Our Mortgage Services

Mortgage Pre-Approval

Find out how much you can afford before you go househunting! This will keep you focused on shopping for homes within your price range. If you qualify for a preapproved mortgage, you'll be certain of the size of mortgage for which you qualify and guaranteed a rate for a specific period of time. If you don't qualify for a pre-approved mortgage, we will be able to help you estimate a mortgage-qualifying amount.

First Time Buyers

Buying a home is an exciting time! You're about to take a big step so you'll definitely need some advice from a mortgage professional. We'll give you the facts your bank won't tell you about financing your next purchase. With access to multiple lenders, we'll help you find the best rates and best mortgage options to help you buy your dream home. Our best advice? Begin with a conversation with a mortgage professional in your area.

Renewing Your Mortgage

If your mortgage renewal is fast approaching then you’ll soon be at an important financial milestone. Now's a great time to look at the many innovative options and competitive rates available. Lenders send out renewal forms just prior to renewal dates to those with good payment histories, with about 70% of homeowners sending it back without asking any questions. In today’s hectic world, that can be the easiest and best route, but you should ask yourself some questions before you sign on the dotted line. This could be an important moment of opportunity.

Renovation Financing

Maybe it just needs some new landscaping, an extra wing for your growing family, an expanded kitchen, or a swimming pool in the backyard! A record number of Canadians have taken advantage of the historic low mortgage rates and rising real estate values and have tapped into their home equity through equity take-outs. There's never been a better time to access the extra funds that can help bring your home to that next level of comfort. Consider accessing the cash you need for the renovations and improvements you've been dreaming about!

Investment properties

Investment properties - particularly smaller, residential real estate - are now accessible to many average Canadians. And as any homeowner will confirm, real estate has been one of the most attractive investment categories in Canada for the past decade. If you're considering an investment in real estate, start by having a conversation with an experienced Mortgage Broker, to explore some of the innovative new options and great rates available today.

Vacation Homes

There are many Canadians jumping at the chance to own a recreational property. The aging baby boomer population is flush with capital and an insatiable desire for a waterfront or other recreational property. And with the advent of better roads, Internet and telephone service, satellite service, and winterization expertise, people are realizing that vacation properties can make ideal retirement homes. No longer just perceived as a welcome retreat from the city, a second home is now viewed as a solid financial investment with the added value of a potential retirement property.

Debt Consolidation

Many Canadians are taking advantage of refinancing some of the equity in their mortgage to reduce their credit card debt. Why pay high interest rates on your bank's credit card debt when you can add that debt to your mortgage and pay a much lower interest rate! One important part of a strategy is knowing "good debt" from "bad debt". A well-planned mortgage can help you turn those bad debts into good debts and get them out of the way.

Why Choose A Mortgage Broker

Mortgage Brokers primary expertise is locating funding for mortgage financing. They know where the best rates can be found. What's more, they have the knowledge required to present a proposal for financing to lenders in the best way possible to successfully obtain mortgage financing.

  1. They work for YOU, not the bank
  2. They are experts at matching you with the best-suited mortgage.
  3. Access to different lenders, banks, trust companies, investors and financial institutions.

Educational Videos

Testimonials

We were very satisfied with the service we received from Marina and her team.Their commitment, hard work and dedication to treating clients like close friends are very much appreciated. We will continue to recommend them to anyone we know who is looking for a better mortgage rate and an excellent service.

Excellent service, great rates and attention to detail. You walked us through everything so there were no surprises at all. Were grateful that we found your services! Highly recommended for sure.

We wanted to get a mortgage through our bank but came across your website on the internet. Are we ever glad we did. We saved literally tens of thousands of dollars and the whole experience was a breeze.

Latest News

2019-05-31 - Why early payout penalties matter now more than ever

Why early payout penalties matter now more than ever.

We are deep in the competitive spring real estate market! And we’re seeing a very interesting rate anomaly. Fixed-rate mortgages are very competitively priced and gaining in popularity, while variable-rate mortgages are looking overpriced. We’re even seeing ten-year mortgages at good rates back in the news. If the market is telling us that fixed-rate mortgages have an advantage, then be sure to look at the fine print because the devil is in the details and early payout penalties matter.

Why? Sometimes you just need to get out of your mortgage! It’s impossible to plan for many of the things that will happen in our lives, like job loss, illness, divorce, relocation, or another personal matter. Or when much better mortgage rates become available. Your needs and the market can shift easily during the term of your mortgage and the last thing you want is a painful penalty to get out early. That’s why it’s important to consider what your early payout penalty may be before you get your mortgage. We all want to believe that none of these scenarios will transpire, but when they do, it’s a relief to have a cost-effective option to get out.

Generally, to break your mortgage, you can expect to pay the greater of either a) three months’ interest, or b) the interest-rate differential (IRD). With the IRD, your mortgage lender will want you to pay the equivalent of what they will lose by releasing you from your mortgage and lending the money at current rates.  Not all lenders calculate IRD the same way, and the differences can amount to thousands or even tens of thousands of dollars.

Early payout penalties are particularly important to consider if you are looking at a 10-year mortgage. If you break a 10-year mortgage before 5 years, the penalty with most lenders can be substantial. If there is a chance you could break the mortgage in the first 5 years, you may not want to consider a 10-year term.

Don’t let anyone tell you early payout penalties are “all the same”. They’re not. When choosing between mortgages, be sure to compare how the early payout penalty will be calculated. If you ever need to get out of your mortgage early, having the right mortgage could save you stress and big money. Advice on how to avoid painful penalties is part of the service I provide to my clients every single day!

 

2019-05-31 - June Newsletter 2019

Why early payout penalties matter now more than ever.

We are deep in the competitive spring real estate market! And we’re seeing a very interesting rate anomaly. Fixed-rate mortgages are very competitively priced and gaining in popularity, while variable-rate mortgages are looking overpriced. We’re even seeing ten-year mortgages at good rates back in the news. If the market is telling us that fixed-rate mortgages have an advantage, then be sure to look at the fine print because the devil is in the details and early payout penalties matter.

Why? Sometimes you just need to get out of your mortgage! It’s impossible to plan for many of the things that will happen in our lives, like job loss, illness, divorce, relocation, or another personal matter. Or when much better mortgage rates become available. Your needs and the market can shift easily during the term of your mortgage and the last thing you want is a painful penalty to get out early. That’s why it’s important to consider what your early payout penalty may be before you get your mortgage. We all want to believe that none of these scenarios will transpire, but when they do, it’s a relief to have a cost-effective option to get out.

Generally, to break your mortgage, you can expect to pay the greater of either a) three months’ interest, or b) the interest-rate differential (IRD). With the IRD, your mortgage lender will want you to pay the equivalent of what they will lose by releasing you from your mortgage and lending the money at current rates.  Not all lenders calculate IRD the same way, and the differences can amount to thousands or even tens of thousands of dollars.

Early payout penalties are particularly important to consider if you are looking at a 10-year mortgage. If you break a 10-year mortgage before 5 years, the penalty with most lenders can be substantial. If there is a chance you could break the mortgage in the first 5 years, you may not want to consider a 10-year term.

Don’t let anyone tell you early payout penalties are “all the same”. They’re not. When choosing between mortgages, be sure to compare how the early payout penalty will be calculated. If you ever need to get out of your mortgage early, having the right mortgage could save you stress and big money. Advice on how to avoid painful penalties is part of the service I provide to my clients every single day!

 

Good Debt vs Bad Debt

Good debt is manageable debt that can bring you close to your financial goals. It includes a well-structured mortgage, or borrowing to invest when it is designed to improve your overall financial position. Bad debt gets in the way of building long-term wealth, and creates an ongoing burden that ranges from uncomfortable to crippling. It includes credit cards, high-interest loans, and “buy now/pay later” purchases. If you’re borrowing a large amount for any reason, including organizing your current debt, please let me know. You may be able to look to your mortgage for your lowest cost funds.

2019-05-01 - The lowdown on downpayments

The lowdown on downpayments

I get questions about downpayment all the time! So here is the lowdown on how much you need, and how you might get it.

How much do you need?

Not surprisingly, most Canadian homebuyers purchase a property with the absolute minimum downpayment. The thing is, the minimum can vary, so you want to be sure you know how it’s calculated.

Will you live in the home? If the house will be owner-occupied, then you need 5% down for the first $500,000 of the purchase price, and 10% for any amount over $500,000 up to $999,999.  If the purchase price is $1,000,000 or more, the minimum down is 20%.

Hoping to skip the cost of mortgage default insurance? Then you’ll need at least 20% down. Any downpayment less than 20% of the purchase price requires this insurance, which will be added to your mortgage principal.

Buying a rental or recreational property? If it’s not going to be your own principal residence, then you’ll need 20% down. Genworth and CMHC have a vacation/second home program that allows you to put 5% down but mortgage default insurance will be required. Rental properties require 20% down.

Are you new to Canada?  If you’re a permanent resident, then you’ll need the same downpayment as a Canadian citizen: 5% for the first $500,000 and 10% after that. If you are a non-permanent resident, then you may need 10% down.  And if you’re not a resident of Canada, then you’ll need at least 35% down from your own resources (not borrowed).

Smart ways to come up with a downpayment

If you’re looking to buy a second home, then your best path to a downpayment is often to refinance your existing home. A review of your situation is the best starting point.

If you’re saving for your first home, here are some ways to come up with the cash:

  1. A financial gift. If you’re lucky enough to have financial support from a parent or other blood relative, you’ll need to get a form signed that says the funds are a gift and that you are not required to pay the money back at any time.  
  2. Your RRSP:  You can withdraw up to $35,000 tax-free from your RRSP or $70,000 per couple.  The recent federal budget increased this from $25,000 and also announced that in 2020, this program will be available to divorced individuals.  You will be required to pay the funds back over 15 years. 
  3. TFSA/Investments: If you withdraw from your TFSA to boost your downpayment, you’re allowed to re-contribute, so you never lose your TFSA room.  If you haven’t set up a TFSA, then do it today and set it up so money goes in every month.
  4. Early inheritance: Many parents and grandparents would rather help with the purchase of a home while they’re alive rather than having their children wait for an inheritance.  
  5. Sell assets: For instance, a vehicle, or jewelry. You need to show 3 months of bank statements to support your downpayment, and explain any large deposits.
  6. Money from outside of Canada: If you’re bringing funds from outside of Canada, you’ll want to have those funds in Canada for at least 30 days before closing, and you’ll need to provide 3 months of financial history from the original account they came from.

Often homebuyers are actually closer than they think to buying that first or next property. Get in touch any time. Early advice can save time, money and stress!

 

 

2019-04-01 - This is what the federal budget means for homebuyers

This is what the federal budget means for homebuyers

The recent federal budget included Housing Affordability Measures that may be applicable to your situation, now or in the future.  There are three key measures intended to help: an incentive for first-time homebuyers, an increase in the amount of RRSP funds first-time buyers can access for a downpayment, and allowing divorced individuals to use their RRSP funds under the Home Buyers Plan. Let’s take a closer look at each:

First-Time Home Buyer Incentive (available Fall 2019)

This new measure is basically a shared equity program designed to reduce mortgage payments for first-time buyers with the minimum downpayment. The Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC) will provide 5% of the cost of an existing home, or 10% of a new home in what amounts to an interest-free loan that isn’t payable until you sell the property. The extra encouragement to purchase a newly built home is expected to boost home construction and help address a housing shortage in many areas.

There are a few caveats. If your household income is more than $120,000, you aren’t eligible for the program. And your total borrowed amount (including the incentive portion) can’t be more than four times your household income. With a 5% downpayment and a household income of $120,000, the maximum purchase price would be approximately $505,000. 

 

CMHC’s First-Time Buyer Incentive – Mortgage Payments

 

No Incentive

With 5% Incentive

With 10% Incentive

Purchase Price

$440,000

$440,000

$440,000

Downpayment 5%

$22,000

$22,000

$22,000

Incentive

$0

$22,000

$44,000

Mortgage

$418,000

    $396,000

$374,000

Monthly Payment

$2,052

$1,944

$1,836

Assumes 25 yr am, 5 yrs, 3.34%

 

The program is expected to be launched this Fall.  We’re still waiting for some details on how the incentive is paid back, and how increases or decreases in equity will be handled.  Stay tuned! In the meantime, I can certainly run some numbers to determine if this is something you, or someone you know, may want to take advantage of later this year. 

Bolstering the Home Buyers’ Plan

The Home Buyers' Plan (HBP) has allowed first-time buyers to withdraw up to $25,000 ($50,000 per couple) from their RRSP to help with downpayment and closing costs, without having to pay tax on the withdrawal. HBP withdrawals are not added to a person's income when withdrawn, but instead must be repaid over a 15-year period. The budget increased the maximum withdrawal amount to $35,000 per qualified buyer, which is effective immediately. 

Divorced individuals eligible for Home Buyers’ Plan (available now)

The budget also proposed that those experiencing the breakdown of a marriage or common-law partnership can now participate in the Home Buyers' Plan. This measure will be available for withdrawals made after 2019, and is great news. After all, a financial plan that starts with homeownership can help both parties make the best possible start on a new path. 

The bottom line on budget 2019? There are some good measures for some homebuyer groups that needed a boost. The new first-time buyer incentive program has certainly added another layer of complexity to the already complicated mortgage world that includes two different stress tests. Getting expert advice throughout your mortgage years is more important than ever. Got a homebuying dream? Feel free to get in touch for a review of your situation at any time!

 

 

2019-03-05 - Homeownership trend - buying with a friend

An interesting new homebuying trend emerging among millennials is home purchases that are completed with a friend. It’s a creative solution to the housing market given tough qualifying rules and high prices. Pooling your resources is a great way to take you from the fringes of homeownership to landing what you really want and getting a start on wealth building.

Here are a few of the things you’ll want to talk about before you get started:

  • Detached, condo or something else? How many bedrooms/bathrooms and what amenities do you both want? Are you the fixer-upper types or do you want move-in ready?
  • What can you both afford? Remember to factor in closing costs including lawyer’s fees. Put a budget together that includes property taxes, any condo fees, heat and hydro, internet, cable, anticipated maintenance costs, and household expenses.

Next, talk about how co-ownership will work, and consider getting legal advice and a legal agreement outlining roles and responsibilities, including:

  • whether ownership is divided equally among the buyers, or by some other percentage based on what you bring to the purchase and ongoing costs;
  • how you plan to divide and use the space within the home, and any mechanism for dealing with conflicts;
  • how you are going to divide ongoing and one-off expenses;
  • how you want to handle household chores, repairs and maintenance;
  • what happens if one co-owner wants to sell their share for any reason? Will the other owner(s) have first right of refusal to buy their share? And how will you establish a fair market value for that share?
  • what if one person is unable to afford to continue to pay his/her share of the mortgage for any reason?

Today many young millennials get their money working for them early through property partnerships with friends. A little pre-planning and you could be hosting your joint housewarming party!

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