Affordability is a major concern for today’s aspiring first-time homebuyers. In hot real estate markets like the Greater Toronto and Greater Vancouver regions, however, the desire for affordability can be challenged by the competitive fervour caused by escalating prices and bidding wars. As anyone who has researched homeownership in these markets knows, it’s easy to feel the pressure to bid higher than you’d like.
Oftentimes people assume that housing is our single biggest expense, and although that was true in 1961, times have changed! According to research done by the Fraser Institute, last year the average Canadian family spent more on taxes than housing, food, and clothing combined. Here is the news release from the Fraser Institute along with a copy of the report.
One of the benefits of working with an independent mortgage professional is choice when it comes to mortgage product. When you work with a single bank or financial institution, you are limited to the products they offer. When you deal with a mortgage broker, you gain access to products from many lenders. Some of these products are very specialized and provide financing solutions as unique as the people they were developed for.
A lot of people get into hot water when they assume that because they've qualified for a mortgage in the past, they will qualify for a mortgage in the future. This article has one point to make and it's this:
More than a third of first-time homebuyers in Canada are single. If you’re thinking of joining this group, here’s what you need to do and know before jumping into homeownership.
Just a friendly reminder that your property taxes are due in the next couple of weeks! Now, for many of my clients, this isn't a huge deal as they have opted to have their taxes collected by their lender as part of their regular mortgage payments. Equalized payments are a great way to ensure you aren't left scrambling last minute trying to pay your property taxes annually. Missing the payment deadline will result in a 5% penalty.
Housing affordability questions have placed homeownership and public policy near the top of the national agenda, as mortgage brokers know. Most of the commentary has been focused on the extent to which government policy, particularly with regards to supply, is contributing to the affordability challenges. This debate is ongoing and will not be resolved here.
As part of a short series that aims to “Understand the Mind of a Lender” we've identified 4 key areas a lender will look at to decide if you're a "good risk" to provide mortgage financing. They are income, credit, downpayment, and property. Here are links to the previous articles in case you missed them:
Genworth Canada is the largest private residential mortgage insurance company in Canada. They have an excellent education website over at homeownership.ca. Recently, Genworth published an article discussing the recent changes to mortgage rules and how they impact affordability, here it is for your reading pleasure.