Should You Apply for a Home Equity Loan or Is It Better to Refinance Your Mortgage?

Canadian homeowners have plenty of ways to access home equity although it can be tricky to choose which option is the best for their specific situation. It is not a secret that some individuals may face more difficulties or experience more limitations such as in the case of freelancers and other self-employed individuals. In general, people with non-regular income sources will have more difficulty securing mortgages and other loans.

Challenging Choices for Borrowers

The Canadian Government introduced the mortgage ‘stress test’ just a year ago and Canadians are having a more challenging time borrowing money with good interest rates since it was implemented. The mortgage stress test made things more favourable for lenders by increasing profits and decreasing risks but since borrowers have been having a harder time, they’ve been looking at more financial options to help them manage existing debt. This is a huge factor as to why the different types of home equity loans are becoming more popular although some people have voiced that that the many ways to access home equity is still a bit confusing for them and they aren’t sure which to apply for. The different home equity loans do have their pros and cons and what may work for one family may create more problems for another. This is why it is important to fully assess your specific situation with Canadian mortgage professionals before deciding which option to apply for to ensure that your financial goals will be met and so that you can avoid possible pitfalls.

Why Consult a Mortgage Professional for Your Questions?

A mortgage professional is a person who is abreast with the best and latest practices when it comes to mortgages and using your home equity. They can explain things to you in a manner that you will understand better. They will work with you to guide in making ethical financial decisions as a homeowner so that you can achieve your long-term financial goals faster and with more efficiency. Be prepared to answer a lot of questions because your answers to their questions is their way of assessing your financial needs for them to pinpoint the best options for you. Typical questions may be about your time frame for borrowing, how much you want to borrow, what are the terms for your existing loans or mortgage, and qualification criteria for loans and mortgages.

Refinance Your Mortgage or Get a Home Equity Loan?

Your truthful answer to the possible questions will determine if your situation will benefit more from a home equity loan or from a mortgage refinance. Note that each detail you provide counts in creating a solid approach that helps you get the cash you need now using a way that you will be capable of paying off later. This way, you can get out of debt faster.

Do you need a mortgage professional to help you decide between a home equity loan and a mortgage refinance? Talk to us at Mortgage Central Canada and we will answer the questions you have to empower you with the information you need. Discuss your borrowing options with us today!

 

Tips and Information About Getting A Second Mortgage

A second mortgage is a different thing from a first mortgage as well as refinancing of first mortgages. Unlike for those two, private loan investors and companies need to consider the equity built in the home prior to approving a second mortgage; with lesser consideration given to income source and credit score as well. This also holds true for banks and institutional lenders although compared to private lenders, they are still a lot stricter with regards to credit score and having regular employment.

Applying for a Second Mortgage

Most people apply for a second mortgage to pay off their existing debts in a process called debt consolidation. Some people apply for a second mortgage with the intent of using the money for a home renovation or paying for higher education. A small but significant portion applies for a second mortgage to use as an emergency fund. The beauty of a second mortgage is that lenders often do not ask or need to know what the loan is for as long as their requirements are met.

Cost of a Second Mortgage

Do you know that in Canada, homeowners can access as much as 80% to 90% of their home equity through a second mortgage? For homeowners who are in need of cash, that is a good amount of money that can change lives if used wisely more so that it comes at a cost of about 5% to 15% in fees and interest. Is that amount too much? Not really if you compare it to the interest and fees of personal loans and credit card loans. You’ll save upwards of half the fees and interest if you decide to use a second mortgage instead of other loans. Now, comparing to a primary mortgage, that money may seem like a lot but also note that lenders face higher risks of nonpayment and default for second mortgages. The fees are truly justified.

Paying for a Second Mortgage

Paying for a second mortgage is usually straightforward. You agree to a monthly payment that usually just covers the interest. There are prepayment options too and you can avail of that when discussed with your lender.

What happens after you’ve reached the term of your loan? Are you obligated to full right then and there? Most of the time, you’ll have the option to renew your loan for another year. If you do not wish to do so, then simply follow the payment terms laid out when you first got approved for your second mortgage.

Facts About Second Mortgages

Below is a summary of details that usually apply for a second mortgage:

  • You may use up to 90% of your home equity
  • Different lenders follow different procedures and have different requirements. It is possible to get approved by another lender even when turned down by a bank.
  • Most second mortgages offer 1-year terms and usually charge for the interest-only before the payment term.
  • Interest rates for second mortgages begin at the prime rate.

Do you want to apply for a second mortgage? Fill up this contact us form and we’ll get back to you as soon as possible. We’d be happy to address any questions you may have about getting a second mortgage.

 

Best Home Equity Loan Options for You

Living on a fixed income can be quite limiting. You face challenges that hamper opportunities to enjoy life, create a better life for yourself, afford unexpected huge expenses such as medical emergencies and so on. The good news is, you’re sitting on a lot of money if you own your home or have built quite a sizable home equity. This is money that you can borrow to pay for expenses that can’t be covered by your savings or fixed income. Find out more about how you can make your home equity work for you below!

What is a Home Equity Loan?

Your home equity is the value that you own in your home. It is the difference between your home’s current market value and what you still owe. If your home is currently worth $700,000 and you still owe $35,000, then you have a whopping $665,000 home equity!

Although you may not be able to sell your home equity, you can certainly build on it over time. Because it is the value that you own, you can use it as collateral to take out a home equity loan such as a second mortgage or a home equity line of credit.

A home equity loan is a type of loan that uses the equity you’ve built up in your home as collateral. Because it is a secured loan, borrowers often enjoy lower interest rates and larger loan limits as compared to unsecured loans. Depending on the lender and the home equity loan option you choose, you may also enjoy flexible payment schemes.

What is a Second Mortgage?

A second mortgage is a home equity loan that you take on top of a primary mortgage. It comes with a set schedule of payment as well as penalties for inability to pay on time. Note that a second mortgage does not erase or nullify a primary mortgage but is another mortgage that you have to pay off. It can be better than other types of loans because the requirements are often lenient towards people with bad credit or those with low income. The money you borrow will be released as a lump sum which makes this type of home equity loan perfect for a one-time big expense such as funding a home renovation.

What is a HELOC?

A home equity line of credit gives you a line of credit with a set limit from which you can borrow as much or as little as you need. It also allows you to reborrow the money if you pay it back. Unlike a second mortgage, a HELOC often requires a reliable income and relatively good credit. A HELOC is best for recurrent significant expenses such as paying for college tuition or hospital treatments.

The best type of home equity loan for you largely depends on your financial needs and your means to pay. If you’re undecided whether to apply for a second mortgage or apply for a HELOC, contact us and we’ll be glad to discuss how to best use your home equity.

Is it Time to Use Your Home Equity?

World economy has taken a hit due to the months-long lockdowns and quarantines that a lot of nations had to place themselves under of. Even countries with stronger economies like the United States and Canada are not exempt from the financially crippling effects of the COVID-19 pandemic. The best way to bounce back is for households to have more purchasing power to in turn, jumpstart the economy; but that is something that is easier said than done. A lot of people have lost their jobs and sources of income, how then can they recover quicker?

Is it Time to Use Your Home Equity?

The good news is that the majority of people own their homes in North America. Owning a home means that the homeowner is sitting on a sleeping mound of financial asset in the form of home equity. When tapped, home equity can be a good source of emergency funds for households.

Unfortunately for Canada, more restrictions were placed on mortgage recently to address the housing boom as well as to control property prices. This means that it may not be as easy for many to liquidate their home equity into spendable wealth. There are also a lot of requirements, fees, and mandates that can hinder those with lower credit scores and no current income to qualify for ways to access home equity. A way to adapt to the looming economic crisis is to create easier qualifications that can allow the creation of more new home equity loans as well as approve more applications for refinancing mortgage.

Why Tap Your Home Equity?

It is estimated that the combined value of residential properties in the United States is at nearly $30 trillion. With this in mind, it won’t be a far out thought to estimate that Canadian home equity is also worth trillions of dollars. Given this data, hundreds of billions of dollars can easily be injected into the economy in the next few weeks if a small fraction of homeowners choose to borrow from their home equity at this time. Hundreds of billions of dollars can boost economic activity and keep everything running until businesses have had a chance to recover.

How About the Regulations?

There is talk that if the concerned agencies create a carve-out, it would be easier for lenders to have less strict requirements. It could be something that the Canadian government may look into in the following weeks to make it possible for lenders to approve more mortgage refinancing applications as well as have more slots for home equity loans.

Is it Smart to Get a HELOC or to Refinance Your Mortgage Now?

A $10,000 HELOC at 4% interest would mean having to pay only $33 per month in interest. Paying this is a cheap price to pay to enjoy extra funds and to have a means to get back on one’s feet. If regulations are relaxed, not only can more people avail of a HELOC, but more people will also be able to qualify for mortgage refinancing.

Are you a homeowner who’s open to try to apply for a HELOC or a mortgage refinance with a private lender? Contact us at Mortgage Central Canada today and let us walk you through your options.

 

Compelling Reasons to Tap Your Home Equity

Tapping home equity is still an uncommon idea for a lot of people although this has been increasingly becoming the norm in the past decade with the increase in home values in Canada. This can be both good and bad. It can be good because not everyone will be wise about spending money they can have easy access to. For these people, not knowing that home equity can be used this way can be good to prevent them from borrowing too much until they go deeper into debt. However, not knowing that home equity can be tapped without selling the home can be bad for people who know how to proceed with caution. These individuals are the ones who only access their home equity if there are compelling reasons and make wise decisions in terms of managing their finances. But wait, what are good and compelling enough reasons to access home equity?

When a homeowner accesses home equity, it means that the homeowner is borrowing against the actual value of the home. While this can be considered as borrowing against one’s own money, note that using more of the home equity means losing money saved up in the form of real estate property. This is why it is so important to spend it wisely. If you’re thinking about using your home equity, then be sure to at least use it for reasons such as the ones shared below.

Paying for Home Improvements

Home improvements add value to the home and can further increase home equity. More so, home improvement that focuses on function can greatly enhance the living experience of the homeowners and will make owning the home much more enjoyable.

Investing in Education

College is expensive. Postgraduate studies, even more so. The thing is, using home equity to pay for college tuition or postgraduate studies is a smart move because better education means possibly getting better jobs that can allow an individual to achieve more in life aside from just getting to a higher income bracket.

Managing Debt

Debt consolidation by tapping home equity is a smart way to convert several high-interest loans into an easy-to-manage lower-interest loan. The key is to make sure that the fees needed to access home equity via a second mortgage or HELOC will be worth the savings in the long run.

Saving for Emergency Expenses

Emergency expenses have a way of coming out of nowhere and costing much more than an average person’s savings. By using home equity as savings for an emergency, the homeowner can be sure that they got something saved for a rainy day or when expenses pile up when finances are not in a good state.

Funding Long-Term Investments

Home equity can be accessed to purchase stocks or to use as downpayment for investment real estate. Although using home equity this way carries risks, the rewards are worth it if things are managed appropriately.

With the above said, note that accessing home equity is an individual decision that should be based on several factors. There are many ways to tap home equity and they all have their pros and cons for each specific situation. Contact us if you want to use your home equity soon and we’ll be happy to answer your questions.

 

How to Leverage Your Home Equity to Cope with COVID-19

With how the whole world is trying to cope with the effects of COVID-19 these days, it is still too early to tell how everyone will get through the long-term financial ramifications linked with it. Unemployment is still rising and plenty of people are having a challenging time paying bills and staying afloat in Canada. In our neighbour country below, people are facing unemployment rates of as high as 30% and things are still escalating. How can people recover from COVID-19’s effect on their finances?

The good news is that for homeowners, the money paid towards their mortgage goes to their home equity. The more payments that has been done, the bigger the home equity is going to be. This translates to more than $6 trillion available equity for the 45 million Americans who are homeowners and the Canadian figures are likely to reflect this as well. If you’re a homeowner, now is truly the best time to tap your home equity and make it work for you.

Leverage Your Home Equity

With job loss and businesses closing causing loss of revenue, now is one of the best times to leverage the value that you’ve built up in your home in the form of a HELOC, a second mortgage, or a home equity loan.

You may want to get a HELOC if you will be using the funds from your home equity for small but frequent purchases and expenses, such as bills, medications, and necessities. A home equity loan or a second mortgage can be better choices if you want a one-time access to a huge amount of cash.

HELOC or a Second Mortgage?

A HELOC would be great if you’re after flexibility and want the option of having access to cash but is not sure how much you will need or how often you will need it. It allows you the freedom to take as little or as much of your funds as needed and only charges interest for the withdrawn amount. This will allow you to save a lot of money and ease some of your worries should the lockdowns extend for a few weeks or months longer.

A second mortgage would be great if you coincidentally also have large expenses ahead, such as needing an expensive surgery that is not covered by the usual channels or need to pay for home repairs that can’t be put-off. The interest will be more substantial as compared to a HELOC but you get to enjoy access to almost all of your home equity without having to sell your home.

Unlock Your Home Equity

Know that no matter what option you choose to unlock your home equity, you’ll have to consider multiple pros and cons and it will be best to consult mortgage professionals for you to make a better-informed decision. There are many ways that you can make use of your home equity during COVID-19 and you must weigh your options with an eye towards the future. Contact us at Mortgage Central Canada if you have any questions about using your home equity during a pandemic.

 

Try These Affordable Renovation Ideas to Boost Your Home’s Value!

Homes are expensive. For most people, buying a home is the most expensive purchase they will ever make in their life and is a huge investment. It only makes sense to want to protect that investment and want it to grow. But how do you grow a home investment and how do you protect it? Aside from having home insurance, a home needs to be taken cared of and updated every few years for repairs and features enhancement. Careful planning of home improvement projects and home renovation ideas is a must! Below are some of our affordable recommendations for those who want to increase their home’s value!

Colour Scheme Revamp

A colour scheme revamp is only as expensive as the cost of paint. Repainting a room can instantly refresh it and cost only a few hundred dollars but can increase a home’s value by a few thousands. Good colour emphasizes features, improves lighting, and smoothens wall imperfections.

Think About Landscaping and Curb Appeal

Curb appeal sells. A little tender loving care for the lawn can improve home value by three-fold compared to the cost of lawn care expenses. Additional structural improvements such as walkways can add thousands to a home’s value. You can also go for a garage door repainting or replacement, try painting the front door, adding lighting, and upgrading the house number and mailbox. First impressions make a huge difference when it comes to home value. The key is to not go over the top and make universally pleasing additions that make the home more attractive.

Replace Old Windows

Replacing old windows usually costs around $3,000-$10,000 but the energy savings per year can recuperate that amount in just a few years. More so, new windows add a lot of cosmetic value to a home plus bring more sunlight inside. A home that is energy-efficient, pretty, and has good lighting usually sells for a lot more. A good market price means bigger home equity for the homeowner too.

Energy-Efficient Upgrades

Under insulation can rack up thousands of dollars in energy bills but the cost of adding extra insulation is usually at just around $1,000-$2,000 for an average-size home. If the home is in a particularly cold location, the right insulation can bring significant savings that are very attractive for possible future buyers.

Go Hardwood

Lots of people are worried about installing hardwood floors thinking they are not only expensive to install but also a pain to maintain. While it is true that installation can go around $10,000, there are many finishes available these days that make maintaining hardwood floors easier. More so, if computing cost per square footage, going for a hardwood floor may turn out to be cheaper than opting for carpeting.

Want to boost your home’s value with affordable renovations but currently low on funds? You can use your existing home equity to fund home renovations! Contact us so we can tell you more about how to accomplish this with a home equity loan as well as the possible long-term benefits for you.

 

Popular Debt Consolidation Loan Options in Canada

There are so many debt consolidation options in Canada. There are about 8 that are available for everyone with their own sets of pros and cons depending on someone’s needs. In today’s article, we will talk about the most popular ones especially for individuals who are self-employed or may have a less-than-stellar credit score.

Use a Debt Consolidation Loan to Take Care of Debt

A debt consolidation loan is when money is given by a finance company, a bank, or a credit union as a loan to someone so that person can pay off outstanding debts and ‘consolidate’ or ‘combine’ them together as one big loan.

Below are advantages of debt consolidation loans:

  • Having only 1 monthly payment to pay
  • Having a set time of typically 2 to 5 years to pay the loan
  • Low fees compared to other loans

The interest rates for debt consolidation loans are usually negligible if via a credit union or a bank, but that is dependent on someone’s credit score, net worth, and if there is collateral. They usually take any good asset that they can sell if the borrower fails to pay the loan. Banks usually charge interest rates of between 7% to 12% while finance companies usually charge more than 30% for unsecured loans or averaging at 14% for secured loans.

Note that debt consolidation loans usually require collateral, have a higher interest rate than a home equity loan, and require a decent credit score. It is very rare for banks to approve a debt consolidation loan without security unless someone can prove to have a high net worth, a co-signer, or a very strong credit score

Use a Second Mortgage or a Home Equity Loan to Consolidate Debt

Refinancing one’s mortgage, getting a home equity loan, or a second mortgage all just means that a bank or a private lender will lend the borrower some money against the borrower’s home equity. This means that if a home is worth $500,000 and the borrower still needs to pay $200,000, then that means that his or her home equity is $300,000. When a borrower wants to tap into that home equity, a mortgage refinance, home equity loan, or second mortgage will be the way to go to access funds for debt consolidation. The second mortgage is paid on top of a first mortgage. You can talk to us to learn more about a second mortgage, a mortgage refinance, or a home equity loan.

Interest rates for second mortgages are typically higher than those for a first mortgage. On very rare occasions, it is possible to get nearly the same rates depending on a lot of factors. It is also possible to combine the interest of your first mortgage and your second mortgage depending on the lender and their due dates.

Second mortgages are great for consolidating debts because they usually have low-interest rates and flexible payment arrangements. The downside is that there are lots of fees and you are required to have a certain amount of equity.

On the fence whether you’ll apply for a debt consolidation loan or get a second mortgage? Contact us and we’ll be happy to discuss your options according to your needs.

Ways to Pay for Home Improvement for Better Home Equity

One of the best ways to increase home equity is to go for home improvement projects that bring additional value to a home. Unfortunately, home improvement costs can add up quite fast, leaving those with no extra cash having to take loans. Luckily, homeowners have the option to tap existing home equity by means of a mortgage refinance, home equity loan, or a home equity line of credit to pay for home improvement. If you’re planning to use your existing home equity to improve the value of your home, then you’ll like this article we’ve prepared for you!

Why Use a Home Equity Loan

If your home improvement projects will cost a lot of cash upfront, then a home equity loan might be for you. It allows homeowners to take out a lump sum that they can pay later. This loan has a lower interest rate than traditional loans and gives more flexibility with the types and extent of home improvement projects the homeowner can start with.

Why Consider a Home Equity Line of Credit

If your home improvement project will take some time and is more of a series of expenses rather than one big project, then a HELOC might be for you. A HELOC allows the homeowner access to funds within the set draw period, giving the homeowner plenty of time to get projects done while saving on interest rates. This is because interest is only charged to the borrowed amount at any given time, not the ceiling value of the loan. A Home Equity Line of Credit typically has a long draw period, giving borrowers a long time to prepare and plenty of time to break even before payment is due.

Should You Go for a Mortgage Refinance?

A mortgage refinance will allow you to re-do an old mortgage for more favourable current market rates and give you extra cash to fund improvement projects. This also means lower monthly payments and interest rates, thereby saving you money which you can also use for home improvement. You can opt for cash-out refinance which will allow you to access as much as 80% of your home equity. This will mean using your home equity as collateral. Better make sure to consult mortgage experts before choosing a cash-out refinance.

How About a Personal Loan?

A personal loan can be good for those who can pay back as soon as possible, have impressive credit score, and don’t mind a higher interest rate than the previous options. The trade-off is having better control.

Increasing home equity is possible without plenty of savings if you’re open to options that can make your existing home equity work for you. By accessing your home equity or using it as a leverage to get a hold of some cash, you’ll be more free planning and implementing home improvement projects that can place you in better financial standing in the future with the help of boosting your home’s value. We’re here to help you at Mortgage Central Canada. Contact us today!

 

Is It A Good Idea to Pay for A House Remodel Using a Home Equity Loan?

One of the smartest things to do before selling a home is to make sure that things are in great shape before listing the home for sale. Doing this will make sure that the home will fetch a good price. However, this is not easy to pull-off for those who do not have plenty of cash that can be used to pay for a house remodel. This is where having a substantial amount of home equity helps. Homeowners with a high home equity can pay for a house remodel using a home equity loan. The question is, is this a good idea?

Why Go for a Home Equity Loan?

Unlike other loans, a home equity loan uses the value that a homeowner owns in a home as collateral. Because a home equity loan is a secured loan, it is easier approved and comes with a lower interest rate than unsecured loans. It is true that tapping home equity can be scary for some, but know that with proper planning and money management, using a home equity loan to pay for a house remodel is not only a good idea, it is a great one!

Nobody wants to sell a home for less than the price that it was bought for. The hard fact is that this is the case for a lot of people more so if the location turned bad or if the home was poorly maintained. To make sure that the home’s value does not depreciate, regular repairs must be done and some features should be upgraded periodically.

When to Use a Loan

Paying for home improvement in cash is ideal but not everyone has a large sum of money that can be used however and whenever. Using a low-interest loan like a home equity loan is the best-case scenario for a lot of people instead of taking a loss by not upgrading or taking out an expensive personal loan. Note that one should be careful with spending even when using funds from a loan secured by home equity.

Take into account that using a home equity loan to pay for a house remodel is an investment and not really an expenditure. After some much-needed remodeling and improvement, an old and dilapidated home can turn into a beautiful and functional home with a high resale value. Even an emergency remodeling or repair can turn into a sound investment when chosen wisely and done the right way.

Important Things to Note

Keep in mind that home’s value can play a huge part in what becomes of the home equity. There are many factors that are related to property value aside from renovations. With this said, using a home equity loan to pay for a house remodel that will, in turn, further increase home equity is certainly a good idea.

If you’re seriously considering tapping into your home equity, be contact professionals like us in Mortgage Central Canada. We’ll be happy to answer your questions as well as guide you in in choosing which home equity loan product is best for your needs.