Americans buying Canadian Real Estate

Follow Us on Facebooktwittergoogle_pluspinterestlinkedinyoutubetumblrinstagramflickr

Americans buying Canadian Real Estate

With the value of the Canadian dollar being so low in comparison to the US dollar, it’s never been a better time as it is now for Americans buying Canadian real estate.

Now that the U.S. dollar has so much buying power here in Canada, American’s are finding it difficult to avoid the opportunity to invest in their second home, or vacation property in such places as cottage country in Alberta or Ontario.

If you have considered the possibility of purchasing real estate in Canada we can help you with any mortgage related matters. As well, we would be able to connect you to Realtors in the area you are considering to buy. Contact us to find out more about your options.

Americans buying Canadian real estate

Americans buying Canadian real estate are finding many options of properties to choose from with reasonable down payment requirements from the Canadian lenders.

Another good reason why Americans are buying Canadian real estate is due to their close proximity to Canada, the longest border in the world and only a few hours away in many instances.

Having very similar credit score rating systems in Canada and the United States of America the Canadian lenders accept U.S. credit reports and employment making the mortgage application process fairly routine and the same as the American would go through in the U.S.

Share on Facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedintumblrmail

New Mortgage Down Payment Rule

Follow Us on Facebooktwittergoogle_pluspinterestlinkedinyoutubetumblrinstagramflickr

New Mortgage Down Payment Rule

On December 11, 2015 the Finance Minister Bill Morneau announced changes to the rules related on how much mortgage down payment for government-backed mortgage insurance the consumer must provide. As stated in the Department of Finance Canada’s press release, the purpose of new mortgage down payment rule changes are “to contain risks in the housing market, reduce taxpayer exposure, and support long-term stability.”

new mortgage down payment rule
image courtesy of Macleans.ca

The new mortgage down payment rule comes into effect on February 15, 2016 for home purchase prices above $500,000 with changes to the minimum down payment amount a home buyer can provide. Up to a home purchase price of $500,000 the 5% mortgage down payment rule is unchanged. Any amount above and beyond $500,000 the borrower must now provide 10% of the above and beyond amount.

Here’s how to calculate how much mortgage down payment you will need if the purchase price is more than $500,000.

Example

Before the mortgage down payment rule becomes effective

Purchase price: $750,000 x 5% = $37,500

Mortgage amount: $750,000 – $37,500 = $712,500

After the mortgage down payment rule becomes effective

Purchase price: $750,000

$500,000 x 5% = $25,000

$250,000 x 10% = $25,000

Total down payment you will need is $25,000 + $25,000 = $50,000

Mortgage amount: $750,000 – $50,000 = $700,000

 

For the above example and comparable, after February 15, 2016 when the new mortgage down payment rules come into effect the borrower will need to have an additional $12,500 to pay towards the down payment.

new mortgage down payment rule

Curious to know how much the mortgage payment’s will be? Head over to our mortgage calculator page. You can select a mortgage rate from any of our mortgage terms on our mortgage rates page to use in the mortgage calculator.

Contact us for more complex calculations and for any questions you may have regarding the new mortgage down payment rule or any other mortgage related questions. We’re here to help!

Share on Facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedintumblrmail
Beginners Guide to Getting a Mortgage

Beginners Guide to Getting a Mortgage

Follow Us on Facebooktwittergoogle_pluspinterestlinkedinyoutubetumblrinstagramflickr

A beginner’s guide to getting a mortgage

In this beginner’s guide to getting a mortgage we will take you through the main steps of applying for a mortgage application. This beginners guide to getting a mortgage will cover the main points that will help you better understand what is involved when getting a mortgage in Canada.

Beginners Guide to Getting a Mortgage

A beginner’s guide to getting a mortgage STEP 1 – find a mortgage professional

We strongly recommend you working with a Mortgage Broker or Agent. They are licensed with their respective Provincial Governments and have met all the required educational standards to become a licensed mortgage broker or agent.

There are many advantages to acquiring the services of a mortgage broker or agent. To name a few;

  1. They work for their client’s best interest,
  2. Mortgages are what they do day-in, day-out,
  3. Because a mortgage broker or agent is not working for any of the lenders there is no conflict of interest for them towards pushing you to one lender or the other,
  4. They constantly stay up to date with the real estate financing world by participating in continuing educational courses and workshops.

A beginner’s guide to getting a mortgage STEP 2 – ‘checks and balances’

Buying real estate is, for most people, the largest single investment they will ever make, and because of this, getting a mortgage should not be taken lightly. Every person thinking about buying their own home whether now or in the future should start planning for the inevitable. What is the inevitable you ask? It is being able to show the lender that you are able to pay them back on a timely manner as agreed upon based on your credit strength and income. And how do you show this in practicality? Lenders such as Chartered Banks, Trust Companies, and Credit Unions follow Government underwriting guidelines, and as well their own internal policy’s, all designed to test how strong or week someone’s personal financial strength is in comparison to their debt level’s to be able to pay back the mortgage loan. To do this the lenders have certain requirements and they ask for information from the borrower when considering whether to approve them for a mortgage loan or not. They want to make sure at minimum the borrower has:

  • Enough income to pay back the monthly principle and interest of the loan
  • At least 5% down payment or more; you can even use gifted money from immediate family
  • A satisfactory credit history and a healthy credit score
  • We also recommend checking your credit report and score regularly, perhaps every year or two at Equifax and Transunion. This is great preparation for when you are ready to apply for a mortgage by making sure there are no discrepancies or fraud activity in your accounts.

Beginners Guide to Getting a Mortgage

That means from now you can start putting aside money each month in your bank account for your down payment and making sure that you have a steady job or income coming in to show the lender that you can afford to pay back the loan. As well, you want to make sure that you are paying back your debt on time, and on a monthly basis, and not be late making those payments.

A beginner’s guide to getting a mortgage STEP 3 – Consult with your Mortgage Broker or Mortgage Agent

Beginners Guide to Getting a Mortgage

Now that you have done your checks and balances, you can contact your Mortgage Broker or Mortgage Agent and consult with her or him about your current financial strength and debt obligations. They will ask you to fill out their mortgage application so that they can better assess your financial health and credit worthiness/readiness to apply for a mortgage. Your mortgage professional will, after reviewing your financial and debt history, ask further questions and give you advice on what steps to take next; whether to continue with your mortgage application or to wait until other matters are taken care of to strengthen and improve your chances of getting approved for a mortgage.

 

This post and its content, we hope, has provided you with the basic information you need when considering applying for a mortgage. Don’t hesitate to Contact Us with your questions, and if you would like to start the mortgage application process. As well, we invite you to share any thoughts you may have about the mortgage application and approval process below in the comments section.

Share on Facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedintumblrmail
Private Mortgage

Private Mortgage

Follow Us on Facebooktwittergoogle_pluspinterestlinkedinyoutubetumblrinstagramflickr

private mortgageWhat is a private mortgage you ask? A private mortgage is a loan provided by individuals who wish to gain a higher return on their investment focused funds in comparison to depositing their money into a regular savings bank account, or an investment type of an account with low yields. A private mortgage is secured against the property that the borrower has requested the private mortgage for.

Private mortgages can be an accumulation of a large number of investors who have pooled their personal or business / investment related funds into a trust account, or single individuals with enough of their own money. These funds are managed by a mortgage brokerage company or a company solely created for the reason of lending out private funds for the purpose of real estate financing.

To get approved for a private mortgage is not as difficult as to get approved for a mortgage from a lender such as the chartered banks; there are less restrictions in comparison to the other extreme, which are the chartered banks that require detailed information from the borrower, such as employment / source of income, proof of down payment, and a healthy and strong credit score with no recent credit issues. In comparison, the most important item that a private lender looks at is the property that is being purchased; where is it located, what is its condition, and can it be sold if the borrower defaults on their mortgage payments and the private lender has to foreclose and sell the property.

A private mortgage comes with a much higher interest rate and there is a onetime lender fee that must be paid by the borrower of the private mortgage. Normally what happens is that the borrower cannot be approved for a regular mortgage from a bank or the other specialty mortgage lenders, and what is left is a private mortgage. These types of mortgages are contracted to be paid in full in a short period of time, such as one year or less, and they are used many times as a second mortgage to cover up the difference of the down payment that the borrower does not have.

For example, the borrower does not get approved by one of the big banks in Canada, and his or her mortgage broker or agent will take their client to the next available option, which are what we call the ‘B’ lenders who deal with special case scenarios, such as those who have had previous bankruptcy’s, self-employed individuals who can’t prove their income, those with bad credit, …etc. You get the picture. The ‘B’ lenders will potentially give the client a mortgage loan no more than 80 – 85% of the real estate value; otherwise known as LTV Loan To Value. That means if the borrower does not have enough of the remainder of the funds in the form of a down payment, then they are left with trying to get a private lender to give them a private 2nd mortgage which would cover part of the down payment and the borrower would provide the rest of it. No lender would ever go up to 100% financing on these special case scenario types of deals. Therefore, the 1st mortgage lender will go up to a maximum of 80 – 85%, then they will stipulate in their contract that the borrower can get a 2nd mortgage up to an additional 5 – 10% and the rest the borrower will have to provide from his or her own resources.

Pros

– Quick money

– Straight forward approval process

– Look at the property more than the applicant

Cons

– High interest rates

– Lender fees

– Short term borrowing solution; paid back usually by one year or less

– Because it’s short term, at the end you have to refinance mortgage to pay back the 2nd mortgage and costs occur again in a short period of time

Share on Facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedintumblrmail

Canadian Mortgage Rules

Follow Us on Facebooktwittergoogle_pluspinterestlinkedinyoutubetumblrinstagramflickr

New Canadian Mortgage Rules

It has been several years now since the Government of Canada decided to take steps in tightening certain Canadian mortgage rules and guidelines for Chartered Banks and other lending institutions such as Trust companies and Credit Unions so that the new Canadian mortgage rules would help cool the consumers hunger and appetite for debt accumulation, especially buying real estate.

Since back in February of 2010 until now, the Canadian Government has implemented multiple rules and tightening of existing regulations and we wanted to summarize them here for your quick reference. new canadian mortgage rules

– All borrowers must meet the standards for a five-year fixed rate mortgage even if they choose a mortgage with a lower interest rate and shorter term. This initiative will help Canadians prepare for higher interest rates in the future.

– Canadians can withdraw equity from their homes in refinancing their mortgages up to 90 per cent of the appraised home value from 95 per cent. This will help ensure home ownership is a more effective way to save.

– When purchasing real estate other than one to live in, Canadians are required to have at least a minimum down payment of 20 per cent. This measure is to reduce the risk involved in investment properties based on market speculation that property values can go up for R.O.I. Return On Investment purposes.

– The maximum amortization for insured mortgages has come down from 30 to 25 years, and many lenders have adopted this policy even for non-insured mortgages.

– Borrowers applying for an insured variable rate mortgage must be approved using the Bank of Canada 5 year bench mark interest rate. This means that the borrower can no longer be approved with the discounted variable rate that they are applying for, but must be risk tested by seeing if they can be approved if the variable interest rate was to go up to the 5 year bench mark rate, which is always higher than the discounted variable rates that the banks promote. If the debt calculation ratios work out and are within aloud parameters, than the borrower will be approved the variable mortgage and will receive the advertised discounted rate.

– Further to the above new rule, the five-year variable rate conventional mortgages or conventional mortgages with terms less than five years now require that the borrower qualify based on the greater of the Bank of Canada five-year benchmark rate or the lenders mortgage contract rate applicable to the term chosen. For terms of five years or more, the qualifying rate is the contract rate.

– As well, the underwriting process and debt calculations in approving a borrower for a mortgage has become more strenuous to insure that the borrower has the strength and credibility to be able to pay back the loan amount.

Share on Facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedintumblrmail

Mortgage Down Payment

Follow Us on Facebooktwittergoogle_pluspinterestlinkedinyoutubetumblrinstagramflickr

Mortgage Down Payment

If you have been or are currently a first time home buyer, one of the many questions that you will probably have is about the mortgage down payment. What is the mortgage down payment all about and how much is enough to have.

In Canada for the majority of the consumer who are looking to purchase an owner-occupied home – this means a home that you will be living in – the minimum mortgage down payment amount is 5% of the purchase price.

If you are buying a second home for your kids to live in while in school, or you would like to get that cottage property or vacation property that you have always dreamed of having, you can still put down as low as 5% as your mortgage down payment.

With any mortgage product, there is always the lending institutions own underwriting guidelines that you have to meet and be approved by, but 5% is the available minimum amount to go with.

Acceptable sources of your mortgage down payment

For the most part, if you are only providing 5% down payment for your mortgage, then there is a very high probability that you will be getting your mortgage from one of the big Canadian Banks or mortgage broker channel lenders that work with the mortgage loan insurance providers; CMHC – Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation, Genworth, and Canada Guaranty.

Because these lenders get their mortgage insured and protected against any mortgage defaults by the client – you the consumer – they have to meet their requirements as to the source of where your down payment is coming from. We may add that even if you were to provide more than 20% down payment and no mortgage loan insurance is required, many of the banks still go by the similar guidelines of the insurers that we are about to explain.

Your mortgage down payment must come from your own resources. The funds you use for the down payment must be sitting in your own bank account, investment account, RRSP account, or any other account that is registered to you the applicant’s name for a minimum of three months.

The only time that you can get down payment from someone else is when you receive gift money from immediate family members, in which case the banks would accept it as it is not a loan.

Therefore, you cannot borrow money to put towards your down payment. If you do borrow the money from another lending institution, the bank will turn it down and ask that you prove that you have enough money in your own accounts. If you do not have the down payment or have to borrow it from someone or some institution, then you could get a lot of headaches and trouble from the bank and there is a good chance that they will decline your mortgage application.

In conclusion; if you are planning to buy your own home sometime in the near future, you should start saving up now.

Share on Facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedintumblrmail