Sunday, April 27, 2008

Why Can’t I Get A Mortgage

Many people are starting to ask why they are unable to obtain a mortgage; it is not just those who have an adverse credit history who are being affected. So why are mortgage lenders so unwilling will to let people borrow their money?

Well it is all down to the now infamous credit crunch. These lenders are finding it extremely hard to borrow money themselves or at least at a worthwhile interest rate. Despite the governments of the Canada and USA slashing interest rates the market is showing no signs of picking up. It is as if there is some kind of stalemate taking place. Many of the mortgage lenders have been reluctant to pass on these interest rate reductions with the majority of them even increasing the interest rates on their fixed rate mortgages.

For the average man in the street this seems rather unfair. How often does a lender keep their rates unchanged when the Bank of Canada increases interest rates? Never is the answer, they are very efficient at increasing their rates. In my opinion there should be a rule which states that they have to pass the interest rate reductions on to their customers.

Governments around the world are trying to find a solution to this stalemate; they need to find a way to get the whole lending business moving again. For now people will just have to make do with that they can get, hardly an ideal situation, but that's just the way it is.

Financial experts are saying that there is a house price crisis, with prices likely to fall in a major way over the next couple of years. I personally believe that the fundamentals are fine but that the credit crunch and the affect that it is having is making it virtually impossible to buy and sell houses. There is likely to be some more bad news to come but within a couple of years the housing market will start to boom as people start to be able to borrow money again.

Sunday, April 20, 2008

Need a Mortgage Broker

For many people, mortgage payments are their single largest expense. Yet, when financing a home, most Canadians don’t comparison shop to ensure they’re getting the best mortgage rate Montreal and terms available. This mistake can cost homeowners tens of thousands of dollars over the course of their mortgage.

Here are seven ways mortgage brokers can help:

Access to competitive rates

Brokers deal with multiple competing lenders and can often access exclusive rates. Based on the number of mortgages brokers complete each year, they also have the power to negotiate rate discounts from lenders, which can be passed on to their clients.

Free service

Mortgage brokers’ services are typically available at no cost to consumers. Brokers are paid by the lender selected by their clients.

Knowledgeable advice

Brokers offer consultative service, advice and solutions that are customized to each client’s needs. And unlike banks, brokers work for you.

Speed and convenience

Brokers will work around a client’s schedule to make the transaction as easy and convenient as possible.


Whether you’re shopping for a new home or refinancing your existing mortgage, a broker can help you obtain a pre-approved mortgage, often with up to a 120-day interest rate guarantee.

Preserved credit rating

When you shop for a mortgage, there is an accumulation of lender inquiries on your credit bureau report, possibly affecting your credit rating and, ultimately, the rate and terms of your mortgage. This isn’t the case with a mortgage broker, who only does one inquiry yet can still get many competing lenders to quote on your business.

Peace of Mind

The Canadian Association of Accredited Mortgage Montreal Brokers has a stringent Code of Ethics that members are required to adhere to in order to retain membership.

Sunday, April 13, 2008

Appraisals-Truth About Mortgage Property

Here is the cold, hard truth on valuations and what appraisers will NEVER tell you. Keep these points in mind on every loan you do.

1. Cosmetic stuff such as paint, new carpets, window treatments, etc. do not increase appraised value, they only increase the perceived value of the property from the viewpoint of the buyer. Yes, cosmetics will affect your asking price and what the buyer is willing to pay, but it will NOT increase the intrinsic value of the house on the appraisal report. It also won’t get a customer out of PMI if you try to refinance him and all he has done to improve the property is wallpaper and paint. Lenders are much savvier than this and (if the time period has only been a year or two and prices haven’t increased) will require “significant” property upgrades to kick off PMI, not just cosmetic effects. Remember this.

2. Also, high end appliances such as sub-zero freezers and granite counter top upgrades do nothing to increase value on the actual appraisal report. And even if by chance they do, it will be very, very low and insignificant. Yes, some appraisers will try to tell you that they took the upgrades into account when determining value, when the real reason is they didn’t. Appraisers just say that, because it’s the borrowers who belly ache with “well I put all this work into the house, and surely my shiny new stailess steel appliances added some value, didn’t they....

3. On condo’s, the appraiser must first look within the same complex development for comparable properties BEFORE looking elsewhere to justify a value. That’s because lenders want to know what other units next to it have sold for, and most likely, these units are all similar in nature and have a common historical precedence for valuation.

4. If the appraiser goes outside the normal mileage boundaries of the area to search for comparable properties, there must be a valid and overriding reason given. And this reason must be CLEARLY articulated and stated on the appraisal report. Failure to do this and you risk having the appraisal report kicked back to you from underwriting and requesting additional comparables. (This delays the closing, risks your interest rate lock and may even kill the whole deal!)

5. Carefully watch your hits and adjustments on the rate sheet and beware of pricing bumps because of a low appraisal. If the “loan to value” on the property is too high and the customer is taking cash-out, then this WILL affect the interest rate and--more importantly--your income! On the other hand, if the appraisal comes in higher making the “loan to value” lower, you can either keep the extra yield spread you earn or pass the savings onto the customer and lower their interest rate or reduce some of the closing costs. If you do nothing, you can simply use this additional “found capital” as additional leverage to make yourself more competitive with the borrower. As the deal progresses, you may have to bargain and cut your fees to save the loan. Keeping a bit of padding, gives you a way to make amends without losing your shirt!

6. Keep in mind that appraisal values are a moving target and that the appraiser can only go back so far to pull out comparable properties, typically no more than 3 to 4 months. Anything longer and the bank will condition you for it and ask for more comps. Again, you don’t want to delay the closing and risk losing your commission.

7. Any value that is given to a home is only as good as the value of the other properties surrounding it. If the market is in a downward trend (as we are today), then the prevailing prices will be downward. Duh?! Customers don’t like to hear this. Everyone thinks they are sitting on a “goldmine” and I can’t even tell you how many BBQ’s I’ve been at where so-and-so is bragging about how much their house is worth. You can imagine the shock on their face when they try to refinance and get the appraisal report. That alone is enough to deflate their enthusiasm. Sorry to spoil the party, Mr. Customer, but all value is subjective and only as good as what someone else is willing to pay.

8. Tell customers, that no matter what the property value comes in at, you have absolutely no control over it. Appraisers are independent third parties and their opinion is usually firm. They are bound by legal, ethical and moral obligations and could lose their license if they stray too far beyond the guidelines. They could lose their job!!!

9. If customers doubt the appraised value and think it should be higher (again the goldmine mentality), tell them that it is up to them to get a second opinion if they choose too. However, be sure to tell them that it will cost them another appraisal fee (this usually is enough to stop them cold in their tracks!). Reiterate the points mentioned above. You are acting as their trusted advisor so they should heed your advice.

10. As a last resort, you could call the appraiser and see if they may have overlooked something on the report such as significant upgrades (meaning finished basements, porches, attics, additional rooms, etc.) Also, are there any other recent sales in the area that you know of? Could the appraiser use one of those comparable properties instead? Maybe this will help you get to the value you are looking for. Maybe not.

Remember when working on loans you need to set expectations with the borrower. I always tell customers that no matter what they “think” the property is worth we actually have no idea until an independent third party takes an objective look at it. It’s no use trying to guess and speculate!

When someone tells me the value of their home I take it with a grain of salt because I know that most likely the appraisal will come in far less than they think…and I price my loans accordingly. I suggest you do the same. Listen to your gut instinct and never just take the borrowers word for it.

I hope the above tips regarding appraisals help you in this ever changing market. If you want to survive you’ll need to adapt and become your customer’s best friend. The better educated you are about the mortgage process, the less fall-out you’ll have and the more loans you’ll ultimately close.

Friday, April 4, 2008

Mortgage Loan

A mortgage loan is a loan secured by real property through the use of a mortgage (a legal instrument). However, the word mortgage alone, in everyday usage, is most often used to mean mortgage loan. A home buyer or builder can obtain financing (a loan) either to purchase or secured against the property from a financial institution, such as a bank, either directly or indirectly through intermediaries.

Features of mortgage loans such as the size of the loan, maturity of the loan, interest rate, method of paying off the loan, and other characteristics can vary considerably.According to Anglo-American property law, a mortgage occurs when an owner (usually of a fee simple interest in realty) pledges his interest as security or collateral for a loan. Therefore, a mortgage is an encumbrance on property just as an easement would be, but because most mortgages occur as a condition for new loan money, the word mortgage has become the generic term for a loan secured by such real property.

As with other types of loans, mortgages have an interest rate and are scheduled to amortize over a set period of time; typically 25, 30 and in recent years 40 years. All types of real property can, and usually are, secured with a mortgage and bear an interest rate that is supposed to reflect the lender's risk.

Governments usually regulate many aspects of mortgage lending, either directly (through legal requirements, for example) or indirectly (through regulation of the participants or the financial markets, such as the banking industry), and often through state intervention (direct lending by the government, by state-owned banks, or sponsorship of various entities). Other aspects that define a specific mortgage market may be regional, historical, or driven by specific characteristics of the legal or financial system.

Mortgage loans are generally structured as long-term loans, the periodic payments for which are similar to an annuity and calculated according to the time value of money formula. The most basic arrangement would require a fixed monthly payment over a period of ten to thirty years, depending on local conditions. Over this period the principal component of the loan (the original loan) would be slowly paid down through amortization. In practice, many variants are possible and common worldwide and within each country.

There are many types of mortgages used worldwide, but several factors broadly define the characteristics of the mortgage. All of these may be subject to local regulation and legal requirements.
Interest: interest may be fixed for the life of the loan or variable, and change at certain pre-defined periods; the interest rate can also, of course, be higher or lower.Term: mortgage loans generally have a maximum term, that is, the number of years after which an amortizing loan will be repaid. Some mortgage loans may have no amortization, or require full repayment of any remaining balance at a certain date, or even negative amortization.Payment amount and frequency: the amount paid per period and the frequency of payments; in some cases, the amount paid per period may change or the borrower may have the option to increase or decrease the amount paid.

Prepayment: some types of mortgages may limit or restrict prepayment of all or a portion of the loan, or require payment of a penalty to the lender for prepayment.The two basic types of amortized loans are the fixed rate mortgage (FRM) and adjustable rate mortgage (ARM) (also known as a floating rate or variable rate mortgage). In many countries, floating rate mortgages are the norm and will simply be referred to as mortgages; in the United States, fixed rate mortgages are typically considered "standard." Combinations of fixed and floating rate are also common, whereby a mortgage loan will have a fixed rate for some period, and vary after the end of that period.

In a fixed rate mortgage, the interest rate, and hence periodic payment, remains fixed for the life (or term) of the loan. In the Canada the term is usually up to 40 years (25 and 30 being the most common), although longer terms may be offered in certain circumstances. For a fixed rate mortgage, payments for principal and interest should not change over the life of the loan, although ancillary costs (such as property taxes and insurance) can and do change.

In an adjustable rate mortgage, the interest rate is generally fixed for a period of time, after which it will periodically (for example, annually or monthly) adjust up or down to some market index.
Common indices in the Canada include the Prime Rate, the London Interbank Offered Rate (LIBOR), and the Treasury Index ("T-Bill"); other indices are in use but are less popular. Adjustable rates transfer part of the interest rate risk from the lender to the borrower, and thus are widely used where fixed rate funding is difficult to obtain or prohibitively expensive. Since the risk is transferred to the borrower, the initial interest rate may be from 0.5% to 2% lower than the average 30-year fixed rate; the size of the price differential will be related to debt market conditions, including the yield curve.

Thursday, April 3, 2008

Quick primer on new California FHA loan limits

The mortgage limits set by HUD for FHA loans (Federal Housing Administration) for California counties were raised in March. The new limits are set relative to the median price of homes in each county. The bad news: the new limits will only be effective until the end of 2008.
San Diego’s limit has been raised to $697,500 from just over $362,000, while Orange County and Los Angeles county are both at the max of $729,750 now. This change comes as part of the effort to support the origination of larger mortgages, which should lead to lower interest rates. Many Jumbo loan holders or home buyers have been hesitant to finance given the high rates that Jumbo loans have experienced the past few months.

FHA Mortgage Limits in California by County

Alameda County
Median home price $995,000
new FHA Limit $729,750

Alpine County
Median home price $438,000
new FHA Limit $547,500

Amador County
edian home price $355,000
ew FHA Limit $443,750

Butte County
Median home price $320,000
new FHA Limit $400,000

Calaveras County
Median home price $370,000
new FHA Limit $462,500

Colusa County
Median home price $318,000
new FHA Limit $397,500

Contra Costa County
Median home price $995,000
new FHA Limit $729,750

Del Norte County
Median home price $249,000
new FHA Limit $311,250

El Dorado County
Median home price $464,000
new FHA Limit $580,000

Fresno County
Median home price $305,000
new FHA Limit $381,250

Glenn County
Median home price $230,000
new FHA Limit $287,500

Humboldt County
Median home price $315,000
new FHA Limit $393,750

Imperial County
Median home price $260,000
new FHA Limit $325,000

Inyo County
Median home price $350,000
new FHA Limit $437,500

Kern County
Median home price $295,000
new FHA Limit $368,750

Kings County
Median home price $260,000
new FHA Limit $325,000

Lake County
Median home price $321,000
new FHA Limit $401,250

Lassen County
Median home price $200,000
new FHA Limit $271,050

Los Angeles County
Median home price $710,000
new FHA Limit $729,750

Madera County
Median home price $340,000
new FHA Limit $425,000

Marin County
Median home price $995,000
new FHA Limit $729,750

Mariposa County
Median home price $330,000
new FHA Limit $412,500

Mendocino County
Median home price $410,000
new FHA Limit $512,500

Merced County
Median home price $378,000
new FHA Limit $472,500

Modoc County
Median home price $125,000
new FHA Limit $271,050

Mono County
Median home price $370,000
new FHA Limit $462,500

Monterey County
Median home price $599,000
new FHA Limit $729,750

Napa County
Median home price $615,000
new FHA Limit $729,750

Nevada County
Median home price $450,000
new FHA Limit $562,500

Orange County
Median home price $710,000
new FHA Limit $729,750

Placer County
Median home price $464,000
new FHA Limit $580,000

Plumas County
Median home price $328,000
new FHA Limit $410,000

Riverside County
Median home price $400,000
new FHA Limit $500,000

Sacramento County
Median home price $464,000
new FHA Limit $580,000

San Benito County
Median home price $790,000
new FHA Limit $729,750

San Bernardino County
Median home price $400,000
new FHA Limit $500,000

San Diego County
Median home price $558,000
new FHA Limit $697,500

San Francisco County
Median home price $995,000
new FHA Limit $729,750

San Joaquin County
Median home price $391,000
new FHA Limit $488,750

San Luis Obispo County
Median home price $550,000
new FHA Limit $687,500

San Mateo County
Median home price $995,000
new FHA Limit $729,750

Santa Barbara County
Median home price $615,000
new FHA Limit $729,750

Santa Clara County
Median home price $790,000
new FHA Limit $72,9750

Santa Cruz County
Median home price $719,000
new FHA Limit $729,750

Shasta County
Median home price $339,000
new FHA Limit $423,750

Sierra County
Median home price $228,000
new FHA Limit $285,000

Siskiyou County
Median home price $235,000
new FHA Limit $293,750

Solano County
Median home price $446,000
new FHA Limit $557,500

Sonoma County
Median home price $530,000
new FHA Limit $662,500

Stanislaus County
Median home price $339,000
new FHA Limit $423,750

Sutter County
Median home price $340,000
new FHA Limit $425,000

Tehama County
Median home price $250,000
new FHA Limit $312,500

Trinity County
Median home price $200,000
new FHA Limit $271,050

Tulare County
Median home price $260,000
new FHA Limit $325,000

Tuolumne County
Median home price $350,000
new FHA Limit $437,500

Ventura County
Median home price $599,000
new FHA Limit $729,750

Yolo County
Median home price $464,000
new FHA Limit $580,000

Yuba County
Median home price $340,000
new FHA Limit $425,000

Wednesday, April 2, 2008

100% financing for Commercial properties still available

100% financing for Commercial properties still available

Strange as it may sound "100% financing" for commercial properties still exists. We offer this program for owner occupied commercial space. It is very popular with Commercial Condo's for purchase & build-out.

We can finance the base purchase price, the build-out of the interior, and sometimes even your closing costs and interest during construction. These loans are great for professionals such as Doctors, Dentists, Consultants, etc that want to establish their practice in their own space and stop paying rent.

Call Brian Skaar for details, and to see if this is the best solution for your business at 866-900-2342 (toll free) or apply via our website at