Six questions to ask about a lease-option to buy a home

A lease-option-to-buy arrangement can be a solution for some potential home buyers, but it’s not right for everyone. If you’re not certain that you’re going to be able to purchase the rental home at the end of the lease period, you might be better served with a standard rental agreement. Meanwhile, take time to work on your credit, save up extra cash, and get your finances in better shape so you can strike when the time’s right. After all, it would be a waste to plunk down extra money on a lease-option and above-market rent without making any meaningful […] Read more

Alberta first-time buyers among most optimistic in Canada

New home buyers are feeling more optimistic in Alberta.

Lisa Marie / Getty Images/iStockphoto

First-time buyers in Alberta are enthusiastic about buying, a new survey has found. In fact, they’re the most optimistic in the nation.

A poll conducted this month by Pollara Strategic Insights, on behalf of BMO, uncovered that more than half of potential first-time buyers in the province believe conditions are favourable to buy a home.

“After a couple of more challenging years, there is renewed confidence,” Darrell Majdell, regional vice-president of specialized sales for Prairies central region at BMO.

Stabilizing oil prices have helped improve confidence in the economy, along with […] Read more

When You Might Need an Alternative Lender Mortgage

The majority of homeowners are blissfully unaware of alternative mortgages. They presume everyone is entitled to sub-3% mortgage interest rates, with no fees of any kind.

But there is a growing, significant percentage of borrowers who need a different type of mortgage financing solution. Sometimes there is no choice. That is why the alternative lending market (B-lenders) is so important to the overall health of the mortgage industry and, indeed, our economy.

Could this happen to you? Who would you turn to if your bank turned you down for a mortgage? How would you know if you are being given the straight […] Read more

Dueling Crises: Unaffordable Housing vs. Flammable Housing

by James A. Bacon

Citing housing affordability as the key issue, the Virginia Board of Housing and Community Development has voted down an update to the state building code that would have mandated the installation of sprinklers in all new single-family homes and townhouses.

Virginia home builders have said that the sprinkler requirement would add between $15,000 and $25,000 to the construction cost of a new residence, according to reporting by WAMU, American University Radio. Keith Brower, a former Loudoun County fire chief has countered that the cost would be significantly less, about $5,000 for a 2,000-square-foot house. Whatever the case, there […] Read more

Buying A Home Is The Cheapest It’s Been In 20 Years

Have you heard of the 36% rule to qualify for a mortgage?

It means your total monthly debt payments shouldn’t be more than 36% of your monthly income before taxes.

Millennials are being smart about home buying. The vast majority — 76% — are spending less than 30% of their monthly income to pay the mortgage. That’s not apples to apples, but it is a good indicator of today’s home affordability.

Although the actual cost of buying a house certainly hasn’t gone down, buying as a percentage of income is the same or less than 20 years ago.

A Harvard University study showed that “price-to-income ratios peaked […] Read more

The Day – Lenders expect to see more refinancing, greater profits

A record share of mortgage lenders said they expect to see greater profits in the near future, according to the latest Mortgage Lender Sentiment Survey by Fannie Mae. Lenders were most likely to credit a renewed interest in refinance mortgages for the rosy outlook.

In the survey for the third quarter of 2019, 53 percent said they expect their profit margin to increase in the next three months while 13 percent expect it to decrease. The net share of 40 percent with a positive outlook marked a survey high, up from a net share of 29 percent in the second quarter […] Read more

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Education’s Vital Role in the Homebuying Process

In its latest commentary, Jonathon Lawless, VP of Product Development and Affordable Housing for Fannie Mae, says it is vital that borrowers, especially first-time homebuyers, are “better equipped to make well-informed decisions.” 

“We can all agree: The homebuying process is complicated. Finding the right home—even deciding whether to buy a home at all—can be difficult, and many people struggle to understand all the different options they may have,” Lawless said. 

Lawless said that Fannie Mae is “highly committed” to making homeownership education an invaluable part of the homebuying process. 

Fannie Mae is enacting several changes to the homeownership education space. The GSE will […] Read more

Help to Buy scheme has not addressed wider issues in the housing market

The Government’s flagship Help to Buy scheme is not making homes more affordable in general or helping address other pressing problems in the housing sector, according to a new report.

Overall some 60% of buyers who have used it didn’t need the financial help anyway and 20% were not first time buyers, according to the House of Commons Public Accounts Committee.

The report points out that it was originally intended as a short lived scheme but will now last for 10 years and use over eight times its original budget. It also questions whether the money could have been used in a […] Read more

New park development tax slammed | Business News

It could be the straw that broke the camel’s back.

A new City of Kelowna parks development funding charge will add $7,180 to the cost of every new single-family detached home, townhouse and condominium built in Kelowna.

“A staggering number of young families don’t qualify for a mortgage now,” said Ray Wynsouw, general manager of CorWest Builders and a past president of the Central Okanagan branch of the Canadian Home […] Read more