4 May

Is Your Mortgage Pre-Approval Really a Pre-Approval?

Mortgage Tips

Posted by: Garth Chapman

It is important to understand the difference between a fully underwritten ‘Pre-approval’ and one that is truly only a ‘Rate Hold’.

  • A basic Pre-approval that is not underwritten, and that often does not even include a requirement for all the documents that will be needed to underwrite an actual purchase.
    • What you have is a piece of paper that does nothing much more than hold a rate for you, which is only of any value to the borrower if that borrower actually does end up meeting the qualification criteria for a mortgage on an accepted offer to purchase.
    • If you don’t qualify, you will have wasted much time and effort, and also that of your Realtor and the Sellers Realtor, and…well you get my point.
  • A proper fully underwritten Pre-approval where the borrower submits all the documents that will be later required, and the file is then underwritten by a mortgage lender (not many will do that because such a low percentage (around 15%) of Pre-approvals actually become a purchase.
    • Properly done, this gives the borrower a clear path to making a purchase knowing there will be no surprises on the financing element of the purchase.

At Jencor, we will:

  • Collect from you all the documents that will ultimately be required so there will be no surprises later on.
  • Our  professional Underwriting Team will fully review and underwrite your complete file.
  • We will also submit your file to at least one Mortgage Lender that will also underwrite your file and will issue a Pre-approval.
  • That Pre-approval will also include a rate hold that will protect you from any potential rate increases during the 90 or 120 days that the Pre-approval runs for.
  • All of which means that your Pre-approval will be worth well more than the piece of paper it is written on.

So now when your Banker or Mortgage Broker says you are Pre-approved, you now know what to ask them about to know what you truly have.  And you also will know what to tell your Realtor what you have.

25 Jun

Ultra Low Rate websites – What’s The Story?

About Mortgage Brokers

Posted by: Garth Chapman

Ultra low mortgage rates, offered through various internet sites, are often restricted mortgages.  You may have higher prepayment penalties than generally available in the marketplace, as high as 3% of your mortgage balance.  Low rate mortgages often do not allow an in-term transfer, which is generally referred to as porting the mortgage with you to a new home.  Many do not allow blend and increases (refinances), you must pay the penalty to do a refinance (get equity out of your home).

Low rate sites are looking for no hassle, no muss, no fuss mortgage applications.  So if you happen to be an hourly worker, does your 2 year average and your YTD income substantiate the required income to qualify?  Does your source of down payment meet new government requirements?  When will you be told if they do or do not?  Self-employed, contract worker, income from a couple of sources, you can spend a week thinking you have sent in the correct paperwork only to find out you have not been approved.  Unfortunately, it may mean your file is just a little too time consuming for the low rate site.

Low rate sites use salaried staff who need to meet production quotas.  They do not have time for problems or complex scenarios.  They are looking for the 20% to 30% of the market who have the perfectly simple scenario.

Low rate sites are not able to work through other issues, a unique property size or type, square footage issues, condo by-laws or financial statement problems, post tension cable or special assessment requirement.  Will the low rate site take the time to find the most suitable lender or insurer?  Lenders will have sliding scales, can you get an exception, can you find a new lender before condition day?

Low rate sites often entice you with the initial promise of an attractive rate and then after you have completed the application and have sent them all your documents will tell you that you don’t qualify for that rate, but that you do qualify for some other higher rate.

Low rate sites do not have the staff to help ensure the rest of the home buyer process gets completed on time.  For example, meet the financing condition date, ensure the lender instructs money to lawyer on time, and insure you get possession on time to avoid late interest charges.

Low rates sites will ask you to sign a non-compete agreement that if they present you with a commitment, you will not obtain your mortgage from another bank, lender, or broker, and if you choose to do so, you will be charged a fee.

Your Mortgage Broker has access to many of these low-rate restricted mortgage products.  So call and ask your Broker what you qualify for, and if a low-rate mortgage is a good fit for you.

12 Jan

What is a Monoline lender? 

About Mortgage Brokers

Posted by: Garth Chapman

What is a Monoline lender?

A Monoline lender, by definition, is a mortgage lender that focuses on just mortgages.  They do not have any other products that can be cross-sold and most Monolines securitize their mortgages, instead of keeping them on their balance sheet.  Monolines are secure, follow the same rules as all Canadian Banks and they deal exclusively with Mortgage Advisors on their clients’ behalf.

Advantages of a Monoline lender

  • They focus on one thing: mortgages.  For you that also means they do not try to cross-sell you into credit cards, investments or insurance.
  • Monolines have a much lower IRD (Interest Rate Differential) pre-payment penalty calculation, which is important if you are required to get out of your mortgage before the end of your term. In my own personal experience the Monoline penalties are up to 2/3 less than those of the big-six banks.
  • They often have products that specialize in a range of solutions aimed at borrowers with lower credit scores and those with self-employed income sources.
  • No storefronts mean lower overhead which in turn they pass along to you in the form of lower interest rates.
  • Monolines are heavily regulated and follow the same lending guidelines as all the major banks in Canada
  • Pre-payment options are often greater than the big-six banks offer.
  • Online access to your mortgage and customer service departments is excellent – it has to be – they don’t have branches.

This article by financial writer Rob Carrick was published in the Globe and Mail comparing Scotiabank to ING regarding their vast differences in penalty calculations.  As much as we try to explain what a Monoline differs from a bank, an article from a third party drives it home.

Even when the rates are the same between banks and the Monoline borrowers should always factor the potential IRD into their decision making as one never knows what will happen in the future

To summarize, Monoline lenders tend to provide better rates over the big banks, have favourable penalty calculations, and foster relationships with brokers to ensure the business comes back to them (including having a renewal model to reduce churn).

12 Jun

Why Use a Mortgage Broker?

About Mortgage Brokers

Posted by: Garth Chapman

A professional mortgage broker has your interests in mind. They have the knowledge and experience to save you time and will act as a valuable partner throughout the entire mortgage process, expertly handling complex details with the real estate agent, lawyer, lender, and the credit agency. We have the negotiating power and expertise to offer you the best choices available for your specific needs.

  • Jencor Mortgage is independently owned and operated; working for you, not the banks. We believe in unbiased independent advice.
  • Since we’re not affiliated with any one lender, Jencor can offer you the widest choice of mortgage options from dozens of different sources. That includes Canada’s largest banks, insurance firms, pension funds, private lenders and more.
  • Because we place thousands of mortgages each year with different lenders throughout Canada we can obtain rates that are consistently lower than many other Canadian brokers.
  • Because we specialize in mortgages and nothing else, we’re always aware of the latest products on the market. If a mortgage that suits your needs becomes available, we’ll know about it immediately and make sure it’s part of the choices we offer you.

And…all this comes at no cost to you, as we are paid directly by the mortgage lenders.