at 1800 13th Avenue, Regina, S4P 3Z1 Canada
The Mortgage Firm 1800 13th AveRegina, SK S4P 3Z1 Tel: 306.545.9400 TF: 888.545.9409 FX: 306.545.7446
At Mortgage Intelligence: TMF-The Mortgage Firm, we offer smart mortgage solutions, and then customize them to suit you. We have access to over 30 competing banks, trust and life insurance companies, so we are able to find and negotiate the best mortgage – and the best rate – for you. Our professional advice and assistance is free, because our Consultants are paid by the chosen Lending Institution for promoting and selling their products.
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Crunch a few numbers this September! The brisk back-to-work attitude of September makes it a great time to review your finances. Did you spend a little more than expected on your summer vacation? Maybe this year you took the plunge on a home reno project that boosted the enjoyment of your home, but put a little extra stress on the pocketbook. Now take a look ahead. Is your mortgage coming up for renewal or are you thinking of buying your next home? Are you concerned about rising rates and want to implement a plan that will help you avoid any future payment shock? Do you have any extra expenses on the horizon, like tuition, a wedding (or separation/divorce), a major reno project, or an investment opportunity? This might be a good time to crunch a few numbers, particularly if you haven’t had a mortgage review in the last year. I can help you build a plan to get you where you want to go. Now that’s the kind of fresh start we love in September!
It’s September, sharpen your pencils! It’s September and as green turns to gold we return refreshed to the rhythm of our daily routines. It’s our seasonal cue. Autumn is the perfect time to “get back to business” with a fresh look at your finances. Maybe you spent a little extra on that summer vacation, or the little home reno job that grew. That’s okay. Get out your calculator and get back on track. Mortgage rates have hovered around historic lows for longer than anyone thought they would or could. That’s created a golden moment of opportunity for Canadian homeowners. In fact, the right mortgage can build your wealth… and save you thousands of dollars. Thinking about a cottage or investment property? Wondering if it’s the right time to expand your space… or find a new one? Looking at ways to reduce your debt? Talk to us. We’ll provide a free, no-obligation review of your situation – wherever you are in your current mortgage journey.
When you’ve got “rate envy”, does it make sense to refinance? Who would have believed that mortgage rates would have such a continued downward trend? Mortgage shoppers are looking at some of the lowest rates in history, and many homeowners with existing fixed-term mortgages are experiencing some “rate envy” about today’s rock bottom rates. It might be worth a conversation about your options. Typically, we think of a fixed term mortgage as a non-negotiable contract. And it’s true that there are financial penalties to re-negotiate. But, many clients have been asking for a mortgage analysis – a detailed look at the penalties versus the payoffs – to determine whether it’s worth refinancing. What does it cost to get out of your existing mortgage? Generally, you can expect to pay the greater of either a) three months’ interest, or b) the interest-rate differential. The interest rate differential can be high in some cases; your mortgage lender will expect you to pay them the equivalent of what they will lose by releasing you from your mortgage and lending the money at current rates. So is it worth it? For some homeowners it can be an important moment of opportunity, while for others, it may not be worth the costs involved. Most lenders will include the cost of the payout penalty and other costs into the new mortgage so you don’t have to be out of pocket to complete the transaction. I would be happy to help you make a realistic assessment of your situation and help you determine if your benefit outweighs the cost. With rates where there are today, there’s never been a better time to talk.
Looking to upgrade here are a few to think about that won't weigh down your pocketbook. Ten Cheap Home Upgrades That Pay Off August 12 2015 If you're thinking of renovating your home, you're in good company. According to Toronto-based real estate consultants Altus Group, Canadians spent a record $67.8 billion in home renovation in 2014 - an increase of 2.7% from 2013. While many homeowners are opting for major home alterations, there are many things you can do to update your home without breaking the bank. Below are ten ideas to get you started. 1. Give your kitchen a face lift Revitalize an old kitchen by replacing your sink hardware and cabinet knobs. For an even more dramatic update, refinish or reface cabinets. Replace old lighting with brighter, energy-efficient bulbs. 2. A better bathroom Updating a bathroom is easy and inexpensive; simple upgrades like a new toilet or sink can make a big difference. Re-grout the shower and floor, and replace any broken floor tiles. 3. Carpet cleaning Consider a professional carpet cleaning before covering or removing old carpeting. If your carpet is very dirty or worn, cover it with a few inexpensive rugs. 4. Paint A new coat of paint on the walls and ceilings will instantly freshen up your home. You can also repaint or refinish your front and garage doors. 5. Change light fixtures Enhance your interior decor with chandeliers, ceiling fixtures, and accent lighting. Spotlights and wall sconces are a great way to highlight photos or artwork. For under $100, a few new light fixtures can transform the ambiance of your home. 6. Boost your curb appeal Invest in some basic landscaping to improve the exterior look of your home. A lush, mowed lawn and a few strategically-placed shrubs will not only look great, but increase your privacy as well. Planting trees in the right spots can also help keep your house cool during summer and warm in winter, lowering your energy bills year-round. 7. Update door hardware New doorknobs, hinges, and handles are easy to install and make a huge difference in your home's interior design. Replacing your door hardware is an inexpensive upgrade that can be done in an afternoon. 8. The magic of mirrors Hang more mirrors to make your home appear more spacious. Mirrors hung at eye level will increase the amount of light reflecting throughout the house. 9. Crown molding and trim Crown moldings and trim accents instantly add charm to any room. Consider adding door, baseboard, and other trim accents to give your home a more updated look. 10. Install ceiling fans Ceiling fans aren't just attractive; they also help improve airflow throughout the home. Ceiling fans help you save energy by circulating cool air throughout the house during summer, and warm air during winter. For maximum energy savings, choose an ENERGY STAR certified ceiling fan.
For all those who need to know ....... 10 Aug 2015 A Pre-Approval Is Not Really a Pre-Approval There is a misconception out there that once you’re pre-approved, you’re good to go. A pre-approval simply means that based on your CURRENT income, expenses, down payment and credit you SHOULD be able to get fully approved once you find the right property (this is the first half of the equation). Many places won’t even pull a credit check (which is extremely important) and will just run a basic mortgage calculator and say “everything looks good” but that doesn’t mean anything. You leave thinking great, I’m pre-approved! I always recommend that people put in a “subject to financing” clause with their realtor when they are putting in an offer to protect them each and every time. Here’s why: You could be pre-approved but the lender still doesn’t know which property you’re purchasing (that’s the other half of the equation). Let’s say you find the house of your dreams (well within the maximum price that the mortgage broker went over with you) but we find out that the house was a former grow op. In this case, very few lenders will even look at this (even if it’s been fully remediated and there’s a stamp from the city saying it’s all good) and if they do, they’ll usually require a substantial down payment and further air quality testing that you must pay for as mould spores can grow behind walls and become airborne years later. Yes this is an extraordinary example but it can also happen where a bidding war has bid up the price and the best offer (yours) has been accepted. The lender sends in their appraiser to determine the value of the property and it may come in at a lower value than your accepted offer and so you’d have to come up with more money for a down payment (which you weren’t prepared for or don’t have). If you have a “subject to financing” clause in your agreement, then you have a way out and can look for another property with no issue at all. If you don’t have a “subject to financing” clause at all and you’ve already given your deposit to the realtor (because you were under the impression that you were going to be approved), then you’re out of luck and will be stressed out and scrambling to find a lender that will help you out, even though you were technically “pre-approved”. So in summary, always put in a “subject to financing clause” as that’s the only protection you have. This is much cheaper than forfeiting your deposit (and facing potential legal action from the seller) should you want to cancel your contract after the agreement has been made. Better yet, contact your local Mortgage Professional and have them do a proper pre-approval and have you fully prepared for what most likely will be the largest purchase in your life! Adopted from DLC web page.
Your mid week "ponder" if you are thinking of purchasing a new place to call HOME. Documents required to get the best mortgage rate Finalize your financing with this handy mortgage approval cheat sheet by Romana King July 20th, 2015 (Getty Images/Catherine Lane) Buying a house or investment property? We often hear how important it is to get pre-approved for your mortgage amount: It helps us understand our maximum house-price, the down-payment required and the monthly payments we’ll need to make once we purchase the property. But the difference between the pre-approval and the approval process is so vastly different that many buyers are often left feeling stressed and anxious during the week or two that financing is being finalized. To help you avoid this aggravation and anxiety, I’ve put together a little mortgage approval cheat sheet. This should help you understand what documents and paperwork you will need to actually get a mortgage—and reduce the stress during this period of the home buying process. Mortgage pre-approval process This isn’t actually a process—it’s more of a marketing tool. By setting up mortgage calculators, online instantaneous pre-approval applications, and advertising low mortgage rates banks and lenders are really trying to capture your mortgage business. Why? Because lending is a big business with phenomenal returns (see this CBC article about the “shadow” mortgage mortgage, or why people like you and me are risking our money by lending it out). But that doesn’t mean the pre-approval process is useless. The biggest advantage is that you can lock-in your rate for 30 to 90 days, depending on the lender. If rates rise during that time, you’re protected with the price lock. If they fall, consider shopping around again to make sure you have the best rate and mortgage option. Now, all you get with a pre-approval process is an open file at a lending institution (or mortgage broker, who should do the periodic-rate shopping automatically for you) and the rate-lock. That’s it. There is no guarantee that you’ll get approved for the mortgage, or that this is the final rate you will pay for your mortgage. Those details can only be determined when you actually apply for a mortgage. And herein lies the dilemma: A lender won’t actually go through all the paperwork until you’ve made an offer on a real property. Why? Because a mortgage application is as much about assessing you as the borrower as it is about assessing the property being bought. For the vast majority of home buyers this isn’t a problem. However, those with high debt ratios (see my post about debt thresholds and how it impacts your mortgage, go here), for the self-employed, or real estate investors who already own three or more properties, you’ll want to find a mortgage broker or lender that’s willing to review your paperwork during the pre-approval process. While many lenders won’t do this, it’s an important step if you don’t want to be scrambling during the financing stages of mortgage approval. Mortgage professionals that do a more thorough pre-approval verification are able to determine where you might get flagged by lenders and how and what to submit in order to satisfy lender mortgage requirements. Mortgage approval process So, you’ve found the perfect home, you put in an offer and won. Now it’s time to seal the deal and this boils down to money. So you call your lender to finalize the mortgage. That’s when you’re going to get hit with a list of paperwork that’s required for your application. The paperwork you’ll need includes: * Personal information: Age, marital status, number and age of kids * Employment details: This includes proof of income (such as T4 slips, copies of your last two paystubs, personal income tax returns, Notice of Assessments from the CRA for the last two tax filing years, and a letter from your company’s HR department stating your position, length of service and salary) * If self-employed you’ll need to provide: Incorporation documents, if applicable, as well as financial statements of the corporation for the last two to three tax years. You’ll also be required to submit full personal tax returns as well as CRA Notice of Assessments for both the corporation as well for you personally. The lender may also ask to see portions of your books, such as your General Ledger or Profit & Loss statements. Talk to your accountant or bookkeeper for these reports. * Other sources of income: Typically this is a statement on your part, but the lender could ask for back-up documentation. Other income can include pension, rental income, part-time work, etc. You’ll probably be asked for copies of your tax returns, or copies of paystubs or rental income documentation * If you already own property: A copy of the mortgage statement on your current property and a copy of last year’s property tax statement and, perhaps, this year’s up-to-date property tax statement. * Current banking information: Including bank, branch, accounts and balances * Verification of your down payment: This can be a snapshot of a bank account where the money is currently deposited, or a letter from a family member stating that the money is a loan or gift * Consent to run a credit history search: Every lender will either verbally ask for permission (and then obtain your Social Insurance Number) or ask you to sign an authorization form allowing them to pull your credit history. * List of debts (otherwise known as liabilities): This is where people sometimes opt to exclude a few items owed, but you need to resist this urge. Your credit history will show all outstanding money owed, so be upfront and honest. Provide a list of what is owed, to whom you owe it to and what monthly payments, if any, you put towards paying down the debt. The list should include student loans, credit card balances, car loans, monthly lease (or lease-to-own) arrangements and personal loans. * Copy of the listing: You will need to print off a copy of the MLS listing and include this in your mortgage documentation package. * Copy of purchase document: You will need a copy of the document you signed to buy the home. Known as the Agreement to Purchase and Sale, it’s the thick document that states the address, what’s included/excluded and the price, deposit and down-payment you agreed to. * Condo documentation: If you’re buying a condo or strata-townhome, you’ll also need to include the condo corporation’s financial statements and status certificates. * Rural property: You’ll need to include the certificate for the well and/or septic tank if you’re property isn’t on municipal water and sewer. If you want to reduce your stress during the financing phase of your home purchase, and you don’t want to or can’t submit all this information prior to finding a property then consider gathering up all this documentation ahead of time. Just having all the documentation at the ready will reduce your workload and free you up to concentrate on last-minute requests.
Mortgage Intelligence celebrates 15 years of success Mortgage Intelligence is celebrating its 15th anniversary with a national celebration on Wednesday July 15th that will see barbecues and gatherings in 17 communities across Canada. “Regina is one of the cities involved in this celebration and we are very proud that we were selected to participate,” “We look forward to greeting brokers, staff, clients, lenders and other business partners on Wednesday. Looking back and forward to the future there many reasons Mortgage Intelligence brokers, clients and partners will be enjoying this celebrations: Both Mortgage Intelligence and affiliated company Invis were among the first national super brokerage firms in Canada, with brokers in all provinces. We have over $140 billion funded and over 650,000 satisfied customers. Our provincial compliance audits and our reputation with regulators are impeccable year after year. Our award winning Angels in the Night homeless shelter project has been going strong since 2003 and has raised almost $3 million. Here in Regina. Recently we were delighted with the recognition we received at the Canadian Mortgage Awards, winning Best National Brokerage Network. “These are very exciting times and we have so much to look forward to. It’s an honour to help the citizens of Regina with their mortgage needs”. Thank you for supporting and believing in your Mortgage Broker Team at Mortgage Intelligence – The Mortgage Firm in Regina. For more information, please contact us at 306-545-9400.