13 Jul

Take Control Of Your Renewal Process And Save!


Posted by: Garth Chapman

Nationally, Alberta has the highest percentage of homeowners with mortgage renewals coming up within the next two years.

You may be coming up for renewal soon. You may be concerned rates are rising, even with a renewal a few years away. The consensus is rates are increasing in North America over the next year and may continue to do so in the foreseeable future.

The new government has significantly changed the mortgage market with their implementation of new rules and underwriting guidelines. Due to these changes lenders are now restricted on what they can do and what they cannot offer to their clients.  Some specific niche situations are now larger factors in whether or not you are approved.

Here are some questions to think about when you’re up for renewal:

  • Has your credit score changed?
  • What is the loan to value of the mortgage required?
  • Was your mortgage originally insured by CMHC or another mortgage insurance company?
  • Is this a simple switch to a new lender with no new money or a refinance with added funds?


Depending on how you answer these and other questions, we may very well be able to get you a lower interest rate with better terms then what your current lender offers.

Your existing Lender will typically offer you a renewal rate around 30 days before renewal. In an increasing rate environment, why wait until the 30-day mark? Most lenders can lock in a rate hold for 120days. If rates go up 0.5% during the 120-day period, and you are locked in and do not have to worry about the increase.  

What Can a 0.5% increase mean for you?

If you have a $350,000 mortgage, you could save $8000-$9000 over the next five-year contract. As well potentially lower your remaining balance by $3000-$4000 at the end of your term. Do you want to save $10,000 or more?

Contact one of our Licensed Mortgage Advisors and let them get you the best financing available to you


Croft Axsen,

Broker/Owner, Jencor Mortgage Corporation

6 Jul

5 Things To Consider When Buying An Acreage Or Country Property


Posted by: Garth Chapman


For conventional mortgages,  lenders will finance a certain number of acres, a house & a garage. The number of acres that they will consider can vary based on the property location and the norm for that area. The minimum down payment can also vary based on the size and location of the land.  For example, a property that is close to a major urban area and under 10 acres would most likely be approved with 20% down payment. If it is a larger acreage 30+ acres and not within an hour of a major urban area, the minimum down payment will likely increase. 

For high-ratio / CMHC insured mortgages with a minimum of 5% down,  they will approve and ensure the value of the house, garage and the `residential component` of the land. If the norm / average acreage size for the area is 20 acres, this is what they will approve in land value. If it is 160k – then this is what they will approve. However, if you purchase a 160-acre acreage and all of the acreages surrounding it are only 20 acres – CMHC will likely only give value to the first 20 acres of land and the buyers will have to pay out of pocket for the value of the remaining land as determined by an appraisal.

It is typically easier to secure financing on CMHC insured Mortgages and it is not uncommon for lenders to require the mortgage is insured even if the buyers have a 20% down payment based on the purchase price. If it is a large acreage, has outbuildings of major value or is a mobile or modular home – these are all things that could result in either a larger down payment requirement and/or mortgage default insurance. 

If there is no home on the property a mortgage is not available and one would require a land loan. Land loans typically start at a minimum of 25% down payment and go up from there based on the location, size and value of the property, they also often come at slightly higher interest rates.

WHAT ABOUT POTABILITY? No mortgage unless there is good water! Potability reports are needed for all well water and will be requested either upfront with the lender approval or at the lawyers before closing.

WHAT ABOUT ZONING? Country residential is the easiest to finance. However, if the land is zoned Agricultural, but used as residential (no farming or commercial component) the lenders and insurers will consider this as well. Agricultural & Farmland that derives income is more difficult to finance. Lenders are wary as it is difficult to foreclose on agricultural land and if the Agricultural land has a farming component or income lender options become much more limited and down payment requirements increase.

WHAT IF THE PROPERTY HAS OUT BUILDINGS? Mortgages are for a house, garage and land – and that’s all.  If the property has an outbuilding of value the effective value of the property will often be reduced by the lender or insurer and this will affect the down payment requirements.

For example, if a client is purchasing a small acreage for 800k , and there is a brand new large heated shop, horse corrals and an arena on the property that the appraiser values in total at $ 160k, this would be deducted from the purchase price in the lenders eyes bringing the effective value down to 640k (800k-160k). The buyer would then need to have a minimum 5% down payment based on the 640k  effective value ($32k) PLUS 160k to make up the difference (value of outbuildings) for a total of $ 192,000.  Even though the buyer is technically putting more than 20% down based on the contract purchase price, the lender and insurer would consider this to be financed at 95% of the value of the home, garage and land and a CMHC premium would apply. 

OTHER FINANCING FACTORS TO CONSIDER: You may need to allow extra time for conditions to be removed on acreage purchases as  CMHC appraisals and well water testing can cause delays. 

As always with mortgage financing, the buyer plays an important role. For strong clients, the lender may make an exception to their policies. 

Written By: Cory Lewis – Jencor Mortgage Advisor