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Mortgage Protection Plan – Interview with Max Labelle & Tracy Valko

Whether you’re buying your first home, or your 9th income property, there are a lot of things to consider… and mortgage insurance should be one of them. We are very fortunate to work with fantastic partners throughout all aspects of the mortgage industry, and we were excited when Max Labelle from Manulife’s Mortgage Protection Plan (MPP) to have a quick chat with Tracy about some key things that you should consider when looking into mortgage protection.  Check it out below! If you still have more questions, check out Sandra’s blog about MPP, or contact us today!  

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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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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While the banks can only offer you their own mortgage products, we have access to hundreds of options from Canada’s largest banks, credit unions, trust companies, and financial institutions.

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