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
Canadian home sales edge down from December to January
According to statistics released today by The Canadian Real Estate Association (CREA), national home sales were down slightly in January 2017 on a month-over-month basis.
- National home sales declined 1.3% from December 2016 to January 2017
- Actual (not seasonally adjusted) activity in January was up 1.9% from a year earlier
- The number of newly listed homes dropped 6.7% from December 2016 to January 2017
- The MLSHome Price Index (HPI) in January was up 15.0% year-over-year (y-o-y)
- The national average sale price was little changed (+0.2%) y-o-y in January
Sales activity was down from the previous month in about half of all local markets, led by three of Canadas largest urban centres: the Greater Toronto Area (GTA), Greater Vancouver, and Montreal.
Actual (not seasonally adjusted) sales activity was up 1.9% compared to the same month last year. While sales were up from year-ago levels in about two-thirds of all local housing markets including in the GTA, Calgary, Edmonton, London and St Thomas, and Montreal, they were down significantly in the Lower Mainland of British Columbia.
The number of newly listed homes dropped 6.7% in January 2017, the second consecutive monthly decline. New listings were down in about two-thirds of all local markets, led by the GTA and environs across Vancouver Island.
With the monthly decline in new listings surpassing the decline in sales, the national sales-to-new listings ratio jumped to 67.7% in January compared to 64.0% in December and 60.2% in November.
The ratio was above 60% in about half of all local housing markets in January, the vast majority of which are located in British Columbia, in and around the GTA and across southwestern Ontario. A monthly decline in newly listed homes further tightened housing markets that were already in sellers market territory.
There were 4.6 months of inventory on a national basis at the end of January 2017 unchanged from December 2016 and a six-year low for the measure.
The imbalance between limited housing supply and robust demand in Ontarios Greater Golden Horseshoe region is without precedent (the region includes the GTA, Hamilton-Burlington, Oakville-Milton, Guelph, Kitchener-Waterloo, Cambridge, Brantford, the Niagara Region, Barrie and nearby cottage country). The number of months of inventory in January 2017 stood at or below one month in the GTA, Hamilton-Burlington, Oakville-Milton, Kitchener-Waterloo, Cambridge, Brantford and Guelph.
In the Fraser Valley and Greater Vancouver, prices have receded from their peaks posted in August 2016. That said, home prices in these regions nonetheless remain well above year-ago levels (+24.9% and +15.6% respectively).
Meanwhile, benchmark prices continue to climb in Victoria and elsewhere on Vancouver Island together with Greater Toronto, Oakville-Milton and Guelph. Year-over-year price gains in these five markets ranged from about 18% to 26% in January.
By comparison, home prices were down 2.9% y-o-y in Calgary and by 1.0% y-o-y in Saskatoon. Prices in these two markets now stand 5.9% and 4.3% below their respective peaks reached in 2015.
Home prices were up modestly from year-ago levels in Regina (+3.8%), Ottawa (+3.7%) and Greater Montreal (+3.1%). In Greater Moncton, home prices for the market overall held steady (-0.2%), reflecting an increase in townhouse row units prices (5.8%) that was offset by a decline in prices for one-storey single family homes (-1.0%).
The actual (not seasonally adjusted) national average price for homes sold in January 2017 was $470,253, almost unchanged (+0.2%) from where it stood one year earlier.
The national average price continues to be pulled upward by sales activity in Greater Vancouver and Greater Toronto, which remain two of Canadas tightest, most active and expensive housing markets.
That said, Greater Vancouvers share of national sales activity has diminished considerably over the past year, giving it less upward influence on the national average price. The average price is reduced by almost $120,000 to $351,998 if Greater Vancouver and Greater Toronto sales are excluded from calculations.
Canadian Housing Starts Trend Increased in January
The trend measure of housing starts in Canada was 199,834 units in January compared to 197,881 in December, according to Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC). The trend is a six-month moving average of the monthly seasonally adjusted annual rates (SAAR) of housing starts.
CMHC uses the trend measure as a complement to the monthly SAAR of housing starts to account for considerable swings in monthly estimates and obtain a more complete picture of the state of Canadas housing market. In some situations analyzing only SAAR data can be misleading, as they are largely driven by the multi-unit segment of the market which can vary significantly from one month to the next.
The standalone monthly SAAR for all areas in Canada was 207,408 units in January, up from 206,305 units in December. The SAAR of urban starts increased by 1.0per cent in January to 189,688 units. Multiple urban starts increased by 4.2per cent to 125,886 units in January and single-detached urban starts decreased by 4.6 per cent, to 63,802 units.
In January, the seasonally adjusted annual rate of urban starts increased in Ontario and Atlantic Canada, but decreased in British Columbia, the Prairies and Quebec.
Rural starts were estimated at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 17,720 units.