Dealing with Mortgage Payment Difficulties & Fort McMurray fire disaster

Devin Cristo and Wes Will are Trusted Saskatoon Licensed Mortgage Associates with Your Mortgage Link, Brokerage License #315794. Your Mortgage Link is a Saskatchewan based brokerage operation, with offices in Saskatoon and Regina, competing in the wholesale mortgage market Canada wide. Our goal is to offer clients a broad range of mortgage products, and create competition between many of Canada’s top lenders.

Mortgage Payment Difficulties

When unforeseen financial circumstances impact your ability to make regular mortgage payments, or disaster strikes, it’s important for you to take quick action. With early intervention, cooperation, and a well executed plan, you can work together with your mortgage professional to find a solution to your financial difficulties.

 

 

Dealing with Mortgage Payment Difficulties

What Can We Do to Help?

If you find yourself facing financial difficulties, as a result of job loss, family income reduction, or for other reasons, it can be an overwhelming experience leaving you feeling uncomfortable and unsure of what to do. By following these three simple steps, you can make a big difference in resolving your financial difficulties.

1. Talk to your mortgage professional

  • To increase the chance of successfully managing your financial situation through early intervention, call your mortgage professional at the first sign of financial difficulty;
  • Ask the mortgage professional about information on the options available for managing your financial situation; and
  • Keep the mortgage professional informed as circumstances evolve.

2. Clarify the financial picture

In order to help your mortgage professional fully understand your financial situation, before meeting with them, prepare a detailed list of financial obligations including any credit cards, loans, household bills with the amounts owing and their due dates. Be sure to include information about your current income, savings accounts, investments, and any other assets.

3. Stay informed

The more information you have at your disposal on managing your finances, the easier it will be to make the right decisions.

Take Charge of Your Debts is an online tool from the Government of Canada that is designed to help borrowers like you understand debt problems, and includes information on making a budget, budget counselling, collection agencies, credit, and credit repair. To view this tool, log on to www.ic.gc.ca (Industry Canada) and search for “Take Charge of Your Debts”.

How Can Your Mortgage Now and CMHC Help?

Your mortgage professional wants to establish and maintain a positive relationship with you over the long term, and is fully trained and equipped with the tools to help you deal with the temporary financial setbacks that you may be facing.

For mortgages insured by Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC), CMHC provides mortgage professionals with tools and the flexibility to make timely decisions when working with you to find a solution to your unique financial situation. These tools include:

  • Converting a variable interest rate mortgage to a fixed interest rate mortgage in order to protect you from a sudden interest rate increase, should one occur.
  • Offering a temporary short-term payment deferral. Your mortgage professional may be prepared to offer greater payment flexibilities, particularly if previous lump sum prepayments have been made, or if you have previously chosen an accelerated payment schedule.
  • Extending the original repayment period (amortization) in order to lower your monthly mortgage payments.
  • Adding any missed payments (arrears) to the mortgage balance and spreading them over the remaining mortgage repayment period.
  • Offering a special payment arrangement unique to your particular financial situation.

CMHC is also willing to consider other alternatives proposed by the mortgage professional to resolve or avoid mortgage payment default. In every case, the options available will depend upon your individual financial circumstances.

 

 CMHC Tools to Support Canadians Affected by Fires in Fort McMurray and Area

Mortgage Payment Difficulties

CMHC joins Canadians in expressing our concern for the people of Fort McMurray and the surrounding area that are dealing with devastating forest fires.

As residents continue to deal with the effects, CMHC wishes to remind mortgage professionals that we can help you assist homeowners that may be affected by these unfortunate events. and their impending Mortgage Payment Difficulties.

For borrowers with CMHC-insured mortgage loans that are affected by the fires and who may require special arrangements to meet their mortgage payment obligations, CMHC offers Approved Lenders a series of default management tools including:

o        Deferral of payment
o        Re-amortization of the loan, to result in lower payments
o        Capitalization of outstanding interest arrears and other eligible expenses
o        Special payment arrangements
o        A combination of the above

Approved Lenders have the flexibility to make these special arrangements quickly and without CMHC approval provided that they retain a documented analysis of the borrower’s financial situation on file. Approved Lenders can refer to the CMHC Homeowner Default Management Guide for complete details on CMHC’s default management program. Please find attached a flyer providing a summary of these arrangements.

Approved Lenders are reminded that properties must be adequately protected by standard insured perils and that any damage exceeding $5,000 should be reported to the CMHC Claim Payment Centre.

CMHC recognizes that homeowners affected by the fires may experience some financial hardship due to income shortages resulting from temporary evacuations or due to the need to rebuild or repair their homes. CMHC encourages homeowners with CMHC-insured mortgages to contact their financial institution at the first signs of financial difficulty to discuss their specific situation. 

To help you share information with any of your clients that may be affected, please also find attached CMHC’s “Dealing with Mortgage Payment Difficulties” factsheet. 

CMHC’s Default Management Tool Selector can also help lenders to determine what CMHC default management tools are most appropriate given the borrower’s circumstances. CMHC also offers comprehensive training to Approved Lenders covering CMHC’s default management tools and more. If you are interested in obtaining training, please contact your CMHC Account Manager, Client Relations.

CMHC’s Default Management and Claim Specialists are also available to assist you at any time, including before a default occurs and during early stages of payment delinquency. The Specialists have the expertise to help you manage unusual or complex default situations. Contact the Claim Payment Centre, Monday to Friday at 1-866-358-9999 or by email at cpc@cmhc.ca, to speak with a Specialist.
You can work with confidence, knowing that you are supported by an experienced and informed mortgage loan insurance provider in the Canadian housing market.

Do not hesitate to contact me if you have any questions or require assistance.

CMHC is Canada’s national housing agency. For over 65 years CMHC has shared a wealth of knowledge and housing expertise to help create an informed and reassured homeownership experience for Canadians.

CMHC Calls Out Real Estate Markets for Signs of Overvaluation

Devin Cristo and Wes Will are Trusted Saskatoon Licensed Mortgage Associates with Your Mortgage Link, Brokerage License #315794. Your Mortgage Link is a Saskatchewan based brokerage operation, with offices in Saskatoon and Regina, competing in the wholesale mortgage market Canada wide. Our goal is to offer clients a broad range of mortgage products, and create competition between many of Canada’s top lenders.Real Estate Overvaluation

CMHC

The Crown Corporation, which monitors the housing market in the country, is coming around to the view that there may be some overvaluation and overbuilding in some Canadian cities.

Canada Mortgage and Housing Corp. said Wednesday that overvaluation cReal Estate Overvaluationan be “detected” in nine of the 15 cities it monitors with overbuilding recorded in seven.

“While we see weak evidence of problematic conditions for Canada, we do detect moderate evidence of overvaluation. This means that house prices are higher than levels that can be supported by fundamental factors such as income growth and population growth,” said Bob Dugan, chief economist with CMHC.

CMHC’s valuation is part of its quarterly Housing Market Assessment, something the Crown Corporation calls an early warning system, alerting Canadians to areas of concern developing in our housing markets so that they may take action in a way that promotes market stability.

Real Estate OvervaluationSince its last assessment, CMHC added Vancouver, Hamilton, and Saskatoon to cities where housing prices may be overvalued. The averaged detached home in metro Vancouver is almost $1.8 million today and prices are rising about 23 per cent year over year in Canada’s most expensive city for home ownership.

The Crown Corporation says there “strong evidence of problematic conditions” in the overall market for Toronto, Calgary, Saskatoon and Regina. Toronto’s issues are price acceleration and overvaluation. In Calgary, Saskatoon and Regina, the issue is a combination of overvaluation and overbuilding.

CMHC defines problematic conditions as imbalances in the housing market that occur when overbuilding, overvaluation, overheating and price acceleration, or combinations of those issues exceed historical norms.

Are you a first-time homebuyer?

Purchasing your first home is one of the most exciting experiences you will have in your life, and is one of the largest purchases you will ever make. The act of homebuying involves considerable sacrifice in order to save up for the deposit and finding a home to suit your needs. While everyone is generally on a different path, knowing what the average first-time homebuyer in Canada looks like can certainly help in knowing whether you are ahead of the game or slightly behind.

The Average First-Time Homebuyer in Canada

If you are in your twenties, thinking about homeownership should definitely be something on your mind. While it may not be something you can afford to do for a number of years, starting to plan immediately will help you. The average first-time homebuyer in Canada has three unique characteristics:

  1. They are generally in their late 20s. In a study conducted by BMO in 2013, which surveyed 2000 first-time homebuyers, the average homebuyer was determined to be about 29 years old.
  2. They buy a home valued at $316,100 on average. This number is different in major cities, such as Vancouver where the average is $506,500, Toronto at $408,300, Calgary at $363,400 and in Montreal where the cost is less than the national average at $237,900.
  3. On average, a first-time homebuyer in Canada has $50,576 to put towards their down payment. This means that the average homebuyer has about 16% of the cost of the home, meaning they need to insure their mortgages with an insurer like Genworth (as mortgage insurance is required when a buyer has less than a 20% down payment).

The Average First-Time Homebuyer by Province

Homebuyers are vastly different based on the province they live in. The average home prices compared to the average amount spent by first-time homebuyers in a province helps to illustrate the cost of living and affordability in each of Canada’s provincial regions.

  • The average home in Atlantic Canada is $212,622, while the average first-time homebuyer spends $204,400.
  • The average home in Quebec is $263,661 while the average first-time homebuyer spends $222,300.
  • The average home in Ontario is $423,691, while the average first-time homebuyer spends $358,400.
  • The average home in Manitoba and Saskatchewan is $275,104 while the average first-time homebuyer spends $226,100.
  • The average home in Alberta is $407,540, while the average first-time homebuyer spends $364,700.
  • The average home in British Columbia is $611,688 while the average first-time homebuyer spends $430,300.

Other First-Time Homebuyer Statistics

The study also found out some interesting statistics related to first-time homebuyers.

  • About one third (30%) of all first-time homebuyers are expecting some assistance from their parents or other members of their family with their purchase. In both Montreal and Vancouver, these numbers are significantly higher at about 40%.
  • 60 per cent of potential first-time homebuyers have had to delay their plans to buy, with close to 40 per cent of those people saying that the increasing cost of real estate has been the main reason for the delay.
  • Most first-time homebuyers (60%) set a fixed budget with a maximum amount they would want to spend on their home, but a third of them would be willing to spend more if they found a dream house outside of their set budget.

The question you need to pose to yourself is – how prepared are you? If you already have a larger deposit saved, perhaps you can invest in a slightly better property. If you are behind the average, consider services like Genworth’s down payment options.

Source: Genworth. Statistics for this post derived from BMO First-time Homebuyers Report unless otherwise stated. The poll was conducted by Pollara between January 24th and March 6th, 2014. 513 first-time Canadian homebuyers 18 years of age and older were polled. As a guideline, a probability sample of this size would yield results accurate to ± 4.3%, 19 times out of 20.

 

Devin Cristo & Wes Will are Trusted Saskatoon Mortgage Associates of YourMortgageNow.ca

 

Common Credit Score Myths explained by Your Mortgage Now

CREDIT SCORE MYTHS

Common Credit Score Myths

This three-digit number is surrounded by a lot of misconception and misunderstanding, we can help you better understand how your ‘credit score’ works.

For starters, your credit score is a prediction based on statistics of your credit risk at a specified point in time. The lower your score, the riskier you may appear to a lender, landlord, credit card company or car dealer.

Credit experts are used to fielding questions about credit scores and correcting misconceptions. According to Patricia White, executive director of Credit Counselling Canada, common myths about credit scores include:

Shopping for the best rate can hurt your credit score.
The reality? There may be features built into credit scores which identify a pattern but there are no penalties for shopping for the best interest rate.

Credit cards must be paid off in full.
The reality? What has a greater impact is having a few credit cards and managing them well. The amount of credit used should be no more than 35 per cent of your overall credit limit.

Credit scores treat people unfairly.
The reality? The scoring system is objective. Mathematically-based tools provide an unbiased assessment.

Closing a credit account will hurt your score.
The reality? If you closed a number of ‘old’ accounts this would decrease your available credit and your credit ratio would increase. Closing one account will only have a minimal effect.

Making frequent inquiries about your score will negatively affect it.
It can if you are seeking credit from a number of sources in a short period of time, such as several credit cards. If you are asking for a copy of your report, this will not impact your credit score.

It’s important to be aware of what helps and hurts your score. Your payment history, debts, how much credit you use, the length of your credit history, the number of new credit accounts you take on or inquire about, and the mix of credit types in your name all inform your score. We recommend ordering a copy of your score (from consumer credit reporting agencies; like Equifax) once a year; not only to keep yourself in check, but as a protective measure. Mistakes can be made, so ensure that your information is correct.

Need to improve your score? Paying your bills on time and repaying loans and credit card balances quickly will help improve your score but there’s no instant fix. Your score is based on past performance so building your scores will take time and diligence on your part.

 

wes0513 devin0513

Devin Cristo & Wes Will are Trusted Saskatoon Mortgage Associates of YourMortgageNow.ca

Buying a House With a Friend is Becoming the New Trend!

With house prices rising, it can difficult to afford a home on your own. You and a friend might be in the same situation and feel that if you pool your resources, you can invest in a home instead of throwing your money away by paying rent. What all parties have to realize is that this is a business partnership and should be treated as such.

What is involved with Buying a House With a Friend

Before you buy, it is important to look at the big picture and answer these questions:

  • Are my friends in a stable financial situation? Can they afford to split mortgage payments, utilities and come up with their share of a down payment? Ask them straight out, to avoid any issues in the future.
  • Do we share the same values? Are you both neat freaks? Couch potatoes? This can lead to tension as unlike a traditional business you are living with each other. People are used to doing things a certain way, are you ready to compromise?
  • Does everyone agree that this is an investment? Eventually, people’s lives change, they meet someone, relocate for a job. Have you talked about what will happen to the property when one person inevitably needs to sell their share?

Now that you have decided that this deal is going to work, you have to look at getting a mortgage. Is everyone involved going to be listed on the mortgage? All parties will have their credit ratings looked at and generally the person with the lowest credit rating will set the bar as to what a mortgage will be approved for.

After all of these questions have been answered and you have decided to go forward it is recommended that you find a lawyer. Once again, treat this investment as a business arrangement. Sit down with legal council and have a written agreement compiled that includes things such as:

  • Who will cover the down payment, property taxes, bills, and repairs when they are needed.
  • What will happen to the home if one of the owners is killed or incapacitated.
  • When can someone sell or leave the partnership? Do they need to give notice? Can the other partners buy out their share?

Sitting down with a lawyer will make sure that everyone fully understands how situations will be handled as they come up.

The last thing you may want to talk to your new business partner about are the house rules. Set out guidelines regarding pets, parties, noise and guests.

Purchasing a home with a friend can be an excellent way to start building your equity. As long as all of the people involved have been upfront with each other, there should be no surprises along the way to jeopardize the partnership. Let us help you when it is time to apply for that mortgage. We are here to answer any other questions that you may have when planning on buying a home with friends.

Devin Cristo & Wes Will are Trusted Saskatoon Mortgage Associates of YourMortgageNow.ca

How Much is Enough to Save for a Mortgage?

When should you start to save for a mortgage?

The challenge today is saving for a sizable deposit for a down payment and closing costs. Credit scores are critical, but so are income and assets when you are applying for a mortgage.

Home buyers are required to have at least 5% deposit of the home purchase price, although if you don’t want to purchase default insurance, then you’ll need at least 20% for a conventional mortgage.

There are several benefits to waiting until you have enough for a down payment of 20% or more before you purchase a home.

  1. Reduced mortgage payments
    The more you put down on your home upfront, the smaller your mortgage payments will be. That could help your monthly budget. More important, you could save thousands of dollars in interest in the long run. For example, on a 30-year mortgage at 5% interest, putting an extra $10,000 into the down payment will save you $9,325 in interest payments over the life of the loan.
  2. Lower interest rate
    Lenders often offer better interest rates to borrowers with a lower loan-to-value ratio, or the percentage of the purchase price that you’re financing. An increase in your down payment lowers the ratio and reduces the risk to the lender that you will be unable to pay your full loan balance. Lower interest rates can also save you money over the life of the mortgage.
  3. No mortgage-insurance fees
    If you want to contribute a smaller down payment than the traditional 20%, most lenders require that you take out mortgage insurance. This insurance protects the lender in case you cannot pay your mortgage.
  4. Instant Equity Building
    A significant down payment builds instant equity in your home. A 20%t down payment immediately puts equity into a property when you purchase it.

So, if you’re a first-time home buyer, how do you save for a down payment?

As a first-time buyer, you’ve got other things to consider, including:

  • Your rental costs. (Are they higher or lower than your potential ownership costs?)
  • Alternative uses for your down payment money. (Can you get a better return by investing down payment funds elsewhere?)
  • The size of your emergency fund. (Home ownership comes with a laundry list of unexpected expenses.)
  • Your economic stability and future earning power.

There are several ways to piece together a bigger down payment. You can:

  • Cut your spending and reduce your credit card limits. You might want to consider asking your credit card company to reduce your overall limit as this will help boost the overall amount lenders will be willing to offer you.
  • Get rid of debit! Carrying high levels of debt will reduce the overall amount lenders will be willing to offer you for a mortgage. Demonstrate to the lenders that you have responsibly made repayments on your credit cards.
  • Sell old, unwanted items.
  • Tap into the bank of mom and dad. Gifts from parents get a lot of young people started as home owners.
  • Borrow from your RRSP under the Home Buyers’ Plan (HBP).
  • Apply tax refunds and bonuses.
  • Get rid of one car in a two-car household.
  • Postpone a vacation for 18 months or more.
  • Get a second job. Working a couple nights a week at a part-time job only puts extra cash in your account. It also decreases time and opportunity for you to go out and spend unnecessary money.
  • Use municipal first-time home buyer grants when applicable (like this one in Saskatoon).

There are ways we can help you plan your down payment. Give us a call today at (306) 244-7755 or visit www.www.yourmortgagenow.ca

Refinancing Your Mortgage with Home Equity

MORTGAGE REFINANCING 101 

Refinancing Your Mortgage with Home Equity

re financing mortgage saskatoon

With spring just around the corner you might be thinking about renovating the house, sprucing up the backyard or even purchasing your first cottage. Refinancing your mortgage may allow you to find the money that you need for these aspirations.

The first thing that you have to consider is how much equity has built up in your home since you started paying down your mortgage. Your home equity – your home’s value minus the balance of your mortgage – is available for you to withdraw and invest in a number of ways, including home renovations, additional real estate, post secondary education and much more. Has the property value increased? Decreased? You can obtain a realistic figure by getting a market evaluation on your home. By multiplying your current market value by 80% this should give you an idea of how much you would be able to borrow for your new project.

The second thing is to look at different options when it comes to realizing your goals and every individual situation is different. Some choices that a person can look at are:

  • a new mortgage (the amount of your existing balance plus the amount that you would like to borrow);

  • a home equity line of credit;

  • or a combination of a mortgage and line of credit.

The third step would be to sit down with a mortgage specialist and assess your different needs and that is why we are here to help you answer these important questions. So contact us today and we will help you come up with the best strategy for your lifestyle.

Do you have questions about refinancing your mortgage? Give us a call today at (306) 244-7755 or visit our website at www.www.yourmortgagenow.ca

Things To Do Before You Renew Your Mortgage

If you have a mortgage coming up for renewal this year, it’s a good idea to check on a few details well in advance of your current term’s expiration date.

For example, determine whether you need to produce new documents to verify ownership before you get your new financing in place. An old property survey or condo agreement that is outdated and/or in need of correction may require official amendments before you can secure your new mortgage. Since such documents can take time, it’s wise to keep an updated file of all changes to your ownership status and have it ready when it’s time to renew.

Is your mortgage up for renew? Make sure to contact us to secure your low interest rate! (306) 244-7755 or devinandwes@www.yourmortgagenow.ca

Debt Consolidation With Your Mortgage

With the availability of credit, you may have a car loan, credit cards or other debt starting to mount, and maybe taking a toll on your budget. For some, it can be easy to max your credit card, get that new car loan, but then find it hard to keep your payments under control. You may want to consider increasing your mortgage to pay these debts out. This will not only reduce your monthly commitments, but also ease the strain on your monthly budget.
If you are thinking about consolidating other debts with your mortgage, you may have questions like:

  • Can you consolidate your current debts into your mortgage?
  • Will my current bank or lender allow me to do that?
  • What will be my monthly repayments on my increased mortgage?
  • Banks or lenders lend against the value of your home, do you have enough equity in your home to increase your mortgage to pay out those debts?

There are many options if you are thinking about consolidating your current debt into your mortgage. It is important to speak to a qualified Mortgage Broker to see which option suits your financial situation. A Mortgage Broker will look at your current bank or lender, and if that doesn’t suit, look at different banks and lenders they deal with, so they can explore many different options, and find one that suits you best.

What Type Of Debts Can You Consolidate With Your Mortgage?

All banks and lenders have different rules about what you can consolidate into your mortgage. It is important to get some information from your Mortgage Broker first, so you can learn what you can do, and then make an informed decision on what is the best option for you. Some of the types of debt you can consolidate are –

  • Credit Card Debt.
  • Car loans or personal loans.
  • Business Debt.
  • Tax Debt.
  • Investment Debt.

What Are The Advantages and Disadvantages Of Consolidating Other Debt With Your Mortgage?

Some advantages and disadvantages of consolidating your current debts with your mortgage may include –

Advantages

  • Your interest rate on your mortgage is more than likely cheaper than credit cards and other loans, saving you money.
  • You monthly commitments (repayments) may be reduced, helping your monthly budget out.
  • You may want to make a plan paying that debt down faster by consolidating it into your mortgage, and paying more than the minimum repayment, thus saving you money and interest charges.

Disadvantages

  • Although the your minimum monthly repayments may of been reduced, some of the debt in the longer term may cost you more money. For example: a car loan may of been taken over a 5 year loan term, but on your mortgage, even though the interest rate may be cheaper, your mortgage may be over a term of up to 25 years, therefore increasing the amount of actual interest you pay on the original car loan, as it is now paid over the remainder of your mortgage term.
  • Reduces the equity in your home. This may be an issue in the future, if you want to buy another home, investment property etc.
  • There maybe a fee to increase your mortgage or refinance your mortgage to another bank or lender.

It is important to talk to a Mortgage Broker , and determine what may be best for your financial situation before you make any decisions. This way you can learn the pro’s and con’s of consolidating other debts into your current mortgage, and make an informed decision.

Contact us today!

The 5 C’s of Credit

Applying for a mortgage can be a nerve-wracking experience when you’re not sure what to expect. Before you go looking for credit, take a few minutes to understand what lenders are looking for:

How might you stack up in a lender’s analysis of the five C’s of credit?

CAPACITY

Be prepared to show that you can afford your payments. The lender will look at your income from all sources, and compare that with your monthly financial obligations.

CAPITAL

Your downpayment demonstrates that you can save and accumulate assets, and that you are more likely to do all you can to keep up with your mortgage payments.

COLLATERAL

This is the lender’s assurance that the mortgaged property is marketable and can be re-sold to recover the investment.

CREDIT

Your habits in meeting your debt obligations will be evaluated. Do you consistently pay your debts on time?

CHARACTER

Are you sufficiently trustworthy to meet your obligations? Your education and work experience will be factors, along with length of time at your current residence and job.