The Canadian mortgage industry has never been more confusing. Do I use a broker? Do I go straight to my bank? Who can get me the best rate? Who can give me the best independent advice?
Alma Pasic has been helping clients navigate the confusing World of mortgages and financing in Canada for almost 20 years. Using her expert knowledge of the industry and relationships with leading financial institutions, Alma gets her clients the approvals needed with the best terms.
As well as being the coauthor of “Complete Home Buyer’s Guide for Canadians”, available on amazon.ca, Alma is also a leading provider of real estate investment seminars throughout the Lower Mainland.
She offers a full service financial platform across a wide range of products and options by working with a range of realtors, accountants, builders, developers and financial planners.
Alma has the resources and relationships to access the complete range of mortgage options.
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Are Reverse Mortgages a Good Idea?
Are Reverse Mortgages Ever a Good Idea?
Home equity is a tempting source of capital or income for older investors but what are the hidden catches? Gordon Powers of RateSupermarket.ca offers advice
November 18, 2014
Gordon Powers RateSupermarket.ca
This article originally appeared on financial advice website RateSupermarket.ca. To read the original article, click here.
Ask advisors whether the money tied up in your home should be counted as an asset that you can tap in retirement and youll get a wide variety of opinions.
Most financial planning software programs dont consider home equity when tallying potential retirement income. In looking at the few that do, its clear that theres no agreed-upon method for calculating its impact on your financial future.
Despite this, home equity remains a tempting target for older investors to tap. Dont forget that close to three quarters of Canadians over age 60 are homeowners, not renters a considerably higher rate than for most other age groups.
You can always downsize, of course, and invest the difference. But, other than that, there really arent a lot of options when it comes to wringing money out of your home.
HELOCs Not Generally Available
A home equity line of credit (HELOC) secured against the value of your property is likely your best bet. But these are typically less useful for many older homeowners since they often have a harder time qualifying unless they already have some regular income.
Thats why a growing number of baby boomers exiting the workforce, or in the midst of a grey divorce, are looking to mine the value of their homes through a reverse mortgage.
A reverse mortgage allows you to borrow from your homes equity while not having to make any monthly payments. Unlike most mortgages, theres no credit check, no income confirmation, and no insurance requirement. Approval is based only on your age and home equity.
Another major attraction is that the payments you receive arent considered taxable income and thus wont affect any government retirement benefits.
Qualify As Young As Age 55
All this anticipated demand has prompted HomEquity Bank, the countrys sole provider of reverse mortgages, to recently lower the minimum age threshold for its CHIP Home Income Plan from 60 to 55.
But, before you rush in, understand this: The amount you owe increases over time, while the amount of equity in your home likely decreases. Whats worse, the younger you are, the more the compound interest will grow, and the more you will owe.
And there are a few upfront fees to consider as well.
Watch For Additional Costs
First, youll need a home appraisal which will cost $200 to $400, depending on location. On top of that, lawyers fees, required by law on all reverse mortgage transactions, can range from $300 to $600.
The third setup cost is closing and administrative fees, which amount to $1495 a charge HomEquity has waived during past promotions, at least for buyers willing to lock in for a three or five-year term.
But, even then, this is still an expensive option. Right now, for instance, HomEquity is charging 4.75 per cent on a variable-rate mortgage which is 1.75 percentage points above prime. Five-year terms are available at 5.69 per cent. That compares with rates as low as 3.19 per cent for conventional five-year mortgages.
Debt Doubles Every 11 Years
Going this route means that your debt level is going to double about almost every 11 years at todays interest rates, all the while eroding the value of your estate.
But older Canadians are definitely buying, largely because theyve seen the rates on their fixed-income savings fall significantly while their houses have at least maintained their value or better.
In a world where people are living longer and spending more, the attraction is obvious. Still, tread carefully before you sign up.
Copyright 2015 - See more at: http://www.rew.ca/news/are-reverse-mortgages-ever-a-good-idea-1.1591812#sthash.WmD0dlm9.dpuf
Top five home renovations that increase property value
Looking to increase your homes property value? Here are five of the best renovations you can do to your home to increase property value. These five renovations can sometimes have a return on investment 5-6x what they cost.
Flooring is one of the most important aspects of your house. You will see an immediate rise in property valuation with the installation of hardwood floors. Existing hardwood floors that you can refinish are ideal as they are less costly to restore and in higher demand than new flooring materials. For the bathroom, tile will always be in demand and retain value exceptionally well.
Kitchens often look tired and dated, in large part due to old fixtures. Replacing or updating cabinet hardware, light fixtures, countertops and faucets will result in an immediate increase in your homes value. This small, but effective upgrade will also revitalize the entire home. Pot lights are in high demand in open concept style homes.
Thebathroomis the second most important room in the home in terms of valuation. If you can add a three-piece bathroom to a home with only one full bathroom, you will see a dramatic rise in the market value of your home. While you should never compromise bedroom space for a bathroom, try sneaking one in dead space in the home. Scott managed to fit in a 3-piece bathroom under a staircase the width of the room measured just 44 inches. As an added tip, use glass for the shower to make the bathroom feel more spacious.
Kitchens are the single most important room in the home relating to valuation. The kitchen can make a significant difference in the value of your home. As such, it is crucial that you invest in having a modern, fresh anddesirable kitchen. Modern cabinetry, under cabinet lighting and new appliances will all significantly increase the value of your home on the market. To save on cost without compromising construction and desirability, look at options like Ikea cabinets as opposed to custom cabinetry.
#1 An Income Suite
No surprise, but the single biggest way to increase the value of your home is to build an income suite within the property. Whether this is converting yourbasement into a rental, or another floor in the home, an income property will increase your homes worth. The main reason for this is that it covers a portion, or sometimes all of your mortgage payments, and results in your home being cash flow positive which creates real wealth that can supplement your income.
Valuable Fraud Prevention Tips for Homebuyers and Homeowners: Part 1
March is Fraud Prevention Month. Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC) has consistently been a leader in the fight against mortgage fraud and offers the following tips to protect yourself against becoming a victim of mortgage fraud.
Misrepresentation of Information
Mortgage fraudoccurs when someone deliberately misrepresents information in order to obtain mortgage financing that would not have been granted if the truth had been known. This can include:
Misstating ones position or inflating ones income or length of service at their job;
Misstating employment status (ie. salaried/full time versus contract, part time, hourly or commission-based or self-employed);
Misrepresenting the amount and/or source of the down payment;
Purchasing a rental property and misrepresenting it as owner-occupied;
Not disclosing existing mortgage and/or debt obligations;
Misrepresenting property details or omitting information in order to Inflate the property value;
Adding co-borrowers who will not be residing in the home and do not intend to take responsibility for the mortgage.
Another common form of fraud is when a con artist convinces someone with good credit to act as astraw buyer.A straw buyer is someone who agrees to put his or her name on a mortgage application on behalf of another person. In return for their participation, straw buyers may be offered cash or promised high returns when the property is sold. Often, straw buyers are deceived into believing that they will not be responsible for the mortgage payments.
Consequences of Misrepresentation
Borrowers who misrepresent information and straw buyers who allow a property to be purchased in their name are committing mortgage fraud and will be responsible for any financial shortfall in the event of default. They may also be held criminally responsible for their misrepresentation.
If you suspect that you or someone you know has been the victim of mortgage fraud, please contact your local police department or The Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre.
Toll Free: 1-888-495-8501
Toll Free Fax: 1-888-654-9426
To find out more about mortgage fraud, visit the fraud prevention section of the Canadian Association of Accredited Mortgage Professionals (CAAMP) website athttp://mortgageconsumer.org/protect-yourself-from-real-estate-fraud.
For over 65 years, Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC) has been Canadas national housing agency, and a source of objective, reliable housing information.