12 Apr

First time Home buyer

General

Posted by: Zahra Modiri

Is this your first time buying a home? You may find this article interesting from my colleague Josee

8 CONSIDERATIONS FOR THE FIRST TIME HOME BUYER

Top 8 Benefits of Using a Mortgage Broker1. Create yourself a Budget and stick to it, so you can keep your finances on track. Planning a budget will help you identify uneconomical expenditures and help you achieve your financial goals. Having a budget can also decrease your stress levels, prepare you for unexpected costs and help you plan for your future of home ownership.

Some of the things you should consider in a budget are all your sources of income, mortgage payment, all loans, condo fees, utilities, cable, internet, phone bills, credit card debts, entertainment expenses, clothing, food, transportation expenses, Insurance (auto, house, life), personal grooming, pet care, donations, child care and an emergency fund which can assist in those unexpected costs like an exterior leak, plumbing issues or just those unforeseen repairs and maintenance issues that could arise.

2. Before you start looking at homes, meet with your Mortgage Broker so they can assist you in figuring out how much home you can afford, get you pre-approved for a mortgage loan and give you the information you need for planning and preparing to save for your down payment. It can be very disappointing to find your dream home only to find out you don’t qualify.

During your qualification period and before you purchase a home, avoid making any big purchases like a new car or buying furniture as these expenses will have to be factored into your debt servicing ratios and could seriously jeopardize your loan approval.

3. Part of your budget plan is to know and consider the additional costs before the purchase of your home. Legal fees, mortgage insurance premiums, life and disability Insurance, Fire Insurance, house insurance, strata fees, appraisal, home inspection, property survey, moving costs, appliances, home maintenance equipment, purchase deposit, down payment, GST if it’s a new construction, property tax, and possibly property transfer taxes. The amount of this property transfer tax will depend on your province and the amount of your home purchase price.

4. Your realtor should be someone you can trust, who understands your needs and will take the time to educate you through the home buying process and the current real estate market conditions in your chosen area.

Your realtor will provide a variety of services to make the complexity of purchasing a home seamless. For example, they will arrange appointments of potential homes, assist in the Contract Of Purchase And Sale agreements, obtain and review the strata minutes, negotiate the home offer on your behalf, inform you of facilities and public services that are available in your neighborhood and current future zoning regulations. Simply, they will streamline the biggest investment purchase that you will ever make.

5. Have your home or strata property inspected. This is one of the most important steps to consider when buying a home, to make sure your home is a sound investment and a safe place to live. If significant defects are revealed by a home inspection, you can back out of your offer, free of penalty, within a certain time frame. Condominium buyers will tend to focus on the Form B certificate that will identify any major issues and costs by the condominium corporation.

6. If there is anything unclear to you while you are preparing the Contract Of Purchase And Sale have the Purchase And Sale Agreement reviewed by your real estate attorney before signing this legal document.

7. Subject Clauses on your Offer To Purchase is highly recommended, especially for first time home buyers. For example a

  • subject to a satisfactory home inspection
  • subject to arranging your mortgage financing

It is of great significance to know that “subject clauses” do not “elude” you to avoid your legal responsibilities in the contract and you must make every attempt to fulfill the conditions that you have set. During this time, it is the seller’s discretion to continue to accept other offers even after the seller has accepted your offer with subjects.

8. On Closing Day, all parties will sign the papers at the lawyer’s office, officially sealing the deal. This is the day that ownership of the property will be transferred to you. On this day it is your job to provide your mortgage broker with your lawyer’s information, as they will be the ones to forward a copy of the Purchase And Sale Agreement to your lawyer as well as inform your lender of your lawyer’s information.

Proof of insurance will need to be obtained, so arrange your Home Insurance before closing and bring the policy with you to your appointment, have your certified cheque or bank draft with closing balance payable to the lawyer’s firm’s trust account, a VOID cheque or a pre-authorized payment form and bring two pieces of valid identification with you like a valid driver’s license or passport. The second piece of identification can be your social insurance card, birth certificate or credit card from a major bank.

Closing funds will be arranged by your lawyer to the seller’s lawyer, the transfer and mortgage will be registered and you will be given the keys to your new home! Finally you take possession.

There are many aspects to consider with your mortgage and home purchase so it would be wise to contact your trusted Dominion Lending Centres Mortgage Professional who can navigate you through the home buying process and give you the resources you need for a successful first home! Give us a call today so we can help you through these steps of home ownership!

JOSEE PICCO

Dominion Lending Centres – Accredited Mortgage Professional

20 Mar

Homebuyers Action plan from the Government

General

Posted by: Zahra Modiri

Please see the new home buyers plan report from Dr. Sherry Cooper Dominion lending centre economist about CMHC came up with a new solution to help first time home buyers to be able to bring the monthly payment a little lower and help with the down payment.

 

 

Federal Budget 2019–Actions for Homebuyers

In its fourth fiscal plan, the Trudeau government spent its entire revenue windfall leaving the deficit projection little changed. In this election budget, Finance Minister Bill Morneau announced $22.8 billion over six years in new spending initiative mostly for homebuyers, students and seniors. Trudeau promised in his first budget to have eliminated all red ink by this year. He will instead head for an October election with an annual deficit of nearly $20 billion. Ottawa is projecting a string of double-digit deficits through the end of 2022.

The key debt-to-GDP ratio is expected to be 30.8% this fiscal year and edges downward only very slowly to 30% over the four-year forecast horizon.

Today’s budget offered help to young homebuyers, many of whom find it very difficult to afford to purchase in some of our more expensive cities. There were two measures targeted at first-time homebuyers:

Maximum Withdrawal from RRSPs Is Increased

The simplest to understand is the $10,000 increase in the federal Home Buyers’ Plan (HBP) maximum tax-free withdrawal from RRSPs to $35,000, effective immediately. This allowable withdrawal for first-time buyers will now also apply to people experiencing the breakdown of a marriage or common-law partnership who don’t meet the usual requirement of being a first-time homebuyer.

The new limit would apply to HBP withdrawals made after March 19, 2019.

Those taking advantage of the higher HBP limit will have to keep in mind that the repayment timeline is unchanged. Home buyers must put the money back into their RRSP over 15 years to avoid full ordinary income taxation on HBP withdrawal. Now Canadians using these funds will have to repay a maximum of $35,000 – instead of $25,000 – over the same period.

The Boldest Move: The CMHC First-Time Homebuyer Incentive

A $1.25 billion fund administered by the Canadian Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC) over three years will provide 5% of the cost of an existing home and 10% of the price of a new home through what amounts to an interest-free loan to be repaid when the property is sold. The money would go to first-time home buyers applying for insured mortgages. The key stipulations are:
• Users must have a downpayment of at least 5%, but less than 20%;
• Household income must be less than $120,000;
• The purchase price cannot be more than four times the buyers’ household income.
For example, say you’re hoping to buy a $400,000 home with the minimum required 5% down payment, which works out to be $20,000. With the new incentive, you could receive up to $40,000 (for a new home) through the CMHC. Now, instead of taking out a $380,000 mortgage, you’d need to borrow only $340,000. This would lower your monthly mortgage bill from over $1,970 to less than $1,750. The incentive is 10% for buyers purchasing a newly built home and 5% for existing homes.

Homeowners would eventually have to repay this so-called ‘shared mortgage,’ likely at resale, though it is unclear how this would work. CMHC might share in any capital gain (or loss)– receiving 5% or 10% of the sale price (not the purchase price). At the time of this writing, these details had not been hammered out.

These stipulations effectively limit purchases under this plan to properties priced at less than $500,000 ($480,000 maximum in insured mortgage and incentive, plus the downpayment), which is close to the national average sales price of $468,350 (which is down 5.2% from the average price one year ago). However, the national average price is heavily skewed by sales in Greater Vancouver and the Greater Toronto Area, two of Canada’s most active and expensive markets. Excluding these two markets from the calculations cuts close to $100,000 off the national average price, trimming it to just under $371,000. What this tells us is that the relief for first-time homebuyers is pretty meagre for young people living in our two most expensive regions.

Arguably, the max price point of $500,000 for this plan is where the affordability challenge only really begins in our higher-priced housing markets. The most acute affordability problems surround medium-sized and larger condo units or single-detached homes in the GTA and GVA; yet, most of these are beyond the price range covered by the CMHC plan. The impact, of course, would be broader in other regions, but affordability in many of those is historically quite normal. The most significant impact will be in low-priced new builds.

Also, mortgage applicants under this plan still have to qualify under the federal stress test, which ensures that borrowers will be able to keep up with the payments even if interest rates rise by roughly two full percentage. The incentive, however, would substantially lower the bar for test takers, as applicants would have to qualify for a lower mortgage.

Before the budget, many stakeholders had been arguing that with the rapid slowdown in the economy and the Bank of Canada unlikely to raise interest rates this year, the B-20 stress test is too onerous and should be eased.

The government is hoping to have the plan up and running by September.

Bottom Line: These housing measures are focused on the demand side of the market, rather than encouraging the construction of new affordable housing. And while the budget does earmark $10 billion over nine years for new rental homes, it does not propose tax breaks or reduced red tape for homebuilders.

20 Mar

Borrowing is becoming faster than earning the money.

General

Posted by: Zahra Modiri

How Canadian are managing their debt? are we borrowing more than we are earning? see below CMHC report on Canadian’s debt.

Statistics Canada says household debt grew faster than income in fourth-quarter

There was roughly $1.79 in credit market debt for every dollar of household disposable income

Statistics Canada says that seasonally adjusted household credit market debt, as a proportion of disposable income, increased to 178.5 per cent in the fourth quarter. (The Canadian Press/Graeme Roy)

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The amount Canadians owe relative to their income ticked higher in the fourth quarter of last year as the growth in debt slightly outpaced income growth, Statistics Canada said Thursday.

The agency reported that seasonally adjusted household credit market debt, as a proportion of disposable income, increased to 178.5 per cent in the fourth quarter. That compared with a revised reading of 178.3 per cent in the third quarter.

That means there was roughly $1.79 in credit market debt for every dollar of household disposable income in the fourth quarter.

Josh Nye, senior economist at Royal Bank, said the figures highlight the challenge consumers face.

“It will take a long period of household incomes outpacing credit growth to deliver meaningful improvement in the debt-to-income ratio,” Nye wrote in a report.

“We’re not seeing that yet.”

Nye noted the debt service ratio increased for a fifth consecutive quarter and matched a record-high.

The household debt service ratio, the total obligated payments of principal and interest on credit market debt as a proportion of household disposable income, increased to 14.9 per cent in the quarter compared with revised reading of 14.7 per cent in the third quarter.

“While we expect the BoC won’t be raising rates again until later this year, the DSR is still likely to edge higher in the coming quarters as homeowners renew fixed rate loans at higher interest rate,” Nye wrote.

Helping fuel the rise in the two key debt ratios was a increase in borrowing in the fourth quarter

20 Mar

Buying a home? CMHC could soon kick in 10% of the cost- for a price

General

Posted by: Zahra Modiri

If you haven’t bought your first home yet, this may interests you, depending of if you want that CMHC have a steak on your first home.

Buying a home? CMHC could soon kick in 10% of the cost — for a price

The government is earmarking $1.25B over 3 years for something it’s calling a ‘shared equity mortgage’

The federal budget unveiled on Tuesday includes a plan that could see Canada’s housing agency, the CMHC, pitch in up to 10 per cent of the purchase price of a home, if the prospective buyer qualifies. (Ty Wright/Bloomberg)

927 comments

The 2019 federal budget includes a tantalizing pitch for prospective first-time homebuyers — one that could see Canada’s housing agency contribute up to 10 per cent of the purchase price of a home and bring down the mortgage load for borrowers.

The budget offers the program, known as the First Time Home Buyer Incentive, as a way to help with housing affordability. The government is earmarking $1.25 billion over three years for something its “shared equity mortgage.

Functionally, it’s more like an almost interest-free loan — one where the repayment plan doesn’t require any payback until years in the future. In order to qualify, an applicant must have a household income of less than $120,000 per year and be able to come up with a five per cent down payment — the minimum requirement for an insured mortgage with the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC).

CMHC is the Crown corporation that backstops the vast majority of Canada’s housing market by insuring the loans that finance it. This new program will make its role in the market even larger than it already is.

In addition to those stipulations, the program caps out at four times the applicant’s annual income, which means it can only help homeowners looking to buy properties where the mortgage value plus the CMHC loan don’t exceed $480,000.

But if a would-be buyer meets the conditions described above, under the program, the CMHC would kick in up to 10 per cent of the value of a newly built home, or five per cent of the value of a resale.

The CMHC would contribute that much to the home purchase in exchange for a corresponding equity stake in the home. That has the effect of bringing down the size of the homeowner’s mortgage — but comes with a bill to be paid down the line.

Precise details of how the program works won’t come out until later in the fall, but today the government provided a rough breakdown of how it might work for a prospective buyer. If a first-time buyer wants to get a home that costs $400,000, they’d have to come up with a $20,000 down payment, under both the new rules and the old ones.

Normally, they’d have to take out a loan for $380,000 to cover the rest of the purchase price — but under the new program (if it’s a newly constructed home), CMHC could kick in $40,000 toward the purchase price, in exchange for a 10 per cent stake in the home.

That brings the buyer’s mortgage down to just $340,000 for the home, instead of $380,000. On a standard mortgage at 3.5 per cent interest, that translates into a monthly mortgage payment more than $200 lower than it would have been for the 25-year life of the loan. That’s more than $2,700 a year in potential savings.

The catch is that the homeowner eventually has to pay back the CMHC’s stake in the property — but not until they sell (or sooner, but only if they want to).

18 Mar

Who is the bad guy? Mortgage stress test?

General

Posted by: Zahra Modiri

see this interesting calculation from my colleague Kevin Carlson and how he simplified the stress test effect on your approval.

Who is the bad guy? stress test?

Ever since the federal government regulator, The Office of the Superintendent of Financial Institutions (or OSFI) brought in the Mortgage Stress Test, there has plenty of blame heaped upon it for slowing home sales and new home starts. Even though it has slightly reduced how much of a mortgage I can approve my clients for, the initial logic is sound. The stress test attempts to protect Canadians from taking on more mortgage debt than they will be able to afford when their mortgage renews down the road.

What it doesn’t do is curb additional debt and other financial factors after the mortgage starts. Many clients do not consider long-term changes like, child care expenses, new vehicle loans, ongoing credit card and line of credit debt payments.

I work with many first and second-time homebuyers with wide-ranging financial details. The stress test is a limiting factor, but in no way is it the largest culprit in preventing my clients from getting mortgage they are requesting. credit cards, lines of credit and vehicle loans have a much larger impact on reducing the mortgage borrowing ability for most of my clients.

Here are some real-world numbers on two hypothetical first-time homebuyer scenarios that help to illustrate what consumer debts can have on a mortgage application.

1. Individual or couple – scenario 1
Buyer(s) with household gross income of $80,000 that have $17,000 as down payment.
There is a student loan with a payment of $200 per month and a vehicle loan of $300 biweekly.
This application would be approved for the purchase of a $250,000 detached home.
An additional monthly credit or loan payment of only $300 per month will prevent mortgage approval for this application.

2. Individual or couple – scenario 2
Buyer(s) with household gross income of $125,000 that have $33,000 as down payment.
There is a student loan with a payment of $200 per month and a vehicle loan of $300 biweekly.
This application would be approved for the purchase of a $500,000 detached home.
An additional monthly credit or loan payment of only $500 per month will prevent mortgage approval for this application.

Credit cards, lines of credit and vehicle loans are exceedingly easy to obtain but could stand in your way when you are looking to buy your first or next home. Please consider carefully before financing anything. If you have any questions, contact a Dominion Lending Centres mortgage professional near you.

 

Kevin Carlson
Dominion lending centre
13 Mar

BANK OF CANADA REDUCES PROSPECTS OF A RATE HIKE

General

Posted by: Zahra Modiri

read the most recent update about Canada’s economy wrote by Economic adviser of Dominion lending Centre Sherry Cooper. Seems our economy in first quarter of the 2019 is not very promising.

BANK OF CANADA REDUCES PROSPECTS OF A RATE HIKE

In a very dovish statement, the Bank of Canada acknowledged this morning that the slowdown in the Canadian economy has been deeper and more broadly based than it had expected earlier this year. The Bank had forecast weak exports and investment in the energy sector and a decline in consumer spending in the oil-producing provinces in the January Monetary Policy Report. However, as indicated by the mere 0.1% quarterly growth in GDP in the fourth quarter, the deceleration in activity was far more troubling. Consumer spending, especially for durable goods, and the housing market were soft despite strong jobs growth. Both exports and business investment were also disappointing. Today’s Bank of Canada statement said, “after growing at a pace of 1.8 per cent in 2018, it now appears that the economy will be weaker in the first half of 2019 than the Bank projected in January.”

As was unanimously expected, the Bank maintained its target for the overnight rate at 1-3/4% for the third consecutive time and dropped its earlier reference for the need to raise the overnight rate in the future to a neutral level, estimated at roughly 2-1/2%. The Bank also added an assertion that borrowing costs will remain below neutral for now and “given the mixed picture that the data present, it will take time to gauge the persistence of below-potential growth and the implications for the inflation outlook. With increased uncertainty about the timing of future rate increases, the Governing Council will be watching closely developments in household spending, oil markets, and global trade policy.”

At the same time, Governor Poloz seems reluctant to abandon entirely the idea that the next step is likely higher — making him a bit of an outlier among industrialized economy central bankers.

We are left with the view that the Bank is unlikely to hike interest rates again this year. The global economy has slowed more than expected and central banks in many countries, including the U.S., have moved to the sidelines. Market interest rates have already dropped reflecting this reality.

According to Bloomberg News, “swaps trading suggests investors are giving zero probability that the Bank of Canada will budge rates, either higher or lower, from here. The Canadian dollar extended declines after the decision, falling 0.7 percent to C$1.3438 against the U.S. currency at 10:04 a.m. Yields on government 2-year bond dropped 6 basis points to 1.68 percent.”

February Cold Chills Toronto and Vancouver Housing Markets While Montreal Continues Strong

In separate news, local realtor boards reported this week that recent housing market patterns continued in February. Resale housing activity fell last month to its lowest level for a February since 2009 in both Vancouver and Toronto, while home sales ramped up in Montreal, marking four years of continuous growth.

The month-over-month declines in Vancouver and Toronto were substantial. Home resales dropped by nearly 8% (on a preliminary seasonally-adjusted basis) in Toronto and by more than 7% in Vancouver. Soft demand in Vancouver kept prices under downward pressure in what has been a buyers’ market. Vancouver’s composite MLS House Price Index (HPI) is now down 8% from its June 2018 peak. And the correction probably isn’t over.

In Toronto, the MLS HPI in February was still 2.3% above its level a year ago, though it has decelerated in the past couple of months from 3.0% in December.

Blasts of bad weather can easily exaggerate demand weakness in winter when markets are at their seasonal low point. However, Montrealers certainly seemed impervious to the weather.

Quebec’s real estate broker association reported home sales in metropolitan Montreal rose 8% in February compared with the same month last year. As well, average residential prices increased 4.9% in metro Montreal and 6.1% on the island of Montreal.

More complete housing data will be available mid-month when the Canadian Real Estate Board releases its February report.

Sherry Cooper

Dominion lending Centre Economist

12 Mar

Have you ever thought about making money with a Renovation project?

General

Posted by: Zahra Modiri

Great tips from our broker Nathan,

RENOVATING? CONSIDER A REFINANCE PLUS IMPROVEMENTS

Let’s take a closer look at how a Refinance Plus Improvements mortgage can get you the extra cash you need to get your renovations completed.

The Standard Refinance

An everyday refinance allows the home owner to access up to 80% of the fair market value of the home. The value is typically determined by a Market Appraisal on the home. Here is how it would look:

  • Current Appraised Value of the home: $250,000.00
  • Max New Mortgage Amount: $200,000.00 ß 80% of present value
  • Your current Mortgage Balance: $190,000
  • Equity Available to you for the renovations: $10,000.00

*Note: some of the equity will cover closing costs (it is a new mortgage after all, so a new registration and fund advance needs to happen. If you are breaking a current mortgage, there could be a pre-payment penalty as well)

The remaining equity can be used towards your improvements. But what happens if it’s not enough to cover the improvement costs? You’re now stuck with either making sacrifices to your dream reno, covering the additional costs out of pockets, use a higher interest line of credit or not doing the renovations at all. None of which are a great options.

The Refinance Plus Improvements Mortgage

Here is how the Refinance Plus Improvements mortgage can make all the difference.

For argument sake, let’s assume for a moment that the home owner is thinking about renovating their kitchen and main bathroom. These are in no way a small improvement. They are quite significant improvements…new flooring, cabinets, counter tops and paint in the kitchen along with a full gut and renovation in the main bathroom.

After sitting down with a Mortgage Broker to determine mortgage affordability, the home owners next step is getting estimates for the renovations. After having multiple contractors quote on the work, the home owner settles on a contractor that has quoted $20,000.00 for the job (Labour and materials costs, all in, turn key project). Let’s also assume for a moment that the renovations are going to increase the value of the home by $30,000.00 (side note: Kitchen and Main Bathroom Renovations can have the biggest impact on the value of a home). Here is how it would look:

Refinance Plus improvements:

  • Current Home Value: $250,000.00
  • Post Renovation Home Value: $280,000.00
  • New Max Mortgage Amount: $224,000.00
  • Your Current Mortgage Balance: $190,000.00
  • Equity Available for the renovations: $34,000.00

See the difference? The refinance plus improvements in this scenario can get the home owner access to an additional $24,000, far exceeding the improvements planned for home. No sacrifices required. No unsecured higher interest financing required. No need to tap into personal savings. Just a nice new mortgage with a low interest rate and one simple payment.

If you have questions about how a refinance plus improvements mortgage can make all of the difference with your renovations plans, please feel free to connect with a Dominion Lending Centres mortgage professional near you. We are always happy to chat mortgage strategy with you while at the same time shopping the market and rates on your behalf!

Happy Renovating!

NATHAN LAWRENCE

Dominion Lending Centres – Accredited Mortgage Professional