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Reverse Mortgages growing in popularity… Product of the year 2018?

Reverse mortgage

Mortgage stress test is the buzz phrase in mortgage lending for 2018. Every borrower, regardless of how much down payment you’re making, must pass a stress test to qualify for a mortgage. The math is simple, yet intimidating. Lenders must now use your mortgage contract rate PLUS 2.00% to qualify you.

Yes, that’s correct. You need to qualify at a rate that’s 2.00% higher than your actual rate. And it doesn’t matter if you have 35%, 40%, 50%, 60% or even 70% down payment. That will not have any impact on your approval. It’s all about how much income you can prove you earn and the strength of your credit worthiness.

For many, this new rule will prevent them from qualifying for a mortgage. And for seniors or people approaching retirement who still require a small mortgage to get through the next 10 or 20 years, these new mortgage rules are a killer. The stress test is surely causing stress among many Canadians!

I’M RETIRING AND WANT TO STAY IN MY HOME…

A reverse mortgage is a terrific option for homeowners who are at least 55 years old. It empowers them to be able to stay in their home and access tax-free equity without having to make regular payments.

Continue reading “Reverse Mortgages growing in popularity… Product of the year 2018?”

Why I started this site… 400+ articles later

Facts Myths

I’m often asked why I started this site. It’s simple: I was tired of reading misinformation and twisted truths about mortgage brokering in Canada.

Back in 2009 when I created the site, there were some new blogs reporting on mortgage trends and offering ‘expert’ advice. (I use the term ‘expert’ loosely.) In reality, these sites were full of misinformation. The information was even damaging to the mortgage brokering landscape, in many cases… yet, they were being quoted by our largest newspapers and TV news channels. Wow! How can the major newspapers print this stuff?? It made me angry.

At the same time, there were rate shopping sites being launched. You know the ones… they compare bank, credit union and mortgage broker rates. These sites promised to compare rates, with no strings attached and tell you which provider has the lowest rate. They were supposed to be totally unbiased. They were supposed to be market neutral. Hey, don’t get me wrong, everyone loves to compare, shop and save, right? Comparing is part of being a smart consumer… but there is this huge problem… These sites are NOT unbiased or neutral. These sites are NOT run or owned by independent people.

You would expect a product review site to be neutral and unbiased, right? I mean, it just makes sense. If I want to compare hotels or vacation destinations, I’ll go to a site like TripAdvisor or Booking.com. We can clearly view the best available price and past customer experiences. We wouldn’t expect TripAdvisor or Booking.com to own the hotels or airlines they were advertising. That would be a conflict of interest.

Continue reading “Why I started this site… 400+ articles later”

Coming soon…Higher CMHC premiums March 17, 2017

CMHCThis is not a recording.  CMHC is increasing their premiums for the 3rd time in 4 years.  Here’s what it will look like.

Loan-to-Value Ratio Standard Premium (Current) Standard Premium (Effective March 17, 2017)
Up to and including 65% 0.60% 0.60%
Up to and including 75% 0.75% 1.70%
Up to and including 80% 1.25% 2.40%
Up to and including 85% 1.80% 2.80%
Up to and including 90% 2.40% 3.10%
Up to and including 95% 3.60% 4.00%
90.01% to 95% – Non-Traditional Down Payment 3.85% 4.50%

 

Wondering why they need to increase the premiums?  It’s not about trying to discourage homebuyers.  It’s to “preserve the returns on capital”, according to Steven Mennill, SVP CMHC.  Yup, the Crown corporation wants to focus on profit.  (show me the money).  At least they’re being honest about it. The overall amount of mortgages insured by CMHC has dropped in the past 4 years.  Down from $576billion to around $512billion.   So, it’s about maintaining profits while their book of business is shrinking.

Having said that, CMHC has lowered, increased and lowered their insurance premiums before.  We can expect them to change and adjust again.

In case you are wondering why the overall volume is going down when house prices are going up, it’s because the Fed govt has changed the mortgage rules so that it becomes more difficult to qualify for a mortgage.  Therefore, the amount of mortgages CMHC can insure is going down.

Now for some good news..

The overall cost to your mortgage is minimal.  Oh yeah, one more thing…without CMHC, we would all be digging deeper into our pockets to come up with 20% or 25% down, like the old days.   And while some may think that is how it should be, those days are long gone.  First time homebuyers don’t have $100k, or $200k sitting around to buy a home.   They need help.. And what’s wrong with helping our youth that are ambitious enough to want to own a home?

CMHC is a necessary evil.

Your best interest is my only interest.   I reply to all questions and I welcome your comments.  Like this article?  Share with a friend.

Steve Garganis 416 224 0114 steve@mortgagenow.ca

Bridge loans explained… your bank hates them but they are extremely useful

bridge-loansBridge loans are short-term loans that bridge the gap between two different closing dates.  More commonly used when an existing homeowner sells their home, and buys another home, with two different closing dates.   But bridge loans have become a very popular way to take possession of that new home while it’s empty for 2 or 3 weeks to allow for renos.   Best of all, it’s really inexpensive!

THE OLD WAY

In the past, most homebuyers would have their selling and buying dates match.   It’s always been a bit of a juggling act as you have to pack your moving truck and unpack it, all in less than a day.   Somehow, everyone manages to get it done… but you talk about one of the most stressful days in your life….moving ranks right up there!   Throw in some kids, maybe a dog, and a house full of stuff and you have a real chore on your hands….

THE NEW WAY… Continue reading “Bridge loans explained… your bank hates them but they are extremely useful”

Should you look at 10 year fixed rate mortgages?

Fixed rate mortgageToday, right now, we are experiencing all-time record low fixed mortgage rates.  Great news if you need a mortgage.  And some of you may be thinking of locking into a longer term mortgage.   Let’s take a look at that option.

Going longer could be an option for some.  The Best 5 yr fixed  is around 2.59%.. some special deals exist for larger mortgages or faster closings… but let’s use 2.59% for now.   Does it make sense to pay 0.30% more for the first 3 years of your mortgage, just for the benefit of knowing what your rate will be for the last 2 years?

(a warning… you’ll see lower rates advertised.. but be careful.  There are so many NO FRILLS products or products that carry inflated penalty calculations, limited repayment options and other hidden fees.. stay away from those)

Continue reading “Should you look at 10 year fixed rate mortgages?”

I have 2.39% for 5 yrs fixed available…but I wont sell it.

percentageIt’s true.  I have access to this great rate.  It’s around 0.20% lower than the best rate today.   And you won’t see me recommending it to my clients.

That’s right, I’m recommending they don’t take it.

Why?  It’s simple.  No, I don’t want my clients paying more on their mortgage. I want to see them PAY LESS to own their homes.  This is one of those products that carries an inflated prepayment penalty. Should the homeowner need to get out of their mortgage early, they will be hammered with a ridiculous exit cost.   We’re talking 10, 12, even 16 months worth of interest penalty.

Statistics clearly show we are paying or changing our mortgages every 3 years.   So, chances are, you will have to pay this penalty.   On a $300,000 mortgage, your penalty could be $9,000 or more.  Compared with $1,943.  That’s a $7,000 difference.

That 0.20% savings on the rate equals $600 per year..   You still think that 2.39% rate is great??

The next time you hear or see something that sounds too good to be true, it probably is.  If you aren’t sure, call me or an experienced Mortgage Broker for unbiased advice.

Your best interest is my only interest.   I reply to all questions and I welcome your comments.  Like this article?  Share with a friend.

Steve Garganis 416 224 0114 steve@mortgagenow.ca

Variable rate is out, Fixed rates are in…. But, which term…?

Variable rate mortgageFor more than a decade, I’ve been recommending Variable rate mortgages, as the product of choice. My clients have saved $thousands.  It’s been a great 11 year run..   But now, the strategy has changed slightly.   Read on, to see my newest recommendations..

QUICK VARIABLE RATE HISTORY.

First, you need to understand the history..  Variable rate had lots of pluses.   It had a lower rate of interest, the penalty can never go over 3 months interest, and you have the option to lock into a Fixed rate at any time.

Being in a Variable meant paying lower rates.  In fact, the difference, compared with Fixed rates, ranged between 1.00% and 3.00%.  This translated to several $$thousand in less interest each year. Continue reading “Variable rate is out, Fixed rates are in…. But, which term…?”

Hey, what happened to the BMO “Low Rate Mortgage”?

Bmo wideRemember the BMO “Low rate mortgage”?  It seems to have disappeared…  Well, not really.   BMO has quietly changed the label and now calls it the ‘Smart Fixed Rate Mortgage’.  

Sounds impressive…but it’s not.   I’ll save the suspense.  This is the same product that’s full of limitations, restrictions and an inflated prepayment penalty calculation…. It isn’t the best rate…   Certainly NOT the best mortgage product. Continue reading “Hey, what happened to the BMO “Low Rate Mortgage”?”

New 2nd mortgage options at 3.50% with no legal fee or appraisal fee!

canadian-money-gift

I’m reposting this article due to the tremendous response and numerous inquiries..  

We recently came across a lender that is offering an unheard of offer.   Secured lines of credit in 2nd position at Prime plus 0.50%.  That’s 3.50% today!   We haven’t seen this sort of offer in quite a while for 2nd mortgages.  Here’s the qualifying details:

  • you have to have good credit
  • you need provable income to qualify along
  • there must be adequate equity in your home.   The product allows you to borrow up to 80% of the appraised value of your home.
  • the appraisal fee and legal fees are covered by the lender (that’s a $1200 savings)!!
  • a small broker fee may apply …. see me for details.

This rate is truly incredible for such a product.  But having the legal fees and appraisal covered is truly amazing! I rarely get this excited about a product but this one has me pumped!   For those that don’t know, most 2nd mortgage options begin at 10% to 12% plus fees.

For those that can’t provide traditional income confirmation, such as self-employed or commissioned employees, there are other options for you.  The rates are higher but there are options.  And for those with slow or poor credit, you also have some options available for mortgage funds.. provided there is adequate equity in your home.   Remember, each situation is reviewed on a case by case basis.  Pricing and cost will vary.

If you are looking for some extra funds or access to a line of credit, this product could be a great option.

Happy Holidays!

Your best interest is my only interest.   I reply to all questions and I welcome your comments.  Like this article?  Share with a friend.

Steve Garganis 416 224 0114 steve@mortgagenow.ca

RBC announces ’employee pricing for mortgages’.. and it’s April Fools day.

RBC-BankRBC is coming out with their employee pricing program for mortgages… yet again.   And like last year’s promotion, it deserves a closer look.. or at least some exposure.

Last year, the program promised to “break through the clutter of price wars within the mortgage marketplace”, to quote Sean Amato-Gauci, Senior VP at RBC.    It was a twist on the auto industry.

And like last year, they aren’t putting their actual interest rate isn’t going to be advertised in any print.  They are hoping Consumers will be intrigued enough to call or walk into a branch to get the actual rate.   Well, I’ll save you the suspense.  Rumors say it could be as low as 2.69% for a 5 yr fixed rate product.  Hey, that’s a good rate.  It’s a competitive rate.  But it’s not the best mortgage out there!   Check out these facts… Continue reading “RBC announces ’employee pricing for mortgages’.. and it’s April Fools day.”

News Flash! BMO and TD’s 2.79% is great but it ISN’T the lowest rate!

Bmo wide thumbs downIt’s become an annual tradition.  Every year around this time, BMO announces, what appears to be a great mortgage for a 5 year fixed rate.   Last week, BMO announced they were lowering their 5 yr Fixed rate to 2.79%.  TD jumped in and did the same thing.  Wow!  That’s the lowest advertised rate by a BIG SIX BANK, in history. (excuse me while I yawn..pause for long yawn here)

Hey! Guess what?  It’s NOT the best rate available!  Read on….

HERE’S 7 FACTS BMO AND TD DON’T WANT YOU TO KNOW, BUT I’LL TELL YOU: Continue reading “News Flash! BMO and TD’s 2.79% is great but it ISN’T the lowest rate!”

Collateral Mortgages… a different 50 shades of grey!

handcuffs In 2010, TD announced they would begin registering ALL new mortgages as a collateral charge.  The sale pitch was that it was good for the consumer.  It would allow TD clients to borrow more, in the future, without having to incur new legal fees.  Yes, that part is true.

But they’ve left out a lot stuff, too!   For years, Mortgage Brokers and other unbiased financial professionals, cautioned the public about collateral mortgages.    And in 2013, CBC Marketplace did an expose on TD and their retail branch’s lack of knowledge and disclosure.   Is this where you want to go for your mortgage?TD

By the way, TD wasn’t the only Bank to go with collateral charge only.   ING made the same move in Dec 2011.  And they used a similar sales pitch.   But my readers have been hip to this and aren’t getting fooled.

The federal govt was pressured into taking action to protect consumers.  In Sept 2014, the federal govt announced ‘more disclosure.  But have the Banks really given us more disclosure?   Continue reading “Collateral Mortgages… a different 50 shades of grey!”

NO SET UP COSTS!! Secured line of credit at Prime plus 0.50%!

canadian-money-giftA few months ago, I announced a special promotion.  A secured line of credit, at Prime plus 0.50% (2.85% plus 0.50% = 3.35%) with NO set up costs.  The response has been so overwhelming that I’m publishing this promotion once again.

FREE legal fees and FREE appraisal fees.  The Bank is covering both these costs.   You pay nothing.  $0.00.  It’s just that simple.  AND, this Bank will go in 2nd position behind your existing 1st mortgage if necessary.

You must qualify, of course.  Good credit, stable income, qualify real estate, etc.   If you are interested in this product, contact me for details.   This is a limited time offer.  We do not have an expiry date but it can be terminated at any time.

Brokers and Agents, please do not call.  I am not able to share this offer with you.  Sorry.

Your best interest is my only interest.   I reply to all questions and I welcome your comments.  Like this article?  Share with a friend.

Steve Garganis 416 224 0114 steve@mortgagenow.ca

Self-employed and can’t prove all income? There’s a new mortgage solution.

approvedIT STARTED WITH 2008

In 2008, the world experienced the U.S. sub-prime mortgage crisis.  Financial markets and real estate values nose-dived around the world…. well, not everywhere.    Some countries, like Canada, held their own.   Most of Canada didn’t really suffer like the rest of the world.  Call it luck, govt intervention, maybe being 5 yrs behind the U.S. (that’s personally what I think it was),  or whatever.   Today, property values have never been higher!

Here’s the strange thing.  Our Federal govt has made several mortgage rule changes that makes getting a mortgage tougher.  Yet, those changes were made AFTER the crisis.  In fact, they have made annual changes since 2009, including 2013.   Somehow, our real estate market remains red-hot.  (That’s something to discuss another day).

The govt demanded higher credit scores, more proof of income, larger down payments, shorter amortizations and reduced how much your can borrow against your house.   Yes, all these changes were made AFTER the 2008 crisis and are as recent 2013.  And that’s what so amazing our current real estate market..  it’s resilient.  It’s continued to grow and climb even with all the govt tinkering.   Continue reading “Self-employed and can’t prove all income? There’s a new mortgage solution.”

A 2nd mortgage? Yes, this option can save you money.

 

loan sharkQuick, what’s the first thing that comes to mind when you think of “second mortgages”?   For some it could be that shady looking character in a smoke-filled pool hall… guys with gold chains and a baseball bat nearby.   Maybe you’re thinking of someone in financial trouble. Or maybe it’s just someone who doesn’t want to pay outrageous costs and penalties to refinance their existing mortgage.

The mere mention of 2nd mortgages conjures up all sort of images.  Most of them, negative.  For many, a 2nd mortgage can be a last resort solution during a financial crisis.   For several others, it can be an opportunity to save money.   That’s right, to save money.

Sure, 2nd mortgages carry a higher interest rate than 1st mortgages but, they can also serve a purpose.    One of those purposes can be to save you money.  Yup, I said it again.  There are some new trends emerging with today’s new mortgage products that are forcing consumers to seek other options.  Two of these trends are INFLATED PREPAYMENT PENALTIES and NO FRILLS MORTGAGES! Continue reading “A 2nd mortgage? Yes, this option can save you money.”

Long term is almost always more expensive.

long term contractsEver wanted to change cell phone providers?  How about internet providers?  Move your investments or rrsps?  Cancel that hydro or gas contract because you moved?

And how about mortgages?  When interest rates started heading down about 4 years ago, thousand of borrowers in fixed rate mortgages wanted to get out of their higher rates and start benefiting from the record low interest rates.

But borrowers were shocked to hear of unbelievably high early prepayment penalties…   Penalties of $15,000, $20,000, $30,000.    One recent situation had CIBC charging a $33,000 penalty on a $500,000 mortgage.  I’ve seen dozens and dozens of situations like this.   Almost all of these high penalties were from one of the BIG SIX BANKS…    Continue reading “Long term is almost always more expensive.”

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