If you have no desire at all to qualify for a mortgage, here are some great ways to make sure you don’t accidentally end up buying a house and taking out a mortgage to do so.
One of the best ways to ensure you won’t qualify for a mortgage is to be unemployed. Yep, banks hate lending money to unemployed people! Okay, so you have a job. Well, that’s okay, you can always unexpectedly quit your job just as you are trying to arrange financing! Even if you are making a lateral move, or taking a better job than the one you have now, that’s cool… any change in employment status while you are looking to get a mortgage will most likely wreck your chances of getting a mortgage for a while. This is because lenders want to see stability; they want to know that you have been in your current position for some time, that you are past probation, and that everything is working out well. By changing jobs right when you are looking to buy a property, you won’t instil the lender with confidence, and they probably won’t give you a mortgage. Mission accomplished.
Don’t wanna buy a house? Well, then it’s best you don’t save any money. Better yet, you should probably borrow as much money on credit as you can. One of the main qualification points on a mortgage is called your debt-service ratio. Simply put, the more money you owe in consumer debt, the less money you will qualify to borrow on a mortgage, because your ratio of income compared to your debt is higher when you owe more money. Consider this permission to go and finance a Harley-Davidson. Do it, right now. Not a big fan of motorcycles? That’s cool; a Ford 150 should do the trick nicely. The key here is to make sure you add as much monthly payment as you can. The bigger the payment, the better.
But let’s say that unfortunately your debt-service ratios are in line, you have been able to save up the necessary 5% down payment, and you are on your way to buying a house. What do you do? Ugly documentation! A great way to make sure your lender feels uncomfortable is to have really terrible bank statements. Typically when proving your down payment, the lender will require 90 days’ history of your account(s), with your name on the statement, showing that you have accumulated the down payment over time. Want to really mess things up? Make sure there are lots of deposits over $1000 that can’t be substantiated. This will look like money laundering. If that doesn’t work, you can always black out your “personal information.” Just use a black Sharpie and make your bank statements look like a classified FBI document. Lenders hate that!
So you’ve got a great job and lots of money… don’t panic, you can still absolutely wreck your chances of qualifying for a mortgage. Just don’t pay any of your bills on time. Seriously, borrow lots of money, and then stop paying! Boom. Why would any lender want to lend you money when you have a great track record of not paying back any of the money you borrow? Now, if this feels morally wrong, okay, here is an ethical way to wreck your credit. Don’t pay that cell phone bill out of principle. We’ve all been there — roaming charges, extra data charges that the cell company added on your bill… choose not to pay this on principle. This is a great way to sink your chances of getting a mortgage, I mean, how are you supposed to know that some collections (like cell phones) will show up on your credit report?
Last, if you want to make sure you never get financing, insist on buying the worst house in a bad neighbourhood. You see, the property you are looking to buy is very important to the lender. If they lend you the money to buy it and you stop making the payments, they will be forced to repossess and sell it. They are going to make sure they can recoup their initial investment. So, a “handyman special, fixer upper, with lots of potential” is a great option. As everyone knows, those words are code for “a giant dump.” Bonus points if you get those terms written in the MLS listing. Yep, insist on buying something that is falling apart and stick to it; don’t ever consider buying a solid home in a good neighbourhood.
a shot of a run-down house on a hill
So there you have it, if you don’t want a mortgage, no problem. Quit your job, borrow lots of money, wreck your credit, and insist on buying a dump.
However, on the off chance you feel homeownership is right for you, contact us anytime, we can help you put a plan in place to avoid these (and many more) mortgage qualification pitfalls.
There have been a number of reports released over the past few weeks that have provided some interesting insight into the state of the housing and mortgage markets.
New reports have touched on everything from 2018 renewal rates, foreign buyer statistics and credit quality to the latest financial crunch facing condo investors.
Here are some of the highlights:
Nearly 50% of Existing Mortgages to Renew in 2018
An estimated 47% of existing mortgages are expected to be coming up for renewal this year, according to a recent CIBC Capital Markets report. That’s up significantly from the 25% to 35% that typically come up for renewal each year.
“Over the past two to three years, as home prices have risen unchecked, you’ve had people trying to get into the housing market unable to afford longer-term mortgages and taken out short-term mortgages,” Ian Pollick, CIBC’s executive director and head of North American Rates Strategy, explained in an interview with Canadian Press. “And in 2018, everything is falling on top of one another.”
With higher interest rates today and stricter mortgage qualification rules in place, many existing homeowners could be in for a rate shock at renewal time.
The stress test on uninsured mortgages introduced as part of the new B-20 guidelinesapplies not only to new buyers, but also existing buyers who decide to leave their current lender, perhaps in search of a cheaper rate elsewhere. For the estimated 1-in-6 renewers who won’t able to qualify at the Bank of Canada’s benchmark 5-year posted rate, they will have no choice but to remain with their current lender and likely settle for a less competitive rate.
TD, RBC Hike Fixed Rates
Earlier this week TD Bank raised its 5-year posted rate by 45 bps to 5.59%, the highest it’s been since 2011.
It also raised posted rates for its 2-year, 3-year, 6-year and 7-year terms.
And just today, RBC confirmed to BNN that it will also be raising its fixed rates, effective April 30. The bank said it will hike its 5-year and 10-year rates by 20 basis points, its 1-year and 4-year fixed rates by 15 basis points, and that it will lower its variable closed mortgage rate 15 basis points.
One more of the Big 6 banks is expected to make a move in the coming week.
Despite the increases to the posted rates, most bank customers with sound credit are offered rates that are more competitive. The average 5-year fixed rate available from the Big 5 banks in March (to well-qualified borrowers) was 3.39%, according to RateSpy.com.
Foreign-Buyer Home Sales Drop in Toronto
The number of foreign-buyer home purchases in Toronto has fallen to 2.5%, according to Ontario’s Finance Ministry.
That’s down from a peak of 7.5% in May 2017, just after the introduction of the province’s 15% tax on homes sold to international buyers. Across the Greater Golden Horseshoe, which encompasses a larger geographic area around Toronto, foreign buyer sales have fallen to 1.6%, down from 4.7% the month after the new tax was introduced. However, even in areas where the tax does not apply—outside of the Greater Golden Horseshoe—sales to international buyers was also down, from 2.6% of all transactions last spring to 1.7%.
In a statement, Finance Minister Charles Sousa declared the foreign buyers tax a success: “Our data continues to indicate that our Fair Housing Plan measures have helped to calm the housing market.”
The average price of a house in the Greater Toronto Area has fallen about 14%, from $920,000 last spring to $785,000 in March 2018.
Toronto Condo Investors Subsidizing Tenants
Investing in condos is big business in Toronto, as investors accounted for nearly half of all new condo sales in the Greater Toronto Area last year.
But with rising real estate prices, it has become increasingly difficult for those investors to cover their expenses with rent. At least 44% of those who took possession in 2017 and have a mortgage are in a negative cash flow position, according to a CIBC Capital Markets report.
Of those, 34.5% reported rental income that falls short of their monthly carrying costs by $1,000 each month, while 20.1% say they are short by $500–$1,000 a month.
The report’s authors estimate that for units that were pre-sold and that are due for completion by 2021, rent would need to rise 17% to cover costs based on a 20% down payment and no rise in interest rates. If interest rates were to increase by 100 bps, rent would need to increase by 28%, they wrote.
Vancouver’s Empty-Homes Tax to Generate $30M
Vancouver’s tax on empty homes is expected to generate $30 million in revenue in its first year, Vancouver Mayor Gregor Robertson said this week.
The tax—the first of its kind in Canada—requires homeowners who don’t live in or rent out their properties to pay a 1% tax based on the assessed value of their home.
Robertson announced that $17 million had already been collected from approximately 1,200 owners with properties that were deemed vacant or underutilized for at least six months of the year. That’s just a small percentage of the total 8,500 city properties that officials say fall under the designation, however.
More than 5,000 homeowners have received exemptions from the tax, another 1,000 are currently disputing it and others failed to make any declaration about their properties.
Of the 1,200 property owners who paid the tax, some were billed as much as $250,000 for the 2018 tax year, according to a Globe and Mail article.
This article was written by Steve Huebl and originally appeared on Canadian Mortgage Trends on April 27th 2018, Canadian Mortgage Trends is a publication of Mortgage Professionals Canada.
So, you want to buy a home. Or maybe you want to sell your home. Either way, working with a real estate professional or REALTOR® is a really good idea. But with all the agents out there competing to earn your business, how do you find the right one? Here is a quick list of tips that should help you narrow down the list of potential suitors. From there, its up to you!
Do Your Research. Hands down, the best advice available is simply do your research. It sounds so basic, but regardless of how many more of these tips you read and follow, if you do your homework and gather as much information about working with a potential REALTOR®, you will lessen the chance of getting a dud while increasing the chance of finding someone who will really work hard for you.
Ask your friends and people you trust. If you know someone who has recently bought or sold a property, ask them who they used. From there, ask about their experience, get them to explain both the positives and negatives, ask how the agent communicated, were they easy to reach, were they responsive. And so on. If you feel comfortable with their recommendation, get the agents name and proceed to google them.
Just Google Them. This is great advice on almost any subject. If you are looking at hiring an agent, you will want to google them first. Don’t simply look at the first few results, take a look a couple pages deep. You will be surprised by what comes up down the line, maybe they have been involved in legal action in the past, these things are good to know and discuss with them if you want to extend an interview to them.
Check Out Online Reviews. A lot of sites like Google, Facebook, Yelp, and various local media publications will have sections where client testimonials are shared. Because these are shared publicly on independent 3rd party sites, they tend to be more reliable than say the testimonial section on an agents website. The more reviews you can find the better, just as you shouldn’t let one rave review sell you, don’t let one bad review deter you. The key here is balance.
Check Out Their Website and Social Media Presence. It’s no longer 2006, a good website that is mobile friendly is necessary. A REALTOR’S® job is to sell your property or find you the best property available on the market before someone else scoops it up. How they communicate online and how they use technology is a window into how well they will be able to represent you in an online world. You want to find an agent who is up to speed and understands how information is shared online.
Check Out Their Credentials. Have they won any industry awards? Have they won any local awards or people’s choice awards? There is probably a reason for it. Good agents tend to get recognized.
Do they Sell Real Estate Full Time? In order to be extremely successful at selling real estate, they have to put in the time. It is very hard to do that working part time hours. You will want to find an agent that works full time in real estate so they are available when you need them to be.
Have an interview. After you have spent the time finding an agent that comes highly recommended by friends, and you have done your research, you should have an informal interview to see if you get along with them. If you are looking to buy a property, you might want to meet in a local coffee shop in the area you would like to buy in and ask questions about the area. If you are selling, consider having the agent over to your property and have them provide you with an estimated sales price. You can also discuss their commission structure and the plan they would have to sell your place.
Don’t Feel Any Pressure. Finding a great agent is important, if you feel uncomfortable with someone, chances are other people will as well. Sometimes it works out and you simply “click” with a certain agent, while other times you might have to interview 3 or 4 agents before finding someone you want to work with. Not all agents are created equal, some are better than others, and some are A LOT better than others.
The key to finding a great REALTOR® is to do your research ahead of time. Make sure this is someone you feel comfortable with. This will save you time, heartache and money down the road. The last thing you want to have to do is find another REALTOR® half-way through the process.
Of course if you would like an introduction to a REALTOR® or two that we have worked with in the past and highly recommend, please let us know, we would be happy to pass some names on to you. Contact us anytime!
It’s a common held belief that if you’ve made your mortgage payments on time throughout the entirety of your mortgage term, that your lender is somehow obligated to renew your mortgage. This is simply not the case. The truth is, a lender is never under any obligation to renew your mortgage. The initial mortgage contract was drawn up for a defined time, when that term comes to an end, the lender has every right to call the loan.
Now, granted, most lenders are happy to renew your mortgage if you have made all your payments on time but there are several factors that can come into play that could prevent this from happening. If the lender becomes aware that you have recently gone through a divorce, a bankruptcy, or a job loss, they might be hesitant to renew your mortgage. Although more frequently seen in commercial mortgages, banks will often decide not to renew a mortgage if they don’t like the economic climate or certain geographical area.
So how do you protect yourself? Well, the first plan of action is to speak with your mortgage professional about your options at renewal at least 90-120 days before your term is set to expire. This will ensure you have enough time to look at all your options. It might make sense to switch to another lender, or it might make sense to stay put. However, by dealing with an independent mortgage professional (as opposed to directly with the lender), you have someone working for you, on your team, instead of someone working for the lender, trying to make money for the lender.
The best plan of action is to be prepared, and to have a plan in place. If you would like to talk about your financial situation, please contact us anytime, we would love to work with you.
The Bank of Canada today maintained its target for the overnight rate at 1 1/4 per cent. The Bank Rate is correspondingly 1 1/2 per cent and the deposit rate is 1 per cent.
Global growth remains solid and broad-based. In the United States, new government spending and previously-announced tax cuts are anticipated to boost growth in 2018 and 2019. However, trade policy developments are an important and growing source of uncertainty for the global and Canadian outlooks.
In Canada, the national accounts data show that the economy grew by 3 per cent in 2017, bringing the level of real GDP in line with the projection in the Bank’s January MonetaryPolicy Report (MPR). In the fourth quarter, GDP growth was slower than expected, largely due to higher imports, while exports made only a partial recovery from their third-quarter decline. The gain in imports mainly reflected stronger business investment, which adds to the economy’s capacity.
Strong housing data in late 2017, and softer data at the beginning of this year, indicate some pulling forward of demand ahead of new mortgage guidelines and other policy measures. It will take some time to fully assess the impact of these, as well as recently announced provincial measures, on housing demand and prices. More broadly, the Bank continues to monitor the economy’s sensitivity to higher interest rates. Notably, household credit growth has decelerated for three consecutive months. The implications of the recent federal budget for the outlook for growth and inflation will be incorporated in the Bank’s April projection.
Inflation is running close to the 2 per cent target and the Bank’s core measures of inflation have edged up, consistent with an economy operating near capacity. Wage growth has firmed, but remains lower than would be typical in an economy with no labour market slack. Inflation is fluctuating because of temporary factors related to gasoline, electricity, and minimum wages.
In this context, Governing Council maintained the target for the overnight rate at 1 1/4 per cent. While the economic outlook is expected to warrant higher interest rates over time, some continued monetary policy accommodation will likely be needed to keep the economy operating close to potential and inflation on target. Governing Council will remain cautious in considering future policy adjustments, guided by incoming data in assessing the economy’s sensitivity to interest rates, the evolution of economic capacity, and the dynamics of both wage growth and inflation.
This was the second announcement in 2018, here are the announcements dates set out for the remainder of 2018.
- April 18th 2018*
- May 30th 2018
- July 11th 2018*
- September 5th 2018
- October 24th 2018*
- December 5th 2018
*Monetary Policy Report published