Thursday, July 30, 2009

Sad news for another mortgage lender in the "alternate/bad credit" market

A press release received in our office moments ago ...

Wells Fargo Financial Corporation Canada discontinues residential real estate lending

Effective July 30th, 2009, Wells Fargo Financial Corporation Canada will no longer be accepting residential mortgage loan applications through its consumer branch and indirect broker network channels.

Please treat this writing as notification of immediate cancellation of any Mortgage Broker Origination Agreement or other real estate lending agreements you may have with Wells Fargo Financial Corporation Canada or Wells Fargo Financial Corporation Canada HomePlan Mortgage.

To the extent Wells Fargo Financial Corporation Canada HomePlan Mortgage has issued a valid fully executed mortgage commitment, provided the applicant or applicants fulfill all of the terms and conditions of the mortgage commitment (including any time specified for closing or expiration of the mortgage commitment), we will honour those commitments.

Current customers and/or brokers with questions about a Wells Fargo Financial mortgage can contact our Corporate Customer Relations team at 1-800-461-8794.

We thank all of our broker partners, vendors and customers for their business and support over the years.


Rick Valade
Wells Fargo Financial Corporation Canada

Editor's note: Contact a licensed mortgage broker to discuss your options at renewal if you are an existing Wells Fargo Financial Corporation Canada borrower.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009


No changes to the prime interest rate are expected due to the Bank of Canada's announcement today.

The Bank also reminded us that its commitment to maintain the overnight rate at 0.25% is "conditional" and further remarked on signs of an emerging recovery and signs that core inflation has held up.

Turning its attention to the state of the Canadian Dollar, the Bank says that the strong loonie is "significantly moderating the pace of overall growth" but has not indicated it would be taking any action in this regard.

So in other words, continued good news for variable rate mortgage holders with no change in sight at this time. Check back with us again in another 6 weeks time for the results of the next meeting.

Monday, July 20, 2009

The return of the no frills mortgage

5 year mortgage funds available at 4.19% (on approved credit) on a no frills basis. Most other discounted rate offerings are in the 4.39% range. Why pay for a feature that statistics show you probably won't use?

Contact a
licensed mortgage broker to find out more.

Friday, July 17, 2009

Minor rate drops ... still waiting on all to follow suit

Good morning All

Only a few minor changes to report as far as mortgage interest rates go. A couple of lenders have reduced their discounted 5 year rate by 10 BPS to 4.39%. We are aware of a lender offering a special (on approved credit and subject to conditions) of 4.24%. Contact a licensed mortgage broker for more information.

The balance of terms haven't moved in some time now although a variable rate is available at prime (which remains unchanged at 2.25%) + .35% (2.60%) vs the best variable a short while ago which was prime + .40%.

The bond has had a few ups and downs the last few days but retreated 6 bps yesterday to 2.51% maintaining a 1.98% spread with the majority of the lenders.

With these spreads close to where they were approximately 6 weeks ago immediately prior to lenders pulling the pin and jacking up rates (from well below 4.0%) by approximately .75%, many are asking the question "Why haven't they reduced rates back to where they were previously?" to which many are replying "Profit taking".

We end by saying that rumour has it that the "no frills" mortgage may be making a comeback ... stay tuned for more on that.

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Consider a one year tem instead of a variable rate? Here's why ...

This article courtesy of Canadian Mortgage Trends

If you want a variable-rate mortgage (and are suited to one), take a peek at a one-year instead.

A lender contact of mine recently sent me their nine good reasons why:

1) Although they’ve been improving, today’s variable-rate mortgages still have abnormally high interest rate premiums (lowest is currently prime plus 0.35%, vs prime minus 0.75% or more a year ago).

2) A 1-year mortgage doesn’t lock you into a rate for 3-5 years. That means you can renew/refinance in 12 months when (hopefully) discounts to prime might be back.

3) The rates are comparable. Variable and 1-year mortgages are both based on short-term interest rates, so they move together over time. A discounted 1 year rate for a mortgage closing within 45 days can be had today for 2.75% OAC while a variable rate can be obtained for (prime + .05 ... 2.25% + .35% =) 2.60% OAC.

4) In certain cases, rates on 1-year mortgages are better than today’s best variable rates (see above).

5) The most flexible 1-year mortgages are convertible into a fixed OR variable rate at any time, and at no cost.

6) A 1 year term gives your licensed mortgage broker an opportunity to negotiate with lenders on your behalf again in 12 months.

7) If rates go up in the next 12 months, you’re protected for the remainder of the term in a fixed-rate mortgage where there is no such protection with a variable rate.

8) If rates steadily climb over the course of five years, 1-year terms could help you come out further ahead. That’s because 1-year rates reset slower than variable rates—which is helpful when rates are rising.

9) 1-year payments are fixed for a longer period of time than variable payments. That helps you budget a little easier. (The exceptions are the minority of variable-rate products with fixed payments).

Besides a good 1-year fixed, consider a 2-year term as well (currently available OAC with closing within 45 days for 2.95%). The rates are not that far behind. For an extra 0.20%, you’ll get one additional year of rate protection.

Disclaimer: One-year terms are not suitable for everyone. The above reflects opinions and not a recommendation. Consult a licensed mortgage broker for details.

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Housing sales soar in Ontario's biggest cities

Courtesy of Financial Post

TORONTO - Despite all the talk of a housing downturn and economic crisis in
Ontario, the province's two biggest cities both saw record housing resales
last month for the month of June.

The Toronto Real Estate Board said Monday there were 10,955 sales in the
Greater Toronto Area in June, a 27% increase from the 8,600 homes sold a
year ago. It was the best June for sales since the board started tracking
the numbers in the mid 1960s.

In Ottawa, housing sales jumped 12.5% in June to 1,895, also a new record
for the month.

The average sale price in the GTA last month $403,972, up 2% from a year
earlier. In Ottawa, the average sale price rose 3% annually to $306,925.

"I think the next stage" might be price pressure, said Doug Porter, deputy
chief economist at BMO Capital Markets. "The moderation we have seen in
prices may not last long if this kind of sales and listing balance remains
in place."

Porter said the mad scramble to buy a house is playing out across the
country, as consumers wade back into the market tempted by interest rates
the lowest they've been in 50 years. Five-year fixed rate mortgages were as
low as 3.75% last month, though they've nudged back up to about 4.5% since.(editor's note, using a mortgage broker gives you access to 5 year rates of 4.24% OAC)

"Vancouver sales were up about 76% from a year ago, the second best June
ever for them. Calgary sales were up 27%, and Edmonton sales were up 38%,"
said the economist. "A lot of people emerged from their foxholes over the
winter and have been brought in by low mortgage rates or a belief the
economy is going to improve.

"There was some pent-up demand; things almost froze over solid over the

What do they mean by that ?

Well we're almost half way through July already ... can you believe it ?

I think its about time we dedicated a few posts to answering some common questions we get here at the Your Mortgage Matters Blog. Late spring and summer are the busiest times of the year for mortgages going on the books whether people are buying or renewing/refinancing.

With that busy time come a lot more questions so its time to review our mortgage jargon and explain it in layman's terms.

We'll sprinkle in some definitions between our usual posts on other matters affecting homeowners so we hope you'll enjoy them as we pass through the lazy, hazy days of summer.

Here's out first entry: What do they mean by "acceleration" ?

According to our mortgage broker reference Marshall Spencer AMP, Mortgage Broker License # M08000817, acceleration is an expression usually used when a person has chosen to repay their mortgage payment on a weekly or biweekly basis although it can apply to any repayment program. All mortgages are drawn up showing a requirement that payments are made on a monthly basis. Most lenders nowadays will allow the borrower to divide their monthly payment in half for biweekly payments or in quarters for weekly payments which means that in stead of paying 12 monthly payments in a 52 week year, a borrower is actually paying 26 biweekly payments or 52 weekly payments in that same period. This means paying the equivalent of 13 monthly instalments in the time period where you would have only paid 12 under normal circumstances.

Since you are paying an extra payment - without penalty - you will save money by paying the mortgage down faster.

you can also accelerate your mortgage repayment but leave you payments on a monthly basis. By taking advantage of privileges normally written in to the contract to allow you to pay an extra 15% or 20% or increase your normal monthly payment amount by 15% or 20% you can also accelerate the replayment of your debt and save interest in the long run.

By contacting a licensed mortgage broker, you're taking the first step to finding the right mortgage solution for you. They are invaluable resources due to their unbiased approach and experience in the industry.

Look for another jargon-busting post coming soon - have a great day.

Monday, July 13, 2009

The basics on Mold from a Home Inspector

The key to mold control is moisture control.

If mold is a problem in your home, you should clean up the mold promptly and fix the water problem. It is important to dry water-damaged areas and items within 24-48 hours to prevent mold growth.

Why is mold growing in my home?

Molds are part of the natural environment. Outdoors, molds play a part in nature by breaking down dead organic matter such as fallen leaves and dead trees, but indoors, mold growth should be avoided. Molds reproduce by means of tiny spores; the spores are invisible to the naked eye and float through outdoor and indoor air. Mold may begin growing indoors when mold spores land on surfaces that are wet. There are many types of mold, and none of them will grow without water or moisture.

Can mold cause health problems?

Molds are usually not a problem indoors, unless mold spores land on a wet or damp spot and begin growing. Molds have the potential to cause health problems. Molds produce allergens (substances that can cause allergic reactions), irritants, and in some cases, potentially toxic substances (mycotoxins). Inhaling or touching mold or mold spores may cause allergic reactions in sensitive individuals. Allergic responses include hay fever-type symptoms, such as sneezing, runny nose, red eyes, and skin rash (dermatitis). Allergic reactions to mold are common. They can be immediate or delayed. Molds can also cause asthma attacks in people with asthma who are allergic to mold. In addition, mold exposure can irritate the eyes, skin, nose, throat, and lungs of both mold-allergic and non-allergic people. Symptoms other than the allergic and irritant types are not commonly reported as a result of inhaling mold. Research on mold and health effects is ongoing. This brochure provides a brief overview; it does not describe all potential health effects related to mold exposure. For more detailed information consult a health professional. You may also wish to consult your state or local health department.

How do I get rid of mold?

It is impossible to get rid of all mold and mold spores indoors, some mold spores will be found floating through the air and in house dust. The mold spores will not grow if moisture is not present. Indoor mold growth can and should be prevented or controlled by controlling moisture indoors. If there is mold growth in your home, you must clean up the mold and fix the water problem. If you clean up the mold, but don't fix the water problem, then, most likely, the mold problem will come back

Ten Things You Should Know About Mold

1. Potential health effects and symptoms associated with mold exposures include allergic reactions, asthma, and other respiratory complaints. 

2. There is no practical way to eliminate all mold and mold spores in the indoor environment; the way to control indoor mold growth is to control moisture. 

3. If mold is a problem in your home or school, you must clean up the mold and eliminate sources of moisture. 

4. Fix the source of the water problem or leak to prevent mold growth.
5. Reduce indoor humidity (to 30-60%) to decrease mold growth by:
a. venting bathrooms, dryers, and other moisture-generating sources to the outside;
b. using air conditioners and de-humidifiers;
c. increasing ventilation;
d. and using exhaust fans whenever cooking, dishwashing, and cleaning
6. Clean and dry any damp or wet building materials and furnishings within 24-48 hours to prevent mold growth.
7. Clean mold off hard surfaces with water and detergent, and dry completely. Absorbent materials such as ceiling tiles, that are moldy, may need to be replaced.
8. Prevent condensation: Reduce the potential for condensation on cold surfaces (i.e., windows, piping, exterior walls, roof, or floors) by adding insulation.
9. In areas where there is a perpetual moisture problem, do not install carpeting (i.e., by drinking fountains, by classroom sinks, or on concrete floors with leaks or frequent condensation).
10. Molds can be found almost anywhere; they can grow on virtually any substance, providing moisture is present. There are molds that can grow on wood, paper, carpet, and foods.

Courtesy of Garry D. Heard of Greater Durham Home Inspections who can be reached by phone at 905-831-4887 or on the web

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Ever thought of getting a home sauna ?

Courtesy of Montreal Sauna

Cleanse your body with ease

It is well known that our skin is our largest organ; its most important role is to control the temperature of our body. By doing so it also will eliminate undesirable toxins in the process. We could actually say that it serves as a third kidney. Because of the deep penetration effect that our Montreal infrared saunas play in allowing the removal of the toxins stored in the fat cells, you will feel much better after just one sauna therapy session. Detoxifying in a Montreal Sauna will help you get rid of potentials carcinogenic heavy metals such as mercury and lead, as well as alcohol, nicotine, sodium, sulfuric acid and cholesterol.

Monday, July 6, 2009

A Home Inspector's notes on Asbestos

What Is Asbestos?

Asbestos is a mineral fiber. It can be positively identified only with a special type of microscope. There are several types of asbestos fibers. In the past, asbestos was added to a variety of products to strengthen them and to provide heat insulation and fire resistance.

Where Asbestos Hazards May Be Found In The Home
Some roofing and siding shingles are made of asbestos cement.
Houses built between 1930 and 1950 may have asbestos as insulation.
Asbestos may be present in textured paint and in patching compounds used on wall and ceiling joints. Their use was banned in 1977.
Artificial ashes and embers sold for use in gas-fired fireplaces may contain asbestos.
Older products such as stove-top pads may have some asbestos compounds.
Walls and floors around woodburning stoves may be protected with asbestos paper, millboard, or cement sheets.
Asbestos is found in some vinyl floor tiles and the backing on vinyl sheet flooring and adhesives.
Hot water and steam pipes in older houses may be coated with an asbestos material or covered with an asbestos blanket or tape.
Oil and coal furnaces and door gaskets may have asbestos insulation.

What Should Be Done About Asbestos In The Home?
If you think asbestos may be in your home, don't panic, usually the best thing is to leave asbestos material that is in good condition alone. Generally, material in good condition will not release asbestos fibers. There is no danger unless fibers are released and inhaled into the lungs. Check material regularly if you suspect it may contain asbestos. Don't touch it, but look for signs of wear or damage such as tears, abrasions, or water damage. Damaged material may release asbestos fibers. This is particularly true if you often disturb it by hitting, rubbing, or handling it, or if it is exposed to extreme vibration or air flow. Sometimes, the best way to deal with slightly damaged material is to limit access to the area and not touch or disturb it. Discard damaged or worn asbestos gloves, stove-top pads, or ironing board covers. Check with local health, environmental, or other appropriate officials to find out proper handling and disposal procedures. If asbestos material is more than slightly damaged, or if you are going to make changes in your home that might disturb it, repair or removal by a professional is needed. Before you have your house remodeled, find out whether asbestos materials are present.

Courtesy of Garry D. Heard of Greater Durham Home Inspections who can be reached by phone at
905-831-4887 or on the web