroyed By A Simple Error!

As an experienced Mortgage Agent I have seen many different Credit reports.  There have been many instances when clients have come to us to get pre-approved and their credit scores have come out low or lower than anticipated due to incorrect information on their files. Until these credit issues are repaired, they cannot move forward with a mortgage.

Most common errors are:

  • A collection that is not yours
  • An account that is paid but shows up as it is in arrears
  • Someone else’s information on your bureau.  credit repair

Whatever the case may be there is usually a way to fix it.

First of all you must collect all the documentation to prove that your credit is clean.

Then have your proof of identity ready to share with the Credit Bureau.

Contact the Credit Bureau with the information and give them a full explanation of the error and why you believe it should be corrected.

It may take time to make a correction on your credit bureau but it can be done.  If you are in the process of trying to obtain a mortgage and it becomes clear that there is an error on your credit bureau the team at mimortgage.ca are ready to help you clear it up and get the mortgage that you want.

The team at mimortgage.ca are able to advice and assist you with improving your credit and also offer suitable mortgage solutions if you are looking to buy or refinance your home. To get pre-approved today, apply now through our secure online website or speak to one of our agents at (866) 452-1100.


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Thinking of refinancing your home?

Four valuable tips to ensure you get the best possible deal when refinancing

refinancing your home

Picture by Globe and Mail

Considering a refinance on your mortgage is a big step and will require lots of thinking before you go ahead. Here are a few valuable tips that you should keep in mind when considering refinancing your current mortgage:

  1. Personal and employment circumstances

It is vital that you consider your employment and personal circumstances when deciding on a rate. If you feel that you are likely to be faced with changes to your circumstances in the near future, a variable rate maybe the way forward and then you can switch to a fixed rate once your situation improves.

  1. Explore payment options

All variable rate mortgages are convertible to a fixed rate without any penalties or fees to the applicant. According to the Financial Consumer Agency  of Canada, you will also have the option of capping interest rates to ensure that the rate does not go beyond the rate agreed upon and maintain what is referred to as a “hybrid” or a “combination” where the mortgage is partially financed at a fixed and a variable rate.

  1. State your terms

You can let your mortgage broker know the duration that you would like on your mortgage – from one year up to five years.  The amortization period of your mortgage will be based upon the payment amount and the frequency (weekly, bi-weekly or monthly) of your payments.

  1. Consider a flexible payment schedule

Depending on how fast you wish to complete paying off your mortgage, you have the option of choosing how frequently – weekly, bi-weekly or monthly, you would like to make payments. The sooner you reduce your principle amount will result in lower payments on interest.

Please read the full article on Globe and Mail for more information on refinancing your mortgage.

If you are considering refinancing your existing mortgage in the New Year and would like to speak to a mortgage broker on refinancing options available to you, contact the team at mimortgage.ca today. To get pre-approved today, apply now through our secure online website or speak to one of our agents at (866) 452-1100.