Buying a Former Grow-Op – Abbotsford, BC

When it comes to purchasing a former grow-op home, mortgage financing can be tricky. Here are five important facts you should know in advance:

  1. Fewer lenders will finance former grow-ops.

Credit unions seem to be a little more lenient when it comes to securing a mortgage, but we would still recommend using a seasoned Abbotsford mortgage broker, or one in your local area who is familiar with the process as financing will be very limited and there are several requirements that need to be met before the lender even considers financing.

  1. Expect to pay a higher interest rate and/or fees to the lender or brokerage.

From a lender’s perspective, there are risks associated to lending on any property, especially one that was used as a previous grow-op. There is also a significant amount of administrative work to be done on files such as these, therefore the lender/brokerage will often charge a fee to offset staffing costs and related administrative costs.

You can also expect to pay a higher interest rate (as much as 2% greater). Risk for the lender increases drastically when it comes to financing a former grow-op. For the lender to have a sense of security they will often inflate the interest rate to provide some sort of cushioning should the mortgagor (borrower) default on the mortgage.

  1. Have extra cash set aside, as costs can exceed $10,000+.

Majority of lenders/banks will require a copy of a remediation report. What this means is that you as the potential buyer will need to hire a company that specializes in testing different aspects of the former grow-op. These companies look at things such as air quality, moisture, mold, electrical etc. Once the inspection is complete, they will provide a document which is referred to as the “remediation report”. This type of inspection can be costly and is only one step out of many others that you’ll need to complete.

  1. If the grow-op home was illegal and resulted in a filed police report, re-occupancy will need to be reinstated by the city.

Lenders/banks will also require proof that “occupancy” was reinstated. If the grow-op of interest was illegal and resulted in a report being filed, the city will then remove what is called “occupancy” from the home’s title. What this means is that it is no longer legal for someone to physically reside in that home unless the occupancy is reinstated. To reinstate occupancy, you will have to file a request through the city and they too will often ask for a remediation report.

  1. Patience and determination will be very important when it comes to buying your former grow-op home.

Expect the unexpected, it’s likely that there will be bumps throughout this process, so patience is a virtue. In some cases, the former grow-op has not been necessarily “busted” and no report filed. Therefore, occupancy was never removed and when the lender asks for reinstated occupancy, you as the buyer of interest, won’t have anything to provide. This is where these cases become challenging and when your selection in a mortgage specialist becomes crucial.

If you’ve considered buying a former grow-op home and would like more information, give our team a call @ 604-795-2933 or send us an email

CMHC First Time Home-Buyers Program

CMHC First Time Home-Buyers Program

As Abbotsford Mortgage Brokers, we’ve taken it upon ourselves to write up all the information that you need to know about the new “CMHC First Time Home-Buyers Grant”.

2019 federal budget includes tantalizing pitch for prospective first-time home-buyers

  • An applicant must make a household income of under 120,000 per year to qualify
  • Applicant must be able to come up with a minimum down 5% payment
  • The programs caps out 4 times the applicant’s annual income
  • Which means the loan can only help homeowners buy properties where the mortgage value plus CMHC loan doesn’t exceed 480,000
  • So, if the 1st time home buyer approved all conditions above, CMHC would kick in up to 10% of the values newly built home.
  • Co signers are permitted as long as the combined annual income is no higher than 119,999
  • Stress test for these mortgages do not apply with the loan. The loan is considered cash.

What CMHC wants in return:

  • In exchange for an equity stake in the home (so the funding comes with a bill to be paid)
  • If a buyer wants a 400,000 house – they got to come up with 20,000 min
  • 380,000 loan — 40,000 in funding = 10% stake in your home —-Bringing mortgage down to 340,000 w/ standard %3.5 interest, bringing payments down $200/month = 2700 in savings/year
  • Pay when you sell your house or sooner, it’s up to you.
  • CMHC shares in a – Loss OR Gain – of the value of profit
  • Loan must be paid in full no later than 25 years of purchase
  • Enough for 100,000 new buyers over the next 3 years.

Taking out new loans from CMHC or retirement savings doesn’t make housing more affordable, It just allows another source of debt financing that must be repaid.

What Do You Wish You Learned in High School?

Abbotsford, BC – Is it just us or does anyone else feel like there were a few things that would’ve been very helpful to know when making the transition from high school to adulthood? Once you’re out on your own you quickly learn about responsibilities you didn’t know existed, things such as taxes, credit, banking, saving, budgeting and even how to simply write a cheque.

Looking back, I think it’s safe to say it would’ve been helpful to have had someone teach us about all the financial responsibilities we were about to embark on as we made the transition from high school into the adulthood. More importantly we wished someone explained how credit works.

How many of us in our late teens and early 20’s misses the occasional credit card or phone payment? How many of us racked up debt in credit cards or bought the what we thought was the coolest car at the time and stretched out those payments for as long as we could to pay as little as possible monthly?

It’s more important now than ever to instill good financial habits especially given the increase in cost of living, unfortunately many of us don’t and a lot of it has to do with the fact that we just weren’t taught to. With the help of Mrs. Wiebe at Abbotsford Senior Secondary, we’ve decided to change that.

This past Wednesday we we’re lucky enough to present in front of the grade 12 students of Mrs. Wiebe’s class. We spent one-hour teaching them tactics to ensure they have excellent credit rating starting from the very day their credit is established. It was important for us to show them that buying a house is something to get excited about rather than fear. Impressed with the engagement level in the room and the in-depth questions presented by the students, we hope they we’re able to take at least one piece of advice away from our visit and we look forward to educating more students in our community along the way. Thank you for having us Mrs. Wiebe!

Buying a Million Dollar Home, What You Need to Know

This past week of sunshine has given us a boost of excitement for what is to come this summer – except for the rain that decided to make an appearance – feel free to go away, I have baseball to coach this weekend.

The environment in our office has shifted slightly in recent months. Real estate has turned the heat back up with multiple offers and stats are indicating a seller’s market, we might need to get ready for another whirlwind real estate frenzy.

Changes in real estate and the mortgage industry have significantly affected the financial lending division. To make it simple, getting a mortgage isn’t as easy as it once was. Restrictions and rules drastically limit options for home buyers and those looking to refinance or renew their mortgages.

Luckily for us, our team of Abbotsford mortgage brokers have sourced out a few options to get around the “stress test” which requires borrowers to qualify either 2% above the contracted rate or using the posted bank rate, whichever is greater (meaning we’re able to secure a larger mortgage).

Lenders are using what we call in the industry, “sliding scales”. These scales determine maximum loan amounts on properties over $1M which seems to be a more normal house price in this day and age. These “sliding scales” are crucial to borrowers trying to buy a home in this price range.

The feedback we’re getting from the general public, is that their local lenders and banks are cutting back their loans up to 50% on every dollar borrowed that exceeds $1M.

As a result of this cut back, down-payments of 20% on a $1.5M house can go from $300K to $450K ($150K difference, that’s a lot of dough).

Our team of experienced Abbotsford mortgage brokers can reduce that down-payment to as little as 20% or if refinancing, help you access more equity out of your home. We’re able to provide these solutions for both employed and self-employed individuals.

If you are someone looking to buy in this range or own a home in this value range, contact our team to discuss your options – we can help.