Debt Consolidation Main Reason for Mortgage Refinancing


There are a variety of reasons why Canadian homeowners refinance their mortgage. Simply put, refinancing means renegotiating an existing mortgage loan agreement. This year, refinancers accounted for 15% of respondents to CMHC’s Mortgage Consumer Survey.

The main reason for refinancing was to consolidate debt, followed by to fund home improvements. Here’s more of what we learned about refinancers, powered by the 2018 Mortgage Consumer Survey:

  • 24% are Generation Xers (35 – 44 years old) and 35% are baby boomers (55+ years old)
  • 54% are married
  • 61% are employed full time, 7% are self-employed and 17% are retired
  • Refinancers, along with repeat buyers, represent the highest proportion of self-employed mortgage consumers
  • 72% own a single-detached home
  • 23% have a household income of $60,000 – $90,000

Refinancers do go online to use a mortgage calculator and compare interest rates. Still, they’re the mortgage consumer segment most likely to conduct offline research only. About half indicated they’d feel comfortable using more technology to arrange their next mortgage transaction. However, face-to-face interaction was still rated as important.

Broker and lender share remained relatively stable among refinancers. Sixty-eight percent were satisfied with their broker and 79% were satisfied with their lender. When asked what type of additional information they’d have liked to receive from their mortgage professionals, the top answers were: information about mortgage or purchase fees, types of mortgages, closing costs and interest rates.

Almost one third of refinancers indicated that their current level of debt, including their mortgage, is higher than expected. Additionally, more than one quarter don’t have a monthly budget. Still, 69% are comfortable with their current level of mortgage debt. What’s more, 63% indicated that if they run into financial difficulty, they have other assets (investments, other property, etc.) they can use to help meet their needs.

Refinancers also showed significant confidence in homeownership. A full 80% believe that homeownership is a good long-term financial investment and 74% feel emotionally attached to their home.

Best Canadian cities to invest in Part 2: Among top 10 cities – Guelph, ON & Brantford ON



In part one and two of this special three-part series, readers learned about the criteria some of Canada’s top real estate experts consider when determining which cities are the best to invest in and why.

In this final part of the series, the remaining portion of Canada’s top 10 cities to invest in this year is revealed.

In fifth spot for the 2018 list was Kingston, Ontario where, in 2017, the average home price was reported to be $416,028, the average income was $94,654.73 and the unemployment rate dipped from seven per cent in 2016 to 5.9 per cent in 2017. Kingston was also reported to be a desirable option for millennials who ranked among the highest for interest in home buying within the next five years.

A close runner-up was nearby municipality Guelph, Ontario where the city’s average house price for last year was $718,898 the average household income was $103,898.50, and the unemployment rate dipped from 6.2 per cent in 2016 to five per cent in 2017. Analysts also liked Guelph for its rental vacancy rate that continues to sit below two per cent as well as the city’s property value appreciation average that has reportedly continued to increase at an average of almost six per cent for almost two decades.

In third place this year was British Columbia’s capital city Victoria where the average price of a single-detached home in 2017 was reported to be $975,838, the average income was $94,980.62 and the unemployment rate dipped from 5.4 per cent in 2016 to 4.7 per cent in 2017. Analysts also continue to like Victoria as an attractive Canadian investment option due to what is considered to be easily accessible health care and plentiful selection of both cultural and recreational activities.

Peterborough, Ontario made second spot for 2017 where the average price of a home was $413,394, the average household income was reported to be $86,864.85 and the unemployment rate went from seven per cent in 2016 to 5.4 per cent in 2017. The city has been climbing in the attractive investment ranks for the past two years, sitting at ninth place in 2017 and as low as 24th the year before that. The geographical location of Peterborough, which is part of the Greater Golden Horseshoe (GGH) region in Ontario – one of North America’s fastest growing regions – is said to be one of its most attractive investment features about it. Analysts call the GGH region as very livable due to its diversity, the economic opportunities it offers and overall prosperity.

Finally, in first place was Brantford, Ontario with an average home price of $506,016, a drop in unemployment from six per cent in 2016 to 4.9 per cent last year and an average household income of $86,092.87. Brantford was said to score high in this year’s rankings due to its claims to fame such as Nutella, Canada’s beloved chocolate hazelnut spread is made there, not to mention Tic Tacs and Ferrero Rocher chocolates.

The list of best cities to invest in analyzes everything from desirability of neighborhoods to population growth and unemployment rates within the area. In 2018, Canadian experts researched over 2,200 neighborhoods across the country to come up with a top list of urban centres that stretch from coast to coast.

Four Easy Ways to Harness Solar Power at Home

The price of solar technologies has dropped in recent years. Is now the time to hop on the bandwagon? Even if you’re not fully convinced, there are small steps you can take today to reduce your environmental footprint and save money through solar.

1) Solar lighting.

Eliminate the need for extension cords or pricey landscape lighting installations by opting for solar lights outdoors. In addition to smaller pathway lights, you can find floodlights and security lights with solar cell batteries.

2) Solar garden and décor features.

Solar-powered garden décor, such as water features, help make a statement without breaking the bank.

3) Solar chargers.

Instead of plugging your tablet or phone charger into an indoor outlet, invest in a solar charger that will allow your portable electronic device to run on the power of the sun.

4) Passive solar.

Even without solar panels, you can still make your home benefit from the position of the sun. Effective window treatments can make a big difference in your heating and cooling bill.

David Stone – Real Estate Investor

Tuza Investments Ltd.


5 Smart Ways to Start Investing in Rentals Later in Life

“The best time to plant a tree was 20 years ago. The second-best time is now.” —Chinese Proverb

Think you missed the boat on real estate investing? That it’s somehow “too late” because you’ve reached your 40s, 50s, 60s, or even 70s?

Think again.

Real estate investing is not the exclusive domain of the young, hip, and unattached. In fact, middle-aged and senior investors bring some unique experiences and advantages to the table.

Sure, you might have kids. A spouse. A demanding job. So what? You think you’re the first parent who works full-time to buy a rental property?

You probably have a lot more savings than the 23-year-old who’s trying to buy their first property. For that matter, you probably have experience buying real estate—in the form of a home. You’ve been through the mortgage financing process before and know some of the pitfalls to watch out for.

Here are a few pointers for older adults, to buy their first rental property in middle age or later.

5 Smart Ways to Start Investing in Rentals Later in Life

1. Leverage (and build!) your network.

Take advantage of your superior network and double down on building an even stronger one. Start assembling your dream team. After all, real estate investing is a team sport, and you have several more decades’ worth of contacts to draw on to fill out your roster!

2. Capitalize on your existing capital.

After being employed for several decades, you should have far more money set aside.

That extra capital is a competitive advantage!

3. Take another look at house hacking.

Don’t discount them just because your experiences with smaller properties have been less than thrilling. Even if you are committed to living in a single-family home, there are many ways to creatively house hack and create income out of it.

4. Keep your eyes on the prize: income for retirement.

People invest in real estate for many reasons and in many ways. As an older adult, consider putting “passive income” at the top of your priority list.

One of the things I love the most about rental investing is you can forecast your returns incredibly accurately, before ever putting a single dollar down as a deposit. You know the market rent, the neighborhood vacancy rate, the local property management costs, property taxes, insurance. You can accurately forecast CapEx and repair costs.

5. Snowball your extra income.

Re-invest all the extra income generated from the cash flow.

Set it aside and put it in the stock market. Or in private notes. Or best of all, in more rental properties. Because ultimately, you’re on a mission. Your mission, whether you choose to accept it or not, is to retire with more wealth, because more wealth brings more options. As you build streams of rental income, you can retire young, or keep working and building more wealth.

It’s never too late to start buying rental properties. If you invest strategically, you can accelerate your retirement saving and build a stable and permanent base of passive income.


David Stone – Real Estate Investor

Tuza Investments Ltd.

Bank of Canada’s mortgage ‘stress test’ rate climbs higher

Jackie Bowen


Central bank’s rate for deciding if you can afford a mortgage is raised 20 points to 5.34%


As mortgages get more expensive with interest rates rising in Canada, the hurdle that some borrowers must pass is also getting higher.

The interest rate used by the Bank of Canada for mortgage stress-testing went up by 20 basis points Wednesday to 5.34 per cent from 5.14 per cent, where it had been since mid-January of this year.

The rate used has now gone up five times since last May, when it stood at 4.64 per cent.

The central bank’s rate is based on a survey of conventional five-year rates available at the big banks.

Under new rules that came in force on Jan. 1, all home buyers have to go through the mortgage stress test.

The test is based on qualifying for the greater of either the Bank of Canada qualifying rate or the buyer’s contracted interest rate plus two percentage points.


Copyright © *2018* *VERICO Xeva Mortgage*, All rights reserved.

Primary Choice Homes Rent to own privacy policy

Primary Choice Homes rent to own Privacy Policy

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We may use the information we collect from you when you fill out an application, respond to a survey or marketing communication, surf the website, or use certain other site features in the following ways:

To allow us to better service you in responding to your customer service requests.


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Canada’s anti-spam legislation sets the rules for commercial email, establishes requirements for commercial messages, and gives email recipients the right to have emails stopped from being sent to them.

We collect your email address in order to:
Send information, respond to inquiries, and/or other requests or questions
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Last Edited on April 21, 2018

Mortgage and Refinancing changes


Hi Jessica,

On March 26th you will have significantly fewer options to purchase or refinance. A major banks’ “Mortgage for Self-Employed” program will be decommissioned April 1st and the cut-off for submission will be March 26th.

This is due to continuing regulations from the Office of the Superintendent of Financial Institutions (OSFI). Our concern is that if this is an OSFI rule, more lenders may follow and soon it may be much more difficult to obtain financing if you are self employed unless you are willing to work with a “B” lender, who generally have rates that are 1% – 2% higher than banks.

Example –

Jim owns ABC Electronic, the business grosses $750,000 but Jim’s accountant uses write offs to reduce Jim’s net income to $75,000 a year.

With the current rules we are currently able to “state” Jim’s income by adding back certain tax write offs and deductions. In this example we may be able to support an income of $140,000, or a maximum mortgage of roughly $700,000.

As of March 27th we will only be able to gross up Jim’s net income by 15%. This would give a maximum usable income of $86,250, or a maximum mortgage of roughly $400,000.

These changes will lead to a significant drop in most self employed applicants usable income. If you are considering refinancing to access the equity in your home, purchasing a new home to live in, or have a renewal coming up in the next 6 months please call or email the Green Mortgage Team within the next 24 hours as there is not much time left.

Thank you,

Kyle Green and The Green Mortgage Team

The Green Mortgage Team
Ph. 604-229-5515

Mission Accomplished: The Fall of Real Estate

Governments at all levels have been relentless in their efforts to reign in real estate – the top industry in 7 out of 10 provinces. Just think of how hard they’ve worked.

In February, 2016 the former Liberal government in BC increased the property purchase tax on homes over $2 million (impacting the vast majority of single detached homes in Vancouver). They then followed up with the introduction of the 15% foreign buyers tax for residential properties in Metro Vancouver.

The Federal government followed up with new rules for insured mortgages. Not to be outdone the Ontario Liberals introduced a 16 point plan to cool the market. Some might say “derail” the market. And finally the Federal government extended the new stress test rules for every mortgage application.

Judging by the recent headlines governments got their wish.

Canadian real estate prices see biggest drop worldwide – MacLeans, Jan. 29, 2018

Canadian Real Estate Prices Are Fastest-Falling In World, According To U.S. Fed – Huffington Post, Jan. 31, 2018

Canadian home sales, listings slump in January with arrival of new mortgage rules – CBC News, Feb. 15, 2018

Canadian Home Sales Hit Lowest Level in 3 Years – Toronto Star, Feb 15, 2018

The Canadian Real Estate Association just reported that three quarters of the Canadian market experienced a slump as January sales declined 14.5% compared to December. Toronto sales led the way down with a 26.6% drop while even Vancouver experienced a 10% fall. Although the results are not surprising given the number of people who rushed into the market in December in order to avoid the new stress test rules but sales were still down 2.4% nationally compared to a year earlier.

Toronto’s decline, which the city’s real estate board blames on the Ontario government’s actions, continued in January with sales off 22%.  While some of the decline is attributed to the December rush it’s noteworthy that it’s the weakest showing in the last nine years.


Copyright © *2018* *VERICO Xeva Mortgage*, All rights reserved.

A Stress Test Best Practices Tool Kit

Jackie Bowen



Now that Canada’s new mortgage stress test rules have been in place since January 1, arming home buyers with a best practices tool kit is in order.

Introduced by the Office of the Superintendent of Financial Institutions (OFSI), the new stress test requires the qualifying rate for an uninsured mortgage to be the greater of the Bank of Canada’s benchmark rate or the rate homebuyers negotiate with their financial institution plus two percentage points.

Financial experts across the country are making recommendations that start with ensuring your timing is right for the mortgage plans you have in mind. For example, some contracts that may have been signed prior to January 1 of this year may still fall under the old rules. This would include purchases made prior to January 1 even if the closing date falls after January 1, however the purchase offer in these instances must be considered firm.

Canada’s financial advisors are also recommending potential home buyers look to clear their debts before they start shopping for a mortgage. This would be one definitive way to ensure the new stress test rules don’t disrupt home-buying plans.

Those who took advice to lock down a mortgage pre-approval prior to the start of 2018 and received an exemption to the rules with the idea they would buy a home within 120 days of being pre-approved now need to contact their mortgage broker. Analysts are recommending this group work with a broker and pay close attention to the fine print, so they have a clear understanding of the 120-day deadline and what all will be required to meet it.

Finally, analysts also caution owners who already have a mortgage.  If you want to switch lenders at renewal, you will have to requalify under the new stress test.  This is also a perfect time to review your financial and mortgage plans.

Contact me if you are unsure how the new stress test will impact your long term home financing plans.


2018 CMHC Prospective Home Buyers Survey


In October 2017, CMHC surveyed 2,507 prospective home buyers on-line. Respondents were all prime household decision-makers who intend to purchase a new home within the next two years, including approximately 1,500 First-Time Buyers, 500 current owners, and 500 previous owners.

The survey results highlight that:

  • First-Time Buyers and Previous Owners share the same top motivator to purchase a home: they want to stop renting. Improved accessibility (physical obstacles and barriers) and investment opportunity were also noted as top motivators across all groups. Changes to mortgage regulations and concerns about possible future interest rate increases were not among the top motivators.
  • Over four-in-ten First-Time Buyers and Previous Owners say they would delay their home purchase if they were not able to find their ideal home, with a fairly similar proportion saying they would be willing to compromise on the size of the home and location.
  • The majority of future home buyers intend to obtain a mortgage to finance their home purchase, with First-Time Buyers showing higher incidence compared to Previous Owners and Current Owners.
  • Across all future home buyers groups, more than six-in-ten say they are likely to have a financial buffer in case their expenses change in the future. Furthermore, the majority of future home buyers, especially Current Owners, agree that they feel confident they have the necessary tools and information to manage their mortgage and debt load.
  • Among all groups, the two most common actions completed one to two years prior to the purchase of a home were saving for a down payment and determining what type of home to buy. On the other hand, in the last three months before purchasing, about two-in ten of prospective buyers pre-qualify for a mortgage.
  • About one-in-four prospective home buyers stated that they would be very likely to consider delaying their purchase in the event of an increase in interest rates.

Copyright © *2018* *VERICO Xeva Mortgage*, All rights reserved.

The “Stress Test” – How Is This Going to Impact You

Jackie Bowen


Dear Clients, Friends and Family,

Over the next few weeks and months ahead, you will hear a lot of commentary on whether the new uninsured ‘stress test’ rules are good or bad for the consumer and necessary or unnecessary for the stability of the mortgage industry in Canada. Without question, you will hear that the sky is falling and that NO one will ever qualify for a mortgage again. My favorite is “the housing market in Canada is going to come crashing down”. With all the challenges, the Canadian mortgage industry has faced since 2007, including one of the worst economic crashes and some of the most significant rule changes to our industry, the housing market has continued to thrive. Although these new changes are significant and will have an impact to the consumer’s borrowing power, we believe the industry in time will adjust as it always does.

Saying all that, the one concern that I have after January 1st, 2018 is that it will become more difficult to qualify for a mortgage and to understand how all the industry changes over the past year affects you, NOW more than ever you need to be working with a mortgage professional. With my experience, knowledge and the variety of mortgage lenders and options I can provide, my services have never been more important. With access to most of the major banks, credit unions, mortgage companies and private lenders, I have the ability to shop the market place to provide you a tailored mortgage solution.

So, what was the biggest change announced? The biggest change to the new rules is surrounding the mortgage qualification and incorporating of a stress test to each mortgage application. Although a similar test was incorporated last year to high ratio mortgages (anyone with less than 20% equity), this new rule now applies to anyone with 20% or more equity in their home (conventional mortgage). Qualification for all conventional and unconventional mortgages will now be calculated at a minimum qualifying rate which is the GREATER of the five-year benchmark rate (currently 4.89%) published by the Bank of Canada or the contractual mortgage rate +2%. So, to put this in perspective, if the 5-year fixed rate is at 3.25%, the lenders are required to qualify your mortgage using payments based on the rate of 5.25% (3.25% + 2.00% = 5.25%). You don’t need to be a mathematician to understand that these changes will drastically effect how much you will qualify for your next mortgage.

If you are concerned about how these changes could affect you now or in the near future or if you are thinking of renovating, consolidating or purchasing an investment property, now is definitely a good time for us to go over your options and review the your current mortgage and future goals.

Please do not hesitate to call me at 604-839-1803 or email me at so that we can arrange a time to go over your options.




Copyright © *2017* *VERICO Xeva Mortgage*, All rights reserved.