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Friday, January 28, 2011

RRQ - Direct deposit in Canada - Non-personalized service

RRQ - Direct deposit in Canada - Non-personalized service

For whom is this service intended?

For you, if you are receiving:
  • a benefit under the Québec Pension Plan
  • child assistance payments and live in Canada

What are the advantages of this on-line service?

You will be able to:
  • sign up for direct deposit
  • change your direct deposit , for example, if you change financial institutions
  • avoid having to send a sample cheque by mail

How to use this service

  • Have available a cheque from the financial institution to which the deposit will be made.
  • Note: This service can be used only for direct deposits made to Canadian financial institutions. However, if you are receiving a benefit under the Québec Pension Plan and would like your deposit to be made outside Canada, see the list of countries in which direct deposit is available and download the appropriate form.

Practical advice

  • If you are making a change of account, wait until you have received a first payment in your new account before closing the old one.
  • If you are changing your account because of a move, notify us of your change of address.

Another way to sign up

You can use our personalized service. Your user code is required to authenticate your identity.

Think green!

By using the Régie's on-line services, you can help reduce:

  • the use of paper and ink
  • the production of greenhouse gases

Access to documents held by public bodies and the protection of personal information

The personal information collected on this on-line service is needed to study your application. Failure to provide this information may result in a delay or a refusal to process your application.

Only authorized employees have access to the information and it is only disclosed to other persons or agencies for verification in cases provided for by law. It can also be used for research, assessment, analysis or survey purposes.

The Act respecting Access to documents held by public bodies and the Protection of personal information allows you to consult your personal information and have it corrected.

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Pele Mountain (TSX.V – GEM) Announces Major Increase in Indicated Resources at its Eco Ridge Mine Uranium & Rare Earth

Pele Mountain (TSX.V – GEM) Announces Major Increase in Indicated Resources at its Eco Ridge Mine Uranium & Rare Earth Elements Project – Video Highlights Now Available

Pele Mountain Resources Inc., symbol GEM on the TSX Venture Exchange announced a major increase in Indicated uranium oxide resources as part of an updated NI 43-101 Resource Estimate at its Eco Ridge Mine uranium and rare earth elements project near Elliot Lake in Northern Ontario. The Resource Estimate supersedes the previous estimate contained in the 2007 Preliminary Assessment authored by Scott Wilson Roscoe Postle Associates. Pele is focused on the sustainable development of Eco Ridge, which is owned 100-percent by First Canadian Uranium, a wholly owned subsidiary of Pele.

To view the video highlights of this release, including maps, etc., please click here.

Pele President and CEO Al Shefsky stated, “We are very excited about the significant upgrade of our resources at Eco Ridge. We have retained Scott Wilson RPA to provide an updated Preliminary Assessment (“PA”) which is expected in the second quarter of 2011. The PA will feature a detailed economic model based on combined revenues from uranium oxide (“U3O8”) and rare earth oxides (“REO”) and will include mining, processing, and waste management design enhancements achieved since the initial 2007 Scoping Study. The PA will also include a schedule of activities to advance the project through the feasibility and licensing stages. We believe Pele’s Eco Ridge Mine project contains an important future source of uranium and rare earth elements and we are determined to rapidly advance its development.”

The Resource Wireframe (“Resource Wireframe”), which contains both Indicated and Inferred U3O8 resources within the near surface portion of the Main Conglomerate Bed (“MCB”), increased in size from the previous resource estimate. The Indicated U3O8 resource has more than doubled to 15.2-million pounds (14.3-million tonnes at 0.048-percent U3O8) with an additional Inferred U3O8 resource of 31.4-million pounds (33.1-million tonnes at 0.043-percent U3O8).

Scott Wilson RPA is continuing to evaluate 1537 REO assays (each containing up to 17 elements) from 123 holes, the last of which were received earlier this month. Within the Resource Wireframe, every drill hole analysed has contained significant total rare earth oxides (“TREO”) and the average grade of all of the samples is 3.7 pounds per tonne. Average grades for each individual REO are available on Pele’s website. The REO resource estimate will be announced when it is available.

Scott Wilson RPA reports the following mineral resources at Eco Ridge:

Mineral Resources – January 24, 2011

Pele Mountain Resources Inc. – Eco Ridge Project

Tonnes (‘000s)
U3O8 (%)
U3O8 (‘000 lbs)




CIM definitions were followed for Mineral Resources.
Mineral Resources are estimated at a cut-off grade of 0.028% U3O8.
Mineral Resources are estimated using an average long-term uranium price of US$60 per lb, and a C$:US$ exchange rate of 0.95:1.00.
A minimum mining thickness of 1.8 metres was used.

Pele’s Eco Ridge Mine deposit also extends down plunge and to the east beyond the boundaries of the Resource Wireframe. Based on historical wide-spaced drilling, Scott Wilson RPA estimates that these areas could contain an additional 30 to 50 million tonnes grading from 0.03 to 0.05 percent U3O8 as a potential mineral deposit.1 There is no historical data on rare earths in this area, however, Scott Wilson RPA expects that rare earths grades would be similar to other portions of the deposit - from 3 to 4 pounds per tonne TREO. The deposit also remains open beyond the drilled areas with potential for significant expansion.

Recent extraordinary REE market developments, sparked by China’s reduction of export quotas, have resulted in sharply higher prices, inciting a rush to find and bring to production new sources outside of China. Eco Ridge has competitive advantages that may assist its development ahead of other projects. Elliot Lake is the only mining camp in Canada to have achieved commercial production of REO and was the most important source of heavy REO in North America. From 1956 to 1996, Rio Algom and Denison Mines produced more than 300 million pounds of U3O8, along with significant quantities of Yttrium and REO, from Elliot Lake deposits similar to Eco Ridge. As a primary uranium mine that would produce REO as by-products, Eco Ridge is not wholly dependent on the volatile REO market. Furthermore, the REO would go into solution without addition mining or processing costs. With competitive advantages, outstanding regional infrastructure, well-understood geology and strong local support for the project, Eco Ridge provides an ideal location for a safe, secure, and reliable long-term supply of Uranium and REE.

The technical information relating to the Resource Estimate, rare earth samples, and potential mineral deposit in this press release has been reviewed and approved by Tudorel Ciuculescu, P.Geo of Scott Wilson RPA, an independent Qualified Person under NI 43-101. The balance of this press release has been reviewed and approved by Fergus Kerr, P.Eng., Vice President of Uranium Operations for Pele and a qualified person under NI 43-101.

About Pele

Pele Mountain Resources is focused on the sustainable development of its Eco Ridge Mine Uranium and Rare Earth Elements ("REE") project, located in the Elliot Lake mining camp of Ontario. Pele's expert team of technical personnel, advisors, and consultants is working to optimize mining, processing, and waste management techniques at Eco Ridge. With well-understood geology, excellent regional infrastructure, and strong local support, Eco Ridge provides an ideal location for a safe, secure, and reliable long-term supply of Uranium and REE. Pele's shares are listed on the TSX Venture Exchange under the symbol "GEM".

1. The potential quantity and grade of the potential mineral deposit are conceptual in nature and there has been insufficient exploration to define a mineral resource and it is uncertain if further exploration will result in the targets being delineated as a mineral resource.

Neither the TSX Venture Exchange nor its Regulation Services Provider (as that term is defined in the policies of the TSX Venture Exchange) accepts responsibility for the adequacy or accuracy of this release. Some of the statements contained in this release are forward-looking statements, such as estimates and statements that describe Pele's future plans, objectives or goals, including words to the effect that Pele or management expects a stated condition or result to occur. Since forward-looking statements address future events and conditions, by their very nature, they involve inherent risks and uncertainties. Actual results in each case could differ materially from those currently anticipated in such statements. The economic viability of the 43-101 mineral resource at Pele's Elliot Lake Project has not yet been demonstrated by a preliminary feasibility study.

Pele Mountain Resources
Al Shefsky, President
Barry Morgan, CFO

Canadian Mortgage Broker News - Mortgage rule changes are credit positive: Moodys

Canadian Mortgage Broker News - Mortgage rule changes are credit positive: Moodys

Mortgage rule changes are "credit positive": Moody's

| Tuesday, 25 January 2011

Changing mortgage rules again are “credit positive” for Canada’s chartered banks and their bondholders, stated influential bond rater Moody’s Investors Service.
“The overall measures are credit positive for the banks and the stability of the Canadian systems as a whole,” Moody’s senior vice-president Peter Nerby stated in a note to clients.
This is the third tightening on mortgage lending since 2008, created to help prevent the same type of U.S. mortgage market risks that eventually led to the deterioration of U.S. bank asset quality, said Nerby.
Since the mortgage announcement, business and finance observers have varied in their opinions about whether this will aid the Canadian economy by preventing rapidly increasing household debt, or hinder it by slowing sales and market activity.
Last week, Dominion Lending Centres president Gary Mauris met Finance Minister Jim Flaherty at a pre-budget roundtable discussion in Regina. On behalf of the mortgage broker industry, he told Flaherty and the other participants that the sweeping policy change wasn’t necessary.
“Mortgage default in Canada is the lowest in the world,” said Mauris in a summary of the meeting. “Rather than pairing back the amortization term from 35 years to 30, they should have made the borrower qualify at the payments based on a 30-year amortization and kept the maximum at 35.”

Canadian Mortgage Broker News - DLC president bends the ear of Finance Minister

Canadian Mortgage Broker News - DLC president bends the ear of Finance Minister

DLC president bends the ear of Finance Minister

| Friday, 21 January 2011

Dominion Lending Centres president Gary Mauris was one of the participants Wednesday at a pre-budget consultation held in Regina by Finance Minister Jim Flaherty.

The following is a summary of the day, submitted by Mauris.
As most of you know I was invited to attend the 2011 pre budget consultation committee chaired by Minister Flaherty in Regina. The meeting was made up 17 carefully selected Canadians, each of who represented a leadership position in their respective industries. The day consisted of:
· An overview by Minister Flaherty of Canada’s past performance and outlook for 2011 and beyond.
· A break out discussion into four groups to solicit ideas and suggestions on cost neutral or non-spending steps the government can take in the next federal budget to help create jobs and promote economic growth:
· Feedback on whether or not the government is on track for a balanced budget by 2015-2016, or is this too ambitious or too unrealistic.
· Suggestions on ways that the federal government can be more efficient and effective.
· Suggestions on what Canadian’s priorities should be for the short and long term to encourage private sector growth and leadership in the economy.
A plenary session followed with Minister Flaherty and Finance department. Each participant spoke about their specific industry and provided feedback and discussion.
Federal Finance Briefing on Canada’s Recent Economic Performance, presented by Deputy Minister Michael Horgan.
· With strong policy support, an economic recovery is continuing.
· Economic activity in Canada is back to pre-recession levels (The best performance in the G7).
· Canada’s solid economic recovery has supported a recovery in the labour market (since July 2009, employment has increased by more than 460,000 jobs, more than offsetting all of the jobs lost during the recession).
· Real GDP Growth is expected to remain moderate in the near term, Canada is expected to have the strongest average growth in the G7 over 2010 and 2011-01-20 (IMF forecast).
· Global recovery is expected to be modest led by emerging economies, particularly Asia.
· Canada has had the highest growth in real income per capita for G7 countries (1999-2009).
· Although we have many positives, global recovery remains fragile.
Risks to the Global Outlook
· Uncertain strength of private demand in advanced economies, particularly in the U.S.
· High sovereign debt levels in some European countries.
· Global imbalances and implications for the Canadian dollar.
Fiscal Situation and Outlook
· Canada is on track to return to a balanced budget by 2015-2016 (current federal deficit is $55 billion).
My comments on behalf of the mortgage industry
I articulated our views to the Minister privately, at the roundtable discussions, and then wrapped up with a very passionate overview of our Industry’s perspective, to the entire group. It created great discussion, feedback and support from many other participants including questions and dialogue from Minister Flaherty himself. My main points were:
· We as an industry are sincerely grateful and the Minister’s office along with Bank of Canada’s Governor Mark Carney, should be congratulated on their swift prudent actions including emergency mortgage pricing, when the global debt crisis began. Their actions were significant in helping Canadians avoid the housing collapse that our U.S. neighbours experienced.
· Although we support and encourage household fiscal responsibility, we think a sweeping policy change like the one we saw earlier this week, wasn’t necessary. Mortgage default in Canada is the lowest in the world. Rather than pairing back the amortization term from 35 years to 30, they should have made the borrower qualify at the payments based on a 30 year amortization, and kept the maximum amortization at 35. Qualification and purchasing power just dropped significantly, especially affecting first time homebuyers, making it more difficult for our most valuable assets, young adults and young families, from experiencing home ownership and participating in our real-estate sector.
· I spoke about the changes regarding refinancing up to 85 per cent loan to value. One of the most effective ways that we as mortgage professionals can eliminate high interest consumer debt and over extension is to retire high interest, unsecured debt by refinancing at today’s low interest rates, sometimes saving the consumer hundreds of dollars per month in throw away interest. What this policy is going to do, is force many homeowners who are experiencing job loss, sickness, separation, divorce, health challenges, or urgent unforeseen family crisis, into having to sell their homes to get access to their very own equity. Think about this, just under two years ago we could refinance up to 95 per cent on a $300,000 home. That’s a difference of $30,000.00, homeowners cannot get access to. Having access to that money, could be the difference between getting through the tough times, or spiralling into much more dire straits, having to quickly sell their home at a discount, and finding themselves in a much more serious situation.
· I spoke about the unlevel playing field between our Canadian insurers, specifically about the unlevel playing field enjoyed by CMHC. We discussed the need for the government to support our insurers equally. It benefits the consumer and supports consumer choice and fair play.
· My most passionate plea was for the government to have a very hard look at unsecured debt and specifically the credit card issuers. Canadian’s biggest financial struggles, their over extension and record debt levels are not due to their mortgages (again, we have the lowest mortgage default in the world). They are due to easy access to high interest credit cards, and other unsecured debt. How is it that my very own son, who is 19, attends university, does not have a job, was issued two separate credit cards, on his own? One of them had an initial credit limit of $500 and is now at $3500 in just over a year. The feedback from all the participants in the consultation was remarkable. Several very high profile participants expressed similar stories and recognized this as a very serious pressing issue for Canadians. I explained that we have very strict qualifications for mortgages, including TDS and GDS ratios to ensure that consumers have the financial wherewithal to make the payments, and similar qualifications based on the credit card limits should apply. The Minister took notes, asked for suggestions on how to implement and recognized it as a more important issue than he had initially considered. We did have discussions and I commended them on taking the first step, and a very valuable one at that, by putting the length required to pay off your credit card based on making the minimum payments.
The day was incredibly interesting, and I truly felt that these sessions were much more than a ceremonial photo opportunity and that the Minister’s office was truly listening, and valued the panel’s feedback. I will continue to stand up for what I believe in, and speak for what is right, not what is popular, politically correct, or the easiest. Our industry is under assault, and Canadians are the ones who are most affected. We need to bind together, regardless of our companies, our competitors and speak with a common voice and stand up so that we can continue delivering choice, value, options and trusted advice to Canadians.

- Gary Mauris, president, Dominion Lending Centres

Friday, January 21, 2011

Canadian Mortgage Broker News - CAAMP says mortgage fears are exaggerated

Canadian Mortgage Broker News - CAAMP says mortgage fears are exaggerated

Wednesday, 19 January 2011

A new study released by CAAMP concludes that very few Canadians face unaffordable increases in mortgage costs and Canadian lending criteria are already tight.

The report entitled, “Revisiting the Canadian Mortgage Market – The Risk is Minimal” states that “lenders and borrowers have been highly prudent in the mortgage market … and a vast majority of borrowers have left themselves considerable room to absorb increases in interest rates.”

The study said 79 per cent of mortgages are fixed rate and mostly for terms of five years or longer, leaving 21 per cent of borrowers with variable rates and more exposure to changes in interest rates. The study was based on about 59,000 mortgage loans (excluding renewals or refinances of existing mortgages) totaling just under $16 billion, which were funded during 2010, which represents about one-quarter of the total mortgage activity.

The study reported that the average gross debt service (GDS) ratio was 19.6 per cent, well below typical lender standards of 32 or 35 per cent used to qualify borrowers. The average total debt service (TDS) was 28.9 per cent, still well below the 45 per cent lender standard.

For fixed rate mortgages the GDS was 22. 5 per cent and the TDS was 32.5 per cent.

According to the report a 2.5 per cent rise in interest rates for variable mortgages would see the average GDS would increase to 24.6 per cent and the average TDS would increase to 33.7 per cent. CAAMP’s research indicates that of the mortgages funded in 2010, only 800 to 950 would exceed the 45 per cent TDS ratio.

For fixed rate mortgages, a one per cent increase in interest rates would increase the average GDS to 22.5 per cent and the average TDS to 32.5 per cent and less than one per cent (1,000 to 1,350) would have TDS ratios of more than 45 per cent.

The Association also found that among the high ratio loans approved in 2010 – with the reduced amortization period (30 years versus the prior 35 year limit), a small minority (about 2 per cent) would have TDS ratios above 45 per cent and those loans would probably not qualify. Some of those consumers would still be able to buy, by buying lower priced homes.

The report cited job loss or reduced income as the main reason for mortgage defaults, saying that “Unaffordable premium increases are a negligible risk factor at present and in the near-to-medium term future.”

A third cause is unaffordable increases in mortgage payments, something that caused difficulty in the U.S. as low introductory rates were replaced by market rates and payments that rose substantially. Stated the report “But this third category of risk is the source of recent concerns about future threats. This study concludes that very few Canadians face unaffordable increases in mortgage costs.”
To read the full report:

The Close Risks Of Mortgage Blowups Minimal, Jim Murphy on BNN January...

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Canadian Mortgage Broker News - Ottawa tightens mortgage rules

Canadian Mortgage Broker News - Ottawa tightens mortgage rules

Ottawa tightens mortgage rules

| Monday, 17 January 2011

Finance Minister Jim Flaherty announced a second tightening of mortgage rules in the past 12 months as Canadian household debt became a growing concern at the end of 2010 and historically low interest rates continued to persist.
The three main changes are maximum amortization periods will be reduced to 30 years from 35; the refinance limit of a home’s value will be lowered to 85 per cent from 90 per cent; and the government is also withdrawing insurance on home equity lines of credit.
The new rules will be effective March 18.
“Canada’s well-regulated housing sector has been an important strength that allowed us to avoid the mistakes of other countries and helped protect us from the worst of the recent global recession,” Flaherty said in a press conference on Monday January 17. “The prudent measures announced today build on that advantage by encouraging hard-working Canadian families to save by investing in their homes and future.
The community was vocally upset in past news tips that Ottawa may restrict mortgage lending further, and a majority expressed Harper and Flaherty were tackling the wrong debt issues. Many brokers feel looser rules around credit cards and auto financing need to be re-examined.

The mortgage rules announcement is also two days before Gary Mauris, Dominion Lending Centres president, is set to meet Flaherty for a pre-budget consultation roundtable in Regina, Sask.

Peter Kinch, owner of a mortgage brokerage in British Columbia, said he expects the measures to put a rush on the real estate market as buyers seek to get in before the deadline.
It's similar to last year's changes by Flaherty to the borrowing rules, he said. Whether or not they have an effect, on borrowing, many Canadians are likely to push real estate activities up to avoid the changes, Kinch said. "It’s not really what these changes will do, but what the perception will be," he said.
Kinch said he was surprised that Flaherty acted so quickly this winter, but suspects there's a hidden message in the mortgage rule changes -- rate hikes are coming. This is a way for Flaherty to prepare Canadians to be more responsible with their borrowing ahead of the rise in borrowing rates, said Kinch.
"He’s clearly trying to cut back on Canadians using their houses as ATM machines," he said.

Canadian Mortgage Broker News - Bank of Canada maintains overnight rate target at 1 per cent

Canadian Mortgage Broker News - Bank of Canada maintains overnight rate target at 1 per cent

Bank of Canada maintains overnight rate target at 1 per cent

| Tuesday, 18 January 2011

As most predicted it would, the Bank of Canada announced today it is maintaining its target for the overnight rate at one per cent.
“The global economic recovery is proceeding at a somewhat faster pace than anticipated, although risks remain elevated,” said the Bank of its decision to leave borrowing costs at one per cent for the third time in a row.
The Bank cited concerns with the pace of the European recovery due to sovereign debt as well the continued strength of the Canadian dollar and poor productivity performance.
”The recovery in Canada is proceeding broadly as anticipated, with a period of more modest growth and the beginning of the expected rebalancing of demand,” said the Bank in a statement. “However, the cumulative effects of the persistent strength in the Canadian dollar and Canada’s poor relative productivity performance are restraining this recovery in net exports and contributing to a widening of Canada’s current account deficit to a 20-year high.”
Overall, the Bank projects the economy will expand by 2.4 per cent in 2011 and 2.8 per cent in 2012 – a slightly firmer profile than had been anticipated in the October MPR. With a little more excess supply in the near term, the Bank continues to expect that the economy will return to full capacity by the end of 2012.
“Reflecting all of these factors, the Bank has decided to maintain the target for the overnight rate at 1 per cent. This leaves considerable monetary stimulus in place, consistent with achieving the 2 per cent inflation target in an environment of significant excess supply in Canada. Any further reduction in monetary policy stimulus would need to be carefully considered.”

Monday, January 17, 2011

Solidarity Tax Credit


Starting in the 2011 taxation year, citizens can claim the solidarity tax credit, a new tax credit that replaces the tax credit for individuals living in northern villages, the property tax refund and the QST credit.

In order to help your clients who are entitled to the credit, we ask that you inform them that they must register for direct deposit with Revenu Québec to receive payments of the solidarity tax credit.

To this end, we will send you information brochures about the solidarity tax credit, in which a direct deposit registration form (LM-3-V) is included, as well as return envelopes. You can therefore give a brochure and an envelope to any client who has not yet registered.

For more information, contact our client services at 418 659-6299 if you are in the Québec City area, at 514 864-6299 if you are in the Montréal area or, toll-free, at 1 800 267-6299.

Thank you for your cooperation.

Service à la clientèle

Revenu Québec

The Harper Government Takes Prudent Action to Support the Long-Term Stability of Canada's Housing Market

The Harper Government Takes Prudent Action to Support the Long-Term Stability of Canada's Housing Market

Ottawa, January 17, 2011


The Honourable Jim Flaherty, Minister of Finance, and the Honourable Christian Paradis, Minister of Natural Resources, today announced prudent adjustments to the rules for government-backed insured mortgages to support the long-term stability of Canada’s housing market and support hard-working Canadian families saving through home ownership.

“Canada’s well-regulated housing sector has been an important strength that allowed us to avoid the mistakes of other countries and helped protect us from the worst of the recent global recession,” said Minister Flaherty. “The prudent measures announced today build on that advantage by encouraging hard-working Canadian families to save by investing in their homes and future.”

“The economy continues to be our Government’s top priority,” continued Minister Paradis. “Our Government will continue to take the necessary actions to ensure stability and economic certainty in Canada’s housing market.”

The new measures:

•Reduce the maximum amortization period to 30 years from 35 years for new government-backed insured mortgages with loan-to-value ratios of more than 80 per cent. This will significantly reduce the total interest payments Canadian families make on their mortgages, allow Canadian families to build up equity in their homes more quickly, and help Canadians pay off their mortgages before they retire.

•Lower the maximum amount Canadians can borrow in refinancing their mortgages to 85 per cent from 90 per cent of the value of their homes. This will promote saving through home ownership and limit the repackaging of consumer debt into mortgages guaranteed by taxpayers.

•Withdraw government insurance backing on lines of credit secured by homes, such as home equity lines of credit, or HELOCs. This will ensure that risks associated with consumer debt products used to borrow funds unrelated to house purchases are managed by the financial institutions and not borne by taxpayers.
Our Government’s ongoing monitoring and sound underlying supervisory regime, along with the traditionally cautious approach taken by Canadian financial institutions to mortgage lending, have allowed Canada to maintain strong and secure housing and mortgage markets.

The adjustments to the mortgage insurance guarantee framework will come into force on March 18, 2011. The withdrawal of government insurance backing on lines of credit secured by homes will come into force on April 18, 2011.

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Mortgage FAQ

How much can I afford to pay for a home?

To find out how much you will be able to pay for your new home, you need to analyze your taxable income along with the amount of debt that you have to pay off through monthly payments. If it is your main residence that you are going to purchase, calculate approximately 32% of your income to make the mortgage payment, property taxes and heating costs.
Next, you need to calculate 40% of your taxable income and from that, deduct all of your other monthly payments such as car loans, credit card bills and other such debts. The lesser of these two calculations will be used to determine how much of your income may be used towards housing related payments, including your mortgage.
Apart from what the ratios tell you, you should make calculations of your own to determine how much you can afford. If the payment amount you are comfortable with is less than 32% of your income you may want to settle for the lower amount rather than stretch yourself financially. Make sure you take all other expenses into consideration too so that you can easily afford the basic luxuries.

What is a Home Inspection? Should I have it done?

A home inspection is a visual examination of a house by a qualified professional to determine the overall condition and value of the home. When conducting a proper inspection, an authorized home inspector should check all the major components of the house such as the roof, ceilings, walls, and floors along with other systems such as the electrical connections, heating, plumbing and drainage and weather proofing. The inspector usually gives the results of the inspection in writing to the home owner within 24 hours of the inspection.

It is always advisable to get a home inspection done before making a purchase decision. A thorough inspection is likely to clear a majority of the doubts that you might have when purchasing a home. The inspection gives an idea about the quality of the construction and indicates whether any major repair work will be required. This allows you to calculate all the add-on costs before making the final decision. An inspection will definitely give you a more secure feeling about your purchase decision by removing most of your doubts.

What is the minimum down payment that you need to make when purchasing a home on a mortgage?

In most cases, you will need to pay a minimum of 5% of the house value as a down payment. In addition to the down payment, you must also be able to show that you have the capacity to cover other closing costs such as the legal fees and disbursements, appraisal fees and a survey certificate.

As a rule, at least 5% of the down payment must be from your own cash resources or a gift from a family member. This cannot be a borrowed amount. Several programs are available in the market that allow some alternate sources of down payment. The CMHC is one organization offering such programs. Certain lenders also accept gift money from a family member or friend as a down payment. However, such a sum needs a signed letter from the donor stating that it is a gift and not a loan.

For any down payment that is less than 25% of the total value, a loan insurance from either the CMHC or GE is required.

What is Mortgage Loan Insurance?

Mortgage Loan Insurance is an insurance cover provided to a lender against default on mortgage installments, when the down payment amount is less than 25%. Like any other insurance, mortgage loan insurance too requires premium payments. The premium amount can vary between 0.5% to 3.75%, depending on the insurance provider and how much of the purchase price is financed by the mortgage; greater the down payment, lesser will be the premium. Mortgage loan insurance is distinct from Mortgage Life Insurance as the latter guarantees that your remaining mortgage at the time of your death will not be a burden to your estate.

What is a Conventional Mortgage?

A conventional mortgage is one in which the down payment amount is equal to more than 25% of the purchase price (or where the loan value is less than 75%). Such a mortgage normally does not require mortgage loan insurance.

What is a High-Rate Mortgage?

A mortgage which is greater than 75% of the purchase price or appraisal, whichever is less, is known as a High-Ratio mortgage. A High-Ratio Mortgage requires mortgage loan insurance. Premiums for a mortgage loan insurance can range from 0.5% to 3.75%, depending on the value of the mortgage.

What is a pre-approved mortgage? What is the benefit of getting pre-approved?

A pre-approved mortgage is one that provides an interest rate guarantee from a lender for a specified period of time (usually 60 to 90 days) and for a set amount of money. The pre-approval is calculated on the basis of information provided by the borrower and is subject to certain conditions being fulfilled before the mortgage if finalized. These conditions usually include factors such as a written confirmation of employment and income among other things. Many brokers prefer it when their clients have a pre-approved mortgage as this gives a clear idea of the affordable price range when hunting for a new home.

The benefits of getting a pre-approved mortgage are many. First of all, pre-approval gives you an idea of what you can afford, making your search for a new home much simpler. It also does away with the tension of trying to find out what your monthly installments are going to be. Probably the greatest advantage of getting a pre-approved loan is that it allows you to lock in a rate. As the lender guarantees a fixed rate when pre-approving the mortgage, the borrower can secure that same rate even when the market prices climb up. In case a situation arises where the interest rates fall below those that were pre-approved, the lenders usually offer the lower rate.

Can I qualify for a mortgage if I have been declared bankrupt?

Some lenders may consider you eligible for a mortgage even though you have faced bankruptcy. However, this decision may vary from lender to lender and will greatly depend on the circumstances surrounding the bankruptcy. Certain measures can be taken by the prospective borrowers to improve their credit rating. Approach your mortgage broker for details.

What is the documentation required to obtain a mortgage?

To make your mortgage application process as simple and lucid as possible, it is advisable that you collect all these documents beforehand so as to avoid any interruptions later.
  • Personal information and identification such as your drivers license or passport.
  • Job details, including confirmation and proof of income.
  • Your sources of income.
  • Proof of financial assets.
  • Information and details of all your bank accounts, loans and other debts.
  • Source and amount of down payment.
  • Proof of source of funds for the closing costs (usually about 2.5% of purchase price)

How will child support and alimony affect my mortgage qualification?

If you are paying child support and alimony to another person, generally the amount paid out is deducted from your total income before determining the mortgage amount that you would qualify for.

If you are receiving child support and alimony from another person, the amount paid to you will be added to your total income before determining the mortgage that you will qualify for. However, you will be required to produce a regular receipt for the same for a set time period as specified by the lender.

What is the difference between a fixed rate mortgage and a variable rate mortgage?

In a fixed rate mortgage, the interest rate is pre-determined at the beginning of the loan term, which can range from 6 months to 25 years. The advantage of this type of mortgage is that it offers a security of knowing your monthly payments beforehand and allows you to plan accordingly.
In a variable or floating rate mortgage, the payments are fixed for a period of one or two years but the interest rates can fluctuate every month depending on the market conditions. If the interest rates drop, more of the payment goes towards reducing the principal; if the rates go up, a larger portion of the monthly payment goes towards covering the interest. The interest rate is based on a predetermined formula which is in-turn based on the prime-lending rate.