29 Dec

Fighting with your spouse? A 2nd mortgage might fix your marriage and your money.

Debt

Posted by: Kiki Berg

​​​Did you know that 30% – 40% of couples who get divorced is over money. Divorce isn’t cheap either, so now is the time to fix your fighting and your finances!

Are 2nd mortgages a good idea? Sure, as long as you have an exit strategy, a budget and plan on how it will get paid off at the least amount of cost.

With any debt consolidation loan, 2nd mortgage or other options; you want to ensure you can afford the payments, look at all debt repayment options and work with a debt or mortgage planner to ensure you are achieving your goal. Don’t just band aid a problem…

So let’s take a look at a real life household family situation…

Jack and Jill own a home, have two young kids, a fur friend, a camping trailer and two vehicles. Jack and Jill both work making about $110,000 a year combined. In the past, Jill took a few years off on maternity leave and during that time, the income dropped and the debts increased. The hot water tank flooded the basement, so $3000 for a new tank onto the credit card. They figure they can pay it off in a few months. Then, Jill’s best friend decided to have a destination wedding! Well fun times, also costs Jack and Jill $5000 to go to Hawaii to be part of the wedding. In keeping up with the Jones next door, they bought a trailer to go camping and the proud owner of  a 45,000 loan of 8% and $300 a month payments. What’s $300 right? Then Jack needed a Dodge Ram 1500 to tow their new trailer and got a $45,0000 loan at $700 per month. Yikes, insurance for those just increased your monthly payments from $130 a month to $160 a month…oh and the GAS! It’s for the family, so they tighten their budget spending.  While camping, Jack injures his back while goofing around with his ATV and is off work for 2 months and collecting EI…and the debt snowball monthly payment crunch effect begins and so does the depression, fighting and sometimes separation. Not enough money at the end of the month.  Sound like your family?

Getting out of debt might require some hard decisions, such as selling assets. Challenge is the value of the new trailers, trucks and toys drops up to 10% when you drive it off the lot and your loans are usually higher than your toys. Many times there is lots of equity in home that you just can’t access right now due to credit issues or you just don’t want to break your existing mortgage (eek penalties). In a year or two you know you can wrap all the debt into your 1st mortgage and your payments will all be back in affordability line. It’s all in the planning and everyone’s family and financial situations are unique.

“Why not just get a consolidation loan from the bank”, the client asks…
Absolutely! IF you can qualify. If your financial strife has caused you late payments, then your credit score took a swan dive to the “sorry can’t help you land” from the Bank.
Also, Banks can only loan you up to 65% of the value of your home due to new government rules and you need to have enough income to qualify for your new loan. Today, there are more declined debt consolidation loans than ever and people are seeking out expensive debt repayment programs or bankruptcy options that have up to $4500 in freaky fees and can kill your credit for up to 7 years. While these programs can be helpful for some, not always required to fix the problem.

How do 2nd mortgages work out there in Google Land?
Just Google 2nd mortgages and you may find many well know companies and mortgage experts who offer them. They may be called home equity loans, debt consolidation loans or freedom loans…they are all 2nd mortgages with a “pretty name” and no exit plan.  Finding the right company who isn’t going to charge you a 10% fee, 14% rates and huge renewal fees is another story. An example of a 2nd mortgage story where this happened. Client needed $40,000, finance company charged a $4000 fee and 11% rate for a 1 year term with a renewal rate of $2000. Bad planning here. Paying 10% fee and $2000 renewal rate is highway robbery in my opinion!

How 2nd mortgages roll in my office.
If you own a home, I can help. Maybe it’s not a 2nd mortgage you need…maybe it’s a reality check conversation and some idea tossing and budget planning.  If it is a 2nd mortgage you really want or need…I have made it my mission in life to make sure the average family going through life events isn’t getting screwed along the way. I have a standard fee for any size loan. $2500 and built into the loan. I use a few private lenders that are either FEE FREE or very low fees of under 2% of the loan. I have been doing this for 10 years, so my relationships with my lenders are good for clients. Bad credit, no or low income…no problem.

We always set up our clients with an exit strategy. You should not have a 2nd mortgage for more than 2 or 3 years and we ensure that your credit is rebuilt and up to Banking standards within a few years, so you can qualify anywhere.

If you’re feeling overwhelmed with debt, and your story sounds like Jack and Jill…give me a call or email for your 30 minute pro bono consultation that could save your finances and your family.

Kiki Berg, Professional Mortgage Strategist.
kiki.mortgages@gmail.com
778-808-7756

28 Dec

What’s the difference? Property Assessment Vs Market Value

Mortgage Tips

Posted by: Kiki Berg

Short Version:

Do not rely on your provincial assessment for a fair market value of your property.

The value printed on that document was arrived at during a time in the previous year, the market may have changed a bit since then, and not in the direction you might think.

Do not rely entirely on the buyer’s opinion or the seller’s opinion in an unlisted private transaction for a fair market value.

Do not rely entirely on your neighbours, friends, or family members opinions for a fair market value of a property.

Do consider ordering a marketing appraisal, but do not rely on it 100%… maybe 98% though.

Do consider an evaluation by an experienced, active, local Realtor or two. This in combination with a marketing appraisal is the best indicator of current fair market value.

Gather professional opinions from Realtor(s) and an Appraiser – these are the people with their feet on the ground and their heads in the game.

Thank you.

LONG VERSION:

Provincial Property Assessment notices have arrived in the mail for BC residents (and other provinces), giving some homeowners a big smile and a bit more spring in their step (increased property taxes aside), while others wilt and lament at a modest gain or decrease in assessed value.

Hold on a sec, neither this assessment document nor either parties’ emotions, are tied to a current true market value. In fact provincial property assessments can be significantly too high or too low. In BC, values are determined in July of the previous year, and properties are rarely visited in person by provincial appraisers.

For this reason provincial property assessments should never be solely relied upon as any sort of relevant indicator of true market value for the purposes of purchase, sale, or financing.

Think of the assessed value instead as something akin to a weather forecast, spanning far larger and more diverse areas than the unique ecosystem that is your neighbourhood, your specific street, or your specific property. A weather forecast made the previous July, not the previous week. As this is when assessed values are locked in, a full six months prior to the notices being mailed out.

The BC Assessment Authority does offer some useful tools for a high-level view of the market. Go to http://evaluebc.bcassessment.ca/ and start typing an address. You’ll get a drop-down window where you can click on the address you want. Here’s what you can find out:

DETAILS ON ONE ADDRESS

These come up on the first screen and include: current and last year’s assessed value; size and rooms; legal description; sales history, and further details if property is a manufactured home or multifamily building. There’s also an interactive map as well as links to information on neighbouring properties and sample comparative sold properties.

NEIGHBOURING PROPERTIES

Here you can compare the assessed value of houses in the immediate neighbourhood. Clicking on any property brings up further details.

SAMPLE SOLD PROPERTIES

Find comparable properties and see what they sold for and how their sold price compares to their assessed value. This is a great research tool for owners, sellers and buyers.

These tools can be a starting point, but if you’re looking to set a selling price on your own property, always enlist a professional. Valuing your own property is not a do-it-yourself project. In a buying/selling transaction your are best to order an appraisal, which is a much more accurate reflection of current market value. It is timely and reflects value for zoning, renovations and/or other features unique to the property. An appraiser is an educated, licensed, and heavily regulated third party offering an unbiased valuation of the property in question.

WHAT’S MY HOME REALLY WORTH?

Usually, market value is determined by what a buyer is willing to pay for a home, and what the seller is willing to accept.

A quick survey of recent sales and their relation to assessed values will often demonstrate no clear relationship between sale price and assessed value. It’s often all over the map. Some properties selling well below assessment, and others well above.

You also want an experienced and local Realtor to help you determine the selling price of your home. A (busy & local) Realtor will have a far better handle on what is happening in your area for prices than does a government document, and in many instances will save you from yourself.

In theory a comprehensive current market review completed by a Realtor should not differ radically from the value determined by a professional appraiser.

Professional appraisers spend all day every day appraising properties, and their reports are often seen as less biased. Imagine your reaction, as a buyer, to the following statements…

The seller says their house is worth $500,000.
The sellers’ Realtor says it’s worth $500,000.
This house is listed at $500,000 based on a professional (marketing) appraisal.
Most buyers would consider #3 the most reliable of the above statements. And most buyers requiring financing will have the benefit of the lender ordering their own independent appraisal to confirm fair market value. Sellers rarely order an appraisal in advance, which can create some interesting situations.

In practice, Realtors are relied upon for listing price estimates. Most buyers don’t care much about what anybody else thinks the house is worth. Buyers care what they think it is worth. This is why we say that market value is ultimately determined by what a buyer is willing to pay for the home, aligned with what is acceptable to the seller.

It is important to note that there are two kinds of professional appraisals. There is the marketing appraisal, such as one ordered by a seller. And there is the financing appraisal, which is done so the bank is satisfied the house is worth what the buyer and seller have agreed it’s worth. The financing appraisal is a less in depth review and is essentially answering the question; is this property worth the agreed upon purchase/sale price.

A marketing appraisal goes deeper (and costs more) but a lender is not concerned with the actual market value over and above the purchase/sale price. A lender just wants the simple question answered. It is a rare day that the appraisal for financing has a value that differs significantly, if it all, from the sale price. Therefore one should not be surprised if, when buying a home, they find that the appraisal comes in bang on at the purchase price. As they do 99% of the time.

The 1% of the time that the value is off it is almost always a private transaction where the seller has had no professional guidance at all and has inadvertently set their price below market by relying on something as inaccurate as their BC Assessment document.

IN SUMMATION

Do not rely on your property assessment for a fair market value of your property.

The value printed on that document was arrived at during a point of time during the previous year, the market may have changed a bit since then, and not in the direction you might think.

Do not rely entirely on the buyer’s opinion or the seller’s opinion in an unlisted private transaction for a fair market value.

Do not rely entirely on your neighbours, friends, or family members opinions for a fair market value of a property.

Do consider ordering a marketing appraisal, but do not rely on it 100%… maybe 98% though.

Do consider an evaluation by an experienced, active, local Realtor or two. This in combination with a marketing appraisal is the best indicator of current fair market value.

Gather professional opinions from Realtor(s) and an Appraiser – these are the people with their feet on the ground and their heads in the game.

…and of course, when it comes time for your mortgage, visit a mortgage professional at Dominion Lending Centres!

Dustin Woodhouse