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Do you need a financing condition?

by Marina Colussi   Let’s talk about financing conditions. The financing condition is a challenge for everyone purchasing in today’s market.  Everyone wants their offer to be the most attractive, especially when the market that has yet to slow down.  What you may not know, is that there can be some significant factors why your Mortgage Broker or Financial Advisor is pushing you to keep that financing condition in place; they have your protection in mind.  We’re going to look at three main reasons why your financing condition is important: Property – There may be something about the property that you or even your Realtor are unaware of.  Lenders and mortgage insurers (Canada Mortgage Housing Corporation or Genworth Canada) have access to details and information that can make or break the approval.  For example, if the property is built on land in a flood risk zone, or the condo board …
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What Mortgage Pre-Approval Means

You’ve decided it’s time to buy a new home. Whether it’s your first home or 25th, you’re now seeking a mortgage. And one of the first steps to getting the financing in place for your dream home is getting pre-approved for that mortgage. But before you start hunting for your new home, you need to understand a few things about the pre-approval process. We know going through any financing approval process can be stressful. While it will never be stress free, there are some steps you and your mortgage broker can take to make it less of a nail-biter. You should never assume you’re going to get financing because you make a lot of money, or if you’ve had numerous mortgages over the years. A good broker will ask for all the necessary documents up front, like your T4s and recent pay stub. The reason why you want to provide …
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Improving Your Credit Score

Does your credit score keep you up at night? For some, this one detail in their life doesn’t pop up in their mind very much, because they know they’re making good money and paying all the bills on time. When you’re in that boat, it feels pretty good. But when you miss a payment or you struggle to pay all those credit cards, lines of credit and even your mortgage, it feels instead like you’re on a sinking ship without a life raft to save you. If you’re credit challenged but want to get into the housing market, it can be a tough road to hoe. But improving your credit to a point where a lender will give you chance, is very doable. First, I won’t bore you with the detailed minutia of credit scores. Basically, what you need to know is a score above 680 puts you in a …
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What are the different types of lenders?

One of the biggest aspects of a mortgage is figuring out the best lender. Since every file is unique, a good mortgage broker will likely tell you there’s no “best” lender. Instead, it will be those unique qualities in your mortgage that will determine which lender you’re going to use. In a typical mortgage, there are three potential types of lenders: the big banks, credit unions and monolines. A Bank A bank is a financial institution that accepts deposits, lends money and transfers funds. They are listed as public, licensed corporations and have declared earnings that are paid to stockholders. A key point: they are regulated by the federal government-Office of the Superintendent of Financial Institutions. Everyone knows the big banks and they are considered to be trusted. If you decide to use a fixed-rate mortgage from a big bank, keep in mind the penalty to break the mortgage will …
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Should I Go Fixed or Variable?

It’s the first and only thing anyone usually asks when you talk about your mortgage: What’s your rate? While everyone can recall their rate off the top of their head, it’s the only detail of the mortgage they remember or care to know. Though the rate is obviously important, your mortgage is so much more than a rate, and if you’re not paying close attention, it can cost you money. Before we dive deeper, let’s talk fixed rate vs. a variable rate and which one is better. Well, that all depends. First-time homebuyers and older homebuyers typically love the stability of a fixed rate. Keep in mind, seven-in-ten fixed mortgages are broken before the term ends. A fixed rate for five years is fine as long as you stick with a lender that’s going to calculate the penalty if you break your mortgage on the contract rate versus the Benchmark …
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Flex Down Mortgages

  A flex down down payment isn’t your typical mortgage scenario. Let’s say you have the credit score and income to buy an additional property but you haven’t managed to save up the down payment.  You may choose to borrow money from a third party or somebody may even gift it to you.  Not every lender will just accept that as payment.  You’ll need a flex down mortgage program and it’s something you really need to talk about with your mortgage broker.  It may even be possible to pull the down payment from a secured line of credit but paying back that money will be considered like any other bill payment on your application. Keep in mind that flex down mortgage programs will also typically require you to put in some of your own money or put down 25% or more.  Flex down programs have better interest rates than you …
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Credit Scores

Your credit score is a big factor when you apply for a mortgage.  It can dictate how good your interest rate will be and the type of mortgage you qualify for. We’re experienced helping clients with a wide range of credit scores so we can find you a mortgage product even if your credit is far from perfect. The good news about your credit score is that it can be improved: Stop looking for more credit.  If you’re frequently seeking credit that can affect your score as can the size of the balances you carry. Every time you apply for credit there is a hard credit check.  It is particularly important that you not apply for a credit card in the six months leading up to your mortgage application.  These credit checks may stay on your file for up to three years. If your credit card is maxed out all …
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Mortgage Rule Changes Explained

By now, we’re all aware of the major mortgage rule changes that have started to come into effect at the start of the year. To recap, in October, the Office of Superintendent of Financial Institutions, or OSFI, introduced tighter rules on mortgages set for Jan. 1, 2018. While there were several changes announced, the biggest affects consumers with uninsured mortgages, who must now undergo a qualifying stress test. More specifically, under the new rules, non-insured mortgage consumers (buyers using a conventional mortgage with a down payment worth 20 per cent or more of the purchase price) must now qualify using a new minimum qualifying rate. The minimum rate will be the greater of the five-year benchmark rate published by the Bank of Canada or the lender’s contractual mortgage rate plus two percentage points. The stress test for non-insured mortgages applies to both fixed- and variable-rate mortgages. The new qualifying rules …
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10 Tips for Dealing with the Limbo of Separation and Divorce

This is a guest blog written by Colette Fortin, Owner of Fairway Divorce Solutions Waterloo-Wellington. Being in limbo – not knowing where one will be in the near future, whether it’s 3 months or 3 weeks, has got to be one of the most stressful stages of any life change – and especially in separation and divorce. As human beings, we like to have a sense of control and security.  So when the human brain is under stress, the ‘fight or flight’ mode is fully engaged.  Our sense of equilibrium is shaky.  We can easily become emotionally hijacked and we don’t have access to our rational brain. So how do you calm the fearful ‘lizard’ brain when you’re passing through the limbo phase of a separation and divorce?  Here are 10 suggestions for getting through the next few months. 1. Regain some perspective – if only to recognize that your …
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