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Big Mortgage Changes Coming January First

There has been significant media coverage around upcoming changes to mortgage lending rules that will take effect Jan. 1, 2018. These rules will affect many more people than most realize. They will affect people seeking a mortgage most obviously, but they will also affect those with a mortgage in many ways as well. Let’s take a look at some key areas of concern for both groups, those with a mortgage, and those without (but seeking) a mortgage. What is the impact? A reduction of 20 per cent-plus in maximum borrowing power for those with a 20 per cent or GREATER down payment. You read that correctly, a big reduction for the group with the bigger down payments. The Have Nots You don’t have a mortgage yet, but you have a Pre-Approval, so you think you’re safe with that Pre-Approval…you may be and also you may not be. A select group …
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3 Mortgage Terms You Need to Know

Prepayment, Portability and Assumability Prepayments One of the most common questions the Valko team gets is about mortgage prepayments.  The conditions vary from lender to lender but the nice thing about prepayments is that you can pay a little more every year if you want to pay off your mortage faster. A great way to do this is through prepayments. They’re always something to ask your broker about because each lender is very different.  You can always do an increase on your payments and that means that you pay a little bit more each week or each month when you make your mortgage payment.  You can also make a lump sum payment.  Perhaps you get a bonus every year or you get a lot of Christmas money.  You can just throw that on your mortgage.   It goes right on the principle so you’re not paying interest on those extra funds.  …
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Alternative Lending – What is it and Why might I need it?

This is a guest blog written by Dan Pauls from Magenta Capital written for The Valko Team.  Dan is a Business Development Manager for Magenta Capital.   “Alternative lending” is a broad term that covers the many loan options available to any borrower that might not qualify for traditional mortgage financing.  The reasons for borrowers not qualifying are widely varied, since every borrower has a situation or circumstance that is unique to them. Banks and traditional lenders have rigid, standard criteria that they must follow to approve someone for a mortgage.  Their borrowers’ credit history, job history, job type, income type, debt ratios, property type, down payment, etc. must all meet those requirements, which continue to get tighter and tighter in our current environment.  The benefit of the Alternative Lenders is that they can look at your unique circumstances for what they are, and they will assess the big picture …
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The Bank of Canada on Hold

On Oct. 25, the Bank of Canada made no change to the overnight lending rate. This lack of movement was widely expected, then again the Bank of Canada surprised 27 of 33 economists polled with the previous 0.25% rate hike on Sept 6, following a previous 0.25% hike July 12. At this point cooler heads are prevailing. These two recent increases should be viewed with the consideration that the last time the Prime rate reached a level this ‘high’ was September 2010, where it then sat stagnant for more than four years. Until a shock to the system triggered two 0.25% drops in early 2015. A response to the sudden drop in oil prices. Shocks to the system often cause rates to drop, the unexpected. What will cause rates to continue to rise in the future? Economic good news, which is something that tends to build in a predictable and slower fashion. …
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Know your Options when it comes to Separation and Divorce

This is a guest blog written by Colette Fortin, Owner of Fairway Divorce Solutions Waterloo-Wellington.   Divorce is ranked the second most stressful event in a person’s life.  People describe those early days of separation as a roller coaster of emotions.  Lack of sleep, brain fog and feelings of sadness, anger, fear of the future can leave you feeling overwhelmed.  Many times, there are so many good-intentioned advice givers that the anxiety of ‘what’s my next step’ is compounded.  The internet can also be filled with so much false or misleading information.  People simply don’t know where to turn. Fortunately, now more than ever, there are options available to help with your separation.  Understanding these options will help you and your spouse make the right choice for your situation.  the separation agreement is the legal document that describes the decisions a couple has made regarding 2 key areas – the …
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Refinancing Could be the Key to a Lighter Debt Load

This is an article that was published with the Cambridge Times on October 1, 2017, featuring our very own, Tracy Valko:   Tracy Valko of Dominion Lending Centres in Kitchener, Ontario, reminds homeowners that the solution to non-mortgage debt could be a lot closer to home than they think. Equifax Canada, which provides consumers credit bureau information, says that non-mortgage debt has risen 3.3 per cent in the second quarter of 2017- which is alarming, because household debt in Canada is already at al all-time high and many people are living paycheque to paycheque to make ends meet. However, if you’re having trouble making minimum payments on credit cards and other loans, the solution may be your mortgage equity.  If you’ve owned your home for some time, or even if you’re a relatively new home-owner and your property has increased in value substantially, you might be able to tap into …
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Time to Lock in a Variable Rate Mortgage?

Approximately 32 per cent of Canadians are in a variable rate mortgage, which with rates effectively declining steadily for the better part of the last ten years has worked well. Recent increases triggers questions and concerns, and these questions and concerns are best expressed verbally with a direct call to your independent mortgage expert – not directly with the lender. There are nuances you may not think to consider before you lock in, and that almost certainly will not be primary topics for your lender. Over the last several years there have been headlines warning us of impending doom with both house price implosion, and interest rate explosion, very little of which has come to fruition other than in a very few localized spots and for short periods of time thus far. Before accepting what a lender may offer as a lock in rate, especially if you are considering freeing …
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Credit Scores: Here’s what you need to know

The interest rate you pay on loans for every major purchase you make throughout your lifetime depends on various factors, and is dependent on your creditworthiness – everything from the mortgage on your home to your car loan to your line of credit. And, given today’s ever-changing mortgage requirements and rising interest rate environment, your credit score has become even more important. Your first step towards credit awareness and wellbeing is to know where you stand. Request a free copy of your credit report online from the two Canadian credit-reporting agencies – Equifax Canada and TransUnion Canada – at least once a year. This will also help verify that your personal information is up to date and ensure you haven’t been the victim of identity fraud.   Newly established credit If you’re new to credit, you may wonder why your credit score pales in comparison to your friend’s. Payment history …
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Bank of Canada Rate Change: Here’s what you need to know

As a home owner, or someone who is looking at purchasing a home, you’re probably wondering what today’s announcement from the Bank of Canada really means.  Today, for the first time in 7 years, the key interest rate was increased by a 1/4 percent, setting the rate at 0.75%.  This directly changes the Prime lending rate, which Banks and Mortgage Lenders use to set their rates. It’s no secret that the housing market here in Canada has been hot. In the Waterloo Region alone we have seen prices increase month over month by over 30%, according to the Kitchener-Waterloo Association of REALTORS®. Since the Bank of Canada has held the key interest rate for so long, it is only natural that in a strong economy this rate would eventually increase.  Current mortgage rates have been affected by the market as well: rates have been inflated because of market pricing, and …
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Make Your Voice Heard About Affordable Homes

As you may know, the government has made changes to the rules and regulations around qualifying for mortgage financing last year. We are very proud that Tracy has joined forces with Mortgage Professionals Canada, attempting to drive positive change for Canadians. If you have been affected by these changes in any way, now is your time to speak up! www.tellyourmp.ca is a simple and easy way to express your concerns to those who need to hear it most. If you’re a first-time homebuyer, or looking to refinance – make your voice be heard!  

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