Canadian Housing Market leading the way for economy to rebound

Buying a home is one of the most important and exciting steps in your life…. found the home you want now you need a mortgage. Deal with people who can offer you and your family the best options.  Devin Cristo and Wes Will of Your Mortgage Now are Saskatoon Mortgage Experts. We have many years of experience helping individuals and families by offering mortgages from a variety of lenders. Your Mortgage Now are Trusted Saskatoon Mortgage Brokers. In our latest article, we share the latest news and forecasts about the Canadian housing market.

Canadian Housing Market 2018 forecast

The Bank of Canada (BoC) announced at the end of April 2018, that after a weak economic performance in the first quarter of 2018, it is predicting a rebound for the economy in the coming months.

“GDP growth in the first quarter was weaker than the Bank had expected but should rebound in the second quarter, resulting in 2 percent average growth in the first half of 2018,” reads the BoC announcement.

The weak first quarter performance — which saw GDP growth fall sharply from 2.5 to 1.3 percent — has been widely attributed to a flagging housing market, as home sales dropped after the introduction of a new mortgage stress test on January 1.

“Slower economic growth in the first quarter primarily reflects weakness in two areas,” reads the Bank’s announcement. “Housing markets responded to new mortgage guidelines and other policy measures by pulling forward transactions in late 2017…Some of the weakness in housing…is expected to be unwound as 2018 progresses.”

According to BMO economist Benjamin Reitzes, the central bank’s more optimistic outlook for the second quarter reflects a belief that the housing market has adjusted to the new mortgage stress test, and will soon begin to recover.

“While Q1 GDP growth was cut sharply to 1.3 per cent…Q2 was introduced at a very solid 2.5 percent, suggesting that the BoC is looking for some stability in housing over the coming months, at a minimum,” he writes in a recent note.

Reitzes also agrees that a warmer housing market is likely this spring. “We’re looking for a similar rebound in Q2, so can’t argue with that,” he writes.”

It’s a sentiment echoed by Scotiabank economist Marc Desormeaux, who believes that the housing market is on its way to bottoming out, and will see a surge in activity later in the year.

“March’s uptick in home purchases [of 1.3 per cent] implies some bottoming out of sales activity, he writes, in a recent note. “Following the first quarter contraction, we anticipate a modest but broad-based recovery in sales activity [in the second quarter.]”

 

Deal with the Saskatoon Mortgage broker experts you can trust at Your Mortgage Now and be sure that you have looked at all of the options, and that you have the best mortgage products and the best mortgage rates to suit your needs.

They want this process to be as easy as possible for you. Run some numbers through their online calculators, and look through the resources that they offer on their website.

No time for an appointment?  No problem! You can apply online with Your Mortgage Now!

 

Original article: Buzzhomes- Sarah Niedoba

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.

Easy Habits to Help Save for Your First Home

FIRST TIME HOMEBUYERS

first time home buyer

At YourMortgageNow.ca, we are always ready to answer any questions you may have about buying your first home in Saskatoon and area. But for some people, saving to buy their first home may seem daunting and they don’t quite know where to start. Here are some great money-saving tips to get you started:

  1. Set a long-term goal: “I want to buy a home by the age of 30” or “I want to buy a home within five years of graduation from college”.
  2. Determine how much you can afford: Be realistic about where you want to live and what type of home you will likely be able to afford. Consulting a financial advisor or mortgage professional early on will put you on the right path to fulfilling your goal.
  3. Create a budget: Keep track of all the money that comes in and all the money that goes out. Balancing expenses against income will help you determine what, if any, adjustments you need to make to your spending habits in order to build savings.
  4. Pay yourself first: Open a separate savings account and deposit a set amount of money every month through an automatic withdrawal from your paycheque or other bank account.
  5. Live on cash: Every pay day give yourself an allowance in cash to get you through to the next pay day. If you don’t have cash handy you might think twice before buying something you don’t really need.
  6. Build your savings account: Live off your day-to-day earnings and make the most of every unexpected inflow of cash. If you work overtime or receive a bonus, put that money right into your savings account.
  7. Party at home: Going out for dinner, clubbing or a movie can really add up on your monthly expenses and kill your budget. Host movie nights or potluck dinners at home and see your savings grow.
  8. Earn extra income: Sell unused items online through sites such as eBay, Craigslist or Kijiji; take on a second job; work part-time and summers if you’re a student.
  9. Open an RRSP account early on: The Federal government’s Home Buyer’s Plan allows you to withdraw up to $20,000 from a Registered Retirement Savings Plans (RRSP) for a down payment on a first home. Consult with a financial advisor or mortgage professional to grow you investments wisely.
  10. Do your homework: Before making any big investment or purchase, do some research. Avoid spending on impulse or emotion. If it sounds too good to be true, chances are it is.

Happy Saving!

Wes Will Mortgage Broker Devin Cristo Mortgage Broker

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

Is Your Mortgage Up For Renewal?

 

MORTGAGE UP FOR RENEWAL

The biggest monthly expense for most Canadians is their mortgage payment.

Yet according to an Angus Reid survey, almost 27 per cent of households automatically renew their mortgages when the term is up instead of trying to find a better deal.

Mortgage renewal

If your mortgage is up for renewal within the next 6 months you may want to start thinking about what you’re going to do when your mortgage term ends. While you could renew with your current lender, you may be missing out on potential mortgage interest savings. It’s most often in your best interest to see what else is available for you before you sign on the dotted line of any mortgage commitment. This week, we want to highlight the mortgage options you have at renewal time so you can make an educated decision on how to proceed into the next term of your mortgage.

Renew your mortgage with same lender

If you don’t want to make any changes to your current mortgage amount or amortization, a simple mortgage renewal could be the solution for you. Your existing mortgage lender will usually send you an offer to renew near the end of your mortgage term or maybe sooner, depending on your lender. This document will contain the different mortgage term rate offerings for you to choose from. The benefit of renewing with your existing lender is, minimal paperwork is required as most often you are not required to re-qualify for the mortgage and there’s usually no costs involved unless your lender is charging you a renewal fee. This is ideal if you just want to sign on the dotted line, though the downside is you may not have initially been offered the best rate available. Often the rates are negotiable and you need to be aware you don’t get what you don’t ask for, however, before having the rate talk with your lender do some research first to determine what exactly the “best rates” are for your current financial position.

Renegotiate your mortgage with a different lender

If you’re okay with your existing mortgage amount though looking at making changes to the interest rate, or other terms your contract does not offer, you may want to look at the possibility of renegotiating your mortgage with a different lender. If you’re going to look at this option, be prepared to provide updated mortgage application details as well as supporting documentation to your new mortgage lender. As you don’t have a mortgage repayment history with this new lender they will want to re-qualify you for the mortgage which will also involve ordering your credit report. Usually a mortgage “switch” doesn’t involve any costs charged by the new lender as they will cover them, though there may be some small administration costs of $200-$300 charged by the lender you are leaving.

Refinance your mortgage

A refinance is perfect for you if you want to access your home equity at renewal time. Refinancing your mortgage allows you to restructure your mortgage amount, term, interest rate and amortization. If you have sufficient equity available this can allow you to pay off debt, invest, renovate, and more. There are some costs related to refinancing your mortgage which may include appraisal and legal fees, though they usually aren’t as high as what you paid when you originally purchased the home. Some lenders will also offer to pick up some of the costs to their refinance customers or offer some small cash back amounts to help reduce any out of pocket costs that need to be paid. You can also discuss other options including paying some of those costs from your refinance funds at closing time.

The next step is deciding on which of the 3 ways you want to access your equity at renewal time;

  1. Restructure your first mortgage to accommodate the extra funds you want out of your home.
  2. A second mortgage will allow you to leave your first mortgage details the same, but access equity by obtaining a 2nd mortgage behind your 1st one. Be careful though, as 2nd mortgages may come with higher rates and possibly fees.
  3. Or, if you qualify, a home equity line of credit could be the solution you’re looking for. It can be registered behind your first mortgage and offers a variable interest rate, an open term and interest only payments.

A lot can change during the term of your mortgage including income, assets, debts, and financial profile, among other things. It’s never a bad idea to give your mortgage a check-up at renewal time to ensure it aligns with the financial goals you are trying to achieve. Don’t be afraid to explore how you can make your mortgage work to your benefit by partnering with experienced mortgage professionals at YourMortgageNow.ca. Devin and Wes are Trusted Saskatoon‘s Mortgage Associates who specialize on the perfect financing solution for your unique financial situation.

Wes Will Mortgage Broker Devin Cristo Mortgage Broker

5 Benefits of Buying a Home in the Off-Season!

Spring and summer are commonly known as peak-season in Canada’s real estate market. But there are a number of benefits to purchasing in what is considered off-season too! From cost savings to enhanced convenience, here are five advantages of off-season house hunting and off-season home buying.

Buying a Home in the Off-Season

Perk #1: Highly motivated sellers

Winter sellers tend to be highly motivated and eager to sell their property quickly, particularly if they’ve listed just before or during the holiday season. This is a favourable time of year for buyers, in terms of encountering sellers who are receptive to negotiating on price and sales conditions.

Perk #2: Fewer bidding wars

Many parents would rather enroll their kids in a new school in September, not mid-year. You’ll have fewer competitors when you bid on a house that’s for sale during the off-season. You’ll encounter fewer fever-pitch multiple-offer scenarios, and be less likely to be outbid.

Perk #3: You’ll be able to see problems and negotiate solutions.

Does the roof leak? Are telltale icicles indicating attic heat loss? Is the basement carpet wet? Is the street around the house buried in snow because the municipal ploughs come here last? Are the living spaces drafty? Find out before you buy.

Check out a house midwinter and you’ll see what it’s like during the worst of our Canadian weather. No surprises here. And with motivated sellers and fewer potential buyers/competitors, you’re more likely to have the problem repaired outright, or to negotiate a repair credit into the sale price.

Perk #4: Less-busy real estate professionals

Almost every professional you deal with during your midwinter house hunting will be less time-stretched than during the peak season. From real estate agents to bank representatives and real estate lawyers, everyone will be seeing fewer clients. With fewer client needs to juggle, you can benefit from lightning fast response times, and faster than average turnarounds on paperwork and processing, from everyone you work with during the house hunting and homebuying process.

Perk #5: A smoother move

You can count on better service – and a better price – when you hire movers for a winter job. With fewer moves going on, you’re more likely to get your preferred date and time. By avoiding peak season, you’ll pay the lower off-season moving rates.

Although there are downsides to off-season buying (namely, fewer homes to choose from), the benefits are significant enough to make it a smart choice for many first-timers and experienced homebuyers alike.

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

Financial Preparation around Christmas from your Saskatoon Mortgage Brokers

As we close on the ‘spending season’ it’s a timely reminder to be aware of the potential financial damage that can occur if you rely on short term debt to fund it. There are far better ways to approach this spending then relying on your credit cards.

Consider a family, they have an existing mortgage of $300,000 and on average have around $300 a month left after all bills/ spending etc. In December/ January with travel, holiday accommodation, presents plus entertainment they will spend an extra $3500 in this period. If this is put on the credit card (assuming 20% interest), and it has a zero balance at this point, and paid off at $300 a month from January it will take 14 months to zero this balance. So there will still be money owing at next Christmas!

As this monthly credit card repayment is basically accounting for all their surplus money it also means they are operating very inefficiently. When you owe $300,000 on a mortgage it seems crazy to be throwing your extra money into paying off a $3,500 debt. Put it this way, paying an extra $300 a month on a 30 year mortgage of $300,000 will save you $135,000 in interest costs, if not more.

Adding the $3500 into your home loan would make an almost unnoticeable difference into your monthly payments, however the $300 a month extra in to your mortgage makes a world of difference. This festive season it will certainly pay to get money savvy.

If you have a mortgage it is very important to manage this debt well, a mortgage plus other short-term debt will ensure you are paying them for the next 25-30 years when there is no reason it could not be 15-20 years.

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

Investment Property Purchasing With Rental Income in Mind

SHOPPING FOR AN INVESTMENT PROPERTY?

Purchasing With Rental Income in Mind

investment property

The purchase of your first home is a large investment and one that involves a significant financial commitment. Homes with legal suites are a great option for the first-time homebuyer seeking a home to both live in and build equity from, plus gain some revenue from a basement suite renter.

First-time homebuyers can request their real estate agent to do a search for properties that possess a ready-built suite or have the potential in which to build one. A property that already has a separate entry and two separate kitchens, or water hook-ups in an area where appliances could be installed, would be optimal. Kitchens are one of the more expensive rooms of a house to finish oneself.

Alternatively, first-time home buyers may seek out newer homes with unfinished basements at a lesser home cost, and attain a mortgage that allows cash for improvements, a home renovation loan or line of credit secured on the home to finish the basement into a suite. Simply request to seek properties with walk-out basements or homes wherein a separate entrance could be developed easily.

Income from a basement apartment can help first-time buyers carry the costs of their home. But it’s not as simple as placing an online ad; homeowners must take due diligence to ensure their basement apartment is legal and that their tenants are trustworthy.

The legalities of basement apartments

If the apartment doesn’t comply with local zoning bylaws and fire codes, the apartment isn’t legal.

You need to check with the City of Saskatoon to see if your basement apartment is registered as a second unit. If it is, then it is legal and compliant with the fire code. If it’s not registered, then you have to conduct further research. A city’s zoning bylaw will tell you if your area permits a basement apartment.

If you want to apply for a new unit, you will need a building permit that satisfies the provisions of the fire code in your province.

When looking at a property, if the basement apartment is being advertised as a “nanny suite” or “in-law apartment,” be wary — this unit is most likely illegal. If a neighbour complains about your unit to the city and an inspection occurs, you will be required to pay to upgrade your unit to proper standards.

You must advise your insurance company if you intend to rent out your basement apartment. By not disclosing this information, it may refuse to pay a claim if, for example, a fire occurs later.

Finding a good tenant

Besides advertising in a local newspaper, consider posting a listing on Kijii.ca or Craigslist.ca.

You must be very careful when interviewing any potential tenant that you do not inadvertently violate any sections of the Human Rights Code by asking any inappropriate questions.

You are permitted to ask prospective tenants on a rental application if they smoke, whether they have pets and how many people will be living with them in the apartment. You can also ask for references and their rental history. You cannot ask about their ethnic background, religious or sexual preference, or marital status.

It’s important to conduct the proper research in advance before renting your basement to a residential tenant. Be sure to ask for a current pay stub from where they work and call previous landlords for references.

Basement apartments, if created and rented out properly, can give you peace of mind and additional income to assist you in carrying the costs of your home and increasing its long-term value.

Apply for a mortgage pre-approval and make use of the free and easy online mortgage calculator to formulate your budget and know what you truly can afford.

Devin Cristo Mortgage Broker Wes Will Mortgage Broker

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

5 Tips to Become Mortgage-Free Faster!

Your Mortgage Now shares 5 Tips to Become Mortgage-Free Faster

Budget for it first.

There are a number of strategies to help homeowners pay off mortgages quicker; all involve paying more money.

Your first step should be to determine if you have the flexibility in your budget to put more money toward your mortgage.

Balance everything – You want to be setting yourself up for a strong financial future by putting money away for things like your retirement and your kids’ education.

Accelerate your payments.

If you do have the extra budget room, consider adjusting your payment plan.

For example, if you go on a bi-weekly accelerated schedule, making a payment every 14 days, instead of twice a month, you’ll have made the equivalent of 26 payments, by the end of the year.

Smaller, more frequent payments will reduce your interest costs and get you mortgage-free faster. If you tie it in to your payroll, you don’t even miss it.

Increase your monthly payments.

Most financial institutions let homeowners make additional mortgage payments alongside their regular monthly payments.

Depending on the lender, a homeowner may be allowed to pay between 10 to 100 per cent of the mortgage payment and have it go directly toward paying down the principal, not the interest.

Make a lump sum payment.

Say you get a bonus at work or receive an inheritance – putting a chunk of that windfall toward your mortgage can make a difference.

Most lenders let clients pay lump sums between 10 to 20 per cent of the original mortgage, or the remaining balance. The full amount can be paid in one go or it can be made in instalments.

(Note: the lump sum contribution is over and above the amount you are allowed to contribute in additional bi-weekly payments.)

Reduce your amortization.

The principal-to-interest ratio on a mortgage leans more heavily toward interest in the first part of the mortgage term.

If you’re taking a shorter amortization, you’re tipping the scale a little bit so that a bigger portion of your payment is going towards your principal for that portion.

The strategies outlined earlier – making accelerated, additional and lump sum payments – can effectively reduce your amortization period, while still giving you financial flexibility.

 

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

6 Tips to Help Renew Your Mortgage

The biggest monthly expense for most Canadians is their mortgage payment. So
before you decide to renew with your current mortgage lender, take a look at these tips to help lower your payments come renewal time.

1. Get Started Early
Start shopping around for a better rate four to six months before your mortgage is up for renewal.
This is the longest lenders can guarantee a discounted rate. If your current lender’s rate rises, you have your guaranteed rate to fall back on.

2. Do Your Homework
Find out what other lenders are offering before you negotiate a lower rate from your bank. View our current rates at www.www.yourmortgagenow.ca

3. Never Accept the Bank’s Posted Rate
If you don’t ask for a better rate, you won’t get one. If you current lender has the best mortgage features, advice and policies, ask your bank to match a competitor’s lower rate.

4. Negotiate on other Available Options
The amortization period, the rate type (fixed or variable) and the flexibility of the payment schedule can also determine ways to lowering your costs, not just the interest rate.

5. You Can Change Lenders
A lot of people renew with their lender and don’t even think about switching to another one. You could be missing out on what other financial companies are offering, plus there is no penalty if you switch at renewal time.

6. Use a Mortgage Broker
If you don’t like negotiating and don’t have the time to research rates, a mortgage broker will do ALL the legwork for you — even without charging you anything, since they are paid a commission from the lenders.


Did You Know
Saving even half a percentage point on your mortgage rate can save you up to $10,000 over 25 years (based on a $150,000 mortgage).


If your mortgage is coming up for renewal in the new year or you have questions about your current mortgage, contact us today!