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How Do Private Mortgages Work

by | Nov 6, 2015

Can’t qualify for a bank mortgage? How do private mortgages work?

There is almost ALWAYS a mortgage solution. New to Canada? Self Employed? Maybe a few credit glitches in your past? You just need to ask the right mortgage consultant. Not everyone can qualify for bank mortgages today. It doesn’t make you a bad person, it makes you a business savvy person getting the best mortgage for your situation! With the mortgage rules constantly changing, private or alternative mortgages are becoming the only way some people can refinance or buy. How Do Private Mortgages Work
Did you know that according to a Globe and Mail report “self-employed now represent about 15.6 per cent of all working Canadians”?
There is a misconception that alternative or private mortgages are only for bad people. Some folks call it “subprime”. Don’t let the word “subprime” scare you as our lending practices here in Canada are very strict and all federally regulated.
What is Private Mortgage Financing and who uses it?
Private mortgage financing can be an excellent alternative for those that are either:

  • Self-Employed and declare little or no income
  • Micro-condos that are less than 600sqft (banks generally won’t finance these)
  • Foreign investors
  • Non-residents of Canada
  • Credit Challenged
  • Owe CRA back taxes
  • Property Taxes that are in arrears
  • People going through a foreclosure
  • Construction financing and commercial loans
  • Equity takeouts for starting a business
  • Short term financing that has is open and no penalties
  • Don’t want to refinance their 1st bank mortgage as the penalties are to high
  • Requiring funds up to $20 million dollars

Banks and many mortgage brokers don’t specialize in private financing. It’s vital to ensure these types of mortgage files are submitted and packaged differently than a traditional bank type mortgage (Also known as A financing).
If it’s submitted without care and due diligence, you may pay a higher rate and HEFTY fees!
When you are applying for a traditional mortgage (meaning you are a typical T4 employed client, good credit and saved down payment) the CLIENT is qualified based on the PERSON first, then the property.
When you apply for private financing, the PROPERTY is qualified for the mortgage first and then a few details about the client.
The property and location, location, location is what the lender is lending on. A property in a marketable area such as Vancouver Westside, North Vancouver and West Vancouver are PRIME marketable properties that private lenders like. The risk is lower, so they can offer better rates. Certainly properties anywhere in Canada are all options for private financing, even in small communities as well. Mortgages are also available for remediated, non-remediated and legal grow op properties as well.
What about the Rates?
Valuable and marketable properties can get financing with 15-20% down, but you can expect to pay 2-3% higher rates than if you have 25% down, as there is more risk taken by the lender. The rates for a 1st mortgage today (2015) are as low as 5.75% for a strong mortgage file to 10% for a less desirable property. 2nd mortgages can range 12-15%. The bonus of course, it is you can opt to pay “interest only” and it can be fully open so you don’t have to pay the penalty to break the mortgage.
I hear there are fees?
There are almost always fees for private mortgages. This is how the broker is paid for working on your deal. A traditional bank mortgage doesn’t have fees as the bank pays the broker. Fees depend on your broker. I have seen as low as $500 to as high as 5% of the amount you’re borrowing; the average is 1% (for example: $400k mortgage would have a $4,000 fee), so good to ask this upfront and ask a few brokers that SPECIALIZE in private financing.
Having an EXIT strategy
If you get short term (1-2 year) private financing, as your mortgage broker, I want to ensure we have an “exit strategy” plan in place it have to moved to a traditional low rate mortgage soon. This is especially true if the reason for the private financing is credit, income or back taxes. We will work together to ensure this plan happens and is followed through.
What might this look like?
You want to purchase a $500,000 home in Vancouver.
You’re paying fees to CHMC or another insurer with less than 20% down, so let’s look at fees in this hypothetical scenario:
With a traditional mortgage:
Purchase: $500,000 home
Down payment: 15% down – $75,000
CMHC fee: $7650.00 (built into the mortgage)
Payments per month: $1979.30 based on 2.69%, 5 year fixed, 25 year amortization
and LOTS of personal and property documents required! Here you would need excellent credit, proof of income, good job, saved down payment and weeks to close the deal.
20% down or $100,000 down
$5,000 CMHC fee
Payments: $1852.81 per month.
Alternative mortgage, the simpler approach:
Purchase: $500,000 home
Down payment: 15% down – $75,000
Lender/broker fee: $8653.00 with 2% fee
Payments per month: $2271.51 per month, 6.5%, interest only, 25 year amortization.
20% down – $8,000 fee
Payments: $2679.30 per month, Interest Only payments.
Next to no personal documents required to qualify.
These are just estimates and ideas, but you get the idea. You’re paying a fee…one way or another.
This is just a sample…and certainly not a black-and-white scenario. Traditional mortgages qualify on strict matrix type qualifying rules, where private mortgages allow us to “think outside the box” to get your mortgage approved at the best rate for the property you are buying or refinancing. It is KEY to work with a mortgage expert that specializes in private financing and has connections and a good relationship to lenders.
There are many private lenders and their rates, fees and what they will fund vary. Contact us a Dominion Lending Centres so we can help you problem solve and find a reasonable solution that your bank can’t offer you. It’s quick and not as costly as it may seem, if it meets your immediate needs.

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