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Let Renters Help Pay Your Mortgage

Are you a savvy homebuyer? Then let renters help pay your mortgage. Recently Canada Mortgage and House Corporation (CMHC) announced that when qualifying for a mortgage, homeowners could now count all of the income from their legal secondary unit(s) instead of the previous 50 per cent, making it easier to qualify and giving this home buying option a boost.

Whether you’re a first-time homebuyer feeling your way into the housing market or an existing one looking to lower your mortgage payment, here are five reasons why having renters help pay your mortgage is such an appealing option:

1. Some first-time buyers want to move directly into a single-family home and get mortgage assistance using a rental suite instead of purchasing a condo at a lower cost.
2. If you want to get your foot into the world of real estate without breaking the bank, a home with a rental suite can be a great start, especially if the area you happen to love is pricey.
3. Homeowners looking ahead to the future may want to lower their mortgage cost so they can channel money into other investment areas like RRSPs, TFSAs, RESPs. Or simply as a way to become mortgage free sooner!
4. Spending less on your mortgage can give you the freedom to change your lifestyle or follow your dreams, perhaps to travel, start a new business venture, or allow for the luxury of having a stay at home parent.
5. Rental suites are also great if you have ageing parents. You can keep them close without infringing on personal space. Keep in mind that if tenants are family members, lenders and insurers will not use the rental income for qualifying purposes.
Ready to become a savvy homeowner and let renters help pay your mortgage? Talk to us today and find out how!

Home maintenance tips for the fall

Your house is an important investment that you want to keep in tip top shape, especially if you are planning to be there for the foreseeable future. It’s also your home, which means regular maintenance is necessary to ensure your family’s safety and ongoing enjoyment.

Fall is one of the most active seasons for home maintenance as you prepare for the upcoming winter months. CMHC (Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation) has compiled this general maintenance checklist to help you keep your home in top shape.

  • Have furnace or heating system serviced by a qualified service company and as recommended by the manufacturer.
  • Check chimneys for obstructions such as nests.
  • Remove the grilles on forced-air systems and vacuum inside the ducts.
  • Check and clean or replace furnace air filters each month during the heating season.
  • Check to see that bathroom exhaust fans and range hoods are operating properly.
  • Check smoke, carbon monoxide and security alarms, and replace batteries.
  • Remove interior insect screens from windows to allow air from the heating system to keep condensation off window glass and to allow more free solar energy into your home.
  • Ensure windows and skylights close tightly; repair or replace weather stripping, as needed.
  • Ensure all doors to the outside shut tightly, and check other doors for ease of use. Replace door weather stripping if required.
  • If there is a door between your house and the garage, check the adjustment of the self-closing device to ensure it closes the door completely.
  • Cover outside of air-conditioning units and shut off power.
  • Clean leaves from eavestroughs and roof, and test downspouts to ensure proper drainage from the roof.
  • Drain and store outdoor hoses. Close interior valve to outdoor hose connection and drain the hose bib (exterior faucet), unless your house has frost-proof hose bibs.
  • Winterize landscaping, for example, store outdoor furniture, prepare gardens and, if necessary, protect young trees or bushes for winter.

What is CHIP?

CHIP is a reverse mortgage, a loan secured against the value of your home. It lets you unlock the value in your home without having to sell or move. The money you receive is tax-free and yours to use as you wish.

• Pay off debts
• Improve your home
• Handle unexpected expenses
• Help your children or grandchildren
• Improve your day-to-day standard of living
• Make a special trip or purchase

Benefits of CHIP

Keep your home. Stay in your home and community. Maintain complete ownership and control of your home for as long as you choose to stay.

No payments.

With CHIP you never have to make regular payments until you no longer live in the home.

Relieve financial stress.

Use up to 55% of the equity in your home to pay off debts or handle unforeseen expenses.

Enjoy retirement.

The money you access through CHIP is tax-free.

Take control.

Get your fnances under control and gain the freedom to set your own plans and priorities.

How CHIP works

Who can qualify?

• Canadian homeowner
• Age 55 or older
• Own your home
• It’s your primary residence
*No health check required

Decide whether CHIP is for you.
  1. Weigh the options with your family and advisors.
  2. Receive your money.
    Get up to 55% of your home’s appraised value, tax-free.
  3. Enjoy.
    No payments required. You maintain ownership and control of your home.

When you decide to move or sell, the proceeds of the home sale repay your loan. The equity left over after repayment is yours.

1. You are required to pay your property taxes, have valid and
adequate fire insurance and keep your property well maintained.

2. Some conditions apply.

Tick. Tock. The clock is counting down


By Amanda Reaume
Amanda Reaume wrote a book on personal finance for millennials called Money is Everything and blogs at Millennial Personal Finance.

Tick. Tock. The clock is counting down – but are you ready? Here are 5 things you should be doing now.

You might be counting down the months, the weeks or even the days before your retirement, but are you preparing for it? Retirement can be an exciting time and you can make the most of yours by being ready for the financial and personal changes involved.

Retirement is a major life change, so it may take time to figure out your new life and adjust to the financial shifts that take place. By preparing early, you can ease into your retirement lifestyle and focus on making the most of your new life.

Here are some things to consider doing in the five years before you retire in order to be both financially and personally ready.

1. Practice Living on Less
Depending on how much you’ve saved, practicing living on less could prepare you for retired life; however, decreasing your spending now may also help add to your retirement savings. Now is a great time to get a better understanding of your retirement needs. For example, if you find you want more financial flexibility, you might consider working part-time to add to your savings. Knowing this before you retire can help you adjust your plans today.

2. Review Your Debt
More people are headed into retirement with debt these days, so you’re not alone if you expect to still be paying off debt once you’re retired. Look at what you currently owe so that you can figure out which debt you want to tackle before retirement and which you might wait to pay off afterwards. Focus on paying off high-interest debt first or consolidating your debt to save on interest. This can help ensure your fixed income goes further.

3. Plan for Fun
You may have been thinking about your retirement for a long time and now is the time to make some big plans. Start planning vacations you might take in the first couple years. Revisit old hobbies. Make a list of places you want to volunteer or classes you want to take. By planning how you’ll spend your days you are more likely to finally learn how to speak Spanish and make sushi!

4. Think About Your Relationships
Your life changes when you retire and so can your relationships. If you’re married, that will mean spending a lot more time with your spouse and potentially shifting your household responsibilities. Talk through these changes with your partner to make sure you’ll be able to handle them in ways that ensure you’ll grow closer together.

You’ll also want to continue to cultivate old and new relationships to help make up for the social interaction that you used to get at work. Make frequent plans with friends and family or get out and meet new people. To expand your social network, join clubs or go to Meetup events in your community where you can connect with people with similar interests.

5. Talk with Your Advisors
Schedule regular check-ins with your network of financial advisors, such as your financial planner, lawyer, and accountant, to ensure you’re still on track to live the retirement lifestyle you’ve dreamed and planned for.

Get Ready For Your Best Years

Retirement is just the start of your next adventure! Whether you’re planning on spending your future free time hiking the Pacific Coast Trail or playing with your grand-kids as much as possible, by preparing for retirement you can be ready to make the most of all of your work-free days.

Further proof of mortgage rule impact


by Justin da Rosa25 Aug 2017

Finance Minister Bill Morneau has admitted last year’s mortgage rule changes aimed at cooling the housing market have had the intended effect.

“Preliminary data received since the government implemented its most recent adjustments to mortgage rules in October, 2016, suggests that the rule changes are having their intended effect,” Morneau said in a letter to the finance committee, per the Globe and Mail. “A decline in the share of new insured loans issued to highly-indebted borrowers suggests that the quality of credit is improving in the high-ratio mortgage market.

“This development helps to ensure that Canadians are taking on mortgages that they can afford.”

Indeed, a recent report from TransUnion suggested mortgage originations have been impacted by last year’s rules, which included a mortgage stress test.

The agency reported a 10.4% decline in origination volumes in Q1 2017 compared to Q1 2016.

That included a 12% drop in prime mortgages and a 5% decline for “super” prime consumers.

“Recent new regulations in Ontario appear to have had an impact on the volume of home sales and, consequently, mortgage demand,” Fabian said. “So while the number of mortgages is increasing, it is doing so at a slower rate than last year.”

The same report also found serious delinquencies (60 days or more past due) dropped four basis points to 0.56%.

“Home values continue to rise compared to the previous year, pushing overall mortgage debt levels up. However, we did observe an easing of this trend in the second quarter from the previous quarter,” Matt Fabian, director of research and industry analysis for TransUnion Canada, said in the report. “Despite increases in mortgage debt, serious delinquency rates remain low with very little volatility observed over the past two years. Consumers have so far been able to manage their mortgage obligations despite the increasing balance levels. We will continue to monitor these trends especially as interest rates rise, though we don’t anticipate a material impact on mortgages in the near term.”

The drop in serious delinquencies marks the third consecutive quarter of declines.

Mortgages: Business for Self

With this article we will look at some common scenarios and solutions when looking for a mortgage as a self employed individual. You can also view the video here)

There are multiple ways and structures that self employed individuals use for paying themselves (salary, dividends, commissions, business income). First we will break down how the bank generally qualifies BFS income within these categories.

Salary (referring to a T4 from your owned corporation)-
Banks will look at the most recent 2 years of personal notice of assessments and T1 generals AND they will look at the last 2 years of corporate tax filings and financials to ensure that the corporation is able to sustain paying the salary (a healthy company).

Dividends (referring to dividends from your owned corporation)-
Banks will look at the most recent 2 years of personal notice of assessments and T1 generals AND they will look at the last 2 years corporate tax filings and financials to ensure that the corporation is able to sustain paying the salary (a healthy company).

Banks will look at your most recent 2 years of personal tax filings and notice of assessments to determine your average net earnings. In some cases the banks will look at “adding back” logical expenses that were deducted when applying your write offs.

Business income-
Banks will look at your most recent 2 years personal tax filings and notice of assessments to determine your average net earnings. In some cases the banks will look at “adding back” logical expenses that were deducted when applying your write offs.

With the above income structures, you must be able to show the bank that your income is stable AND that it will sustain payments for the amount of loan you are applying for. With this, you can still apply for a loan with as little as 5% down payment (assuming your credit is acceptable to the bank).

In the scenario where the income that you are showing does not qualify you for sustaining the amount of mortgage you are applying for you call under a category called Stated Income

With stated income, there are 2 options. Between 10% and 34.99% down OR 35% or more

If you are looking for a “stated income BFS mortgage” with as little as 10% down, you can do so if:

  • Minimum 5% down is from own savings
  • Other 5% can be gifted NOT BORROWED
  • Over 680 beacon score
  • Stated income is acceptable by the bank based on your industry (income must be logical)
  • minimum 2 years self employed
  • no bankruptcies, consumer proposals
  • no missed payments in last 12 months
  • no income tax arrears
  • Loan will be subject to CMHC fees


If you are looking for a “stated income BFS mortgage” with 35% down or more, you can do so if:

  • Down payment must be from own savings
  • NOT BORROWED down payment
  • Over 650 beacon score
  • Stated income is acceptable by the bank based on your industry (income must be logical)
  • minimum 2 years self employed
  • no bankruptcies, consumer proposals
  • no missed payments in last 12 months
  • no income tax arrears
  • must show 12 months savings in the bank (on top of down payment) to cover mortgage PIT (principle, interest and taxes)


Home Renovations That Pay Off

Homo Reno ROI: Renovations that pay off

Not all reno projects will hit the jackpot, but the right improvements can certainly help boost the value of your home. Even if you are renovating for personal reasons only, it makes good sense to understand how that investment might payback in the value of your home.  Here are five renovations that consistently provide a good return on your investment:

Updated kitchen From refreshed cabinet fronts and new hardware to a full-on renovation with new appliances and flooring, your kitchen renovation will be noticed by buyers.

A sparkly bathroomBathroom renovations are among the most reliable in terms of boosting the overall value of your home. Popular mid-range renovations could include modern showerheads and faucets, and an attractive new sink and counter top.

Fresh paintingWhether it’s inside or outside, a fresh coat of paint can work wonders on the overall impression of your home. The experts consistently agree that painting pays. Light and mid-range neutrals tend to appeal to the widest range of prospective homebuyers.

The efficient basementAn unfinished basement is just an opportunity waiting to be exploited and a great way to increase the value and square footage of your home!  

Energy efficiency – Upgraded heating and air systems are always good, and provide immediate savings on your energy bill. New energy-efficient doors and windows will spruce up the appearance of your home.

If you’re thinking renovation, let’s talk. We can help you finance your reno so you can maximize your ROI.

Bank of Canada Announcement April 12 2017

Bank of Canada interest rate announcement

As widely predicted, the Bank of Canada announced today that it is holding the key rate steady. While noting that “economic growth has been faster than expected”, the bank said it’s too early to determine if the economy is on a “sustainable growth path”, citing weakness in export growth, business investment and employment. The Bank’s three measures of core inflation, taken together, continue to point to material excess capacity in the economy. While there have been recent gains in employment, little growth in wages and hours worked continue to reflect economic slack in Canada, in contrast to the United States.

The bank also took into account uncertainties that include the potential impact of U.S. trade policies. The next rate-setting day is May 24.

This announcement means there should be no change to the prime rate. Great news if you have a variable-rate mortgage or line of credit, need a new mortgage, are renewing, or want to save thousands by consolidating debt at the lowest-cost funds. Or perhaps you are thinking of using home equity to invest in a rental property or second home, or cost effectively complete renovations.

Given the uncertain economic outlook, we continue to expect interest rates to stay low in Canada well into 2020, although the new mortgage rules have caused mortgage rates to be very complicated. Quick rate quotes are not very reliable! That’s why it’s so beneficial to work with an experienced mortgage broker who has access to a wide range of lenders and knows the right questions to ask to assess your situation and provide the best mortgage for your needs. Save yourself time and stress; don’t just ask what the rate is, have a conversation instead

Just bought a house? Pass on TFSAs and RRSPs to pay down your mortgage

Recent home buyers, your financial priority for the next few years is clear.

Pay down your mortgage. Give the tax-free savings account and registered retirement-savings plan a brief rest and pay down your mortgage.

I contradict myself here. In a June, 2014 column, I argued that people were obsessing over paying down their mortgages in a way that could cause them to neglect retirement savings. Now, particularly in high-priced cities such as Toronto and Vancouver, mortgages are the more serious worry.

High prices mean big mortgages and serious vulnerability to higher mortgage rates. Ease the financial strain of having to renew a mortgage at higher rates by paying down your mortgage as soon as you can after you buy.

Paying down your mortgage is usually thought of as a way of saving on interest costs. As you chip away at the principal on your mortgage through prepayments, you reduce the amount of interest charged over the life of the loan.

David Larock of Integrated Mortgage Planners says he sees the most eagerness to make mortgage prepayments from people who are close to the end of their mortgages and keen to be done. But from the perspective of saving on interest, there’s little gain from killing off a nearly finished mortgage because payments are almost entirely principal rather than interest. “Prepayments in the first few years have the most powerful effect on the interest you pay over time,” Mr. Larock said.

You can cut your long-term interest costs by making a prepayment early in a mortgage, and you protect yourself against rising rates. Mr. Larock was good enough to work through an example of how this works. We start with a $500,000 five-year fixed-rate mortgage with an interest rate of 2.5 per cent and a 25-year amortization. Your monthly payments with this mortgage are $2,240.

Let’s look at what might happen to this hypothetical mortgage if the best rate you could get on renewal was 3.5 per cent. Using a 20-year amortization (remember, you’ve paid off five years of your mortgage), your payments would rise by $209 a month to $2,449.

Want an affordable plan for limiting the payment shock on this mortgage, and reducing the amount of interest you pay over the life of the loan? Try making prepayments of $3,000 annually over each of the five years of the mortgage term. If you do this, your payments on renewal of your mortgage at 3.5 per cent would be just $118 higher at $2,358 a month.

A long-term benefit of your prepayments would be having the mortgage paid off a year sooner, Mr. Larock’s numbers show. You’d also save $6,908 in interest over the life of the mortgage. This estimate is based on paying 2.5 per cent for the first five years of the mortgage, and then 3.5 per cent for the remaining 20 years.

A lesson for home owners in the past six months or so is that there are two big drivers of mortgage-rate increases. One is what happens to rates in the bond market, which are influenced by what’s happening in the economy both here in Canada and in the United States. A stronger economy suggests higher mortgage rates.

The other driver of rates is mortgage regulation. We’ve recently seen changes that make it more expensive for mortgage lenders to do business, and these higher costs have been passed down to borrowers in the form of higher mortgage rates.

Both of these factors have combined to push mortgage rates a bit higher in the past several months, and we could see further increases in the months and years ahead. After eight years where rates were mostly flat or declining, this warning may sound like dismissible nagging.

Why bother paying attention now? Because, the prices people are paying for homes these days are stunningly high in some cities. People have to borrow more to afford these homes, and that means their mortgages are getting bigger. The more you owe, the harder the adjustment if your payments spike higher on renewal at a higher mortgage rate.

The usual test of whether it’s better to pay down your debt or invest is whether you can earn a rate of return that is higher than your cost of borrowing. It’s not hard to beat today’s mortgage rates as an investor, but never mind that. Paying down your mortgage today is about easing financial stress at your house when interest rates rise.



What is up with 0 down payment?

What’s up with zero downpayment? For some, it can make all the difference.

Many Canadians are not aware that zero down is alive and well and offered by a handful of excellent lenders to qualified borrowers. Of course, you have to wonder if zero-down can possibly make good financial sense. The answer, as ever, is both yes and no.

A zero-down mortgage is not for everyone – but for well qualified homebuyers, a zero-down plan can get them into their homes faster, saving potentially thousands in rent, and providing a jump start on building wealth.

If you have excellent income and credit, and the ability to manage your mortgage payment and ongoing housing expenses comfortably within your budget, then you could be a candidate for a zero-down mortgage.  Consider that the money currently going to rent could be helping you build home equity right now, and that we continue to be in a period of historically low interest rates.

So how can you get around saving that critical minimum downpayment required to qualify for an insured mortgage? You can borrow the downpayment from a line of credit, personal loan or family member.  With excellent credit and stable income, your interest rate will be fully discounted. The loan payment of course will be used in your qualifying calculation, and your mortgage insurance premium will be higher. You’ll also need to have funds set aside to cover your closing costs.

Want to learn if you qualify to purchase now without waiting, how to build your downpayment faster, or the steps you can take to improve your credit rating so you qualify for a great rate when the time comes? Let’s talk!

  • Terms
  • Posted Rates
  • Our Rates
  • Variable Rates
  • 3.20
  • 2.25%
  • 1 YEAR
  • 3.04%
  • 2.64%
  • 2 YEARS
  • 2.84%
  • 2.54%
  • 3 YEARS
  • 3.44%
  • 2.64%
  • 4 YEARS
  • 3.89%
  • 2.84%
  • 5 YEARS
  • 4.94%
  • 2.84%
  • 7 YEARS
  • 5.30%
  • 3.69%
  • 10 YEARS
  • 6.10%
  • 3.74%

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