5 Things to Know Before Buying a Rural Property

General Raymond Walia 13 Jan

5 Things to Know Before Buying a Rural Property

As cities continuing to grow bigger and busier, a rural home beyond those limits can seem like a dream come true! However, before you dive into country living, there are a few things you should know! Especially, how different it can be to qualify for a mortgage.

Buying a Rural Property

1. CHECK THE ZONING

When it comes to buying rural property, it is important to check how the property is zoned. This is vital! Zoning will determine how you are able to use the land, as well as the types of buildings that are allowed and where they can be located. Is the property zoned as “residential,” “agricultural” or perhaps “country residential”?

Zoning could affect the lenders available to you and what you qualify for, as well as what you can do with that property. Differences in lending and foreclosure processes, has caused some lenders to be hesitant with financing mortgages in agricultural/country residential zones.

2. PROPERTY BOUNDARIES

Once you have determined how a property is zoned, it is important to look at the land. Requisitioning a survey early in the process will help mark the exact boundaries of your property to avoid future disputes. This is also a good time to get an appraisal done on the land and its value.

3. CONSIDERING THE LAND AND YOUR MORTGAGE

What many borrowers don’t realize is that land has a drastic effect on mortgage qualification and what you can borrow. In fact, most lenders will mortgage: (1) house, (1) outbuilding and up to (10) acres of land. If you have a second building or extra land that is being purchased, you will need to consider additional funding on top of your typical 5% down payment.

4. WATER AND SEWAGE

When it comes to rural living, many people draw water from private wells and utilize septic tanks for sewage. To ensure everything is safe and in working order, it is a good idea to have an inspection done on the septic tank and water quality as a condition on the purchase offer. Due to the nature of these properties, be advised that inspections may cost more than it would in the city. However, it is important as lenders may request potability and flow tests!

5. COVERAGE MATTERS!

Coverage matters, especially when you are living away from the city. When it comes to rural properties, there are two types of insurance that you should consider:

  1. Home Insurance: When it comes to rural living, this can be more expensive than city homes due to the size and location of the land and distance from fire stations and hydrants.
  2. Title Insurance: This is vital for rural purchases and will protect you from unforeseen incidents with the deed or transfer. It will also alert you to any improper previous use of the property (such as dumping for waste).

If you are thinking about purchasing a home in a rural area, be sure to speak to a Dominion Lending Centres mortgage professional before you do anything. They can often recommend a realtor who specializes in rural properties and knows the area best. A DLC Mortgage professional can also help ensure you understand any differences in the mortgage process and qualifying that come with rural purchases.

Published by DLC Marketing Team

Getting a Mortgage When You’re New to Canada

General Raymond Walia 13 Jan

Getting a Mortgage When You’re New to Canada

Canada has seen a surge of international migration over the last few years. In 2019, we welcomed a total of 313,580 immigrants to the country! This is an increase of 40,000 individuals when compared to 2017 numbers.

New to Canada Mortgages

According to planned immigration levels, it is estimated that Canada will receive 341,000 permanent residents in 2020. In 2021, we are expecting 351,000 and 361,000 in 2022. Federal Immigration Minister, Marco Mendicino, stated that by 2022, “the year’s new permanent residents in Canada will account for one per cent of the population”.

With all these new faces wanting to plant roots in this great country, we wanted to touch base on how new immigrants can qualify to be homeowners!

PERMANENT RESIDENTS

If you are already a Permanent Resident or have received confirmation of Permanent Resident Status, you are eligible for a typical mortgage with a 5% down payment – assuming you have good credit.

NOT YET PERMANENT RESIDENTS OR HAVE LIMITED CREDIT

For Permanent Residents with limited credit, or individuals who have not yet qualified for Permanent Residency, there are still options! In fact, there are several ‘New to Canada’ mortgage programs. These are offered by CMHC, Sagen and Canada Guaranty Mortgage Insurance, and cater to this group of homebuyers.

NEW TO CANADA PROGRAMS

To qualify for New to Canada programs, you must have immigrated or relocated to Canada within the last 60 months and have had three months minimum full-time employment in Canada.

Individuals looking for 90% credit, a letter of reference from a recognized financial institution. Or, you will be required to provide six (6) months of bank statements from a primary account.

If you are seeking credit of 90.01% to 95%, you will need to produce an international credit report (Equifax or Transunion) demonstrating a strong credit profile. Or you will need to provide two alternative sources of credit, which demonstrate timely payments for the past 12 months. The alternative sources must include rental payment history and another alternative. This could be hydro/utilities, telephone, cable, cell phone or auto insurance.

ALTERNATIVE LENDERS

Another option for New to Canada residents, depending on your residency status and credit history, are alternative lenders such as B-Lenders and MIC’s (Mortgage Investment Operation). If you do not qualify for the New to Canada programs, or a standard mortgage, reach out to a DLC Mortgage Broker and they can help you navigate the alternative options!

new to canada? before submitting your mortgage application

Utilizing a mortgage professional will ensure you understand your options. They can also help determine the best program and mortgage choice for you. Before you talk with a mortgage professional, there are a few things you need to know when it comes to submitting an application – and getting approved – for your first mortgage in Canada:

SUPPORTING DOCUMENTS!

If you’re new to the country but have weak credit, supporting documents will be needed. These may include: proof of income, 12 months worth of rental payments or letter from landlord, documented savings, bank statements and/or letter of reference from recognized financial institution. These documents all paint the picture of whether you are a safe investment for a lender.

BUILD YOUR CREDIT RATING!

This is one of the most important aspects to getting a mortgage! Your credit rating determines your reliability as a borrower. In turn, this will determine your down payment rate. A great way to build your credit is by getting a credit card to use and pay off each month. Paying other bills such as utilities, cell phones and rent can also contribute to your credit score and reliability.

START SAVING! 

One of the most expensive aspects of home ownership is the down payment, which is an upfront cost but is vital to securing your future. As mentioned, the down payment can either be 5% or 10% depending on your status. However, if the purchase price exceeds $500,000, the minimum down payment will be 5% for the first $500,000 and 10% of any amount over $500,000 – regardless of your residency status.

CHOOSE A MORTGAGE PROVIDER! 

Once you are ready to get your mortgage, you need get in touch with a local mortgage professional. They can help you review your options and find the best mortgage product to suit your needs.

Buying a house is an exciting step for anyone, but especially for individuals who are new to the country. As daunting as it may seem, purchasing a home is completely possible with a little knowledge and preparation. If you are new to Canada and looking to get a mortgage, connect with a DLC Mortgage Professional today for expert advice and options that best suit you!

Published by DLC Marketing Team

Rate Holds Explained

General Raymond Walia 13 Jan

Rate Holds Explained

If you shopping for a home, or have worked with a mortgage professional in the past, you’ve most likely heard of rate holds before. If not, it is something that every potential homeowner should be aware of. This is especially true for the application process as it has some great benefits for active shoppers.

If you are not familiar with the term, a ‘rate hold’ refers to locking in a specific mortgage rate for a limited period of time. This is offered through most lenders, assuming you are a potential client looking to purchase a home and need a mortgage. They are not eligible for individuals that are refinancing their mortgage, or looking to transfer it to another lender.

If you qualify for a rate hold, there are a few things you should know – from restrictions to benefits! The first and most important is that rate holds are typically only offered for a period of 90-120 days. So, once you have created your mortgage application with a broker and submitted it at the interest rate that best suits you, that rate will be protected for 90-120 days while you shop.

A rate hold is not a commitment. It does not force you to work with that lender, or the mortgage broker who submitted it. It also does not affect your future chances of receiving approval down the road. Instead, it simply guarantees that rate for you, if you find a home you want to purchase and sign the mortgage agreement before the rate hold is up.

This can be truly beneficial in volatile markets or those with high competition. If you submit your application to a lender for a fixed rate of 2.49% on a five year term, but while you are searching for your perfect home that rate moves up to 2.99%, the rate hold will protect you and allow you to still sign at 2.49%. This can mean huge savings!

For instance, if you are looking for a standard $500,000 mortgage (25 years amortization, fixed-rate, 5-year term), your monthly payments would be $2,237.35 at 2.49% interest. This would jump up to $2,363.67 per month at 2.99 percent. This is a difference of $126.32 per month or $1,515.84 annually; which can really add up on a 25-year mortgage!

Another benefit is that, if the rates go down, it does not stop you from taking advantage of the lower offer. Instead, it protects you from rate increases after you’ve determined your budget and are in the process of purchasing a home.

It is also important to note that, once the rate hold expires after 90-120 days, there is nothing stopping you from submitting another rate hold. It will just be subject to the interest rates as they stand on the day of submission.

Reaching out to a mortgage professional can help you better understand the current rates and benefits of a rate hold. In addition, they can help you find the best option to suit your needs thanks to their connections with hundreds of lenders! Why wait? Contact a DLC Mortgage Professional today.

Published by DLC Marketing Team

Mortgage Broker vs Mortgage Specialist

General Raymond Walia 13 Jan

Mortgage Broker vs Mortgage Specialist

broker vs specialist: what’s the difference?

To most consumers outside of the mortgage space, the terms “mortgage broker” and “mortgage specialist” would seem interchangeable – but they aren’t. As a potential homeowner, the differences are more important than you might think.

First and foremost, it is important to understand the definition of these groups before looking at the major differences. Mortgage brokers belong to an independent firm. This allows them unique access to rates and offers from various lenders’ (banks, credit unions, private lenders and alternative options). Conversely, a mortgage specialist is employed by a single lender and works to sell that particular institution’s products.

BENEFITS OF WORKING WITH A MORTGAGE BROKER:
1. MORTGAGE BROKERS WORK FOR YOU!
Mortgage Broker vs Specialist

Unlike a mortgage specialist, who is paid by the bank to sell their products, a broker works for YOU! A broker works as a link between you and the lender; they filter through the offerings to find you the best rate and product. The best part? A mortgage broker’s services are FREE! Brokers are paid by the lender of choice once the ideal mortgage product has been found. This means you get to utilize their expert advice and lender access at no cost!

2. MORTGAGE BROKERS CARE FOR THEIR CLIENTS

Similarly to the above, Mortgage Brokers care for their clients. Not only because they work for YOU but also because most brokers are self-employed and rely on referrals. As a majority of their business is done through word-of-mouth, this results in the best experience for clients. Every DLC Mortgage Broker is motivated to help you achieve your dream of home ownership!

3. MORTGAGE BROKERS ARE LICENSED PROFESSIONALS!

It might surprise you to know that mortgage and bank specialists are not required to have any formal training. While some lenders do provide in-house training, this varies from the provincially regulated course that mortgage brokers are required to pass. Mortgage brokers also continue to maintain their education through license renewals and educational courses. As a result, a mortgage broker provides expert advice you can trust!

4. MORTGAGE BROKERS HAVE GREATER ACCESS TO RATES

A mortgage broker is employed by an independent firm and has access to 90+ lenders, while a mortgage specialist can only access their particular lenders’ products. This can mean a big difference in rates and mortgage terms for homeowners! If you are looking at getting a mortgage with your bank (say Bank X), then your mortgage specialist can tell you exactly what Bank X offers. But, by seeking the advice of a mortgage broker, they can tell you what Bank X offers… as well as your options with Bank Y, Bank Z, Bank A, etc. When you are looking for the best mortgage product to fit your unique needs, more options to choose from just makes sense!

5. MORTGAGE BROKERS FOCUS ON MORTGAGES

When it comes to mortgage brokers, all they do is mortgages; they live and breath home ownership! Mortgage specialists and bank staff are often trained with a focus on cross-selling. While you may have booked an appointment to discuss a mortgage, many times they will focus on other bank products. This might include offering credit cards, insurance, RRSP, lines of credit, etc. This can sometimes be helpful, but many potential homeowners may find it overwhelming or pushy; especially when they are specifically looking for a single product – a mortgage.

6. MORTGAGE BROKERS OFFER FLEXIBLE HOURS

Most banks don’t offer great business hours, which can make it hard to book an appointment with a specialist. As many mortgage brokers are self-employed, they are motivated to assist clients. This means they are often available for appointments outside of business hours such as evenings or weekends. This can be especially comforting to individuals who are new to the mortgage process and may have questions or concerns that they would prefer to have answered right away.

Published by DLC Marketing Team

It’s All About The Property

General Raymond Walia 13 Jan

It’s All About The Property

When your mortgage application goes through the approval process, they are not only looking at you but also the property in question. In fact, sometimes when an application is denied it has nothing to do with you, and everything to do with the property.

To improve your chances of success when it comes to financing, there are three main things to consider:

  1. The type of property
  2. The location of the property
  3. The usage of the property

Let’s take a look at some of the specifics for each of these considerations.

type of property

There are various types of properties when it comes to home ownership – detached houses, semi-detached, condos, townhouse, duplex, carriage or heritage home. Depending on the type of property you have chosen, there may be specific considerations.

CONDOMINIUMS

When it comes to condo properties, the lender (and potentially the insurer) will consider the age of the building. In addition, they will look at maintenance history (or lack thereof), as well as the location for marketability. Some lenders may have stipulations that limit themselves to buildings with a certain number of units, or past a certain age.

If the condo you wish to buy is lacking a depreciation report, has a low contingency fund or large special levies pending, these will be red flags for the lender. Any of these situations will require a more thorough review. These items should also serve as strong considerations for you as it indicates the management (or lack of) for that condo building.

ADDITIONAL UNITS

If you are looking at a property with additional units, it is important to consider that buildings with over four units, are considered a ‘commercial’ property and would be evaluated on that basis.

HERITAGE HOMES

Whether registered or designated, heritage homes require a more detailed review and often come with special considerations for financing.

LEASEHOLD OR CO-OP PROPERTIES

These properties also have specific requirements, particularly when it comes to the maximum loan-to-value which means they will require a larger down payment. These types of properties also typically call for additional documentation, and may have varying interest rates.

If you shift from a standard condo to a lease-hold property, your down payment amount will likely change. If you want to move to a small rural town or a small island, there will be fewer options. In addition, you may have to pay a higher rate as well as provide more documentation on the property.

All About The Property

location considerations

You’ve heard it before – location, location, location! Location matters just as much to the potential homeowner as it does the lender. Some things to keep in mind when it comes to location include:

POTENTIAL RESALE VALUE

If the location limits the potential resale value for the building, lenders may not provide financial approval on that property. This is due to the increased risk if the borrower defaults. In that case, the lender may not be able to foreclose the property and get enough funds back due to the low resale. That said, some lenders may allow these properties but they might reduce the loan amount if the building is located outside of a major market area, or they may add a premium to the interest rate.

RURAL CONSIDERATIONS

For properties with water access only, or with no access to municipal utilities (heat, water, electricity, sewage), there will be additional requirements to assess lender risk. These requirements might include: Insurance coverage, water testing, septic tank inspection, seasonal access and condition of the property.

TRANSFER TO ANOTHER PROVINCE

It is also important to note that if you purchase a home in one Province and are transferred or move to a different province, some lenders won’t be able to port the mortgage due to being provincially based.

usage considerations

The use of the property can include things such as personal, investment, recreational, agricultural and also consider previous activities. A few things to keep in mind are:

CONDOMINIUMS

If you are looking at purchasing a condo on a property that has either a commercial component in the building (such as shops on the first floor), or allowable space in the unit for businesses (live/work designation), you may have limited lender options. In some cases, lenders will avoid these types of properties at all costs, while others may require approval from the insurer (i.e. CMHC).

RENOVATION REQUIRED

If the property requires renovations, the extent of the upgrades, as well as the property value will be taken into consideration.

PREVIOUS GROW-OPS

Homes that previously existed as grow-ops, have special lending options. These typically come with higher interest rates and costs due to decreased value.

RENTAL SUITES

For owner-occupied homes that contain rental suites, it is important to consider potential rental income. If the house is purchased for investment, rental income is automatically considered. This can result in a different interest rate than simply an owner-occupied dwelling. In these cases, the rental income can also increase the resale value of the property. However, an appraisal of the property must be conducted and reviewed to ensure the condition. This will also uncover whether any renovations were completed to add value.

SECOND PROPERTIES

Purchasing a second home for recreational use will require a review to determine if it is seasonal or year-round access.

Before you begin your home search, it is best to discuss your future plans with a Dominion Lending Centres Mortgage Professional. This will ensure you receive accurate information to understand the specific requirements your potential property might require. Seeking expert advice early on will also give you ample time to find the right fit! This will also ensure you can submit a full financing review before subject removal on a purchase.

Published by DLC Marketing Team

Ultimate Checklist for Selling Your Home

General Raymond Walia 13 Jan

Ultimate Checklist for Selling Your Home

Selling your home can be an extremely stressful experience. Between thinking about moving logistics and financials, it’s easy to miss the small details in between the process.

With that in mind, we’ve built this checklist for selling your home to help you keep track of the things that will get a potential buyer interested. It turns out, it’s not as simple as just fluffing pillows or doing a light dusting. “Put your buyer’s hat on and walk through your home like it is the first time,” Marilou Young, an Accredited Staging Professional and an Associate Broker with Virtual Properties Realty in the metropolitan Atlanta area, told Forbes.

Below is the ultimate checklist for selling your home.

GET FAMILIAR WITH THE PAPERWORK

For home sellers interested in the history of the house, make sure you’ve got all the information handy; this can include paperwork on renovations, property tax receipts, deeds and transferable warranties.

GETTING THE PRICE RIGHT

According to HGTV, it can be helpful to do some market research on what homes in your area are selling for- then shave 15 to 20 percent off that. This way, you attract multiple buyers who can end up outbidding each other and bringing up the price. While that can seem like a risky move, it could work in the competitive markets of big Canadian cities.

DEPERSONALIZE AND DECLUTTER

You want potential buyers to see themselves in the space, which is hard to do if you have family photos on the wall or personal items around. This would be a good time to start putting items in storage or try to keep your personal items out of sight. At the same time, you’re also ensuring that you’re keeping your house tidy—a must if you want to make your home sellable. Check around the house for dirt, stains or small cracks you might be able to fix. And if you have pets, make sure their litter boxes and play areas are also clean and odour-free.

FIND A QUALIFIED REALTOR

Realtors can be helpful to take some of the processes off your plate, including marketing your home and arranging open houses. If you do go this route, none of this list will matter if you decide to work with a realtor that doesn’t know the market inside out. You can search their name on the Real Estate Institute of Canada to ensure that they’re qualified and meet with them to see if you mesh and understand how they price your unit. At Proptalk, we also have this handy guide for more details.

DON’T SKIP THE HOME INSPECTION

While presenting an unconditional offer may win you the home of your dreams, it can also end up costing you more than you expected. If you’re mortgaged to the max, you can’t afford surprises like repairs or replacements that you haven’t already budgeted for. Consider a Home Protection Plan that includes an 18-month warranty and up to $20,000 in warranty coverage for major household features such as foundation, roof, heating and cooling.

Published by FCT