HOW TO PASS THE MORTGAGE STRESS TEST

HOW TO PASS THE MORTGAGE STRESS TEST

The Government of Canada has introduced a ‘stress test’ for homebuyers seeking a mortgage, as the Government has concluded that buying a home is not sufficiently stressful. The test, to be adjudicated by disgruntled high school vice principals in unheated ATM lobbies at banks across the nation, is intended to ensure that new homebuyers can continue to make debt payments when interest rates rise to DEFCON 5 levels. Please note: for those seeking to buy homes in desired neighbourhoods in Vancouver or Toronto, the tests will be conducted solely in their own imaginations.

Here are some of the sample questions:

-Do you enjoy drywall?

-Have you ever amortized anything, just for fun?

-Why do you want to buy a house in the first place? Have you got something against camping?

-Take all your money and make a pile with it on the floor. Now divide that pile into 843 smaller piles. Does that look like a mortgage payment plan to you?

-Would you be willing to wear an ankle bracelet that issues a gentle electrical shock whenever mortgage interest rates rise? Just asking.

-On a scale of 1 to 10, 1 being ‘humiliating’ and 10 being ‘unspeakable’, how would you rate your current Ikea foldout couch in your parents’ basement?

-In order to afford a new home, would you be willing to live:

a) next to an abattoir

b) downwind from an abattoir

c) standing up

-In 1000 words, explain eavestroughs.

-Have you developed an unnatural fondness for real estate agents’ profile photos?

-What do you think the term ‘fixer-upper’ means?

a) a Frank Lloyd Wright property with one leaky tap

b) a building like the CERN Particle Accelerator, but one that shreds money at nearly the speed of light

c) the parking lot attendant’s booth out back behind the abattoir

-How much of your annual income, for how many years, would you need to save to have enough for a 20% down payment?

a) 55% for eight years

b) 80% for twelve years

c) all of it, starting 19 years ago

-When you think about working diligently and successfully with your partner or spouse to acquire a home together, what image comes to mind?

a) a barn-raising

b) a barn burner

c) living in a barn

-Do you speak raccoon?

-Which of the following products appear most often on you credit card bill?:

a) wine

b) wine coolers

c) wine racks

d) caulking

-If, as a prospective first-time home buyer, you do not yet qualify for a mortgage, what will you spend your savings on?

a) a Trump Hotel condo unit, which are now very affordable

b) a Finance Minister Bill Morneau Halloween costume

c) a one-way ticket to Palookaville

-Have your retired, pensioned and tanned parents seen the many TV commercials endorsements for reverse mortgages? And if so, whom do they prefer: Tom Selleck or Henry Winkler?

-How much do your parents really love you?

Gerry Flahive is a Toronto writer and producer.

@gflahive