Knowledge is power, and when it comes to making a major life decision, you want to make it a powerful one that you’ll feel great about. Our blog is designed to communicate the latest news about industry changes, as well as our thoughts on smart purchasing. Keep up to date with the latest news from BRMC right here–because we’re not going anywhere, and mortgage news never gets old or stops.

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Government Introduces a Real Blunder of a Program for Home Buyers’

Chilliwack, BC – Here are my thoughts regarding the governments offer of an interest free loan in exchange for a percentage of ownership in your home.

On January 17, 2017 the BC liberals introduced something similar called the BC Home Partnership Program. The program offered to match home buyers’ down-payment costs with an interest free loan for the first five years. When NDP took power back in March of 2018, they removed the program stating that,

            “When the program was first introduced, it was anticipated it would provide 42,000 loans over a three-year period, however, as of January 31, 2018, there were fewer than 3,000 loans approved.”

While the program sounded advantageous and enticing, popularity was minimal simply due to an unachievable list of requirements and restrictions. These restrictions filtered several prospective buyers wanting to part-take in the program. In addition, the return was not equivalent when comparing to the hoops Canadian home buyers needed to jump through. Furthermore, lenders reacted to the program by putting a repayment factor on the interest free loan that hindered the initial benefit of not having to make payments for the first five years.

Moving forward, I predict that we will have even fewer loans approved as the number of insured mortgages in addition to the CMHC incentive, would be capped using a formula (4X your annual income up to a max of $480,000). In simpler terms, Fraser Valley home buyers making $60,000 a year, would qualify for a $240,000 purchase (that really doesn’t get you a whole lot).

We’re not yet certain as to how this will be implemented, but if there is a repayment factor attached to the loan, it will have very little impact on helping Canadians get into the housing market.

At this point I would not be surprised if there is further action taken by CMHC, allowing for 30-year amortizations for those that have less than 20% down-payment. I personally think this is a terrible idea, sure your monthly payment might be a few dollars less, but it ultimately extends the life of the loan and increases interest over time.

Should they proceed with the extended amortization strategy, I would expect it to take place closer to elections in an attempt to try and leverage themselves.

If the government is concerned about helping Canadians get into the housing market, they should consider lowering the stress test rate.

For more information on the 2019 Federal Budget, visit: https://www.theglobeandmail.com/politics/article-federal-budget-2019-highlights-10-things-you-need-to-know/

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BC Budget Speculation, Changes for Home Buyers

Chilliwack BC, The BC budget is set to be released in just a few days and as always, there are speculators weighing in on the changes we’re expected to see and where exactly we expect funds to be allocated. Housing affordability is a topical subject of course, as we’ve seen the rise and fall of transactions over the last few years and the impact these rules and regulations have had on home buyers and even home owners. These changes may consist of altering home buying programs and mortgage products, along with tax benefits for seniors, pharmacare and job training. Here is a more detailed look at those predictions:

Longer Mortgage Amortizations: Re-introducing 30-year amortizations for those who have less than a 20% down-payment.

Home Buyers Plan: Increasing the RRSP withdraw from $25,000 to $35,000 for first time home buyers without penalties with the stipulation that all moneys are repaid within 15 years.

Tax Benefits for Seniors: Increasing withdraw flexibility from RRIF’s by raising the age requirement (currently 71 years of age) as Canadians seem to be living and working longer. Consideration to increase the income threshold for GIS has also been mentioned. As it stands, qualification is limited to a max of $18,240

Pharmacare: Potentially lower the cost of prescription drugs.

Job Training: Businesses have claimed to be struggling to find the right fit along with the appropriate skill set to fill job vacancies. This shortage is apparent in the tech area and other industries that require skilled trades. Proposal to expand tax credits that allow tax payers write off a portion of the cost that comes along with training programs and further education.

For more information regarding the speculation of the BC budget: https://globalnews.ca/news/5051109/federal-budget-2019-canada-preview/

The Truth Behind Best Interest Rates

Chilliwack, BC – When it comes to getting a mortgage for a home purchase, refinancing to consolidate debt or simply renewing your mortgage, most of us are interested in securing the best interest rate. You’ll often see websites such as rate hub, offer rates that beat just about anything you’ve been quoted by your bank or mortgage broker, but did you know that 4 out of 5 people do not qualify for the rate they saw advertised? That incredibly low interest rate you saw online, will likely come with a detailed list of restrictions.

Here are a few common mortgage scenarios and the percent you can expect to add onto that “best interest rate”.

The above figures are estimates and subject to change without notice E&O, O.A.C.