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 activity eases in October
Ottawa, ON, November 15, 2018 Statistics released today by the Canadian Real Estate Association (CREA) show national home sales declined between September and October 2018. Highlights:
National home sales fell 1.6% from September to October.
Actual (not seasonally adjusted) activity was down by 3.7% from one year ago.
The number of newly listed homes eased 1.1% from September to October.
The MLS Home Price Index (HPI) was up 2.3% year-over-year (y-o-y) in October.
The national average sale price slipped by 1.5% y-o-y in October.
Home sales via Canadian MLS Systems edged back by 1.6% in October 2018. While activity is still stronger compared to the first half of 2018, it remains below monthly levels recorded from early 2014 through 2017. (Chart A) Transactions declined in more than half of all local markets, led by Hamilton-Burlington, Montreal and Edmonton. Although activity did improve modestly in many markets, it was offset by a decline in sales elsewhere by a factor of two.
Actual (not seasonally adjusted) activity was down 3.7% compared to October 2017 and in line with the 10-year average for the month. While sales were down y-o-y in slightly more than half of all local markets in October, lower sales in Greater Vancouver and the Fraser Valley more than offset the rise in sales in the Greater Toronto Area (GTA) and Montreal by a wide margin.
This years new mortgage stress-test has lowered how much mortgage home buyers can qualify for across Canada, but its effect on sales has varied somewhat depending on location, housing type and price range, said CREA President Barb Sukkau. All real estate is local. A professional REALTOR is your best source for information and guidance in negotiating a purchase or sale of a home during these changing times, added Sukkau.
National sales activity lost momentum in October, said Gregory Klump, CREAs Chief Economist. In part, this reflects waning activity among some urban centers in Ontarios Greater Golden Horseshoe region and the absence of an offsetting rise in sales in the Lower Mainland of British Columbia. Even so, the balance between sales and listings in these regions points to stable prices or modest gains. By contrast, the balance between sales and listings for housing markets in Alberta, Saskatchewan and Newfoundland indicates a weak pricing environment for homeowners who are looking to sell.
The number of newly listed homes edged down 1.1% between September and October, led by the GTA, Calgary and Victoria. The decline in new supply among these markets more than offset an increase in new supply in Edmonton and Greater Vancouver.
As for the balance between sales and listings, the national sales-to-new listings ratio in October came in at 54.2% close to Septembers reading of 54.4% and its long-term average of 53.4%.
Considering the degree and duration to which market balance readings are above or below their long-term average is the best way of gauging whether local housing market conditions favour buyers or sellers. As a rule of thumb, measures of market balance that are within one standard deviation of their long-term average are generally consistent with balanced market conditions.
Based on a comparison of the sales-to-new listings ratio with the long-term average, about two-thirds of all local markets were in balanced market territory in October 2018.
Most First-Time Homebuyers Spending All They Can Afford
Millennials have made up a significant portion of homebuyers in recent years and based on the 2018 Mortgage Consumer Survey, they continue to do so, representing just under half (49%) of first-time buyer respondents. Although this is a decrease from 60% in 2017 and 58% in 2016, Millennials continue to influence and shape the homebuying and mortgage process.
Heres more of what we learned about Millennials and first-time buyers as a whole, powered by the 2018 Mortgage Consumer Survey.
What does the typical first-time buyer profile look like? Forty percent are married, 80% are employed full-time and about one-quarter (26%) have a household income between $60,000 and $90,000. A strong percentage of them were born outside of Canada, with 22% identifying as newcomers to Canada. Mortgage professionals can help meet the unique needs of newcomers with the support of CMHCs homebuying information which is available in 8 different languages.
The top 2 reasons first-time buyers bought a home: they wanted to get a first home and they felt financially ready. Although certain urban markets continue to exhibit high house prices and other barriers to entry, the survey found that 61% of first-time buyers bought a single-detached home. In fact, single-detached home was the top housing type purchased in all regions across Canada, except in British Columbia where condominium apartment was the most popular housing type.
The vast majority (85%) of first-time buyers spent the most they could afford on their home, compared to 68% of repeat buyers. This indicates that first-time buyers, including Millennials, may be stretching themselves financially to purchase their home. When it comes to the down payment, savings from outside an RRSP was the main source for first-time buyers. This suggest there is an opportunity to further educate first-time buyers about other options to help fund their down payment, such as the Government of Canadas Home Buyers Plan (HBP).
To get assistance with the mortgage process, first-time buyers contacted, on average, 2 brokers and 3 lenders. First-time buyer satisfaction levels with mortgage brokers and lenders remains high. However, mortgage professionals could further increase satisfaction levels by conducting more post-transaction follow-up and by providing clients with more information on closing costs, house purchase fees, interest rates, and steps involved in buying a home. CMHCs Step by Step guide is a valuable tool for mortgage professionals to share with homebuyers to ensure they feel confident throughout the entire homebuying process.