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Mortgage brokers can help you get financing for every stage of your life

 

Buying a home can feel like a journey. Whether it’s your first place or 10th, there are so many steps to go through and things you need to know. While you could try to secure financing on your own, at some point you’re going to need the help of a professional. And that’s where a Dominion Lending Centres mortgage broker can help. They are your tightest companion on the road to home ownership.

The trend towards using mortgage brokers/agents to arrange mortgage financing is continually increasing. Why has this shift occurred? Well, very simply put, TOP-NOTCH SERVICE and UNBIASED ADVICE!

The banks are cutting back on staff and are centralizing operations to save money. This doesn’t bode well for the consumer. Unlike individual banking representatives, who often move from one branch to another hoping to advance in the corporations, your mortgage advisors work to form lifelong relationships with their clients.

 

 

Today, many banks are buying out smaller trust companies to expand their portfolios. Most major banks lend out money through these trust arms at reduced rates. If you just stick with your bank, you lose access to hundreds of other financing arms – including offerings from multiple banks, credit unions and trust companies that may have better rates, products and terms to offer you.

Mortgage brokers get paid by the lenders so their service is offered to you without charge. What else can you ask for? Better rates, personalized service, flexibility and products at no cost to you. Some will say that the fee is built into the payment, but this is not so.

It costs the banks approximately 40 per cent less to generate a mortgage through a broker than a branch, as there is no overhead to pay if the bank doesn’t get a client’s business. Instead, the mortgage broker bears the entire cost of day-to-day business activity.

 

6 Things all Co-signors should consider

Co-signing on a loan may seem like an easy way to help a loved one (child, family member, friend, etc.) live out their dream of owning a home. In today’s market conditions, a co-signor can offer a solution to overcome the high market prices and stress testing measure. For example, if you have a damaged credit score, not enough income, or another reason that a lender will not approve the mortgage loan, a co-signor addition on the loan can satisfy the lenders needs and lessen the risk associated with the loan. However, as a co-signor there are considerations.

1. If you act as a co-signor or guarantor, you are entrusting your entire credit history to the borrowers. What this mean is that late payments on the loan will not only hurt them, but it will also impact you.

2. Understand your current situations—taxes, legal, and estate. Co-signing is a large obligation that could harm you financially if the primary borrowers cannot pay.

3. Try to understand, upfront, how many years the co-borrower agreement will be in place and know if you can make changes to things mid-term if the borrower becomes able to assume the original mortgage on their own.

4. Consider the implications this will have regarding your personal income taxes. You may have an

obligation to pay capital gains taxes and we would highly recommend talking to an accountant prior to signing off.

5. Co-signors should seek independent legal advice to ensure they fully understand their rights, obligations and the implications. A lawyer can lay it out clearly for you as well as help to point out any things you should take note of.

6. Carefully think about the character and stability of the people that you are being asked to co-sign for. Do you trust them? Are you aware of their financial situation to some degree? Are you willing to put yourself at risk potentially to take on this responsibility? Another consideration is to think about your finances down the road and determine how much flexibility will be needed for yourself and your family too! If you have plans of your own that will require a loan, refinancing your home, etc. being a co-signor can have an impact.

Co-signing for a loan is a large responsibility but when it is set-up correctly and all options are considered, it can be an excellent way to help a family member, child, or friend reach their dream of homeownership. If you are considering being a co-signor or wondering if you will require a co-signor on your mortgage, reach out to a mortgage professional. They are always happy to answer any questions and guide you through processes like this.

 

Bank of Canada Holds Overnight Rate Steady Amid Uncertainty

The Bank of Canada held the target overnight rate at steady at 1.75% for the seventh consecutive decision date but will monitor closely the impact of the US-China trade war on economic activity around the world and in Canada. The second-quarter growth--posted at 3.7%--exceeded the Bank's forecast in the July Monetary Policy Report (MPR), but the Bank expects the economy to slow from that pace in the second half of the year.

Q2 was boosted by stronger energy production and robust export growth, both recovering from a weak Q1 performance. But evidence suggests that export growth slowed in July and could weaken further as the global economy slows. Canada bears the brunt of Chinese trade restrictions on Canadian agricultural imports. Housing activity also boosted the expansion in the second quarter as resales and housing starts picked up. Falling longer-term interest rates have driven down mortgage rates. The Bank asserted that "this could add to already-high household debt levels, although mortgage underwriting rules should help to contain the buildup of vulnerabilities."

Wages picked up further last quarter, boosting labour income, yet consumption spending was unexpectedly soft. Canadian consumer confidence recorded its most significant monthly drop this year in August amid growing concerns about the global economic outlook. The setback reflects waning optimism about Canada’s economy and effectively reverses the pick-up in sentiment earlier this summer.

The deterioration in confidence coincides with the escalation of the U.S.-China trade war. Many Canadians increasingly worried they’ll soon feel a bigger impact. Consumers aren't the only ones feeling the uncertainty as business investment weakened sharply in the second quarter. Trade tensions have hit farmers and manufacturers hardest. The U.S. implemented additional tariffs on China September 1 and have slated more on December 15. These include duties on clothing and electronics, will pinch US consumers where it hurts, in the pocketbooks. These moves will sideswipe Canada.

Despite all of this gloom, the central bank held off from signalling explicitly any immediate need to cut interest rates. While growth has been stronger than expected, inflation has remained on target.

“In sum, Canada's economy is operating close to potential and inflation is on target. However, escalating trade conflicts and related uncertainty are taking a toll on the global and Canadian economies,” the central bank said in its statement. “In this context, the current degree of monetary policy stimulus remains appropriate.”

Market Interest Rates Are Tumbling

The Bank prefers to wait for more concrete evidence that the economy is in need of additional stimulus. Despite this, market interest rates have fallen to record lows in Canada and elsewhere and the yield curve is inverted. Government of Canada 5-year yields have slid from 1.85% to 1.15% this year, an incredible 38% decline. Ten-year returns are down from 1.92% to 1.13% (lower than the 5-year yield), and the 30-year bond yield has plunged from 2.13% to 1.40%.

Short-term interest rates are higher than longer-term yields. The overnight rate, controlled by the Bank of Canada, is 1.75%--well above all of these long-term yields. The 3-month bill rate is at 1.62%, almost 50 basis points higher than the 5-year yield.

The posted mortgage rate is the qualifying rate for mortgage borrowers. It has barely moved this year, down only 15 basis points to 5.19%. Its stickiness at elevated levels has prevented many borrowers from taking advantage of today's low contract mortgage rates.

Mortgage Rates Have Fallen Even More Than Bond Yields

According to Rate Spy, the best high-ratio 5-year fixed mortgage rate is at 2.25%, down 94 basis points from the 3.24% rate posted at the beginning of the year. Conventional high-ratio 5-year fixed mortgage rates are down 95 bps and refinance 5-year fixed rates have fallen 118 bps. Much of this phenomenon might be lenders playing catch-up as they were slow to cut fixed rates when interest rates began to fall at the end of last year.

   

Bond yield inversion: the case for calm

Anyone who has been watching knows that bond yields are falling and taking fixed rate mortgages with them.  The recent economic slowdown in both Canada and the U.S. has pushed down yields on five year government bonds on both sides of the border.  Those yields are used as the basis for setting interest rates on fixed mortgages.

An economic indicator known as the yield curve is has been getting a lot of attention lately.  The curve tracks the difference in the yields of short-term and long-term bonds.  Short-term can be as little as three months while long-term is 10 years or more.

Market watchers use the yield curve as a way to judge investor optimism about the future.  Long-term bonds traditionally offer better yields than short-term bonds.  The greater the difference between the short-end and the long-end of the curve, the greater the optimism about the future.

Occasionally though things get turned around and the yield curve “inverts”, with short-term bonds offering better yields than long-term.  Much is being made of this right now because it has happened, in both Canada and the United States, and it is widely viewed as bad news.

In the U.S., bond yield inversions have routinely been followed by a recession, in about a year.  But, like so much of what has happened over the past decade, this time is different.  Economists are nearly unanimous in downplaying the risk.  They point out that the inversion was not big enough and did not last long enough to trigger any alarms.  They also remind us that any possible recession will not happen overnight and is still a year away – plenty of time for action or a correction.

 

Why Use A Mortgage Broker?

A MORTGAGE BROKER IS YOUR ESSENTIAL PARTNER  IN THE MORTGAGE PROCESS
With their experience and expertise, a professional mortgage broker can help you select the right mortgage. They put the information in context, anticipate the variables and find the best loan for you based on your needs and goals, at the most competitive of rates. This is the kind of help you don’t want to be without, best of all their services are generally free of charge!

Mortgage brokers have negotiating power to give you choice Your professional mortgage broker has established relationships with lenders which elevates their negotiating power on your behalf. By working with an experienced broker, you gain access to competitive rates and an extensive range of products and services.

Mortgage brokers save you time With an experienced and knowledgeable broker, you won’t have to wade through complex information on your own.

Mortgage brokers handle  the details. A professional mortgage broker navigates through the obstacles and manages every transaction with the real estate agent, lender, appraiser, credit agency, and lawyers.

Mortgage brokers help you avoid unnecessary risk by helping identify applicable penalties, fees and charges with respect to various mortgage products so that you can make the most informed decision on your mortgage.

WORKING WITH YOUR BROKER Buying a home or refinancing your mortgage is an important decision. Your mortgage broker can offer their professional expertise to help you evaluate your needs and select the right mortgage for you. More than just rates, your mortgage broker knows about lending options, payment alternatives and the importance of service.

REMEMBER, A MORTGAGE BROKER WORKS FOR YOU NOT THE BANK!

If you are planning to buy a new home, looking to refinance or transfer your mortgage to improve rate, call us today for a free no-obligation consultation.

   

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