A New Year and a New Opportunity for You

Blog Posts David Cooke 24 Jan

If you have been reading the news lately, you will know that the new stricter mortgage rules have resulted in more people than ever postponing purchasing homes. Sales have dropped across the country.

As a result of these events, the rental market is booming with rents going up everywhere. The average rent in Toronto now is $2300. This has created an opportunity for Canadians who want to buy a home and for those who already own but are concerned about qualifying when their present mortgage comes up for renewal.

Secondary suites are being encouraged in Calgary, Toronto and Vancouver. In Calgary, the city council has investigated basement suites and now wants to encourage higher density to prevent urban sprawl by allowing more other housing options like carriage homes. Carriage homes are suites built above or beside a detached garage. There are companies like Calgary Carriage Homes who specialize in building these units.

Being able to add the rental income from a suite to your income may allow you to purchase a home this year when prices are depressed rather than waiting another year or two or longer to get into your own home. You can either buy a home with a secondary suite already in place or build one. The program for building a suite is called Purchase Plus Improvements. It is available through multiple lenders and mortgage insurers.
If you are presently a homeowner and interested in increasing your income, the program you need is called Refinance Plus Improvements. The rules for these programs can be explained to you by your Dominion Lending Centres Mortgage Broker.

The rules on zoning, and building suites can be found on your city government website. If you decide you want to proceed be sure to make your first call to your DLC mortgage broker.

5 Reasons why Realtors want you to have a Pre-approval

Blog Posts David Cooke 18 Jan

You’ve decided that you want to buy a home and you call up a realtor to show you a listing and the first question they ask is “ How much are you pre-approved for?” Many realtors will refuse to book home viewings until they can confirm that you are pre-approved. Why?

1- It shows that you are seriously committed to a home purchase. I have been told stories by realtors of people booking a series of homes to see and then being dropped off at McDonald’s to be picked up by another realtor to see some more homes.

2.- People have an idea of how much home they can afford. Sometimes this amount is way off. Lines of credit, installment plans, alimony or child support payments or high condo fees can make the amount of house you can afford a lot less than you would expect.

3- Surprises on your credit report. Many times home buyers haven’t checked their credit report before house hunting. An unpaid bill or a dispute with a contractor may result in a lien or collection showing on your credit. There may even be something from a person with a similar name. It’s important to make sure your credit is clean and that it is yours and not someone else’s.

4 –Income issues. A lot of people run out to get a new home when they receive a promotion at work. If the promotion includes a pay hike, is it salary or are they relying on overtime? Mortgage rules demand a two-year history for commission income, overtime or self-employed income. This also can curtail how much you qualify for.

5A – Credibility of the realtor.  When a realtor makes an offer on a home for you, they are not only investing their time and the listing agent’s time but their reputation. Making offers that will not result in a firm sale hurts their reputation in the industry. Trustworthiness and reputation are very important to realtors as they are guiding you in the largest purchase you make in your lifetime.

5B- Negotiating Strength.  In a situation where there are competing offers on a property, the sellers agent will encourage the sells to take the offer that is backed by a pre-approval over another offer that does not have a pre-approval to support it. Your chances of getting your dream home are greatly increased with it.

My one recommendation is that you take the time to contact your favourite Dominion Lending Centres mortgage broker and get pre-approved. It will save everyone time and help avoid disappointment for everyone.

3 Things for every Homeowner to do in January

Blog Posts David Cooke 11 Jan

As we enter the New Year, there are a few things that we should all think about as homeowners.

1 – Replace your furnace air filter – if you read over the instructions for your furnace you will know that you are supposed to either clean or replace your furnace filter. We are three months into the heating season so a replacement now will last you until spring.

2 – Put a copy of your last pay stub for last year with your house papers & keep an eye out for your annual mortgage statement – put this statement in with your house papers along with your last pay stub.

3 – Check all your credit card balances before they are due – as the holiday season has just ended , you may have spent more money than you have in your bank account. If there’s a shortfall between what you can pay and what you owe you will now be stuck with a credit card balance with an interest rate of 19-25%.
There’s a solution. If you have enough equity in your home, you can apply through your mortgage broker for a home equity line of credit (HELOC). This is a readvanceable account and should have an interest rate of closer to 4% . Remember you still owe this money but it’s a lot easier to pay off a balance when the interest compounds at 4% rather than 25%.
Contact your favourite DLC mortgage broker and ask them if you qualify for this money saving option. The first thing that your broker will ask you is for a mortgage statement and your last pay stub from last year which you will have easily at hand. Now there are just a few more steps and you are on the way to getting your holiday debts into a manageable situation . Dominion Lending Centres providing solutions to Canadians.