16 Jun

Getting a Mortgage Pre-Approval

General

Posted by: Kris Krawiec

If you are looking for a new home, be sure you are pre-approved. With a mortgage pre-approval, Kris Krawiec mortgage professional can do a more complete verification prior to sending you shopping for a home, and with that done, the dollar figure you are going shopping with is actually what you can spend.

Getting pre-approved will let you know for certain what you can afford based on lender and insurer criteria, and what your payments on a specific mortgage will be.

Licensed mortgage professionals can lock-in an interest rate for you for anywhere from 60 – 120 days while you shop for your perfect home. By locking in an interest rate, you are guaranteed to get a mortgage for at least that rate or better. If interest rates drop, your locked-in rate will drop as well. However, if the interest rates go up, your locked-in interest rate will not, ensuring you get the best rate throughout the mortgage pre-approval process.

In order to get pre-approved for a mortgage, a mortgage professional requires a short list of information that will allow them to determine your buying power. Kris Krawiec a Mortgage Agent will explain to you the benefits of shorter or longer mortgage terms, the latest programs available, which mortgage products they believe will most likely meet your needs the best, plus they will review all of the other costs involved with purchasing a home.

Getting pre-approved for a mortgage is something every potential home buyer should do before going shopping for a new home. A pre-approval will give you the confidence of knowing that financing is available, and it can put you in a very positive negotiation position against other home buyers who aren’t pre-approved.

Call Kris Krawiec your mortgage professional to get a pre-approved, 416-845-3745 or kkrawiec@dominionlending.ca

16 Jun

Using Home Equity to Your Advantage

General

Posted by: Kris Krawiec

Canadians purchase homes for a variety of reasons. Some want the stability of owning their own home, while others also look at home ownership as an investment vehicle. No matter what the reason, the truth is that home ownership has proven itself to be a good stable investment over time, and one which many Canadians are profiting from.

While many people have chosen to purchase their first home during these times of lower interest rates, there has also been a large movement to refinance home loans and pull out equity for home improvements, investments, college expenses, and even high interest debt consolidation. Canadians have been borrowing against their home’s equity in record numbers, taking out billions of dollars in cash each year.

In years past, many saw their homes as a shelter of safety, yet today, they are more than ever before willing to borrow against the equity owned in their homes to further their investment portfolios, get out of debt, send their children to university, make improvements to their home, or even boost their RRSP contributions. Where home equity was once sat upon, today it is something to be tapped out and used to one’s advantage.

While tapping the equity in your home can be a good idea, you should do so with caution and understand any of the possible consequences. The best thing you can do is consult a licensed mortgage professional and financial planner to discuss opportunities to make your home’s equity work for you.

9 Jun

Moving to Canada? Plan Ahead for Homeownership

General

Posted by: Kris Krawiec

If you have a job awaiting you on Canadian soil, it’s possible to also secure the purchase of a home if you plan ahead and connect with professionals before you even begin packing.

The main reason you’ll want to get in touch with the right professionals before you start to pack is to find out what important paperwork you’ll need to set aside to ensure smooth sailing through the home financing and purchasing processes.

Your first step should be to get in touch with me an experienced mortgage professional. In doing so, you can set the home financing process in motion by securing a mortgage rate guarantee and pre-approval, and figuring out what supporting paperwork you need to provide to purchase a home in Canada.

The services of mortgage professionals are typically free – they are paid by lenders for bringing in new business. Mortgage professionals have access to multiple lenders – including banks, credit unions and trust companies – where they can compare products and rates, and find the ideal mortgage to meet your unique needs.

In most cases, Canadian mortgage lenders and insurers want to see employment letters that prove your offer of employment and salary in Canada. You must also have at least a 5% down payment for the home from your own resources – which means it has to be your own money, not borrowed or gifted. So, for instance, if you’re selling your home in another country and using some of the proceeds as a down payment on a home in Canada, you must be able to prove this.

Lenders and insurers also want to see that you have a solid credit history. Although requirements for this proof varies based on which insurer and lender your mortgage is funded through, your mortgage professional will be able to tell you exactly what documents you’ll need to provide. Often, an international credit bureau is sufficient to prove your credit history. If this is not available, you can also provide 12 months’ worth of bank statements, mortgage or rental payment receipts, utility or telephone bills, and so on. Again, there are several options from which to choose and your mortgage professional will be able to specifically tell you what a particular lender and insurer want to see.

You must also apply for landed immigrant status to get the ball rolling on securing your social insurance number (SIN), which is required before you begin working in Canada.

By securing mortgage financing prior to moving to Canada, all you have to do when you arrive is find a home. This will be an easier task when you already know exactly how much you can spend thanks to your pre-approval.

And since your mortgage professional can put you in touch with a trusted real estate agent prior to your move, you will also be able to research homes before you arrive in Canada. Again, real estate agents do not typically charge a fee to find you a home to purchase.

By planning ahead before making your move, you truly can save yourself a lot of hassle and stress when it comes to securing mortgage financing and purchasing a home.

And if you’re already living in Canada, many of the available New to Canada mortgage products apply to new immigrants who have been in the country for up to 36 months.

Paperwork to gather/set aside before packing:

  • Proof of employment and salary in Canada
  • Proof of at least 5% down payment from your own sources
  • Government proof of residency application
  • Copy of your immigration papers
  • Copy of your passport
  • Credit report
  • Mortgage or rental payment receipts for the past 12 months
  • Bank statements for the past 12 months
  • Utility and phone bill payments for the past 12 months
9 Jun

Have you considered refinancing to pay off debt?

General

Posted by: Kris Krawiec

By talking to mortgage professional, you may find that taking equity out of your home to pay off high-interest debt associated with credit card balances can put more money in your bank account each month.

And since interest rates are at a 40-year low, switching to a lower rate may save you a lot of money – possibly thousands of dollars per year.

There are penalties for paying your mortgage loan out prior to renewal, but these could be offset by the extra money you could acquire through a refinance.

With access to more money, you will be better able to manage your debt. Refinancing your first mortgage and taking some existing equity out could also enable you to make investments, go on vacation, do some renovations or even invest in your children’s education.

Keep in mind, however, that by refinancing you may extend the time it will take to pay off your mortgage. That said, there are many ways to pay down your mortgage sooner to save you thousands of dollars. Most mortgage products, for instance, include prepayment privileges that enable you to pay up to 20% of the principal (the true value of your mortgage minus the interest payments) per calendar year. This will also help reduce your amortization period (the length of your mortgage), which, in turn, saves you money.

If homeowners fail to take the time to thoroughly research their options through a mortgage professional and, instead, simply sign renewal offers received from their bank, credit union or other lender, they could end up paying thousands of dollars more per year in interest. Simply by shopping your mortgage with a qualified mortgage professional, you can access the banks as well as other lenders that you may not have considered, but which can often offer interest rate specials or other attractive terms.

In the current credit-crunched lending environment, now more than ever it’s important to take the time to contact a Dominion Lending Centres mortgage professional to find out your options.

By refinancing now and paying off your debt, you can put yourself and your family in a better financial position. It’s very important to not rack up your credit cards after refinancing, however, so set your goals and budgets, and stick to them! 

3 Jun

Mortgage brokers offer choice

General

Posted by: Kris Krawiec

The next time you’re looking for a mortgage for that new house or you’re up for renewal on your existing mortgage, think about using my services – my services are free and they offer you an abundance of choices the banks simply can’t compete with.

As a Mortgage broker I have access to a vast array of lenders – up to 90+ institutions, including some of the big banks – which enables me to negotiate the best possible mortgage products and rates on your behalf. In comparison, if you approach your bank with a mortgage request, they can only offer you a narrow choice – namely, their own products.

As a mortgage brokers I do homework on available mortgage products and keep myself abreast of any new products, or changes to existing products, to ensure I find the best mortgage to fit your specific needs.

Unlike the banks, I can also cater to self-employed borrowers as well as those who have suffered credit blemishes due to life experiences such as divorce or illness. Brokers will listen to your story, whereas the banks have a very narrow view of what fits into their financing box – and this is unnegotiable.

If you’re thinking of buying a home, Call Kris Krawiec Mortgage Agent at 416-845-3745 or kkrawiec@dominionlending.ca, I can find the best mortgage rate and term for your unique situation.

Top Reasons for Using a Broker:

  1. Choice – access to multiple financial institutions
  2. Costs – using a broker is free and they can negotiate lower rates for you
  3. Knowledge – brokers stay up-to-date on available products and services
  4. Flexibility – mortgage products are even available for the self-employed or those who have credit blemishes
3 Jun

Looking Beyond Mortgage Rates

General

Posted by: Kris Krawiec

It’s easy to get caught up in the idea that comparing mortgage rates will guarantee you get the best bang for your mortgage buck. While this may be true for particular situations, there are many scenarios where this strategy is not effective. Following are three reasons why it doesn’t always pay to make a decision based solely on rates.

Reason #1

Your long-term plan and risk tolerance should determine which mortgage product is right for you. This product may or may not have the lowest rate.

For instance, there are cases where lenders will offer lower rates for insured mortgages. With insured mortgages, however, you’re charged an insurance premium, which is usually added to the mortgage amount. But if you’re not planning on keeping the property for a long enough time to offset that cost, it may be better to take an uninsured mortgage with a slightly higher rate. The cost difference you will pay with the higher interest rate may still be less than what you may pay in insurance premiums.

As another example, if you prefer to budget for a consistent payment and can’t handle rate fluctuations, it may be better to go with a higher fixed-rate mortgage. If you think current rates are low enough and you will be living in your property for at least five years, it may be wise to also opt for a mortgage with a longer term.

Reason #2

One of the biggest mistakes people make when merely comparing mortgage rates is failing to consider important factors such as prepayment options to help pay off the mortgage faster, whether secondary financing options are allowed, early payout penalties, or what fees are involved.

It’s not enough to simply compare mortgage rates because you have to know what “clauses” are contained within the mortgage deal. There may be cases where you will find a lender with the lowest rate and willing to pay for your closing costs, or even provide you with cash-backs after closing.

Reason #3

Lenders can change their rates at any time. As such, if you’re shopping for rates with one lender and then approach another that gives you a lower rate, it’s quite possible that the first lender has also dropped its rates. This is why it’s important to get pre-approved with a lender once you find a mortgage that fits your needs. In some cases, you can secure your rate and conditions for up to 120 days.

These are just three reasons why it’s not enough to merely compare mortgage rates. The mortgage rate you may qualify for is also highly dependent on your credit score among other things. In order to get the best mortgage deals, you need to have solid credit.

 

Call Kris Krawiec Mortgage Agent to discuss your options and best fitted mortgage for your needs: 416-845-3745 or kkrawiec@dominionlending.ca