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Financial Literacy Month on Global News Morning
Clinton speaks with Alyse on Global News Morning to talk about Halifax’s real estate and financial literacy month!
Don’t feel like watching the video? Check out the transcript below. Global News Morning: Financial Literacy Month
It’s financial literacy month!
Alyse: [00:00:00] November is Financial Literacy Month, a whole month dedicated to improving Canadians financial well-being. This year, the theme for Financial Literacy Month is to invest in your financial well-being. And someone who knows a lot about the importance of investing in your financial health is Clinton Wilkins. He is a senior mortgage adviser. With Centum Home Lenders Ltd. joining us via Zoom from Halifax. Hey, Clinton, good morning to you.
Clinton: [00:00:24] Thanks for having me, Alyse. Thanks for being here.
Alyse: [00:00:27] Good morning. Dark and early, as we can see, and behind you there. So I want to dive right in Clinton, mortgages? I want to ask about those because we know we have that hard evidence now that we have seen a big rise in people getting homes in our region and purchasing homes. Of course, I think most people know that. So as a mortgage adviser, somebody who approves mortgages, are you seeing a lot more applications? I can assume you are. But how dramatic is the increase that people looking for mortgages right now?
An increase in mortgage applications
Clinton: [00:00:57] Well, I think buying a home is the biggest purchase of your life and a mortgage is the biggest step. And I think it’s just so, so important. I think going into November, where it is financial literacy month, oftentimes people’s homes are their biggest asset. And I think making sure that you’re protected, but also in the best product when it’s in terms of the mortgage debt is really, really important. You asked it how busy it was since we’ve been in a pandemic. We were concerned in March that lenders weren’t going to continue lending. Realtors weren’t going to continue selling homes. Orders were going to continue practicing. But it’s been busier than ever.
I think one of those reasons is many bank branches were either closed or had reduced hours. And as unbiased mortgage professionals, we were still able to work. Half of our team was working at home and the other half of the team was still working from the office through that slow down period. But what we were able to pick up some of that backload, and I can tell you that it’s been so, so busy.
A strong market in Atlantic Canada
Clinton: [00:01:55] I think one of the big reasons that we’re seeing more applications in terms of approvals and obviously more purchases happening every day is people are concerned that there may be a second wave and they don’t want to lock down again in the same space that maybe they did lock down the last six months myself. I’m looking for a new home. I would rather maybe have a little bit more space next time that we need to be in that same situation. So and we’re certainly seeing a lot of applications. And I think, you know, that part of that dream, we love homeownership.
I think, you know, in Halifax and across the Atlantic, Canada is much more realistic than it is in a lot of different areas around the country. Know we’re seeing a lot of applications from people that are either new to Canada or really relocating here to Halifax, Atlantic Canada from other areas of the country because, you know, homeownership still is so accessible to so many Canadians.
Cash or a mortgage?
Alyse: [00:02:48] Clinton, I heard you on your morning show on News 957 on a Saturday morning. You got a great show on there. And I heard a question and I thought when I talked to Clinton on Monday, I’m going to ask this again, in case you didn’t hear his show on Saturday was about somebody had called in a listener about wanting to sell their home and having the cash to do so, like having that hard cash. They asked the question, should I buy that home with the cash I have or should I go with a mortgage? Why wouldn’t you use cash? Why would you what are the benefits of going with a mortgage? In that case?
Clinton: [00:03:19] We’re seeing many consumers that either own a home free and clear or buying new homes, doing mortgage applications. And it might not be something that you expect to have because my parents didn’t have a mortgage for the last thirty-five years. I don’t know at least your parent’s situation, but I think that everyone wants to be mortgage-free. But a savvy consumer is getting a mortgage just because the rates are so, so low.
So if we’re talking about a fixed rate. Many consumers are getting a fixed rate below two percent right now. And those savvy consumers are getting a mortgage may be at 65%. 75, maybe 80% of what the purchase price is and investing the money. Right now, if at an interest rate of two percent, the majority of investors getting a return, that’s much higher than that. And they’re able to take those risks in terms of investing that money because those interest rates are so low.
Rates are at all-time lows
Clinton: [00:04:15] Now we’re talking about a five year fixed. Some consumers are still wanting to do a longer fixed rate. In Canada, we can do up to a ten year fixed and that’s still under 3%. I think that’s a great solution for many people who are talking about investing. But again, you need to seek that advice of a financial advisor in terms of investing, because what’s the leverage their home into something that’s very, very risky, that they may not have that return on investment. Now, with that mortgage comes up for renewal? We may have a different situation. You know, we don’t have a crystal ball to see where the rates are going to be when they’re going to come up for renewal at the end of that.
Alyse: [00:04:53] I just want to move on to one more question, because I know we have just under 30 seconds, and this one is really important. I want your one piece of advice, Because of is financial literacy month and we want to focus on this, it’s challenging times for a lot of people with covid-19. What is your best advice in 20 seconds or less on how somebody can prepare right now for getting home? What’s the number one tip to set them up financially for a mortgage?
It’s all about income, assets, and credit
Clinton: [00:05:13] I think to get a preapproval, know where your credit is, your assets and your income, and seek the advice of an unbiased professional. It’s more important now than it ever has been.
Alyse: [00:05:23] All right. Clinton Wilkins, senior mortgage adviser, with Centum Home Lenders Limited. Thanks for getting up so early, Clinton. Appreciate this.
Clinton: [00:05:31] Thanks for having me. Alyse.
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