Archive | December, 2012

Happy Holidays!

December 24, 2012

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Just a quick post to wish everyone that follows along with the BarrieRealEstateTalk blogHAPPY HOLIDAYS!  We’re looking forward to continuing the discussion on a variety of real estate topics in Barrie in the coming year.  If you have any topics you’d like any of us to cover – let us know by leaving a comment below!

We’re going to take a couple of weeks off (let’s be honest: there are not many real estate  transactions going on between Christmas and New Years), but we’ll be back in 2013 with some more great talk about what’s going on in Barrie in the world of real estate.

Tim

Tim is a mortgage agent in Barrie who specializes in helping first-time home buyers. He works with a variety of lenders and can help customize a mortgage with the best rates & options that fit the needs of each customer.

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Signing for yourself

December 19, 2012

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I have blogged before about arranging for a power of attorney in case anything needs to be done on your transaction while you are away. Today, I wanted to talk about running the entire deal through a power of attorney – when you are the purchaser.

As a vendor, using a power of attorney is not a big deal. Your lawyer will need to see the document and confirm that it appears valid, and may also need to do some investigating to ensure that the person who gave the power intended to give it to you and either approves of the transaction or is incapacitated. If you are buying, however, you have to be very careful that your lender will approve of the power of attorney being used to sign the paperwork. Some banks will flat out say no; others will depend on how well they know you. Also, the power of attorney will have to be registered along with the purchase, so be aware of that too as it will become a public document.

As always, be sure to clear it with your lawyer before you take off – it is much better to sign documents early than to be left with a firm agreement and a bank that won’t let someone sign for you.

Cesia

Cesia is a real estate lawyer at Wall-Armstrong and Green, a boutique law firm in Barrie focusing on real estate and estates. When she's not online, she can usually be found in her garden.

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What is a Co-Signer?

December 17, 2012

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Occasionally with first time home buyers, the lender will ask for a co-signer or guarantor on a mortgage application.  This happens for a couple of reasons – usually due to the applicant not having enough income to support the mortgage on their own, poor credit, insufficient employment history or an inadequate down payment.  A co-signer simply adds strength to a deal.

The co-signer or guarantor needs to either have a high enough net income (income minus debt payments) to support the deal, or enough assets (like a paid-off house) to be able to guantee the mortgage. A co-signer is on the title, whereas a guarantor must be more credit worthy because they guarantee the full mortgage amount.  If the applicant defaults on the mortgage (including bankruptsy), the c0-signer or guarantor is responsible for the mortgage and making mortgage payments.

So while a co-signer can be helpful in obtaining a mortgage for a first time home buyer, it’s also important to note that it’s not just a signature that’s being added to the mortgage – the co-signer or guarantor is completely responsible for the mortgage as if it was their own.

Tim

Tim is a mortgage agent in Barrie who specializes in helping first-time home buyers. He works with a variety of lenders and can help customize a mortgage with the best rates & options that fit the needs of each customer.

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Fees, fees and more fees

December 12, 2012

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Buying a condo? Then you should be extra careful about what the monthly fees will be.

Generally, the status certificate will show what the current fees are. It will also state whether the condo board anticipates any special assessments in the near future. Most realtors will ensure that your lawyer has a chance to review the status certificate before either the conditional period ends, or the title search date, so that you can be sure that you know what will be happening while there is still a chance to change things if you want.

Cesia

Cesia is a real estate lawyer at Wall-Armstrong and Green, a boutique law firm in Barrie focusing on real estate and estates. When she's not online, she can usually be found in her garden.

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Mortgage Monday Rate Update: December 2012

December 10, 2012

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While the mortgage industry slows down around Christmas, it doesn’t quite slow to a standstill.  For those that are shopping for a new house, or looking to do a refinance (or even just a simple mortgage renewal), rates and numbers are an important part of the mortgage equation. When rates change even the slightest of percentage points, it could cost or save you thousands of dollars. Every once in a while, here on the Mortgage Monday posts, I’ll update you on what’s going on in the world of mortgage rates. If this kind of stuff doesn’t really interest you, I won’t be offended if you just skim through it – I’ll try to make it as painless as possible. 😉

  • The Bank of Canada interest rate continues to hang out at 1.00%.  The next meeting is scheduled for January 23rd, 2013.
  • The Bank of Canada prime lending rate is also holding steady at 3.00%. It has also been holding steady since Fall 2010 – if the bank rate goes up, the prime lending rate will follow.  We probably won’t see this start to move up well into 2013 or even later.
  • The qualifying rate (the rate you would need to qualify at for a variable mortgage) for a 5-year mortgage is still at 5.24%.  Not many folks are getting into a variable mortgage these days (though we’re starting to see some better rates in the variable department now).
  • The current best variable rate (changes daily) is in the prime-0.35% (2.65%) ballpark, though many lenders are still currently offering ‘prime’ as their variable rate.
  • The current best 5-year fixed mortgage rate (changes daily) hasn’t really moved around much and is still in the area of 2.99%-3.09% – again, always contact your mortgage broker for current best rates for your situation (and as we’ve talked about previously, The Best Mortgage Rate is Not Always the Best Option).  Be careful when looking at some of the heavily discounted rates – many of them are considered “no-frills” mortgages and can come with restrictive options which could end up costing you $1,000’s.
  • The “hot term” in Canada these days is still the full-featured, 10-year fixed mortgage with rates as low as 3.89% (check out my post from a couple of months ago on the 10-Year Mortgage Below 4% and a more recent one: Should You Consider a 10-Year Mortgage?). If you want to lock in for a decade and record-low rates, definitely take a look at locking in for 10 years at less than 4%.  I have more clients moving into 10-year terms than any other term this month.

If you’ve been following along with my rate updates, they are probably starting to sound pretty repetative.  Very few of the numbers have changed for the past several months. While I’m happy to provide an update on what’s going on as rates, if you’re interested on getting personalized mortgage advice, speak to your favorite mortgage broker who can help you decide the best rates and options for you.

Tim

Tim is a mortgage agent in Barrie who specializes in helping first-time home buyers. He works with a variety of lenders and can help customize a mortgage with the best rates & options that fit the needs of each customer.

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