Know where your money goes each month? Here, we talk a bit more about keeping track of your finances and getting your budget in check!
Global News Morning Financial Fitness & Merry Debtmas.
Clinton sits down with Alyse on Global News Morning to talk a bit more about Merry Debtmas and focusing on your Financial Fitness in 2020!
Don’t feel like watching the video? Check out the credit advice video transcript below. Global News Morning Financial Fitness & Merry Debtmas.
Alyse: [00:00:00] If you overspent over the holidays and you’re dreading opening up your bills, you’ve tuned in at the right time rather than let debt ruin your New Year, senior mortgage adviser Clinton Wilkins is here with tips to help you get back in the black. Back in the green and get more green in your life. Hey, Clinton. How are you doing?
Clinton: [00:00:16] Happy January. Thanks for having me, Alyse.
Alyse: [00:00:18] Happy January. Happy New Year. Merry Debtmas?
Clinton: [00:00:20] I know isn’t that kind of a funny word.
Alyse: [00:00:22] Yeah. Tell me, what is Merry Debtmas? You keep throwing this out there.
Merry Debtmas is all about Financial Fitness
Clinton: [00:00:25] I know. I keep on saying Merry Debtmas because I think that it’s really about breaking down some of those barriers. And in January, we really talk about, you know, health and going to the gym and all these things. But I think financial health and wellness is so important. We were on in November talking about financial literacy month. But how do we bring that into 2020?
Alyse: [00:00:41] Right.
Clinton: [00:00:41] And I think the first step is really, you know, opening your bills. And we’re talking about Merry Debtmas. You know, sometimes during the holidays, we overspend. But a great New Year’s resolution is really around getting that under control.
Alyse: [00:00:54] Face the music
Clinton: [00:00:55] Face the music, and some of that, you know, the first step sometimes is looking at a refinance.
Alyse: [00:01:00] Yeah. Let’s talk about that before we do that. Clinton. I know one of yours. Before you do anything about even refinancing. You have to have a plan in place that’s with working out. That’s with anything. Right. But we talked about financial health, too. Having a plan in place is key.
It Starts with a Plan
Clinton: [00:01:13] I think the plan is definitely the first step. And I think going to talk to an unbiased mortgage professional when you’re looking at doing a mortgage or doing a refinance is so, so important. There are so many different, you know, products available out there. And when you go to see an unbiased mortgage professional, they have access to a variety of different products that can work for different needs. And everybody’s situation is different.
Alyse: [00:01:33] And they can help you really get that plan off the ground, get up and running. Now, refinancing is something we’re talking a lot about in this time of Merry Debtmas. Who should we, when we’re thinking about debt, Where does refinancing come into the picture?
Clinton: [00:01:46] So the way that it works is Canadians can refinance their home up to 80 percent of the value. Now, it’s not always about doing a refinance to consolidate debt. It’s not like we’re creating new debt. It’s about putting the debt in the best vehicle. So a mortgage loan is typically the lowest interest rate product that you can have. And sometimes people have all kinds of equity in their property. But, you know, they have tons of unsecured debt. So it’s about positioning it in the right vehicle and really enabling someone to pay it down.
Talking about Refinancing
Alyse: [00:02:12] Okay. So who would be the right candidate for refinancing?
Clinton: [00:02:15] So I think the right candidate is someone who has some equity in their property. We can refinance up to 80 percent of the value of the property. So, for example, you know, we’re in Halifax and, you know, across Atlantic Canada, you know, there’s a variety of property values, but we’ll just use a round number of three hundred thousand.
Alyse: [00:02:30] Ok
Clinton: [00:02:30] So if you have a property that’s worth three hundred thousand, you can finance up to two hundred and forty thousand against that home, less how much you basically would have on your existing mortgage. So, you know, when you’re looking at refinancing, it’s not just about, you know, consolidating debt. Maybe it’s about an investment or maybe it’s about, you know, renovating your home. But I think the first step, it really is starting with a plan and figuring out what the best, you know, the first steps are.
Alyse: [00:02:51] I want to just veer off for one second. You have your Clinton because I know you’re so immersed in that in the housing market. I know you’re not a realtor, but you are very immersed in that world. I feel like all my friends who are looking for a home right now or like it is impossible to find a home in Halifax.
Talking about the Real Estate Market
Clinton: [00:03:07] Well, I think the market is definitely busy.
Alyse: [00:03:08] Yeah.
Clinton: [00:03:08] And you know, we don’t have the official stats from twenty nineteen yet, but I’ve heard the estimate that we’re looking at that the prices increased about 6 percent. The challenge really is the amount of inventory. So we may be in a situation in Halifax, and many areas across Atlantic Canada, that we’re in a buy now or maybe a buy never situation. So I think starting with the plan, getting a pre-approval in place is important. Knowing what you can afford and then really seeking the advice of, you know, a licensed real estate professional when you’re getting out there and shopping but you need to know what you can afford.
Alyse: [00:03:40] Right. You have to have that plan in place.
Clinton: [00:03:42] You don’t want to initially be sitting in a home that you can’t furnish. And then we’re getting back here again talking about Merry Debtmas
Alyse: [00:03:47] That’s like Financing 101. Don’t buy beyond your means.
Clinton: [00:03:50] Exactly.
Financial Fitness can start with your mortgage
Alyse: [00:03:50] Your mortgage might actually help you with your debt? is that what you say?
Clinton: [00:03:55] Yeah, the mortgage is one of the best vehicles because it forces you to pay it down. I think, you know, in the 90s and in the early 2000s, people were really talking a lot about home equity lines of credit or HELOCs. And we really think of that more as the forever plan because you have to make your interest-only payment on that type of product. And there’s a lot of people that we have in a home equity line of credit that will change it over into a mortgage and into an amortized charge. So it forces everyone to pay it down. The great thing about the mortgages, every month that goes by, you pay down the debt. And, you know, if we’re in a market where the property values are increasing, you know, your equity in your home is increasing every month as well.
Alyse: [00:04:33] We’re gonna have you on a lot more coming up here soon, too, because I’m going to do a little series coming up, a little sneak peek here about home buying 101. What you need to know. I hope to be a home buyer soon. I know we talked a lot about this off-camera about home buying and when’s the time to buy and what to buy and what you need to do when you’re a first-time home buyer like myself. So excited to have you back on with us the next little bit. That is all the time we have. What’s coming up for you in 2020?
Clinton: [00:04:55] I think 2020 is an exciting year. And, you know, maybe we’ll be walking Alyse through the joys of homeownership as part of the Canadian dream!
Alyse: [00:05:02] It sure is, that’s what Clinton says. He has a great show, too, on Saturday mornings. On News 95.7, I heard you on with Todd Veinotte this weekend answering your questions about all things mortgages and beyond debt. Merry Debtmas, to you. Hashtag Merry Debtmas. And hopefully, you’re not in debt.
Clinton: [00:05:16] Happy, happy new year. Maybe this is your, you know, your year for homeownership and maybe this is your year for our, you know, a healthier financial 2020.
Alyse: [00:05:23] That’s always the goal. Thanks again, Clinton Wilkins, a senior mortgage adviser.
Looking for more information about improving your financial fitness, or other mortgage application advice? Feel free to contact us!