As a licensed mortgage agent serving the Greater Toronto Area, it’s a question I get asked all the time, what is the best way to build equity?

Most of us already know that our home’s equity is the amount of our home which we own minus the outstanding balance and interest on our mortgages. However, traditionally people often appreciate there as being only three ways to actually build equity.

First off, we pay our mortgage each month. With every mortgage payment we then own a little more of our home and add a little more to our home’s equity. Alternatively, we attempt to add equity to our home by increasing our home’s market value through physical alterations and renovations. This and by hoping that our home will appreciate in value as consequence of favorable market conditions. Continue reading

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Every spring in Canada there is a buying and selling frenzy in the real estate market. Because of the low inventory in the market, we tend to see multiple offer scenario’s playing out.

A multiple offer scenario occurs when more than one buyer is presenting an Offer to Purchase to a seller at the same time. All the offers are being reviewed at the same time by the sellor for consideration. When markets are considered a “seller’s market” this can often occur when buyers are vying and competing to have their Offer accepted over others.

There are many cases where this is a valid and sometimes normal strategy. However, on occasion it has been known that these buying frenzies and multiple offer scenarios, can be artificially created by others, which does not benefit the buyer or the seller. Continue reading

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Yesterday I was contacted by an investor, who found me on Linkedin and had been reading some of my blog posts. He and his brother were investing in a smaller market about two hours east of Toronto. This would be their first purchase in this area and it was a multiple bidding situation.

As first time investors they made some errors, which are common, such as putting in the offer before being pre-approved for financing. Especially in a multiple offer situation you want to make sure that your bid for the property has no conditions of financing. The only condition you want is the inspection. This way if the seller is presented with all of the offers, they will most likely accept the one with no condition of financing as that is a sure thing vs. somebody who still needs to be assessed for financing and does not really know whether they can afford the property. Continue reading

Property Tax adjustments

I am currently looking to refinance my mortgage. Being a mortgage agent, I thought I would document my own experience so I could share with my readers.

I was with a lender for the last 5 years and knowing how lenders can sometimes play games, was not surprised at all when the rate being offered was higher than the going rate. Why? Many people don’t even bother to read their renewal statements – they blindly sign and send it back without knowing what the renewal will cost. Lenders count on that! Continue reading

First Time Home Buyers

The week before last, I was at the CAAMP (Canadian Association of Accredited Mortgage Professionals) Mortgage Symposium. The event happens once a year and highlights what happened in the mortgage industry in the previous year and talks about the upcoming year and what we should expect.

It became very interesting when the economist #Ted Tsiakopolous from CMHC got up to speak. He spoke about the Canadian real estate landscape and provided statistics. One statistic that was very surprising was the fact that only 30% of mortgages in Canada are variable rate mortgages. So I thought this would make an interesting post.

The first thing to note is the differences between fixed and variable mortgages.

Fixed rate mortgage – A fixed rate mortgage is a mortgage where the rate of interest and payment are fixed for a specific period of time. Generally known as the mortgage term, it usually ranges from between 6 months and 10 years. As time goes on, more of the mortgage payment goes towards the principal and less of the payment goes to the interest. Furthermore, the fixed rate mortgage is based on the bond yield so as it rises, so do the fixed rates. Continue reading


”Moral hazard occurs when one person takes more risks because someone else bears the burden of those risks. A moral hazard may occur where the actions of one party may change to the detriment of another after a financial transaction has taken place” (en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Moral_hazard )

Moral hazard applies to borrowers, who make a profit at the expense of another. For instance, a client who makes their money by gambling and does not claim the income on their taxes, nor do they pay taxes, however tries to get a mortgage or loan. Continue reading


It’s official, as of today all the big Canadian banks have now lowered their prime rate. RBC was the first to announce they would drop their prime rate by .15% to 2.85%. BMO, TD and CIBC quickly followed with drops of their own, then the ScotiaBank and National Bank fell off the fence and landed at 2.85% as well. This is good news.

If you are a current variable rate mortgage holder, you are now paying less interest on your mortgage. Congratulations.

However, this is really only a half measure. The Bank of Canada dropped their overnight rate by .25% whereas the banks only lowered prime by .15%. Continue reading

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A Story About Fraud From My Personal Experience
Lately FSCO (Financial Services Commission of Ontario) has been cracking down on mortgage professionals who commit fraud to assist their clients in obtaining a mortgage. But for every case of fraud that gets caught, how many go through?

I recently started working with a First Time Home Buyer client. She’s a lovely lady, owns her own company and a single mom to boot! She wanted to purchase a home for her and her daughter as she was overpaying on rent and the landlord was not fixing what was broken. Continue reading