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why rent when you could buy

The affordability of homeownership… Rent or Buy?

why rent when you could buy

After years of seeing countless articles and posts about interest rates, housing affordability issues, mortgage stress tests disqualifying some people from being able to buy, higher personal debt levels, does it still make sense to buy a home?

Yes! There is positive news. You can still buy a home. And you can still qualify for a mortgage.

Continue reading “The affordability of homeownership… Rent or Buy?”

Adjustments to the Mortgage Stress Test

Adjustments to the “Stress Test” don’t go far enough

Adjustments to the Mortgage Stress Test

In case you missed it, Finance Minister Bill Morneau announced this week that adjustments to the “Stress Test” are coming on April 6th. While the government says the change will make the stress test qualifying rate more responsive to market conditions, what does that really look like?

On the bright side, this new qualifying rate will probably be lower by around 0.30%.  This will increase the amount of a house one can buy by around 5%.  

Example… $500k increases to $525k.  

On the dark side, this isn’t really making a whole lot of difference. I don’t want to sound pessimistic, but I’d like to point out the shortcomings of his announcement. It’s purely political. They said they would do something and I guess, technically they did. But it really has no significant impact. 

Continue reading “Adjustments to the “Stress Test” don’t go far enough”

Mortgage Rates are still trending Lower… Yes, in August!

Its Christmas! Home Sweet Home. Home Improvement And Time. Enjoy

A couple years ago, the federal government brought in some tighter mortgage qualifying rules. The ‘stress test’ was just one of several changes, but it’s definitely the most well known.

The feds wanted to slow the housing market. They also wanted to ensure that borrowers could afford the much anticipated mortgage rate hikes. Rates have to go up some time, right?! When?!

Continue reading “Mortgage Rates are still trending Lower… Yes, in August!”

Is Common-Sense Lending Making a Comeback?!

Blog Image, Total Net Worth Program, March 2019

I’d like to think the Total Net Worth Program reintroduced by a lender recently is an indication of what’s to come!

I’m excited about this program. It allows borrowers with good net worth to gain access to money. This is old-school lending – nothing new – but it’s a comeback worth celebrating!

Continue reading “Is Common-Sense Lending Making a Comeback?!”

Mortgage Rates have Dropped and Will Fall Further

Mortgage shopping

Rate forecasting isn’t rocket science – it’s more common sense than you think! But, it requires a clear mind to make sense of all the rubbish that’s being published these days.

I’ve been forecasting for a while now that interest rates would start to come back down this year. Currently, interest rates are down by around 0.4% and will come down further.

WHY ARE RATES FALLING?  Continue reading “Mortgage Rates have Dropped and Will Fall Further”

Mortgage growth has slowed… so why are BANKS winning & CONSUMERS losing?

Blog Image, Feb 12, 2018

I reviewed some recent stats that explain how overall mortgage growth has fallen to its lowest level in the past 17 years!

Overall, mortgages outstanding across Canada total more than $1.5 trillion. And, while this total continues to increase year over year, the rate of growth has decreased. We should pay attention to this!

Typically, when we experience lower mortgage growth or no growth at all, house prices will follow suit and come down.

But, why aren’t the banks up in arms over this given that they make huge profits by lending money? (More on this below.)

Continue reading “Mortgage growth has slowed… so why are BANKS winning & CONSUMERS losing?”

Buying a home is cheaper than renting. Don’t be intimidated!

Buy Or Rent?

Could 2018 be the year where the pessimists finally get their way? I hate to admit it, but this could be the year where buying a home may not be a good idea.

OK, just kidding!!!

But after years of seeing countless articles and posts about rising interest rates, housing affordability issues, mortgage stress tests disqualifying some people from being able to buy, higher personal debt levels, NAFTA economic fears and Donald Trump (ok, Trump has nothing to do with this, but you can’t write an article these days without blaming him, right?!), does it still make sense to buy a home?

Yes! There is positive news. You can still buy a home. And you can still qualify for a mortgage.

Continue reading “Buying a home is cheaper than renting. Don’t be intimidated!”

Six Months was What it Took to Absorb Latest Mortgage Changes!

Blog Image, Adjust to Change, August 2018

Ever since the US 2008 sub-prime mortgage crisis, we’ve seen a never-ending string of change. Mortgage lending rules have become tougher and tighter. Underwriting is stricter and more thorough. (As usual, the government has not missed an opportunity to stick their nose into your business by making lenders ask for more income documentation.)

The rule of change is that it takes around six months for consumers to adjust.
Continue reading “Six Months was What it Took to Absorb Latest Mortgage Changes!”

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?”

Mortgage Brief.. Mortgages rules explained… and why didn’t the govt consult experts?

Bill Morneautrudeau

They say we don’t read emails or articles anymore.. we just skim through them.   But some things can’t be understood with a quick glance.  The new mortgage rules will impact EVERYONE!

If you want to understand how they impact you, continue reading… If you don’t care or want to be oblivious, take the blue pill and move on.

I’ve put together a list of the mortgage rules so that you can understand what they mean and how they will impact you.   Hey, let’s give The Federal govt some credit… they’ve been transparent about a few things, right?:

  • They want house prices to drop.
  • They don’t want anyone to have a mortgage if their home is worth more than $1,000,000.
  • They don’t want you to ever refinance your mortgage.  You should only require a mortgage when you buy a house.
  • They don’t want you to buy a house and rent it out.  You should only buy a rental property if it has 2 or more units.
  • Mortgages should not be amortized for longer than 25 years.
  • They want rates to go way up.

Here’s the official update from our Department of Finance.

Here we go.. Forget the data and stats being reported today.  Those stats don’t matter!  We want to see the stats after March 30th, 2017.

Remember the mortgage rule changes of October 17th?  How about the ones on November 30th?  Get ready, we won’t see the full effect of these changes until after March 30th 2017.

That’s when the last of the mortgage approvals will have closed, that were done under the old rules. And all the new mortgage closings beyond this date, will have had to been qualified with the new rules.  This is when we’ll begin to see the impact of these rules… And we’ll begin to see just how many Canadians will be have been impacted.

If you think I’m wrong, read the rule changes below and tell me what other conclusions you can come up with. Continue reading “Mortgage Brief.. Mortgages rules explained… and why didn’t the govt consult experts?”

Mortgage tricks… and treats!

halloween-moneyHappy Halloween! And before the kids knock on your door.. just thought I’d send a quick mortgage trick and trick..

TRICK..  ‘Stress Test’ for mortgage qualifying.  The Finance Minister, Bill Morneau, blindsided Canadian Banks, Financial Experts and consumers when the govt introduced mortgage rules making qualifying even tougher.  The new rules mean consumers must qualify at the posted bank 5 year fixed rate.

TREAT... The reality of the new mortgage rules is that it’s not going to affect that many.  One of Canada’s biggest mortgage lenders told me, confidentially, that over 95% of their portfolio would easily pass the new stress test.  The REAL devil here is the Canadian Press.  Unfortunately, they are making this latest change sound like a death-blow for the real estate market.  Gauging my own clients profiles, I would say that even fewer than 5% would be affected.

If you’ve followed my site, you’ll know I’m a huge Variable rate advocate.  More than 90% of my clients have been in a Variable rate product.  And guess what?  They’ve always been able to qualify using the posted 5 yr fixed rate.

The govt wants to slow the housing market and property value increases.  I agree, we don’t want to see house prices continue unsustainable increases.   Not sure this latest change is the correct move.  Perhaps, this rule could have apply for higher priced homes only..?   Exclude homes less than $600k or $700k? Just a thought..   I’m also unsure the lack consultation or input from industry experts, was a wise move.  More open discussion is needed.  Just my opinion..

Happy Halloween.

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

Mortgage brief… New Liberal govt mortgage rule changes..and what it means.

Bill Morneauthumbs down Yesterday, Federal Minister of Finance, Bill Morneau, announced tighter lending rules.  The big focus is on the new ‘stress test’. To sum it up, here’s what’s gonna happen and how it will affect you.

First, let me say this..   IT’S NOT THAT BAD… It will affect those with tighter budgets, but not the vast majority of buyers.

NEW RULE:

-As of October 17, everyone must qualify using the Bank posted 5 year fixed rate.  Today, that’s 4.64% (well over the discounted 5 yr, which is averaging around 2.59%..lower with most Brokers).

-borrowing less than 80% of the value of your home allows you to extend your amortization to 30 years…. but not any longer..it now be capped at 25 years.

There were some other changes, but these are the ones that will affect us most.  So here’s some other facts the media may not be telling you:

-You remember I said it wasn’t that bad?  It’s true.  Over 90% of my clients are qualifying already, using the Bank 5 yr posted fixed rates.  I suspect that most homebuyers can qualify just as well on October 17, as they can today.

-I’ll repeat…Most homebuyers can qualify easily with a 25 year amortization, but choose to extend that to a 30 year amortization as a fail safe or preventative measure, just in case their incomes are affected in the future … job loss, family illness, child school fees, other financial crisis.

-The govt wants to stop house prices from rising in Toronto, Vancouver and other major urban hotspots.   But if you are an investor, earning good income, or have a good down payment, this won’t affect you.   Yes, some homebuyers will no longer qualify under traditional lending policies….

-But watch out for the secondary lenders.  Secondary lenders AREN’T offering loan shark rates, contrary to what the media might have you believe.  They will gain market share as traditional lenders can’t help these borrowers.  I’m talking about financial institutions that specialize in that gray market where borrowers don’t quite qualify but can still afford it.  They will pay 4% or 5%  on their mortgage.  (wasn’t that long ago that 4% was a fully discounted AAA rate).

More on this follow..   stay tuned.

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

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