Are you thinking of buying a home? Are you thinking of getting a home equity mortgage, which could be a second or even a third mortgage? Are you looking to refinance your home to take advantage of market conditions? Lisa Johnson Mortgage Services in Prince George is the place to begin. We have helped thousands in our over twenty years in business obtain the home of their dreams or leverage their home for other purposes. We work with mortgage lenders, mortgage brokers, banks, and other lending institutions to obtain the mortgage product that is right for you. We’ll assess your individual needs and review the options. We pride ourselves on excellent customer service as well as promptness and attention to detail to make sure the mortgage process runs as smoothly as possible. Below is a detailed list of home mortgage services we offer.

HOME PURCHASE

Buying a home is a dream come true for many. After years of saving up for a down payment, you’re ready to begin the search. But where do you begin? Finding an experienced, knowledgeable real estate agent is usually the first step when buying a home. He or she will know the real estate market you are looking to purchase in and can aid you in your search. By narrowing down what you are looking for in a home purchase, you’ll help the real estate agent find the perfect house for you. Ask yourself some basic questions when looking to buy a home, like the following:

  • How many bedrooms/bathrooms do you need?
  • Do you want a big kitchen?
  • How many garage spaces do you want?
  • Do you need a basement?
  • What size of a backyard do you need?
  • Do you want an older home or new construction?
  • Do you want property attached or are you looking for a neighborhood home?

These are just some of the questions Lisa Johnson Mortgage Services recommends you begin with before viewing properties. Once you view properties, make your selection, and put in an offer, your real estate agent will then work closely with your preferred mortgage company to ensure financing is obtained.

WHERE CAN YOU GET A MORTGAGE?

There are two classifications of those who offer a mortgage in Prince George:

Mortgage Lender. A mortgage lender lends money directly to you. There are several different type of mortgage lenders, some of which you may have heard of:

  • Banks
  • Caisses populaires
  • Mortgage companies
  • Insurance companies
  • Trust companies
  • Loan companies
  • Credit unions

Mortgage lenders are great options when looking to obtain a mortgage. Above all else, you want someone you can trust and whom you work well with. You’ll want to investigate your options. Different lenders may have different interest rates and different products. You’ll want to find the mortgage lender whom you feel the most comfortable with. You can switch lenders down the road; however, be aware that if you do switch mortgage lenders after signing your mortgage contact, a prepayment penalty may be assessed. Moreover, some mortgage lenders work directly with borrowers, while others only offer their mortgage products through mortgage brokers.

Mortgage Broker. A mortgage broker is essentially a middleman. A mortgage broker does not lend money directly to you. Instead, a mortgage broker finds the lender for you. The advantage of a mortgage broker is that he or she works with many mortgage lenders, thereby garnering you the best deal by having dozens of options instead of only a handful. A mortgage broker usually works with different lenders. Hence, different mortgage brokers will have access to different mortgage products, so it’s a good idea to vet many mortgage brokers before deciding on which one to go with. When narrowing down your mortgage broker selection, ask him or her which mortgage lenders he or she works with. In the end, the mortgage product that is most advantageous to you is important. However, choosing a mortgage broker whom you trust is more important.

Lisa Johnson is a professional mortgage broker in the Prince George area. She works with clients to match them with the best mortgage product for their need. Most mortgage brokers, including Lisa Johnson, do not charge a fee for their services. Instead, they receive a commission paid by the mortgage lender when the paperwork is signed. This is great for those looking for mortgages, especially if you’re on the cusp of qualifying for a mortgage. Furthermore, market conditions can change before you close on your home and deals can fall through. The client is out no money if, for some reason, he or she is unable to obtain financing on a home purchase.

Lisa Johnson can also help you decide how much you can afford when looking to purchase a home. This process is known as the pre-approval process. You’ll provide your mortgage broker with some basic information, such as your annual income, how much debt you have, and how much to plan for utilities, maintenance, and taxes. When getting pre-approved for a home mortgage, you’ll find out the maximum that you qualify for as well as the interest rate on your home mortgage. Remember, this is just a pre-approval; nothing will be set in stone until you find your home and submit a formal application.

During the mortgage pre-approval process, you’ll have your credit pulled, which determines what interest rate you will qualify for, as well as what level of risk of default you are, a fact paramount to mortgage lenders. Your employment will be verified as well as your income and your current debt level. Mortgage lenders want to make sure you can afford the home you are purchasing. Furthermore, with Canada’s new stress test law, you’ll need to prove you can afford payments at a qualifying interest rate, which is typically higher than the actual rate in your mortgage contract. Some mortgage lenders, such as credit unions, are not federally regulated so are not obligated to use the mortgage stress test. Your down payment amount influences the mortgage insurance you’ll need, which also is a factor in your stress test.

Once all of the information is in, the mortgage lender will do a quick calculation to see if you qualify for a home purchase, at what rate, and for how much. A home closing will be set, you will sign the paperwork, and with keys in hand, you’ll move into your new home.

HOME EQUITY MORTGAGES

If you already own your own home and are looking to tap into your home equity, a home equity mortgage may be right for you. Otherwise known as a second mortgage, a home equity mortgage is another loan on your home in addition to your first mortgage. A home equity loan is usually a fixed amount of money you can use on whatever you wish: college tuition money, money to buy a second, vacation home or start your own business, or on home improvements. As a secured loan (your home is the collageral) interest rates are often lower and the interest may be tax-deductible. A home equity loan is usually one lump-sum received and can be up to 80 percent of your home’s value. Interest is paid on the entire amount, and your payments cover principal and interest.

You may be interested in a home equity line of credit (HELOC) loan. A HELOC is a revolving credit line that may be used whenever you wish and can be used again throughout the term of the loan once payments have been made.

There are two types of home equity lines of credit:

A stand-alone home equity line of credit. You can borrow up to 65 percent of your home’s purchase price or market value with a stand-alone home equity line of credit.. Since this stand-alone option is not related to your mortgage, you do not have access to that value as you pay off your mortgage. One fact most home buyers do not know is that you can use a stand-alone home equity line of credit as a substitute for a mortgage, meaning you can obtain one in lieu of a traditional mortgage. Using a home equity line of credit as a mortgage offers more flexibility. You’re not required to pay off the principal and interest on a fixed payment schedule and there are no prepayment penalties, meaning you can pay off your mortgage whenever you want. However, there is usually a higher minimum down payment required (at least 35 percent of the purchase price or market value) in exchange for this added flexibility.

A home equity line of credit combined with a mortgage. Sometimes called a readvanceable mortgage, the home equity line of credit is revolving and the mortgage is fixed term. There is usually no fixed repayment amounts on the home equity line of credit, which is dependent upon the amount used. However, your fixed term mortgage will require payments and have an amortization period, or a set number of years to pay off the home mortgage. The credit limit on a home equity line of credit combined with a mortgage can be a maximum of 65 percent of your home’s purchase price or market value. The amount of credit available in the home equity line of credit will go up to that credit limit as you pay down the principal on your mortgage.

HOME REFINANCE

A home refinance is when the homeowner decides to take his or her existing mortgage and replace it with another. There are various reasons a home refinance is a good idea:

To take advantage of lower interest rates. When interest rates go down, refinancing your home can save you money over the long run. However, there may be penalties for breaking your first mortgage as well as refinancing fees (mainly in terms of closing costs) that may make refinancing unattractive. This is where a good mortgage broker, such as Lisa Johnson, comes in. Lisa Johnson can help you crunch the numbers with all the different scenarios and refinance mortgage options to determine if a home refinance is right for you.

To turn your variable-rate mortgage into a fixed-rate mortgage. As interest rates rise, turning your variable-rate mortgage with interest rates that are rising into a fixed-rate mortgage may be advantageous over the long run. Again, having an amazing mortgage broker such as Lisa Johnson in your corner can help you decipher the numbers and see if this option makes sense for you.

To access the equity in your home. A home refinance is an option when you want to take out equity as well. You will just be increasing the amount of your original mortgage and taking out the amount over what you owe on your mortgage in cash. You can take out up to 80 percent of your home’s value just like in a home equity mortgage.

Debt consolidation. Refinancing your home to pay off higher interest debt such as credit card debt will save you money in the long run. Furthermore, you’ll only have one payment instead of multiple payments and the interest on this bigger loan may be tax deductible since the loan is on your home.

WHICH MORTGAGE SERVICE IS RIGHT FOR YOU?

Lisa Johnson Mortgage Services offers three types of mortgages for your convenience:

Home purchase

Home equity mortgages

Home refinance

Lisa Johnson is a professional mortgage broker in the Prince George area who works with mortgage lenders to obtain best mortgage that fits your needs. She is passionate about helping homeowners or future homeowners find the best home and the best mortgage for that home. She works tirelessly on your behalf to match your desires and needs with the best mortgage product at the most favorable rates and terms. She offers expert advice on all mortgage products and services and puts your interests first.

Lisa Johnson is honest and trustworthy and will only do what makes sense for you. Customer service and communication is paramount, and Lisa Johnson makes sure you are in the loop throughout the entire mortgage procurement process. She is diligent in answering all your mortgage questions and is even available outside of traditional business hours to ensure the best possible customer service she can give. As a member of the Canadian Association of Accredited Mortgage Professionals, Lisa Johnson is an expert in home purchase financing, home equity mortgages, and home refinances. Call her today to get started!