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Mortgage Insights – 2019 Mortgage Trends report

Here are some Mortgage Insights from CMHC’s latest national edition of the Mortgage and Consumer Credit Trends report covers the second quarter of 2019. Here are a few facts to consider. Contact us at https://primemortgageworks.com/contact/ for more information.

  • indebtedness is higher than one year ago, increasing the vulnerability of Canadians to financial difficulties
  • the average outstanding balance of newly originated mortgages declined, reversing a trend of growth
  • the new mortgages share of all loans moved higher into 2019. This mirrors the national trend in home sales, which fell in 2018, and has risen in 2019
  • only HELOCs and mortgages showed considerable growth in monthly obligations on average

Mortgage holders tend to have a higher credit score the non-mortgage holders – Mortgage Insights

Across the board since the beginning of 2019 to the second quarter, credit scores for consumers with and without a mortgage are rising. The credit scores were reported highest for consumers with a mortgage. Over the last 4 years, the average credit scores for consumers without a mortgage have worsened slightly, indicating that these consumers are having a harder time paying off debt than those with a mortgage.

Loan balances rise in Montreal and Toronto due to house price growth in those CMAs

In the second quarter of 2019, the average outstanding loan balance for new mortgages rose in Montreal and Toronto as a reflection of average price growth. It declined in Vancouver compared to last year. Non-mortgage debt has also been rising by region over the last four years, with slightly larger monthly obligations for Montreal.

Despite the large size of millennials entering the market, the share of mortgages held by people aged 55+ grew, as fewer young adult consumers were mortgage holders.

First Time Homebuyers Mortgage DON’T Tips

First time home buyers tips help you to be prepared before closing but as importantly, AFTER you are pre-approved for a mortgage. In fact, buyers ruin their chances of closing by making simple mistakes once they hear the word “approval” from the mortgage broker. These are some of the most common mistakes people make and most importantly explain what NOT to do as the best First Time Homebuyers Mortgage Tips.

Do Not Start a New Job (please!)

While it is not the most important item for getting a pre-approval, job history and length of time at your present employer is vital to getting approved as a First Time Homebuyer.

If you have been at your current job for more than 2 years, wait until the mortgage is closed before choosing to switch to another company.

Do NOT Purchase a New(er) Car (I beg you!!)

It is so easy to understand the temptation to buy a vehicle after getting a mortgage pre-approval. Most people are a bit nervous and are filled with excitement when they learn they are pre-approved.  If their credit and income are good enough to buy a house, then surely it is good enough to get a great deal on a car, right?

The pre-approval issued by the lender was determined by the current level of debt and income at the moment the person applied for the home loan.

It is best to wait until the loan has closed before trading up on your vehicle.

Do NOT Make a Late Payment on ANY Existing Debt

As previously stated, the pre-approval is determined by a snapshot of your credit at a particular point in time. The track record that you have is documented by the credit report used for your approval. The majority of lenders will request a new credit report for you approximately one or two days before the loan closing. Any late payment that shows up could be a red flag to the lender and cause them to turn down the loan.

So, to be safe, make all payments on time while waiting for the lender to finalize your loan.

Avoid Any Unusually Large Deposits

The best First Time Homebuyers Mortgage Tip is that your credit report shows a track record of your payments over time, your bank account also has a track record. The mortgage underwriter will review your checking and savings account to see if there are any larger-than-normal deposits in the months leading up to the purchase. Avoid any large deposits that do not coincide with your normal banking habits.

Do NOT Open a New Bank Account

We previously mentioned that you should not switch jobs or add any new debt. The theme is consistency and this point fits within that theme.

Whether you have used your current bank for 6 months or 6 years, it is best to stick with that bank until the loan closes. Opening up a new account creates questions among mortgage lenders. They wonder if you are trying to hide funds in one account or if you have unrecorded debt obligations that are going to be facilitated with the new account.

Do NOT Spend your for Down Payment or Closing Costs (no Vegas trips…)

Buying a home can be exciting but also stressful. Getting the utilities switched to a new address, changing the address and hiring the movers can all take time and some funds. While you may have saved up a nice nest egg to prepare for the home purchase, don’t spend all of that money.

The estimate provided to you for the closing is just an estimate. Things like property taxes, homeowner’s insurance, and other costs can creep up and cost a bit more than anticipated. 

Do NOT Close Out Any Debt Account (First Time Homebuyer 101 tip)

It is usually a good idea to pay down debt and close the account, whether it is a credit card, furniture account or local store account. Keeping your debt as is until the mortgage closes, is key here.

Closing out a credit card, for example, may lower your credit score. Remember the pre-approval is a snapshot in time. Keep the picture the SAME as at application time.

The bottom line, leave all accounts open for the time being.

Do NOT Agree to Co-Sign on a New Loan

As mentioned in the First Time Homebuyers Mortgage Tips, borrowers should avoid any new debt, especially in the form of buying a new car. This is also true for other new debt such as new credit cards, new furniture accounts or an unsecured loan. This is especially true for being a co-signor on a loan.

If your mortgage broker told you that you were approved for a mortgage, do not co-sign for a friend or relative. Becoming a co-signer makes you 100% responsible for the new debt, regardless of the good intentions of your friend or relative. This one area is a big no-no for potential homebuyers.

Do NOT Ignore Requests from Your Broker ;)

Think of a lender as a person very similar to you, they are merely trying to do their job. In this case, their job is to help you the First Time Homebuyer.

Sometimes a mortgage underwriter will ask for very specific things. It is not uncommon for an underwriter to request documentation supporting a sale of a car, major change in job or explanation for one missed payment from 14-36 months ago!

If your broker contacts you and asks for some type of document or explanation, be prompt and thorough in providing the answer. Your entire loan could hinge upon this one item and you don’t want to get rejected because you could not find the time to respond to the lender’s inquiry.

Summing Up What Not To Do Before Closing on a House a First Time Homebuyers Mortgage
After you have received your mortgage pre-approval, continue on with your life as if nothing has changed. Keep making payments on time, don’t close out any accounts and don’t add any new debt. Along with the other suggestions above, this should keep you prepared and ready for closing day and a master at First Time Homebuyers Mortgage Tips.

Getting Over the Down Payment Hump

One of the largest barriers to entry into home ownership is saving enough cash for a down payment. Small every day expenses add up; and depending on the market you live in, rent may also be eating a significant portion of your income each month. You do have options; here are some ways you may be able to obtain the funds to put towards a home:

 

Save – Simple. Utilizing a Tax Free Savings Account, determine an amount to save each month that you believe is reasonable yet substantial enough to get you to your down payment goal. Set up automatic transfer into that accounts that line up with payday and bills.

Extra Income – Ever consider a side hustle or second job. Put 100% of this cash flow into your down payment.

Home Buyers Plan – Have money in your RRSP account? The Federal government will allow you to pull up to $35,000 from your RRSP account. Note, you have 15 years to return the funds back into your RRSP account.

Sell and Asset – If you have a valuable asset your willing to give up, sell it! Just make sure to establish a clear paper trail; get a receipt or signed bill of sale to legitimize the source of funds.

The Bank of Mom and Dad – This may or may not be possible. Parent may have built up some equity in their home they can access with a secured line of credit. If this is a gift, a signed gift letter stating so will be needed. If it is to be replayed, the payment must be included in your debt ratios used to qualify.

How Mortgage Brokers Get Paid

Firstly, here at Prime Mortgage Works, we do not charge any retainer or upfront fee for our services. Actually, you don’t pay any fee directly to us for our services, ever! Yes, 100% free, no pressures advise! We are licensed professionals and are governed by provincial bodies, who have you, the clients, best interest in mind.

 

The lender pays us, once your purchase or refinance has completed and you have received your mortgage funds. How do we choose which lender? We take into account many features of a mortgage and your specific needs and wants to advise on the BEST option for you.

 

But, rest assured that it is our mission to guide you through the entire financing process. We are always happy to answer any questions, anytime, whether you have just completed financing, or are three years into your term and considering accessing some of the equity in your home.

Utilizing the Equity in Your Home

Having been in your home for some time, steadily paying off you mortgage, you have subsequently been gaining equity. To access it, begins with refinancing. This is likely more accessible and at a lower cost than obtaining a loan not secured by your valuable asset – your home. For the most part, home equity loans and lines of credit hold lower interest rates and you can access up to 80% the appraised value of your home.

 

You can then utilize these funds to make investment with higher returns. You may plan to use the funds to make improvements on your home, increasing the resale price potential. Or you may plan to consolidate excising debt charging you a high interest rate, decreasing your debt load faster and increasing your monthly cash flow. Or you may want to pursue a business opportunity that will increase your future earning potential. The opportunities are plenty!

Insured, Insurable, Uninsurable?

Mortgage rate pricing is based much on insurance:

 

Insured mortgages are covered by mortgage default insurance through one of three insurers – CMHC, Genworth or Canada Guaranty. A premium is added to the mortgage amount. The amount is a percentage of the loan based on the loan to value ratio with a down payment of less than 20%. These mortgages are most favored by the banks and are reflected by the best rate offers.

 

Insurable mortgages do not necessarily require you to pay an insurance premium when you are providing a down payment larger than 20%. However, if the insurers rules allow, the lender has the option to obtain insurance them selves.

 

Uninsurable mortgages do not meet the insurers rules; such as refinances and mortgages with amortization longer than 25 years. So, no premium can be paid by either the borrower of the lender to obtain default insurance. The risk associated with these mortgages is passed onto the borrower via higher interest rates.

Refinance Plus Improvement Mortgage

A refinance plus improvements can help you finally complete those home renovations you have always wanted to do! A conventional refinance enables a homeowner to borrow up to 80% of the fair market value of their home.

So, the equity a homeowner can access would be the difference between 80% of market value and the amount they currently owe outstanding on their current mortgage. This equity can be used for improvement on the home. But what if you go out and get estimates for the total cost of the project from a contractor and this isn’t quite enough money for the renovation project?

Well, these improvements also have the added bonus of potentially increasing the value of the home! A Refinance Plus Improvements Mortgage considers the post renovation (higher) value of the home, and allows a homeowner to borrow up to 80% of this increased home value.

Get your hard hats ready, and start renovating today!

Don’t Forget About Closing Costs

You have saved enough for a down payment, found your perfect home, negotiated the purchase price and made an offer subject to financing, and have now gotten approved! You’re all set, the hard part is done, right? Not in reality, there are quite few other fees that need to be considered – closing costs.

Closing costs are often hidden and often overlooked one time expenses due on the completion date. A rule of thumb is to budget 1.5% to 4% of the purchase price to cover closing costs. However, other factor such as taxes, the type of home, or if it’s a new build can impact the amount you need to account.

Some fees that you are fairly guarantee to face:

  • Legal Fees: Your lawyer will explain all of the paperwork and make sure what you are signing is binding, legitimate, and all items agreed to have been met. In addition, you are liable to repay the lawyer for any searches, registrations, and incidentals – all due on the closing day.
  • Title Insurance: Most lenders will require title insurance as a condition to their mortgage, which protects from fraud, identity theft and forgery, municipal work orders, zoning violations and other property defects.
  • Fire/Home Insurance: Lenders also require fire/home insurance in place by the time of purchase completion, which covers replacement cost of the home.
  • Adjustments: When possession takes place mid month, and the seller has already paid fees such as taxes, utilities, and strata. So, the amount you owe is based on the portion of that month you will have possession and prorated on the date of completion.
  • Property Transfer Tax: First time home buyers are exempt if purchasing property under $500,000 and all home buyers are exempt if they are purchasing new property under $750,000. Property Transfer Tax is calculated as 1% on the first $200,000, 2% over $200,000 and 3% on any value over $2,000,000.
  • GST: Is not charged if someone has previously lived in the home, but charged on all new home purchases.

This list is not extensive, as each purchase has its own set of costs. As your broker, I make sure to explain each one and assure you are fiscally prepared.

 

 

Assessments and Appraisals

The value on an assessment notice may vary quite a bit from a mortgage or real estate appraisal. One reason for this may be the timing that the assessment was done; versus the appraisal just done reflecting the most recent value based on the current market conditions.

Home Appraisal

An appraisal provides you with a document outlining an estimate of a property’s current fair market value. Since an appraisal and an assessment are not definitively connected, most lenders will require as a condition, that an up to date appraisal be performed. Lenders use this valuation to base the size of mortgage they are comfortable lending.

Appraisers are highly regulated and provide unbiased valuations who take into consideration the property, home, location, conditions and many other external factors such as nearby amenities and access to public transportation. Some lenders will provide a list of approved appraisers they accept.

It is most often the borrower that is responsible for the cost of the appraisal, which upon completion will be sent directly to the lender. The lender is getting assurance that they are making a good investment for the value of the subject property.

Even though the borrower has paid for the appraisal, they are often now allowed to look at the report –although usually a consolidated version – until after closing. The appraiser performs the report following the parameters defined by the lender. It is the choice of the lender to allow the borrower he see the report. Reason for this strict access on the lenders part is to avoid the borrower taking the report to multiple lenders in search of the best deal.

Some lender may offer to refund the cost of appraisal after funding your mortgage.

Preparing for an Appraisal

  • Appraisals do include pictures of the exterior and interior of a property, so clean up and consider the curb appeal of your property.
  • Make sure to note all upgrades that you have done and the costs associated to assure they are not overlooked.

Look for any small repairs that may affect the value and make repairs before the appraisal is done; it is likely that the appraiser could over estimate the cost, thus having a significant effect on your value.

Downpayments

Depending on how much you have saved and whether you are being supported with a gift from the bank of mom and dad, what you are able to put towards a down payment will vary. In Canada, the minimum down payment is 5% of the purchase price, however there are also benefits to putting down over 20%.

Before the creation of the Canadian Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC), the minimum, 20% down was a major barrier to many Canadians wanting to purchase a home. To combat this barrier and encourage home ownership, CMHC began offering mortgage default insurance; if you default on your payments, they will reimburse the lender. They charge an insurance premium on mortgages offer by lenders with smaller down payment and lower interest rates. This premium, of course, covers any losses they may incur if a mortgage default does occur.

So, why put down a larger down payment? Your mortgage amount will be less, payments smaller, and less interest paid over the life of your mortgage. With a down payment over 20%, you will save money by not having to pay any mortgage insurance premiums. Between 5% and 20%, the more money down, the lower the insurance premium.

It is also important to make sure to account for closing and other unexpected costs, so completely draining your savings towards a down payment is not the best course of action.