27 May

Mortgage Trends by Cory Kline


Posted by: Cory Kline

“Mortgage shoppers are very happy with recent rate trends!  The 5-year government yield (which leads 5 year fixed rates) made a new five-month low today.The spread between 5-year posted rates and the 5-year bond yields is now the most its been since October, and 45 basis points above its 10-year average. As a result, fixed rates should drop a bit further from here.”
(Taken from Canadian Mortgage Trends website May 27,2011)

Here’s a look at rates currently being quoted for AAA-quality borrowers:

•1-year Fixed:  2.64% 
•3-year Fixed:  2.99% (Through select brokers)
•5-year Fixed:  3.74% (Applies to “quick closes”)
•50/50 Hybrids: 2.86% (i.e., Half fixed and half variable; 90 Day closings!!)

I can be reached on my personal cell phone (705-794-1283) if you or someone you know is thinking of buying or refinancing, in this extraordinary rate environment!!

Voted “Barrie’s Best Mortgage Professional 2010”

19 May

Cory’s Mortgage Market Update…


Posted by: Cory Kline

The bond rate has been steady the last few weeks. From a year to date high of 2.53 on April 8th, the rates have fallen 30-35 basis points. This has resulted in all lenders lowering their fixed rates. 5 year mortgages are now available in the 3.89-4.19% range. There has been no change in the variable rate mortgages.

We continue to get mixed signals as to what is happening with inflation and the Bank of Canada’s position re raising rates. This morning TD bank indicated they do not expect any increases until late summer or early fall. Bottom line is there are uncertainties in the financial markets. At this time there is no increase expected when Bank of Canada releases its report on May 31st.

If you have a variable rate of any more than prime,  prime + or a fixed rate of 5.0% or more, we should explore the merits of refinancing to a lower rate. Contact us for a free, no obligation review. Spending a few minutes could save you thousands of dollars.

These low rates are still close to historical lows, making now a great time to buy or refinance.      

Bank prime is at 3.00%

The next meeting of the Bank of Canada is on May 31, 2011

P.S. If you, your family, or co-workers require guidance on current market trends, please call us, we are always available to help.

19 May

Beware of Mortgage or Title Fraud


Posted by: Cory Kline

In a time where identity theft and Ponzi schemes are plastered across the daily news, the last thing you want to worry about is yet another way to lose your hard-earned money.

But as a homeowner, you need to be aware of crimes on the rise known as mortgage fraud and real estate title fraud.

Mortgage fraud

The most common type of mortgage fraud involves a criminal obtaining a property, then increasing its value through a series of sales and resales involving the fraudster and someone working in cooperation with them. A mortgage is then secured for the property based on the inflated price.

Following are some red flags for mortgage fraud:

-Someone offers you money to use your name and credit information to obtain a mortgage

-You are encouraged to include false information on a mortgage application

-You are asked to leave signature lines or other important areas of your mortgage application blank

-The seller or investment advisor discourages you from seeing or inspecting the property you will be purchasing

-The seller or developer rebates you money on closing, and you don’t disclose this to your lending institution

“Straw buyer” scheme

Another term for mortgage fraud is the “straw” or “dummy” home buyer scheme. For instance, a renter does not have a good credit rating or is self-employed and cannot get a mortgage, or doesn’t have a sufficient down payment, so he or she cannot purchase a home. He/she or an associate approaches someone else with solid credit. This person is offered a sum of money (can be as much as $10,000) to go through the motions of buying a property on the other person’s behalf – acting as a straw buyer. The person with good credit lends their name and credit rating to the person who cannot be approved for a mortgage for his or her purchase of a home.

Other types of criminal activity often dovetail with mortgage fraud or title fraud. For example, people who run “grow ops” or meth labs may use these forms of fraud to “purchase” their properties.

Title fraud

Sadly, the only red flag for title fraud occurs when your mortgage mysteriously goes into default and the lender begins foreclosure proceedings. Even worse, as the homeowner, you are the one hurt by title fraud, rather than the lender, as is often the case with mortgage fraud.

Unlike with mortgage fraud, during title fraud, you haven’t been approached or offered anything – this is a form of identity theft.

Here’s what happens with title fraud: A criminal – using false identification to pose as you – registers forged documents transferring your property to his/her name, then registers a forced discharge of your existing mortgage and gets a new mortgage against your property. Then the fraudster makes off with the new home loan money without making mortgage payments. The bank thinks you are the one defaulting – and your economic downfall begins.

Following are ways you can protect yourself from title fraud:

-Always view the property you are purchasing in person

-Check listings in the community where the property is located – compare features, size and location to establish if the asking price seems reasonable

-Make sure your representative is a licensed real estate agent

-Beware of a real estate agent or mortgage broker who has a financial interest in the transaction

-Ask for a copy of the land title or go to a registry office and request a historical title search

-In the offer to purchase, include the option to have the property appraised by a designated or accredited appraiser

-Insist on a home inspection to guard against buying a home that has been cosmetically renovated or formerly used as a grow house or meth lab

-Ask to see receipts for recent renovations

-When you make a deposit, ensure your money is protected by being held “in trust”

-Consider the purchase of title insurance

It’s important to remember that if something doesn’t seem right, it usually isn’t – always follow your instincts when it comes to red flags during the home buying and mortgage processes.

19 May

Down payment


Posted by: Cory Kline

The main reason many renters feel they can’t afford to purchase a home has to do with saving for a down payment. But there are many solutions available today that can help first-time buyers with their down payments.

Many lenders will allow for a gifted or borrowed down payment. And of those lenders that will not provide this alternative, many offer cash-back options that can be used as a down payment.

Better yet, there are programs available from some financial institutions where they will offer a “free down payment” or a “flex down”. Of course, you will end up paying about 1% more in your interest rate, but the program will help you get in the homeownership door and start accumulating equity earlier. The only catch, however, is that you must remain with the original lender for the full initial five-year term or else you’ll have to pay the down payment back.

Under the RRSP Home Buyers’ Plan, first-time homebuyers can withdraw up to $25,000 from their RRSPs for a down payment – tax- and interest-free.

And if there’s a couple making a home purchase together, they can each withdraw up to $25,000 from their RRSPs.

As always, if you or someone you know has any questions about down payment options or your mortgage in general, we are here to help!

11 May

No New Mortgage Rule Changes: Flaherty


Posted by: Cory Kline

  May 10, 2011 – 6:54 PM ET | Last Updated: May 10, 2011 7:14 PM ET

By John Greenwood and Barbara Shecter

There has already been “some softening” in the Canadian real estate market so there is no need for further tightening of mortgage rules, said Jim Flaherty, the finance minister.

Unlike the United States and Europe, the Canadian housing market has continued to rise after the financial crisis, leading some observers to caution we could be headed for a bubble.

Mr. Flaherty said he’s already intervened to toughen mortgage rules three times in the last few years and there’s no need for further action as conditions in the market are finally moving in the right direction.

In his first major public appearance since the election, at Bloomberg’s Canada Economic Summit in Toronto, Mr. Flaherty also said this country continues to weather the ongoing upheaval in the global economy. He said his number one priority is to deal with the budget — likely in June — in order to continue to implement his government’s economic action plan.

The past few months have seen the emergence of a staring of new problems affecting the global economy, ranging from conflicts in the Middle East and North Africa and the rising issues around U.S. government debt.

Mr. Flaherty said the best way to protect Canada is for the government to move as quickly as possible to a balanced budget and to continue to take measures to strengthen the economy, such as maintaining low taxes for businesses and individuals.

Canada already has one of the lowest corporate tax rates of any major developed economy and the Conservatives have vowed to bring it lower still.

In the depths of the crisis Canada’s banks remained strong partly because of steps taken by the government aimed at boosting liquidity such as buying more than $70-billion of home loans from lenders. Ottawa also increased the limit on the volume of mortgages banks could sell into the Canada mortgage bond program.

Critics say that one unintended result was that banks were encouraged to make more home loans, which helped push up prices in the market.

But Mr. Flaherty said he does not believe there were unintended consequences from the government’s emergency support for the banks.

As a result of recent fluctuations in global currency markets the Canadian dollar is now trading at close to its highest level since 2008, creating challenges for many companies, especially manufacturers.

But Mr. Flaherty said the private sector is coping. One of the dangers of intervening, he suggested, is a fluctuating currency, which would be even more problematic.

“What we want to avoid is sudden, jerky movements in the Canadian dollar,” he said.

Mr. Flaherty said his government will present a slightly revamped budget in June. It will be changed to reflect an economic update and may include some items from the election platform, but will be largely the same budget he presented in March, Mr. Flaherty said