How Does Mortgage Fraud Happen?

The scheme typically involves a number of shady individuals who scour public records for properties that do not have a mortgage registered and may be listed for rent. Imposters, using stolen identification, pose as tenants in order to rent the home. From there, other imposters use the stolen identities of the homeowners to either mortgage the home or sell it.

If a home is sold, it is sold quickly and, according to CBC investigations, the money received from the sale is moved through fraudulent bank accounts and then out of the country in the form of cryptocurrency or gold bullion. The same is true for fraudulent mortgage money.

Imagine receiving a monthly mortgage statement in the mail for a home for which you had no mortgage, or learning that your home has been sold without your knowledge! Victims of title fraud lose the right to mortgage their own home or sell the home until they re-establish their title rights through the courts, which can be a lengthy and costly process.

“Title” is known as legal ownership of a property. Title insurance can help protect homeowners from fraudulent claims on their property and typically covers legal fees that would be required to restore the true homeowner’s legal title. Title insurance also protects buyers who unwittingly purchase a home that has been fraudulently sold to them. In this scenario, although the buyers would not be entitled to the property, they should get their money back.

As Realtors® it boggles our minds how these criminal schemes happen. It is certainly brazen. 

On a personal note, my daughter narrowly escaped a fraud scheme when she found a flat to lease in London, UK. An imposter, posing as the owner of the Air BnB flat, attempted to lease it using forged identification, utility bills and passports! The forged documents looked real except for one minor flaw that was noticed by my daughter’s UK boyfriend and was reported to authorities. This can be a very quick and lucrative scheme as the fraudsters bank first and last month’s rent from the unsuspecting tenant, leave the Air BNB and move on to their next target. The owner of the Air BNB and the duped tenant know nothing of the scheme until the tenant shows up to occupy the unit which is unavailable for rent. The tenant is out of pocket for quite a sum of money, may have insufficient cash to cover the deposit on a replacement rental, and could have nowhere to live.

We are not experts on any of the above, and can only advise our BLOG readers to be vigilant in protecting their identities; to talk to their real estate lawyers about title insurance and be cautious as landlords or as tenants.

Please feel free to reach out to us any time if you think that we can assist you in any way with your real estate goals.


What Is the Normal Term of a Mortgage in the Toronto Area?

With the way Toronto home prices are today, it's more important than ever to carefully consider the term of your mortgage before purchasing a house. If you're not sure what mortgage terms are or why they matter, don't worry! We'll go over the way they work and how they impact your purchasing decisions. We'll also look at why amortization periods matter and offer some basic advice on how to decide on a term based on your circumstances.

What Are Normal Mortgage Terms in the Toronto Area?

The time frame of a mortgage can be anywhere from 6 months to 10 years. However, most mortgages in the GTA consist of a 5-year term with a 25-30 year amortization period.

What's the Difference Between Terms and Amortizations?

Although commonly confused, terms and amortizations are two different things. Here's a breakdown of what each term means.


The term of your mortgage is the extent of time you commit to the mortgage rate, lender, and associated conditions. You can pick from a variety of different lengths ranging from short to long-term mortgages.

Your bank will set out a repayment schedule, which is usually billed on a monthly basis. The total amount you borrow, the total interest you pay, and your monthly payments remain constant throughout the term.


The amortization period is the total life of your mortgage. It is the number of years it will take to repay the entire loan and any outstanding interest at normal scheduled payments.

The amortization period will impact how much principal and interest you repay over the term of your mortgage. This means that while some people choose the term of their mortgage based on the monthly payment, choosing a shorter amortization period can save thousands in interest when you consider all of your payments over the life of the mortgage.

What Is the Right Term Length for Me Based on Toronto Home Prices?

If you're wondering what the right term length is, the answer is: it depends. The best way to figure out what term length works for you is by getting pre-approved and talking to lenders. Here are some other factors to keep in mind when choosing a term:

Your Employment Status

If you're planning on switching jobs or know that your income may fluctuate (e.g., freelance work), then a short-term mortgage can work better for you. That way, you won't be locked into a term for too long when you don't know what kind of income you'll be making in the future.

The Stability of Your Job: 

If you expect to be at your job for the next few years, you may want to go with a long-term mortgage. This way, you can lock in a predictable rate for the foreseeable future.

Your Financial Commitments: 

Do you have other types of debt? For example, are you planning on making any other large purchases soon, like a vehicle? If so, then a long-term mortgage might work out better so you can balance lower monthly payments with your other bills.
The difference you pay between short-term and long-term mortgages can be significant, so it's important to choose the best term for your circumstances. If you have any further questions about terms and amortizations, we're here to help! Call Nancy at 416-985-1486 or Dave at 416-894-4079 at and we can help determine the option for you!

Toronto Real Estate in 2021: Is Now a Good Time to Refinance?

If you are considering refinancing, there are a number of things that will impact your decision. Mortgage payments are one of most people's largest monthly expenses, and refinancing can make these more manageable. Refinancing can also be beneficial if you are financially stable but worry about the future. The following information will help you determine if now is a good time for you to refinance your Toronto real estate.

Lower Monthly Payments

If your primary concern is that you will not be able to sustain your current mortgage payments, refinancing can help you adjust the amount to a lower monthly payment. This would mean increasing the length of your loan term, and it will take you longer to pay it off completely. However, there may be lower interest rates available now that you can take advantage of in order to save money along the way.

Improved Credit Score

Monthly payments, though difficult to maintain, provide a benefit as you go. In paying your mortgage on time every month, you are improving your credit score. Your credit score is always taken into consideration when a loan is being refinanced. If you have been diligent about paying your mortgage in the past, you may already qualify for a lower interest rate.

Stable Fixed Rates

An adjustable-rate mortgage might have required lower payments at the beginning of the loan and therefore appeared to be a better choice. However, if you discover that interest rates are lower now, securing a fixed-rate mortgage will allow you to have a predictable monthly payment. This can be a relief when the economy is going through times of uncertainty.

Equity for Immediate Expenses

If you have been paying a mortgage for several years, you have built up equity. The two ways you are able to use this equity as money now are by taking out a home equity loan or cash-out refinancing.

A home equity loan is a second loan that allows you to borrow back some of the money that you previously paid towards your home. It does not affect your current mortgage but is paid back as an additional monthly payment. Cash-out refinancing is different because it takes your mortgage and replaces it with a larger loan. This amount will be used to first pay off your original mortgage and then pay you the rest in cash.

Increase Equity in Toronto Real Estate

Real estate in Toronto is a valuable commodity and will be for the foreseeable future. Refinancing to build equity faster can be beneficial to your economic security in the long haul. By choosing to refinance in order to make larger monthly payments, you will reduce the number of years it will take to pay off your loan. Look for an opportunity to secure a lower interest rate and start building the equity you have in real estate faster while saving yourself money in the long run.

Refinancing is always a big decision, but it holds the potential for benefits in the immediate future and further down the road. Mortgage professionals are available for further assistance, and GTA Selling can help you with a referral. Call Nancy at 416-985-1486 or Dave at 416-894-4079 at


To our valued clients and visitors to our website, 

We know this is a trying and stressful time for all of us in Canada and around the world. This pandemic has changed how we all manage our daily lives, routines and social interactions. 

As Re/Max agents, we want to offer you stability and comfort knowing your real estate needs are still being met in a safe and responsible manner.  We are following strict health and safety guidelines in order to facilitate necessary showings for buyer and sellers. 

Rest assured, we remain open for business and our website continues to provide up-to-the-minute listings for your review.

  • We have been limiting contact with the general public and will use alternative means of communication wherever possible such as texts, phone calls, and emails.
  • We are not hosting agent or public open houses until a future date where it’s deemed safe.
  • Masks and gloves are to be worn during any showings.
  • We are committed to using technology to help safely deliver the best service possible. This includes virtual tours and online photos of the home. 

The strength of community comes from each of us working together.   We remain committed to keeping you and your loved ones safe while helping you with your real estate needs. We will get through this.


Self-Employed Mortgages

Being self-employed can be challenging for home buyers.  We regularly receive information from mortgage brokers about various programs, including those for self-employed buyers.  Here's one example from a lender which, given the competitive nature of the industry, may be indicative of what a self-employed buyer will encounter when seeking a mortgage lender.

A" side Lenders with as low as 10% Down Payment.

This Self Employed program is designed for self-employed borrowers who are unable to provide traditional income verification but have a proven 2-year history of managing their credit and finances responsibly.

Eligible borrowers typically own a small size business for a minimum of two years, which can be confirmed via a third-party arm’s length document.

In addition, the borrower is required to declare their annual income and annual business revenue, which should be reasonable based on the industry, length of operation and type of business.

Minimum 2 trade lines with at least two (2) years history
• No mortgage, installment or revolving credit delinquencies appearing on the credit bureau in the past 12 months
• No reported defaults on residential mortgages for the past 7 years
• No previous bankruptcy

"B" Side lending with as low as 20% Down payment

• Business must be over 12 months old
• 6-12 Months Business Bank Statements required.
• Competitive rates

If you would like to know who this particular lender is, please contact us.


5 Tips for Leasing a Business Property in Mississauga in 2019

With so many new commercial properties being built in Mississauga it is kind of hard for me to think of reasons why you shouldn't take your business to the next level and start leasing a property for your business. So rather than trying to convince potential leaser's in Mississauga and the GTA, I decided to create a post containing some really important tips for leasing a business property in Mississauga or the surrounding GTA.

1. Evaluate your business needs.

The first and most important tip I can give you is to be prepared and to evaluate your personal business needs. Take into consideration what your business is, how much foot traffic you expect and need to get to remain profitable. Understanding where you plan to get most of your traffic is very important. Is your business mostly web-based? Will you be selling products online? Will your space be mostly for storing merchandise? Or will it be a business that is more based on foot traffic like a salon or restaurant? This information will be key for you and your Real Estate agent. Knowing what your needs are before signing a lease can be the difference between having a very profitable business and barely staying afloat.

2. Always involve a lawyer.

There are few business situations in which I would suggest that someone signs a contract without having a lawyer look over the documents first. Leasing a commercial property in Mississauga or in the GTA is no exception. Just like having an experienced Real Estate agent is crucial in regards to finding the right space. It’s best to get a good commercial lawyer who understands leases. Some businesses use a general or family lawyer, and then end up signing a lease with unexpected costs. Leases are complex, and though it may be quicker, easier, or more affordable, a lot of mistakes can be made which can cost you thousands of dollars in the long run.

3. Understand your costs.

Aside from paying your monthly rent, there are a lot of costs that are associated with running a business or leasing a commercial property in Mississauga or the GTA area. Like stated in tip one you need to consider your monthly expenses in terms of how much you spend on merchandise or supplies, depending on what you are selling or how you make your profit. Business is all about turning a profit so understanding your costs and leveraging that against your estimated profits is the best way to set your self up for success in regards to leasing a property and being able to turn a good enough profit to keep your head above water. Always carefully review the incidentals you are being asked to pay to make sure the total cost fits your budget. Any future increases in base rent and incidentals should also be clearly stated. Don’t be shy about asking for changes.

4. Review termination conditions.

Make sure the circumstances under which either party may terminate the lease is clear to you. You need to have the answers to important questions. You need to know if you will be kicked out simply for missing a rent payment. You also need to be aware of what will happen if the building is sold. If your sales decline or you want to expand to a bigger space, how can you break the lease? Some leases require you to pay all or part of the remainder of the rent. Never be afraid to negotiate. Always keep in mind that you can always try to negotiate for better terms. Also, look at whether you can sublease the space. If sales decline, subleasing the whole space could allow you to move elsewhere without paying a hefty lease termination penalty. Alternatively, you could sublease or partner with someone sharing part of the space to help cover the rent.

5. Don’t be too quick to sign.

This ties back to tip number 2 always have a lawyer look over your lease agreement before signing. If you are looking to lease a property in Mississauga or the GTA and the landlord has an enticing reason for convincing you to sign documents sooner than later. Make sure you resist the urge to sign before having a lawyer or property professional look over the lease before you sign it. Landlords usually submit their own lease to prospective tenants. It’s vital to carefully review this document and the proposed responsibilities of the tenant and landlord. I’ve seen leases where the tenant didn’t do their homework and ended up being responsible for all sorts of unexpected costs or couldn’t break the lease without paying the remaining rent in full. The proposed lease usually isn’t fixed in stone you can always find some negotiating room.

I hope these 5 tips help you get started on your journey of leasing a commercial property in Mississauga or the GTA. If you have any questions or if you want to know more about leasing a property in Mississauga or the GTA area please feel free to call me, message me or DM me.