We Love Movember…

Uncategorized

Everything you wanted to know about Movember:  http://ca.movember.com/?home

(Check out the Leader board under “Mo Community”)

Alberta Flood - The Aftermath - And your Mortgage…

Financial Update, Lenders

Reports suggest that satellite imagery had notice that a flood was on its way -   http://www.theglobeandmail.com/news/national/satellite-data-hinted-at-alberta-floods-weeks-ago/article12792249/ .  We can become unsettled with that, but then again we ask ourselves “how much time would have that given us to DO anything about it?”  The fact of the matter is that it came, it saw, and it kicked our behinds.  The first ever (that we know of), of this magnitude and now we’re left to deal with the aftermath…

Unlike many residents of High River, most of the affected in Calgary have now began to restore, rebuild, and move back into their homes.  High River… well, a lot of the residents there can only watch in heartache and come to grips that their homes are now and forever uninhabitable.  So many material items…lost - with all but memories remaining.

As the communities pull together to help our fellow man, woman, and families (and what an honor to live in such a community where we witnessed SO many helping hands of support!), many are left to deal with finances that leave them wondering how they will pull it together.

“Our government wants to help rebuild safer homes and stronger communities,” said Doug Griffiths, Minister of Municipal Affairs. “We have worked hard to find practical ways homeowners and small businesses can better protect their property from flood damage in the future.”  He also announced that “No eligible homeowner with flood damage will go without financial support.”  So as we wait to see this program unfold, many of us have lives to deal with at the same time, and pay our mortgage.  It’s an awful lot to take on at one time:  kids, food, gas, home, entertainment, on and on… all of this while we deal with rebuilding and restoring - and waiting.

Mortgage Insurers (Genworth in particular) has offered a helping hand during this time of uncertainty.  Genworth has a HomeOwnership Assistance Program whereby they are assisting flood affected homeowners (insured by Genworth) by offering up to 6 months relief of mortgage payment.  All of the scenario’s of course are different and are reviewed on a case by case scenario, but it can be a beacon of light in times like these.

If you are in need of assistance for your mortgage payments and are affected by the flood - BUT, do not know if your mortgage is insured by Genworth (and Canada First Mortgage did your mortgage for you) - let us know.  We would be happy to find out for you.

Here’s a video showing a real life case, and glimpse as to how it works: Genworth Home Owners Assistance

New Closing Costs have arrived (finally!)

Uncategorized

Many of you past home owners were met with having to prove that you had 1.5% closing costs to finalize the purchase of your home.  What does this mean?  It means that lenders were asking borrowers to show and ADDITIONAL 1.5% of the purchase price in their bank account, to prove that you can actually afford to close the mortgage … and essentially move into your new home.

What’s wrong with that picture…?

Well, to begin with - 1.5% of an average home sold in Calgary works out to approximately $6750.  So the lender is asking that you show your down payment (minimum 5% of the purchase price), and that you have this as additional ‘mad money’ in your account to move.  Does it cost this much to move?  NO!!  Not typically unless you were packing multiple, large, and heavy items across continents would it cost this much to move and close a mortgage.

In the past, lenders would accommodate the request to show a lawyers letter stating what the “actual cost” is to close the mortgage.  Typical lawyers closing costs are anywhere between $1000 to $1300 to purchase a home… it depends on what the lawyer is required and asked to do by the lender; however that’s a typical bill from a lawyer when you move. But if we could show the lender this letter, usually they would accommodate this document.  This obviously causes more leg work and perhaps delayed time for lawyers to respond to this request as they have to draft up a special and specific form or email.

The NEW rule for lenders in Alberta, is to show that you have .50% in closing costs.  So for example, if you were to purchase a $300,000.00 home, you would be required to show your minimum 5% down payment ($15,000), PLUS an additional $1500 in your account to appease this request of showing that you can afford to close the mortgage.

That’s good news in my books… but maybe a couple years late in the “actual change” to the rules :).  Still… it’s good news!

NOTE:  Ask us how to get your legals paid (up to $750) when you or anyone you know who is thinking about purchasing a home - We love to pay it forward!

What the Banks Won’t Tell You…

Uncategorized

When it comes to mortgages, AND LENDERS - that not all are “one size fits all”. Lenders not only have different products, but can calculate the overall cost to borrowing differently… Click the image below to check out the video!

If you have any questions regarding mortgages - let us know, we’re only happy to help.

Sincerely,

Dan and Stacey Mass - AMP’s

Need a Landlords Permission?

First Time Homebuyer

He needs a home…  Do you?

Owning your home indeed has its benefits.  Things like having your “equity” build while you sleep, and the pride that comes with calling a home of your own is one thing - but it’s another thing to be able to build a family in a home that has roots.  Your Roots.

If you’re thinking “Shame on you Dan for using this cute little puppy as a way to get me to read your letter”, well, let me get to the point for you…

Here’s an example of what the difference is in ownership vs. renting right now:

Current Rent Payment (eg.):  $1400 ($16,800/yr.)

Purchase Price of a home:  $300,000.00
Down Payment Required (5%):  $15,000.00 (FYI - can come from family gift, savings, RRSP’s, other investments, borrowing from Line of Credit, more…)
Total Mortgage Amount (after CMHC):  $292,837.50
MONTHLY PAYMENTS:  $1361.91 (Based on a 2.84% 5yr. fixed rate - payment is principle and interest only; Property taxes are extra.)

DIFFERENCE:  Besides a savings from your rent payment, OWNERSHIP!

If you average a 3% equity gain per year, you gain $9000/yr. in home value…every year!

…Not to mention the fact that you can bring that cute little guy into your home without having to get permission from a landlord :)

Want to see if you qualify for a home?  IT’S EASY AND FREE… let us know today!

OR… simply click below to get straight to the mortgage application.  This is where it all starts!!

Apply Online Today - Quick and Easy Mortgage Application

Dan and Stacey Mass - Broker and Owners / AMP (Accredited Mortgage Professionals)

dan@canadafirstmortgage.com / stacey@canadafirstmortgage.com

403-294-0033

Do you have room for a Mortgage Payment Increase?

Financial Update

In a study performed in late 2012, 80% of Canadians (who was surveyed) said they could comfortably handle a monthly payment increase of at least $200…

Do you fall in this category of Canadians?

If so, that means you are placing more towards your mortgage payment now…. right?  Why wait for interest rates to rise… when you’re forced to pay more?  And further to that, why wouldn’t you want to put more money towards your principle and knock thousands of your overall interest payments off, and decreasing your amortization by YEARS?  Well like most people, your answer might be - “it’s hard”!

There’s a lot to be said about style of living when you ‘have the money’.  To put your extra money towards a structured plan isn’t really in everyone’s DNA.  Let the good times roll as they say :)

Now stop and think for a second what it could mean to expedite your debt-freedom date through this interest cancellation program.  What would you do with the extra money THEN?

I love that I’ve found this system.

Click on the image below:

Sincerely,

Dan & Stacey Mass, AMP’s

403-294-0033

When To Use A Mortgage Broker…And When Not To.

First Time Homebuyer, Pre-Approvals, Self Employed, Uncategorized

Last year, Canadians were polled to see exactly what and when they think they should use a mortgage broker… here’s some interesting feedback:

A MORTGAGE BROKER WOULD BE GOOD FOR…

First-Time Home Buyers:  68%

Problematic Financial Situations:  56%

Expiring Mortgage Term:  52%

Transferring Mortgage to New Property:  42%

Healthy Financial Position:  36%

Self-Employed:  36%

What I find interesting is the stigma that is attached to what a mortgage broker is useful for.  The fact of the matter - Mortgage Brokers are good for all of the above.

When is it not a good time to use a broker?

I still don’t have a good answer for you on this one.  In a quest to come up with an answer for this, I find myself looking for analogies.  So let’s take this one for example…

Let’s say your lost on the road…driving…aimlessly!  You could stop off at the gas station - see if they have the right map for you - and start to navigate yourself to familiar territory.  Some gas stations might not have the maps your looking for - so you drive to another gas station… until you find one that has what you’re looking for.  You study the map to see where your current location is, then you have to drive while you take your eyes off the road to see where you’re going, to hopefully make it back to where you want to be… in a reasonable amount of time no less!

OR…

You could push the GPS button on your phone or car dash and simply tell the system what you want, where you want, how fast it will take to get there.

The mortgage broker is the home finance GPS system.  We look for the right map for you, with literally dozens of choices to choose from, until we find the right map that takes you home.  Fast and most efficiently. (At not even the cost of a road map!)

If it has to do with home financing, a mortgage broker should be able to streamline it all.

To your health and wealth…

Dan & Stacey Mass - AMP’s

403-294-0033

Complete Debt-Freedom…is that even possible now-a-days?

Uncategorized, credit

Does this sound unreasonable to you?

Our mothers and fathers grew up knowing what they had to do:  “First thing you do is pay your mortgage off!”  That’s what their parents were doing.  And many did!  However, in this day and age there seems to be some confusion around what our priorities should be when it comes to debt and debt management.  Cool little write up from the Globe and Mail on paying your mortgage down: HERE.

You see, here’s the thing:  “Debt-Management” is a relatively new concept to us!  Our ancestors never had to deal with such an idea.  They didn’t have to deal with it because you didn’t buy what you couldn’t afford to buy in the moment.  Credit (as a whole) was a European concept back in the 1800’s, but wasn’t introduced to North America until the early 1900’s, and really didn’t take traction until about the mid 1900’s.  Even at that, it was only well to do businesses that utilized credit.  And it wasn’t until the 60’s when credit became more common, and the 70’s when everyone knew the phrase:  “American Express…. don’t leave home without it”.

Look at what’s happened in such a short 30 or 40 years.  If we think about it, we’ve managed to dig ourselves into a hole on a National level in a very short period of time!

Here’s the good news…

We don’t have to settle with that… and paying debt interest.  You don’t have to live with societal expectations of “living in debt”!  There’s a way out… and I want to show you what it is…

The program is called SmartEquity TM.  It is the latest, most transparent, interest cancellation system to hit the market…and it is a Canadian Product!  This program was designed by Mark Montserin (that’s his voice on the video on the attached link).  I have come to know Mark on a deeper level in the past couple of months; great guy, and he knows his stuff.  The moddo to his SmartEquity program?  “It’s not Magic, It’s Math”.

I invite you to have a look for yourself, and relish in the fact that your future doesn’t have to be riddled with years and years of paying interest payments.  I loved this concept so much, that I bought the system for myself, and now I have incorporated it into my mortgage business.  You see - my job for the past decade (+) has been putting people into debt.  BIG debt!  I’ve never been happy about that part of it, so I am very proud to adopt this system into my business because now I have a weapon that will eliminate your debt faster than you thought was possible :)  Please… have look at the system that just might change your future!!

(Click Link Below - Video embedded in the link)

Here’s to an interest free future.

Sincerely,

Dan Mass.

Mortgage Rule Changes Continue

Financial Update, First Time Homebuyer, Lenders

That’s four for four.  Four years in a row now the Minister of Finance, Jim Flaherty, has been spooked into curbing mortgage allowances in Canada.  The premise?  Of course, nothing other than the national debt levels that Canadians statistically hold.  For every $1.00 we make, we are spending $1.52.  That’s a nation in debt 152%.

The new changes consist of:

1.)  Maximum amortization period to 25 yrs. (Down from 30 years)
2.)  Maximum refinance allowance to 80% of the value of your home (Down from 85%)
3.)  Maximum insured loan - homes under $1M (Homes worth more require 20% down)
4.)  Maximum Gross debt service ratio - 39% (changed from “unlimited” when credit scores are greater than 680).

Changes are to take effect JULY 9th, 2012.

(It is important to note that if you have a pre-approval in with us, you will have until JULY 8th to turn your pre-approval into a “live deal” - which means you shopped for a home, made an offer on a home, and it was accepted.  If that happens, these changes should not affect you.)

Let us not forget…

Extended amortization periods only entered the arena of possibility in 2006
Greater allowances to debt-service ratios were only introduced to Canada a few years ago
(As a reminder, this was the same government that we see today who introduced these allowances not so long ago.)

*The government of finance giveth….and also taketh away*

AMORTIZATION CHANGE:
25 yrs. is what I remember the maximum amortization period to be when I started brokering in 2001.  Borrowers still borrowed, and interest rates were higher back then.  The unfortunate demographic that I feel will be hit the hardest with this change, is that of the first time homebuyer.

REFINANCE CHANGE: (Down to 80% of the value of your home)
That means, for example - that if you have a house worth $300,000.00 - you can refinance your home up to $240,000.00.  If you owe more than that on your home right now - the option to refinance will not be on the table.  For those of us in that situation, neck deep into credit card debt, and wish to clear them off with equity in your home - the time bomb may be ticking a little louder.

Ultimately the move to make these changes are simply posturing for future considerations of the health of the Canadian banking system, and assisting Canadians in curbing their debt load - so we’re told.  But again I cannot help but wonder why there is no consideration to creating provisions for the more impulsive issues in this country by taking notice of the credit card debt that seem to be all to readily available to us.  I’m not asking for the government to NOT consider changing mortgage rules, but I would like to see the government take notice of the elephant in the room.

For now, it remains a wish.

If you have questions about your current mortgage situation, we would love to discuss with you!

Sincerely,
Dan and Stacey Mass.

Calgary house sales surge in March

Uncategorized

As we continue forward into 2012, we find interest rates low and a vibrant city looking to take advantageous of the Spring market in Calgary.  Below are numbers that would prove that the city of Calgary is moving forward with zeal.  As you can see in the column below, one of Calgary’s realtors from Remax makes some good points about ‘why’ people are buying.

What is your indicator to buy or sell?

We would love to talk to you about any mortgage questions that you might have!

Total MLS residential sales in the city up 12.63%

CALGARY — Calgary’s housing market picked up steam in March as MLS sales surged compared with a year ago — led by stunning growth in the single-family category.

According to the Calgary Real Estate Board, total residential MLS sales in the city for the month was 2,167, up 12.63 per cent from March 2011. Also, the average MLS sale price increased by 3.69 per cent to $422,256.

In the single-family market, sales soared to 1,576, up 17.26 per cent from a year ago while the average sale price jumped by 2.36 per cent to $472,464 — that’s the highest it’s been since June 2011 when it was $479,580.

Christina Hagerty, a realtor with RE/MAX Realty Professionals in Calgary, said the market has been extremely active recently.

“Calgary seems to present the land of opportunity right now and people need homes. Renting does not seem like a reasonable option with the low interest rates. They also feel that the property values will be increasing so they want to secure an investment here,” said Hagerty.

She said employment and net migration growth in the city have boosted the real estate market.

Industry officials have cited low mortgage rates as a reason for the surge in market activity in the city.

In March in Calgary, the condo apartment market saw year-over-year sales increase by 7.23 per cent to 356 while the average sale price rose by 4.56 per cent to $271,724.

The condo townhouse category experienced a year-over-year sales decline of 5.24 per cent to 235 but the average sale price increased by 1.21 per cent to $313,581.

mtoneguzzi@calgaryherald.com

© Copyright (c) The Calgary Herald

Read more: http://www.calgaryherald.com/business/Calgary+house+sales+surge+March/6396629/story.html#ixzz1qtiOAUzb

 

DAN MASS, Mortgage Broker
193 McKenzie Towne Gate SE
Calgary, Alberta, Canada  T2Z 4G2
direct: 403.294.0033  toll free: 1-888-894-0033
cell:
403.710.1505 fax: 1-866-902-4910
email: dan@canadafirstmortgage.com

STACEY MASS, Mortgage Agent
193 McKenzie Towne Gate SE
Calgary, Alberta, Canada  T2Z 4G2
direct:
403.294.0033 toll free: 1-888-894-0033
fax: 1-866-902-4910
email: stacey@canadafirstmortgage.com

 
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