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What is your Best Rate?
Recently I had some good friends of mine ask what the going interest rates are and more importantly what is the best rate could I get them. Obviously not an uncommon question in my line of work but this is no longer a quick and easy question. Last year if I wanted to be a little cheeky (depending on who was asking) Id respond with a question of my own, like whats your credit score? 9 times out of 10 there would be an awkward pause and blank stare followed by a does it matter? Yes, yes it does. Once we got through that portion of the conversation Id then begin talking about the rates. But that was 2016, and now that it is 2017 the rate game has become a little like the did you see what Trump just tweeted conversation that is making people yearn for the days of old. Last October Finance Minister Bill Morneau announced significant changes* to our industry which included new securitization rules and qualification requirements. These changes forced lenders to adjust their pricing models to account for the increased costs of doing business and those costs have been handed down to you the borrower. Prior to that announcement I had a nice simple rate sheet that told me what every lender was offering. Now my rate sheet could easily be 5 pages long and it would still be incomplete. Credit scores were once the driving factor in your interest rate, now Mortgage Brokers should be asking you a laundry list of questions to determine what mortgage is best suited for you long before they tell you the best rates. Here are some questions you need to be prepared to answer before you can start asking about the interest rate. Is this a purchase or refinance? What is the loan to value percentage? What term and amortization would you like? What type of property are you wanting to mortgage? Can you prove your income? Can you stomach the idea of a very large penalty if you need to break the term? These are just a few of the questions your Mortgage Broker needs to ask when you to properly evaluate what the best rate for you is. Do you want to know where you fit into the new world of mortgage rates? Please give me a call or send me an email and I would be happy to help. *Industry Changes: Department of Finance and Article from the Globe and Mail Mortgage Tip: Do you know what is on your credit report? Check your report for free.
Stress Test Best Practices Tool Kit
With the new Office of the Superintendent of Financial Institutions stress test rules firmly in place since January, Canadian homebuyers have learned they need to arm themselves with practical information on how they can ensure they are stress-test ready. The following is a guide and best practices tool kit for those about to embark on securing their new or next mortgage: Make a financial plan Any time a big purchase is at stake, laying out a financial plan is always the best first step to take. By creating a plan, home buyers can protect themselves from increased interest rates and ensure they are staying on budget. Have a contingency fund Without question and now more than ever, home buyers need to establish contingency funds. Its incredibly important to have funds set aside when unexpected costs such as property repairs arise. An established contingency fund also looks good to financial lenders. Pay off debts and increase downpayment The most important tool in the Best Practices Tool Kit is to pay off debts as quickly as possible and maximize your down payment. If you already have a mortgage, increase the frequency of payments by taking advantage of what the financial institution offers such as accelerated bi-weekly payments. Broaden search parameters Although you may have an ideal neighbourhood in mind, it is important to also consider broadening those search parameters. Often there are homes in other neighborhoods that could be a perfect choice if you are willing to commute a little longer. Im here to help you I can help you to navigate confusion surrounding the stress test. Ultimately, being stress test ready means being ready for future increases in rate so that you can afford your next home comfortably on your budget.
Preventing Falls on Stairs
Accessible housing refers to homes that are designed or modified to enable independent living for all residents, including seniors or persons with disabilities. Accessibility can be achieved through architectural design and also by integrating accessibility features, such as lowered light switches, grab bars, walk-in bathtubs, lowered shelves and cupboards, modified furniture or by installing electronic devices in the home. Stairs in the home can be dangerous and can be a barrier to accessibility unless they are designed or modified to reduce the risk of falls. If residents have limited mobility, it may be necessary to install ramps, home elevators or stairlifts to make the home safe and accessible. A high percentage of Canadians who visit hospitals after a fall on or from stairs or steps in their homes are seniors (men and women 65 years or older). When seniors fall, the consequences can be severe and long-lasting. Most falls on stairs can be prevented. Prevention starts by keeping in mind that there are risks in using stairs. Good planning and simple strategies can help prevent falls and injuries. Click here for more information https://www.cmhc-schl.gc.ca/odpub/pdf/63637.pdf?fr=1441901329905