Let's say you have a home that you've outgrown, it's time to make a move to something more suited for your family. You have no desire to keep two houses, so you decide that selling your existing home, and moving into something new is the best idea.
Ideally, when planning out how that looks, most people want to take possession of the new house before having to move out of the old one. Not only does this make moving (your stuff) easier, it allows you to make the house a little more "you" by adding some paint, or doing some small renovations before moving in.
But what if you need the money from the sale of your existing house to come up with the downpayment for your next house? This is where bridge financing comes in. Bridge financing allows you to bridge the financial gap between the firm sale of your current home, and the purchase of your new home. Bridge financing allows you to access some of the equity in your existing property to be used towards the downpayment on the property you are buying.
Now, here is where people get confused, in order to secure bridge financing, you must have a firm saleon your existing house. If your house isn't sold, you won't get the bridge financing, because there is no concrete way for a lender to calculate how much equity you have available.
Instead of going through all the fine details of documentation required to apply for bridge financing, or outlining scenarios that may or may not be applicable to you, if you've got questions, why don't you contact us directly! We'd love to hear from you!
Okay, so here we are... we have worked together to secure financing for your mortgage. You are getting a great rate, favourable terms that meet your mortgage goals, the lender is satisfied with all the supporting documents, we are broker complete, and the only thing left to do is wait for the day the lawyers advance the funds for the mortgage.
Here is a list of things you should NEVER do in the time between your financing complete date (when everything is setup and looks good) and your closing date (the day the lender actually advances funds).
Never make changes to your financial situation without first consulting me. Changes to your financial situation before your mortgage closes could actually cause your mortgage to be declined.
So without delay, here are the 10 Don'ts of Mortgage Closing... inspired by real life situations.
1. Don't quit your job.
This might sound obvious, but if you quit your job we will have to report this change in employment status to the lender. From there you will be required to support your mortgage application with your new employment details. Even if you have taken on a new job that pays twice as much in the same industry, there still might be a probationary period and the lender might not feel comfortable with proceeding.
If you are thinking of making changes to your employment status... contact me first, it might be alright to proceed, but then again it might just be best to wait until your mortgage closes! Let's talk it out.
2. Don't do anything that would reduce your income.
Kinda like point one, don't change your status at your existing employer. Getting a raise is fine, but dropping from Full Time to Part Time status is not a good idea. The reduced income will change your debt services ratios on your application and you might not qualify.
3. Don't apply for new credit.
I realize that you are excited to get your new house, especially if this is your first house, however now is not the time to go shopping on credit or take out new credit cards. So if you find yourself at the Brick, shopping for new furniture and they want you to finance your purchase right now... don't. By applying for new credit and taking out new credit, you can jeopardize your mortgage.
4. Don't get rid of existing credit.
Okay, in the same way that it's not a good idea to take on new credit, it's best not to close any existing credit either. The lender has agreed to lend you the money for a mortgage based on your current financial situation and this includes the strength of your credit profile. Mortgage lenders and insurers have a minimum credit profile required to lend you money, if you close active accounts, you could fall into an unacceptable credit situation.
5. Don't co-sign for a loan or mortgage for someone else.
You may have the best intentions in the world, but if you co-sign for any type of debt for someone else, you are 100% responsible for the full payments incurred on that loan. This extra debt is added to your expenses and may throw your ratios out of line.
6. Don't stop paying your bills.
Although this is still good advice for people purchasing homes, it is more often an issue in a refinance situation. If we are just waiting on the proceeds of a refinance in order to consolidate some of your debts, you must continue making your payments as scheduled. If you choose not to make your payments, it will reflect on your credit bureau and it could impact your ability to get your mortgage. Best advice is to continue making all your payments until the refinance has gone through and your balances have been brought to zero.
7. Don't spend your closing costs.
Typically the lender wants to see you with 1.5% saved up to cover closing costs... this money is used to cover the expense of closing your mortgage, like paying your lawyer for their services. So you might think that because you shouldn't take out new credit to buy furniture, you can use this money instead. Bad idea. If you don't pay the lawyer... you aren't getting your house, and the furniture will have to be delivered curb side. And it's cold in Canada. You get the picture. However just in case you don't, I included it below.
Despite deteriorating housing affordability across the country, buying a home is still the more affordable option when compared to renting.
A new report from Mortgage Professionals Canada has determined that, despite the rapid rise in home prices, those who are able to invest in a home would end up “significantly better off” in the long term compared to renting.
The report, authored by the mortgage broker association’s chief economist Will Dunning, found that while upfront monthly costs are in fact cheaper in most locations, the “net” cost of ownership is less than the equivalent cost of renting in a majority of cases, and becomes even more cost effective over time.
“The costs of owning and renting continue to rise across Canada,” Dunning noted. “However, rents continue to rise over time whereas the largest cost of homeownership–the mortgage payment–typically maintains a fixed amount over a set period of time – usually for the first five years. The result is that the cost of renting will increase more rapidly than the cost of homeownership.”
Additionally, the costs of ownership include considerable amounts of repayment of the mortgage principal. “When this saving is considered, the ‘net’ or ‘effective’ cost of homeownership is correspondingly reduced,” Dunning added.
On average, the monthly cost of owning exceeds the cost of renting by $541 per month. But when principal repayment is considered, the net cost of owning falls to $449 less than renting.
Interest Rate Scenarios
The analysis compared the cost of renting vs. owning both five and 10 years into the future, with higher interest rates factored into the equation. In all cases, owning comes out ahead:
Scenario #1 : If interest rates remain the same (using an average of 3.25%), after 10 years the average net cost of owning is $1,014 less than the monthly cost of renting.
Scenario #2 : If interest rates rise to 4.25% after five years, the average net cost of owning falls to $1,295 less than the monthly cost of renting.
Scenario #3 : If interest rates rise to 5.25% after five years, the average net cost of owning is still $726 less than the monthly cost of renting.
“By the time the mortgage is fully repaid in 25 years (or less) the cost of owning will be vastly lower than the cost of renting,” the report adds, noting that the cost of owning, on average, would be $1,549 per month vs. $4,655 for an equivalent dwelling.
Canada Still a Country of Homeowners
Despite rising home prices and deteriorating affordability, Canada remains a nation of aspiring homeowners.
The study pointed to the continued strong resale activity as one indicator of this.
Resale activity in 2017 was still the third-highest year on record, at 516,500 sales, just off the peak of 541,2220 sales in 2016.
But other polls have also found a strong desire among younger generations that still dream of owning.
RBC’s Homeownership Poll found a seven-percentage-point increase in the percentage of overall Canadians who planned to buy a home within the next two years (32%), and a full 50% of millennials.
Similarly, a RE/MAX poll found more than half of “Generation Z” (those aged 18-24) also hope to own a home within the next few years.
Perhaps the biggest question is whether those aspiring homeowners will have the means to surpass the barriers to homeownership, namely larger down payments and the government’s new stress test.
“While recent changes to mortgage qualifying have made the barrier to entry higher, those who can qualify will be much better off in the long term,” Paul Taylor, President and CEO of Mortgage Professionals Canada said in a statement. “Given the economic advantages of homeownership, Mortgage Professionals Canada would recommend the government consider ways to enable more middle-class Canadians to achieve homeownership.”
Despite its affordability benefit over renting, Dunning addresses some of the impediments of homeownership, namely the longer timeframe needed to save for the down payment. Despite higher home prices and larger down payments required, first-time buyers still made an average 20% down payment.
Additional Tidbits from the Report
Some additional data included in Dunning’s report include:
This article was written by Steve Huebl originally published on the Canadian Mortgage Trends on Sept 17th 2018.
Building your dream home can sound really exciting, but have you thought about everything that goes into building a new home?
Here are 7 Questions you should ask yourself before making any concrete plans!
1. What are my expectations with this new home?
Are you looking for a custom home build where you are responsible for every single decision made or do you want to choose an existing floor plan and build a house that is almost entirely predetermined for you? Or maybe you are looking for a mix of both? Regardless...
Every home builder has a unique approach to building. Make sure your level of involvement is crystal clear from the start!
2. How familiar am I with the local builders and the homes they build?
Although there are standards for how your home will be built (code), there are no standards for pricing. Each builder will quote prices using different specifications for the different homes they build. If one builder is coming in with a estimated build price that is considerable less than another builder, you should dig deeper into the quality of materials being used.
Is the flooring hardwood and tile or carpet and lino? Am I getting the basic white appliance package or stainless steel (or are appliances even included?).
Knowing your local builders and the homes they build will let you compare apples to apples and ensure you get the best home!
3. Do I have any specific needs or features I want included?
If you are looking to add a feature to your home to meet a specific need, make sure your builder has previous experience building in this area. Practical features like wheelchair accessibility or a separate basement suite should be considered as well as lifestyle features like a backyard pool or a below the kitchen wine cellar.
Always consider experience when choosing a builder and don't be afraid to ask for references!
As part of the mortgage and real estate processes, there’s a lot of confusion around the differences between the deposit and the downpayment. It’s important to understand what sets them apart so you don’t get confused when it’s time to secure financing on a property once you have an accepted offer.
A deposit, as it relates to real estate, is money that is included with a purchase contract, as a sign of good faith. It is the “consideration” that helps make up the contract. It’s what is used to bind you to the contract. Typically, when you make an offer to purchase on a property, you would include a certified cheque or a bank draft that gets held by your real estate brokerage while negotiations are being finalized. If your offer is accepted, the deposit is then placed “in trust” where it is held until just before your mortgage closes. The final step is when the deposit is transferred to the lawyer’s trust account and is included as part of your downpayment.
If you aren’t able to reach an agreement, the deposit is then returned to you. However if you come to an agreement, and then you back out of that agreement, your deposit is forfeited to the seller. Now, although the deposit is separate from the downpayment in that it’s money that goes ahead of the downpayment in the negotiation of the purchase, once everything is finalized, the deposit is then included in and makes up part of the total downpayment.
The amount you put forward as a deposit when negotiating the terms of a purchase contract is arbitrary, meaning there is no predefined or standard amount. Instead, it’s best to discuss this with your real estate professional as your deposit can be a negotiating factor in and of itself. A larger deposit may give you a better chance at having your offer accepted in a competitive situation. It also puts you on the hook for more if something changes down the line and you aren’t able to complete the purchase.
The downpayment can be defined as the initial payment made when something is bought on credit. In Canada, as it relates to the purchase of real estate, the minimum downpayment amount is 5%. This means that you have to come up with a minimum of 5% of the total price of the property you are purchasing. The lender will allow you to borrow the remaining 95% of the property value on credit through mortgage financing.
If you have 20% of the purchase price of the property available for a downpayment, you may qualify for conventional financing, which means you aren’t required to pay for mortgage default insurance through a provider like CMHC.
Recently the good people over at Nest Wealth published an article called "The Worst Money Advice We've Ever Heard". On the list was "Always keep a small balance on your credit card". What they have to say on the subject is spot on:
Someone, somewhere, starting telling people that keeping a small balance on your credit card is a good idea… and unfortunately it stuck.
Man is that terrible advice. Why would you want to purposely pay interest on something when you don’t have to? People claim it helps your credit score, and although credit utilization is a factor in determining your score (the balance on your card versus your credit limit), the idea that carrying a balance month to month helps you out is a myth.
Paying your bills on time every time is one of the best things you can do to keep your credit score up.
So although the idea of carrying a small balance to build your credit is nonsense, it is however a good idea to use your credit card at least once every 3 months (even if you don't have to). This will ensure the trade line is being reported to the credit agency.
If you have any other questions about your credit, or you would like to discuss your personal financial situation, please don't hesitate to contact us anytime!