You know why you want to become a homeowner, let me show you how.
BLOG / NEWS Updates
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.
OSFI tightens mortgage rules Edit
The Office of the Superintendent of Financial Institutions Canada (OSFI) published the final version of Guideline B-20 Residential Mortgage Underwriting Practices and Procedures. The revised Guideline, which comes into effect on January 1, 2018, applies to all federally regulated financial institutions. The changes to Guideline B-20 reinforce OSFIs expectation that federally regulated mortgage lenders remain vigilant in their mortgage underwriting practices. The final Guideline focuses on the minimum qualifying rate for uninsured mortgages, expectations around loan-to-value (LTV) frameworks and limits, and restrictions to transactions designed to circumvent those LTV limits. OSFI is setting a new minimum qualifying rate, or stress test, for uninsured mortgages. Guideline B-20 now requires the minimum qualifying rate for uninsured mortgages to be the greater of the five-year benchmark rate published by the Bank of Canada or the contractual mortgage rate +2%. OSFI is requiring lenders to enhance their loan-to-value (LTV) measurement and limits so they will be dynamic and responsive to risk. Under the final Guideline, federally regulated financial institutions must establish and adhere to appropriate LTV ratio limits that are reflective of risk and are updated as housing markets and the economic environment evolve. OSFI is placing restrictions on certain lending arrangements that are designed, or appear designed to circumvent LTV limits. A federally regulated financial institution is prohibited from arranging with another lender a mortgage, or a combination of a mortgage and other lending products, in any form that circumvents the institutions maximum LTV ratio or other limits in its residential mortgage underwriting policy, or any requirements established by law. To find out how this will affect you, please contact me at anytime.
Easy ways to keep more money in your pocket
It goes without saying that most of us would appreciate a little more money in our pockets. Believe it or not, its actually an achievable goal. In fact, a few simple tips can help you uncover meaningful savings each and every month. Need some ideas? Heres a little inspiration to get you started: 1. Pack food from home for lunches and snacks. Skip sandwich bags and opt for reusable containers, cutlery and drink bottle. 2. Switch light bulbs to CFLs. On average, it costs $250 a year in energy costs to light your home with incandescents. Save $150 by going with CFLs. Theyre more expensive initially, but will last 10 times longer. 3. Review and negotiate your service plansphone, internet, cable and television content. 4. Invest in topping up your insulation. Attic insulation can settle and compact over time, diminishing its original R-value and increasing heating/cooling costs. Topping it up with a quality batt insulation, like Roxul Comfortbatt, will immediately help improve the comfort of your home and reduce your monthly energy bills. 5. Pay off credit card debt and swap cards for lower interest rate options. 6. Install low-flow water fixtures to cut down on excess water consumption. 7. Lower your thermostat by two degrees in cold weather and increase it by two degrees in warmer weather. 8. Launder your clothes in cold water and at off-peak times. 9. Avoid impulse shopping. Stick to your list and avoid window shopping, which tends to draw buyers in. 10. Save money on entertainment by looking for free activities. For options in your area, try a simple internet search. You might be pleasantly surprised at the wide variety of activities and entertainment available for no or low cost. Collectively employing the tips above could potentially add up to thousands in annual savings, proving that sometimes change can be a good thing. www.newscanada.com