27 Jul



Posted by: Derek Vandall

One of the single greatest determining factors in whether you can become qualified for a mortgage is your credit history. The credit history could also determine the rate that you qualify for as well. Unfortunately, many people don’t know this and can be completely blindsided when it comes time to qualifying.

However, the truly unsettling idea about credit scores and their relation to home financing is the fact that most people do not even know they are extremely important even after you have been approved…

Once your offer on a home is accepted and you remove financing conditions, it is your obligation to secure the money needed to close the sale. There is usually a list of conditions one must meet and satisfy in order to obtain the financing they need from a lender. Once that is done, the mortgage will be sent to a real estate lawyer where they will be instructed to finalize everything. This is where all closing costs will be paid and all corresponding money will be sent to the proper parties involved.

However, before any of this is done, one more thing must happen…

Your credit report can be reviewed once again in order to verify your credit history is the same as it was when you were first qualified for a mortgage, sometimes months earlier.

So what happens if you made an offer on a home, got approved for financing, lifted all conditions, and because you also met all the lender’s conditions, went out and bought new furniture for your home on a credit card? Well, you may not be able to receive your loan anymore…

If you increase the amount of money you are borrowing through any credit card or bank, miss payments on existing debt, or for any reason alter your credit history from the day you are approved until the final closing day at the lawyer’s office, you run the risk of not being able to complete your purchase.

If you plan on spending any money that isn’t cash and isn’t in a separate account needed for your down payment or closing costs, you need to talk to your broker because it could end horribly for all parties involved and potentially result in legal disputes.

This is the most important purchase and decision you may ever make, why things like this have never been explained in schooling or anything like that is beyond me. That is why it is important to work with an experienced, knowledgeable Dominion Lending Centres mortgage broker and make sure you fully understand the process you are about to embark upon.


Dominion Lending Centres – Accredited Mortgage Professional

20 Jul



Posted by: Derek Vandall

What do you do when you’re tired of the 9 to 5 daily grind and want to strike out on your own? For gal pals April Brown and Sarah Sklash, it was obvious – buy an ageing motel in the country and renovate it. If it sounds like a business plan that could never work, these two Millennials would prove you wrong.

“We were looking for a creative outlet and thought about doing something entrepreneurial for five years, but the timing was never right,” Brown told Our House Magazine. Welcome to the June Motel.

Brown and Sklash, who worked in public and relations and the government of Ontario in Toronto respectively, had frequently visited Prince Edward County. A day’s drive from Toronto or Ottawa, the pair started noticing the area was quickly becoming a food and wine destination. They’d been looking for a creative outlet for years but the timing was never right.

But at the start of 2016, the friends decided it would be the year they make some changes and venture out on their own. They brainstormed a bunch of ideas until an old 16-room motel called the Sportsman Motel came up for sale.

“We should buy that motel, it’s one of those lightbulb moments,” Brown recalled.

However, the two 33 year-olds had no interest in running the same motel. They had much bigger plans.
Having spent time south of the border in places like Florida and Palm Springs, they fell in love with the retro-looking motels they came across in their travels. This would be their inspiration.

“Really our idea was we wanted to reinvent the motel experience. We travelled to so many places that had done this so well,” Brown said.

The pair went all-in on the concept.

After running the 50-year-old motel as the Sportsman for a season, they spent the winter getting their hands dirty on a total remodel. As Sklash explained, they started with a tropical palm wallpaper design they liked, and the rest of the renovation took off from there.

The women designed the guest rooms themselves but worked with interior designer Keri MacLellan of Four Walls Interior on the lobby. After months of sweat equity, the motel was completely remade and had a new name to fit the retro vibe. The June Motel.

Sklash noted the idea was to design the motel for “photo moments,” from the pink doors greeting guests as they drive up to the neon signs in the lobby.

“We wanted the whole design to be a place that people would want to share with social media,” she said, adding 90 percent of guests discovered the motel through Instagram.

And that bit of strategy paid off. As soon the June Motel opened its doors, guests were sharing their experiences with the world. The motel got a ton of buzz and attention from major publications like Vogue and the Toronto Star.

The first year as the June Motel was a smashing success. And as Brown and Sklash get ready for their second full season, the motel is already booked full for weekends.

With one success under their belts, the entrepreneurs now have their sights on expanding their brand. They’re looking for property and new opportunities. “There’s such an appetite for unique accommodations within that millennial market, we figure why stop at one?”

Motel inspired? Before taking the leap, be sure to talk to a professional
April Brown and Sarah Sklash struck gold when they decided to buy an old motel and convert it into the June Motel in Ontario.

But the pair didn’t jump into the idea without coming up with a solid business plan. Besides doing their market research, they had to consider financing.

Brown and Sklash explained along with a bit of their own capital, they decided to do a vendor take-back mortgage, in which the seller finances the remaining amount owed on the property. They turned to local economic development agencies to help with the costs of the renovation. While the pair note buying a motel in the country costs less than an average home in Toronto, they recommend doing the research and coming up with a strong business plan.

That’s where Dominion Lending Centres Commercial can help out. David Beckingham, the president of DLC Commercial Capital Inc., noted commercial mortgages aren’t easy and can be a long process. He pointed out commercial brokers can help the buyer through the process, including the appraisal, environmental issues, accounting and presenting a deal to the lender they understand.

He suggested in a situation like the June Motel, DLC Commercial would offer new financing at more favourable terms that would repay the vendor takeback mortgage and provide new money to repay the equity the new owners have already put in.

“You need a commercial guy to look at it in a business way that can isolate and stabilize the issues,” he said, adding it’s important to have a professional who understands the marketplace and the nuances of the lenders.


Communications Advisor

13 Jul



Posted by: Derek Vandall

Nearly half of all existing mortgage in Canada will be up for renewal in 2018. Stated in a Financial Post article by Armina Ligaya, CIBC Capital Markets estimates 47% of all existing mortgages will need to be refinanced in 2018. All of this coming on the heels of rising interest rates and changes to key mortgage regulations.

With this renewal number hovering around 50%, almost double from previous years, big banks will be fighting hard to keep their clients and handle their mortgage – as they should. However, is it in your best interest to stay with the same bank you got your mortgage with 1, 2, 3, even 5-years ago?

Think of the rising housing prices, the rule changes to back-end insured mortgages, the multiple stress tests as well as the implementing and removing of programs such as the B.C. Home Partnership Program. All of which has just happened in the past couple of years.

With all these changes, should you not be speaking with a licensed mortgage broker to determine what is in your best interest?

The options that are available through other lenders can be quite advantageous. Opening a Home Equity Line Credit with a big bank, Manulife One Account access, and the lowest interest rates available on Switch Mortgages where lenders will help compensate the administrative costs are a few examples.

One of the more common scenarios we are seeing is through marriage, children, or promotions/relocation with work. Clients know it is happening in the near future but do not have an exact timeline. If you are wanting a 5-year fixed mortgage but worried about the possibility of upgrading after just 2-years, we usually suggest working with a Monoline Lender. Sticking with a Big Bank like CIBC or RBC and having this scenario happen could potentially result in penalties of $10,000-$15,000 where that same penalty might only be $3,000 with a Monoline Lender.

It is always best to consult with a Dominion Lending Centres mortgage broker before signing your bank’s renewal letter. We offer free pre-qualifications, no client-relationship contracts, and credit assessments to see your eligibility on receive A-Rates, all without your credit score taking a hit.


Dominion Lending Centres – Accredited Mortgage Professional

6 Jul



Posted by: Derek Vandall

Have you spoken to a mortgage broker lately? You have a great opportunity at each renewal of your mortgage. When it’s time to renew your mortgage you have the freedom to do a number of things that are not possible at any other time without a financial penalty.

Have you looked at your mortgage amortization lately? Let’s say that you started your present mortgage 10 years ago and you had a 30-year amortization. You now have 20 years left on your mortgage but your situation has changed. Your children have grown up and one is ready to leave for college and another one will follow in a couple of years. An easy way to help the kids out would be to refinance your home. However, the rules have changed and if the value of your home has not risen a lot and you have not paid down the balance, you may not have the 20+% you need to withdraw the equity.

Another possible solution would be to use the amortization on your mortgage to help you achieve your financial goals.
You can extend the amortization and lower your monthly payments thus freeing up cash flow.

Here’s an example. With a balance of $400,000 on your mortgage:

By adding 5 years to your mortgage you can lower your payments by $320 a month. If that’s not enough and you have more than 20% equity, in other words, your mortgage is less than 80% of the value of the home, you can extend your mortgage to 30 years with most lenders.

This will free up $520 a month. When your children graduate you or your mortgage broker can contact the lender and have your amortization lowered again. Note that changing the amortization can result in costs. Check with your Dominion Lending Centres mortgage broker before you make any changes to your mortgage.


Dominion Lending Centres – Accredited Mortgage Professional