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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!  

Income Properties – 570 News Ask The Experts, August 11, 2018

Check out Tracy and Marina’s interview with Dave Callender, focusing on flipping properties, rental homes and what it takes to finance these investments. A special thank you to EMpression: A Marketing Services Company for providing this image.  

May Market Report

In this month’s market report, Tracy looks at the May real estate market with guest Realtor, Caroline Harvey from Royal LePage Wolle, right here in Kitchener. Caroline works closely with her husband, Mike, and TEAM HARVEY is consistently one of the top-producing teams with Royal LePage, and you can check out their current listings, or contact them here.

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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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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The Tracy Valko Mortgage Team

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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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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