Category Archives: Blog

No Money Down Mortgage Please!

With all the talk of tighter mortgage rules and the need to bring down debt levels in Canada, you might be surprised to hear that it’s still possible to buy a house with ZERO downpayment!  The mortgage rules have tightened 3 times over the past few years from when 100% financing was readily available to now, when amortization have been shortened by 10 years and there are calls to increase … Read More

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Jim Flaherty’s Budget Gets an “A” on Real Estate

The Real Estate Industry and the economy as a whole can take comfort that the freshly minted federal budget did not take further measures to tighten the mortgage market.  The minimum downpayment for purchases stayed at 5% and the maximum amortization remains untouched at 30 years. A significant lobby group consisting of several bank executives and economists will surely be disappointed that their recommendations were not incorporated.  These pundits were … Read More

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Government Not Budging on Insurance Cap

As CMHC approaches its $600 Billion cap on insured mortgages, industry observers have been watching Ottawa closely.  In previous situations where the National Mortgage insurer has approached its cap, the ministry of finance has consistently raised the limit to keep up with the growing economy.  The difference today is the government’s focus on reducing consumer debt.  Late last week Jim Flaherty suggested that this time they would hold firm forcing … Read More

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Mortgage Rate Alarm – March 27

Well, we knew it wouldn’t last!  Mortgage rates are on the rise.  If you were looking to take advantage of the record low rates then now is the time to do it.  You may only have a day or two before the record low mortgage rates disappear.  Don’t panic though; they aren’t increasing by that much.  You can expect to see an increase of about 0.20% in the 5 year … Read More

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3 Reasons to Get a Fixed Rate Mortgage

The 2 most popular mortgage terms are 5 year fixed and 5 year variable.  Only a short year ago 60% of borrowers were choosing the variable option, but today’s landscape favours fixed mortgage rates.  Fixed mortgage rates and variable mortgage rates fluctuate based on the lenders cost of funds.  What many don’t realize is that the cost of funds for variable mortgage rates and fixed mortgage rates can move in … Read More

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Is Your Mortgage Professional Accredited?

The Accredited Mortgage Professional (AMP) is the only national designation for Canada’s mortgage industry.  It was created in 2004 by the Canadian Association of Mortgage Professionals to differentiate mortgage professionals from others in the mortgage industry.  It demonstrates their commitment to providing you with the highest level of service. In order to earn the AMP designation candidates must have sufficient industry experience, undertake knowledge and ethics courses, be provincially licensed … Read More

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TD Bank Lobbies for Increased Downpayment

In a report issued late last week, Craig Alexander, chief economist with TD Bank became the first to recommend an increase to the minimum downpayment on a purchase to 7% from 5%.  Of course there’s nothing stopping TD Bank from making this change on their own, other than the fact they would lose a significant share of the mortgage market.  Instead, the idea is to put pressure on Ottawa to … Read More

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Bank Watchdog Over-Stepping its Mandate

For the first time, the Office of the Superintendent of Financial Institutions (OSFI) has put together a set of guidelines that would require banks to exercise extensive due diligence when it comes to granting residential mortgages.  Big brother is watching!  When the regulator needs to come in and tell the participants how to run their businesses, you know something is wrong.  What’s even worse is that the banks have been … Read More

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Reverse Mortgage or Conventional Mortgage?

As the baby boom breaks into its senior years, many are predicting an increase in demand for reverse mortgages.  Reverse mortgages are a relatively new product and so far our senior populations have managed just fine without them.  They do offer a solution that will appeal to many, but they are by no means anybody’s savior.  The morbid truth is that people in this situation are trying to find enough … Read More

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Mortgage Policy Pressure Eases

Jim Flaherty has tightened mortgage rules twice in as many years and has been threatening more action.  Any further rule changes however, would be very controversial as debate continues over the state of the economy and Canadian debt (read mortgage) levels.  Recently released data suggests our economy is humming along at a sustainable pace. A Statistics Canada report out Thursday said the ratio of household credit debt, which includes mortgages, … Read More

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