First Time Home Buyers

General Toni Ceniti 29 Apr

First Time Home Buyers – Planning and Negotiations Will Save You Time and Money

First Time Home Buyers – Planning and Negotiations Will Save You Time and MoneyEvery mortgage is unique. Would the advertised/online RATE work for everybody? It’s hard to say, until your documents fulfill all the conditions for that rate. Sometimes there are challenges to getting the approval of the mortgage. Dominion Lending Centres mortgage professionals try their best to find solutions to those challenges because they have a business relationship with more than ONE lender, they WORK FOR YOU, and they try their best to earn your business.

I want to share my experience when I bought my first existing home two decades ago and how a Real Estate agent helped me at that time. We decided to have a newly built home and at one “show home”, a Real Estate agent gave me his business card. After a couple of days, I phoned that Real Estate agent to get more guidance to sign a contract with a builder.

We met with him and discussed our priorities. He provided us the price and compared features of “show homes” in different neighbourhoods in the city. Also, he mentioned about the future growth of the particular vicinity in our area. After our first meeting with him, we were so impressed that he would negotiate on behalf of us, and he assured us that he would bring the price down as much as he could.

We started going with him to see more “show homes” and we liked one that was within our price range. He started “negotiating” with the representative of a builder. He went back and forth, and finally, our offer got accepted, and that Real Estate agent saved us $3,500.

If that Realtor  did not meet us at the “show home” we wouldn’t have had the chance to negotiate or signed the contract with a builder at the asking price and saved $3,500 at that time.

I had to pay a 10% down payment at that time since I did not PLAN my mortgage and did not realize that my income would be an issue. Always check with a mortgage professional to receive unbiased advice for your mortgage financing needs. If you are a “First Time Home Buyer” and thinking of buying a home in the very near future, START PLANNING your mortgage with a Dominion Lending Centres mortgage professional. By doing this, you will have knowledge of allowable income and down payment for the mortgage financing. You will also realize what credit is and why it is so important in this process.

At Dominion Lending Centres, we will plan your mortgage by focussing your short and long term goals and also show you how to pay off your mortgage faster than you think. You will have access to the very best products and rates available across Canada. I look forward to hearing from you soon!

Top 8 Benefits of Using a Mortgage Broker

General Toni Ceniti 19 Apr

Top 8 Benefits of Using a Mortgage Broker

Top 8 Benefits of Using a Mortgage BrokerWhen shopping for a mortgage, many home buyers enlist the services of a Mortgage Professional. There are several benefits to using a Mortgage Broker and I have compiled a list of the top 8:

1. Saves you time – Mortgage Brokers have access to multiple lenders (over 50!). They work with lenders you have heard of and lenders you probably haven’t heard of. Because their relationship with lenders is ongoing, Mortgage Brokers know what is available in mortgage financing and will be able to advise you on what your lending options are without all the leg work that you would have to do in order to find a small percentage of information that a Mortgage Broker already has in hand.

2. Saves you money – Mortgage Brokers, if they are successful, have access to discounted rates. Because of the high volume that they do, lenders make available discounted rates that are not available directly through the branch of the lender that you go to.

3. Saves you from becoming stressed out! – It can be very daunting to find a mortgage. A Mortgage Broker takes on that stress for you. Your Mortgage Broker will make sure all the paperwork is in place. They will keep in good communication with you so that you know what is going on with your mortgage and will keep you up to date with any complications so that there are no surprises.

4. Gives you access to lenders that are otherwise not available to you – Some lenders work exclusively with Mortgage Brokers. In these circumstances, the layman does not have access to these lenders and, therefore, does not have the option to use discounted rates and mortgage products that these lenders offer.

5. Services are free – Mortgage Professionals are paid by the lender and not by you. This is not a disadvantage to you. A good Mortgage Broker will ALWAYS have the best interest of the client in mind because if you, as a client, are happy, you will go tell your friends about the service you’ve received from the Mortgage Professional you work with. Mortgage Professionals rely on referrals, which means that if you are a happy customer, and you got the best deal available, you will tell your friends and family about them which will result in referrals and potential future business.

6. Take on every challenge – As Mortgage Professionals, we see every scenario out there and work to make sure that every client knows what is available to them for financing options for a mortgage. Damaged credit and low household income might be a deterrent for the bank, but a Mortgage Professional knows how to approach the lender and has the relationship to make sure every client has a plan and strategy in place to make sure there is a mortgage in their future.

7. The Mortgage Brokerage industry is monitored by governing bodies – Nowadays, as Mortgage Brokers, it is extremely important to have principles and values that are based on the best interest of the client. In fact, in order to become licensed, the Mortgage Professionals need to be well versed in the ethical and upstanding values that are outlined through the Financial Institutes Commission, a provincial governing body that is a watchman for this industry. FICOM’s mandate is to make sure every Mortgage Broker walks in integrity and in the best interest of their client.

8. The Mortgage Broker has a better understanding of what mortgage products are available than your bank – Interestingly, a Mortgage Broker has to be licensed and cannot discuss mortgages with you unless they are licensed. This is unlike the bank who can “internally train” their staff to sell the specific products available from their bank. The staff at your bank do not have to be licensed Mortgage Professionals.

While this is not an exhaustive list on the benefits of using a Mortgage Professional, it is compelling to see the benefits of using a Mortgage Professional rather than putting a mortgage together on your own.

At Dominion Lending Centres, we have an excellent rapport with the lenders we introduce our clients to. Our customer service is reflective of our relationship with our lenders. We are always professional and we always make sure our clients know every viable option they have for mortgage financing.

Top 10 things to consider before your mortgage matures

General Toni Ceniti 14 Apr

Top 10 Things to Consider Before Your Mortgage Matures

Top 10 Things to Consider Before Your Mortgage Matures
1. Have you explored all your options. Once you receive your mortgage renewal statement, there is nothing easier than signing on for another term, heck 70% of everybody that received them from their current lender just signs over thousands of dollars. This may make sense in some cases, but your family and financial situation may changed over time. I can look for opportunities that may meet or exceed your current expectations.

2. Are you comfortable with your current payments. If your monthly payments are barely letting you break even each month then it might be time to reduce payments. On the other hand, if you are earning more income then why not pay down your mortgage faster and save thousands in interest over time. Have you reviewed your prepayment options?

3. Do you need cash flow for other things. Your priorities may have changed since you purchased the home. Things like your child(s) post secondary education, planning a career change or a major purchase may now be front and centre. With ‘today’s’ current market, there may now be access to additional equity in your home that can be used for other purposes.

4. Can you handle fluctuating rates. Some homeowners are comfortable with the ebb and flow of interest rates and some are not. It is best to base your decision on your personal situation and not what you read in the daily news. I can help you decide on a fixed or variable rate mortgage options, but ultimately it’s your decision.

5. Will you sell soon. If so, consider a shorter term mortgage that has flexible manageable terms if you decide to sell your home.

6. Are you thinking of a major renovation. Upgrades can increase the value of your home but the cost of having the work done can tie up a lot your money. Make sure to allow for ample finances to complete.

7. When do you want to be ‘mortgage-free.’ Increasing your payments will raise your monthly expenses now, but you will ultimately save thousands on interest in the long term. A mortgage-free lifestyle could be just around the corner.

8. Could you use your home equity to fulfill other goals. Refinancing a mortgage can be one way to free up cash you need for other things, which could even include purchasing another property.

9. Have your insurance needs changed. If your home equity has increased, there may not be the need for default insurance anymore.

10. Are you getting the best rates and terms. In a competitive mortgage environment your good credit history can make refinancing your mortgage work to your advantage. Dominion Lending Centres analyzes mortgage markets daily to ensure you don’t miss any money saving opportunities.

The Benefits of a Mortgage Broker

General Toni Ceniti 12 Apr

The Benefits of a Mortgage Broker

The Benefits of a Mortgage BrokersThe next time you’re looking for a mortgage for that new house or you’re up for renewal on your existing mortgage, think about using a mortgage broker – their services are free and they offer you an abundance of choices the banks simply can’t compete with.

Mortgage brokers have access to a vast array of lenders – up to 200+ institutions, including the big banks – which enables these professionals to negotiate the best possible mortgage products and rates on your behalf. In comparison, if you approach your bank with a mortgage request, they can only offer you a narrow choice – namely, their own products.

Mortgage brokers do their homework on available mortgage products and keep themselves abreast of any new products, or changes to existing products, to ensure they find the best mortgage to fit your specific needs.

Unlike the banks, mortgage brokers can also cater to self-employed borrowers as well as those who have suffered credit blemishes due to life experiences such as divorce or illness. Brokers will listen to your story, whereas the banks have a very narrow view of what fits into their financing box – and this is unnegotiable.

If you’re thinking of buying a home, Dominion Lending Centres mortgage professionals can find the best mortgage rate and term for your unique situation.

Top Reasons for Using a Broker:
1. Choice – access to multiple financial institutions
2. Costs – using a broker is free and they can negotiate lower rates for you
3. Knowledge – brokers stay up-to-date on available products and services
4. Flexibility – mortgage products are even available for the self-employed or those who have credit blemishes

What Is a “Gifted” Down Payment?

General Toni Ceniti 7 Apr

What Is a “Gifted” Down Payment?

What is a “Gifted” Down Payment?A “Gifted” Down Payment is very common for first time buyers. Essentially, a buyer’s family member (usually very nice, warm and loving parents) will offer up money to go towards the down payment. Often this is done because their son or daughter doesn’t quite have enough funds saved up for the full 5% down payment. Or, because they want to make sure their child has enough money to make up 20% for a down payment to avoid CMHC premiums.

All that is required for documentation is a signed Gift Letter from the parents, which simply states that the money does not have to be re-paid, and a snapshot of the son or daughter’s bank account showing that the gifted funds have actually been transferred.

A gifted down payment is viewed as an acceptable form of down payment by almost all lenders. Talk to your Dominion Lending Centres Mortgage Professional to make sure that your lender accepts “gifts” as an acceptable down payment.

Sample Gift Letter