Trusted Tips and Resources

Trusted Tips & Resources

Trusted Regina Mortgage Brokers Skott Enns and Ryan Boughen share a tip on renewing your mortgage.


Mortgage Renewal Time?

If you have a mortgage, at some point it will come up for renewal (unless of course, you are really close to paying it off, and in that case – congratulations!!!). When this happens, it is important for you to know your options, so that you are not leaving money on the table or putting yourself in a situation which could cost you money down the road.

There are two primary reasons that you may want to leave your existing lender: rate being the primary one, and sometimes you may simply be unhappy with the service (or lack of) that your existing lender is providing to you.

Approximately 65% of clients will simply sign the first mortgage renewal form offered to them by their existing lender when. No questions asked. That is a mistake, and often a costly one. Don’t get me wrong, the easiest thing for you to do is to sign that form. No re qualification, no additional questions, things just keep humming right along… but here is the thing: the banks are also aware of the fact that two-thirds of clients will ‘just sign’, and guess what… the higher the interest rate they can get you to pay, the more money they make.


How often do you think they will have your best interests at heart when renewing your mortgage?


Negotiating a Better Offer Upon Your Mortgage Renewal



The reality is that at the end of that term, you are indeed a free agent! Get out there and play the field. Here is how I would recommend doing that.

Ask Your Existing Lender To Come To The Table With Their Best Rate

Again, there is no doubt that the easiest thing to do IS to stick with your existing lender, and if they are offering a competitive rate, then my advice will always be to stay there. However until you know what they are willing to do for you, it is difficult to determine what the best course of action is.

Call A Mortgage Broker

As a Mortgage Broker, we work with an array of lenders: big banks, credit unions, mortgage finance companies, private lenders etc. Once you have a rate from your existing lender, your Mortgage Broker will be able to run through the mortgage products that the various lenders are offering, and figure out whether or not you would save money by switching lenders. Once we are within 120 days of your mortgage coming up for renewal, if there is a better rate out there for you, we can lock it in.One other reason to avoid signing blindly is that life happens, and situations change… if you just got out of a 5 year fixed term, but have a growing family and recognize that you will likely be upgrading your home in less than two years, perhaps it makes more sense for you to consider a shorter fixed term or a variable term (where the penalty for breaking that term is only a 3-month interest penalty). A Mortgage Broker will help you to work through all of these scenarios.

 

A Quick Re qualification

In the event that you can save money by switching lenders, it is important to realize that you will need to requalify. However, in most cases, assuming your financial situation is similar or better than what it was when you first obtained the last mortgage, this shouldn’t be a big deal. Typically, you will require the following documentation:

  • A letter of employment confirming position, salary, and full-time/part-time status
  • A recent paystub
  • A copy of a recent mortgage/renewal statement from your existing lender
  • A copy of your house insurance policy
  • A copy of your property tax bill ensuring payments are up to date
  • A void cheque or PAD form for the bank account where you would like your new mortgage to come out of

Other Points to Consider When Renewing Your Mortgage

Please recognize that every mortgage is different, and if you are self-employed, a part-time employee, own rental properties or something a little outside the norm, additional documentation may be requested, but the above list will cover the majority of the paperwork. Clearly, it may take a little bit of time to gather these documents. It is up to you whether or not you believe it is worth it.

If I can save you $5,300 (recent real-life example) over the next 5 years through lower payments and interest savings, is it worth spending 2-3 hours collecting a little information? In my eyes, you are making $1,766 per hour if it takes you three hours…. Now there are a LOT of things that I would do if I was paid $1,766/hr to do them, even if they are not my favourite! I would teach myself to snowboard. I would eat plates of raw oysters. I would shop at WalMart. And I would definitely collect void cheques and paystubs if it meant I could save that kind of cash.

When switching lenders, there may or may not be fees involved. Discharge fees, appraisal fees, ‘legal’ fees can all be part of the switching process, HOWEVER, in many cases, these fees can be covered by the new lender. Again, best to discuss these options with your Mortgage Broker, and see what they can do to save you money.


One final point about moving lenders… 

Since October 2016 there has been a substantial rule change that has come into effect which does make it more difficult to qualify for purchasing a home today. That is the truth and there is no getting around it. However, if you are simply renewing your mortgage with a different lender, although you DO have to re qualify, you are grandfathered in under the pre-October 2016 guidelines… which is great news, and ensures that you have a much better chance of being able to move lenders if it makes sense to do so.

If you are looking for honest, unbiased advice from a mortgage broker in Regina they would love to talk with you!

Skott Phone 306-201-6500  Ryan Phone 306-570-3379 

No Time to set up an appointment! No Problem! You can also click here to apply now  with Ryan or apply now with Skott and get the ball rolling.

TMG The Mortgage Group Skott Enns & Ryan Boughen are Trusted Regina Mortgage Brokers

June is Credit Score Month and our Trusted Regina Partner Robert MacKay want's to help you understand the importance of your credit score.

June is Credit Score Month and our Trusted Regina Home Lawyer Robert MacKay of Mackay and McLean want's to help you understand the importance of your credit score

It’s often the first indicator that you are an identity theft victim. If you find names you don’t recognize, Social Insurance numbers that don’t belong to you, or accounts that aren’t yours, you might be a fraud victim. Credit reporting companies can help you stop the credit fraud and prevent future misuse of your identity.

Here are 5 reasons to check your credit score:

  • It’s free. Never pass up a freebie, especially when it can affects your financial health and well-being. Your credit report plays an important part in your credit transactions and many other financial relationships.  Get your annual credit report.
  •  It’s an important step in rebuilding and maintaining good credit. Reviewing your credit report periodically will help you make sure it is in good shape when you are ready to apply for new credit and enable you to monitor your progress if you are recovering from past credit problems.
  • It’s an important part of managing your personal finances. You should review your credit report just like you do your bank statements and credit card bills. Managing credit, keeping track of spending and putting aside savings are all essential to being financially successful.
  • It’s often the first indicator that you are an identity theft victim. If you find names you don’t recognize, Social Security numbers that don’t belong to you, or accounts that aren’t yours, you might be a fraud victim. Experian and the other national credit reporting companies can help you stop the credit fraud and prevent future misuse of your identity.
  • It’s the first step in correcting any information you feel is inaccurate. The vast majority of the time people find everything is accurate. But if you do find something wrong, your personal credit report comes with instructions for submitting disputes and contact information including a toll-free telephone number, Internet address and mailing address.

Make sure your credit information accurate.

 Your credit score is a reflection of the information in your credit report. Checking your credit score can give you an indication as to whether your credit report is accurate. If your credit score is lower than you expect, it could be a sign that your credit report contains errors that need to be disputed with the credit bureaus.

Add a fraud alert

A fraud alert, or identity verification alert, tells lenders to contact you and confirm your identity before they approve any applications for credit. The aim is to prevent any further fraud from happening.

Ask the credit bureaus to put a fraud alert on your credit report if:

  • you've been a victim of fraud
  • your wallet has been stolen
  • you've had a home break-in

You may need to provide identification and a sworn statement to prove that you've been a victim of fraud.

You can set up a fraud alert for free with Equifax. TransUnion charges a fee of $5 plus taxes to set up a fraud alert.


A strong credit profile and reasonable debt ratio are equally important if you want the best mortgage rates and terms.


For more questions and help with any legal property issues consult with our Trusted Regina Real Estate Lawyer Robert MacKay

Trusted Regina Real Estate Lawyer Robert MacKay warns about the potential implications of renting your property.

Our Trusted Regina Real Estate Lawyer Robert MacKay want's to ensure Landlords are fully aware of the financial and legal issues that can arise from criminal activity conducted by a tenant.  

A recent article from the Star Phoenix "Regina landlords lose bid to make insurer pay for drug-house explosion" details how a local landlord attempted to gain compensation for the home from the insurance company.  The insurance company had denied their claim and pointed to a 2003 notice posted in a renewal package that stated simply: “We do not insure property used for the illegal cultivating, harvesting, processing, manufacturing, distributing or selling of marijuana.”

Even though the landlords claimed they took all reasonable steps to screen the tenant and his partner, who had children and were otherwise “model tenants.” There was simply no way for them to know the tenants were surreptitiously running an illegal drug operation in the home, they argued.  However Court of Queen’s Bench Justice Richard Elson rejected those arguments stating "changes to the policy were hardly “buried.” They came highlighted in a special box on the front page of the renewal form". Further, he noted that renting always carries an element of uncertainty — and landlords should be prepared for the worst.


How can a landlord limit responsibility for crime committed by strangers on the rental property?

Screen tenants carefully and choose tenants who are likely to be law-abiding and peaceful citizens. Weed out violent or dangerous individuals to the extent allowable under privacy and anti-discrimination laws that may limit questions about a tenant's past criminal activity.

  • Don't accept cash rental payments.
  • Do not tolerate tenants' disruptive behavior. Include an explicit provision in the lease or rental agreement prohibiting drug dealing and other illegal activity and promptly evict tenants who violate the clause.
  • Be aware of suspicious activity, such as heavy traffic in and out of the rental premises.
  • Respond to tenant and neighbor complaints about drug dealing on the rental property. Get advice from police immediately upon learning of a problem.
  • Consult with security experts to do everything reasonable to discover and prevent illegal activity on the rental property.
As in this case screening doesn't always help it can limit the possibility of being denied by your insurance company.  Ultimately the liability falls on the property owner to be aware of the possible issues that can arise from criminal activity.  

Before you decide to rent out a property consult with a lawyer such as Robert MacKay to be certain that you are aware of all the potential legal implications and your options.  

For more questions and help with any legal property issues consult with our Trusted Regina Real Estate Lawyer Robert MacKay



Full article:

Regina landlords lose bid to make insurer pay for drug-house explosion

Nine years after a "honey hash oil" operation sent a fire ripping through a Princess Street home, the tenants will have to pay more than $179K

ARTHUR WHITE-CRUMMEY, REGINA LEADER-POST Updated: May 29, 2018

Our Trusted Regina Realtor Peter Woldu shares a tip about how to sell your home

Peter Woldu is a Trusted Regina Realty Expert.  Here he shares a tip on selling your home!

Buyers do not see your home the same way you do. They are very discriminating about its condition, the neighbourhood and the price. An average Buyer will view between 15-20 homes, ranking yours among all that they have viewed

     

1. Find A Good REALTOR® To Represent Your Needs 

A professional REALTOR® is your best bet. This person has the educational background, the industry and community connections to work in your best interests.

2. Be Clear About Why You Are Selling 

Knowing the reasons for your move determines everything from setting the price to allocating funds for repairs and improvements. Is the price you obtain more important than how long your home is on the market? Do you need to sell immediately? Each “why”requires a different strategy. At the same time, you do not need to reveal your “why”to anyone. Something negative might be used as a bargaining tool at the negotiating table. If someone wants to know why you are selling, politely respond that your housing needs have changed.

3. Conduct Thorough Research Before Setting Price

 Establishing an offering price is an investment in your future. Find out what similar homes in your neighborhood have sold for in the last 6-12 months. Also check out the prices of homes currently listed. The price you ask should be within the range of similar homes in the neighbourhood. If it is too high or too low, buyers will question the reasons for this discrepancy. Your home could stay on the market longer than you would like. You may also have to adjust the price and wind up getting less than you hoped.



4. Maximize Your Home’s Sale Potential

 First impressions are absolutely critical. The look, the feel and the care of your home promote an emotional response. Even before they walk in your door, prospective Buyers will try to imagine themselves living in your home. Just like a new outfit, Buyers want to see if this home will "fit" their lifestyle. Clean everything until it sparkles. Pick up, organize, throw away, scrub, scour, dust and disinfect. Be sure to complete all minor repairs. Buyers are especially keen on work that may need to be completed.

5. Ensure All Areas Of The Contract Are Covered

 It is in your best interests to disclose everything you know about the property. Failure to disclose could result in costly delays, litigation or even cancellation of the sales transaction. Most importantly, if a Buyer knows about an item, he or she has no future recourse. Be sure you understand all terms, costs and responsibilities. 

6. Stay In Your Home Until Closing 

It may be harder to sell a vacant home. Furniture, drapes and all the excitement of daily activities go a long way to create the warmth and comfort of a home. To some Buyers, an unoccupied home could be seen as forlorn, forgotten and not as appealing. You might have to reduce your price, depending upon the Buyer. At the same time, you are sending the message that you have found a new home, and you likely need to sell fast.

7. Stay Out Of The Way During Showings 

When Buyers view your home, gently remove yourself and allow them to feel at home. By pointing out features, improvements and decorating items that are meaningful to you, or you have spent money on, you could be seen as adding pressure to the sale. It is best to leave the showing to your REALTOR®

To find out more about Peter check out his listing in the Trusted Regina Realty Category.


Trusted Regina Mortgage Expert Answers Questions About Rising Lending Rates

Trusted Regina's Skott Enns and Ryan Boughen of TMG The Mortgage Group can be found in the Mortgage category.  


We sat down and asked Skott Enns of TMG The Mortgage Group some questions we thought you'd like the answers to!


"As many of you have now heard, the Bank of Canada       increased it's lending rate to 0.75%. That is an increase of 0.25%, from their previous rate of 0.50%."


QUESTION #1: Who will be affected by this?


 "When the BoC increases their rate, this will typically translate into an  increase in the Prime lending rate, which is how banks calculate their  variable mortgage rate. Hence, if you have a variable rate mortgage (or  there is a line of credit component attached to your mortgage), you can  expect your mortgage rate (and likely your payment) to increase by 0.25%  in the very near future."



QUESTION #2: What does this actually mean?


"Of course no one likes to hear that their interest rate is increasing, but before panicking, it is important to look at what this actually means in dollars and cents. With this 0.25% increase, your mortgage payment will increase by $13/month for every $100,000 you owe."


"So if you have a $300,000 mortgage, this will increase your mortgage payment by $39-ish per month. Clearly you would rather keep that money in your own pocket, but this is not a scenario where the sky is falling."


Image result for arrow going up with house


QUESTION #3: What to do?


a) "We can lock in your mortgage rate by converting it to a fixed term. When you originally received your mortgage financing you (in most cases) were committing to that particular lender for a 5 year period. If you are now 2 years into that variable rate, and wanted to lock in to a fixed term, you would be locking into a term of at least 3 years. Make sense? Keep in mind, however that in many cases, the fixed rate that you would be locking into is still going to be higher than your new increased variable rate."


b) "We can do nothing, and stay the course with a variable rate. Although one can never guarantee what will happen with mortgage rates, history shows that those borrowers with variable rates who stay the course as opposed to locking in mid term still save more money."


SKOTT'S TWO CENTS:


"As a blanket statement, I am encouraging the clients who are calling me to stick with their variable rates. As mentioned, in most cases your new variable rate will still be lower than the fixed rate you would be locking into. If you consider this, in addition to the ultra low penalty that comes with breaking a variable rate mortgage (should it ever happen), I still believe a variable term is the right way to go."


"That being said, every situation is unique. If you have any questions at all about your mortgage please do not hesitate to contact me at 306.201.6500."


I am happy to answer any questions/concerns you may have.


If you are looking for honest, unbiased advice from a mortgage broker in Regina they would love to talk with you!

Skott Phone 306-201-6500  Ryan Phone 306-570-3379 

No Time to set up an appointment! No Problem! You can also click here to apply now  with Ryan or apply now with Skott and get the ball rolling.

TMG The Mortgage Group Skott Enns & Ryan Boughen are Trusted Regina Mortgage Brokers


 

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