Mortgage Agent • Capital Home Lending
Melissa provides funding for both residential and commercial properties. With access to over 40 lenders, she has a mortgage solution suitable for each client’s unique and individual needs. Recognized for her high level customer experience, Melissa takes pride in helping her clients make thoroughly informed decisions, every step of the way!
We were thrilled to connect with her to get the inside scoop and encourage you to reach out to her to keep the dialogue going or if you have any questions. She’s friendly, we promise!
Q: Do you find buyers pushing their lending limit or being conservative?
A: Truthfully, this varies quite a bit from client to client, depending on their own unique circumstances. The reality is – prices have sky rocketed and the market is really competitive out there! So, inevitably, I see a lot of buyers purchasing for the maximum amount they’ve qualified for.
With that being said, thanks to the “Stress Test”, we’re ensuring that clients are not purchasing beyond their means and can handle some fluctuation in the market. When you’re purchasing a home, it’s important to be mindful of all the expenses you’re taking on, and not only focus on the monthly mortgage payments. When I pre-approve my clients, I’ll outline the additional costs that they need to account for so that there are no surprises. I work with their budget and make sure that they’re making fully informed decisions every step of the way.
Q: Where are you seeing most first-time buyers coming up with their down payments?
A: Again, this can vary quite a bit. A lot of first-time homebuyers are fortunate enough to have a family member gift them a portion of their down payment, but this isn’t the case for everyone.
Typically, most clients are saving for a period of time and utilizing their registered accounts (TFSAs & RRSPs) to grow their investments in. You can purchase with as little as 5% down payment, so this helps a lot of first-time homebuyers get their foot in the door. As mentioned, gifted money is acceptable from an immediate family member. The individual gifting you will be required to sign a “Gift Letter”, indicating that the funds are a non-repayable gift towards the purchase of your home.
I also get asked by clients if they can borrow a portion of their down payment. Technically you can, provided that at least 5% is coming from your own resources. It’s important to keep in mind that the monthly repayment of those borrowed funds must be factored into your pre-approval. A good Mortgage Professional will help you weigh the pros and cons of going this route.
Q: Do you find many people often wait for a change in interest rates before they buy? If so, do they regret it?
A: I usually caution buyers from “timing the market” since it can be so unpredictable. Usually when we experience lower rates, we see house prices go up, so the trade-off isn’t necessarily worth it. The effects the Pandemic has had on the economy over the last couple years resulted in an anomaly with interest rates. We saw rates drop to an all time low, so anyone who was able to jumped on the opportunity to get in the market!
My advice when asked when is the best time to buy – as soon as you can afford to do so. Once you’re pre-approved, you can put in for a rate hold that is valid for 120 days. This gives you four months to shop around while your rate is secured.
The great thing about working with a Mortgage Agent, like myself, is that I have access to multiple lenders. I am constantly monitoring interest rates. I will only put in a rate hold for a client when it makes sense to do so. Once a rate hold is in place, the client is still not committed to that lender. I will always ensure my clients receive the best rate available at the time of purchase.
Q: What are your 2022 interest rate predictions?
A: The Bank of Canada will soon end it’s quantitative easing (QE) program, a measure implemented at the start of the COVID-19 Pandemic to help stimulate the economy. Rates are on the rise. Lenders have already began hiking up their interest rates across the board.
The Bank of Canada held its first of eight meetings of the year, at the end of January, to discuss the policy rate. Although they maintained the overnight rate at ¼ percent, it is anticipated that this rate will increase by 1.00% – 1.25% by the end of 2022. This information is important for buyers when they’re deciding whether to go with a fixed or variable rate. I’ll never tell my clients which rate they should choose – but I will always give them the necessary tools and information to make an informed decision.
“When you’re purchasing a home, it’s important to be mindful of all the expenses you’re taking on, and not only focus on the monthly mortgage payments.”
We put a lot of emphasis on exactly this with our clients! It is so important you don’t over extend yourself, leave no room to buy furniture, make necessary pre-move in repairs, or have an emergency fund. Expenses are way over and above just a mortgage!
To see how Melissa can best assist you in getting pre-approved for a mortgage or any further questions, you can reach her here: