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Some Good Articles...

 CMP magazine is holding its sixth annual review of Canada’s Top 75 Brokers for 2012 funded mortgage volume, giving residential brokers the chance to win the top spots based on individual volumes.


In addition to the CMP Top 75, this year marks the second year of the Small Market Top 20 – a list celebrating the accomplishments of mortgage professionals in markets with 2012 average home prices of $290,000 or less.


The entry deadline is Friday, June 21st, so don’t delay!


Last year’s Top 75 list included funded volumes (from 2011) ranging from just over $26 million in 75th position to more than $410 million in top spot. If your funded volume for 2012 is above $25 million, it’s definitely worth your while to fill out the submission form.


Please note that your volume submission must only include deals you personally generated and for which you alone received commission. It’s okay if someone else helped you process the deals, but no one else should have been paid commission on these deals.


Click here to enter online today.


When it comes to the purchase of a home, most Canadians admit to making some mistakes, according to the 20th Annual RBC Homeownership Poll conducted by Ipsos Reid.


The majority (60%) of Canadian homeowners indicate they’ve made some kind of mistake when buying a home, compared to two in five (40%) who say they haven’t.


Asked to list up to three mistakes, Canadian homeowners include the need for significant renovations (15%), not having a bigger down payment (14%), and not getting a home inspection (13%).


A further one in 10 list purchasing too quickly (11%), failing to account for extra costs or total cost of homeownership (10%), making compromises to budget and lifestyle (9%), making an emotional purchase and paying too much (8%), not thinking about future family and space needs (8%), or waiting too long to buy (8%).


Click here to read more of the RBC press release.


This spring homeowners are feeling optimistic about taking a bite out of their mortgage without having to cut back in other areas of their lives.


According to Scotiabank’s Mortgage Landscape Study, nearly two-thirds of mortgage holders (67%) agree that it’s possible to pay off their mortgage faster without impacting their lifestyle. In fact, most mortgage holders (59%) say they believe adding $20 per month to their mortgage payment would have no impact on their finances.


“Sometimes when people think about speeding up their mortgage payments, they get into the mindset that their only option is to make a large lump-sum payment in order to make a real dent,” said David Stafford, Managing Director of Real Estate Secured Lending at Scotiabank. “While periodic lump sums and even switching to bi-weekly payments are great options, increasing your payments by small amounts, like $20 per month, can have an incredible impact over the years. This small amount translates into paying off your mortgage years sooner, and every dollar that you don’t have to pay interest on for a 20- or 30-year mortgage can add up to real savings.”


When asked if they own or rent their primary residence, 35% of Canadians own with a mortgage, 29% own without a mortgage, 32% say they rent and 4% listed ‘other’ as their answer. Of those with a mortgage, half (51%) say they have spoken to their mortgage provider about how they can become mortgage-free faster.


Most mortgage holders (79%) have taken at least one step to pay off their mortgage faster. The top steps Canadians have taken to say goodbye to their mortgage faster include increasing the frequency of regular payments (45%), renegotiating for a lower mortgage rate (29%), increasing amount of regular payments (26%) and making additional payments (26%).


Click here for the full Scotiabank press release.


There’s been a surge of ‘Best Rate’ sites popping up. Chances are, you’ve probably seen one or more of their online ads. You know the ones…‘shopping’ for the Best mortgage rates in Canada’ and ‘comparing Canada’s mortgage brokers for the best rate”. It does sound great, and it seems to be getting lots of attention. Even the media are covering and quoting these sites. And although I like that these sites promote how Mortgage Brokers can offer great rates, I’ve noticed some disturbing trends that you need to watch out for.


You say you want the ‘best rate’? Really? Or do you want to pay the least amount of money on your mortgage? I’ll bet it’s the latter. Make no mistake, these two things are very different and I’ll prove it. But let’s face it, the rate gets everyone’s attention. Most people don’t want to hear anything beyond that... until they get burned for $$thousands on the mortgage later on.


Now what if I told you that 80% of my clients were paying a rate of 1.35% during 2009 and 2010, would that get your attention? Of course. And it’s true. 80% of my clients were in a Variable Rate mortgage based on my recommendations… and almost all of them didn’t panic and lock into a fixed rate (like the BIG SIX BANKS wanted them to). They stayed in those products based on my specific advice recommending they not lock into a Fixed rate. That’s called being in the right product at the right time. My average client saved $6,000 during that time.


Today, Fixed rates have our attention due to the rates being at all-time record lows. So, once again, I’m seeing consumers flock to the Internet to see who’s got the ‘Best Rate’. Hey, the strategy hasn’t changed. We still want to be in the right product at the right time. But the products have become more complicated and we’re seeing some poor product recommendations.


It’s time to put these sites to the test. Click here for the results followed by some recommendations after two months of research courtesy of an Ontario-based broker.


When she tours homes in the neighbourhood west of Eglinton and Bathurst in Toronto, Lindsey Springer knows exactly what she’s looking for: three bedrooms; finished basement; and easy access to transit.


“Definitely accessibility to the TTC is really important. My husband takes the TTC to work every day so that’s really important,” she says.

The suburbs don’t suit her lifestyle but finding a home close to existing transit is proving hard. “More expensive, definitely multiple offer situations, and we wish they were more affordable.”


The problem she’s facing is a common one. Homes and condos in denser, walkable and transit-friendly neighbourhoods come at a price often out of the reach of young families.


Making those neighbourhoods more affordable for people like Springer is the idea behind location efficient mortgages (LEM). The LEM idea is based on the premise of encouraging people to use public transportation and getting away from a lot of the congestion common with cars in big cities.


Click here for the full CBC News story.


Gift letters are often required by mortgage companies when parents are helping children buy a home. Mortgage companies want to see that the down payment either comes from the borrowers’ own resources or has been gifted.


In a case decided in April, a father had made a gift of $83,500 on the purchase of property by his son and daughter in-law. Later, the son and daughter in-law divorced. In the legal action to divide the matrimonial property, the father said that the gift was intended solely as a gift to his son. Alternatively, he told the Court that it should be treated as a loan. Otherwise, the wife stood to receive $41,750 – one half of the gift – on dissolution of the marriage.


In this case, the Alberta Court of Queen’s Bench agreed with the wife. They treated the $83,500 down payment from the husband’s father as a gift to both the husband and wife and, therefore, the wife got her $41,750. But the Court decision leaves it open to specify that a gift is to one child only.


So your clients may want to be very precise when they do a gift letter, and may want to keep a copy for future use.


Click here to read more about this court case from the Calgary Real Estate Review.


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