29 Aug

Home Renovations: Reality vs. Television

General

Posted by: Lynn Nequest

 

Home Renovations: Reality vs. TelevisionHome renovation shows are very popular today and are one of our favorite shows to watch. These shows are not only entertaining but tend to lead you to think how easy and quickly is to renovate your home. And we know that viewers enjoy the shows more when they are filmed in Canada as you recognize certain landmarks or streets which you see often when you watch shows like “Love it or List it Vancouver” and “Game of Homes”. However, the television shows are not realistic, highly edited and can mislead people on the renovation process.
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26 Aug

Difference Between Fixed and Variable Rates

General

Posted by: Lynn Nequest

 
Difference Between Fixed and Variable RatesThe two most frequently asked questions I get are:

1. What are your best rates?

2. What is the difference between fixed and variable rates?

Question #1 is actually more complicated than question #2. Why? Because rates are not the only thing you should be looking at when deciding what mortgage product to contract to. Recently, a client brought us a product that had a 1.99% fixed rate for a 5 year fixed term. This was extraordinary, and we did our due diligence to see what the product was all about. We found out that the term was 5 years and the interest rate was fixed at 1.99%…..for the first 6 months. Then it went up to the posted fixed rate of 3.15% for the remainder of the term. Not nearly as stellar as it appeared. Rule of thumb: If it is too good to be true, it is too good to be true! Make sure you know what your mortgage product entails. It is in your best interest to find out all the hidden costs behind the mortgage product that you don’t see up front.

Which leads us to question #2, What is the difference between fixed and variable rates?

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24 Aug

Renovating May Make More Sense Than Buying

General

Posted by: Lynn Nequest

 
Renovating May Make More Sense Than BuyingIf you’re finding your family has grown out of your current home or your house could use a makeover to better fit your changing needs, renovating is a great option to examine. Instead of putting your home on the selling block and heading out shopping for a new home right away, it may be worth considering using some of your home equity to renovate so you can remain at your current address.

The first consideration is whether your home can be adjusted to meet your needs. Is your lot big enough for an addition? Will your foundation handle the weight of an extra floor? Does the tired look of your home require a major overhaul? Will the renovations add value to the home?

Plan out the changes you’d like to make and speak to professional renovators to seek several quotes before making your decision.

Next, depending on the complexity of the project, you have to decide if it’s worthwhile for you and your family to live in a construction zone for several weeks or even months while improvements are being made to your home.

Finally, unless you have a lot of money saved up, you have to weigh your finances to determine what makes the most financial sense to you and your family in the long run.

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18 Aug

New Mortgage Rules and Their Impact

General

Posted by: Lynn Nequest

New Mortgage Rules and Their ImpactA short time ago Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC) changed the rules on how much down payment buyers have to have in place to buy a home worth more than $500,000. The new rules stated that you have to have 5% on the first $500,000 and 10% on the remaining balance up to $999,999. After that point they require 20% but that’s another article altogether.

With the recent changes, they also allowed for the use of 100% offset should the home have a legal suite. This was great news for some parts of the country as housing costs increased over the million dollars in prices in Vancouver and Toronto. Does it have much effect on other parts of the country?

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17 Aug

Why I Recommend Title Insurance

General

Posted by: Lynn Nequest

Why I Recommend Title InsuranceAs a Dominion Lending Centres mortgage broker, I often see in the lender’s conditions sheet a request for the lawyer to obtain title insurance. We all know that this is a measure to protect the lender and to allow for the deal to proceed if there is a delay with the title or the other lawyer.

However, did you know that title insurance is also available for the new home buyer? Why would you recommend that they spend more money when they have already have to provide a down payment, pay legal fees and moving expenses? It’s the right thing to do.

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12 Aug

10 Likely Mortgage Questions When Buying Your First Home

General

Posted by: Lynn Nequest


10 Likely Mortgage Questions When Buying Your First HomeWhen considering buying your first home, I am sure you will have many questions. I hope to give you some insight to what lenders are most importantly looking for when qualifying for a mortgage.

1. What’s the best rate I can get?

The rate that you receive depends on a number of things. I get a lot of clients that are what I like to call “rate sensitive” this means that they are fixated on the lowest rate and don’t understand why they may not be able to get the advertised rate.

A number of those rock bottom rates you see advertised have conditions to them. For instance they may be only for a 30 day quick close, or they may not be portable.

Some factors that determine rate are employment (self employed, full time, part time, etc.) credit score, down payment, income and more.

Until a full application’s been received and credit has been checked you cannot be guaranteed a rate.

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10 Aug

A Slap In The Face For Canadians Too

General

Posted by: Lynn Nequest

A Slap In The Face… For Canadian’s TooIn the News: 15% Property Transfer (bonus) Tax for Foreign Buyers in B.C.

Short Version

“Good intentions can often lead to unintended consequences” – Tim Walberg

As Canadians we no longer appear to be a people that keeps our word.

Review the official policy here.

Long Version

The BC government is increasing the PTT by a 15% tax for purchasers who are foreign entities.

This post is not about the tax itself: whether the tax is right, wrong, too much, too little, etc. that is all for another conversation. The majority want to implement a tax on foreign buyers. Fine, I get it. it makes sense on many levels.

But let’s do it with some class. As Canadians are we not known for being fair in our dealings?

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8 Aug

Understanding the Benefits of Getting Pre-Approved for a Mortgage

General

Posted by: Lynn Nequest

Understanding the Benefits of Getting Pre-Approved for a MortgagePre-approvals are certainly beneficial. However, they can also be very disappointing if you are not prepared to know what they actually mean.

They DON’T mean…

They don’t mean that you have a mortgage. Until there is a Purchase Agreement (a written up contract to purchase a property) actually submitted to a bank and a commitment from the bank offered to the client, there is no mortgage. Your bank will often say, “You are pre-approved on a mortgage based on a specific rate that is being offered during this time.” Factors such as the amount of income you bring in, the amount of debt you have and even the property itself will determine whether or not the bank will actually give you a mortgage.

They don’t mean that the rate you are pre-approved for will be the rate you pay. Rate holds are temporary and depending on whether or not you qualify for the rate, you may not get what you initially bargained for.

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3 Aug

Another Example of How All Mortgages Are Not Created Equally and It Will Cost YOU!

General

Posted by: Lynn Nequest

When I meet with my clients, I explain that I believe my role is to get them the mortgage that fits their goals and plans, while saving them the most amount of money over the lifetime of their mortgage. This takes into consideration what you might be offered at renewal time by the lender or should you terminate the mortgage during the term or what will you pay for an early payout penalty.

In the last few weeks the feds have increased the posted rates (aka, contract rate) at the big 5 banks, was 4.54% and now at 4.74%. Why does this matter to you??…qualifying and early payout penalties!

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