5 Steps to Getting a Mortgage

General Monica Young 24 Apr

While the mortgage process can be daunting, we have broken it down into 5 easy steps to help you get started! Plus, we are happy to help guide you every step of the way so it is even easier to make your dreams of home ownership happen.

  1. Options: We have access to 90+ lenders with dozens of solutions to suit your mortgage needs. During our initial consultation, we will review your situation and provide an overview of mortgage options that are best suited to your needs. From there, we can work together to complete your mortgage application and obtain financing.
  2. Collection: When it comes to a mortgage application, you’re required to submit the following items to the lender: credit report, agreement of purchase and sale (or estimated mortgage amount if you are refinancing), proof of income/employment, down payment amount, identification and solicitor information. We will be able to assist you with preparing, gathering and sending this documentation in.
  3. Submission: We will submit your mortgage application to the appropriate lender with the mortgage product that best suits your needs. As we work with dozens of lenders from banks to credit unions to trusts and private options, we can put our negotiating power to work for you to get you the best mortgage product.
  4. Approval: Once you have been approved for your mortgage, you will be required to sign. From there, you will obtain approval documents including: payment details, mortgage terms and privileges, pre-funding conditions (if they apply). Should the closing date be more than 30 days away, we can also hold the approval documents and monitor the market. When you reach 4 weeks away from closing, we can help finalize the approval documentation.
  5. Closing: This is the final step to homeownership where your signed documents are submitted to the lender with all supporting information. From there, the lender will review and approve the final documents and send their instruction package to your lawyer. When you meet with your lawyer, they will require final identification and signatures, and review your closing costs.  It is on the closing day that the mortgage funds will be transferred to your lawyer to close the sale (or refinance).

If you are looking to purchase your first home, or a new home, in the coming months, reach out for the advice and expertise to ensure you get the best mortgage product for YOU.

Why You Should Have a Power of Attorney.

General Monica Young 17 Mar

(Published by HomeEquity Bank)

You work a lifetime building your nest egg, so the thought of losing financial control can be difficult at any point in life. However, having a trusted document like a power of attorney (POA) can bring you and your loved ones peace of mind. Contrary to what some believe, the reality is that your POA does not own your money or property, and they cannot change your will, make a will, or change a beneficiary on an insurance plan. Your POA is there to learn about your life events, needs, or concerns and help make financial or medical decisions on your behalf if you are unable to.

This is a decision that requires careful consideration, and like any financial tool, there are pros and cons:


  • The document makes it clear who is responsible for your money and property, even temporarily, if you need help managing them. Your attorney must manage your money and property responsibly and for your benefit. If questioned, they may be required by law to account for their actions.
  • The document can be as flexible or time-sensitive as you would like or as general or specific as you need.
  • You can appoint multiple attorneys and request they make decisions in unison or highlight that they can act separately if one attorney is unavailable. You can also appoint an alternate or successive attorney. This may help reduce the chance of fraudulent activity.


  • There is a risk that if the wrong attorney is designated, you can become vulnerable to financial abuse. It can happen where an attorney makes decisions based on their best interest rather than the interests of the estate they manage.
  • If your document lacks clarity, there is a risk that your finances could be managed in ways you do not simply agree with.
  • If multiple attorneys are appointed, disagreements could cause problems or delays in managing financial affairs.

You should always seek independent legal advice to ensure your needs and expectations are clear. Appointing a POA is dynamic; it can be changed or revoked at any time.

Contact me, your reverse mortgage specialist, for more details on how HomeEquity Bank will review and confirm your POA for the mortgage transaction.

Canadian Jobs Market Booms Despite Rate Hikes

General Monica Young 15 Feb

Red Hot Labour Market Despite Rate Hikes

Today’s Labour Force Survey (LFS) for January was much stronger than expected, once again calling into question how long the Bank of Canada’s rate pause will last. This report showed no evidence that the labour market is slowing in response to the vast and rapid runup in interest rates.

Employment surged by 150,000–ten times more than expected–and most of the gain was in full-time jobs. The employment rate has returned to pre-pandemic levels. Employment rates among people 55 to 64 have been on a solid upward trend since the summer of 2022, mirroring the rise in employment over that period observed among most demographic groups.

Immigration remains a vital factor in hiring. According to the latest population estimates, in the third quarter of 2022, Canada’s population grew the fastest in over 50 years, mainly driven by an increase in non-permanent residents. In the Labour Force Survey, non-permanent residents represent the majority of a larger group, including those who were not born in Canada and have never been landed immigrants. Non-permanent residents can hold various kinds of work, study, or residence permits. On a year-over-year basis, employment for those not born in Canada and who have never been a landed immigrant was up 13.3% (+79,000) in January, compared with growth in total employment of 2.8% (+536,000).

Average hourly wages rose 4.5% on a year-over-year basis in January, down from 4.8% in December. This is good news for the inflation outlook, but it remains much above the 2% target. Year-over-year wage growth reached 5.0% in June 2022 and peaked at 5.8% in November (not seasonally adjusted).

The unemployment rate remained near a record low, holding steady at 5.0% in January, just shy of the record-low 4.9% in June and July last year.

Employment growth was most robust in wholesale and retail trade, healthcare, education, other services and construction.


Bottom Line

The Canadian jobs market is showing no signs of slowing. This has to make the Bank of Canada at least a bit nervous. The US jobs market data in January was also robust, and the Fed Chairman, Jay Powell, has assured markets that interest rates are likely to rise further.

This is the last jobs report before the Bank of Canada meets again on March 8. The CPI data for January will be released on February 21 and will be the primary factor determining Bank action. If inflation continues to decline, as expected, the rate pause will hold. If not…

Dr. Sherry Cooper
Chief Economist, Dominion Lending Centres

Recession Proofing Your Finances

General Monica Young 24 Jan

The latest news has been focused on rising interest rates, surging inflation, and economic uncertainty with suggestions that the Canadian economy could be tripped into recession.

With all this information circulating, now is a good time to discuss ways to adapt your finances and protect your future. Fortunately, there are a few key things you can do to get started today!

  1. Set a budget and reduce monthly expenses and overall debt by including the following:
    • Review your income and expenses and identify areas for reduction – such as getting a cheaper cell phone plan, reducing streaming service subscriptions, reviewing transport costs, etc.
    • Make a list of your current high-interest loans (such as credit card balances). If your mortgage is up for renewal, you may be able to benefit by consolidating debt into your mortgage to save on interest and free up cash flow with one payment. Refinancing your mortgage before the renewal is also an option, but a review of the penalty cost versus your debt consolidation goal should be considered. As your mortgage professional, I can assist you with this analysis.
    • Allot a percentage of your income towards savings such as an emergency fund. Your goal should be to have the equivalent of 3 to 6 months of earnings in this fund to provide breathing room should you lose your job or face any unexpected expenses. Another form of emergency funds could also be a line-of-credit. Once set-up, these generally have no cost to you unless you use it in the event of an emergency.

Having a healthy and realistic budget will give you peace of mind and allow you to properly allocate your monthly cash flow between debt, expenses, and savings.

  1. Evaluate your investment portfolio:
    1. While you will want to avoid making any knee-jerk reactions, it maybe a good time to diversify your portfolio to help reduce risk. Consider rerouting your investment to real estate or other areas to ensure you have various sources of income and always talk to an expert.
  2. Find additional income sources!
    • Many people have found innovative ways to increase their income by asking the following three questions:  
      • Are you a fit for a potential promotion?
      • Do you have a review coming up?
      • Do you have transferable skills that you can apply to consulting or additional contract work?

One final reminder – don’t panic. I know the word “recession” can be stressful but understanding what is happening and making appropriate adjustments will help you stay financially secure.

If you have any additional questions, don’t hesitate to reach out to me. I would be happy to chat with you anytime about the impact on your mortgage, or how to make changes for the long-term.

Debt Consolidation

General Monica Young 23 Jan

If you have accumulated multiple points of debt from credit cards and are also dealing with other loans (such as car loans, personal loans, etc.), you may be looking for a way to simplify your payments and help reduce them. Rolling them into your mortgage could be the perfect solution. Some of the benefits for consolidating your debt into your mortgage include:

1. Organize multiple monthly payments (credit card, line of credit, car loan, etc.) into a single payment for ease.
2. Interest rates tend to be lower on a mortgage versus credit card or car loan rates.
3. Take back financial control!

By consolidating your debt into your next mortgage cycle, you will not only free yourself from high interest rates and gouging interest payments, but will have a better overview of your monthly cash flow and be able to take back your financial control. Keep in mind, you need at least 20 percent equity in your home to be able to refinance and consolidate your debt.

For example:
If you have $30,000 of credit card debt, you are probably paying AT LEAST $600 per month – with $500 per month of that going directly to interest. If you let me help you to roll that debt into your home equity and monthly mortgage, your payment will drop to $125 per month, with interest being $70 per month. That is huge savings! Plus, it is easier to manage and pay a single monthly installment versus half a dozen loans and bills. 

While refinancing can increase your mortgage, your overall payments would be far lower and convert to a single payment versus multiple sources to save you time and stress. If you are looking for a way to simplify (or get out of) debt, please contact me today! I would be happy to take a look at your financial portfolio and current mortgage and help you come up with the best option to suit your needs.


What to Know About Title Insurance.

General Monica Young 18 Jan

There are many insurance products when it comes to your home, but not all are created equal. One such insurance policy that potential homeowners may encounter is known as “title insurance”.

This particular insurance is designed to protect residential or commercial property owners and their lenders against losses relating to the property’s title or ownership. In fact, it is so important to lenders that every single lender in Canada requires you to purchase title insurance on their behalf. It is not a requirement to have coverage for yourself, but that doesn’t mean you should dismiss it outright.

While title insurance can protect you from existing liens on the property’s title, the most common benefit is protection against title fraud.

Title fraud typically involves someone using stolen personal information, or forged documents to transfer your home’s title to him or herself – without your knowledge. The fraudster then gets a mortgage on your home and disappears with the money. As the old adage goes: “It’s better to be safe than sorry” and the same goes for insurance.

Similar to default insurance, title insurance is charged as a one-time fee or a premium with the cost based on the value of your property. This insurance typically runs around $300 for the lender and $150 for the individual. It can be purchased through your lawyer or title insurance company, such as First Canadian Title (FCT).

If you are wanting to know more about title insurance, or confirm that you (and your home) are properly protected, don’t hesitate to reach out to to me today for a mortgage review!

Understanding Reverse Mortgages

General Monica Young 17 Jan

Did you know? Reverse mortgages are continuing to gain popularity for older homeowners in Canada!
For many Canadians who are looking to retire but currently facing high debt load and ongoing expenses,
as well as reduced income, it can be a challenge. This is where the reverse mortgage can help!
This product is also a great option for anyone wanting to assist their elderly parents. Instead of
selling the home and moving them to a care home or assisted living, a reverse mortgage is a terrific
way to access the equity in the home, month by month, to pay for in-home and ongoing care costs.
The goal of the reverse mortgage is to allow Canadians over 55 years to tap into the equity of
their home, which assists in comfortable financial living. With a reverse mortgage, however, borrowers
are not required to make regular payments. This allows them a considerable inflow of cash, without
having to pay off what they owe! The only time payment will be required is when you sell or move
out of your home.

Reverse mortgages are designed to allow you to access up to 55% of your home’s equity, thereby
allowing you to convert your home equity into cash. This can be done as either a one-time lump
sum payment, or you can choose to structure it to receive monthly payouts.

Beyond being able to cash in on your home’s equity, a reverse mortgage also has:
• No monthly mortgage payments
• No income or credit qualifications
• Very low / little paperwork required
• Title and ownership of property remain in homeowner’s name
• Flexible options to break term early if needed
• Penalty waived in the event of death or care home placement to preserve the estate

If you are struggling financially, or want to have a little extra equity on hand to pay off existing
debts, gift money to family, expand your quality of life or simply increase your investment portfolio,
contact me today! I would be happy to discuss the possibility of a reverse mortgage in further detail
with you and ensure it is the best product to suit your needs.

Q: My mortgage is up for renewal within the next 6 months, what can I expect during the renewal process?

Mortgage Tips Monica Young 27 Jul

A: Some big banks will send you a renewal letter within three months of your term, encouraging you to sign at the current posted rate to rollover your mortgage. It is important to work on your renewal as soon as possible so that your mortgage does not go past maturity. Once pass maturity, your mortgage will automatically go into an open mortgage which is at a much higher interest rate. I recommend that you speak to me to ensure you are exploring all of your options when it comes to your next mortgage term.