24 Oct

Bank of Mom and Dad


Posted by: Greg Domville

Helping Children with A Down Payment

Although home prices in Toronto and Vancouver seem to have stabilized recently, they are still at historical levels.

The average home price in these two major Canadian cities are still well over $1 Million. Unsurprisingly, first-time homebuyers are finding it increasingly difficult to get onto the “property ladder”. It is now harder than ever for first-time homebuyers to own a home; so what are they to do? Studies have shown that more and more millennials are turning to the bank of mom and dad for help with their down payments.

According to the latest statistics from Mortgage Professionals Canada, down payment gifts from parents have increased significantly in the last 16 years, going from 7% in 2000 to 15% for homes purchased between 2014-2016. The average gift amount has skyrocketed as well. Industry experts have seen many down payments in the six-figure range – $100,000 to $200,000. The trend is expected to continue, as 2017 is predicted to be “the most difficult year for a first-time homebuyer in the last [decade]”, according to James Laird, co-founder of RateHub, a mortgage rate comparison website.

How can you help your children climb the property ladder?
With soaring property prices, you may be asking about your options to help your children break into the housing market. One way is by getting a reverse mortgage on your home. The CHIP Reverse Mortgage from HomEquity Bank has seen a growing number of senior Canadians over the years access their home equity in order to give a financial gift to their family members to help them with big purchases such as a down payment for a house. “We definitely see a growing trend of this at HomEquity Bank. We get a large number of clients who would take out $100,000-$200,000 in a reverse mortgage, they have the benefit of not having to make payments, and they give that lump sum of money to their kids to help them get started in the real estate market.” says Steve Ranson, President and CEO, HomEquity Bank.

How does it work?
A reverse mortgage is a loan secured against the value of your home. It allows you to unlock up to 55% of the value of your home without having to sell or move. The money you receive is tax-free and you are not required to make any regular mortgage payments until you move, sell or pass away.

Why should you give an early inheritance as a down payment now?
Life Expectancy – According to Statistics Canada, for a 65-year old couple there is a one-in-two chance that one of them will reach the age of 92. Do your children really need an inheritance when they are in their mid-to-late 60’s?
Create memories now – After you are gone, you will have missed out on seeing your children build a family in their new home. Giving a down payment now will enable you to create lasting memories while your health allows you to.

Find out more about this incredible opportunity to use a reverse mortgage to give the gift of a down payment to your loved ones today. If you’re 55 years or older and want to learn more about your financial options, including a reverse mortgage, talk to your Dominion Lending Centre mortgage specialist today.

Joe Heale

Joe Heale

Director, Referred Marketing and Product Development-HomEquity Bank

19 Oct



Posted by: Greg Domville

Credit rating and debt servicing a mortgage

It is great feeling buying your first home, but for most of us the first step is preparing to get a mortgage.
Your credit rating and cash flow are based on a minimum of a two-year history.
As mortgage rules continue to change, the credit rating is becoming even more important as a higher credit rating could mean a lower interest rate and save you thousands of dollars over the life of your mortgage.
Your credit is made up of many things that the lenders will look at.

Character, it is determined by:
• Paying your bills on time.
• No Delinquent accounts
• Available credit – Are you using all or most of your available credit? That is not a good thing. You are better off to increase your credit limit than to use more than 70% of your limit each month. If you need to increase your score faster use less than 30% of your credit limit, and if you need to use more, pay your credit cards off early so you do not go above 30% of your credit limit.
• Your total out standing debt is considered.

Capacity: this is your ability to pay back the loan. Capacity also covers cash flow vs debt. Your employment history. How long have you been with your current employer, are you self employed, for how long? Capacity is not what you think you can afford, it is what the lender thinks you can afford based of the debt service ratio.

Capital: how much have you saved? How much do you have for a down payment and where does it come from?

Collateral: Lenders consider the value of the property and other assets as they want to see a positive net worth. If you have a negative net worth you may not be able to get a mortgage.

Not having one of these areas in order could prevent you from getting a mortgage.
Contact you Dominion Lending Centres mortgage specialist for a free review of where you stand.

Kevin Bay

Kevin Bay

Dominion Lending Centres – Accredited Mortgage Professional
Kevin is part of DLC Producers West Financial based in Langley, BC.

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19 Oct

BFS and Mortgages


Posted by: Greg Domville

Self-Employed? Here’s What You Need to Know About Mortgages

Why, why, why it is so challenging for entrepreneurs to obtain a mortgage in Canada?
If you’re among the 2.7 million Canadians who are self-employed, regrettably your income is not as easy to document as someone who’s traditionally employed.

Since 2008, mortgage regulations in Canada have made it more challenging for those who work for themselves to qualify for a mortgage due to tighter restrictions on “stated income” loans. In 2012, Canada’s Office of the Superintendent of Financial Institutions (OSFI) introduced Guideline B-20, which requires federally regulated banks to evaluate applications for residential mortgages and home equity lines of credit with more scrutiny. These rulings made it more challenging for the self-employed to prove income.

Here’s what Self-Employed home buyers need to know:

1. Most self-employed are motivated to decrease their earnings to avoid paying tax through legitimate expenses and personal deductions.
-Therefore, much of one’s self-employed income does not show up on paper.

2. I’m sorry… but you can’t have your cake and eat it too! If you choose to write off as much of your income as legally possible to avoid paying taxes, claiming low take-home pay, you will end up paying a higher interest rate on your mortgage.
– i.e. home buyer is a tradesperson, they earn $70,000/year and legitimately write off their business expenses to $40,000/year on Line 150 of their tax return. Lenders use income from Line 150… not gross income to determine affordability.
– Some lenders allow you to “gross up” your declared taxable income (as opposed to stated income) by adding up to 15%.
– i.e. if your declared income on your Notice of Assessment (NOA) is $40,000, the lender could add 15% for a total of $46,000. In most cases this doesn’t really help the business owner, as their income is still too low to qualify for the mortgage they want.

3. The new mortgage rules mean the assessment of a self-employed applicant’s income has become far more rigorous. Lenders now analyze the average income for the industry a self-employed candidate works in, and study the person’s employment history and earnings in the field. Their stated income should be reasonable, based on:
– industry sector
– type of business
– length of time the operation has been in business

4. Work with professionals. You need to hire a qualified book keeper and a Chartered Professional Accountant (CPA). Their job is to know the ins and outs of taxes so that you can put your focus on growing your business.
– You need to keep all your financial affairs up to date. That means getting the accountant prepared financials, filing your annual tax returns and most importantly paying your taxes. Government always gets first dibs on any money. Lenders won’t be interested in you haven’t paid your taxes.
– I recommend having a discussion with your CPA. Let them know that you want to buy a home. Come up with a budget of what income you need to be able to prove on your tax returns.

Suggestion: you could choose to pay more personal income tax this year, to push your line 150 income up and help you qualify for any mortgage transactions you hope to make. Please note: most lenders will want to see 2 years history, to prove consistency in earnings.

5. For self-employed borrowers, being able to document income for the past 2-3 years gives you more lending options. Some of the documents your lender may request include:
– Credit bureau (within 30 days of purchase)
– Personal tax Notice of Assessment (NOA) for the previous two to three years.
– Proof that you have paid HST and/or GST in full.
– Financial statements for your business prepared by a Chartered Professional Accountant (CPA).
– Contracts showing your expected revenue for the coming years (if applicable).
– Copies of your Article of Incorporation (if applicable).
– Proof that you are a principal owner in the business.
– Business or GST license or Article of Incorporation

6. If you have less than 20% down payment, Genworth is the only option of the 3 mortgage default insurers that still has a stated income program.

Self-employed home buyers, who can document proof of income, can generally access the same mortgage products and rates as traditional borrowers.

Tips for self-employed applying for a mortgage to ensure the process goes smoothly:

1. Get your finances in order. Pay down your debt!!
– Every $400/month in loan payments lowers your mortgage eligibility by $100,000
– Every $12,000 in credit card debt lowers your mortgage eligibility by $100,000
– Do you see a theme here? Pay down your debt! Resist buying/leasing a new vehicle or taking on any additional debt prior to buying your home

2. 3 “Rules of Lending” what Banks look at when you apply for a Mortgage in Canada
– Debt-service ratios are a major factor in a loan-approval assessment based on your provable income (Line 150 – what you paid taxes on)
– Maintain good credit. Solving the Puzzle – 5 factors used in determining your Credit Score
– Consider a larger down-payment.
– If you run into difficulty qualifying on your own, consider having someone co-sign for your mortgage. Would a Co-Signer Enable You to Qualify for a Mortgage?

3. Have two to three years’ worth of your self-employed supporting documentation available so your mortgage broker can work with you to set up your Mortgage Preapproval.

4. Be consistent and show stability. Lenders prefer self-employed borrowers who work in a business that’s established and have expertise in that field.

What happens if the banks still don’t want you for a conventional mortgage?

Many high net worth business owners with low stated incomes turn to private mortgage lenders for financing, since they can’t prove their income.
It is difficult to navigate which lenders specialize in self-employed mortgages. Using a mortgage broker has obvious advantages, since mortgage brokers have access to multiple lenders and have a broad knowledge of the mortgage market.

If you have any questions, contact a Dominion Lending Centres mortgage specialist for help.

Kelly Hudson

Kelly Hudson

Dominion Lending Centres – Accredited Mortgage Professional
Kelly is part of DLC Canadian Mortgage Experts based in Richmond, BC.

4 Oct

Todays Blog


Posted by: Greg Domville

This story is from the Fall edition of Our House Magazine

Moving on up from condo to house, these young homeowners prove age is just a number

For Jordan Rothwell and Karissa Roed, the timing to find their forever home couldn’t be more perfect. The couple, who recently moved to Mission, B.C., are expecting their second child and are ready for the family to grow.

It’s quite the responsibility for Jordan and Karissa, aged 23 and 24, respectively. But it’s a challenge the young couple has been preparing for since they first resolved to get into the housing market a couple of years back. And the pair see their story as motivation for what other young people can achieve if they set their minds to it.

“If younger people would just set goals for themselves, especially when it comes to buying property, it’s such a blessing when you do it. You’re instantly further ahead as an adult when you do it,” Jordan says.

Their property story began when Jordan’s grandfather offered to match the couple’s savings for a down payment on a condominium. So Jordan and Karissa went about saving money wherever they could. That meant a lot of sacrifice—especially missing out on trips and events they might have attended.

“It basically became an addiction for a while, just saving up every penny to try and get to the point where we could go in and buy a condo,” Jordan notes.

It paid off. By 2014, they saved up $5,000 and, with matching funds, moved into a two-bedroom condo in Port Coquitlam, B.C.

Fast forward a couple of years, and Jordan and Karissa were looking to upsize. By then, they had some equity, in part because they bought their condo at the right time, taking advantage of the hot Metro Vancouver real estate market, and were ready to move into their forever home.

Once again they looked to family, partnering with Karissa’s mother and stepfather to purchase a 3,000-square-foot, six-bedroom house in Mission for $605,000. Jordan, Karissa and their young family will live upstairs, while her parents will take the ground floor.

The couple couldn’t be happier in their new home. “It’s definitely nice moving from a condo to a house,” Karissa says, adding they have nearly double the square footage as their old condo, along with a backyard for her children to play.

Dominion Lending Centres mortgage specialist Pauline Tonkin says she couldn’t be more impressed by the couple’s smart financial habits. Tonkin helped them secure a mortgage for their first condo and wasn’t surprised to see them make a jump to a house.

“I wasn’t concerned for them because they really do the right things. They really get it,” Tonkin says. “Age is not indicative of how people handle finances.”

She describes the couple, especially Karissa, as very diligent at considering all the costs involved in the purchase. The pair wanted all the details, something Tonkin says isn’t often the case with young buyers.

Besides securing the proper financing, Tonkin helped Jordan and Karissa through the process, giving them a “road map” to where they wanted to be. It was help the couple appreciated. “When you’re buying a condo or a house, it’s such a blur,” Karissa says, adding that their mortgage broker was someone they could trust and call at all hours if they needed to.

Jaclyn LaRose has enjoyed similar success as a homeowner. This spring, she sold her first condo to upsize to a bigger one in Surrey, B.C., close to her work as a schoolteacher.

LaRose was 26 when she and her sister decided to buy their first place with a little help from their parents. Her parents didn’t like seeing them throw away money on rent, she explains, so they helped out with a five per cent down payment for an apartment in nearby Coquitlam, B.C.

“I definitely considered at the time that I was young because I hadn’t been thinking about it for a few more years at least,” she says.

Not having even hit the age of 30, Larose is now on her second home. She said she has friends who believe it’s impossible to get into the market, especially in B.C.’s Lower Mainland. But she also points out those friends are looking in prime spots where the prices are highest. LaRose chose to look a little further afield to get into the market. She’s gone from a 500-square-foot, one-bedroom apartment to a two-bedroom with more than 800 square feet.

While Larose points out there is a sacrifice related to home ownership, she now feels lucky to be in her position. “It’s just about getting in when you can,” she said. There are places out there where you can get in.” And now that she has home ownership all sewed up, she’s able to focus on her career and personal goals.

“For the short term I feel settled,” LaRose says.

Back in Mission, Karissa and Jordan have settled into their new home. They are also way ahead of their peers and looking forward to the future. A lot of people his age look at owning a home as something they’re not supposed to do, or able to do at their age, Jordan says. But he doesn’t see it that way at all: “If you just stick to your guns and build a goal of what you want to accomplish… you’ll get there.”

3 Oct

New Rules Hurt


Posted by: Greg Domville

This letter will also appear as a full page ad in the Oct. 3 Globe and Mail.

Dear Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and Finance Minster Bill Morneau;

One year ago, your government introduced new mortgage rules that put the dream of home ownership out of reach for many Canadians. Although well intended, the changes have reduced the average Canadian family’s purchasing power by upwards of 20 per cent, and have had the unintended consequence of making housing less affordable for Canadians. Instead, Canadians who were once able to purchase or re-finance their home are being shut out of the market or forced to pay more interest to traditional lenders as competition in our sector declines.
The new stress test that requires all new mortgages to qualify at the greater of either the Bank of Canada benchmark rate or the contract rate offered, means that Canadians who previously could reasonably afford a mortgage payment at the standard rates no longer qualify. Additionally, changes to portfolio insurance requirements have resulted in some monoline lenders being unable to insure mortgages, thus reducing overall competition, which hurts consumers, regardless of what solution they use for their homes.
Canadians who are now unable to fulfill their dream of owning a home have been telling us their stories and we’ve been listening. We’ve documented their stories and we think it’s important for you to see them. We’ve posted these stories at www.NewRulesHurt.ca and are sending every Member of Parliament a printed copy so they can read firsthand how the new mortgage rules have impacted the lives of hard working individuals and families in their constituencies. Please take the time to read these stories and seriously consider changing mortgage rules to make them fair and equitable for all Canadians trying to purchase, or keep their home.

Gary Mauris
President and CEO
Dominion Lending Centres

Gary Mauris

Gary Mauris

Dominion Lending Centres – President and CEO
Gary is the founder of Dominion Lending Centres headquartered in Port Coquitlam, BC.