This segment Clinton and Todd bring on contractor and civil engineer, Dan Monk, to chat about home renovation costs and trends in Halifax, some red and green flags to look out for when hiring contractors, and some simple renovations or improvements you can make to help you love your home.
In the first episode of Season 5, Clinton Wilkins and Todd Veinotte ring in the New Year and discuss a client based approach for mortgage approvals. Everyone can get a mortgage, but at what cost? Understanding your options is key to making smart decisions. Clinton and Todd discuss some of the challenges for 2023 and offer some insight on how to navigate conversations around finance.
Is the New Year the right time to rethink your finances? Tune in to find out.
A client based approach to mortgage approvals
Todd Veinotte [00:20]
Oh yes, it is a brand new year and what a way to bring in the new year with a fresh episode of Mortgage 101, Your Guide To Homeownership with Clinton Wilkins and myself, Todd Vino, right here in our fine city of Halifax. Welcome. Happy New Year, my friend.
Clinton Wilkins [00:37]
Happy New Year to you too, Todd. This is the first time I feel like I’ve seen you in like so, so long.
Todd Veinotte [00:40]
Did you miss me over the holiday?
Clinton Wilkins [00:41]
I mean, of course I did.
Todd Veinotte [00:43]
Yeah. You bought a new vehicle I see?
Clinton Wilkins [00:44]
Yeah, I did. I leased a new vehicle. I ordered a vehicle a year ago. And of course, you know, vehicles are taking so long to come in now. And my lease was up on my old one and I probably made the most responsible decision that I had
Todd Veinotte [00:56]
Why do you call it responsible, it’s still like a $70,000 vehicle or 80 or whatever.
Clinton Wilkins [01:02]
It just isn’t to the excess that I would normally go to because you know what I’m very cognizant about right now? Obviously, inflation. I mean, I’m obviously very cognizant of like debt and Merry Debtmas. And that’s what we’re going to talk about today. And I’m very cognizant of what’s going on in the rate environment and what’s going on in the economy. So, you know, these things are, you know, impacting my decision. And I think it’s a great time, like, I’ve been even looking at it personally, business wise, like, what are the needs? And what are the wants?
Todd Veinotte [01:31]
Okay, well, for those people who are we’ve got new listeners all the time just tuning in, let everybody know a bit about what you do, and how many seasons have we done this?
Clinton Veinotte [01:39]
So I think this is the fifth season in this format, yes. Our producers will tell us if this is fifth or not, I don’t know, we’ll maybe get a thumbs up here at some point. You know, we’ve been doing this show, it’s been on the air, we’ve done it live and we’ve now obviously been doing it pre recorded. So this is actually recorded a couple days before it’s on the air. You know, we talk about news, we talk about what’s going on in the mortgage industry in Canada, we talk about what’s going on in real estate from across this country. And really what’s going on here in Halifax. That’s where we live, obviously. And that’s where I’m doing business as a mortgage broker. I’ve been in the industry for 17 years, Todd.
Todd Veinotte [02:15]
Everybody knows you. And I mean, this one, I say this, in Halifax I call you the mortgage guru, and that is true, you are that guy, right? Everybody knows you. You do all kinds of media. And you love it. I mean, you love it, and it shows.
Clinton Wilkins [02:30]
And I think you know what, I’m an expert at really what I am, you know, doing every day. I, you know, might not be an expert and everything in life, I don’t think anybody else is, you know what I mean? I’m an expert at mortgage lending, residential mortgage lending, that’s what I do every day. Last year, we passed a billion dollars worth of mortgages funded. With me and my team, we’ve done over 5000 transactions. So while we say, we’ve seen everything, but every day we see something new. So you know, I think coming on the air, doing our podcast, it’s really great to be able to get the information out to consumers. And I think this year more than ever, 2023, it’s all about education.
Todd Veinotte [03:07]
Do you do a lot of, and I’m a client of yours by the way. Do you do a lot of hand holding when it comes to your clients? Like you guys, I think you guys are not a typical kind of business when it comes to this. I think you guys actually look at it from a 30,000 foot view when it comes to a client, right? You truly do that.
Clinton Wilkins [03:27]
I think some people need more hand holding than others. Not everyone needs the same level of hand holding, which is fair. Obviously, some people need a lot of hand holding. Some people were checking in with, you know, several times throughout the year. But you know, one thing we really pride ourselves on, we like to at least touch base with our clients once a year. A lot changes in people’s lives.
Todd Veinotte [03:44]
You do a review.
Clinton Wilkins [03:45]
We do a review, an annual review. So that we’re talking about things like has anything changed with their income or their assets or their credit? Has there been a matrimonial breakdown? Have they had health issues? Has there been a career change? Has there been a job loss? You know, there’s so many things that impact people’s finances. And, you know, obviously, we know the mortgage is often consumers’ biggest debt, and their home is their biggest asset. So we want to be a part of their team. And I think what we do, we’ve really tried to be unbiased, We deal with a variety of different lenders. I throw it the number 40. We deal with so many different lenders, and everybody’s situation is different. And I think that’s what’s really, really cool.
Everyone can get a mortgage
Todd Veinotte [04:24]
And you’ve always stated that you can technically get anybody approved.
Clinton Wilkins [04:30]
Yeah, you know, I think every consumer can get a mortgage, Todd, and I think every consumer can get a mortgage depending on what their situation is. But it may just be, you know, you have to maybe pay a higher interest rate or maybe you need to have more skin in the game, depending on what’s going on. Obviously, some of the big impacts are income, and some of the big impacts are credit, and some of the big impacts, obviously are assets. Put all that together and figure out what the best solution is going to be. But, you know, every consumer can get a mortgage and I think that’s what’s really cool. We talked to so many consumers everyday that they’ve been into their bank branch, and you know, they’ve been declined. And they come to us, and I’m like, you know what, this is a great file. We can get this done for XY and Z.
Todd Veinotte [05:10]
Why are you different? Why can you get it done when others can’t?
Clinton Wilkins [05:13]
I think part of the reason is that, you know, this is the only thing that we’re trying to do. We’re not trying to cross sell you into a bunch of different products.
Todd Veinotte [05:20]
Although, you will do that.
Clinton Wilkins [05:22]
Yeah, of course, like, you know, if somebody needs insurance and things like that, we’re certainly going to talk to them about that. But I’m not trying to give you a credit card or an unsecured line of credit or bank account, we’re really talking about the secured lending and protecting the secured lending. I think the reason that we can get clients approved, and maybe they walk into a branch and they can’t get approved is, that lender only does what they will do within their box. But different lenders, even within the Big Five have different appetites for different types of clients. And that’s where we’re really able to look at all their paperwork, look at their file, and then figure out what the best solution is going to be.
The challenges to getting approved
Todd Veinotte [05:56]
What’s the biggest stumbling block when it comes to a client, when you look at all of the, in its totality all the aspects of a client, and you go, oh, why that? Why is this a problem? Credit, I’m assuming, obviously, I mean, maybe not.
Clinton Wilkins [06:10]
Credit, it can be a challenge, income can be a challenge, and assets can be a challenge. And if one of those if there’s a gap in one of those Tod, sometimes, that means that you’re not going to get the very best deal that you think you’re gonna get. And sometimes, it may not be a deal that you’re going to do with one of the big five, maybe it becomes a deal that needs to be done with an alternative lender, or a lender that’s going to be taking on more additional risk for some reason. I think the ones that really kind of ring true to me, are the ones that are surprised when there’s a challenge. Usually people know if the income is not quite there, or they know the credits, not that great. But I think it’s not the most challenging when people are not aware when they come in, because then sometimes we have to be the bearer of maybe not the very best news. But we say, hey, this is possible, if you can do “Y”.
Todd Veinotte [06:59]
In that situation, you and I have had this conversation before often, not often, but many times it’s couples. And sometimes they’re just, well, there’s no talk. And that can be, I’m sure, awkward at the very least,
Clinton Wilkins [07:11]
I think certainly there have been awkward conversations. I’ve had one spouse reach out and reach out to me to be like, okay, don’t let the other spouse know what’s going on. Obviously, we’re not going to breach anyone’s privacy. But there’s only so many things that I can protect somebody from knowing, you know what I mean? And, you know, we certainly have had those types of situations. And sometimes one spouse is in a really good financial position and one’s in a really terrible financial position. Usually, that’s not the case. Usually, the whole household unit is great, or the whole household unit is terrible. There’s usually not, you know, one’s good ones bad. I’m not saying that, that doesn’t happen. And oftentimes, if there is a spouse that maybe had credit issues in the past, but the other one can qualify on their own, sometimes we’ll just do it in one person’s name. What the, you know, there’s nothing preventing us from doing that. And there’s lots of legal mechanisms that can protect the other spouse.
Todd Veinotte [08:04]
Like what, you said legal mechanisms?
Clinton Wilkins [08:06]
So, you know, if you’re legally married, and you’re buying a principal residence, and the other spouse is not on title, the Matrimonial Property Act here in Nova Scotia would protect the other person. Even if they’re not on title. And that person would actually have to consent to the transaction. So like, when you go to the lawyer, or you’re signing in front of a title company, you’d have to provide consent if you’re not on title, and you’re legally married.
Todd Veinotte [08:28]
There’s so many layers to this.
New year is a fresh start for finances
Clinton Wilkins [08:31]
Well we could talk about this for five years. But guess what, we can still talk about something new. And obviously it’s January. It’s the first of the year, we’re actually recording in a new studio, which is cool. I know you put on a fancy shirt.
Todd Veinotte [08:43]
I dressed up.
Clinton Wilkins [08:43]
So any of you that are watching us on the internet and you’re watching our video, you can see Todd’s fancy shirt.
Todd Veinotte [08:48]
He has the Volvo. I have the Mitsubishi, but I have the fancy shirt.
Clinton Wilkins [08:52]
Yeah, exactly. I know, I wore something more casual today.
Todd Veinotte [08:56]
That’s right. He’s got the prime parking spot here, and I’m on the street.
Clinton Wilkins [09:00]
That’s okay, you know what? You know what? It’s January, I think the first of the year is a great time for a fresh start. Wouldn’t you agree? I love a new month and I love a new week. And I love a new year. And I think starting this year, people are going in with some concerns. Obviously what’s going on in the economy, rates, all these things. And we’re going to be talking throughout our show about Merry Debtmas. I know it’s kind of a funny word. That’s not a real word.
Todd Veinotte [09:25]
You made it up.
Clinton Wilkins [09:26]
I made it up but we’ve been talking about Merry Debtmas for years and Merry Debtmas is a great time to think about your finances. We talk a lot about, like refinancing. We’re gonna talk about that later in the show as well.
Todd Veinotte [09:35]
So in the next segment, we’re going to talk about property assessments here, right? We’re gonna give everybody a tease.
Clinton Wilkins [09:42]
We talked about it January 2022. I would almost like to play some of those clips back. I actually read and listened to our interview today. Assessments in Halifax are up. Obviously that’s impacting people. People are already feeling this.
Todd Veinotte [09:57]
And of course we’ve got people who are renewing, who are coming off a good mortgage rate, they’re coming into a higher and higher interest rate and they’re gonna pay more property tax. So it’s kind of a perfect storm right now, isn’t it?
Clinton Wilkins [10:08]
Yeah, for sure it is.
Todd Veinotte 10:10
Okay, so we are thrilled that everybody’s tuned in right here on City News 95.7 in Halifax, we absolutely love that you’re listening. And we’ve got lots and lots to talk about and that we hope you stick around again, we’re going to be talking about refinancing as well. And what else you got there? Just quickly.
Clinton Wilkens 10:28
We’re going to talk about refinancing. We’re going to talk about what’s going on with the rates. We can talk about the Bank of Canada and obviously like what’s going on with assessments?
Todd Veinotte 10:35
Exactly Okay Mortgage 101 Your Guide To Homeownership We will be right back.
If you have any questions, get in touch with us at Clinton Wilkins Mortgage Team! You can call us at (902) 482-2770 or contact us here.