31 May

Purchase Plus Improvements – You just found your dream home… sort of.


Posted by: Jeff Parsons

In a competitive real estate market or a market that is suffering from a lack of available listings, the Purchase Plus Improvements mortgage could be your saving grace. Regardless of whether you’ve just started your search for a new home or if you’ve been hunting for months, this is something that you should be thinking about each time you walk into a potential house.

Of all the homes that you’ve looked at so far, you have likely walked into at least one home by this point and said to yourself: “Well this house looks great, but if it wasn’t for that incredibly dated _______”. You fill in the blank here… Kitchen, bathroom, flooring, basement, etc. If you have passed up the opportunity to purchase that potentially perfect property because of the costs of required improvements, it’s important that you know there is a solution to your problem. Enter, the Purchase Plus Improvement Mortgage.

In a nutshell, a purchase plus improvements mortgage allows you (the home buyer) to roll the costs of improvements into your mortgage. The new mortgage allows you the ability to finance those much-needed repairs and get you into that home of your dreams! The mortgage comes with a great interest rate and one simple mortgage payment. Had you chosen to purchase the home and not include the renovation costs into the mortgage, then you might end up financing the improvements on a higher interest rate unsecured debt which also give you a second payment to make each month.

The first step to take is a conversation with your Dominion Lending Centres mortgage broker about specifically how that Purchase Plus Improvements Mortgage would apply to your application and specific situation. Understanding the types of improvements that can be included in the financing will help you better understand which potential houses might work great for you.

Working with your Realtor, the mortgage broker will help guide you through the final approval process. The main difference between a Mortgage vs. a Purchase Plus Improvements Mortgage is the need for quotes. As part of the verification process, your mortgage broker and the lender will need to see a quote for the work that is planned for the improvements. The quotes will provide us with the cost and plan details required to secure the final approval. Getting you into a house of your dreams!
If you have questions about how a Purchase Plus Improvements Mortgage could work for you, take the time to connect with our team anytime!!

Nathan Lawrence

Dominion Lending Centres – Accredited Mortgage Professional
Nathan is part of DLC Lakehead Financial based in Thunder Bay, ON.

25 May

This Vs That 8: Renew or switch lenders


Posted by: Jeff Parsons

Renew (the mortgage industry meaning): to remain with the current lender by simply signing the renewal letter that comes in the (e)mail.

Switch (again, the mortgage industry meaning): to move from the existing lender to a different lender without leveraging any additional funds/equity; the outstanding balance remains the same.

Is renewing your mortgage with the current lender the best option, or should you consider switching to a new lender? The answer is provided with some simple math. As mortgage consumers, we want to save as much money as possible, plain and simple.

Seventy percent of borrowers that currently hold a mortgage simply sign the renewal letter they get. Most of the time they are leaving 20 – 40 basis points or 0.20% – 0.40% on the table. This puts millions of dollars back into the pockets of the lenders and their shareholders.

There are times when the current lender does not offer the best market rate or product for your situation. How will you know you are getting the best rate for your scenario? By contacting Dominion Lending Centres Mortgage Professional who works for you… not the lender.

So first things first: contact your DLC Mortgage Broker four months before the term matures to discuss the next term’s strategy. What do the next two, three or even five years look like? This will then lead to an interest-rate discussion. Can there be some money saved?

I have been working with a client over the past couple of weeks as her current mortgage is coming to maturity. Had she just signed at the bottom of the renewal letter she would have been overpaying by 30 basis points.

Current lender offered 2.84% for a 5-year Fixed term (Renew)

New lender offered 2.54% for a 5-year Fixed term (Switch)

Here’s what that looks like. Note the mortgage balance used was $330,000 (25-year amortization). This just happens to be the average mortgage amount in British Columbia.
Monthly Payment Annual Payment Payments Over 5 Yrs O/S Balance After 5 Yrs Interest Paid
2.84% $1,534.74 $18,416.88 $92,084.40 $281,194.12 $43,278.52
2.54% $1,484.87 $17,818.44 $89,092.20 $279,529.82 $38,622.02
Total Savings $49.87 $598.44 $2,992.20 $1,664.30 $4,656.50

The biggest saving is in the total interest saved over 5 years. At the end of the day this borrower saved $4,656.50. Guess what she decided to do? Yes, SWITCH lenders.

In this scenario, it will cost the borrower $0 to make a switch. Would you put four 1000-dollar bills, six 100-hundred-dollar bills, one 50-dollar bill, one five-dollar bill, one loonie and two quarters in the fire? No, you would not.

Bottom line, make sure you have a discussion with your independent Mortgage Broker before (potentially) burning thousands of dollars.

Michael Hallett

Dominion Lending Centres – Accredited Mortgage Professional
Michael is part of DLC Producers West Financial based in Coquitlam, BC.

24 May

Self Employed? 8 Tips to help you qualify for a mortgage


Posted by: Jeff Parsons

Since 2012, it’s become the wild west of mortgage options out there for those folks who are living the Canadian dream of being Self Employed (also known as BFS, Business for Self).

In 2012, the Office of the Superintendent of Financial Institutions introduced Guideline B-20, which required federally regulated banks to tighten the rules for approving mortgages. Without boring you with what that mortgage jargon translates to you, the bottom line means you “generally” have to qualify now from your Line 150 of your tax return. That’s NET income, not GROSS income.

Don’t freak out yet! There is good new below…

As BFS folks, one of the perks of being self-employed is we don’t pay as much in taxes as we have business write offs we can use to lower our GROSS income. We are now being penalized with many lenders with higher rates and fees with these new rules.

I wish there was a simple book with straight up rules for the BFS mortgages, but there really isn’t.
• It depends on your credit
• It depends on where your income is coming from and how long. Is it commissioned, contract, invoiced, under the table or under your mattress?
• It depends on your down payment.
• It depends on so many factors…hence you really need a mortgage consultant who really understands BFS mortgage programs.
There are a few programs you may fit under: Stated Income, BFS Conventional, or Alternative or Private lender. All of them are slightly different, but you will fit somewhere with someone.

Not to pick favourites, but here are a few lenders and their programs (through your Dominion Lending Centres mortgage professional):
• B2B Bank has a fantastic BFS Expanded Program (actually nine in total) that allows 12 months of bank statements showing income vs those Notice of Assessments. They also don’t charge any mortgage premiums or fees!
• Street Capital has an insured Stated Income to 90% (i.e. 10% down payment) program. You have to be two years in business filed, 5% of your down payment has to come from your own savings, and no “commissioned sales” folks here.

Common Questions I get:

Q: I was working with a company as a computer systems analyst for the past three years. Now I am self employed as a computer systems analyst. Can I still qualify for a mortgage with less than two years as filed self employed?
A: Yes, as long as you are in the same job role, you should have no issues.

Q: I heard you need 20% down to qualify for Self Employed Mortgage.
A: There are a few lenders that allow for 10% down now.

Q: I am a waitress and make most of my money in tips. How can I use this to qualify for a mortgage.
A: If you’re not declaring your tips on your taxes, then some lenders will look at 6 months deposits into your account.

Q: Can I refinance to pay off my Canada Revenue debt I owe:
A: Yes, very common practice.

Kiki’s Korner of Self Employed mortgage tips:
1. Keep your business money deposited in one account. Separate your expenses and your income accounts.
2. Leases or Loans on vehicles for business should come out of your BUSINESS account.
3. If your company is paying you a “stipend” or “allowance” for you vehicle, make sure it’s taxable income. You will need two years to use this as income.
4. Make sure your invoices match your deposits.
5. When depositing “other monies” i.e.: tips, tag it on your deposit slip so it shows up online with your deposit.
6. Keep important documents such as articles of incorporation, GST/HST registration or business licence in one folder with all your tax returns. Keep records for three years from the date you filed your original return or two years from the date you paid the tax, whichever is later, if you file a claim for credit or refund after you file your return. Keep records for seven years if you file a claim for a loss from worthless securities or bad debt deduction. Be organized.
7. If you’re not filing business financials, file T2’s if you are incorporated. Filing business financials may be more expensive, but worth it for mortgage qualifying with more lenders.
8. If you pay yourself dividend income, you will need two years of this form of income.

If you’re in business for yourself, congratulations! Keep up the good work. There are many moving parts to planning and qualifying for a self-employed mortgage, so if you’re just starting to look at the idea of a mortgage – plan NOW!

I too am self-employed and work with many professionals such as lawyers, doctors, pharmacists, management consultants and self-employed folks such as truck drivers and waitresses. You’re all important and have different incomes we can use to make your dream come true.

Kiki Berg

Dominion Lending Centres – Accredited Mortgage Professional
Kiki is part of DLC Hilltop Financial based in Langley, BC.

17 May

What Happens When a Home Sale Falls Through?


Posted by: Jeff Parsons

Every homebuyer eagerly anticipates closing day. With the home purchase process completed, ownership of the property transfers from the seller to the buyer – you!

Closing date is negotiated as a condition of sale. You’ll typically have several weeks between the date that your agreement to purchase (sales contract) is signed and your closing date.

During that time, you and your real estate team will work to ensure that all the conditions of the sale are met so you can take possession on the agreed-upon date.

But what happens if a home sale falls through and you are unable to close?

Reasons why a home sale could fall through

It’s worth noting that the vast majority of purchase agreements close as expected. But the most common reasons why a sale may fall through are the following:

The homebuyer fails to qualify for a mortgage.
The homebuyer makes an offer to purchase a home based on the condition that they can sell their existing property first – and fails to do so.
The homebuyer’s lender appraises the property at a value significantly lower than the agreed-upon purchase price. If the buyer can’t make up the shortfall from savings or the seller won’t lower the price, the buyer can no longer afford the property.
There are title insurance or home inspection surprises. If a title report shows claims against the property or if a home inspection reveals serious flaws, it will jeopardize the sale.
The homebuyer gets cold feet, changing his or her mind for any reason.

TIP: The best way to reduce the odds of failing to close on a home you want is to get mortgage pre-approval from the mortgage professionals at Dominion Lending Centres before you start house hunting.

Avoid making an offer on a potential money pit by scheduling a pre-sale inspection.

Your home sale falls through. Now what?

If you ever experience a sobering “it’s just not gonna happen” moment, contact your REALTOR® immediately.

If appropriate, they will send the seller’s agent a mutual release form, which releases both parties from the purchase agreement. As the buyer, you will endeavor to get your sales deposit back, and the seller is free to sell the home to someone else.

Problems arise if the seller refuses to sign the mutual release form.

Who gets the deposit?

If the seller refuses to sign the mutual release form, your deposit, which is held in a trust account, remains in trust until it is released by court order.

A disgruntled seller may decide to sue for damages that result from the failed purchase agreement. For example, they may end up selling the property to another buyer for less, resulting in a financial loss.

Or let’s say they purchased a home conditional on the sale of their existing home, and because you backed out, they either fail to close on that home or they must take out bridge financing to save the sale. They’ll probably want compensation for the extra costs and hassle.

While failure to close is an uncommon occurrence, it causes headaches for both buyers and sellers. Try avoiding it by getting mortgage pre-approval before you start house hunting, and by booking a pre-sale home inspection.

Most important, hire a real estate team. These experts can use their experience and professionalism to guide you through your sale, managing any bumps along the way.

Marc Shendale

Genworth Canada – Vice President Business Development

11 May

So You Want To Port Your Mortgage?


Posted by: Jeff Parsons

Recently a video appeared on Linkedin and a few other places singing the praises of porting your mortgage and making it seem like a walk in the park. If you have ever done one, then you would know that it is anything but that scenario.

Porting is not much different than qualifying for a new mortgage, the video talks about the client moving to a new town and just porting their mortgage along with them. Truth is if that you are moving to a new town and a new job you may be on probation and not qualify for the mortgage. The lenders also have to approve the new property as well so a lot more factors that need to be considered.

If you are porting the mortgage and don’t need any more money as in the new house is the same value, then there isn’t much issue. What if the new home is more money and you need to increase the mortgage then the lender has an opportunity to blend the two rates and your mortgage payment could go up. If you need to reduce the mortgage amount, then you may also face a penalty on the amount reduced.

Another factor not talked about is that you still need a down payment for the new home it’s not just going to be a simple move over and continue on with your mortgage. The other thing that happens is that your lender will usually take the full penalty out of the sales proceeds and refund it to you after the sale has completed. In some cases, this process could take up to a month meaning you need to cover the short fall at closing and wait for it to come back to you.

And last but not least how long of a period do you have to port your mortgage, did you know they range from 1 day to 120 day’s maximums? In the case of one day that mean the lawyer has to close both sales in that time frame.

Overall its prudent to get professional advice from your Dominion Lending Centres mortgage professional.

Len Lane

Dominion Lending Centres – Accredited Mortgage Professional
Len is part of DLC Brokers For Life based in Edmonton, AB.

2 May

Getting a Mortgage After Consumer Proposal or Bankruptcy


Posted by: Jeff Parsons

Life can definitely throw some challenging financial situations your way. As mortgage professionals, we can provide solutions and strategies during or after these challenging times in order to get you back on track. We have access to banks, trust companies and mortgage companies that specialize in this transitional period to help you move forward with the best mortgage plan for you. We protect your credit by negotiating with multiple lenders to find a solution for you.

If you have never owned a home and have had a consumer proposal, the good news is that you are already accustomed to the discipline of saving money every month. Should you choose to continue to grow your savings, those funds can then be put toward a down payment and re-establishing credit.

If you own a home already, there are lenders that will help you refinance and pay out your proposal earlier in order to accelerate your transition period.

After bankruptcy, different lenders will issue mortgages based on the amount of time since you were discharged, the amount of down payment on a purchase and/or the current equity in your home if your already own. Lenders then price their rates based on these aspects of your application.

At Dominion Lending Centres, we look forward to learning about your journey while protecting your credit and guiding you through the best strategy on a moving forward basis.

Angela Calla

Dominion Lending Centres – Accredited Mortgage Professional
Angela is part of DLC Angela Calla Mortgage Team based in Port Coquitlam, BC.

1 May

Spousal Buyout Mortgage?


Posted by: Jeff Parsons

If you happen to be going through, or considering a divorce or separation, you might not be aware that there are mortgage products designed to allow you to refinance your property in order to buyout your ex-spouse.

For most couples, their property is their largest asset and where the majority of their equity has been saved. In the case of a separation, it is possible to structure a new mortgage that allows you to purchase the property from your ex-spouse for up to 95% of the property’s value. Alternatively, if your ex-spouse wants to keep the property, they can buy you out using the same program.

Here are some common questions about the spousal buyout program:

Is a finalized separation agreement required?

Yes. In order to qualify, you will be required to provide the lender with a copy of the signed separation agreement. The details of asset allocation must be clearly outlined.

Can the net proceeds be used for home renovations or to pay out loans?

No. The net proceeds can only be used to buy out the other owner’s share of equity and/or to pay off joint debt as explicitly agreed upon in the finalized separation agreement.

What is the maximum amount that can be withdrawn?

The maximum equity that can be withdrawn is the amount agreed upon in the separation agreement to buy out the other owner’s share of property and/or to retire joint debts (if any), not to exceed 95% loan to value (LTV).

What is the maximum permitted LTV?

Max. LTV is the lesser of 95% or Remaining Mortgage + Equity required to buy out other owner and/or pay off joint debt (which, in some cases, can total < 95% LTV). The property must be the primary owner occupied residence. Do all parties have to be on title? Yes. All parties to the transaction have to be current registered owners on title. Solicitor is required to do a search of title to confirm. Do the parties have to be a married or common law couple? No. The current owners can be friends or siblings. This is considered on exception with insurer approval. In this case, as there won’t be a separation agreement, there is a standard clause that can be included in the purchase contract that outlines the buyout. Is a full appraisal required? Yes. When considering this type of a mortgage, it is similar to a private sale and a physical appraisal of the property is necessary. If you have any questions about how a spousal buyout mortgage works, please contact your local Dominion Lending Centres mortgage professional. Be assured that our communication will be held in the strictest of confidence. Michael Hallett Dominion Lending Centres - Accredited Mortgage Professional Michael is part of DLC Producers West Financial based in Coquitlam, BC.