Knowing Your Options For A Home Equity Line Of Credit (HELOC)

Home equity line of credit

When it comes to understanding how to consolidate your debt, knowing all of your options is a good start. Many Canadians struggle with debt, be it credit card, car payments, student loans, and especially mortgage payments. We understand how difficult it can be to manage all of this all while taking care of yourself and your family.

Restructuring

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The first step in understanding how to get back on track by organizing your life to make your debt payments manageable. For this a mortgage advisor is the best place to start. If the option is right for you, they can help you obtain your home equity in order to help pay off your debt. They can also help you restructure your spending habits to make sure you can stay out of debt and make your home equity line of credit (HELOC) count.

Your HELOC will still need to be repaid; however, when you are only paying one payment, with one interest rate, it can drastically reduce stress. Causing things to be less overwhelming, not having multiple bill payments with various interest rates coming in.

What is a Home Equity Line of Credit (HELOC)?

  • Maximum loan-to-value (LTV) = 65% of appraised value
  • It is a line of credit secured by way of a collateral mortgage on the title to your home/property. The interest rate is set by the Prime Rate and is much lower than a personal unsecured line of credit. Maximum Loan-to-Value (LTV) is 65% of appraised value.

Determining Your Equity

Your home Equity is based on the difference between your home’s value and the unpaid balance of your existing mortgage. Home equity has the potential to raise in worth by one of two ways, either you pay your mortgage down and the difference grows, or the value of your home increases.

A stand-alone HELOC has a maximum Loan-to-Value (LTV) of 65%, and a mortgage has a maximum LTV of 80%. You can have a mortgage and HELOC under one charge on a title, going to an LTV of 80%. Just remember, you will need to subtract the amount still owing on your mortgage!

How to Qualify For a Home Equity Line Of Credit

HELOC key

According to the Financial Consumer Agency of Canada, in order to qualify for a home equity line of credit you will require:

A minimum down payment or equity of 35% if you want to use a stand-alone home equity line of credit as a substitute for your mortgage.

Lender Requirements

Your lender will have requirements before you can be approved for a home equity line of credit which include:

  •  A Satisfactory Credit Score
  • Proof Of An Appropriate & Stable Income
  • A Suitable Level Of Debt Compared To Your Income

In order to qualify for a Home Equity Line Of Credit, you will need to pass a stress test. This is to ensure that you can afford payments at a higher rate than the rate of your contact to avoid problems if rates increase. The lender wants to be sure you can pay it off.

Rates

HELOC’s are not necessarily subject to the same rate fluctuations as mortgages. HELOC’s are always set with a prime, which means that they fluctuate, but your mortgage can either have a fixed or variable rate.

Potential Benefits Of A HELOC:

Mortgage relief

One of the main benefits of debt consolidation is that it will buy you time and emotional release from current debt pressures. Studies have shown that the stress of too much debt can impact more than your mental health, and it can also be affecting other parts of your life.

HELOC Requirements:

  • Minimum Payments Required = Interest Only. Can Be Paid In Full At Anytime With No Penalties.
  • Readvanceable – The HELOC Can Be Paid In Full & Used Again At
  • Anytime As Needed- Maximum Flexibility
  • Low Interest Rate

A HELOC only has a minimum payment requirement of the interest and will allow you to address your budget and free up your cash flow before making principal payments. By refinancing and being serious about making and keeping to your budget, you can achieve a debt-free lifestyle! While refinancing can extend your mortgage’s life, it can get you onto the path of being debt-free a lot sooner.

home equity, money in your pocket

For more information on a home equity line of credit (HELOC), talk to a mortgage professional. They can help way your options to determine the best course of action for getting your bills and various payments under control with a HELOC. Here at The Mortgage Group, we are here to help you with all of your mortgage questions and concerns. Including, those regarding home equity. Contact us today to better understand how we can help you obtain your home equity line of credit.

Mortgage Motivation: Are You Prepared

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First Time Homebuyers Mortgage Motivation

Are you ready to buy a new home? Before deciding to obtain a mortgage in Calgary, first look at what is motivating you. If you feel like you should buy a home only because everyone around you is, that’s probably not a good reason to tie yourself into a home loan.

By definition, purchase motivation is described as the psychological reasons behind making certain purchases. One of those purchases is the decision to buy a new home. While owning your home can be exciting, this big-ticket item can also be scary.

Homeownership will impact your life and financial picture for a long time. That’s why talking with a mortgage broker in Calgary is always a good idea.

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Start By Doing Research

Many people looking to buy a home spend a lot of time researching every detail first. Like any other life decision, you want to gather information, specifically about mortgages. Speak with your peers, family members, professional banking services, and mortgage brokers.

Speaking with friends or others who have recently purchased a house will give you a good insight into your potential purchase. They will be able to provide you with a rough idea of property taxes for their home, utility costs, and more.

Watch Out For Buyer Mentality

While searching for a home, you will spend a reasonable amount of time online, gathering mortgage loan information and looking at potential homes. It can be easy to fall into a buyer mentality with targeted ads shown to you on mortgages, real estate agents, and possible home listings.

Other Factors To Consider When Buying A Home

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Many buyers watch interest rates and monitor the availability of homes before they make a purchase. Still, there are other considerations people use to justify taking out a mortgage too.

Emotional factors can influence what you want or need when looking at potential home purchases.

Sellers and realtors will target these emotional flags when they are selling homes. So it is crucial to take stock of your needs and wants in addition to assessing your financial matters before you sign mortgage documents.

You Are Here

The best place to start when looking at emotional factors is to describe your current stage of life.
These won’t be the same for all people, but a generalization sets the stage to think about what changes you want.

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It can also define your future needs and wants for your first home. For example,

  • Are you a single person who just landed that full-time job and are looking to own not rent?
  • Maybe you just got married, have two incomes, and now you can afford a joint mortgage loan.
  • It could be you just had a baby and need more room for a nursery.
  • Or do you have a growing family and are running out of living space in your current accommodations?
  • You might have a multi-generational household and need a larger lodging with more than one living area under the same roof.
  • For older singles and couples, you may be downsizing or looking for accommodation that will allow caregivers to help you when you need care later in life.

As you can see, there are many reasons why you might be looking at buying a new home.

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Demographics For First Time Homebuyers

  • 80% Are Employed Full Time
  • 49% Are Single
  • 45% Are Between The Ages Of 25-34
  • 40% Are Married
  • 61% Purchase A Single Detached Dwelling & Have An Income Between $60,000 & $90,000
  • 21% Are New To Canada

Some Canadian demographics indicate percentages for first-time buyers.
They are:

Motivations For Purchasing A Home

When looking at your mortgage motivations for homeownership, consider which of these emotional factors apply to you and how they shape your wants and needs.

enjoying-moving-in-a-new-house-mortgage
  • A Desire To Become Independent
  • Looking For Stability
  • Increasing Your Comfort Leve
  • Finding Something More Convenient
  • Providing A Safe Living Space
  • Expanding Your Socialization Potential
  • Meet Changes In Medical Conditions
  • Wanting Financial Growth
  • Desiring Prestige
  • Gaining Fulfillment Through Ownership

Proceed With Caution

When you are aware of these goals, you can analyze them and apply that data to the reality of the purchase you are considering.

There is a caution here that it is important. Don’t sign up for a mortgage based wholly on emotional factors that override the realities of your financial means.

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For example, you may crave prestige and look for a home in a high-end area, only to realize you don’t currently have the money to meet the asking price of the house. An assessment like this can help you find ways to improve your financial means so that you can purchase a similar home at a later date.

There is a good article by Matthew Kassel in the Wall Street Journal that highlights some of the pitfalls first-time buyers should avoid when considering their wants and needs list.

Evaluating Your Current State

Another lifestyle evaluation used by realtors and sellers is matching demographics with psychological factors by creating a category of types for home buyers.

It is called the VALS Framework. It breaks down factors identifying buyers as innovators, thinkers, believers, achievers, strivers, experiencers, makers, and survivors. Just for fun, take a look at this website and see what describes you best.

If searching for your home overwhelms you, there are professionals out there that will help you match your wants and needs to your available resources. A good realtor, bank, or independent mortgage broker can take your collected data, which include emotional factors, and match mortgage plans to your desired goal.

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Our professional mortgage brokers at The Mortgage Group in Calgary would be happy to help you analyze the data you have collected and answer any questions you may have about mortgages. Give us a call, 403-571-8142, or fill out our secure contact request form today.