Mortgage Broker

Fall 2018

Mortgage Broker is the magazine of the Canadian Mortgage Brokers Association and showcases the multi-billion dollar mortgage-broking industry to all levels of government, associated organizations and other interested individuals.

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26 | fall 2018 CMB MAGAZINE L ocation, location, location. While it's been called the first rule of real estate, it's also a key consideration in a successful mortgage application. Depending on where a property is located, a mortgage broker might have to do a bit more legwork than usual to build a deal. Usually, that means gathering requested documentation for lenders who have grown increasingly cautious in the wake of British Columbia's real estate boom. In the case of rural properties, for example, lenders may require well-water testing, a septic inspection, an independent appraisal and even pre-approved home insurance. When it comes to city homes, zoning is oen a concern, as is increased competition for the same properties. But no matter where they work in B.C., mortgage brokers are grappling with some common issues, too. At the top of that list is affordability. In a hot housing market, escalating prices make it harder for new buyers to qualify for that first property. Second, recent government changes to mortgage underwriting procedures — commonly known as Guideline B-20 — have introduced "stress testing" that makes it even harder for potential buyers to meet funding criteria. While B.C. mortgage brokers report unique challenges that come with doing business in urban and rural settings, they also say they have many things in common. RuRal View When Jane Wakelyn gets up in the morning, the first thing she hopes is that the Internet is working so she can deal with her email before she begins her one-hour commute to the office. Wakelyn is a mortgage broker with Dominion Lending Centres Blue Tree Mortgages West in Prince George. With a population of about 75,000, the city is known as the province's northern capital. Jane, her husband and their four horses live on a 400-acre ranch close to Nukko Lake. Wakelyn has made a science of incorporating the rural lifestyle into her business. Her ads feature her on a horse with the slogan, "Let me rein in your mortgage." Every morning, she makes the most of her commute to work by returning calls from the car. A mortgage broker for almost seven years, Wakelyn is currently a one-woman show working by appointment only. "Timing is everything," she says. "Maximizing time in the car is important and Bluetooth is a gi." While about three-quarters of her business is done within Prince George city limits, the remainder of her mortgage files are from many other areas of B.C., including Vancouver Island, the Okanagan and the north. Many are rural properties that present a bigger challenge than ones in town. "e number one challenge is mobile homes on large properties," says Wakelyn. "Location is a challenge; lenders oen want a property to be within 50 kilometres of city limits or in a centre with a minimum population of 5,000 . . . or sometimes even 10,000 or more. "Also, if a lender must foreclose on a property and it is rural or has livestock of any kind, it is much more difficult to sell or remove the animals." Several homes in the area have wood foundations and many properties have two homes on the land; both are situations lenders don't favour. In addition, home insurance is oen more expensive for rural properties. Oen, Wakelyn must approach an alternative lender for more remote properties. "Fiy acres with a mobile home, for instance, GettinG the deaL done B.C. mortgage brokers discuss the unique challenges of funding urban and rural properties in today's credit-constrained environment By Lisa Gordon

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