Tuesday, October 12, 2010

TD mortgage changes handcuff consumers in the future.

TD reently announced that they would be changing the way they put a charge on your title when you obtained a mortgage from them. They will now be making the mortgage a collateral mortgage. This will allow you to get a line of credit or increase your mortgage without having to have the paperwork done over again.
So, what's the downside? It will be much more difficult to get out of a TD mortgage if another better mortgage comes along. See the attached link for more details.


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Monday, September 20, 2010

Getting in for the long haul

Today's newspaper had a great article about a man who locked into a 10 year mortgage. This may seem like an unusual thing to do in this day and age. However, 12% of Canadians are opting to go long and are taking mortgage terms of over 5 years. Why are these people doing this? Well, wouldn't it be nice to know that you will have the exact same payments until 2020? 10 year rates are presently in the 5% range. However, the cost for that security can be steep."The question is, is the insurance policy worthwhile?” says TD’s chief economist, Craig Alexander.

Today’s 10-year fixeds are guaranteed to cost roughly $6,900 more than a 5-year fixed over the first five years.* That’s $6,900 for every $100,000 in mortgage. So if your mortgage is $300,000, you’re paying a whopping $20,700 over 60 months for the “peace of mind” of a 10-year fixed. You can lower these costs by making pre-payments over the lifetme of the mortgage. Let's face it. In 5 years from now you should be making considerably more money than you are now. Increasing your payments or making lump sum payments can help to offset the higher costs of having a 10 year term.

This is why it is important to sit down with your mortgage advisor and discuss your options. If you know that your children will be reaching university in 5 years, having a mortgage rate set 5 years earlier and with your increased income, helping out with tuition costs may be do-able. Take the time to talk to your advisor and you can make an informed decision as to whether this is right for you.

“For many people it just might be (worthwhile)," Alexander says.
Getting in for the long haul
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Friday, September 10, 2010

Transportation improvements will increase house values

When the Ring Road and the new LRT stations are completed, communities within an 800-metre radius of these transportation improvements can anticipate a 10%–20% increase in their property values. The largest effect will be felt in older and more established neighbourhoods.

“Our research shows that when a highway increases accessibility to the region by providing new access or shorter commute times, residential property values rise by 12%–15% over similar properties not affected by the new highway,” says Don Campbell, author of the best-selling Real Estate Investing in Canada. “People need to understand that commute and travel distances are now measured in minutes, not kilometres.”

The 2010 Calgary Transportation Effect report reviews the peer-reviewed academic research that has been conducted on the impact of light rail, highway expansion and road improvements in other parts of the world.

The Calgary Transportation Effect report is available free to the public upon request by emailing the Real Estate Investment Network at info@reincanada.com
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Tuesday, August 24, 2010

If you’re struggling with too much debt you’re not alone. It seems as if the whole nation has a borrowing hangover. For years, credit was easy and many people became overextended. But we now live in an era of austerity and it’s time to get our affairs in order.

The 5 strategies you may want to avoid:

The first advice of experts in the field is to be sure you don't make your situation worse by making common mistakes. In particular try to avoid:

Paying only the minimum payment on your debt as this will results in the amount you owe actually growing and your problems will only become worse.
Relying on friends and family as this can damage relationships with the most important people in your life.
Unscrupulous credit counselors that demand cash upfront or high fees for help they promise, but don't deliver.
Using new high-interest loan to pay off lower interest rate loans – while it may be easier to just have one payment but it will actually increase the amount you have to pay back.
Declaring bankruptcy – this can have permanent and severe consequences on your financial future, avoid if you can, especially when debt settlement may work for you...
Debt Settlement

For many people, working with a Debt Settlement company can actually be a great solution. You’ve probably heard a lot of advertising for these services recently, but what exactly do they do.

Debt settlement is the process of negotiating with creditors to get them to forgive a big portion of your debt. Why would a credit card company do this? Well, it’s not out of the generosity of their heart. They have made the financial calculations and determined they are better off knowing for certain that they’ll get paid something rather than not knowing at all if they will get paid anything.

Settlement companies work with individual consumers to determine a reasonable monthly amount that they can afford to pay against their debt load. The individual makes the affordable payment every month into a special-purpose account, and as these funds accumulate, the settlement company reaches out to creditors to negotiate a full and final actual settlement amount that they will take.

Typically, these companies have excellent relationships with creditors and are negotiating on behalf of thousands of people every day. The amount of savings they can obtain for consumers can be significant.

While each situation is different, it’s not uncommon for debt settlement companies to negotiate reductions of as much as 50% of the outstanding amount and help get their customer debt free in just a few years.

There are a many debt-settlement agencies, so the next question is how to find a legitimate and trustworthy company to work with? One great way to start is by calling your mortgage broker. . They offer a free, no-obligation consultation to evaluate your options. If a debt consolidation using equity from your hom ewill work they can help you . If not, they usually can refer you to a lender with a low interest consolidation loan can be made.
To learn how much of your debt can be reduced, and how quickly you can be debt free, visit my website at http://mortgagealliance.ca/davidcooke
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The Mortgage Girl Newsletter

Not that there are a lot of people buying houses these days, but the answer to the age-old question of whether to go long or short on your mortgage is unclear yet again.

The Bank of Canada’s second quarter-of-a-point rate increase in the past two months is likely not going to do much to boost a real estate market that saw sales drop almost 20% across the country in June from a year ago.

The popular variable-rate product tied to prime that helped people buy a lot more house with more debt is going up too. The prime rate at the major banks, which tracks the Bank of Canada’s rate, is now at 2.75%.

But a funny thing happened as the Bank of Canada was raising rates. With much of the credit crisis seemingly behind us, the discounts on short-term borrowing are increasing as the cost of funds for banks also fall. Instead of borrowing at 100 basis points above prime, it’s now 70 basis points off prime.

At 2.05%, a variable-rate product today may look as attractive as ever, but the five-year fixed-rate closed mortgage is falling fast. It can be had for a shade under 4%, says Rob McLister, editor of Canadian Mortgage Trends.

“Bond yields have fallen out of bed and nobody expected that,” said Mr. McLister, adding the spread between the five-year Government of Canada bonds and five-year mortgages is still large enough that the banks may reduce long-term rates even more. However, at about 4%, the five-year closed fixed-rate mortgage isn’t far off its record low.

Bank of Montreal senior economist Sal Guatieri does agree that variable-rate products have worked out better than fixed-rate mortgages throughout history, but says the tide may be turning.

“Given that the central bank has already raised rates a couple of times now and will likely continue to raise rates, it probably is a correct assumption to make,” says Mr. Guatieri, noting the variable product usually works in a declining interest-rate environment. “The next five years might not quite follow the past. You could probably argue it’s wiser to lock in now. It’s a close call.”

Bank of Montreal is forecasting another 25 basis point move in September and says rates will climb another 1.5 percentage points by the end of 2011. If Mr. Guatieri and others are right, by 2012, the variable-rate products out today would clock in at just above 3.75%, if the discounting remains the same.

“If you are still in that variable-rate product then, you’d have to sweat out the next three years because there would still be possibly more increases,” says Mr. Guatieri, who adds his bank sees the overnight rate eventually going to 4% in the following three years. Based on the present gap between the Bank of Canada and prime, that would place the variable-rate product you get today at 6% by about 2015.

Fears of such a scenario are driving people into fixed-rate products again. That, plus new mortgage rules that make it easier to qualify for a mortgage if you go for a fixed-rate product with a term of five years or longer.

“The Bank of Canada is doing what it said: It’s going ahead with rate increases. If I was counselling someone, the prediction is rates are going up, so now is a good time to consider locking in for a term,” says Don Lawby, president of Century 21 Canada.

It makes sense, but with variable rate still at about 2%, it’s easy to see why people wouldn’t want to lock in. Even Mr. Guatieri says if you are secure in your financial situation and don’t need to fix your mortgage payments, “you might just want to let it ride.”

There just never seems to be a clear answer on whether to lock in or stay variable.
My take on this is that even at 3.75%, a variable rate is the way to go. Fixed rates are down in that neighbourhood right now but as I can get you in at 2.75% now, you can pay off huge amounts of principal right now by upping your monthly payments by a couple of hundred dollars. As the interest rate goes up you will be used to paying $200 a month more so it will not feel like an increase until you get up over that $200 threshold.
With fixed rates at historic lows, you can't lose which ever way you go. It is best to talk to a mortgage professional before you make an important decision like this. Call me at 403-836-1201 or apply online. Let's make this decision together.

Friday, August 13, 2010

Finally some good new from Europe

Today news came out that the Euro zone had experienced its best GDP gains in 3 years. Why is this good news to Canadians? Interest rates tend to go up when there is turmoil in the world's financial markets. Greece's near default of it's national debt and the subsequent bail out put many countries finances under the microscope. Spain and Italy also had dangerous amounts of debt. Just last week critics were saying that we might have a double dip recession due to the weak recovery in the US and the fact that the Chinese economy seemed to be slowing down.
Today's reports are a lot more optomistic. Will oil prices go up? Will the TSX and the Dow Jones go up? It's hard to say but it may mean lower interest rates will stick around a bit longer. http://bit.ly/cXVcmC
Shorten & Share | bit.ly | a simple URL shortener

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Monday, August 9, 2010

CALGARY REAL ESTATE BOARD | Protect Yourself Against Mortgage Fraud

Protect Yourself against mortgage fraud. If you buy a house as a staw buyer and the mortgage goes into default, the bank will come after you. The $5000 that fraudsters offer you for using your good credit will not be worth the months of legal battles and possible jail time you face.

The Calgary Real Estate Board issued the attached news release on how to avoid mortgage fraud. Take a minute to read this over.

CALGARY REAL ESTATE BOARD | Protect Yourself Against Mortgage Fraud

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Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Is it time to renew your mortgage?

Today, an article in the Vancouver Sun entitled "
With low interest rates, is it time to reconsider your mortgage?" suggested that people renew their mortgages now before fixed and variable rates go up as expected over the next year. Although there is a penalty for early renewal , often 3 months interest, it may be worthwhile. The article quotes a local Invis mortgage broker who discourages people from going with a variable rate mortgage. He says that the terms change. This is not true. If you negotiate a variable rate mortgage at Prime rate minus .60 you get this rate for the whole 5 year term. I'm not sure why he made this remark.
Fixed rates are still recommended for first time home buyers but an experienced home buyer can easily manage variable rates going up and down. How far up can they go? Economists expect the rates to go up by 2% between now and 2011 and then plateau. They have already gone up by .5% and stand at 2.75%. With the discounted rate, mortgage holders are paying 2.15% Even if they go up by another 1.50% these people will only be paying 3.65% !
Some of you may be worried about monthly payments going up. There's a simple strategy to compensate for this. Pay more now. If your expected payment is $800 bi-weekly, make it $1000. You will pay down your mortgage at a much faster rate and when the rates go up over the next year you will already have paid down the principal and be in a much more secure position. If you are already making mortgage payments based on 5% or more, you will be able to enjoy a discounted rate and pay off your mortgage faster.
It's a win -win situation. If you need more details or want to discuss your particular situation, call me at 403-836-1201 or email me at dcooke at mortgagealliance dot com. Sorry, I have to put my email address this way to avoid spammers.

Read more: http://www.vancouversun.com/entertainment/With+interest+rates+time+reconsider+your+mortgage/3325562/story.html#ixzz0uu7YDMQR
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Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Mortgage growth slows to 2003 levels

Benajmin Tal, CIBC's chief economist just announced that mortgages are growing at the slowest rate since 2003.
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Saturday, May 8, 2010

Dollar Smart Renos

If you are thinking about doing some renovations, here's a great article on what to do and what to avoid.

A lot of Savings can cost you money later on.

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Toronto-Dominion, Bank of Montreal Cut Mortgage Rate (Update2) - BusinessWeek

With the financial crisis in Greece speading to Portugal and Spain, the stock markets around the world dropped on Thursday. Bond rates followed suit making fixed rate mortgage money less expensive. TD and BMO both cut their rates by .15% lowering them to where they were in April.
Will the drop continue? My crystal ball is cloudy on this today.

Toronto-Dominion, Bank of Montreal Cut Mortgage Rate (Update2) - BusinessWeek

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Friday, May 7, 2010

Canadian Mortgage Broker News - Alberta MP added to BMO lawsuit list

Just as the economy is getting its legs back this happens. Unfortunately, all lawyers and mortgage brokers will be painted with the same brush. See the attached link.

Canadian Mortgage Broker News - Alberta MP added to BMO lawsuit list

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Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Sunday, May 2, 2010

April 2010 Newsletter

What you need to know about identity theft and the national census.

April 2010 Newsletter

The Canadian site can be found here. Equifax Canada

Friday, April 23, 2010

How are credit ratings calculated?

How are credit ratings calculated?

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Okanagan Mortgage Team: Home Buyer's Tax Credit

Today's focus is on the Home Buyers' Tax Credit (HBTC).

What is this credit?

The Federal Budget 2009 proposed a tax credit for First Time Home Buyers as an action to provide support for Home Ownership. This proposal was thought to assist first-time home buyers with the costs associated with the purchase of a home (i.e. legal fees, disbursements and land transfer taxes).

For 2009 and subsequent years, the budget proposes to introduce a new non-refundable income tax credit, based on the amount of $5000 for first time home buyers who plan to purchase after January 27, 2009. For an eligible individual, the credit will provide up to $750 in federal tax
relief starting in 2009.

How is the new HBTC calculated?

It is calculated based by multiplying the lower personal income tax rate for the year (15% in 2009) by $5000. So that means, for 2009, the credit will be $750.

Who qualifies for the HBTC?

The individual must meet the below criteria:

# They acquire a qualifying home.
# Neither the individual or spouse/common-law partner has owned and lived in another home in the year of purchase or any of the 4 preceding years.
# A person with a disability or are buying a house for a related person with a disability, you DO NOT have to be a first time home buyer. The home must enable the person with a disability to live in a more accessible dwelling.

Who is considered a person with disability?

An individual who is eligible for the Disability Tax Credit (DTC).

What is a qualifying home?

# The home must be located in Canada.
# This includes existing and new construction. Single-family homes, semi-detached homes, townhouses, mobile homes, condominium units, apartments in duplexes, triplexes, fourplexes or apartment buildings all qualify.
# A share in a co-operative housing corporation that entitles you to possess and gives you an equity interest in a housing unit located in Canada also qualifies. (BUT a share that only provides you with a right to tenancy in the housing does NOT qualify).
# You or the related person with a disability must intend to occupy the home as a principal residence no later than ONE year of purchase.

Can my spouse/common-law/friend claim the HBTC?

Either person can claim the credit or you can share it. BUT the total of both claims cannot exceed $750.

If you are purchasing a home with a friend, and you both meet the conditions for the HBTC, either one of you may claim the credit or share it. BUT the total cannot exceed $750.

Does the home have to be registered under the applicable land registration system?

Yes. The home must be registered in accordance with the applicable land registration system.

How do I claim the HBTC?

Beginning with the 2009 personal income tax return, a new line will be incorporated for you to claim the credit.

Do I have to submit any supporting documents with my income tax?

No. But make sure that the information is available just in case CRA requests for it.

Is the HBTC connected to the Home Buyer’s Plan?

No. Some of the conditions for the HBTC and Home Buyer’s Plan are similar but they are not connected. Eligibility for the HBTC will not change if you participate in the Home Buyer’s Plan.

For more information on the First-Time Home Buyers’ Tax Credit, click on Department of Finance’s Budget 2009 (Page 128).

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Canadian Mortgage Broker News - Housing bubbles have lasting effects: study

:Canada did not make the list. I believe that this is because Canada has not and is not going to have a housing bubble. We are afterall, Canadians and we don't do extravagant. We are middle of the road type people.

Canadian Mortgage Broker News - Housing bubbles have lasting effects: study

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Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Bank of Canada holds steady on rate, this time

Inflation is worrying the Bank of Canada. Canada's recovery from the recession is quicker than anticipated when the January report came out. They have now revised projections and see rapid growth in the first half of the year. It now looks like the June 1st will be the first announcement of a rate increase for the bank overnight rate. This rate directly affects variable rate mortgages. Depending on who you listen to, the rate will go up by 1/4 per cent to perhaps as much as 3% over the next 2 years. This will more than double monthly payments for some.

Bank of Canada maintains overnight rate target at 1/4 per cent;
removes conditional commitment

OTTAWA – The Bank of Canada today announced that it is maintaining its target for the overnight rate at 1/4 per cent. The Bank Rate is unchanged at 1/2 per cent and the deposit rate is 1/4 per cent.

Global economic growth has been somewhat stronger than projected, with momentum in emerging-market economies increasing noticeably. Exceptional stimulus from monetary and fiscal policies continues to provide important support in many countries. The recovery in the major advanced economies is still expected to be relatively subdued, reflecting ongoing balance sheet adjustments and the gradual withdrawal of fiscal stimulus commencing later this year. Despite recent progress, considerable uncertainty remains about the durability of the global recovery.

In Canada, the economic recovery is proceeding somewhat more rapidly than the Bank had projected in its January Monetary Policy Report (MPR). The profile for growth is more front-loaded than that presented in the January MPR. The Bank now projects that the economy will grow by 3.7 per cent in 2010 before slowing to 3.1 per cent in 2011 and 1.9 per cent in 2012.

This profile reflects stronger near-term global growth, very strong housing activity in Canada, and the Bank’s assessment that policy stimulus resulted in more expenditures being brought forward in late 2009 and early 2010 than expected. At the same time, the persistent strength of the Canadian dollar, Canada’s poor relative productivity performance, and the low absolute level of U.S. demand will continue to act as significant drags on economic activity in Canada. The Bank expects the economy to return to full capacity in the second quarter of 2011.

The outlook for inflation reflects the combined influences of stronger domestic demand, slowing wage growth, and overall excess supply. Core inflation, which has been somewhat firmer than projected in January, is expected to ease slightly in the second quarter of 2010 as the effect of temporary factors dissipates, and to remain near 2 per cent throughout the rest of the projection period. Total CPI inflation is expected to be slightly higher than 2 per cent over the coming year, before returning to the target in the second half of 2011.

In response to the sharp, synchronous global recession, the Bank lowered its target rate rapidly over the course of 2008 and early 2009 to its lowest possible level. With its conditional commitment introduced in April 2009, the Bank also provided exceptional guidance on the likely path of its target rate. This unconventional policy provided considerable additional stimulus during a period of very weak economic conditions and major downside risks to the global and Canadian economies. With recent improvements in the economic outlook, the need for such extraordinary policy is now passing, and it is appropriate to begin to lessen the degree of monetary stimulus. The extent and timing will depend on the outlook for economic activity and inflation, and will be consistent with achieving the 2 per cent inflation target.

In accordance with the removal of the conditional commitment, there will be no additional term Purchase and Resale Agreements issued by the Bank.

Information note:
A full update of the Bank’s outlook for the economy and inflation, including risks to the projection, will be published in the MPR on 22 April 2010. The next scheduled date for announcing the overnight rate target is 1 June 2010.

This press release is now available on the Bank of Canada’s website at:

The announcement dates from September 2009 through December 2010 are:

Thursday, 10 September 2009
Tuesday, 20 October 2009
Tuesday, 8 December 2009

Tuesday, 19 January 2010
Tuesday, 2 March 2010
Tuesday, 20 April 2010
Tuesday, 1 June 2010
Tuesday, 20 July 2010
Wednesday, 8 September 2010
Tuesday, 19 October 2010
Tuesday, 7 December 2010

All announcements will continue to be made at 09:00 (ET).

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Monday, April 12, 2010

5 Great Reasons to Pre-qualify for a Mortgage

A mortgage loan pre-qualification is the process of being pre-approved for a home mortgage before you going house-hunting.
Here are 5 good reasons why you should pre-qualify BEFORE you start looking :

1. Getting pre-qualified lets you know what you can afford and how high you can go. You won't waste your time or your realtors looking outside of your price range.

2. You won't go through the disappointment of being rejected on a mortgage application and losing your dream home.

3. If the property you are looking at is hot with multiple offers you can remove the subject to financing clause and make your offer stronger. This also puts you in a stronger bargaining position when it comes to price and possession date.

4. Preapprovals show you are a serious shopper. Your realtor and sellers will take you more seriously . By knowing your financial limitations, your realtor can spend more time finding a suitable home for you rather than wasting time looking for homes you would not qualify for.

5. After you make an offer , you have a lot of other things to do which will keep you busy for a few days. Arranging for a lawyer, a house inspection and finding a moving company.
If you would like to be pre-qualified call me at 403-8361201 or apply online at http://mortgagealliance.ca/davidcooke and click on APPLY NOW

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Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Watch bond market for rate hike clues

Were you surprised by the interest rate hike last week? Read this article for more info on how bond rates affect fixed rate mortgages. The Bank of Canada overnight rate drives the variable rate market but most people think it affects fixed rates as well. Educate yourself with this article

Watch bond market for rate hike clues

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Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Loophole may help banks to lend to first-time buyers

One of the problems with the new rules set up by Flarhety is that banks and mortgage companies have different benchmark rates. Which rate to use to qualify variable rate mortgages on?

Loophole may help banks to lend to first-time buyers

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Friday, March 26, 2010

The doomsday view of the mortgage market

I tend to believe Benjamin Tal before I would listen to Garth Turner. See the attached story

The doomsday view of the mortgage market

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Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Canada’s housing boom leads developed countries - thestar.com

Canada's historic low interest rates and prices that are still below their 2007 peaks have lead many Canadians to buy homes this year. Added to the introduction of the HST in BC and Ontario , which has increased demand even more in these provinces, it looks like Canada will lead the world in housing purchases this year.
The Toronto Star article on this is attached.

Canada’s housing boom leads developed countries - thestar.com

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Saturday, March 13, 2010

The Flaherty effect

Another story about rates rising in the late spring from the Financial Post.
The Flaherty effect

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Friday, March 12, 2010

CMHC Changes starting April 9, 2010

Changes to the CMHC Self Employed Product will be effective April 9, 2010. For purchase and portability the maximum LTV will be 90%. For refinance the maximum LTV is 85%. Qualification rules have changed for this product. If a client has been self employed in the same business for more that 3 years, they are NOT eligible under the CMHC Self Employed Product without Traditional third party validation of income (qualified deal). CMHC will continue to require that the borrower have a minimum of 2 yeas experience in the same field. This can include time spent working as a non self employed worker in the same field. Lenders are expected to obtain a copy of the business or GST license or Articles of Incorporation. Therefore if a client is self employed over 3 years, then you cannot do a self employed product. It must be qualified. If a client is self employed up to 3 years, you can do a self employed product.

8) Commissioned income will no longer be eligible for the CMHC Self Employed Product without traditional third party validation of income.

I have been notified that GENWORTH will follow suit.

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Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Canadian Mortgage Broker News - Guidelines tightened for self-employed borrowers

CMHC is changing the rules for self employed people who want to buy a home. The rules change April 9th Call me to get preapproved now at 4038361201 or apply online at http://mortgagealliance.ca/davidcooke

Canadian Mortgage Broker News - Guidelines tightened for self-employed borrowers

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Sunday, March 7, 2010

How to Find Canada's Best Mortgage Broker

You've already found him. Now you can confirm what you already know. Dealing with a mortgage broker is the smart way to go.

How to Find Canada's Best Mortgage Broker

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'Frantic' hunt for a house

'Frantic' hunt for a house
BC housing market heats up as time runs out before the new federal rules on mortgages in April and the HST in July.

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Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Interst Rates stay put as speculation increases

The Bank of Canada hs kept rates down for the past 11 months. Can they keep their promise to maintain them at this level until June?
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What it really costs to own a Home

A great article on home ownership costs. It's American but many of the items are just as valid in Canada.

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Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Bank of Canada holds steady

The Bank of Canada chose to hold steady and keep the bank overnight rate at .25% The bank pledges to try and keep this rate steady until the end of the second quarter of 2010 which means June
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Monday, March 1, 2010

5 Steps to a Higher Credit Score

5 steps to a Higher Credit Score

Learn how to manage your credit score and improve your creditworthiness. Think of your credit score as a picture of your credit risk. This picture reflects your risk at a specific point in time. A picture does not change; however, when you take another one, you will probably look a little different. Similarly, when your credit information changes, your score will also change to reflect the updated information.

There are steps you can take to ensure that each time a new "credit picture" is taken, it shows your best side. By observing the following guidelines, you can influence your credit worthiness for the better:

  1. Be punctual - Pay all your bills on time. Late payments, collections, and bankruptcies have the greatest negative effect on your credit score.
  2. Check your credit profile regularly and take the necessary steps to remove inaccuracies - Don't let your credit health suffer due to inaccurate information. If you find an inaccuracy on your credit profile contact the creditor associated with the account or the credit reporting agencies to correct it immediately.
  3. Watch your debt - Keep your account balances below 50% of your available credit. For instance, if you have a credit card with a $1,000 limit, you should try to keep the balance owed below $500.
  4. Give yourself time - Time is one of the most significant factors that can improve your credit score. Establish a long history of paying your bills on time and using credit responsibly. You may also want to keep the oldest account on your credit profile open in order to lengthen your period of active credit use.
  5. Avoid excessive inquiries - A large number of inquiries occurred over a short period of time may be interpreted as a sign that you are opening numerous credit accounts due to financial difficulties or overextending yourself by taking on more debt than you can easily repay.
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Friday, February 26, 2010

Remax warns not enough homes for buyers

Remax warns not enough homes for buyers
Prices may rise in the spring due to there not being enough inventory in Calgary

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Interesting Bank Statistics

Number of credit cards (VISA, MasterCard) in circulation (2008): 68.2 million

|There are about 34 million Canadians. This equates to 2 cards per person. But think about it.
This is every Canadian. That means that if you have 4 children and 2 parents in a household you would have 12 credit cards.
Scary, isn't it? While one or two cards for an adult is okay, we obviously have too much available credit. Most of this is at 19-24% interest rates which is almost impossible to pay off if you make minimum payments.

A better solution is to open a line of credit which will be at prime plus one or two per cent. Prime is currently 2.25%. At this rate, you can make monthly payments and actually pay down your debts.
Call me or apply online for a line of credit at my website

Make 2010 the year when you get control of your debts.
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Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Canadian Mortgage Broker News - From the Press: What people are saying about the new mortgage rules

What people are saying about the new mortgage rules. I tend to agree that going from 100% financing to a new maximum of 80% for revenue properties is drastic and it will kill this market.
I just got an email 2 days ago from a broker in Phoenix offering me a chance to buy a 4plex with nothing down. It was fully rented out. It looks like the US might be a better place to invest now.
What people are saying about the new mortgage rules.

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Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Mortgage Rules Change

This morning Jim Flaharety , the finance minister, changed the rules for obtaining a mortgage. He wants to make it more difficult for people to buy a home and to discourage people buying revenue properties. Here are the 3 new rules

  • All borrowers must meet the standards for a five-year fixed rate mortgage even if they choose a mortgage with a lower interest rate and shorter term;
  • The maximum amount one can withdraw in refinancing their mortgage will be reduced to 90% from the current 95% of the value of one's home;
  • Non-owner occupied properties will require a minimum down payment of 20%
  • What do you think about the new rules?
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    Monday, February 15, 2010

    5 Steps to Personal Power

    Brian Tracy is a motivational speaker who follows the teachings of Napoleon Hill. Here is an example of some of his work.

    Five Steps to Personal Power

    By Brian Tracy

    There is a five-step power process that you can use to keep yourself positive and to achieve your goals faster. This five-step process brings together several of the very best techniques ever discovered for permanent mind change. It contains and illustrates all of the key principles that you need to know to become a highly effective, positive "possibility thinker" in your own life.

    Imagine Your Perfect Future
    Perhaps the biggest obstacle to creating a wonderful life is "self-limiting beliefs." Everyone has them, and some people have so may of them that they are almost paralyzed when it comes to taking action. A self-limiting belief is an idea you have that you are limited in some way, in terms of time, talent, intelligence, money, ability, or opportunity. The way you free yourself from these negative brakes on your potential is to change your thinking about who you are and what is truly possible for you.

    Show Me the Money
    Start with your income. How much do you want to be earning, one, two, three, and five years from today? Look around you and ask, "Who else is earning the kind of money I want to earn, and what are they doing differently from me?" If you don't know or you aren't sure, go and ask them. Do your homework.

    Design Your Perfect Life
    Imagine your perfect lifestyle. If you had no limitations at all, how would you like to live, day in and day out? If you were financially independent, what kind of home would you live in? What kind of car would you want to drive? What kind of life would you like to provide for your family? What sort of activities would you like to engage in throughout the week, month, and year?

    Turn Your Ideal into Reality
    When you sit down and design your ideal lifestyle, you can then compare it to what you are doing today and notice the differences. You can then start thinking about how you could bring your real or current lifestyle closer to your ideal. When you idealize your income and your lifestyle, you develop vision for your life. You begin to practice a key quality of personal leadership. You begin projecting into the future and making plans to turn your future dreams into a current reality.

    The Person you Become
    Create an ideal future self in terms of your personal and professional development. What kind of person do you want to be in the future? What additional knowledge and skills do you want to acquire? In what areas would you like to become absolutely excellent? What subjects would you like to master? What do you need to learn to move up in your field? What is your growth plan to get from where you are to where you want to go?

    Action Exercise
    Look for something good in every problem or difficulty. Practice being an inverse paranoid, convinced that there is a vast conspiracy to make you successful.
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    Thursday, February 11, 2010

    Ottawa thinking about tightening mortgage rules

    Ottawa is pondering advice it received from the big 6 banks. They want the minimum down payment to be increased to 10% or amortizations shortened to 30 years.
    The president of ING mortgages disagrees. He wants to qualify borrowers using a higher interest rate to ensure that when rates rise as we know they will, people will be able to handle the higher payments.



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    Friday, February 5, 2010

    Although we expect mortgage rates to go up in the next 4 months they are defying the odds and have dropped this week. I now have 5 year variable rate mortgages at Prime - 25% or 2%
    Fixed rates dropped as well to 3.69%
    To think, that when I got my first mortgage I got 9.98% which was below double digits and I was in 7th heaven.

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    Canadian Mortgage Broker News - Mortgage market strong, housing bubble nonexistent: Carney

    Canadian Mortgage Broker News - Mortgage market strong, housing bubble nonexistent: Carney

    Friday, January 22, 2010

    Variable Vs. Fixed Rates

    86% of Canadians are opting for fixed rate mortgages despite the fact that variable rate mortgages are at historic low rates (presently 2%) . Why is this? Are Canadians so risk adverse and conservative?
    What do you think?
    Here's an article on the subject. http://bit.ly/608nh4

    Canadian Mortgage Broker News - Street Capital rolls out two new adjustable rate mortgages

    Canadian Mortgage Broker News - Street Capital rolls out two new adjustable rate mortgages

    Tuesday, January 12, 2010

    Bank of Canada concernede about housing bubble

    Housing prices have gone up tremendously in Toronto and this is of concern to the Bank of Canada. Will they increase interest rates. Read the attached article and find out.