9 Reasons People Break Their Mortgage

Mortgage Tips Peter Carstensen 25 May

Did you know, approximately 60 percent of people break their mortgage before their mortgage term matures? While this is not necessarily avoidable, most homeowners are blissfully unaware of the penalties that can be incurred when you break your mortgage contract – and sometimes, these penalties can be painfully expensive.

Below are some of the most common reasons that individuals break their mortgage. Being aware of these might help you avoid them (and those troublesome penalties), or at least help you plan ahead!

Sale and Purchase of a New Home
If you already know that you will be looking at moving within the next 5 years, it is important to consider a portable mortgage. Not all mortgages are portable, so if this is a possibility in your near future, it is best to seek out a mortgage product that allows this. However, be aware that some lenders may purposefully provide lower interest rates on non-portable mortgages but don’t be fooled. Knowing your future plans will help you avoid expensive penalties from having to move your mortgage.

Important Note: Whenever a mortgage is ported, the borrower will need to re-qualify under current rules to ensure you can afford the “ported” mortgage based on your income and the necessary qualifications.

To Utilize Equity
Another reason to break your mortgage is to obtain the valuable equity you have built up over the years. In some areas, such as Toronto and Vancouver, homeowners have seen a huge increase in their home values. Taking out equity can help individuals with paying off debt, expand their investment portfolio, buy a second home, help out elderly parents or send their kids to college.

This is best done when your mortgage is at the end of its term, but if you cannot wait, be sure you are aware of the penalties associated with your mortgage contract.

To Pay Off Debt
Life happens and so can debt. If you have accumulated multiple credit cards and other debt (car loan, personal loan, etc.), rolling these into your mortgage can help you pay them off over a longer period of time at a much lower interest rate than credit cards. In addition, it is much easier to manage a single monthly payment than half a dozen! When you are no longer paying the high interest rates on credit cards, it can provide the opportunity to get your finances in order.

Again, be aware that if you do this during your mortgage term, the penalties could be steep and you won’t end up further ahead. It is best to plan to consolidate debt and organize your finances when your mortgage term is up and you are able to renew and renegotiate.

Cohabitation, Marriage and/or Children
As we grow up, our life changes. Perhaps you have a partner you have been with a long time, and now you’ve decided to move in together. If you both own a home and cannot afford to keep two, or if neither has a rental clause, then you will need to sell one of the homes which could break the mortgage.

Divorce or Separation
A large number of Canadian marriages are expected to end in divorce. Unfortunately, when couples separate it can mean breaking the mortgage to divide the equity in the home. In cases where one partner wants to buy the other out, they will need to refinance the home. Both of these break the mortgage, so be aware of the penalties which should be paid out of any sale profit before the funds are split.

Major Life Events
There are some cases where things happen unexpectedly and out of our control, including: illness, unemployment, death of a partner or someone on the title. These circumstances may result in the home having to be refinanced, or even sold, which could come with penalties for breaking the mortgage.

Removing Someone From Title
Did you know that roughly 20% of parents help their children purchase a home? Often in these situations, the parents remain on the title. Once their son or daughter is financially stable, secure and can qualify on their own, then it is time to remove the parents from the title.

Some lenders will allow parents to be removed from title with an administration and legal fees. However, other lenders may say that changing the people on Title equates to breaking your mortgage resulting in penalties. If you are buying a home for your child and will be on the deed, it is a good idea to see what the mortgage terms state about removing someone from title to help avoid future costs.

To Get a Lower Interest Rate
Another reason for breaking your mortgage could be to obtain a lower interest rate. Perhaps interest rates have plummeted since you bought your home and you want to be able to put more down on the principle, versus paying high interest rates. The first step before proceeding in this case is to work with your DLC mortgage broker to crunch the numbers to see if it’s worthwhile to break your mortgage for the lower interest rate – especially if you might incur penalties along the way.

Pay Off The Mortgage
Wahoo!!! You’ve won the lottery, got an inheritance, scored the world’s best job or had some other windfall of cash leaving you with the ability to pay off your mortgage early. While it may be tempting to use a windfall for an expensive trip, paying off your mortgage today will save you THOUSANDS in the long run – enough for 10 vacations! With a good mortgage, you should be able to pay it off in 5 years, thereby avoiding penalties but it is always good to confirm.

Some of these reasons are avoidable, others are not. Unfortunately, life happens. That’s why it is best to seek the advice of an expert. Dominion Lending Centres have mortgage professionals across Canada wanting to be part of your journey and help you get the best mortgage for YOU.

https://dominionlending.ca/mortgage-tips/9-reasons-people-break-their-mortgage

Thinking about buying a second property? Here’s Three Ways to Finance It

General Peter Carstensen 3 May


Ways to finance a second property

Often the best option is to refinance your current mortgage.

Mortgage refinancing means getting a reevaluation of your home and then redoing your mortgage based on the current value. This will allow you to tap into the equity your home has built over the years, and pull out the extra funds for a down payment on your secondary property. When using some of your current equity, keep in mind, that it will increase the principal amount and the interest payments on your mortgage as the mortgage is refinanced at a higher amount.

There is a second option to unlock your home equity, which is through a line of credit or a HELOC, which stands for “Home Equity Line of Credit”. This option allows you to borrow money using the equity in your property, with the property as collateral.

A HELOC serves as a revolving line of credit to allow the borrower to access funds, as needed, letting you utilize as much (or as little) equity as required. HELOC payments are unique as they are interest only payments versus regular mortgages, which have both Principal Interest and Tax added on. Another benefit to utilizing a HELOC is that you will only pay interest on the amount you actually use! This can provide financial breathing room, especially during tight months. That said, if you do choose to pay the interest as well as a portion towards the principle, it can help you pay off the loan much faster.

You can utilize a HELOC by tying it to your existing mortgage or applying for it separately.

In Canada, you are able to borrow up to 65% of your home’s value using this method. However, keep in mind, your HELOC balance AND current outstanding mortgage cannot exceed 80% of your home’s value when added together.

Co-ownership? It’s on the rise

Co-ownership is rising in popularity as budgets are stretched thin across the country. Co-buyers can include siblings, parents with children, unmarried partners, friends, and more.

Given rising home prices, some would-be home buyers have to get creative to make their homeownership dreams a reality. And co-ownership is becoming a viable option for many. However, there are a few things to consider:

1) Understand the process – you’ll want to know all parties involved in the purchasing process (lawyers, realtors, mortgage professionals who specialize in co-ownership scenarios), as well as the costs that will be incurred (such as legal and realtor fees). Know the existing rules and regulations of your province surrounding co-ownership. For example, Ontario and BC offer comprehensive guides on property co-ownership.

2) Establish trust and define the property’s purchase – Will the property be for long-term investment or rental, principal resident or a short-term investment or rental.

3) Iron out the details such as – how will legal, real estate and other costs be divided? What Happens if one party dies or decides to sell early?

Intent to Rent

If you are purchasing a secondary property – whether a vacation home or investment property – there are a few differences if the intention is to rent. Before you look at purchasing a rental property, there are a few things to consider:

1)The minimum down payment required is 20% of the purchase price, and the funds must come from your own savings; you cannot use a gift from someone else.

2)Only a portion of the rental income can be used to qualify for and to determine how much of a mortgage you can afford to borrow. Some lenders will only allow you to use 50% of the income added to yours, while other lenders may allow up to 80% of the rental income while subtracting your expenses. This can have a much higher impact on how much you can afford.

3)Interest rates will usually have an added premium on them when the mortgage is for a rental property versus a mortgage for a home someone intends on living in. The premium can be anywhere from 0.10% to 0.20% on a regular 5-year fixed rate.

Rental income from the property can be used to debt service the mortgage application, but do bear in mind that some lenders will have a minimum liquid net worth requirement outside of the property.

Along with the added monthly cash flow, rental properties have the added benefit of being able to write off interest on ANY money used for the rental, even if it is pulled from your primary home’s equity. Also, if you do eventually want to sell this property, do note that it will be subject to capital gains tax. Your accountant will be able to help you determine potential write-offs and required tax payments if you do decide to sell in the future.

Before you jump into the purchase of secondary property, consult with a Dominion Lending Centres mortgage professional. They can help review your financial situation, current mortgage and equity, and help you make a plan. The keys to success are right around the corner with a little bit of expert advice!

Understanding Your Mortgage Rate

General Peter Carstensen 30 Mar

When it comes to mortgages, one of the most important influencers is interest rate but do you know how this rate is determined? It might surprise you to find out that there are 10 major factors that affect the interest you will pay on your home loan!

Knowing these factors will not only prepare you for the mortgage process, but will also help you to better understand the mortgage rates available to you.

Credit Score

Not surprisingly, your credit score is one of the most influential factors when it comes to your interest rate. In fact, your credit score determines if you are able to qualify for financing at all – as well as how much. In order to qualify, a minimum credit score of 680 is required for at least one borrower. Having higher credit will further showcase that you are a reliable borrower and may lead to better rates.

Loan-to-Value (LTV) Ratio

This ratio refers to the value of the amount being borrowed as a percentage of the overall home value. The main factors that impact LTV ratios include the sales price, appraised value of the property and the amount of the down payment. Putting down more on a home, especially one with a lower purchase price, will result in a lower LTV and be more appealing to lenders. As an example, if you were to buy a home appraised at $500,000 and are able to make a down payment of $100,000 (20%), then you would be borrowing $400,000. For this transaction, the LTV is 80%.

Insured vs. Uninsured

Depending on how much you are able to save for a down payment, you will either have an insured or uninsured mortgage. Typically, if you put less than 20% down, you will require insurance on the property. Depending on the insurer, this can affect your borrowing power as well as the interest rates.

Fixed vs. Variable Rate

The type of rate you are looking for will also affect how much interest you will pay. While there are benefits to both fixed and variable mortgages, it is more important to understand how they affect interest rates. Fixed rates are based on the bond market, which depends on the amount that global investors demand to be paid for long-term lending. Variable rates, on the other hand, are based on the Bank of Canada’s overnight lending rate. This ties variable rates directly to the economic state at-home, versus fixed which are influenced on a global scale.

Location

Location, location, location! This is not just true for where you want to LIVE, but it also can affect how much interest you will pay. Homes located in provinces with more competitive housing markets will typically see lower interest rates, simply due to supply and demand. On the other hand, with less movement and competition will most likely have higher rates.

Rate Hold

A rate hold is a guarantee offered by a lender to ‘hold’ the interest rate you were offered for up to 120 days (depending on the lender). The purpose of a rate hold is to protect you from any rate increases while you are house-hunting. It also gives you the opportunity to take advantage of any decreases to your benefit. This means that, if you were pre-approved for your mortgage and worked with a mortgage broker to obtain a ‘rate hold’, you may receive a different interest rate than someone just entering the market.

Refinancing

The act of refinancing your mortgage basically means that you are restructuring your current mortgage (typically when the term is up). Whether you are changing from fixed to variable, refinancing to consolidate debt, or just seeking access to built up equity, any change to your mortgage can affect the interest rate you are offered. In most cases, new buyers will be offered lower rates than refinancing, but refinancing clients will receive better rates than mortgage transfers. Regardless of why you are refinancing, it is always best to discuss your options with a mortgage broker to ensure you are making the best choice for your unique situation.

Home Type

Among other things, lenders assess the risk associated with your home type. Some properties are viewed as higher risk than others. If the subject property is considered higher risk, the lender may require higher rates.


Secondary Property (Income Property/Vacation Home)

Any secondary properties or those bought for the purpose of being an income property or vacation home, will be assessed as such. The lender may deem these as high risk investments, and you may be required to pay higher interest rates than you would on a principal residence. This is another area where a mortgage broker can help. Since they have access to a variety of lenders and various rates, they can help you find the best option.

Income Level

The final factor is income level. While this does not have a direct affect on the interest rate you are able to obtain, it does dictate your purchasing power as well as how much you are able to put down on a home.

It is important to understand that obtaining financing for a mortgage is a complex process that looks at many factors to ensure the lender is not putting themselves at risk of default. To ensure that you – the borrower – is getting the best mortgage product for your needs, don’t hesitate to reach out to a DLC Mortgage Broker today! Mortgage brokers are licensed professionals that live and breathe mortgages, and who have access to a variety of lenders to ensure you are getting the best rates. Mortgage brokers can also assess your unique situation and find the right mortgage for you. Their goal is to see you successfully find and afford the home of your dreams and set you up for future success!

https://dominionlending.ca/mortgage-tips/understanding-your-mortgage-rate

Renting Vs. Buying: What You Need to Know!

General Peter Carstensen 4 Feb

When it comes to the Canadian housing market, there are lots of options for where to live! From renting an apartment to owning a single-family home, it all comes down to where you see yourself living and what you can afford! The beauty is, there is no right or wrong answer when it comes to renting versus buying but let’s break down the pros and cons of both and hopefully help you to decide which is best for you!

Why do people rent?
One of the most common answers to this question is affordability. Most people rent because they believe it is cheaper than owning a home. This can be true in some cases, but there are also times when monthly rent costs are higher than monthly mortgage payments. Of course, there are also cases where rent is far more affordable than buying, especially when you factor in the cost of a down payment and maintenance on a home you own, rather than one you rent. Affordability is fairly dependent on an individual’s situation, but it is not the only decision factor for choosing to rent.

Another reason individuals may choose to rent is that they simply aren’t sure where they want to live, or maybe they cannot find a place that fits their needs. If you are new to an area, you may want to rent in the meantime so you can get to know the neighbourhoods and determine which area is the right fit for you. In some cases, you simply may be unable to find a home that is affordable to buy in the area you want or within a reasonable commute from your work.

For individuals who travel a lot for work or like to be free-floating, renting can be the perfect option but if you simply believe buying a home to be out of the question, it is time to take a hard look at your options because it may not be so far fetched!

Pros and cons of renting:
To help you decide if renting is right for you, we have put together a little list of pros versus cons to help you see if it is the right fit.

Pros of Renting

-Less maintenance
-Fewer repairs
-Lower upfront costs
-Short-term commitment for people unsure of where they want to plant roots
-Protection from potential decrease in property values

Cons of Renting
-Monthly payments may increase
-potential for being evicted/lease renewal not being approved
-paying to someone else’s mortgage instead of building your own equity
-requiring permission to paint or remodel

Why do people buy?

According to the most recent data, Canada boasts an overall homeownership rate of 67.8%. Even for those Canadians aged 35 and under, more than 40% of households own their own homes. This is quite an impressive statistic! So, let’s look at why people choose to buy.

One of the main reasons that people choose to buy a home is to have the stability and peace of mind of owning the place you live. This means you are not at risk of being put in a situation where the landlord wants to move their parents into the basement suite and you have to leave or having to deal with increased costs if you go to renew a lease agreement.

For others, the benefit to buying comes in building up equity and ensuring that nest egg for your future. When you choose to rent, you are paying into someone else’s mortgage and into their future but when you work towards buying your own home, suddenly all that money you invested is going to your future instead. This is an extremely important aspect to consider in today’s age when many are having trouble with the idea of saving for retirement.

Now I get it, you may be thinking “if I can’t afford to retire, how can I afford to buy a house” but if you can afford to pay the high cost of rent in today’s market, then home ownership isn’t as far out of reach as you think. This is especially true if you buy a two-story home and rent out the basement, giving you ample living space upstairs but also additional income to pay your mortgage.

Pros and cons of buying:
To further show the benefits and costs to buying, we have broken down some pros and cons to help you to determine if this is the right path for you.

Pros of Buying
-freedom to renovate or modify your home as you wish
-you are building up equity in a safe, secure investment as you pay down your mortgage
-potential for additional income if you have a rental suite
-Stability and peace of mind from being in control of your investment and owing the place where you live

Cons of Buying
-the risk of losing your home value when you sell
-responsibility for all ongoing costs, including mortgage principal and interest, property taxes, insurance and maintenance
-monthly payments can increase if interest rates go up at renewal time
-possibility of unexpected and potentially costly repairs

To Rent or Buy, that is the question!
To rent or buy, that is the question!
Did you know? 4 in 10 households spend more than 30 per cent of their pre-tax income on rent, which is above the commonly accepted affordability threshold.

The latest National Bank report revealed that monthly mortgage costs for median-priced condos was higher than the average monthly rent for a similar unit in Toronto, Montreal, Vancouver, Victoria and Hamilton. At the same time, monthly mortgage payments were lower than rents in Calgary, Edmonton, Quebec City, Winnipeg and Ottawa. While this data does not include suburbs, it shows a staggering difference between mortgage payments and rent payments.

If someone can rent for $900 a month or pay a mortgage of $1200 a month, it may seem like a no brainer but it is important to remember that paying rent does not build equity! However, if you are unsure of where you want to live or cannot find a suitable and affordable home with a close enough commute to work, renting may be your only option. This is where checking listings and discussing with a real estate agent may open doors and where a mortgage broker can come in handy to help you determine if purchasing a home is viable in your near future.

Yes, you can buy!

The reality is that in the long run, homeowners often fare financially better than renters because homeownership enables forced savings that accumulate over the years, growing into a sizeable nest egg.

If you are unhappy renting or really prefer the idea of owning your own home, you CAN. It is time to stop assuming you cannot make the leap from renting to buying – all you need is the right information and the right preparation!

To determine if you are able to purchase a home, a good place to start is the My Mortgage Toolbox app from Dominion Lending Centers. This app is perfect for seeing what you can afford. Using the app to calculate minimum down payments and monthly mortgage costs can help you to get a good picture of the financial landscape and your options. Looking at your budget and evaluating your current rent costs and other monthly expenses can also help you to determine your affordability bracket.

Some other things to consider before buying include:

-your credit score – do you have good financial standing to be approved for a mortgage?
-your savings – do you have any money put away for a downpayment? If not, do you have wiggle room in your budget to start saving?
-Your time – do you have the resources to maintain a home from the yard to any necessary repairs?

If buying a home to live in is out of the question due to the availability in your area or cost of homes close to work, another option is to consider an investment opportunity. Maybe you cannot afford to buy in the area you want so you rent in order to keep your commute short and be in a neighbourhood you love. However, you can still reap the equity benefits by investing in a vacation or rental property which would give you the necessary nest egg and help you feel more secure about your future financial situation. You could keep the investment property as long as you want! If you end up finding the perfect home in your area down the line, you could always sell your investment property and take the earnings for a down payment on the right home – or keep it as an extra security blanket!

Regardless of whether you choose to continue renting or make the leap to owning your own home, the most important factor is your financial security. What works for your friend or your parents may not work for you – and that is okay! However, educating yourself and looking into all the options will ensure that, at the end of the day, you are in the best situation for yourself.

Let’s Get House Hunting

General Peter Carstensen 30 Nov

Have you ever checked out an open house in the neighborhood, which you had no intention of buying? Or checking out listings online for your dream home? Of course you have! We’ve all looked at houses for fun, even just to examine the possibilities! In reality though, it can actually be quite stressful when you start legitimately house hunting for a place for yourself.

To help minimize the stress, it is important to get past the excitement and narrow down what it is you really need in a home. One way to do this is to consider the long-term; what will you need in a house five or ten years down the road?

Some things to consider when you’re finally ready to pursue a new home, should include:

What type of home you are looking for (single-family dwelling, condo, townhouse). This can be determined by your budget, as well as your needs.
The size of property. Be honest about how much maintenance you’re willing to do.
The location and neighbourhood. Is your commute reasonable? Is the neighbourhood safe? Is it the right level of bustling or peaceful that you’re looking for?
Any special features you might need, such as accessibility upgrades.

Another point of consideration if you are looking for a condo or apartment, is the view. It is important to remember that it is not protected; there is nothing to stop another building from going up and obstructing this. It is not a bad idea to ask your realtor if they know about any current or future developments in the area, or even check out future plans at your local city hall. You’ll also want to make sure you examine all the financial and technical minutes for the condominium corporation to avoid and issues or special assessments in the future.

In a hot housing market, there is a temptation to act quickly and make an offer after one visit. But if you can, take a second look a few days later before making any offer. You would be surprised how much detail you miss in the first showing! You may be living in this home for decades, so an extra 30 minutes to take a second look won’t hurt.

If you do find a home that you really love, we have put together a house hunting checklist to help you evaluate the home! This list includes a few of the major items that you should consider when looking for your dream home and is designed to help you determine what areas may require attention, and whether or not it really fits your needs! Want another copy? Ask your Dominion Lending Centres Mortgage Professional to send you a print ready version for your next showing or open house!

For more information: Dominion Lending Centres

5 Mistakes First Time Home Buyers Make

General Peter Carstensen 20 Feb

Buying a home might just be the biggest purchase of your life—it’s important to do your homework before jumping in! We have outlined the 5 mistakes First Time Home Buyers commonly make, and how you can avoid them and look like a Home Buying Champ.

1. Shopping Outside Your Budget
It’s always an excellent idea to get pre-approved prior to starting your house hunting. This can give you a clear idea of exactly what your finances are and what you can comfortably afford. Your Mortgage Broker will give you the maximum amount that you can spend on a house but that does not mean that you should spend that full amount. There are additional costs that you need to consider (Property Transfer Tax, Strata Fees, Legal Fees, Moving Costs) and leave room for in your budget. Stretching yourself too thin can lead to you being “House Rich and Cash Poor” something you will want to avoid. Instead, buying a home within your home-buying limit will allow you to be ready for any potential curve balls and to keep your savings on track.

2. Forgetting to Budget for Closing Costs
Most first-time buyers know about the down payment, but fail to realize that there are a number of costs associated with closing on a home. These can be substantial and should not be overlooked. They include:

  • Legal and Notary Fees
  • Property Transfer Tax (though, as a First Time Home Buyer, you might be exempt from this cost).
  • Home Inspection fees

There can also be other costs included depending on the type of mortgage and lender you work with (ex. Insurance premiums, broker/lender fees). Check with your broker and get an estimate of what the cost will be once you have your pre-approval completed.

3. Buying a Home on Looks Alone
It can be easy to fall in love with a home the minute you walk into it. Updated kitchen + bathrooms, beautifully redone flooring, new appliances…what’s not to like? But before putting in an offer on the home, be sure to look past the cosmetic upgrades. Ask questions such as:

  1. When was the roof last done?
  2. How old is the furnace?
  3. How old is the water heater?
  4. How old is the house itself? And what upgrades have been done to electrical, plumbing, etc.
  5. When were the windows last updated?

All of these things are necessary pieces to a home and are quite expensive to finance, especially as a first- time buyer. Look for a home that has solid, good bones. Cosmetic upgrades can be made later and are far less of a headache than these bigger upgrades.

4. Skipping the Home Inspection
In a red-hot housing market a new trend is for homebuyers to skip the home inspection. This is one thing we recommend you do not skip! A home inspection can turn up so many unforeseen problems such as water damage, foundational cracks and other potential problems that would be expensive to have to repair down the road. The inspection report will provide you a handy checklist of all the things you should do to make sure your home is in great shape.

5. Not Using a Broker
We compare prices for everything: Cars, TV’s, Clothing… even groceries. So, it makes sense to shop around for your mortgage too! If you are relying solely on your bank to provide you with the best rate you may be missing out on great opportunities that a Dominion Lending Centres mortgage broker can offer you. They can work with you to and multiple lenders to find the sharpest rate and the best product for your lifestyle.

GEOFF LEE

Dominion Lending Centres - Accredited Mortgage Professional
Geoff is part of DLC GLM Mortgage Group based in Vancouver, BC.

How to Verify Your Down Payment When Buying a Home

General Peter Carstensen 4 Feb

Saving for a down payment is one of the biggest challenges facing people wanting to buy their first home.
To fulfill the conditions of your mortgage approval, it’s all about what you can prove (hard to believe – but some people have lied in the past – horrors!).
Documentation of down payment is required by all lenders to protect against fraud and to prove that you are not borrowing your down payment, which changes your lending ratios and potential your mortgage approval.

DOCUMENTATION REQUIRED BY THE LENDER TO VERIFY YOUR DOWN PAYMENT

This is a government anti-money laundering requirement and protects the lender against fraud.

1. Personal Savings/Investments: Your lender needs to see a minimum of 3 months’ history of where the money for your down payment is coming from including your: savings, Tax Free Savings Account (TFSA) or investment money.

  • Regularly deposit all your cash in the bank, don’t squirrel your money away at home. Lenders don’t like to hear that you’ve just deposited $10,000 cash that has been sitting under your mattress. Your bank statements will need to clearly show your name and your account number.
  • Any large deposits outside of “normal” will need to be explained (i.e. tax return, bonus from work, sale of a large ticket item). If you have transferred money from once account to another you will need to show a record of the money leaving one account and arriving in the other. Lenders want to see a paper trail of where your down payment is coming from and how it got into your account.

2. Gifted Down Payment: In some expensive real estate markets like Metro Vancouver & Toronto, the bank of Mom & Dad help 20% of first time home buyers. You can use these gifted funds for your down payment if you have a signed gift letter from your family member that states the down payment is a true gift and no repayment is required.

  • Gifted down payments are only acceptable from immediate family members: parents, grandparents & siblings.
  • Be prepared to show the gifted funds have been deposited in your account 15 days prior to closing. The lender may want to see a transaction record. i.e. $30,000 from Bank of Mom & Dad’s account transferred to yours and a record of the $30,000 landing in your account. Bank documents will need to show the account number and names for the giver and receiver of the funds. Contact me for a sample gift letter.

3. Using your RRSP: If you’re a First Time Home Buyer, you may qualify to use up to $35,000 from your Registered Retirement Savings Plan (RRSP) for your down payment.

  • Home Buyers Plan (HBP): Qualifying home buyers can withdraw up to $35,000 from their RRSPs to assist with the purchase of a home. The funds are not required to be used only for the down payment, but for other purposes to assist in the purchase of a home.
  • If you buy a qualifying home together with your spouse or other individuals, each of you can withdraw up to $35,000.
  • You must repay all withdrawals to your RRSP’s 15 years. Generally, you will have to repay an amount to your RRSP each year until you have repaid the entire amount you withdrew. If you do not repay the amount due for a year (i.e. $35,000/15 years = $2,333.33 per year), it will be added to your income for that year.
  • Verifying your down payment from your RRSP, you will need to prove the funds show a 3-month RRSP history via your account statements which need to include your name and account number. Funds must be sitting in your account for 90 days to use them for HBP.

4. Proceeds from Selling Your Existing Home: If your down payment is coming from the proceeds of selling your currently home, then you will need to show your lender an accepted offer of Purchase and Sale (with all subjects removed) between you and the buyer of your current home.

  • If you have an existing mortgage on your current home, you will need to provide an up-to-date mortgage statement.

5. Money from Outside Canada: Using funds from outside of Canada is acceptable, but you need to have the money on deposit in a Canadian financial institution at least 30 days before your closing date.  Most lenders will also want to see that you have enough funds to cover Property Transfer Tax (in BC) PLUS 1.5% of the purchase price available in your account to cover your closing costs (i.e. legal, appraisal, home inspection, taxes, etc.).

  • Property Transfer Tax (PTT) All buyers pay Property Transfer Tax (except first-time buyers purchasing under $500,000 and New Builds under $750,000). This is a cash expense, in addition to your down payment.
    Property Transfer Tax (PTT) cannot be financed into the mortgage

Buying a home for the first time can be stressful, therefore being prepared with the right documentation for your down payment and closing costs can make the process much easier.
Mortgages are complicated, but they don’t have to be. Contact a Dominion Lending Centres mortgage professional near you.

KELLY HUDSON

Dominion Lending Centres - Accredited Mortgage Professional
Kelly is part of DLC Canadian Mortgage Experts based in Richmond, BC.

What Makes Up a Mortgage Payment

General Peter Carstensen 22 Nov

Principal and interest are the two components that make up a mortgage payment. Principal is the portion of your payment that goes towards paying down the outstanding balance of your mortgage. Interest is the other portion of your payment which goes directly into the pockets of your lender and does not contribute to paying down your mortgage balance.

What some people may not realize is that a compounding interest rate (what the majority of all mortgages are) is weighted differently depending on how many years you have left on your mortgage.

If a young couple were to purchase their very first home, lets say $500,000 for example, and they had a $100,000 down payment, their mortgage would be $400,000. If they had today’s interest rates, their mortgage would be around 3%, compounded semi-annually, over 25 years with their interest rate re-negotiable every 5-years if they keep the same term. Assuming they were able to get 3% for the entire 25-years, their monthly payments would be $1,892.98 a month for the life of their mortgage.

Their first payment however is not $1,892.98, with 97% of it going to paying down the $400,000 balance and 3% going towards interest. The very first payment would actually be broken down as $993.81 of interest and $899.17 going towards paying down the principal balance of $400,000.

Now, it wont stay like this forever, the very last payment before the first 5-year term is up would be broken down as $854.62 going towards interest and $1,038.36 of the $1,892.98 going towards paying down the principal. It wouldn’t be until year 10 where the interest portion dips below $500.

If you can, any pre-payments you make each month will directly pay down the principal balance outstanding. This will also in turn, allow for less interest to be charged as interest is always calculated based on the current balance outstanding. In the later years, it may not be as advantageous, but in the first 5-10 years, it can be extremely beneficial.

If you want to see the break down of principal and interest portions inside your own mortgage, feel free to reach out to a Dominion Lending Centres mortgage professional near you.

 

RYAN OAKE

Dominion Lending Centres - Accredited Mortgage Professional
Ryan is part of DLC Producers West Financial based in Langley, BC.

6 Things all Co-signors Should Consider

General Peter Carstensen 18 Nov

Co-signing on a loan may seem like an easy way to help a loved one (child, family member, friend, etc. ) live out their dream of owning a home. In today’s market conditions, a co-signor can offer a solution to overcome the high market prices and stress testing measure. For example, if you have a damaged credit score, not enough income, or another reason that a lender will not approve the mortgage loan, a co-signor addition on the loan can satisfy the lenders needs and lessen the risk associated with the loan. However, as a co-signor there are considerations.

1. If you act as a co-signor or guarantor, you are entrusting your entire credit history to the borrowers.
What this mean is that late payments on the loan will not only hurt them, but it will also impact you.

2. Understand your current situations—taxes, legal, and estate.
Co-signing is a large obligation that could harm you financially if the primary borrowers cannot pay.

3. Try to understand, upfront, how many years the co-borrower agreement will be in place and know if you can make changes to things mid-term if the borrower becomes able to assume the original mortgage on their own.

4. Consider the implications this will have regarding your personal income taxes.
You may have an obligation to pay capital gains taxes and we would highly recommend talking to an accountant prior to signing off.

5. Co-signors should seek independent legal advice to ensure they fully understand their rights, obligations and the implications.
A lawyer can lay it out clearly for you as well as help to point out any things you should take note of.

6. Carefully think about the character and stability of the people that you are being asked to co-sign for.
Do you trust them? Are you aware of their financial situation to some degree? Are you willing to put yourself at risk potentially to take on this responsibility? Another consideration is to think about your finances down the road and determine how much flexibility will be needed for yourself and your family too! If you have plans of your own that will require a loan, refinancing your home, etc. being a co-signor can have an impact.

Co-signing for a loan is a large responsibility but when it is set-up correctly and all options are considered, it can be an excellent way to help a family member, child, or friend reach their dream of homeownership. If you are considering being a co-signor or wondering if you will require a co-signor on your mortgage, reach out to a Dominion Lending Centres mortgage professional. We are always happy to answer any questions and guide you through processes like this.

GEOFF LEE

Dominion Lending Centres - Accredited Mortgage Professional
Geoff is part of DLC GLM Mortgage Group based in Vancouver, BC.