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As a mortgage broker the worst question to get asked is “what’s the best rate you can get me?”  When you shop for rate alone, you are unfortunately missing the bigger picture!

Let’s look at why this makes a difference when purchasing property in Canada and the US.

When you buy in Canada rate might be a good focus for you, because there are so many lenders competing on rate alone and with the high property prices rate is the main focus, because it indicates in many cases whether we can cash flow or not.

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Guest Post by Yvette Barnes, Real Estate Salesperson at Right at Home Realty

We’ve heard a lot since the Federal and Provincial governments weighed in on the GTA housing market. Has the market cooled?  It depends.

Prices soared last November because there were no listings. This April revealed 21,600 new (‘active’) listings – 33.6% more than April 2016. Our ‘active’ listing supply is 3% higher than this time last year. The May statistics verify new listings are about 47% more than the same period in 2016. In 2017, TREB reports a year-over-year growth of 20-25%; March was at 30%. This suggests the market has returned approximately 5% of the price increases gained.

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As a mortgage broker, I always strive to think out of the box, in order to stay competitive.

With that in mind, over two years ago, I went to the US (specifically Florida) and started making contacts with realtors, other mortgage brokers, lenders and wholesalers, just to name a few.

Once I had my contacts established and verified, meaning I would only work with referral sources that had been verified and could back up their offerings with proper protocols in place, I was then able to hit the Canadian market and start marketing this source of business.  It has not been easy and has taken a lot of work but in the end, it has definitely worth it, as I have been assisting countless investors in Canada to invest in both residential and multi-family properties.

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Every year thousands of new immigrants arrive in Canada and more than half of those end up immigrating to Toronto. With property prices where they are, many people cannot afford to buy resale and therefore end up looking at the pre-construction opportunities, of which there are many in this growing city.

My current clients are Canadians but were living in Kuwait for the last 17 years. There two oldest have since come back for University and their youngest will be going to high school next year. They arrived in Toronto 6 months ago and the wife recently found work but the husband is still looking for work in a highly competitive marketplace.

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Recently, I was contacted by a new client that was separating from her husband. Prior to filing for separation they decided to amicably split and split the proceeds from the sale of their existing home. They agreed that since they had no children and he had supported her through her schooling, he would not pay her alimony. The amicable split helped them protect their credit score as the credit score will usually take a hit, when you divorce or separate.

Divorce or separation can have a major impact on both your personal and financial lives. Where you might have previously had joint accounts for major expenses like your mortgage or loan payments, now you will have your sole accounts. Furthermore where you had two incomes you now have one income.

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It’s no news that the new mortgage rules have thrown everyone into a tizzy! Not only, are there new rules, but now there is new terminology and a new way of thinking we need to adopt, so I thought it would be a great primer to spell it out in this blog post.

Before November 30, 2016 we would assess a Purchase in terms of Conventional or High Ratio. Now we need to look at a Purchase in terms of Insurable or Un-Insurable. Note all refinances are considered Un-Insurable.

So how does this affect you?

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Booya and the Government changes the mortgage rules again!

This past week the Trudeau Government took us all by surprise by announcing new mortgage qualification rules. The mortgage industry and the media have gone wild with speculation and concern about the future of our industry, but what does this mean for you and how do you navigate these changes going forward?

Currently in place, the Government has required homeowners with less than 20% down to qualify at the BOC rate of 4.64% for any term less than a 5-year fixed rate. Effective October 17, 2016, this requirement will apply to all insured mortgages, including fixed-rate mortgages with terms of five years or more.

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Recently I was approached to finance a commercial building in Hamilton, Ontario.

The property was a vacant and former rooming house and the clients wanted to transform it into a retirement home. The clients were a retired nurse and two personal support workers, all of whom had experience working with seniors, however they did not have experience operating a retirement home.

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This is not my usual mortgage article but I hope you will read on anyways. I am writing about how being a mortgage broker makes me grateful everyday!

I am an avid blogger – I love writing and sharing my knowledge and experience but that last two weeks have been a mental struggle for me. I finally stopped beating myself up and sat down to think why I was struggling and realized it was because I had forsaken my daily gratitude habit, because I have been so busy with work and life in general.

I have learned through various strategies, readings, courses that having the practice of being grateful not only brings peace into my life but the ability to focus and expand that gratitude into all areas of my life, including work and family.

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In Canada we have two past times or conversations that get people heated up! One is the weather and the other is real estate. The last few years have given people lots to talk about – even those that are not directly in the real estate industry.

We speculate when the market crash or softening will happen; where prices and interest rates are headed and what will happen when the market does soften. We have all come to expect bigger and better, even when bigger and better is not necessarily affordable.

I personally don’t want bigger and better as I don’t want to be burdened with a huge mortgage but what do you do when you live in a house that you are outgrowing? What are your options?

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