July 15, 2018

Vulnerable Warrior 2

July 15, 2018

"When you're broken, you have a story."
Candice Kumai

For the past 5 years, I've been doing battle with my body. The best part of me (or the part that I valued the most) decided to say, no. One morning I knew who I was, and the next: identity theft 101.

If you read the first chapter of my Vulnerable Warrior blogs (apparently, this will be a series), you know that the goal of my January 1st, 2018 post was not only to be a better helper to others but to actually let some helpers into my life in the first place. Not everything needs to be a struggle....or so "they" say.

What I didn't know was that by the 9th of January, in an attempt to make one last push on the war against my body (yes, I realize that sentence/attitude is part of the problem) was that to do so - I'd have to lose it all - deliberately - before I would gain it all back. I was strong enough, I thought, to take the next drastic steps to heal. I'm a warrior, right?


By day 8 of the healing process, I knew that I was crashing, emotionally and physically. Attempting this ordeal on the heels of grief and loss was the best and worst timing to attempt this arduous task. My daily progress videos would act as my witness: I could stare at myself falling - or reach out and build something new while the other part of me silently pieced itself together.

By day 10, I would practice what I preached and meet up with a fellow warrior to help me build the muscles I needed to pick myself up again. 


No, this blog isn't about money or music, it's about the fact that you can't make money or music if your body is unable to make the investment.


Rebecca, a friend of a friend who had experienced a sudden loss at the same time as I had didn't need a backstory to help me through this physical journey (ok, it was MASSIVELY emotional, too) and she didn't know me well enough to allow my past to influence my future. With the amazing, kind, patient, Rebecca, I could be a blank slate again, focussing on who I wanted to be, instead of the loss of who I used to be.

This subtle shift toward my other strengths snapped my mood and energy immediately to attention. Like being presented with a juicy new score, I had been given a challenge that would soak up all of my negativity for the next 90 days (yes, I was counting).

At every private yoga session, I would be rewarded with a new, more challenging yoga pose. While my weak side quietly mended itself in one area, I discovered how strong I could be in another.

And then came CROW. 

I'm kicking myself for not documenting my first attempt at this pose. Initially, I couldn't even THINK how I could possibly execute my hands on the ground, knees on my triceps while lifting my entire torso into the air. Seriously. What?

At first, you assume it's all about using every muscle in your body but, the REAL muscle that you're developing is patience and kindness toward yourself.

I would stare at my hands on the mat, incredulously, for 2 months with little gains. It wasn't until I switched my thinking from, "DON'T FALL" to "UP,UP, UP" that in April, my CROW took flight.

 Feet together!

Somehow, I trusted myself enough to lean impossibly forward, get my ass up in the air, feet together, to hold CROW for 10 magical, shaky seconds.

By June, my feet were tucked up entirely and I didn't feel the burden of my efforts. I didn't shake, it didn't hurt, my breath felt hollow and open, my gaze soft.

All that time I thought I was struggling, it turns out, I was growing.

We even introduced a new bird: CRANE.

Apparently, I will straighten my arms fully for this one. 
Just barely attempting that in the photo below.
I'll let you know how it goes in, ohhhhh....a YEAR or so. 

On this 187th day of healing, I've (mostly) stopped fighting myself. I've started to value the scars, embrace the imperfections, and am optimistically seeing that the new version of me might just end up being the best version. 

Though my journey is far from over, I share this first part of my story with you because I, personally, am more inspired by how people get up the mountain than just staring at them standing on the highest peak. 

Thanks for reading, gang! 
Keep pursuing, keep singing, keep saving.

"Why me? 
(Jay Williams, former NBA star after a horrific motorcycle accident)

"Because YOU have the shoulders to lift yourself back up." 
(His dad)

January 01, 2018

The Vulnerable Warrior

JANUARY 1st, 2018

"Something so hard can be easy if you just have a little help. In the right place, under the right conditions, you can finally stretch out into what you're supposed to be." 

Depending on where you look, the most common definition of my first name is Warrior, Warlike, or Mars, the God of War. While there are those who wouldn't dispute these titles (especially those who've been within throwing distance when I'm hungry), 2017 found me at odds with the origins of my name. While I'm very good at going to battle, being the boss(y), even I should ask for help every once in a while. I don't mind telling you, I'm not very good at it, and I don't like it one bit.

Asking for help is not easy for warriors. It requires bravery, not bravado. Our instincts are to be self-reliant, organized, the solvers of our own problems AND YOURS. Just the thought of being vulnerable or, needy, stirs up the energy that only a general can muster when it comes to building a fortress around her or, more commonly, a dazzling offensive line. 

The irony, of course, is that this warrior is attracted to those who are kind and wholehearted. Those people who accept the armour that warriors insist on dragging around like a medieval security blanket, and who patiently wait until we're done fighting with ourselves to step in and kindly maintain the illusion that we're still in charge.

My students and clients are the real brave ones, wearing their vulnerability on their sleeves. They trust me to be the helper who will guide them successfully to their goals; be it getting into music school, or taking the money they've earned with their talents to put a roof over their heads. They are the real warriors, moving forward despite all of the obstacles.

While it may have been a quiet year at The Cardinal's Nest, it wasn't because I didn't have anything to say. On the contrary, I was afraid I'd say too much. The Fall of 2017, however, revealed that while I was holding everything in, some cracks had appeared and were ready to give way. I was forced to stand still and wait for the light to beam through the spaces that I would, eventually, lean into and break apart before surrendering to the inevitable need for some helpers to build them back up again. 

My goal for 2018 (so cliché!) is not only to be a helper, but to allow a few of them into my life, kicking and screaming (me, not the helpers).

If you're a fellow warrior, and even if you're not, may this be the year of taking off the armour every once in a while...

"Each beginning is the end of a waiting. We are each given exactly one chance to BE. Each of us is both impossible and inevitable." 

May 18, 2017

Right time, wrong questions

MAY 18, 2017

Since starting The Cardinal's Nest in 2010, pretty much every conversation I have or overhear (yes, I'm listening!) can inspire me to write a blog....I type in my head while you talk, people. Today's story (a combination of characters, rolled into one couple) is no exception.

A lunch date with my self-employed artist friend, Bella, revolved around the question of whether she and her husband Bo should buy a house. She really wants to take the next step; her family is growing and so is the business that she runs out of her apartment. Life is increasingly getting crowded and, last time I checked, kids don't take up less space as they get older. #fact

The real estate conversations between Bella and Bo, however, were going nowhere. After a few questions of my own, the reason why became infinitely clear: 

They were asking the wrong questions.

While your financial preparation toward buying a home is crucial (save, pay off debt, and repeat) there are a few things that need to be sorted out first.

TIMING: In this story, it turns out Bella has less than a year to give birth to her 2nd baby...her PHD. But with life getting in the way, the expense of school, a brief, and unexpected health emergency (everyone is fine) Bella needed to ask the question of whether or not she wanted to continue on the last arduous stretch if her studies, and how long, exactly, that would take. Buying a new home at this moment might not be as practical as she had hoped - all energy and funds need to go toward getting that crisp piece of paper with PHD at the end of her name....and then, a job.

LOCATION: Bo, on the other hand, has a secure, flexible job. It's not, however, in a city where Bella can be employed to her maximum earning potential, or where they can afford a house, quite frankly. (I'll let you guess which city they might have to leave). Bo can work anywhere in the country at a high level, Bella can't, so location is the second question they need to consider, along with: How long will it take for Bo to secure a position in a city that also has employment potential for Bella? Right now, we're looking at a minimum of 9 -10 months before we start their real estate journey. We can prepare, get our ducks in line, but we need to wait to act.

EMOTIONS: Bella is comfortable with the idea of taking the next financial step to homeownership, as well as furthering her career. They are a win/win combo in her eyes. Bo, however, is not fond of risk, especially when the added element of moving away from his family is a part of the equation.

SACRIFICE: Something has to give, it always does. If they don't choose a new location, Bella may not be able to live out her full career potential. If she fulfils her dream, he may have to move away from his parents and siblings. This, understandably, is the hardest question to face, and is often the one that keeps people on hold the longest. Once answered, however, it's full speed ahead.

I certainly have my opinions on the situation but, the only opinions that matter are those of Bella and Bo. Their friends and family will not be paying their mortgage, mowing their lawn, or building their careers. The answers must come from the heart, not just their wallet, or the peanut gallery. 

We can certainly look at their current numbers and point them in the right direction, but until they figure out the timing, location, emotions, and ultimately, who will have to sacrifice what, their file will be put on pause.

What questions do YOU need to ask yourself? 

• Do I want/need to go back to school/training?
• How long will that take?
• How will that affect me financially? 
• Am I in the right city?
• Do I need to re-locate?
• Can I afford to buy/work in that location?
• Can I still live in a rental, but buy a small rental property to get the real estate ball rolling?
• How will my spouse/partner contribute/influence my decisions/location/schooling?
• What can I give up? 
• What can't I do without?
• Do I want to have a family?
• When do I want to start a family? 
• Do I have debt?
• Do I have savings?
• Has my income been steady for two years in a row, on paper?
• Do I have any unaddressed financial issues that need to be eliminated?
• Do I have any unaddressed emotional roadblocks that might interfere with the questions listed above?
• Am I basing my decisions on facts or assumptions?

There are no right or wrong answers, and there are certainly moatre questions to add to this list, but before you talk money (I know some peeps) you need to clean up your emotional house before you get the keys to the one that you will eventually buy. You'll thank yourself (and ME!!) in the end. 

Bella and Bo, let's get to work! 

Thanks for reading
and sharing on 

March 24, 2017

It's not about numbers, it's about habits

MARCH 24, 2017

After my first, "Hey, can you sing two songs for $100?" gigs in University, my accompanist and I headed straight to the bank to cash our HUUUUUUUGE paycheques. At the ATM I heard him whispering to himself, 


Sitting at earls, eating away a RIDICULOUS portion of our riches, I asked him what he was whispering at the bank machine.

"Oh, that. 10%. My dad always has me put 10% of anything I earn intosavings account. It's just a habit. Don't you?

I think we all know the answer to that question. No, I was not in the habit of saving 10% of everything I earned. Clearly, he didn't know how much the beautiful shoes I was wearing for the gig had cost. I needed that entire $100. If I put 10% away, I would have less to use....

Oh man, what a slippery slope. I believed that lie. I really did. It never occurred to me that that saving was not a method of deprivation, it was a way to provide comfort and security for the future...especially not while I was sitting at earls eating a $14 hamburger and fries. And that was the 90s, people!

In a recent article, Ontario launched its plan to teach High School kids Financial Skills. 


Applause for waking up to the obvious, gang. I think they're on the right track, of course, if only because the education system finally realized that if kids are going to grow up and make money, they should know how to use it.

My beef? They're introducing it in MATH CLASS.

While yes, financial skills involve numbers, duh, the bigger issue that I see with my adult clients, now wanting to buy a home, is HABITS. Their spending and saving habits which reveal, glaringly, what makes them comfortable and secure. And that, my friends, is a SOCIAL SKILL

On a weekly basis, I have at least one of my teenage music students go into a meltdown over an upcoming math test (during their singing lesson). They're preaching to the choir, of course. I understand where they're coming from. Math isn't their strong suit (male or female), and they are convinced that they are terrible at math. 

My concern is that these bright kids, who associate 
will also associate 
with how well they do in math class. 
Full. Circle. Moment.

If you teach these saving and spending skills in tangible ways that incorporate the social consequences of their actions, I think you're going to get a much more balanced generation of savers. That way, the kids who are great in English, History, Music, and Drama class don't assume that, because saving skills are taught only in math class, they'll be a failure before they start. 

Seriously, the way kids spend money is almost ENTIRELY SOCIAL, or it was for me. Nice shoes. Eating out. Fancy gadgets. Down Jackets for goodness' sake! (As a Winnipeger, that last one is hysterically funny. Being warm is "cool"...bah ha ha ha ha!) And the list goes on.

THESE are the habits that turn them into over spenders in their adult lives: Keeping up with their friends' appearances because no one will ever see their beautiful savings account. 

And, not to put too fine a point on it, but GIRLS need to learn the habit of saving MORE than BOYS. Yep. If women continue to make less than men and also live increasingly longer lives, in this economy, they will remain vulnerable for generations to come.

Not to mention the fact that often (and I have seen this now a handful of times while preparing mortgages for my hard working clients) the income statements of the female in a couple is always LESS for 2 years at a time when there is a new baby in the family. The catch 22? THAT'S when we need to prove the most income, OR MORE SAVINGS FOR THE DOWN PAYMENT, to allow this growing family (who now needs more space) to qualify for a mortgage. 

(*aside: I mention the topic of women having children and what it does to their provable income on paper NOT to blame, but solely to empower these same women and families to be prepared for ALL future financial decisions, children or not. Knowledge is power. We're good? Good.)

So, great, Ontario, you're teaching finances in the schools. Just don't fuck it up like Ottawa did by not discussing mortgage changes with, you know, the MORTGAGE INDUSTRY (???)....during a HOUSING CRISIS (!!!)....Ok. I'll stop now.

Thanks for reading and sharing!

November 05, 2016

Sitting pretty: The definition of beauty

NOV 05, 2016

I hate my couch. Yes, yes, I'm grateful I have one and I'm grateful for the roof over top of it, but if I'm being honest; it's ugly and I want a new one. A fancy one. A beautiful one so that the biggest thing in the room actually coordinates with everything else. It'll say,

"Yes, you're a grown up. You have a nice couch. You can go home now."

Growing up, I had a beautiful couch, beautiful furniture in general. Some of it was inherited but most of it was purchased by my mom who had an eye for pretty things. I also wore very nice clothes while sitting on that jazzy couch from the fancy shop. Oddly, I didn't care about having a nice couch at the time. You'd think it would have been a life long obsession the way I go on about it today. My school friends commented on how nice my "stuff" was but, sitting in it, living with the beautiful stuff, the novelty wore thin like a slip cover; its removal would expose the real story.


In our house, debt was a "hidden in plain sight" symbol of beauty. The only thing that we owned out right was the anxiety that brought us the pretty things before we could actually afford them.

Debt had many names: Holt Renfrew card, Bay card, Visa card, Eaton's card, Birks card, Sears card, and Mastercard. It was room after room of deception from our front door to the expensive soap in the bathroom. The trickiest part about managing the perception of beauty, as a child, was trying to explain why I couldn't afford to do things or go places when my outfit cost more than my friends' television sets.

Don't get me wrong - I wasn't deprived. I was provided for, handsomely, with the best of intentions every day of my life, but every corner of our beautiful apartment was filled with financial anxiety that I think we all could have done without.

Now I realise that some of you reading this are parents, and I put a lot of responsibility on my mom's shoulders when I talk about money. It's a long and complicated relationship that was/is wrapped up in a straight jacket of financial panic. She DID DO the best that she could, and today, so do I.

I could have gone either way: I could have ended up being a spender, too. Fortunately, some part of me knew that paying cash left no burden, quantity was overrated, and quality was king.

In this moment, I HAVE the means to buy a new couch, a beautiful one, with cash or credit. I could do it today - I could stop typing for 7 minutes and tell the mid-century modern collector where to deliver that one of a kind, newly reupholstered Norwegian "sitting machine." It would be beautiful. I'd Tweet out a photo and Toronto Life would say,

"Hey, you have the most amazing couch we've ever seen. We need to feature your great style on page 36 of next month's edition."

My couch and I (because I would buy new clothes to wear for the photo shoot and they would be equally as beautiful and stylish) would be famous for 9 seconds. It would be awesome. And most importantly, I'd have what I bloody well wanted.

*Cue my practical side (of which I have in abundance)
to remind me and my guests:

"Don't touch the couch, it's not paid for."

Guests always feel at ease when you tell them not to sit on the furniture, by the way. We would then all laugh, thinking it was so funny that I finally had this beautiful couch that wasn't, as I'd hoped, making me happy at all.

I would rope it off until I knew that the credit card was at zero, or my emergency fund was full again because...wait for it... it wasn't REALLY mine; it was the credit card's. It was the emergency that would happen the next week that a couch couldn't solve, and I REALLY might have needed the cash that I gave to the dude with the Mid-C-Modern treasure whose email address no longer works. It would be the slip cover of my youth all over again, hiding the ugly truth behind page 36 of a trendy magazine.

Beauty: it's awesome. I highly recommend that you pursue all things beautiful in this world, surround yourself with it, especially if it is an extension of how you share your home with friends and family. But I also recommend that beauty not come before your peace of mind.

If you can't pay it off, then it shouldn't be bought.

*goes to hug ugly old couch*
*calls roofer instead*

Thanks for reading!

October 11, 2016

What a difference a day makes

OCT 11, 2016

This Saturday I met some potential artist clients in a cozy coffee shop on the east end. They were smart, funny, talented, and wisely preparing for their future. Their awesomeness, however, isn’t the point of today’s blog; it’s the TIMING of this coffee date that established a plot twist as soon as we said, hello.


Monday, October 3rd, 2016
(blissfully ignorant at a cabin without internet that morning #timing) was the day that the Government of Canada announced sweeping changes to their mortgage lending requirements. I’ve been relatively quiet about it up to this point, waiting for updates from my brokerage who are, in turn, waiting for the unusually silent lenders to react to how the new rules will affect them directly.

It’s still premature to give my final word on the situation, but I do think it’s time to start acclimatising to inevitable, albeit drastic, changes.
Leave panic at the door, move forward, and follow the rules like they have been there all along.

Easy, right?


Without going into too many of the
gory details - and there are a LOT - HOW you qualify and WHO will accept your qualifications (insert the lender here) rest in newly altered positions of power.

BEFORE MONDAY, I would have sorted out your numbers, established your maximum qualifying budget, and THEN investigated which lender would serve you best in your situation. There are always hiccups, but, the basic qualifying info remained relatively the same, regardless of the lender.

AFTER MONDAY, the BIG BANKS and the smaller MONO-LENDERS (who I prefer, actually) will not be following the same rules so, neither will your file. Automatically, the WHO (the lender) in your life will play an even bigger part in your qualifying process than ever before.

In short: some lenders will be allowed to qualify you at a lower contract rate (ie: 2.44%) on conventional deals, which gives you more buying power, and some lenders will only be allowed to qualify you at the higher benchmark rate (4.64) no matter WHAT your down payment, conventional or high ratio.

*slow blink*

I know, it’s a bit much, really.



Conventional Mortgages: if you are qualifying with your NET income, and you have a 20% down payment, you avoid the whopping insurance premium attached to your mortgage. If you are qualifying with your GROSS income, Conventional refers to someone who has a 35% down payment before you avoid the insurance premium.

High Ratio Mortgages: if you are qualifying with your NET income, and you have LESS than a 20% down payment, you will require an insurance premium to be added to your mortgage. If you are qualifying with your GROSS income, then it signals that you have LESS than a 35% down payment, and will also require an insurance premium to be added.


As we currently understand it, with the new rules, if you are a High Ratio file: less than 20%down (using NET income to qualify) or less than 35% down (using GROSS income to qualify) you will have to qualify at the benchmark rate of 4.64 instead of the lower, and more advantageous contract rate of, for example, 2.44% that we used BEFORE MONDAY’s announcement.

Starting on October 17th
, unless you already have a signed commitment in place on a property; no matter the lender, no matter who you are, no matter how many chocolate chip cookies you try to bribe me with (and you can TRY!) the days of qualifying at the contract rate for a fixed, high ratio mortgage are gone.

The end.

If High Ratio sounds like your situation: save more, deduct less, get a co-signer, change your budget, change your desired location, and repeat. Or talk to me.



Let’s say you DO have a
Conventional file; you have 20% down, qualifying with your NET income; or 35% down, qualifying with your GROSS income - good for you!!! But, there is something about that property (maybe a small bachelor condo with only 400 sq. feet) or something about your file personally (a gift, low credit score, changed jobs, changed industries) that, overall, will only be accepted by lender X.

lender X happens to be a mono - lender, your slam dunk down payment could be moot, and you will have to qualify at a higher benchmark rate (4.64%) eliminating your previous qualifying power at the lower contract rate, not because you don’t have enough cash, but because the lender is being held to a different standard than one of the other lenders, and passes that limitation along to you. Plot twist 101.

Well, then, why don’t I choose one of the BIG BANKS in my broker channel if they have been granted more flexible rules? 
Because the BIG BANKS might not accept the self-employed, or gifts, or you need a minimum square footage, or you need to personally guarantee that Donald Trump won’t win the American election. There are SO many boxes that need to be checked off for all lenders, I can’t just say, “let’s put you with THIS lender” because THAT lender might have a condition that you simply can’t meet. It’s a little like snakes and ladders: move ahead 5, go up the ladder, roll again, and you’re sliding back to the start. GAH!

*insert going to the fridge to see if there’s any pumpkin pie
left over from Thanksgiving*

I hope the pie helped because there’s a more detailed cause and effect summary
via First National.

My storytelling scenario (before your eyes glaze over and you unfollow me on Twitter and Facebook) touches on the more obvious, basic implications for the average Canadian (artist) home buyer.

If you fall into the other categories
(foreign buyer, rentals vs. owner occupied, capital gains tax implications, low ratio mortgage insurance, refinancing, 30-year amortisations...) we may need more than a meeting in a coffee shop to get us through the rules.

Thanks for reading...and sharing...and tweeting!

note: all opinions expressed on this blog are
my own entirely, and do not express the opinions or
views of Mortgage Brokers City.

This blog is intended to educate via the entertainment forum of a blog.
For your own, unique financial situation, contact me directly.

September 04, 2016

Bossy banter: 101

SEP 04, 2016

“Oh God...you’re going to write about us in your blog, aren’t you?”

As a matter of fact, I am!

But, fear not, awesome artist, it won’t really be about you, it’ll be about MEEEEEEEEE and the inevitable bossy banter clients can expect to hear, regardless of who they are, where they’ve come from, or where they’re going. Because while everyone’s situation is unique, and every file takes on its own personality, there are some things that you can ALL count on me asking, telling, or insisting upon when we get the mortgage ball rolling.

(See? Bossy).

To lighten the mortgage mood -
apparently I can be edgy in my delivery, *sigh* - remember to read this with
Tina Fey’s voice as Sarah Palin in mind because that’s how it sounds in my head. You’re welcome. : D

• HOW MUCH MONEY DO YOU HAVE? Please know your numbers (Income, Down payment) to the penny. $50,000 sounds great, but if in actual fact it’s only $46,500, that missing $3500 at the last second can make or break your qualifying power. Don’t fret, I’ll point you in the right direction.

• WHERE IS YOUR MONEY? Is it CASH, RRSPs, TFSAs, a GIFT, an INHERITANCE etc.? Is it in your name? Everything needs an explanation, on paper, and not all forms of money are alike. Best not to assume that you are allowed to use your RRSPs or a GIFT, you might learn too late that you’re out of luck. As well, avoid focussing on money you hope to make in the future. An exact breakdown of where your money is at right NOW will be the best way to help me help you.

• DON’T MOVE YOUR MONEY AROUND - Initially I wrote a long paragraph about why I don’t want you to move your money around (DOWN PAYMENT, RRSPs, GIFTS, INVESTMENTS etc.) until I give you the green light, but it’s that important, I’m going for the less is more approach and just sticking with: Don’t move your money around. xox, Me

HOW MUCH CAN YOU AFFORD? This is a tricky one at the very start of our conversation. I don’t expect you to know the first thing about mortgages but you’ll feel much more in charge if you have calculated how much you can afford for rent (mortgage +property taxes) and we can take it from there. I’ve been exactly where you are right now and will never encourage you to spend more than you can afford. Ask any of my clients. I’m a fiercely protective (and a bit scary) when it comes to your money.

DON’T GO HOUSE HUNTING, YET. Until I have all of the details of your finances, and we have decided upon your absolute maximum budget, don’t employ a real estate agent to go house hunting. I know, that ruins all of the fun (my job: party pooper extraordinaire) but your real estate agent will work 10x harder for you if you know your budget to the penny and are in a position to bid immediately. You’ll be happier, too. Also, it’s a courtesy to the real estate agent. They don’t get paid unless you are in a position to buy. That simple consideration will generate the good real estate karma that you really, really, really want.

DON’T LIST, IF IT DOESN’T EXIST. As artists, we live in the world of pending contracts, future gigs, and a lot of ifs and maybes. Unfortunately, unless you’re salaried, there are no future projections allowed on your file. All I can use to qualify you is what you have earned in the PAST two years, not the money that might be on the horizon. Pretty frustrating, right? But you know as well as I do how quickly a gig or contract can vanish for any number of reasons. Take it from me, you don’t want a mortgage based on the income you have yet to earn....amen.

HOW MUCH DEBT DO YOU HAVE? Nobody likes to talk about debt, but it is a necessary evil to a successful mortgage approval if you give me all the facts up front...psssst... it’ll show up on your credit bureau, regardless. No judgement, gang. I’m here to help. Full transparency is the best way to get you on the right path.

DO NOT TAKE ON NEW DEBT. If you are about to apply for a mortgage, please, PLEASE do not take on new debt during our qualifying process. Your new car, line of credit, or credit card will not help you. NOOOOOOOOO. First, your credit gets pulled (and lowered), and all the mortgage lender will see is the perfect reason not to give you money.

A PRE-APPROVAL IS NOT AN APPROVAL. Ok...*pause*... Go back and read that one over again: A pre-approval is NOT an approval. It is a RATE HOLD. That’s it. It holds the rate for you if, in fact, you are approved within the next 120 days at that particular lender. It is based on information that I put into the system, not info that I prove. It’s when we submit for an approval on a live deal (the house you just bid on) that we will have to PROVE everything. I’ll stop there because this particular topic could be a blog unto itself. Just don’t get too comfy with that piece of paper. It’s only the beginning....

PUT A 5 BUSINESS DAY FINANCING CLAUSE IN YOUR OFFER. This is a tricky one, especially in Toronto or Vancouver, because often it is a restriction the seller doesn’t want to deal with in a hot market. But, you take on a lot of risk (your deposit, namely) when you give up the time to prove your conditions (taxes, income, down payment, etc...). It’s up to you. I’ve only felt comfortable with one client waiving their conditions because they were salaried, had a LOT of cash for their down payment, and nothing unusual about their file. Even then, it was a risk, and I cannot legally guarantee anything. Self-employed folks, I’ll wrestle you to the ground if you try to sign off your 5-day financing clause before I give you the green light. (Yep, still bossy.)

I think that’s enough of my bossy banter, but you have to admit,
it’s much better using Tina Fey’s voice in your head. There’s more, MUCH more to discuss, and I’m sure my clients would even say,

“You forgot one.”

Ha! I probably did. I’m bossy, not perfect! : )

Thanks for reading, gang!


note: all opinions expressed on this blog are
my own entirely, and do not express the opinions or
views of Mortgage Brokers City.