11 Mar

4½ Types of Home Ownership – Freehold, Leasehold, Strata or Cooperative

Home Ownership

Posted by: Kelly Hudson

In general, there are four common types of property ownership in Canada: Freehold, Strata, Co-Operative and Leasehold with advantages and disadvantages to each of the type.  Therefore it’s important for home buyers to know the differences between the different types of property ownership when they’re shopping for a new home.

Freehold Property Ownership Freehold is the most common type of property ownership in Canada.

It’s what we traditionally think of as property ownership; you own the building and the land it sits upon.  A freehold interest (also known as a fee simple) is the more precise term for what we ordinarily refer to as “ownership” of a home

You own the building and grounds it rests upon for an indefinite period of time and have full use and control of the land and buildings on it, subject to any rights of the Crown, local land use bylaws and any other restrictions in place at the time of purchase.  You have the freedom to make changes to building and yard (subject to zoning, bylaws and permit limitations) and are responsible for cost and maintenance.

Most single-family homes are freehold.

Strata Property Ownership Most condo and townhouse developments are strata properties. Single-family detached home strata properties are rare, but they do exist.

When you buy a strata property, you have strata title with full ownership of all the interior elements of your unit, you also share ownership of common property that exists within the strata. Oftentimes this shared common property includes parking, hallways, amenity rooms, gym space, laneways, and the building’s entrances and exits.

As a strata owner, you are responsible for the maintenance and upkeep of your unit but the costs of looking after the common property are covered by monthly fees charged to every owner.

These strata/condo fees are proportional to the size of your unit; if you own a large two-bedroom unit you’ll pay more than someone living in a small bachelor suite.

As strata properties are comprised of a number of people sharing common spaces, there are rules and bylaws that govern how those spaces can be used. There may also be rules that regulate what you can do in your own private space so it doesn’t have an adverse impact on your neighbours, or the common spaces owned by everyone.

These rules are set by a council of owners that is elected by owners in the strata. The council is also responsible for the strata corporation that is set up to administer the strata. They set budgets, hire contractors, adhere to maintenance schedules, get repairs done, deal with complaints and infractions of the rules and bylaws.

 Co-op Property Ownership is similar to owning a unit in a strata.

In the cooperative form of ownership, each owner owns a share in a company or cooperative association which, in turn, owns a property containing a number of housing units. Each shareholder is assigned one particular unit in which to reside.

But instead of owning the interior of your own unit and sharing ownership of common property, owners in a co-op each own a share of the corporation that actually owns the building or complex. That share ownership then gives you the right to occupy a unit within the co-op, provided you don’t break any of the co-op’s rules and you pay your housing charges on time.

As you are not buying into the actual real estate when you purchase a co-op, you’ll require a different kind of financing from your lender called a share loan.  It works much like a mortgage except your share in the co-op is the loan’s collateral, instead of the property.

Like a strata, all owners in a co-op share the expense of repairs and maintenance through monthly fees.

Owners in a co-op must follow rules and regulations set and administered by a co-op board which is elected by members of the co-op.  The co-op board also has the power to approve or reject prospective new members, which must comply with provincial human rights legislation.

Leasehold Property Ownership You would own the actual building or unit, but would rent or lease the land itself for a set period of time and there are varying lease terms.

Living in a leasehold property is like living on borrowed time.  Leasehold interests are frequently set for periods of 99 years, but regardless of the length of the original term, you will only be able to purchase the remaining portion. Of course, the shorter the remaining portion, the less you, or the person who eventually purchases from you, will be willing to pay for the leasehold interest.

When you buy a leasehold property, you own the building but the property on which your home sits is owned by somebody else who has leased it back to a builder or developer. Typically, those leases last for 99 years. When the lease expires, the property’s owner could choose to renegotiate the lease to current market rates. Or they could reclaim the property as their own for redevelopment after buying out owners at fair market value.

There are 3 types of leased land: government (federal, provincial or municipal), First Nation reserve land and private companies/individuals can also own leasehold land.

Most developers prepay the cost of leasing the land, then incorporate that into the selling price of their projects. If they didn’t do that, then you’ll be paying rent on top of your mortgage payments, strata fees and taxes. And you won’t be protected from periodic adjustments to reflect the current value of the land.

While most properties appreciate over time, a leasehold property can actually depreciate, especially as the lease gets close to expiring. That uncertainty over a property owner’s future plans for their property can make it more difficult to get financing for a leasehold property. The lender could require a larger down payment, or it could be amortized over a shorter period of time.

Despite their uncertainty, leasehold properties can be a good option for property ownership, especially if they’re still early in the lease period. They can be cheaper than freehold properties or offer better value in desirable neighbourhoods. But the uncertainty that comes with leasehold can make them a poorer investment than other types of property ownership.

Leasehold interests can become particularly risky real estate investments as they approach the end of their lease, as the owner of the property can choose to resell the leasehold interest, redevelop the land entirely, or leave the area vacant.

Before you put too much effort in buying leasehold, find out how long the head lease is; most Financial Institutions require it be a minimum of 5 years longer than the amortization of the mortgage loan.

Co-owning a Property – There is another option for property ownership, called co-owning. It is becoming a viable option for some families who’ve been priced out of owning a home.

Co-ownership is when two or more owners enter into a legal agreement to own a single piece of property. Usually co-ownership involves family members, such as parents and grown offspring, who may share the same home or live autonomously in separate dwellings like a house and laneway house.

Co-ownership agreements are complex documents, with plenty of legal protections to safeguard both parties in the agreement as well as the lender financing the mortgage. If co-ownership is an option, you need to engage a lawyer experienced in constructing such agreements.

Information on obtaining a mortgage for Leasehold or Cooperative Ownership 

Typically, you will find your Mortgage Lender more cautious about financing Leasehold and Cooperative property as they are considered a riskier type of collateral and may come with a higher mortgage interest rate and/or higher down-payment.

Speak to your Mortgage Broker to obtain more information.

Mortgages are complicated, but they don’t have to be… Engage an expert!  Give me a call and let’s discuss a mortgage that works for you (not the bank)!

Kelly Hudson
Mortgage Expert
DLC – Canadian Mortgage Experts
Mobile 604-312-5009
Kelly@KellyHudsonMortgages.com
www.KellyHudsonMortgages.com

31 Oct

Mortgages for Expensive Homes – Not as Easy as it Sounds!

Mortgage

Posted by: Kelly Hudson

 Large home purchases that require a mortgage present unique challenges in the Canadian Mortgage market. Sliding scales, director approval, multiple reviews, it all adds up to difficultly getting larger mortgages approved, unless you’re working with an experienced mortgage broker.

In 2012 the government of Canada removed the mortgage insurers ability to approve mortgages of $1 million (or more) with less than 20% down payment. As a result of this change, the minimum down payment for homes over $1 million starts at 20% of your purchase price and increases.

Since any home purchase over $1 million cannot be insured against default, the lender applies a sliding scale to reduce their potential for loss if the borrower defaults.  Consequently, large mortgages present a unique challenge, especially in the Vancouver/Toronto market. 

Depending where you live, most lenders consider home purchases over $500-750K to be large enough for them to want to mitigate their risk.  In larger urban centres like Vancouver & Toronto, lenders will consider purchases up to $1 million before increasing the down payment with sliding scale.

Sample sliding scales for Vancouver/Toronto

  • 20% down payment on the first $1,000,000, plus 40% down payment on the balance over $1,000,000
  • 20% down payment on $1,250,000, plus 50% down payment on the balance over $1,250,000
  • 20% down payment on $1,500,000 plus 40% down payment on the balance over $1,500,000

Every lender has their own risk level for expensive home purchases.

As you can see, the typical lender sliding scale for jumbo mortgages is very punitive and can result in a much higher down payment when purchasing a home over $1 million.

Lenders want to alleviate the higher risk on purchases of expensive homes, because there is a smaller pool of potential buyers compared to lower home prices. This makes expensive homes more vulnerable to market corrections.  If there is a price correction, it can be more difficult for lenders to get their money back, should they need to foreclose. 

Lenders are risk adverse!  When they perceive a risk, they are either going to charge higher interest rates OR lessen their risk with a sliding scale, requiring home buyers to put a larger down payment on properties over their threshold.

Example:

  • Base line with no sliding scale home purchase $1,500,000
    • Minimum 20% down payment = $300,000
  • Down payment required for a home purchase with Sliding Scale 20% down payment on the first $1,000,000, plus 40% down payment on the balance over $1,000,000
    • 20% down payment on $1,000,000 = $200,000
    • 40% down payment on $500,000 (amount over $1M) = $200,000
      • Down payment required $400,000

20% down payment = $300K versus sliding scale $400K down payment required – Yes sliding scale can make a big difference in your required down payment!

Sliding scale is designed so that as a property’s price increases, you need a larger down payment. 

  • Therefore, the maximum loan/mortgage amount available decreases on a proportionate basis.

To minimize the size of your down payment, you need an experienced mortgage broker who works with a multitude of lenders, giving you the most flexibility with sliding-scale.

Other points to keep in mind with a large mortgage:

  • Pay attention to the terms and conditions of your mortgage, especially your prepayment penalties.
    • Larger loan amounts amplify the differences in the penalties charged by different lenders.
  • Most large mortgage loans must be escalated up the ranks for management approval. This means it can take lenders an extra day (or two) to get your approval back so your subject removal date may need to be longer.
    • Typically, I recommend 10 business days for subject removal on large mortgages.

 Another important point to keep in mind, when real estate prices flatten or drop, lenders can become much more conservative when underwriting higher-end real estate. As such, there can be wide disparity in the value different lenders will assign to a property.

Partnering with an independent mortgage broker will help ensure that you and your property are matched with the lender who is offering the best fit for your situation.

If you know anyone looking for a high-end home, who needs a mortgage, I can help them arrange the financing.   We’ll work together to figure out a budget and down payment (based on sliding scale).  Then, we will work with a lender for a pre-approval, so we have a clear picture for affordability.  BLOG Pre-Approved for Your Mortgage…  What Does that Really Mean???

Mortgages are complicated, especially over $1 million… you need to engage an expert!!!   Give me a call and let’s discuss a mortgage that works for you (not the bank)!

Kelly Hudson
Mortgage Broker
DLC – Canadian Mortgage Experts
Mobile: 604-312-5009
Kelly@KellyHudsonMortgages.com
www.KellyHudsonMortgages.com

 

18 Jan

5 C’s of Credit to get a Mortgage

First Time Home Buyer

Posted by: Kelly Hudson

Whether you are buying your first home or have been a home owner for years, when you are looking at purchasing a property, finding the best mortgage solution for your specific situation can be an intimidating experience.

Working with a licenced mortgage broker will ease that tension, along with knowing the basics of what lenders are looking for will help you better understand the process.

 The Five C’s of Credit/Mortgages

The five Cs of credit is a system used by lenders to gauge the creditworthiness of potential borrowers. The system weighs five characteristics of the borrower and conditions of the mortgage, attempting to estimate the chance of default and, consequently, the risk of a financial loss for the lender.

Higher Risk = Higher Rates!

Know Your 5 C’s:

Every client has individual mortgage needs when buying a home and my goal is to find a mortgage loan that’s right fit for your situation! The first step in getting the mortgage process started involves understanding what lenders are looking for in order to get mortgage approval.

The approval process is called the Five C’s of Credit and they consist of:

  • Collateral– the property that you are planning to purchase
  • Credit – do you have good credit? Do you have a good history of repayment for all loans?
  • Capacity – Proof of being able to pay for your mortgage with your provable income
  • Capital – How much equity do you have in the property? The borrower’s net worth.
  • Character – The borrower’s willingness to repay the loan and their reliability
  1. Collateral 

    Collateral reflects the strength of the property itself.  Lenders look at if the property is owner occupied (do you live there) or is it a rental dwelling?  Is the property a home, condominium or cottage? Is the property located in a metropolitan neighbourhood or a rural area? Is there a single family living in the home or multiple families? All these factors are taken into consideration by the lender for marketability when rating your property. An appraisal is one of the tools used to assess the “current” value of the property.

BC Property Assessment vs Home Appraisal  

  1. Credit 

    Shows the lender a snapshot of what the borrower’s repayment history has been over a period of time. This is the only way a lender can predict the borrower’s propensity to make future payments. The credit score (also called credit history, credit report, credit rating) is the primary measurement factor.  When you borrow money, your repayment history is reported to the credit bureau – this rating is called your credit score.  How do you pay your bills – always on time or sometimes a few days late or not at all, will determine what type of credit rating will apply.  Some other factors that affect your credit rating are if your credit card balance is greater than 25-50% of your credit limit, if any accounts have gone to collection, or if there have been multiple inquiries into your credit.

Solving the Puzzle – 5 factors used in determining your Credit Score

8 Credit Rules You Need to Know, Before You Buy a Home

9½ Steps to Repair & Improve Your Credit

  1. Capacity 

    The most important by far! How are you going to pay for your mortgage? The lender’s main concern is how you intend to repay your mortgage and will consider your income (from all sources) against your monthly expenses.   Proof of income will differ depending on your employment status: salaried, commissioned, self-employed, full time, or part time.  Lenders will determine what types of documents are required to confirm your provable income and how much mortgage you can qualify for. This is represented as TDS Total Debt Service Ratio and GDS Gross Debt Service Ratio.

3 “Rules of Lending” what Banks look at when you apply for a Mortgage in Canada

  1. Capital 

    Capital refers to your personal net worth and how much equity you have in the property.  Where is your down payment coming from? In Canada your minimum down payment is 5% for a “high ratio” insured mortgage* or a “conventional” mortgage with 20% down. The down payment money can come from your own resources or can be gifted from a family member.

* Everything You Wanted to Know about Mortgage Default Insurance

  1. Character 

    Character is a subjective rating and basically reflects a combination of above 4 factors. Your character tells a story to the lender about your individual situation.  Lenders want to know that as a borrower, that you are trustworthy and will meet your payment obligations to them. Lenders will take factors such as length of employment, your tendency to save and use credit responsibly to establish your character and determine whether you are a borrower that they can trust with their mortgage.

The goal is to get a yes with your lender. The Five C’s of credit outlined above determine a borrower’s ability and willingness to make payments. Understanding what a lender is looking for allows you to set yourself up to put your best foot forward.

There you have it – the 5 C’s that lenders analyze when reviewing a mortgage application. 

If you have any questions or concerns feel free to contact me anytime, I’m here to help!

Mortgages are complicated… BUT they don’t have to be!  Engage an expert.

Give me a call and let’s discuss a mortgage that works for you (not the bank)! 

Kelly Hudson
Mortgage Expert
DLC – Canadian Mortgage Experts
Mobile: 604-312-5009
Kelly@KellyHudsonMortgages.com
www.KellyHudsonMortgages.com

6 Nov

How to Get a FREE Copy of Your Credit Bureau

Credit Score

Posted by: Kelly Hudson

Think of your credit score as a report card on how you’ve handled your finances in the past.  A credit score is a number that lenders use to determine the risk of lending money to a given borrower.

There is always someone willing to lend you money however, higher risk = higher rates!

For more information check out my BLOG Solving the Puzzle – 5 factors used in determining your Credit Score

Step 1 for good credit – you need to know your credit history

  • In Canada there are 2 credit bureaus – Equifax and TransUnion.
  • You can receive a FREE copy of your credit report from both Equifax Canada  and TransUnion Canada once a year
  • You can pay Equifax or TransUnion for a digital copy, which is much faster, BUT you have to pay, which sucks. ☹

I recommend you order a copy of your credit report from both Equifax Canada and TransUnion Canada, since each credit bureau may have different information about how you have used credit in the past.

Ordering your own credit report has no effect on your credit score.

  • Equifax Canada refers to your credit report as “credit file disclosure”.
  • TransUnion Canada refers to your credit report as “consumer disclosure”.

Once you have obtained your free credit report, check it for errors:

  • Are there any late payments that have been erroneously attributed to your credit history?
  • Are the amounts owing in your credit report accurate?
  • Is there anything missing on your credit bureau
    • Sometimes the credit bureau has more that one file with your name, which can be merged, but it takes time.

If you find any errors on your credit report, you need to dispute them with your credit bureau.

How can I get a copy of my credit report and credit score?

There are two national credit bureaus in Canada: Equifax Canada and TransUnion Canada. You should check with both bureaus.

Credit scores run from 300 to 900. The higher the number, the greater the likelihood a request for credit will be approved.

The “free-report-by-mail” links are not prominently displayed, since credit bureaus would love to sell you instant access to your report and credit score online.

Equifax, the instructions to get a free credit report by mail are available here.  

Equifax Free Credit File Options for Canadian Residents

You may request a free copy of your credit file through one of the options below:

  1. To order your free Equifax credit report by phone, call 1-800-465-7166 To request your credit report free of charge by phone, use our Interactive Voice Response system (IVR) is an automated tool that gathers the required information to process your request through voice response or key pad selection. It is important to note that when requesting your free credit report by phone, you will be required to enter your Social Insurance Number (S.I.N.). If you do not wish to provide your S.I.N., you will need to select a different option to submit your request such as mail or in person.
  1. To order your free credit report by mail or fax, please fill in this Canadian Credit Report Request Form and forward to National Consumer Relations using the address or fax number listed on the form.

The form must be completed, with photocopies of your identification to:

National Consumer Relations;
P. O. Box 190, Station Jean-Talon
Montreal, Quebec H1S 2Z2
Or by Fax: 514-355-8502

If/when you complete the identity validation process, your credit report will be sent to your home address via Canada Post within 5-10 days.

Click here to purchase your one-time Equifax credit score and report OR your Equifax credit report.

Correct an Inaccuracy on Your Equifax Credit Report

If you find any information that you believe is inaccurate, incomplete or a result of fraud, you have the right to file a dispute with Equifax Canada. You will need to complete the Credit Report Update form enclosed with your package. You can also review how to dispute information on your credit report for additional details on the Equifax dispute process.

For TransUnion, the instructions to get a free credit report by mail are available here

Online New! Quick and easy online access to view and download your free yearly Consumer Disclosure.

By Phone Request your Consumer Disclosure by phone using our Interactive Voice Response system: 1(800) 663-9980 (Prompt 1)

IVR or Interactive Voice Response is an automated tool that guides you through the use of your touch-tone phone or voice. The TransUnion IVR serves consumers who wish to obtain a copy of their Consumer Disclosure through a secure and effective channel without having to wait to speak to a representative. It is a service provided to you free of charge which asks you a series of questions to authenticate your identity in order to provide you with a copy of your Consumer Disclosure. If/when you pass the authentication process, your Consumer Disclosure will be sent to your home address via standard mail.

Mail It’s easy to request your free Consumer Disclosure by mail. Simply download and complete the Consumer Request form.

Click here to purchase your one-time TransUnion credit score and report OR your TransUnion credit report.

Credit Report DisputesYou can dispute your TransUnion credit information or update personal information on our credit report in three ways.

Equifax & TransUnion do NOT offer a free service to access your credit score.

Credit Score Scale May 2015The bottom line: when it comes to financing your life, through credit cards, mortgages, car loans or any other kind of debt – your credit score has a BIG impact on what kind of terms you can negotiate.

Keeping an eye on your credit score is important — if there’s a problem or an error, you want to know and have time to fix it before you apply for a loan.

For more information check out 9½ Steps to Repair & Improve Your Credit

Mortgages are complicated… BUT they don’t have to be!  Engage an expert.

Give me a call and let’s discuss a mortgage that works for you (not the bank)!

Kelly Hudson
Mortgage Broker
DLC – Canadian Mortgage Experts
Mobile: 604-312-5009
Kelly@KellyHudsonMortgages.com
www.KellyHudsonMortgages.com

17 Oct

7 Tips for Buying Your First Home in BC

First Time Home Buyer

Posted by: Kelly Hudson

House in the Palm of HandAs a licensed Mortgage Broker, I am often asked “what do I need to know when buying my first home in BC?”

Everyone has their own aims and objects when buying their first home. As a Mortgage Broker, I specialize in making sure your financing is in order to facilitate your dreams of owning a home.

Buying your first home is very exciting, but it can easily be overwhelming. Being prepared is the first step. The decision to purchase your first home can be a huge, life-changing event and you need to know exactly what you are getting into.

To get you prepared with the knowledge you need, here are my 7 tips to consider when you buy your first home in BC.

1.  Strengthen your credit rating

It’s pretty simple: the higher your credit score, the lower your mortgage rate will be.

Spend the time now to improve your credit. Check your credit report. Many credit reports have errors, so you need to ensure that your credit bureau is current and correct.

ALWAYS pay every single one of your bills on time. Set up automatic payments if you have had any late payments over the last couple of years.

Stop applying for any new credit a year before you are considering buying and continue until you sign the closing papers on your home. Spend only 30% of credit limits on credit cards.

Solving the Puzzle – 5 factors used in determining your Credit Score

8 Credit Rules You Need to Know, Before You Buy a Home

2.  Find a Mortgage Broker and figure out how much you can afford to spend

The home buyer’s mantra: Get a home that’s financially comfortable.

Contact me, your Mortgage Professional. I work with you up to a year in advance to analyze your situation, and tell you how much mortgage and monthly payments you can afford.

Lenders like to see that you spend a maximum

  1. 32-39% of your Gross income on mortgage payments, maintenance fees (if applicable), heat & property taxes
  2. 38-44% of your Gross Income on all debts
    • Including #1 above PLUS loans, credit cards, additional financing etc.

1 year+ prior to going home shopping, calculate the mortgage payment for the home in your intended price range, along with the increased expenses (such as taxes, insurance and utilities). Then bank the difference between the home payments and what you’re paying now. Not only will that simulate ownership, it also helps you save for your down payment!

When you are ready to start shopping for your home, as your Mortgage Broker, I gather all your financial documentation that the lender requires, in order to figure out much you can afford to spend. Then I work with you to get a preapproval and lock in a low interest rate to protect you in case rates rise between now and the time you by your new home.

What is the difference between a Mortgage Broker & a Mortgage Specialist (hint – specialists work for the bank)!!

3.  How long will you live in your new home?

The transaction costs of buying and selling a house are substantial including: real estate fees, legal fees, Property Transfer Tax, selling in a down market, moving, etc.

If you don’t plan to live in your new home for at least 3-5 years, you may not gain enough equity to make selling worthwhile.

Short-term home ownership can be a pretty expensive proposition. If that is the case, holding off on purchasing could be your best option.

4.  How much house you need?

Buying a cheaper, smaller home might sound like a good place to start, but could end up costing you more if you need to move due to changes in your lifestyle, including a growing family. Then again, buying more house than you currently need will cost you more with higher mortgage payments, higher maintenance, energy and tax costs.

Prioritize your housing wish list. They say that the 3 most important things to think about when buying are home are location, location, location. In Greater Vancouver your first choice for location i.e. Kitsilano or Yaletown may not be within your means. You also need to think about how the new home space will be used and whether it will fit your lifestyle now and in the future.

5.  Build a savings account

Start now to build a healthy savings account. To avoid paying CMHC Mortgage Default Insurance you need to prove you have a 20% down payment.

Building your savings account, over and above the money you will require for the down payment and closing costs. Lenders want to see that you’re not living paycheck to paycheck. If you have three to five months’ worth of mortgage payments in your savings, that makes you a much better loan candidate.

Everything You Wanted to Know about Mortgage Default Insurance

6.  Remember closing costs.

While you’re saving your down payment, you need to save for closing costs too. They’re typically 1% to 3% of the purchase price and due on the completion date.

In BC you need to also pay Property Transfer Tax (PPT). The amount of tax you pay is based on the fair market value of the land and improvements (e.g. buildings) on the date of registration unless you purchase a pre-sold strata unit. The tax is charged at a rate of 1% for the first $200,000 and 2% for the portion of the fair market value that is greater than $200,000.  3% on the portion over $2,000,000 and if the property is residential, a further 2% on the portion greater than $3,000,000

Don’t Forget the Closing Costs When You Purchase a Home

7.  Shop for a Realtor that has your best interests in mind

Interview at least three Realtors. Get referrals from people you trust who have recently bought or sold, including me, your mortgage broker. I work with a lot of realtors, some of whom are outstanding in their field. Once you’ve decided which Realtor is the best fit for you, they can help you focus your search to find your perfect home. There is no cost for the Realtor for the home buyer since the home seller pays the commission.

Besides the 7 tips I’ve listed above, there are many other things you should need to be aware of prior to buying your first home.

Mortgages are complicated… BUT they don’t have to be!  Engage an expert!

Kelly Hudson
Mortgage Expert
Dominion Lending Centres – Canadian Mortgage Experts
Mobile 604-312-5009
Kelly@KellyHudsonMortgages.com

ON THE WEB

16 Aug

5 GREAT Reasons To Provide a 20% Down Payment when Buying a Home

Home Ownership

Posted by: Kelly Hudson

Home & Cdn CashThere are many challenges that come into play when you’re in the market to buy a home.

Buyers say the number one obstacle to homeownership is saving enough for a down payment, the amount that the buyer provides toward the purchase of their home.

Exactly how much do you need to put down? Assuming you can finance the debt with your current income you can get a mortgage for as little as 5% down PLUS pay for Mortgage Default insurance if you put less than 20% down.

A smart rule of thumb is always try to put a least 20% down.

Although that may be a challenge in Greater Vancouver where the current Vancouver MLS stats indicate an average house price of $1,227,420

  1. Easier to service your debt Putting 20% down reduces the size of your monthly mortgage payment, making you more likely to qualify for and afford, your mortgage. Lenders want to make sure you can service your debt with your current income using 2 rules:
    • Rule #1 – GROSS DEBT SERVICE (GDS) Your monthly housing costs are generally not supposed to exceed 35-39% of your gross monthly income.  Housing costs include – your monthly mortgage payment, property taxes and can include heating.  If you are buying a condo/townhouse with strata property then the GDS will also include ½ of your strata fees.

      Principle + Interest + Taxes (+ 50-100% Strata Fees if applicable)

      Gross Income

      Rule #2 – TOTAL DEBT SERVICE (TDS) Your entire monthly debt payments should not exceed 40-44% of your gross monthly income This includes your housing costs PLUS all other monthly payments (first mortgage, property taxes, maintenance fees, additional financing, car payments, charge accounts, etc.).

      (Principle + Interest + Taxes) + Other Payments 

      Gross Income

  2. A Smaller Monthly Mortgage Payment! You pay LESS!! I’m all about making smaller mortgage payments and having money for the fun stuff in life. More money down means, you borrow less money, which means you will have a smaller mortgage, which means you have smaller, more affordable mortgage payments.
  3. No private mortgage default insurance Putting 20% down allows you to avoid paying for mortgage default insurance.
    • In Canada, mortgage insurance is required federally on high-ratio mortgages (a down payment of less than 20%). This insurance, which protects the bank/lender in case the borrower defaults, gives lenders the flexibility to offer homebuyers with low down payments the same low interest rates they would offer to homebuyers with more equity.
    • Mortgage insurance premiums are based on the amount of the mortgage. The higher the loan-to-value ratio, the higher the premium cost. In other words, the lower your down payment, the more expensive the insurance. This premium may be paid in cash in a lump sum upon closing, it is usually added to the mortgage amount and paid over the length of the mortgage.
    • Canadian Mortgage & Housing Corp. (CMHC) and Genworth Canada provide mortgage default insurance. Click on CMHC or Genworth for the sliding scale, the bigger your down payment the less insurance you pay. Once you hit a 20% down payment, mortgage default insurance is no longer mandatory.
  4. Pay Less Interest over the Life of the Loan You pay less interest with 20% down payment, since you’re putting more money on the house compared to if you put 5% or 10% down.
  5. Instant Equity Building A significant down payment builds instant equity in your home. A 20% down payment immediately puts equity into a home when you purchase it. That down payment gives you some cushion, in case the market takes a downward turn.

Let’s discuss which mortgage down payment works for you NOT the bank!

Kelly Hudson
Mortgage Expert
DLC – Canadian Mortgage Experts
Mobile 604-312-5009
Kelly@KellyHudsonMortgages.com
www.KellyHudsonMortgages.com

6 Aug

Want to Buy Rural Property? 6 Things to know before you buy!

First Time Home Buyer

Posted by: Kelly Hudson

Living in the country has extreme appeal for some people.  Space, peace and quiet, big home, big yard, place to raise your family… the list goes on.  If you are considering buying a rural home, there are a number of things to consider, not the least being how different it is to get a mortgage.

When lenders are considering your mortgage file it’s always about managing risk.  Higher risk, higher rates.  The risk that you’ll pay them back as agreed and they don’t have to seize the asset and sell it to recoup their investment.

  • Mortgage lenders don’t really want to own your property, because foreclosing on your property means it will take time and effort to get the homeowner off the property, list it for sale, then actually get it sold where they can finally get (some of) their money back.
  • With rural properties, depending on remoteness of location and condition of the property it could take months to sell when compared to the quicker sale for a home in an city where there is much more demand.

Mortgage lenders don’t like waiting years to get their money back on a non-performing loan, so they have implemented special rules related to rural properties to reduce their risk.

A rural property, for most lenders and their home appraiser, includes only one house, the garage and 10 acres in the valuation, any additional buildings will not be considered. This policy applies to both conventional and insured mortgages.

Here are 6 things to think about before plunking down your hard-earned cash on a country home.

Hire a real estate agent knowledgeable about rural properties and local zoning laws.  The names of the zones and the related details are determined by each local government so there may be variation between communities throughout each province.

Many lenders will not mortgage properties that are zoned agricultural.

  • Why? Lenders are all about risk.
    • If you buy a rural property and you default on your mortgage, the process of foreclosing on an agricultural property is very different and difficult for lenders. Taking a farm away from a farmer means taking their livelihood away, so the government has implemented many obstacles to prevent this.
  • Provided you are not planning to grow crops or raise animals for sale, financing a home in the country can be similar to financing an urban home.

Water & Septic In order to live in a house, you need to be able to drink the water and flush the toilet.  In the country you need to take care of these yourself.  When buying, if you are not on municipal water, your water will probably come from a well.

  • Many lenders will ask for a potability and flow test for the well because a house without water is very hard to sell.
  • Chances are your sewerage may be in a septic tank.  You need have the septic system inspected by a qualified septic inspector. At a minimum, ask the homeowner to agree to a warranty clause in the agreement that the system has been in good operating condition and it will remain that way until closing.
  • Both the well equipment and septic system can be very expensive to repair or replace. Thus, when you buy in a rural location, be sure you include these with your conditions.

Land – most lenders will mortgage a house, one outbuilding and up to 10 acres of land, anything above this amount will not be considered in the mortgage.

Appraisal – Your lender will want to see an appraisal to ensure the value of your land. The appraised value may come in lower than expected, because rural properties do not turn over as quickly as city properties.

  • Be prepared for the inspection to cost more than it cost you in the city, since the appraiser needs to travel farther to see the property.
  • If you LOVE the place and have to have it, be ready to have to come up with the difference between the selling price and the appraised value of the property.

Wood Energy Technology Transfer (WETT) – If there’s a wood stove or wood-burning fireplace, you make want to make your offer conditional on receiving a satisfactory WETT inspection report, which confirms the safeness and correct installation of the wood-burning unit.

Buy (or Check Into) Title Insurance Many buyers don’t realize that farmland, particularly larger, more remote tracts of land, may have been used as a dump-site for toxic chemicals.

  • Buying title insurance, or checking the title for the specific property, will let you know if the property has been listed as a toxic dump-site, or a hazardous waste site.
  • Your insurance company may insist on a copy of title insurance before they agree to issue a policy.

House/Content/Fire insurance – Lenders want to ensure you have insurance in place to protect their investment. If you can’t get insurance – it has the potential to be a serious problem, since your mortgage company may not advance the closing funds.

  • Living in the country is nice, however you are also far from fire hydrants and fire stations, you will pay more for home insurance.

If you are considering buying a home in a rural area, you need to have a frank discussion with your realtor, mortgage broker and lawyer before submitting your offer.

Mortgages are complicated… you need to engage an expert!!!   Give me a call and let’s discuss a mortgage that works for you (not the bank)!

Kelly Hudson
Mortgage Broker
DLC – Canadian Mortgage Experts
Mobile: 604-312-5009
Kelly@KellyHudsonMortgages.com
www.KellyHudsonMortgages.com