First Time Home Buyers Mortgage Broker Tips And Tricks

Among the services I provide to my clients, I consider myself to be a “first-time home buyer mortgage broker“.  As a first time home buyer mortgage broker, I know how difficult it is to get into the real estate market, particularly in Vancouver, and it brings me a particular amount of job to help someone get past the challenges if being a first time home buyer.

I have recently completed an e-book and will be launching it soon.  I believe it will be very helpful for not just first-time home buyers, but for anyone who is not as knowledgeable in residential mortgage lending, about how to make your home buyer mortgage broker application appealing to a mortgage lender.

As a sneak preview, here are three tips on improving your mortgage application as a first-time home buyer.

3 Home Buyer Mortgage Broker Tips

  1. Take advantage of the home-buyers plan to fund your down-payment.  This program is not technically ONLY for first-time home buyers, but all first-time home buyers are eligible.  Under the plan, you can borrow up to $25,000 from your RRSP for the purchase of an owner-occupied residence.  If you and your spouse are both applying, then you can withdraw $25,000 each. It is a loan, so it has to be paid back over 15 years (or 1/15th of the loan will be added to income for that year).  However, there is no withholding when you withdraw it, it does not have to all be declared as income on any given year, and you don’t even have to use all of it for down-payment!  You can use it for any purpose that you need it for. A good mortgage broker, like myself, can help you with some of the finer details and complex situations that often arise from these situations.
  2. Make sure you pay your bills on time. If you have a high balance on your loan, or you have a lot of debt, those also have a significant negative impact on your credit score, but you can get the bills down and there is no record of your high debt levels.  However, when you miss a bill payment, it stays on your credit bureau for 6-7 YEARS.  This not just negatively impacts your credit score, but lenders look at this when assessing risk, and they have been particularly uncompromising and (unreasonable, paranoid, strict…and other words that I cannot put in print) in the last few years.  While you likely do not have to wait 6-7 years to become bankable if you have had gone through a period of bad credit, the less negative credit on the bureau, the better. At least make the minimum required payments and you will go a long way to making yourself appealing to them.
  3. Having no credit is just as bad as having bad credit. Many people feel that not requiring credit should prove your ability to pay your bills and should be good evidence of credit-worthiness.  This is not how mortgage lenders think.  If you currently do not have any credit, then you do not have any documentation that you are an acceptable credit risk, and no matter how strong your income is, you will have difficulty obtaining a prime mortgage approval.  Make sure you have at least 3 different credit facilities in your name.  (Secondary credit cards in a spouses name are not considered acceptable for establishing your credit).

I am excited to launch my home buyer mortgage broker e-book soon, in which I go into much greater detail and give many different ideas to help home buyers prepare for home ownership, but as a mortgage broker in Vancouver, you are welcome to contact me in the meantime to discuss your circumstances and see if there are any options for you.

Good news regarding OSFI rule changes

This is just a quick note to let viewers know that IF you are one of the people with 20% or more down-payment and are in a position that the new OSFI rule changes affect your pre-qualification, that I can extend the current guidelines into the new year by up to 120 days provided that I have an application and am able to get a pre-approval in place with a lender for you before January 1. (more…)

OSFI B20 mortgage guideline changes 2017 – Part 2

This is a continuation of the article published here about the OSFI B20 morgage guidline changes for 2017.

If you are familiar with mortgage brokers at all (which you probably aren’t) you would know that we also have alternative sources of lending for situations where a mortgage borrower will not qualify with a prime institution.  We have what we call “B” lenders, who have higher rates but more flexible lending criteria, and we have private lenders, which are individuals and corporations who can lend money on on anything that suits them. (more…)

OSFI B20 mortgage guideline changes 2017 – Part 1

B20?  Is that some kind of vitamin?

It certainly sounds like a vitamin, but unfortunately, it is something else altogether.  The Office of the Superintendent of Financial Institutions is the regulator for all federal mortgage lending institutions.  They set the regulations for mortgage companies like banks to follow (or ignore).

The latest updates to the B20 mortgage regulations could bring some potentially very disrupting changes to the real estate market, especially if you are wanting to get a mortgage in Vancouver, or you are a mortgage broker in Vancouver. In summary: (more…)

Bank of Canada announces increase to the prime lending rate.

I am just sending a quick note out to let you know about today’s announcement by the Bank of Canada to increase the prime lending rate. The increase is .25% and is applicable to variable and adjustable rate mortgages.

If you are one of the people on a fixed rate mortgage, then this will not affect you at this time. If you are on a variable rate, most lenders adjust the payment to reflect the interest rate change. A couple lenders will keep your payment the same but you will be paying less principal and more interest with each payment. (more…)

Another reason Vancouver home prices will not increase as quickly this year

The Greater Vancouver real estate market is getting hit from all angles at the moment.  There is the foreign buyers tax, the empty home property tax and the most recent draconian mortgage lending rule changes.  The foreign buyers tax has been scaled back somewhat to make it more reasonable for those with work permits, but it is still a major deterrent to property speculators looking to park their money. (more…)

About the BC Home Partnership Program

The newest program initiative offered by the BC government has been officially launched as of Jan. 16th.  The program is called the BC Home Partnership Program, and under the terms of the program, eligible first-time homebuyers will be able to receive 5% of the value of your home purchase up to a maximum of $37,500 on a maximum property value of $750,000.  The program matches, dollar for dollar, the down-payment of the home buyer.  The program provides the funds secured by a second mortgage behind your regular mortgage. (more…)

Happy New Year! A year in review for real estate and mortgages

First of all, I want to wish everyone out there a Happy New Year.  2016 was an interesting year, with many twists and turns for the real estate market in the Greater Vancouver Area.  Mortgage brokers like myself are still trying to get our bearings after being spun in so many circles. (more…)

First-Time Home Buyer Programs BC government announcement

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By: Germán Poo-Caamaño

(Update: this program has been discontinued.  To learn more about other home buyer programs in BC, check out the article home buyer incentive programs summarized.)

The government today announced a  home buyers program in BC to help first time home buyers get into the market and purchase a home.  The program matches the down payment of the borrower dollar for dollar in the form of a second mortgage to a limit of $37,500.  The mortgage provided will be a 25 year amortized mortgage with a 0% interest rate, and payments would not need to be made on the mortgage for the first 5 years of the term.  To be eligible for this program, borrowers have to meet the following criteria: (more…)

8 Scams to Watch Out For This Holiday Season

The holidays are a happy time for celebrating with family, friends, and co-workers. Unfortunately, this time of year can also be turned sour by a wide variety of clever frauds, unauthorized debit and credit card transactions, and bogus person-to-person scams. By the end of 2015, individuals, retailers, charitable donors, and companies were victimized to the tune of $1.5 billion… and that number is expected to have gone up in 2016. (more…)