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

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.



Did You Know That Your Kids Could Increase the Mortgage Amount You Qualify For?

Are you and your family looking to purchase your first home or upgrade to accommodate for your growing little’s? We can help.

Our clients know the difference between using a BRMC Abbotsford mortgage broker vs other competitors. Our team of skilled experts have the resources to secure some of the lowest mortgage rates while obtaining your mortgage, quickly and efficiently. We will work to meet or exceed your purchase price expectations.

Many of us are aware of the recent changes in the lending/banking industry which have made it increasingly difficult to obtain financing for a home. These new rules resulted in lessening the maximum purchase price a borrower would typically qualify for. We do, however have some good news. Our team of Abbotsford mortgage brokers have exclusive access to three lenders that allow us to include Child Tax Credit on your application to help increase your purchase price.

The option to add your Child Tax Credit onto your income is not available through the major banks and excludes majority of lenders, meaning – there’s a good chance you won’t find this anywhere else.

Here is an example:

The Williams’ family:

  • Mr. Williams’ annual salary: $50,000
  • Mrs. Williams’ annual salary: $85,000
  • Mr. and Mrs. Williams’ have 3 children
  • Down-payment: $150,000
  • Mr. and Mrs. Williams’ are both debt free
  • Mr. Williams’ credit score: 720
  • Mrs. Williams’ credit score: 650
  • MAX PURCHASE PRICE: $962,000 

*Based on today’s best interest rate and a 5-year fixed term

The Williams’ family when using a BRMC Abbotsford mortgage broker:

  • Mr. Williams’ annual salary: $50,000
  • Mrs. Williams’ annual salary: $85,000
  • Mr. and Mrs. Williams’ have 3 children
  • Down-payment: $150,000
  • Mr. and Mrs. Williams’ are both debt free
  • Mr. Williams’ credit score: 720
  • Mrs. Williams’ credit score: 650
  • Add child tax benefit to your income of $4,500/year
  • MAX PURCHASE PRICE: $992,000 – increase of $30,000

*Based on today’s best interest rate and a 5-year fixed term

By including your Child Tax Credit on your mortgage application, we can increase your purchase price by $30,000.

Contact our team today to explore your home buying options.