Grande Prairie, Alberta Mortgage Rates Feb 6, 2019 and downpayment

Downpayment 6 Feb

 

Grande Prairie, Alberta Mortgage Rates Feb 6, 2019

 

Grande Prairie, Alberta Mortgage Rates for Feb 6, 2019

Here are this weeks mortgage rates for Grande Prairie, Alberta.

 

Everyone always has downpayment questions. How much do I need to put down on my first house? If I put more down do I get a lower rate?  Do I need to put a different amount down if it’s not my first house? What is the downpayment if it’s a rental home? So this week we post our Grande Prairie, Alberta Mortgage Rates and talk a bit about downpayment.

How much do I need to put down on my first house?

As long as it’s for your primary residence:

As of February 2019 in Alberta, current mortgage rules are that you only have to put 5% down on your first house, or your second or even 20th home. If you are buying a home that’s meant to be your residence you can do just 5% down. Given Grande Prairie’s Residential Average Home Price (September 2018) of  $320,744 that 5% would be $16,038.

You could get a lower rate in Grande Prairie with a higher downpayment

That doesn’t mean it’s always a good idea to just put 5% down. If you put 35% down here in Grande Prairie instead of 5%, many companies will give you their best rate. Putting 5% down gets you a home in Grande Prairie, but not always the best mortgage rate.

Put more than 5% down to avoid mortgage default insurance

If you can afford to put 20% down on a home in Grande Prairie, you can avoid having to pay for mortgage default insurance. Mortgage default insurance is mandated in law by the Canadian government. As of February 2019, it is required to have default insurance on your mortgage if you put less than 20% down. Given Grande Prairie’s Average Home Price of $320,744 when putting 5% down or $16,038 you will pay $12,188 when mortgage default insurance is added to your mortgage. Go here to calculate that mortgage default insurance for any scenario. You don’t have to pay it up front, but that mortgage default insurance does add up!

Your Credit Score can affect downpayment

Mortgage lenders will consider your credit score when you go to get a mortgage as well. If you have excellent credit then 5% down is no issue, but maybe your score has dropped below 670 when you pull your credit report. What if your credit score is only 620? A lower credit score may mean that you have to put more than the standard 5% down here in Grande Prairie to make mortgage lenders comfortable issuing a mortgage.

This house won’t be my primary residence

How much downpayment do I need to purchase a rental home in Grande Prairie, Alberta? You will need to have a downpayment of a least 20% ready to purchase a rental home. Let’s take our average home price of $320,744 for Grande Prairie in September 2018 again that is $64,149 as downpayment. Given your credit score, the number of rentals you already own, or the condition of the home you are purchasing you may be required to put down much more than 20%. One good point, putting at least 20% down you avoid mortgage default insurance.

 

There are many situations that can change what amount of Downpayment is required here in Grande Prairie Alberta. For clarification, or just to have a professional run the numbers call our office here in Downtown Grande Prairie at 780-513-6611.

Or go here to fill out a form with questions.

Jillian Napen, Office Manager at HT Mortgage Group, Part of Dominion Lending Centres in Grande Prairie

 

 

 

 

Baby It’s Cold Outside

General 4 Feb

Grande Prairie the air is freezing

The view outside of Dominion Lending Centres on Feb 4th 2019- it’s so cold the air is frozen! Call us from home, you don’t have to go outside!

Call us from home, you don’t have to go outside to get a mortgage!

Here at HT Mortgage Group, part of Dominion Lending Centres in Grande Prairie, we understand. Call us from home, you don’t have to go outside to get a mortgage! Just call our office at (780) 513-6611. We are having a terrible coldsnap this week, Environment Canada even issued an Extreme cold warning for Northern Alberta. As I write this is it -36 C, but with Windchill it could dip as low at -47 C! Don’t risk getting frostbite, stay warm and call us from home!

Yes you can even send documents electronically!

Nowadays, you can send us payslips, T4’s, tax receipts and other income paperwork electronically. We use a secure documents portal to protect your confidential documents. You can ask your realtor to send over your purchase agreement and your MLS listing to us as well!

If you check out the Our Agents section, we have every one of our mortgage agent’s cell phone’s and email address’s listed, but just in case you don’t want to head over to another page to check them out here they are again:

Megan Lemay megan@buymeahome.ca
Cell: 780-978-2060  www.meganlemay.ca
Pamela Lobban pam@dlcgp.ca
Cell: 780-831-9024 Web: www.pamelalobban.ca
Gert Martens gertm@dlcgp.ca
Cell: 780-933-0109  www.gertmartens.ca
Daina Stringer daina@buymeahome.ca
Cell: 587-343-1612 www.dainastringer.ca
Chanele Langevin chanele@dlcgp.ca
cell:780-876-2707 Chanelelangevin.ca
Kaitlyn Moore Kaitlyn@buymeahome.ca
Cell: 1-780-938-4366 www.buymeahome.ca
Doria Zacharias dzacharias@dominionlending.ca
Cell: 780-933-7767 www.doriazacharias.ca
Darren Ward dward@dominionlending.ca
Cell: 1-403-805-5322
Trevor Morris mortgageswithTrevor@gmail.com
Cell: 780-380-6247 www.trevormorris.ca
Jillian Napen htmortgage.ca
Office: 780-513-6611 htmortgagegroup@dominionlending.ca
Jodi Scotton jodidlc@outlook.com
Cell: 1-780-625-5037 www.jodiscotton.ca
Alycia Larocque alyciadlc@outlook.com.

Call us from home, you don’t have to go outside when it’s this cold!

Our office is open Monday to Friday from 9am to 5pm – and we do have staff who are here, braving the cold everyday – if you like going outside in this weather. Our Keurig is ready to serve hot coffee to any intrepid customers who do visit us today!

Jill the office manager at HT Mortgage Group in Grande Prairie, goes outside even when it’s cold – here she is at O’brien park with a friend collecting snowflakes/ Litter from the trail.

 

 

 

Winter is here! Get a worry free mortgage!

General 16 Jan

This time of year, there are a few less mortgage’s being done- not many people want to move into a new home in the snow. But if you want to get a worry free mortgage done in Grande Prairie, this is a great time to be shopping.

Scope out those potential neighbourhoods – how many snow shovels?

  • Will my new neighbours shovel their driveways?
  • Are there any super nice people on the street willing to snow-blow my sidewalk?
  • Can I walk around safely?
  • Are they using salt, sand or kitty litter to de-ice the walk?
  • How far is this house located from a bus route or major traffic route that will get plowed first when we have a lot of snow?

My top tip? Scope out that neighbourhood right after it snows – compare early morning snow levels to slightly after work snow levels. In some neighbourhoods like Hillcrest here in Grande Prairie, you can drive around and count how many people have shovels ready near their front door.

And if you closely examine sidewalks, try looking right between two homes – this can tell you if two people shoveled at different times – or if that super nice multiple driveway shoveler exists in this neighbourhood! That’s what I call a worry free mortgage!

What? You need more than just good neighbours with shovel’s to have a worry free mortgage?

You want the best interest rate, or to confirm that you’ve got a mortgage that let’s you pay it off faster? Well a local mortgage broker will help with that.  Give us a call to get those details in place! But really guys – in 2018 Grande Prairie had 49 inches of snow in December and another 49 inches of snow in March – trust me – a worry free mortgage is all about the snow shovels.

Article by Jillian – Doesn’t own a snowblower – Napen

Office Manager , HT Mortgage Group

Or good neighbours who own a snowplow

Snow shovels are the key to a worry free mortgage in Grande Prairie

4 REASONS WHY MORTGAGE BROKERS ARE BETTER THAN BANKS

General 26 Nov

So Much Better

I am often asked if it’s hard to compete with the banks. While they may offer competitive rates at times, right now we have much better rates than the banks. However, we have certain advantages which allow us to blow them out of the water most of the time.

  1. More Choice

– banks are limited to around 5 products that they can offer you. They will try to fit you into one of their products even if the financial institution next door has a better one for you. Brokers have access to banks, credit unions, trust and mortgage companies as well as private lenders.

2. Better Representation –

Brokers are your champions bankers are employees. They put their employer first . They won’t offer you the best rates unless you are a good negotiator. Brokers are licenced by provincial organizations and have to follow a code of ethics which requires that we put the consumer first. We also negotiate the best rate, terms and conditions for you. If you need to break the mortgage before the end of the term, we can assist you with that and perhaps help you to avoid paying a penalty.

3. More Benefits –

If you are moving into a home that is more than one year old, you probably do not have a home warranty. Brokers have 3 lenders who offer home warranties, which can cover repairs to the plumbing, heating and electrical systems with a small deductible. Two of the lenders even offer this as a complimentary service for the first year while the third lender offers it for the length of the mortgage. As Dominion Lending Centre brokers, we also have discounted rates for moving services and boxes from a large national moving company .

4. Better Protection –

I saved the best for last. We offer portable mortgage life and disability insurance.

It may not sound like much but we have the same coverage as the banks offer with one important difference – portability. While we take care to place you with a good lender, circumstances change and lenders may not offer favourable terms on renewal. If you try to leave a bank after developing a condition like high blood pressure or having a heart attack, you will have to re-apply for insurance coverage and may be denied. There are hundreds if not thousands of unhappy bank clients who are stuck paying high interest rates because they are forced to stay with a lender. Broker insurance gives you the independence to move from lender to lender depending on who is willing to offer you the best rates and terms. This may not sound like much to you now but it’s a real game changer for anyone who knows someone who have had this happen to them.

Is it difficult to compete with the banks? No – we have them beat hands down.

David Cooke

DAVID COOKE

Dominion Lending Centres – Accredited Mortgage Professional
David is part of DLC Clarity Mortgages in Calgary, AB.

TOYS AND BUYING A HOME

General 19 Nov

This article borrowed from DAVID COOKE of Dominion Lending Centers

 

In 2005, I was asked to do a pre-approval by a couple hoping to buy a home. I went through the application with them and pre-approved them for $320,000. They were astounded. They told me that their bank told them that they were qualified to a maximum of $260,000. They wanted to know how I could get them more money. I looked at their credit reports and quickly found the answer.

I pointed out to them that they both had $10,000 unsecured lines of credit. They said that the bank had offered this to them several years ago but they had not used them. The zero balances confirmed their story. What they didn’t know was according to the bank’s rules, they had to consider these lines of credit as being fully utilized. The bank considered them as each carrying $300 in monthly payments that did not exist. My lenders took a zero balance as being a zero balance and I was able to get them more money and more house.

Last year I had a young man who wanted to buy a new home. He was very surprised when I told him he couldn’t afford it according to the new stress test rules. The reason being, he had a $950 a month truck payment. The only solutions available were to sell the truck, or negotiate a new payment plan by stretching out the payments for another year.

The moral of the story is that it’s important to let clients know that other debts outside of their mortgage can affect how much house they can qualify for, and that buying a vehicle or new toys like a trailer or boat before going to see their local mortgage broker, can be a costly mistake. Your Dominion Lending Centres mortgage broker can help you through the whole home buying process but you need to have them involved early in the process. Our job is to make people’s dreams come true and we do it a lot better than the banks.

David Cooke

The Downside to Downsizing

General 12 Nov

On the surface, downsizing can seem like a logical financial move.

However, when we asked Canadian homeowners aged 55 and older what their thoughts on downsizing are, we learned that while many are faced with the downsizing dilemma they are considering other options.

Below we outline some of our key findings from the survey we commissioned from Ipsos.

In short, downsizing does not guarantee financial freedom.

Largely why this dilemma exists is because Canadians aged 55 and older are not aware of all of the financial products available to them – most notably, the CHIP Reverse Mortgage.

Best Regards,
Andrea Twizell
National Partnership Director, Mortgage Brokers

If you would like to learn more about how a reverse mortgage can be an alternative to downsizing, please contact us at HT Mortgage Group here in Grande Prairie, and ask to speak to one of our mortgage brokers at 780-513-6611 or 1-800-513-6611

 

GROWING MARIJUANA AND SELLING YOUR HOME

General 3 Nov

Growing Marijuana, will it affect the sale of your home?

There is quite a bit of information being passed around about growing marijuana in your home that could or will  prevent the sale of your property down the road.

CMHC is Canada’s federally owned mortgage insurer. As of October 25, 2018, their stance on homes that were former grow operations has not changed and reads as follows:

“At this time, CMHC is not making any changes to its mortgage loan insurance policies in relation to the impending  legalization of cannabis. CMHC will continue to insure mortgage loans for homeowner residential properties (1-4 units) and multi-unit residential properties (5+ units) where cannabis was previously grown and/or will be legally grown.
We will also monitor the impacts of the Cannabis Act on our mortgage loan insurance activities over the long term. We will also be reminding Approved Lenders that, in cases where property damage has occurred, they are required to disclose this information to CMHC in making the request for mortgage loan insurance and confirm that remedial action has been taken to address any related property damage/alterations,” Courtesy Beverly LePage, Client Relations – CMHC.

HOWEVER, in my opinion as a mortgage broker, it is the damage to the home from a “typical illegal” grow op that is most important here. When one hears “grow op”, you picture rooms full of plants with lights and irrigation lines with no care taken to prevent irreparable damage to the home.

Please consider the following scenarios.

Tomato enthusiast #1

Tomato enthusiast #1 absolutely loves tomatoes. He/she finds them relaxing and even fun to share with friends. Tomato  enthusiast #1 places dozens of tomato plants in every room of their home with full irrigation and grow lighting. Without proper ventilation, this caused a drastic increase in humidity in the home. If that were to continue,  a dangerous mold condition may develop, making the home uninhabitable. In this case the damage that
Tomato enthusiast #1 caused may prevent a mortgage from being placed on the property by the lender and/or insurer.

Tomato Enthusiast #2

Tomato enthusiast #2 also loves his tomatoes but not quite as much as #1. He/she enjoys having a few slices on toast on a Friday evening as a weekly treat. Tomato enthusiast #2 places 4 tomato plants in front of the living room window and daily watered and talked to them pleasantly. Having 4 tomatoes plants in the home was not illegal before October 17th and probably never will be. With proper care the 4 tomato plants thrived and never caused any damage to the home. A few weeks down the road Tomato enthusiast #2 decided to sell the property.  When their trusted realtor arrived to list the home there was no apparent damage caused by any plant or animal
that resided there and it was immaculate. It is highly unlikely that the presence of 4 tomato plants would prevent approval by a mortgage lender or insurer.

If you have any questions, contact a Dominion Lending Centres Mortgage Professional near you.

Kevin Carlson

KEVIN CARLSON

Dominion Lending Centres – Accredited Mortgage Professional
Kevin is part of DLC The Mortgage Firm based in Regina, SK.

A BRIDE AND A MORTGAGE BROKER – OUR HOUSE MAGAZINE

General 29 Oct

A BRIDE AND A MORTGAGE BROKER – OUR HOUSE MAGAZINE

Dominion Lending Centres’ leading lady in the new national commercial campaign has a few questions of her own. As a young Canadian looking to get into the housing market, Laura Steponchev has a candid Q&A with one of our pro’s.

You could say Laura Steponchev is a pretty typical Canadian millennial. The aspiring actress moved to Toronto from Regina five years ago to pursue her career. And over the years, she’s moved around quite a bit. Steponchev lived on her own for a while, and loved it, but paying the bills was tough and she needed to be more reasonable. She got a roommate, but he moved in with his fiancé, and she moved out of that condo and into an old house in Greektown with four other roommates. She eventually met her boyfriend, and they soon moved in together. The couple decided they wanted a place of their own, so they moved into his parents’ house in the ‘burbs.
“Living with your partner comes with its own troubles, but living together with your inlaws – that’s a whole new ballgame,” she said.
Steponchev wants to get into the market, but she’s got a lot of questions.

Our House Magazine teamed up with Dominion Lending Centres mortgage broker to answer some of those questions and help Steponchev on the path to homeownership.

Q. I understand that first-time homebuyers are granted a five-per-cent down payment – I am not a first-time buyer any more. What am I looking to save for a down payment now?

A. First-time homebuyers are not the only ones who can purchase a home with as little as five per cent down. As long as the home you are purchasing will be your residence, you can still put only five percent down. But all lenders and mortgage insurers (CMHC, Genworth and Canada Guaranty) will want you to have an additional 1.5 per cent of the purchase price to ensure you can cover closing costs such as legal fees, Property Transfer Tax, Land Title registration etc.

Q. What’s the minimum down payment you would recommend to have before looking?

A. As long as you have the minimum five per cent down and 1.5 per cent of the purchase price for closing costs, that’s all a lender and mortgage insurer will want you to have. However, I recommend having a bit more as a buffer against unexpected costs. Remember, with a move there are utility hook-up costs, moving costs, home inspection and so on. Having an additional $5,000 above your down payment and lender-required 1.5 per cent will help make it a smoother move.

Q. What kinds of interest rates are we looking at?

A. Rates will vary day-to-day, but we are still at almost historical lows right now, and they are on the rise. Rates are offered and guaranteed for a period of time called a term. Terms can vary from one to 10 years with some lenders and are priced according to each individual lender’s pricing structure.
The most popular are five-year fixed and five-year variable. Where right now we see five-year fixed rates as low as 3.04 per cent and five-year variable rates as low as 2.36 per cent for qualified applicants, be aware that it is not all about rate. Some of the more appealing lower rate offerings come with additional terms that may not work for you, such as higher penalty structures or bona fide sale clauses that could have you stuck if you want or need to pay out your mortgage mid term.
As always, it is advisable to speak with an experienced mortgage broker to find out more about the terms of any rate offering to make sure you know all the implications that could apply to your situation.

Q. Realistically, what should our budget be?

A. Conservatively, the government has said that 35 per cent of your combined annual gross income should be enough to cover property expenses (mortgage payment, property taxes, condo fees, heating costs), and 42 per cent of your gross annual income needs to be enough to cover the property expenses plus any other credit payments (loans, credit cards, lines of credit).
In reality, every person’s situation is different, so, before you decide to take the leap into home ownership, it is a good exercise to detail your current budget to get a starting point for what supports a comfortable lifestyle. Be sure to include a savings plan into that monthly budget, not only for retirement but you will likely have maintenance costs with your new home or you may want to do some updating.
Now replace your rent payment with property costs (detailed above) and see how your monthly cash flow will be. Is it comfortable, or would you be pinched? Ultimately, it is no fun to be house rich and cash poor, so, if you would feel pinched, it might be an idea to downsize your purchase price to a more realistic level.

 

Q. In this economy and as a millennial, we’re told that owning a home is a very distant reality (especially due to that darned avocado toast).
Are our dreams of owning our own place just that – dreams?

A. Not at all! In my experience, millennial’s are very determined when they set their sights on a goal and really just need enough information to formulate a realistic plan. If a home purchase is in your future, my recommendation is to get in touch with a mortgage broker and start building that plan – sooner rather than later.
You may already be qualified and just don’t know it, or there may be tips and tricks you are unaware of that could bring that dream closer sooner. Or it may be that it could take you a year or two to get into a really strong position to enter the market. You just won’t know until you try.
I can tell you personally, it is a very satisfying professional experience when I work with clients from dream to reality, not matter how long it takes. It’s an exciting experience every time!

Jeremy Deutsch

JEREMY DEUTSCH

Communications Advisor

 

CMHC CHANGES TO ASSIST SELF-EMPLOYED BORROWERS

General 22 Oct

CMHC CHANGES TO ASSIST SELF-EMPLOYED BORROWERS

As a self-employed person myself, I was happy to hear that CMHC is willing to make some changes that will make it easier for us to qualify for a mortgage.
In an announcement on July 19, 2018, the CMHC has said “Self-employed Canadians represent a significant part of the Canadian workforce. These policy changes respond to that reality by making it easier for self-employed borrowers to obtain CMHC mortgage loan insurance and benefit from competitive interest rates.” — Romy Bowers, Chief Commercial Officer, Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation. These policy changes are to take effect Oct. 1, 2018.

Traditionally self-employed borrowers will write as many expenses as they can to minimize the income tax they pay each year. While this is a good tax-saving technique it means that often a realistic annual income can not be established high enough to meet mortgage qualification guidelines.
Plain speak, we don’t look good on paper.

Normally CMHC wants to see two years established business history to be able to determine an average income. But the agency said it will now make allowances for people who acquire existing businesses, can demonstrate sufficient cash reserves, who will be expecting predictable earnings and have previous training and education.
Take for example a borrower that has been an interior designer with a firm for the past eight years and in the same industry for the past 30 years, but just struck out on his own last year. His main work contract is with the firm he used to work for, but now he has the ability to pick up additional contracts from the industry in which he has vast connections.
Where previously he would have had to entertain a mortgage with an interest rate at least 1% higher than the best on the market and have to pay a fee, now he would be able to meet insurance requirements and get preferred rates.

The other change that CMHC has made is to allow for more flexible documentation of income and the ability to look at Statements of Business Professional Activity from a sole-proprietor’s income tax submission to support Add Backs of certain write-offs to support a grossing-up of income. Basically, recognizing that many write-offs are simply for tax-saving purposes and are not a reduction of actual income. This could mean a significant increase in income and buying power.

It is refreshing after years of government claw-backs and conservative policy changes to finally see the swing back in the other direction. Self-employed Canadians have taken on the burden of an often fluctuating income and responsible income tax management all for the ability to work for themselves. These measures will help them with the reward of being able to own their own home as well.

Kristin Woolard

KRISTIN WOOLARD

Dominion Lending Centres – Accredited Mortgage Professional
Kristin is part of DLC National based in Port Coquitlam, BC.

Mortgage Moment: When Life Gives you Lemons…

General 17 Aug

MORTGAGE MOMENT: WHEN LIFE GIVES YOU LEMONS…

We all do it. Even I fall guilty to it at times. It’s really a part of Human Nature…and really what fun is life without it?

What exactly are we talking about? Dreaming. We make grand plans and lay them out with the utmost care. We write them out, daydream about them, and (hopefully) we make them come true! There is nothing wrong with doing this…not a single thing! However, as many of you know, rarely do the dreams and plans we lay out stay on course as we would like them to.

This holds true many times for mortgage clients. We find that many times, what they initially come to us with when they are being pre-approved, rarely is the same less than 3 years later (There’s a reason 6 out of 10 Canadians break their 5-year term mortgage early).

Recently, we had just this happen with one of our clients. A young, working professional couple, found themselves in a difficult situation when one of them was injured and went on long-term disability leave.

Their income took a significant drop due to this and their cash flow was of course, negatively impacted. They relied (as many people do) on credit cards and at one point also took out a line of credit. They were able to make minimum payments each month on their loans and debts, but the problem sat with the interest rates. They kept getting higher and the debt they carried wasn’t being reduced.

Basically, life had handed them some lemons.

At this point, they felt they were left with one option: seek private funding. The problem with this was fear of losing their home if they approached their lender. The interest rate quoted by the private lender was less than that on their credit cards, but still higher than what was reasonable. The couple felt that seeking to obtain a second mortgage would be the best-case scenario. However, with a rate of 10% plus a lender fee of up to 6% of the loan amount and a 1 year term with renewal fee of 1% for total amount borrowed, this was not at all ideal!

This is where we stepped in and decided to make some lemonade! Here is how the story played out once they came to see us:

  1. We were able to use the income received from disability and refinanced their existing mortgage
  2. We consolidated the credit card and line of credit debt at a rate of 2.35% in doing so we reduced their current monthly payments by $1500 with an annual savings of $18,000! Or $90,000 over five years!

Here is a brief number summary to give you the full recap:

Value of the Home: $525,000

Requested Mortgage Amount: $420,000

Loan to Value: 80%

Income Documentation:

  1. Letter of employment and pay stub
  2. Letter from insurance company detailing disability payments and confirmation of deposit into current bank account.

Credit Score: 746 & 676

Total Debt Service Ratios: 41%

Mortgage Solution: All debts were paid with proceeds from their 5-year variable-rate mortgage with a 30-year amortization. The annual savings was MORE THAN $18,000!

 We helped this couple get back on track and allowed them to keep on dreaming! We understand that life rarely will stay on course and go just as you picture it, but there is often a creative solution that can help you get back on track. If life has handed you a few lemons and you aren’t sure where to start, visit a Dominion Lending Centres Mortgage Broker—they can make some of the best lemonade!

Geoff Lee

GEOFF LEE

Dominion Lending Centres – Accredited Mortgage Professional
Geoff is part of DLC GLM Mortgage Group based in Vancouver, BC.

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