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Rick Howe: Pride in Homeownership

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Pride in Homeownership. Don’t feel like listening? Check out the audio transcript below.

 

This is a five-minute business builder with Rick Howe, where your business comes first, on News 95.7.

Talking About Pride in Homeownership

Rick: [00:00:08] 12:22 is the time, and we occasionally welcome members of the city’s business community to join us from time to time to tell us more about what they’re doing and what they offer. This afternoon, we welcome back senior mortgage advisor Clinton Wilkins to the studio to tell us, well about pride week and homeownership and Clinton. Good afternoon to you.

Clinton: [00:00:26] Thanks for having me, Rick.

Rick: [00:00:27] Well, thank you for joining us here again today. This is Pride Week, of course, the Pride Festival underway and I believe it wraps up if, I’m not mistaken this weekend.

Clinton: [00:00:34] This weekend, yeah, it started last Thursday. And, as you know, there are lots of festivities going on all over the city. And we actually did a workshop last week around pride in homeownership.

Rick: [00:00:44] Ok. Explain, please.

Homeownership is the Canadian Dream

Clinton: [00:00:46] And I think, you know, homeownership is part of the Canadian dream. And, you know, we really want to educate as many consumers as possible around what does homeownership look like? You know, being inclusive. Being aware. You know, I bought my first house when I was 19 years old, 19 years old with my partner at the time. And, you know, I think there were some roadblocks back then. You know, I think there’s definitely some issues around heteronormativity of housing. And, I think that now Halifax is becoming more and more accepting. I think that homeownership is available to everyone. And I think that you know, just some of those topics are so, so important to talk about.

Heteronormative Housing

Rick: [00:01:22] Ok, you mentioned this word here, heteronormative housing. What do you mean by that?

Clinton: [00:01:27] Well, I think that you know, even when you walk into an open house, people ask, Ok, what’s your situation? Is this your friend? Is it your husband? Is it your wife? What’s the situation? And, I think, that, you know, just being aware is so, so important.

Rick: [00:01:40] It’s still an issue.

Clinton: [00:01:41] And I think it’s still an issue. And, you know, even from the mortgage lending side of things, I started in this industry 13 years ago and we’ve done, you know, over twenty-five hundred transactions and half a billion dollars. So, I’ve seen everything. And we’ve done mortgages for everyone. But there’s still the question around what’s the spousal status? How does that impact the legal requirements here in the province of Nova Scotia?

Who’s to Blame?

Rick: [00:02:01] So, is this a bank issue?

Clinton: [00:02:02] It’s a bank issue. And I think it’s also an issue sometimes when you’re, you know, going to open houses or if you’re shopping for a home, you know, you need have the right team in place. The team really looks like, you know, your person who is going to do the mortgage, whether that’s an unbiased mortgage professional or if you’re walking into a bank, you know, your licensed real estate professional, lawyers, real estate appraisers, there are lots people involved in the transaction.

And, I think that it’s just being aware and being sensitive to everyone’s different situations. It’s not just the cookie-cutter, you know, 90 percent. There’s still the other 10 percent out there that, you know, everybody’s situation does look different. But I can tell you, we get asked every time, what is the relationship between the borrowers. If you’re not legally married, in the province of Nova Scotia, the Matrimonial Property Act does not apply unless you are legally common law. And a lot…

Rick: [00:02:52] At least for a year, I believe, for common law?

Common-Law?

Clinton: [00:02:54] You actually have to register down at vital statistics at Service Nova Scotia. So if you’re not registered as a common law, even if you file your income tax together, you are not legally common law in the province of Nova Scotia. And oftentimes those questions come up when we’re doing a mortgage transaction because it can impact things like the deed, and it can impact, you know, how the lender may look at the borrowers. So, you know, for us, we definitely ask the right questions.

And, you know, we definitely want to get as much information to make it as smooth as possible for everyone. Because I think that everyone deserves to have the same rights. And I think that everyone deserves to have the same opportunity.

Rick: [00:03:30] While maybe they’re being denied mortgages, for example?

Clinton: [00:03:33] I don’t think that would ever happen, especially not in our office. I can’t speak to everyone across the board. I think that you know, we are very accepting in Halifax and Atlantic Canada and really across the country. We’re very lucky here in Canada. But I think it’s still just being aware of what the situation is.

Beyond the Bias

Rick: [00:03:51] And again, there’s still obviously a bias that exists.

Clinton: [00:03:53] I think there’s still a bias. I think no matter what minority group we’re looking at, there’s going to be a bias. And I think that’s why pride is so, so important. It’s, you know, I think we need to celebrate the differences and we need to really celebrate how far we’ve come. Because I can tell you, you know, even 13 years ago, there were probably mortgage applications that were turned down for same-sex couples because they weren’t legally married. And I can tell you, 20, 30 years ago, it would have been a real challenge. And I think today we’ve definitely come a long way. But I think that we still need to be aware that there are challenges.

What about Heterosexual Couples?

Rick: [00:04:25] Is that still an issue for heterosexual couples who might not be married?

Clinton: [00:04:28] Yeah, it’s the exact same law. So, if you’re not legally married and if you’re not legally common law, it’s the same issues that may arise. You know, some lenders require both to be on title and that could be a challenge. You know, if there’s one on the title and the other person’s not on title, they might not have any legal rights to the property. So I think it’s definitely a conversation to have with your unbiased mortgage professional, with your licensed real estate professional, with your lawyer so you can get the proper advice that fits your specific situation.

Seek the advice of an unbiased mortgage professional

Rick: [00:04:58] And you are an unbiased mortgage professional.

Clinton: [00:05:00] Yeah and we love helping our customers and we’re gonna be on, on Saturday on the Todd Veinotte Show. So, you know, if anybody wants to call in and ask any questions specifically on their situation, I’m certainly willing to answer it, especially from a mortgage point of view. That’s really what we do every, every day. We’re lending money to consumers. And, you know, we really want to make homeownership available to everyone. So, I think having an equal playing field is definitely the way to go.

Rick: [00:05:25] And if people want to get a hold of you outside of being on the air with Todd. How can they get ahold of you?

Clinton: [00:05:28] They can check us out online at teamclinton.ca/radio and feel free to call in on Saturday, we’d love to answer as many questions as we can. We’ll have some more conversations around pride as Pride Week really wraps up. And we’ll talk about housing and some of the challenges and what the process looks like.

Rick: [00:05:43] All right. Senior mortgage advisor Clinton Wilkins.

If you have any questions about Pride in Homeownership or what that means for your situation, get in touch with us here.

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