Tuesday, December 28, 2010

High Value Mortgages - Using Other Assets As Security

Although the use of non-property assets to assist with land purchases is not new, it is becoming increasingly more popular. In this new era, where equity is king, and cash can sometimes be difficult to realize, offering additional security is a viable alternative for some.

We all have clients that are ‘asset rich and cash poor’ so rather than being a barrier to business, we have sought to innovate and use the private banks more flexible approach to underwriting and wealth management, to gain an advantage for our clients.

Typical assets would be;

• share portfolios,

• cash on deposit (but in locked accounts),

• bonds and stock options where bonuses have been deferred.

• Other property

• Cash not in the UK

We have been asked to consider many asset classes, ranging from gilts, to the more exotic; such as yachts, vintage wine, antiques and paintings. Although this is somewhat rarer it goes to show that banks are willing to negotiate and take a view on what is now acceptable security.

The most frustrating point for us was seeing many deals which had merits but simply weren’t fitting inside the box with high-street lenders. By having direct links to credit committees we have been able to articulate and demonstrate the best points of a case rather than try to go through an automated system.

Although some cash will generally be needed and usually the asset will have to be moved under the lending bank’s management, it allows clients that have a lack of liquidity to access rates and risk profiles that wouldn’t normally be available to those that are highly leveraged.

Tag : mortgage,value mortgage,mortgage rates,mortgage loans

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Deciding Between A 15 Or 30 Year Mortgage

It is not complicated to understand that the difference between a 15 and 30 year mortgage is that the payments on the fifteen year loan are designed to pay the loan off faster. Since it is less time, the payments on a 15 year loan will be more than on a 30 year loan.

A 15 year loan will build equity in your home more quickly, because you will be paying the same principle off in a shorter time. Of course, after the 15 year term has ended (or less if you move or refinance in the interim), you have to get a new mortgage and decide once again which is the best choice.

It is a question of individual needs and preferences; some would prefer to keep mortgage payments as low as they can, some would like to build equity as quickly as possible. If it is not a question of what you can afford to pay; is the 15 year mortgage automatically a better idea, or could you do something different with the money? If you chose a 30 year home loan, you certainly have the option to pay additional payments and lower the principal more quickly. You won't get the same benefits as you would if you chose the shorter term in the beginning but you do pay your mortgage down more quickly to build wealth. This is an interesting alternative to many of those who like to maintain the flexibility of lower payments at certain times, or paying more when they can afford to.

If you can afford the higher mortgage, however, you may think other investments may be a better alternative. For example, if you are offered a 30 year home loan at 7% for $100,000 ($665 per month) but the rate on a 15 year mortgage is 6.75%, since the longer mortgage will have a bigger risk premium ($885 per month). You theoretically need to pick an alternative investment for the difference of $220. You can build equity with the shorter term mortgage, however. There are some who believe putting the additional $220 into some stocks would yield a better return, or perhaps an investment in a child's 529 education plan is a more important need. You be the judge.

Many people simply prefer the flexibility given by the 30 year loan over the 15 year loan. If you are disciplined enough to put the funds that are saved into another investment vehicle that makes more sense in your portfolio or your time of life, it may be the right choice. Too many people, however, do not possess this kind of discipline, and the money would be wasted; these kinds of people are better off being forced to build equity by the use of a shorter term loan.

Tag : mortgage,mortgage calculator,mortgage rates,mortgage refinance

Saturday, December 11, 2010

Remortgage Watch October 2010

What is the Current Base Rate Outlook?

With the news from over the pond that the Federal Reserve will again look to return to quantitative easing to stimulate their economy, and also recent comments from Adam Posen (MPC member) that he believed the UK needed to engage in Q.E. to avoid a prolonged slump, it seems ever more likely that Bank of England will follow suit.

The anticipation seems to be for this to happen in the first quarter of next year. As a result the markets have pushed their base rate increase forecasts back further still, unto the 3rd or 4th quarter of 2011. It seems the belief is that the actions of our American cousins combined with the upcoming fiscal squeeze from our very own Chancellor next month (with some £83 bn worth of cuts on the agenda), that rates need to stay lower for longer.

What Should You Do Now?

For those with mortgages this is of course good news as we should see rates, and therefore payments to continue to remain low for the foreseeable future. However, it cannot last forever so there needs to be a number of considerations before identifying the right time to re-mortgage. Generally speaking the mortgage market moves 6 months before the base rate moves so the following should be contemplated;

• First house prices have eased off in the last 3 months. Some analysts are predicting further drops so if you are on the cusp of a notable loan-to-value tier (60%, 70% and 75%), be aware that rates move up at each level, but significantly so above 75%. If you have concerns over your house price and the base rate then be aware of these tolerances.

• Second the validity of re-mortgage offers will differ from lender to lender but there are lenders that will keep the offer open for up to 6 months. Given that we can drag the application period for a month or more if necessary, you can secure an offer 6-8 months before you think rates will move.

• If you plan to hold off for a while make sure your credit is AAA. Any small misdemeanor at the moment can mean the best rates aren’t available to you.

• If the economy goes back into recession is your job secure – could you be subject to a pay cut or part time hours, therefore making it more difficult to re-mortgage due to a drop in income? If you have any concerns or work in the public sector, again considering your options now might be frugal.
Where Are Mortgage Interest Rates Going?

Speaking to a number of internal treasury departments within the major banks, the message seems to be that they believe tracker rates are currently as low as they will ever be, and fixed rates aren’t far off with perhaps one more drop of circa 10-20 points. However, there has been a lot of press in the last couple of days that lending will become more difficult again in the next few months due to lender’s fears over a double-dip recession and the ensuing unemployment that that could bring.

With rates starting from 1.99% for 2 year trackers and 2.99% for 2 year fixed rates for those who have at least 25% equity in their homes, it certainly isn’t a bad time to consider your options, especially as most lenders SVR (standard variable rate) are higher. There are also re-mortgage and purchase products available for those with 40% equity in their homes to be had at 2.19%.

Tag : mortgage,mortgage rates,mortgage refinance,bad credit mortgage

Sunday, December 5, 2010

Million Pound Mortgages On The High Street - Maximum Mortgage Limits

Finding and arranging a large mortgage used to be easy. Lenders used to fall over themselves to arrange a million pound plus mortgage and many had specialist high value departments who offered a premium application service to their well healed prospects.

Falling house prices, funding issues, bank closures and mergers and the FSA’s proposed guidelines on income requirements and interest only mortgages have left a gap in this market and many people looking for a large mortgage come up against barriers which can turn even the most simple application into a major challenge.

Over the next few weeks, Enness Private Clients will explore each of the issues and give some useful guidance along the way. Topics will include income requirements and self certification, interest only mortgages, property types, buy to let mortgages and offset mortgages

We will however start with:

Maximum Loan Amounts

Funding constraints caused by the drying up of the wholesale credit market and increased capital requirements have left lenders short of money to lend. This has been well documented and government intervention was required to (some say not fully) improve the situation.

As a result, many high street lenders imposed limits on the maximum mortgage they will grant, instead focusing on a higher number of individual mortgages which both spreads risk and improves profitability (Ten £100k mortgages will generate 10 arrangement fees, One £1m mortgage will only generate one arrangement fee. The margin on the loan will be the same).

A quick survey of the high street lenders and their published products shows the limits - Nationwide £1m, Santander £1m, Woolwich £1m, Coventry £1m, Birmingham Midshires £1m. Some of these lenders will exceed their published maximums in some circumstances, but the application will have to be strong, the loan to value below 70% and occasionally there will need to be an existing relationship between the clients and the bank.

A one million pound mortgage is a lot of money and will require an annual family income in excess of £200k - so this is not a problem which affects or is an issue to very many people. There are however more than 132000 properties valued at more than £1m in the UK, an increase of 393% in the last decade (The Independent, 11 July 2001). There is therefore a solid market for these mortgages

So where are these lucky individuals getting their mortgages? This has been a major shift in the market and is the Private Bank who has stepped in to help.

Private banks work on a case by case basis and mortgages over £1m are not an issue if the application supports it. These lenders assess on a case by case basis and the application is often more detailed than a similar one on the high street so the decision to lend is justified. Private Banks are delighted to be collecting so many high valued clients in so much as we have been approached by more than 5 new lenders in the last month who have requested we offer their products to our clients.

The problem for the borrower is that these lenders very rarely advertise (you will never see Coutts at the top of the best buy table in the money section for example!) so access can be difficult. The banks often have minimum entry requirements (such as a minimum asset level) and their criteria is very seldom listed on their website so finding the right one may involve a round of interviews before the client can find one suitable. As a result, the client will almost certainly require the help of a Large Mortgage Broker.

Tag : mortgage,mortgage calculator,mortgage rates,mortgage refinace

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

3 Benefits Of A Fixed-Rate Mortgage You Won't Like To Pass Up On

Will you be purchasing a home very soon? There are a variety of other ways to finance it in today's market. Most people would probably choose to buy their houses with cash, since it's one of the simplest ways to purchase a house, but this often isn't a realistic option. Mortgages are much more realistic, though. They come in so many different forms that today's home buyer is certain to find one which suits their requirements.

You can consider a fixed-rate mortgage, since it's one of the most popular options from which to choose. This is a mortgage where monthly payments stay static over time. A certain period that generally ranges from 10 to 50 years is how long this mortgage can be repaid. A 30 year amortization period is the most common option.

You will find that among the main advantages to choosing a fixed-rate mortgage is how secure it is. You will find that, as opposed to alternatives such as adjustable-rate mortgage, a fixed-rate mortgage will allow you to pay the same fee each month throughout the loan's term. One of the other alternatives, known as an adjustable-rate mortgage, usually allows for reduced monthly payments at the start that will end up ballooning over time. Ultimately the interest rate will increase, possibly to an amount which is infeasible for the buyer, in spite of the initial payments being lower on adjustable-rate mortgages. Those who choose fixed-rate mortgages will never have to stress about this.

Next, fixed-rate mortgage offer security. Even if the interest rate in the current market rises, the amount you will have to pay from month-to-month on your mortgage will stay the same. You may also make the choice to refinance with a lower interest rate at any time if the interest rate decreases. As a buyer, this ensures that you get the best of all possible circumstances. Other mortgage alternatives will not provide this much security.

Lastly, the flexibility of a fixed-rate mortgage is incomparable. While additional principal payments are never required, buyers can choose to pay extra to reduce the total duration of their loan. Adding only one extra monthly payment a year adjusts a 30 year amortization period down to about 26 years, saving you 4 years off your entire loan. The amortization period decreases to approximately 22 years if you are going to pay half your monthly mortgage bi-weekly.

Fixed-rate mortgages are therefore a safe and sensible option for several house buyers. If you're searching for a mortgage that continues to be secure all through its entire term and offers a considerable amount of guarantee and flexibility a fixed-rate mortgage might just be your best bet.

Tag : mortgage,mortgage rates,mortgage loans

Friday, November 26, 2010

Long-Term Mortgage Rates Hit All Time Low!Long-Term Mortgage Rates Hit All Time Low!

Long-term mortgage rates hit new lows this week, on signs inflation remains in check.

The average rate on a 30-year fixed-rate mortgage in the week ending Oct. 7 was 4.27 percent, down from 4.32 percent last week. A 15-year fixed-rate mortgage fell to an average of 3.72 percent, down from 3.75 percent last week.

Both are the lowest long-term rates have been since Freddie Mac (NYSE: FRE) began keeping track.

“The 12-month growth rate in the core price index for personal consumption, which the Federal Reserve closely tracks, has been drifting lower over the last six months ending in August and suggests inflation is running at a tepid pace at best,” said Freddie Mac chief economist Frank Nothaft. “This allowed mortgage rates to ease to new or near record lows.”

A report this week from the National Association of Realtors showed pending sales of existing homes rose for the second consecutive month in August, up 4.3 percent. The group also revised July’s pending sales figures higher, indicating housing sales continue to recover even without the now expired homebuyer tax credit.

The hopeful news nationally is that this could spur sales after the recent tax credit expiration slump. Austin home sales fell 15 percent year-over-year in August, while sales so far this year have outperformed 2009, the Austin Board of Realtors reported. The Multiple Listing Service data showed total homes sold fell to 1,490 homes in August, while the year-to-date total increased 2 percent from the same eight months in 2009.

Sunday, November 14, 2010

4 Steps To Achieving The Largest Mortgage Possible On Your Circumstances.

Many mortgage lenders in the Uk have moved to ‘affordability based lending’ from the traditional ‘income multiple’ Essentially, the lender will subtract your total monthly expenses away from your total monthly income - the amount that is left must be enough to cover the monthly payment according to their calculations.

For many, the maximum mortgage available from a particular lender may be difficult to establish – some lenders have tried to improve certainty by publishing ‘affordability calculators’ on their websites, but to get the right result you need to know what to put in the boxes in the first place.

1 – Credit Commitments

Always declare the exact amount you have outstanding on loans and credit cards (remember HP agreements and car loans), the monthly payment and how long is left to run on your agreement.

The monthly payment on a loan or minimum payment on your credit card (assuming a rate of around 5% of the balance per month) can have a major affect on the affordability calculation. If your loan has less than 6 months to run, or you are able to settle in full some lenders will not include the payment in their calculations

2 – Income - if you are Employed

Being as precise as possible on your income is very important, overstating is never wise and not being accurate is just as bad. Always use the numbers off your payslips, bank statements and your and P60 as this is where the lender will look for evidence of your income.

If there are deductions from your salary other than tax & NI (season ticket loan or a pension) make sure you mention these at the point of application - some lenders may deduct these from your income and some don’t. Being accurate at the outset will reduce the chances of a lower mortgage offer than you expected which could cause problems if you are aiming for your maximum mortgage.

Bonuses, overtime, commissions and second jobs are used at different rates by different lenders. Most will only accept 50% (less for annual bonuses) and there will need to be a track record of usually a couple of years. Again speak to your broker or lender for advice.

3 – Income – if you are self-employed

You may be surprised to hear that self certification and fast track mortgages have become slightly more difficult to find. All this means in reality is that you will have to do a little more work than finding a broker who was stupid enough to make up your income for you!

If you are self-employed lenders will want to see at a minimum your last 2 years tax returns and SA302s (as your accountant if you don’t know what this is.) Typically they will average the last 2 years taxable income and use this figure as the start point on their affordability calculation.

If you are a director of a limited company (or partner in an LLP) the lender will, in most circumstances, use your salary and dividend (or net drawings) not your share of net profit. This distinction is very important (unless you own more than 51% of the shares in which case the rules are different).

Our advice is get your accounts before you apply and read through them. Alternatively, ask your accountant to write down your net profit, salary, dividends or drawings for the last 3 years on one page so you can see them.

If you are self-employed, getting advice from a good broker will make all the difference – many of the lenders we speak too still cannot read a simple set of accounts and some of the better ones will be able to convince a lender to use retained profit or accountant’s tricks in their calculations/

4 – The Mortgage Term

How much you can borrow depends on how much you can pay back per month. Your monthly payment depends on how long you arrange your mortgage over. Lenders (almost) always base their calculations on a repayment basis to your retirement age. Before you apply find a mortgage payment calculator and find out how much your mortgage will be over various terms and find the one which is most suitable to you.

Remember – the longer the term, the more you can borrow. The shorter the term, the less it will cost you in interest. The latter is the most important.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Mortgage Refinancing Points Guidelines

In case you are buying a house, you may be coming into queries concerning points. These are the fees from the interest of mortgage that are disbursed at the front end, to decrease preliminary rates of interest. For most of the time they are frequently appointed as the points of mortgage, the origination fees or points of discount. The lender you have will possibly get you offered the choice to disburse them at closing or not. The lender you have will deliver you an estimation of good faith. By the time you think of that estimation, you may realize that the down payment you possess is bigger in case you disburse closing`s points. Prior to disregarding the choice of disbursing points, consider the circumstance a little more deeper seeing that in the closing, it will cost you more. Continue reading for more information about the mortgage refinancing points.

In the most fundamental explanation probable, disbursing for them is a decree of disbursing later or disbursing now. To the amount of your loan, one point is similar to one percent. Therefore, in case the loan you have is for $200,000, and you were to disburse one point, it would make you disburse $2000. For disbursing points at closing, lenders will frequently decrease the rate of interest of your mortgage. In case you disburse one point, get your lender asked the amount they will decrease the interest that you have.

Making a decision of whether or not you will disburse is uneasy, but it primarily depends upon the length you expect to live in the house. The common rule is that in case you make a plan to live in a house for five years or not, you don`t have to disburse for them. The reasons in this is that this is going to cost you more in points compared to what it could in interest in that short period of time. Interest versus points equal the equation. You have to make certain if disbursing the upfront for them will make you save in interest in the long run. Here, the common rule is that in case you arrange to stay in your house to ten years or more, disbursing points is a move that can save money.

The IRS (Internal Revenue Service) consider points as pre-disbursed interest. So, they are tax deduction, in case you get them disbursed in closing. In reality, you are able of getting them deducted even if the seller disbursed the points that you have. You`re gonna have this deduction claimed for the tax year in which you buy your home. You are able of having the total sum of points disbursed claimed in that return of the year.

Anyway, if, you are having a home refinanced, this deduction has to be amortized in the loan`s term.

Therefore, never give in on the idea of disbursing points in closing. More than that, think of the way their disbursement apply to the situations of yours and whether or not disbursing them, or a drawback, maybe, an advantage.

Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/?expert=Jacklyn_Young

Monday, June 7, 2010

Tips For Locking in the Best Home Mortgage Rate

Tip #1: Always Shop For Home Mortgage Rates

Don't blindly accept a Realtor or Builder referral to apply for a Home Mortgage through their preferred lender. Many times they will say, "We work closely with this guy and he gets the job done". Translation: "We play golf together and he buys the beer". Remember, the Realtor won't be paying the bill each month for the next 30 years, you will.

Mortgage Loan Officers that work off of a referral network of Realtors and Builders don't have to have competitive Home Mortgage Rates because they have a steady stream of "Drones" (people who are referred to them and don't shop) calling them. Shop around, get the lowest cost Home Mortgage Rate, then if you are inclined, approach the "preferred" Loan Officer you were referred to and ask him to match the quote.

If you apply for a Home Mortgage through a preferred lender without shopping, you will pay hundreds or even thousands of dollars in additional costs.

Tip #2: Call For Home Mortgage Quotes After 11:00 a.m. Eastern Time

Mortgage Rates change each day and sometimes midday. The previous day's rates typically expire by 8:30 a.m. the next morning. Generally, Home Mortgage Rates are published each day by 11:00 a.m. Eastern time. This varies from lender to lender. To make sure you are getting Home Mortgage Rates from the current day and not a mixture of rates from the previous day from some lenders and the current rates from other lenders, always do your rate shopping after 11:00 a.m. Eastern time.

Get all your quotes after 11:00 a.m. Eastern time.

Sometimes Home Mortgage Rates change midday due to a volatile bond market. When this happens, some Home Mortgage Lenders will adjust the Discount Points for their rates in accordance with the new bond prices and publish new Home Mortgage Rates for that day. Other Lenders may continue to honor their morning rates.

Tip#3: Always Tell The Mortgage Loan Officer You Are Prepared To Apply For A Loan NOW

If you are buying a home, tell the Home Mortgage Loan Officer you are Rate shopping and you have a "ratified contract" to purchase a house. Tell him you intend to make a decision and Lock-In a rate on that day, but you have to check a few other lenders. If he asks you how his rates compare to the others, tell him he's the first person you've called. If you are refinancing, tell the Home Mortgage Loan Officer you are ready to apply for a Refinance Home Mortgage today. If you don't tell him that, he may provide a fake Home Mortgage Rate quote.

Loan Officers know you will probably talk to another lender with lower Home Mortgage Rates and the only way he can be sure for you to call him back is to give you a fake quote that appears to be the lowest. He's expecting you will rate shop for several days and figures you will call him back in a day or two because he provided a low, bogus rate quote. Also, since Home Mortgage Rates change daily and are subject to change at any time, he's not concerned about giving you a fake quote.

How will you compare quotes if you don't know which quotes are real and which are part of a bait and switch plan? The only way to ensure getting real quotes is to box in the Home Mortgage Loan Officers by making them think you are ready to Lock-In a Home Mortgage Rate immediately.

Tip#4: Ask For The Total Points And The Total Fees

When you call a Mortgage Lender, ask for the "Total Points" (Discount Points, Loan Origination Fee, Broker Points) for each Home Mortgage Rate. Some lenders will only quote the Discount Points and deliberately leave out the Loan Origination Fee. You won't find out about the 1.00 Point Loan Origination Fee until you apply for the Home Mortgage. By that time, the Loan Officer figures you will just accept it because he's got your application and pulled your credit report. In addition, Mortgage Brokers often neglect to mention their Broker Fee.

Some lenders do not charge a Loan Origination Fee.

When you are quoted the Total Points, specifically ask them if there is an additional Loan Origination Fee or Broker Fee being charged. You truly have to nail this down when you talk to a Home Mortgage Loan Officer.

Also, ask for a list of ALL other fees that will appear on the Good Faith Estimate that you will be paying to the Lender or Broker. Make sure they include their Credit Report and Appraisal Fees. Some lenders charge one lump sum fee and that includes the Credit Report and Appraisal Fees while other lenders will itemize each fee. Keep it simple and ask for all fees, including the cost of the credit report and appraisal fees.

Don't get confused by Title Company, Attorney Fees or Escrows. A lender will estimate these on your Good Faith Estimate, but these charges are not related to costs associated with a Mortgage Rate quote. The amount required for your escrow account will not change from lender to lender and Title Company and Attorney Fees are not being charged by the lender. Don't include them in your comparison.

Tip#5: Always Confirm The Rate Lock Period When Asking For A Rate Quote

If you are buying a home and you need 60 days to close, make sure you specifically request Mortgage Rate quotes with a 60 Day Lock period. Some Home Mortgage Loan Officers will quote rates with 15 Day or 30 Day Lock periods because the Discount Points for shorter lock periods are less than rate locks for longer periods. Quoting a Home Mortgage Rate with a 15 Day lock period obviously gives that Loan Officer an unfair edge. It is also a waste of your time because the quote isn't real if you can't settle on your loan within 15 days. Always specify a 60 Day Lock-In if you are buying a home. Ask for 45 Days if you are refinancing, but you may be able to get it done within 30 days if you are very diligent and call your Home Mortgage Loan Officer twice a week for a status of your application.

If your rate lock expires, the lender will re-lock you at the higher of either the original rate or the current rate when you decide to re-lock. That's a LOSE/LOSE situation for you. Never let your rate lock expire.

Tip#6: Compute The Dollar Cost Of The Points And Add All Fees

After you've spent some time talking to a bunch of Mortgage Loan Officers, you will have lots of Rates, Points and Fees on a sheet of paper. You will need to compute the dollar cost of the Points (multiply the mortgage amount X the Total Points expressed as a percent; For example, multiply 400,000 mortgage amount X.625% for.625 Points). Then add the dollar cost of the points to the Total Fees. You can then compare each Home Mortgage Lender's Total Cost (dollar cost of the points + all lender related fees) for a given rate. That will show you which Home Mortgage Lender has the lowest cost Home Mortgage Rates.

If Mortgage Insurance (not to be confused with mortgage life insurance) is required on a Conventional Home Mortgage, ask for the cost per year expressed as a percent and compare it from lender to lender. Some lenders require different levels of coverage and this will affect your monthly Mortgage Insurance payment. In addition, lenders use several different mortgage insurance companies and they charge different rates for their coverage. The lender will select the mortgage insurance company.

The cost of Mortgage Insurance can vary from lender to lender even though most Home Mortgage Loan Officers will say, "We don't determine the Mortgage Insurance coverage, Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac do". Your can just say, "Please humor me and provide the Monthly Mortgage Insurance expressed as a percent".

You will want to check the quoted percent with what is on your initial application documents and final loan documents to make sure the Monthly Mortgage Insurance payment isn't higher than what you were quoted. If it is, get it reduced immediately. If they won't do that, then ask them to reduce your Home Mortgage Rate by.125% and that should cover the difference.

If you are getting a government insured mortgage (FHA or VA), you don't have to get into a comparison of the FHA MIP or the VA Funding Fee. This is a cost you will be paying, however every lender MUST use the same costs, so there is no reason to attempt to compare these costs from lender to lender.

Tip#7: When You've Found The Lowest Cost Rate, Apply and Lock The Rate

While you were looking for houses or thinking about refinancing, you may have shopped around and gotten some quotes from lenders and narrowed down your search to the best 5 Home Mortgage Lenders or Brokers. But when it is time to apply for your Mortgage, make sure you update your quotes for the 5 lowest priced Home Mortgage Lenders. After you identify the Home Mortgage Lender with the lowest cost rate, call and apply for the loan. Tell the Home Mortgage Loan Officer you want to Lock-In your Home Mortgage Rate and apply NOW. If the quote has changed since you updated your quotes a couple of hours before, tell the Loan Officer you want him to honor the previous quote. If he won't do it, tell him you may call back. Then call the next cheapest Home Mortgage Lender on your list. If that lender tells you the same thing, you can go back to the first lender and proceed with the application process.

Before you provide your application information, make sure the Home Mortgage Loan Officer agrees to provide you with an actual Rate Lock confirmation via email or fax on the same day you apply for your loan. When you receive the Rate Lock confirmation, check it and make sure you are Locked-In for the number of required days (30, 45 or 60), with the correct Loan Type (30 Year Fixed, 15 Year Fixed, etc.), with the correct Total Points quoted. It's normal for a lender to require you to apply over the phone before they will Lock-In your Home Mortgage Rate.

TIP#8: Never Float The Rate

If the Mortgage Loan Officer thinks you might be inclined to FLOAT your Rate and Points, he may say, "I think the rates are going to be coming down, so you might want to FLOAT". Remember this, never FLOAT your Home Mortgage Rate. Never. Always Lock-In the Rate and Points. If you FLOAT, and the Discount Points for Home Mortgage Rates drop, you will only realize the benefit of a small part of that drop in the Points, if any at all. The Home Mortgage Loan Officer will keep the rest of the savings as a fat commission.

Here's how they increase their commission when you FLOAT. Originally, the lender quoted 4.875% with 1.00 Total Point when you applied for your loan. Then 45 days later you called to Lock-In. Keep in mind that over the 45 day period that you were FLOATING, the actual Points for 4.875% dropped to.250 Total Points. So you should have saved.75 Total Points on your 4.875% rate. Right? No! First, you don't know if his company's points have dropped or by how much they might have dropped. So, instead of giving you 4.875% for.250 Total Points, the Home Mortgage Loan Officer tells you his rates only dropped a little bit. He says you can Lock-In 4.875% for.75 Total Points. You are happy because it is.25 lower than what it was when you applied for your loan, but the Home Mortgage Loan Officer is ecstatic because he keeps half of the "overage" you paid. That overage is.50 points and he splits this with his company. If the mortgage amount was $400,000, he just earned.25% which is an additional $1,000 commission. That's not bad for a five minute phone conversation.

If you FLOAT and the Discount Points for Mortgage Rates increase, you will pay for the increase. FLOATING is a LOSE/LOSE proposition for you and a WIN/WIN for the Home Mortgage Loan Officer.

Some companies quote very low rates and attract lots of applications, but they don't let you Lock-In until 15 Days prior to loan closing. If you apply for a Mortgage through a company with that policy, you will get screwed. When it's time to Lock-In your Mortgage Rate, you will pay an "overage" that will go straight to the Mortgage Loan Officers pocket. You will either pay more points for the rate you requested at the time of application or you will get a higher rate. Either way, you will get screwed and the Loan Officer will get a fat overage added to his commission.

Tip#9: Get a Final Good Faith Estimate Several Days Before Loan Closing

Get a copy of the Final Good Faith Estimate at least a few days before the scheduled closing day. Check the Mortgage Rate, Points, Fees and Monthly Mortgage Insurance Premium (if applicable). Make sure you are getting exactly what you bargained for. Ask questions if you don't understand something. Demand that previously undisclosed fees be removed from the Final Good Faith Estimate. Make sure you get a revised estimate if the Mortgage Loan Officer verbally agrees to make changes.

The day of loan closing is the wrong time to haggle over discrepancies.

Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/?expert=Mick_Taylor

Friday, June 4, 2010

Types Of Mortgages Available In Canada

In Canada there are two types of mortgages available to residential borrowers, one being a conventional mortgage and the other is a high-ratio mortgage. Within both types of mortgages there are two sub-types, which are either open or closed mortgages.

To clarify the various options one can be presented with when shopping for a mortgage this article is divided into two parts;

Part one deals with the difference between a conventional mortgage and a high-ratio mortgage and part two deals with the different sub-types of mortgages available within the two types. However, these are fairly generic explanations - just as there are many different lending institutions, so there are almost as many different varieties of mortgages available. This is another good reason to consult a mortgage broker. Depending on your situation, one type of mortgage may be better for your circumstance than another.


If you have at least 20% of the purchase price (or appraised value if this is lower than the purchase price) as a down payment, you can apply for a conventional mortgage.
Some lenders may require either CMHC, Genworth or AIG insurance as well because of the property's location or type, even though you have 20% or more equity.


to 65% 0.50%

65.1 to 75% 0.65%

75.1 to 80% 1.00%

80.1 to 85% 1.75%

85.1 to 90% 2.00%

90.1 to 95% 2.90%

95.1 to 100% 3.10%

Please note: Insurance premiums are higher when the amortization is greater than 25 years or if there is more than one advance. This usually happens if you are building your house or having it built for you. Check with your Mortgage Broker to learn what the applicable premiums will be.

The insurance premium is calculated by multiplying the mortgage amount needed by the applicable percentage.

For example:

If the purchase price is $112,000 and the required mortgage is $100,000. You divide 100,000 by 112,000. This equals 89.29%.

Looking at the above chart - the premium is 2.00% when the lending ratio is 89.29%.
The next step is to multiply the mortgage amount by the insurance premium. Using our example this means $100,000 X 2.00% = $2,000. Your actual mortgage loan will therefore be $102,000.

CMHC's 5% DOWNPAYMENT PROGRAM was originally for first-time homeowners, but was expanded in May 1998 and is now available to all purchasers (principal residence only) who meet the normal requirements. Furthermore, borrowers can now even borrow up to 100% of their purchase price under new CMHC's Flex Down Insurance Program.

CMHC may set maximum purchase prices under these programs depending on the city so check with your Mortgage Broker to learn what the price limits are in your area.

If the property is a duplex (and you are buying both sides), with one side being owner occupied, the minimum down payment is 5.0%.

Mortgage brokers and lenders must verify that the borrower has the 5% down payment and 1.5% of the purchase price to cover closing costs. The only exception to the 1.5% is when the purchaser qualifies for an exemption of the Land Transfer Tax (Ont.) or Property Transfer Tax (B.C.), or similar provincial tax exemption. In these cases the mortgage broker or lender must ensure that there are sufficient funds available to cover all remaining closing costs.


An open mortgage allows you to pay off part or the entire mortgage at any time without penalties. Open mortgages usually have short terms of six months or one year. The interest rates are higher than those for closed mortgages with similar terms.


At the start of a variable rate mortgage, the lender will calculate a mortgage payment that includes principal & interest. For the term of the mortgage your payments usually do not change. However, as the prime rate changes so will your mortgage rate.

If interest rates are dropping, less of each payment will go toward interest and more will go toward principal. If interest rates rise, more of your payment will be interest and less money will be reducing your principal.

Some of these mortgages are completely open (you can pay off all or part of your mortgage at any time without penalties). Others that offer a 'prime minus' interest rate (e.g. prime - 0.375%) may charge a penalty.

The interest rate on most variable rate mortgages is compounded monthly.


These are variable rate mortgages that the lending institution has rate 'capped'. In other words, the rate will fluctuate with prime, but the institution guarantees that you will not pay more than a certain interest rate, set by them.

These mortgages often have a penalty for early 'payment in full' and are often not portable.


The expression 'closed mortgage' originates from the 1980's when this type of mortgage was literally 'closed'. You contracted to the lender to make your payments for the term chosen, you could not pay anything additional, nor could you pay off the entire amount for any reason except the sale of your property.

These days, there are many ways to pay down your mortgage principal quicker, though the name 'closed' mortgage still remains. See pre-payment options for ways to pay off your mortgage quicker.

Fixed rate mortgages are the most popular type of mortgage. You benefit from the security of locking in your mortgage interest rate, for lengths of time ranging from 3 months up to 25 years. The rates are slightly lower than for an open mortgage for the same term.

If you think interest rates could rise, you may want to choose a longer term, such as a 5 or 10 year term. If you think that rates are going lower, you may want to gamble on a shorter length of time. Discuss this with your Mortgage Broker.

The major lending institutions have different pre-payment options allowed under their contracts. These options allow you to pay off your mortgage faster. It is also possible to pay off most closed mortgages prior to the end of the term or pay down a portion of the balance owing. However, lenders charge penalties for doing so.

Please note that some lending institutions will not give any pre-payment options. It is wise to find out what options are available before entering into any mortgage contract.


These are fixed rate mortgages for terms of 6 months or 1 year. Not all lending institutions offer convertible mortgages. With a convertible rate mortgage you can lock into a longer term during the current term of your mortgage without penalty - but only with the same lender. For example, if after a couple of months you hear that interest rates are going to increase, you may change to a longer term mortgage such as the 5 year term.


CHIP - Canadian Home Income Plan is the name of the company providing reverse mortgages in Canada.

A reverse mortgage allows homeowners to convert equity in their homes into cash, without selling the property or having to make monthly payments.

To qualify, homeowners must be at least 62 years old, have significant equity in their property and live in B.C. or Ontario.

The amount that can be borrowed depends on the homeowner's age. Reverse mortgages are for between 10% and 40% of the appraised value of the home. The older the homeowners, the more they can borrow.

The homeowner retains ownership and possession of the house. The lending company registers a reverse mortgage against the property. At death, or when the house is sold, the loan and the accrued interest must be repaid.

The biggest disadvantage to reverse mortgages, is that the interest keeps building on the amount of money borrowed (hence the maximum 40% loan). This means that if you borrow $50,000 this year and your interest bill is $5,000, next year your interest will be charged on $55,000 and so on. The longer the loan is in place, the greater the interest bill that has to be paid.

It is possible that when the house is sold, 100% of the proceeds from the sale may be required to pay off a loan.

If the homeowner dies the estate will have to pay off the loan and the accrued interest. This may wipe out any inheritance for the homeowner's heirs.

An alternative is to establish an equity credit line. This allows you to take funds only as you need them, thereby owing the least interest possible, with no surprises.

Consult with a financial advisor for more alternatives.

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