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With housing prices running away and rule changes that make it harder to qualify for a mortgage, the mortgage industry had been lobbying for months now to introduce some changes to help millennials and first-time buyers. On March 19, the budget announced two changes:

1. CMHC First Time Buyer Incentive

2. Home Buyer Plan (HBP) limit increase

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We all need a place to live. Let’s assume our parents have kicked us out of the house, and living rent free is not an option. We are faced with the choice of renting a home or buying a place and making mortgage payments. Intuitively speaking, buying a place makes a great deal of sense. Instead of your rent payment going to someone else, a mortgage payment goes to you by paying down a loan. 

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Empirically speaking, studies have shown that variable rate clients win about 85%. A win means they paid less interest over the term of the mortgage. However, it’s important to note that not everyone is cut out to be a variable rate client. Specifically, there is the risk that the rate and mortgage payment will increase suddenly. Therefore, you need to be comfortable with this risk and be able to sleep knowing your payment can increase.

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Let’s say you are on the bubble for qualifying for a particular mortgage amount. Aside from credit score and other paperwork, etc. what are the key factors that can make a difference to being approved or declined?

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One headline from a well-known newspaper in Toronto stated the following on April 4th, 2018: “Toronto home prices see biggest drop in almost 30 years
March sales down 40% from a year ago, the lowest since 2009”. The problem with this title is it looks like Toronto’s housing prices are down an astounding 40%. 

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The next Bank of Canada interest rate announcement is scheduled for April 18. There are six more opportunities for the BoC to move interest rates this year. Between the rate announcements, the market and economists love to speculate on what might happen next. Everyone watches the reports from Stats Canada to figure out what direction the economy is moving.

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“A couple of areas worry me right now, and they need concerted attention. Both relate to interconnectedness and trust in the system. My first concern is …: cyber risk.”

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Myth: If you are pre-approved for a mortgage, then you definitely get the mortgage loan
Myth: Mortgages are commodities distinguished only by Interest Rate.
Myth: The risk of variable rate mortgages can easily be mitigated by converting to a fixed rate.
Myth: You need perfect credit to be approved for a mortgage

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Myth: I don’t need a mortgage broker because I can be approved by a big 5 bank.

Myth: I can trust my bank to give me the reliable and best advice to take care of my interests.

Myth: Mortgages at a big bank are safer.

Myth: Changing my mortgage lender requires me to change all my banking.

Myth: Mortgage brokers are another layer in the process and will add to the cost.

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Whether you are a Canadian citizen living in another country, a landed immigrant, or non-resident of Canada, the aspiration to purchase a property in Canada is a dream for many people. It’s a noble and worthy dream, too.

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