30 Mar



Posted by: Mike Hattim

A sincere thank you to our regulators, Ministers, MP’s, etc. for your concern about my personal debt figures.

And thanks for channelling this concern into recent deep and drastic cuts to my personal (home financing) purchasing power. Although certainly chopping Canadian families’ ability to buy a home in today’s rising market by a whopping 20% in one abrupt move seems a tad aggressive. Especially considering the many prudent cuts and measures introduced since 2008 which were enacted with reasonable industry consultation and reasonable rollout periods.

Again, thanks for the attention and concern for my own debt levels.

Perhaps we should talk about yours though; after all our nation’s fiscal order is in your hands. And you seem to be paying a lot of attention to this debt-to-income topic. At least where it applies to my own household.

But how do things look for the federal government’s debt-to-income ratio?

Let’s have a peak at your (or our collective) “house’s” debt to income ratio. And since the metric does not factor in equity, net worth, savings, or any assets at all when applied to us, we’ll leave them equally absent from this conversation.

Federal Gross income: $291.2 Billion
Federal Gross Debt: $1.056 Trillion

This appears to be a 363% debt-to-income ratio.

Why that’s twice our individual household debt-to-income ratio.


2.17 times higher to be precise.

And isn’t my mortgage debt capped for complete payout at 25 or 30 years – the maximum amortization allowable. Tell us again about the actual amortization timeline of the current national debt.

To Infinity and Beyond!

I believe the effective amortization of the national debt is currently just a touch beyond 25 years, or even 30 years; currently it sits at something closer to infinity. As happens when one steadily spends more than they make.

Perhaps you can tell us about your plans to get our nation’s debt to income level reduced below 167% – since this is apparently a concerning number. And once it is below 167% feel free to talk to me about my own debt-to-income ratio.

As things stand you look a bit like that guy at the party with seven shots of rye in him lecturing us all on how we should never consume more than three shots. Yet we are all going to get up tomorrow and work hard, and we had better because for all your worrying about us we need to hustle every day to cover your own fiscal imprudence.

Perhaps it is time for an early night, some introspection, and some internal house cleaning.

Same rules (ought to) apply.

By Dustan Woodhouse
29 Mar



Posted by: Mike Hattim

The human brain struggles with distinguishing between a real or imagined threat.

Is it a snake? Or just a shoelace?

One may kill us quick, and so we react fast and think it through later… or maybe never.

Is the often cited, rarely critiqued, ‘debt-to-income’ ratio a snake or a shoelace?

A killer lying in wait or a meaningless footnote?

Federal regulators, and most mainstream media, would have us believe that at 167% it’s an Anaconda slithering through our sheets while we sleep, readying to swallow each household whole.

Two key points often absent from the debt-to-income conversation:

1.      The average household debt figure is largely irrelevant to the financial success of our individual household(s)

2.      What is my own debt-to-income ratio? And am I worrying about it at, say, 500%?

Perceived Reality

If one were to stop a citizen on the street and ask them if they believe today’s low interest rates have allowed Canadians to borrow more money than they should have most would say yes.

If one were to stop a citizen on the street and ask them if they believe today’s low interest rates have allowed housing prices to rise too high too fast, most would say yes.

If on the heels of these two questions you then asked one more question: Should government step in and tighten regulations?

Most at this point with this context would say yes.

And these citizens would be wrong.

Also by “yes” what these citizens mean to say is “regulate my reckless neighbours – not me, I’m cool.”

Framing matters

Let’s ask a few more questions.

Would it sound reasonable to take on a $2,000 mortgage payment with a household income of $100,000?

Is it fair to say that the same $100,000 per year household income could support a $2,600 monthly housing payment?

Likely we are going to get a “yes” response to both of these questions. As indeed these numbers are reasonable by any measure.

Numerical Reality

The $2,000 per month payment represents a monthly payment at today’s interest rates on a $500,000 mortgage balance.

Ah but what if rates double you ask? What if indeed…

The $2,600 per month payment represents a monthly payment at double today’s rates (when that $500,000 mortgage balance comes up for renewal).

Readers quick with numbers can see where this is headed, this household with their $500,000 mortgage balance and a $100,000 household income has a debt-to-income ratio of 500%.

Are they freaking out, suffering desperate times, readying a kidney for sale?

Not at all.

To be fair they do have concerns about debt levels – your debt levels!

The 500% debt-to-income household has things under control; they know that ~$1,000 of that ~$2,000 payment is principle reduction, a forced savings plan. They also know that the ~$1,000 interest component per month (fixed for the next five years) is way less than what they were paying in rent last year, and unlike rent this expense will not rise for five full years…and their mortgage debt balance will be dropping steadily. (by ~$60,000 over the first five years).

How many renters will see a ~$60,000 increase in net worth over the next five years? (this amount assumes 0% movement in home prices)

Nonetheless citizens remain concerned. Concerned that today’s low rates have allowed you to borrow more than you should have – and as you know, you are A-OK.

Guess what, your neighbours are OK too.

They are OK with a 500% debt-to-income.

Although few in Canada actually have a debt-to-income ratio this high; in fact Bank of Canada research shows that just 8% of Canadians have a debt-to-income ratio above 350%.

The example used in this piece is in fact a complete outlier, and not at all the norm; we are far more conservative than even these comfortable figures.

Tomorrow we discuss houses, in particular – glass houses and those who reside in them.

By Dustan Woodhouse
28 Mar



Posted by: Mike Hattim

Our Government has concerns about their role with CMHC — essentially a mortgage insurance company — a role in which taxpayers are technically liable for their clients’ actions and behaviour (despite current CMHC premium reserves on hand to withstand up to a 40% market devaluation).

These concerns were apparently part of justification used regarding recent significant changes to not only the amount of debt Canadians can access (~20% less mortgage money) but also just which companies Canadians can access mortgage debt through. Limiting exposure to potentially bad behaviour seems a common refrain in Ottawa these days.

But what about bad behaviour with regard to unsecured debt?

‘Not our problem’ they state. Citing their lack of guaranteeing unsecured debt as they do mortgage debt.

Let’s view this through the lens of an analogy using cars, booze, and sales tactics.

Instead of mortgage insurance let’s call it car insurance, and consider the sales process of two different types of car dealers.

Company #1 strives to maximize profits by giving away a six pack of wine coolers (a new credit card) and a 40oz bottle of whisky (an unsecured line of credit) with every car (mortgage) sold. They place these ‘extras’ right there on the passenger seat at the time of delivery. Easy access.

Now hey, you don’t have to open these products up, and they cost you nothing if left unused. After all you only pay for what you consume. The sales agent is directly compensated for upselling you on the use of said wine & whisky; in fact their annual bonus depends upon it.

Company #2 has no Whisky (unsecured debt) to offer you. Their business model is simply to place you the right car (mortgage) for you and that is it. Often at a sharper price, with a few more bells and whistles, and a vastly superior trade in value (prepayment penalties). They send you on your way with a smile and a wave. No follow-up to cross-sell you on multiple other tempting products, like the wine & whisky for example.

Admittedly not everyone is going to crack that bottle open and consume the entire thing during their first drive home. But it seems reasonable, at least it should be to the insurance company (The Federal Government) witnessing this sales process, that there ought to be some greater concerns about the increased claims from company #1 and perhaps some stiffer regulations and legislation may be in order – especially when the government’s own research shows that twice as many clients of company #1 (0.28%) get into trouble and make a claim is do clients of company #2 (0.14%).

Table 1-A: Characteristics of median mortgage borrowers 2013Q1–2016Q3

Traditional lenders (*1) Mortgage Finance companies (*2)
Credit score 739 742
90-day arrears rate (%) 0.28 0.14
Household income (annual) $80,912 $84,404
Loan-to-income ratio (%) 304 357
Total debt-service ratio (%) 35.3 37.2

*1. Banks and credit unions

*2. Based on mortgages in pools of National Housing Act Mortgage-Backed Securities as of 2015Q4

Sources: Department of Finance Canada, Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation and Bank of Canada calculations

Instead our government appears to see things differently.

When the government decided to enact stiffer regulations and restrictive legislation they called only on Company #1 for consultation, and interestingly the net result of said consultation and deliberation is a set of new regulations which threaten the very existence of Company #2.

Despite the research clearly indicating a more prudent approach to the business by Company #2 than that of their competition (Company #1).

Taking into account the relative youth of Company #2 (about a decade) vs the age of Company #1 (~150yrs) the variation of the equity (loan-to-income) held by each of its clients is more than reasonable and understandable. The narrow difference in total debt-to-service reflects the generally conservative nature of Canadians and further supports the prudent processes in place at Company #2.

Why is our government effectively trying to legislate Company #2 out of business?

Why is our government consulting only with Company #1 when the government’s own research demonstrates the people at Company #2 are doing twice as good a job when it comes to avoiding problem clients?

Food for thought.

By Dustan Woodhouse
24 Mar



Posted by: Mike Hattim

On several occasions we have had people ask us at Dominion Lending Centres about construction mortgages. Every lender has their own guidelines and rules when it comes to construction mortgages. That’s because there are many details involved in the process of construction, let alone the mortgage that actually funds it! Below is part 1 of 2 of what a construction mortgage entails and what you need to know when tackling this complex mortgage.

Construction Mortgages almost always start with raw land

Raw land usually comes in 2 forms: service lots and un-serviced lots*

Serviced Lots are defined as having:

  • Portable water-water that is safe enough for drinking and food preparation
  • Septic/sewer services-city connected sewers or a septic field
  • Access-a driveway, as rough or refined as it is
  • Hydro-connected to power
  • Natural gas (if applicable)
  • Need 25% to 35% down

Un-serviced Lots are defined as having:

  • Portable water-needs to be available
  • Septic/sewer services-not applicable
  • Access-(other) or not typical such as water access
  • Hydro-not applicable
  • Natural Gas-not applicable
  • No Agricultural Land Reserve**
  • Need 35% to 50% down

*guidelines depend on the lender
**land that is reserved for agricultural activity (ie. Farms)

Rates and terms of purchasing raw land

Serviced Lots usually have:

  • Maximum Mortgage Amount, depending on the lender
  • Maximum Mortgage Amortization, depending on the lender
  • Rates are usually a little higher than discounted rates (ie best discounted fixed rate plus 1%), but not always
  • Fees – usually a lender/broker fee, but not always
  • Terms – usually 1 thru 5 years

Un-Serviced Lots are defined as having

  • Maximum Mortgage Amount, depending on the lender
  • Maximum Mortgage Amortization, lesser maximum amortization compared to serviced lots
  • Rates are usually a little higher than discounted rates and higher than serviced lots (ie best discounted fixed rate plus 2%), but not always
  • Fees – usually a lender/broker fee and usually higher than serviced lots, but not always
  • Terms – usually 1 thru 5 years

How do you qualify?

  • You need to complete a mortgage application
  • You need to provide credit bureaus and income documents showing that you qualify for the amount of money you wish to borrow.
  • You need to provide a detailed construction budget.
  • You need to provide a title search (through your mortgage broker or lawyer)
  • You need to submit a copy of the purchase agreement, including all addendums and amendments.
  • Builder information and resume (if requested) and project contract
  • Full set of legible construction drawings scaled to legal size paper or smaller
  • HPO registration (Home Owner Protection forms or registration of new home)
  • You base the amount to be borrowed on the appraisal based on a completed project

You may need to also provide….

  • Copy of all construction contracts
  • Corporate financial statements (if applicable)
  • You need to submit a detailed summary of the deal, including how you are expecting to move out of the higher interest rate construction mortgage into a “normal” mortgage, depending on the lender
  • Copy of purchase agreement for the land purchase

These are the first steps to setting up and understanding a construction mortgage. There are unique traits to this type of mortgage as with any other mortgage. Remember, you should always consider calling a mortgage broker to help walk you through this complex process!

Stay tuned for Part 2 nwhich will cover the budget, the loan, and key take points.

By Geoff Lee
23 Mar



Posted by: Mike Hattim

There have been a lot of changes in the mortgage market over the past few months so many Canadian’s plans regarding homeownership may have shifted quite a bit from last year.

First, new qualification rules came to pass in October where even though actual contract rates are sitting at about 2.79% all Canadians have to now qualify at the Bank of Canada Benchmark rate of 4.64% to prove payments can still be met when rates go up in the future. That has taken about 20% of people’s purchase power out of the equation.

The second round of rules were implemented at the end of November with the government requiring banks to carry more of the cost or lending having to do with how they utilize mortgage insurance and the level of capital they have to have on reserve. This means it is more costly for banks to lend so they are passing some of that cost to Canadians.

We now have a tiered rate pricing system based on whether you are “insurable” and meet new insurer requirement to qualify at 4.64% with a maximum 25-year amortization (CMHC, Genworth, Canada Guaranty are the 3 insurers in Canada) or are “uninsurable” where you may have more than 20% down but can’t qualify at the Benchmark rate or need an amortization longer than 25-years to qualify or are self-employed so can’t meet traditional income qualification requirements. Canadians who are uninsurable will be charged a premium to their rate of anywhere from 15-40bps. So your rate would go from 2.79% to 2.94% at the very least.

Then in BC there was the announcement of the BC HOME Partnership Program (BCHPP) in January. We have finally had some clarification on how this works but the benefits are not as grand as the BC Government would like them to appear.

The BCHPP is a tool to assist First Time Homebuyers supplement their down payment by the government matching what they have saved up to 5% of the purchase price. While this may help some clients bring more money to the table we have to factor a payment on that “loan” into the debt-servicing mix so they will actually qualify for less by way of a mortgage. They have more down payment but can not get as high a mortgage so it’s very close to a wash.

Lastly, as of mid January, CMHC announced they are increasing mortgage insurance premiums on March 17th. Genworth and Canada Guaranty are likely to follow. The insurance premiums are based on a percentage of the mortgage amount requested and how much you have to put down. For people with 5% down the premium will go from 3.60% to 4.00% and if you want to take advantage of the BCHPP program the premium will go from 3.85% up to 4.5%

What does this all mean? Overall it is more costly and more confusing to get a mortgage today than we have seen in many years. With the complexity of the new mortgage market, now more than ever buyers need someone with extensive knowledge to help them sort through their options – such as your local Dominion Lending Centres mortgage professional.

If we can be of assistance to you or someone you know, please do not hesitate to contact us.

By Kristin Woolard
22 Mar



Posted by: Mike Hattim

Well, you have likely noticed that it is time for resolutions according to the plethora of fitness equipment and organizational plastic bins on sale in every flyer you open. It seems fitting that we take a 4 step approach to positioning yourself for financial fitness in 2017 as well.

So first of all, I am going to go ahead and assume you are human. Yes? If so then please know that you are not slacker! Almost every person I have met has something in their financial world they have been meaning to get to but have not so forget the past and let’s move onward and upwards!

Step 1 – Write down your goals. Study after study proves that actually writing out what it is you want causes the synapses in your brain to reconnect to work towards the goal even when you are not thinking about it.

Step 2 – Just do it! Seems I heard that somewhere before but anyways. It is now time to actually get everything in place.

* Will – Call around and get some quotes on having your will prepared with all the necessary paperwork by a reputable lawyer.

* Financial/Insurance Planner – People who work with a qualified financial planner do much better overall than those who wing it. Meet with a few of them and learn what you need to know so that your pennies turn into a comfortable future

* Accountant – The onslaught of cheap software makes it very easy to think you can do it all yourself when it comes to your taxes but a qualified accountant is essential in my opinion. They can literally save you thousands on your tax bill. That’s your money so you should keep it.

* Mortgage Professional – Your home is your largest asset and your largest debt obligation. Have your mortgage reviewed by a Dominion Lending Centres mortgage professional to make sure you are in the best mortgage product for your situation now and to meet your goals later.

You will have noticed a theme here. You don’t need to know about the law or investments or insurance or taxes or mortgages. All you have to do is find yourself a TEAM to protect your interests.

Step 3 – Time to automate-

Set up to meet your goals automatically. A regular withdrawal for your savings and other expenses is far less painful and way more likely to actually occur than if you have to sit down each month and choose to transfer the funds. If your goal is to pay down your mortgage, why not choose to increase your payments slightly rather than worrying about a lump sum later on. Bite sized is far easier.

If you are trying to keep a budget, there is an amazing app called mint.com. It is from the makers of Turbo Tax – you input all your credit/debit card info, your goals as far as savings or debt reduction, and a budget for each part of your life. Each purchase you make is automatically inputted into the correct category. You can see where you are spending and exactly how much and you will even get text notifications when you are close to your budget in a particular area.

Step 4 – Annual Review Day

So you have done the work and so now all you have to do is take 1 day a year off to review. Meet with all of your team to ensure you are where you need to be. Can you increase your mortgage? Is your will reflecting your new spouse or baby? Do you have enough insurance to protect yourself against disability or critical illness? Spoiler alert! We are all going to need life insurance, disability is the number one case of foreclosure and even out solid health care system does not cover all expenses so critical illness insurance can save your savings.

And there you have it, financial fitness in 4 steps! Your future self will thank you. As they say, the best time to plant a tree was 20 years ago, the second best is today.

By Pam Pikkert
21 Mar



Posted by: Mike Hattim

Documents, documents and more documents. Yes that’s right you will need to provide your Dominion Lending Centres mortgage broker with as many documents that we request upfront as possible. Why? Because the more supporting documentation you have available will help us as brokers to find you your best mortgage options. If you don’t have everything on hand e-mail a PDF of what you have and start digging up the rest as soon as possible.

Why so many documents you ask? While the lending market isn’t what it used to be, it is now much more strict and complex then a few years ago. Lenders are asking for WAY more documentation before they will lend you money. Yes, there have been instances of mortgage fraud that likely led to more scrutinized lending and Government regulations that lenders have to abide by are always changing. Mortgage lenders need to protect their investors and help ensure our Canadian housing market remains strong.

It may seem like a pain but ask yourself this if you had a large amount of money would you lend it out to somebody without proof they have income stability and/or the means to pay it back? Pretty sure your answer is no (at least mine is).

Below is a list of typical documents lender and mortgage insurers request. If you would like a tailored list please contact your DLC Mortgage Professional to discuss your application.

Income – lenders are looking for proof of income stability.

Self-employed Income

* 2 years of Income Tax Returns, Business Financials, CRA Notice of Assessments. Often it’s best to have your accountant e-mail them to us so no pages are missing.

Rental income

* Lease agreements

* T1-General tax returns with the Statement of Real Estate Activities. If you don’t claim your rental income let us know as this may affect how your mortgage is approved.

* Proof of the rental income being deposit on a regular basis into your bank account.

Guaranteed Employment Income

* A couple of recent pay stubs

* A job letter confirming your position, guaranteed pay and hours, if you are seasonal, contract or any specific information that relates to your income stability. Lenders will call your employer to verify the letter and ask for more information as possible. (Sample Job Letter)

* 2 Years of CRA Notice of Assessments

* 2 Years T1-Generals

Commission, Overtime, Seasonal, Contact or Bonus Income.

* A couple of recent pay stubs

* Job letter

* 2 years of T1-General Income tax returns

* 2 years of CRA Notice of Assessments

Liabilities – We will see most of your consumer credit accounts on your credit report however we may require some additional paperwork

* Current mortgage statements

* Property tax statements and proof of payment

* Child Support Payments proof via court orders and bank statements

* Alimony via Separation Agreements

* Proof your income tax has been paid. This is the most important item to pay because the Government has more power than the lenders. If you are wanting to refinance your mortgage to pay CRA contact us to discuss your options.

* Proof debts have been paid. If a zero balance is require you must show the account at a zero balance or the current balance and the proof of payment

Down Payment & Closing Costs

* The last 90 days of savings history. Any larger deposits have to be sourced.

* Gift Letter (some lenders have prescribed forms)

* Statement showing gift deposited into your account

* Property sale contracts and mortgage statements

About Documentation from Financial Institute

* Must have account ownership proof. For example e-statements are the best as they typically have your name, account number and the providers details already on the statement

* Screenshots work if the providers logo/name are clearly shown on them as well as the account holders name. If the account number only shows then you will have to provide an additional document from the provider with both your account number and name.

* If you are having your account history printed at a Teller please have the Teller stamp the paperwork

Documentation varies by applicant and lender. Be prepared by contacting your mortgage professional today for your tailored documents list.

By Kathleen Dediluke
20 Mar



Posted by: Mike Hattim

While it’s certainly easy to be intimidated by the prices that you might see as you browse MLS into the wee hours of the night, mortgage interest rates are still at a historical low.  If you’re looking at purchasing for the first time, you’re thinking, “What does that mean?!”

With rates as low as they are, the cost of borrowing associated with your mortgage is lower than ever before.  You also need to look at other fees that can be tied to different mortgage products.  For example, some mortgages don’t allow for additional or increased payments, while others allow you to pay down your principal mortgage amount by up to an additional 20% per year, saving you money over the lifetime of your mortgage. It’s important to recognize and understand these options and fees, and that is where a Dominion Lending Centres Mortgage Broker comes in.  Brokers and their agents are experts in the products that they offer and will work to save you the most money.

Don’t worry!  A Broker can also help you take advantage of low interest rates as a homeowner, too!  It could be the right time to look at your other financials and consider consolidating other outside debts to take advantage of the savings that could be available to you.  It isn’t hard to see the savings between a balance owed on a credit card at 19% or the balance owing on your car at 6.25% and consolidating one (or both!) with your mortgage balance at much lower interest rate.  A broker can look at your current mortgage terms and timelines and can help you save a considerable amount of money each year!

A Mortgage Broker’s service doesn’t stop there.  Since the demand for new homes is so high right now, a Mortgage Broker will also help both first-timers and home-owners peeking around the markets with a pre-approval before you start considering making an offer on a new home. This means that you can confidently make an offer on the home that you love without making a condition on financing.  In a busy market, where purchases often end in bidding wars, having your financing in line could make your offer stand out against the rest.

Since properties are being scooped up like hotcakes, homeowners can also take advantage of selling their homes to downsize and save for retirement, or vacations, or spoiling their grandkids!

Now if you’d rather “love it” than “list it”, you can benefit from today’s high demand, too!  If you have been thinking about adding that basement bathroom, or are in need of upgrading your furnace and air conditioning units, a Broker can help you take advantage of the equity that you have gained in your home since you bought it.  In the last year, the demand for homes has soared, which means that your home could be worth a good chunk more than you might think.  Regardless of if your mortgage is up for renewal or not, a Mortgage Broker can help you make sense of the mortgage that you’re in, and look at payout options that could work in your favour.  And a mortgage evaluation will always be free with a licensed Broker.

Today’s market has a lot of characteristics that can work in your favour, but can also throw a little wrench in your plans.  Always make sure to sit down with a licensed, local Dominion Lending Centres’ Broker to make sure you’re armed with the knowledge that you need to get the most for your money!

By Tracy Valko

17 Mar



Posted by: Mike Hattim

So 2016 was an exciting year in the mortgage world! The problem is that we mortgage professionals really hate it when things get exciting in our world. Between the economy and the federally mandated mortgage rule changes and their ensuing fallout, it is now more important than ever to get a solid pre-approval in place. I am not just speaking to first time home owners either! Before you list your current home or refinance your mortgage or consider buying a rental, you need to make sure that you qualify under the new mortgage rules.

The biggest change by far was the increase to the mortgage qualifying rate. Basically, no matter which term you are selecting you will have to qualify at the Bank of Canada posted rate which is currently 4.64%. The mortgage rate you are given will be considerably less than this and will be based on whichever term you choose. The rationale is that there is no way rates were going to stay at 2.39% and all of a sudden a lot of people could be hit with a significant mortgage payment increases which could mean increased foreclosures. When you remember that our federal government is actually financially backing those mortgages through the mortgage insurers, they had a vested interest in keeping the housing market secure.

So the things you need to know:

1. Rates have climbed since the rule changes were announced, so if a new home is in your future get a rate hold in place so you are protected against further increases. Most are good for 120 days.

2. Make sure they are checking your credit and not just seeing how much you are qualified for based on your income. Can you imagine selling your home only to be told that you do not qualify for the financing on the next because of something on your credit bureau? It has happened, I assure you.

3. Given the variety of ways in which we all get paid, you also need to make sure your pre-approval is solid given your situation. For example, the mortgage lenders require a 2 year history on all variable income. That means if your income is commission, bonuses, overtime or shift differential then you will need a 2 year history of it before it can be used for the mortgage qualification.

4. Porting is an area which is slightly misunderstood. You will have to qualify for the mortgage under the new rules even if you are just moving the mortgage from A to B. Please refer back to the previous horror story of the people who had sold and then could not buy a new home.

5. Ironically, the changes now mean that if you are refinancing your home, there is a possibility that you will have a higher mortgage rate than someone putting 5% down. This is because the 5% down mortgage is insured while yours with the significant amount of equity is not making it a higher risk for the bank. If you are considering a refi you may want to do it sooner rather than later given the rate increases.

6. Rental properties have been heavily hit by the changes. Our economy means that fewer lenders are willing to consider these mortgages to start with and those that still are have upped the ante. Some have increased the minimum down to 35% from 20%. Others require a very strong net worth in liquid assets. If you have multiple properties make sure they are reporting on your taxes.

So that’s about that. A solid pre-approval from a qualified mortgage professional is a very good peace of mind strategy for both the new home buyer and those veteran buyers. When you’re ready to talk of if you need more information, the mortgage professionals at Dominion Lending Centres are here!

By Pam Pikkert

16 Mar



Posted by: Mike Hattim

Over the last few years, we have seen many retired Canadians outliving their retirement savings and requiring a financial solution to help them live the rest of their retirement. In the media alone, there is a constant outpouring of articles relating to retirement planning, preparing enough savings for retirement, as well as numerous articles around when to tap into your CPP. For many retirees and those approaching their retirement, these articles are a reminder of how to prepare and what to anticipate. However, Canadians continue to struggle with their finances in their retirement years.

Many Canadians are entering their retirement years with debt and underestimating the amount they need to save for retirement. In a recent national survey of Canadian homeowners, 40+, that we commissioned, we found there is a large gap between the lifestyle expectations of those Canadians studied and the reality. In fact, a startling 69% of Canadians researched expressed confidence that they have sufficient funds to retire, however 43% of retirees studied have debt including a whopping 35% of Canadians 75+. While 78% claim to have savings and investments, a full 40% have less saved than $100,000. That means, the majority (53%) of Canadian homeowners 40+ have either no or less than $100,000 in savings to carry them through retirement!

The study further goes on to show that a significant portion (82%) of those studied, reported that having the ability to stay in their homes during retirement is very important and 69% value their home equity as an important asset in their retirement plans.

This study also enabled us to question the familiarity of the reverse mortgage product. More than half of the respondents claimed that they were familiar with reverse mortgages, and among those who would consider a reverse mortgage, 50% of them said that the main reason for considering a reverse mortgage is to supplement their income.

Many respondents wanted reassurance that they would continue to own their own home without ownership being transferred to a third party. (yes-customers continue to own their own home!) The respondents also felt more at ease knowing that banks and other secure financial institutions offered the CHIP Reverse Mortgage (they do!) and if the solution was recommended by financial professionals (it is!).

This study is a reminder of how important it is to continue to raise awareness to the reverse mortgage product. Canadians prefer to age in place, are carrying debt and have inadequate savings, but many are directed to solutions that don’t give them the opportunity to live in their homes without the need for monthly mortgage payments. Reverse mortgages are a smart and comprehensible solution for Canadians planning their retirement. To learn more, contact your local Dominion Lending Centres mortgage professional.


 By Yvonne Ziomecki