Kyle Roberts, Author at Trinidad and Tobago Mortgage Finance Company Ltd.

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Tue 16th May, 2023

Home equity is a valuable asset that offers a pathway to financial empowerment when major financing is necessary.  It’s important to understand how to build the equity in your home but also to then carefully consider if, and when is the right time to use it.


What is home equity?

Home equity is simply the difference between what you still owe on your mortgage and the current market value of your home. For example, if you took out a $850,000 mortgage on a house and you still have $350,000 left to pay off on it, it means you have $500,000 of equity. That simple!

As you start to pay off your mortgage, your property will start to gain substantial value, otherwise known as home equity. Your home equity will continue to rise with each installment.

The good thing is that you can then borrow against your home’s value, which can provide you with an opportunity to access large amounts of money. However, keep in mind that accessing your home’s equity would still be based on our normal lending criteria, including a thorough evaluation of factors such as your age, creditworthiness, income, and debt-to-income ratio.


How can I Build home equity?

Concentrate on paying off your mortgage by making extra payments if you can afford it. 13 or 14 mortgage payments a year is certainly better than just 12 payments. This will cut down the amount of interest you pay over the lifetime of your loan, while shaving off the amount of time it takes you to pay back the loan.

You can also pay more than your installment each month and this excess will be applied to your principal which will then reduce the amount you pay over time on your mortgage. Remember, every time you make a mortgage payment, part of your installment goes towards the loan principal and part goes towards your interest, thus building your Home Equity. When making payments, remember to advise the teller that your excess payment should be applied to the principal.

Home Improvements and renovations along with sprucing up your landscape are also great ways to increase the value of your home while enjoying your investment.

We believe that your financial needs can be met by ‘letting the equity in your home, work for you.’ At TTMF, you can tap into your real estate’s wealth to obtain finances for an investment, debt consolidation, emergency or even education through home equity mortgage financing with an interest rate of 6% and a repayment term of up to 30 years.  To ensure you build equity however, you must pay your mortgage on time every month and ensure that your property is well maintained.

(When to use Home Equity – ). As long as housing market conditions are healthy, your home’s value should appreciate over time.


Become Home Smart

Check out TTMF’s Home Equity Loan to read up about TTMF’s mortgage rates…the best on the market.

Remember, TTMF is always here to help. Make an appointment with a knowledgeable TTMF representative by logging on to to chat online or call 623-TTMF.

Follow us on Instagram & Facebook or sign up for our monthly newsletter for more helpful tips on homeownership.

We’ll take you from here…to home. Let’s get started…today!


Related articles:

How Home Equity Financing Works at TTMF

Should You Use Your Equity in Your Home?

Renovate your home to increase its value

How Home Equity Financing Works

How to create Wealth with your Home

Thu 20th Apr, 2023

When looking to purchase a home or land, getting a mortgage can seem complex or daunting, especially if you are a first-time buyer. Therefore, it is helpful to know what you can expect. In this week’s edition, we will explain everything you need to know about each of the four essential steps to a mortgage: Pre-Qualification, Search, Mortgage Application and Closing.


Get Your Pre-Qualification

You really need to figure out how much home or land you can afford first. This step lets you set realistic expectations for house hunting and choosing a mortgage loan. This step is important before kicking off the mortgage loan process.

A mortgage calculator is a very useful tool at this stage as it can show you the impact of different rates on potential monthly payments. Use TTMF’s online mortgage calculator to get an estimate of how much your monthly mortgage payment could be, as well as, to give you an idea of how much you could qualify for based on your income, age and debt. Learn more about our prequalification process when you read How to Pre-qualify; or you can Book a Prequalification Appointment  with one of our knowledgeable staff.


Start your search within your price range to find a property

Most people start looking for properties or land long before they are pre-qualified and perhaps before they are even thinking of buying a home. But once you have followed the first step above, and have your pre-qualification, you are now ready to begin looking in earnest.

With estimating your own budget, you can now start looking at homes or land within your price range. Here are some tips on how to select a property that you want to ensure as your ‘best fit’ – Say Yes to the Address!

Apply for a Mortgage

Once you have identified the property, you are ready to apply for a mortgage,

We will need information from you to give you an offer. We may have some of this information already but we may need more or updated information.

Here’s a look at the list of overall documents you will need to have prepared for your Mortgage Appointment – Appointment Documents Required.

It is a good idea to check your credit beforehand to see where you stand. Be prepared to explain any issues or missteps in your financial background.


Close on the Property

If your mortgage application is approved, it is now time for closing. At this stage, you will have some documents to review and sign. Once you have reviewed and everything looks to be in order, you will sign to accept the mortgage! Well done!

Check all of your documents carefully, make sure you understand the mortgage you are being given, and seek expert help if you are unsure about anything. Because you will be paying your mortgage for a long time, it makes perfect sense to get it right.


In the end…the process can be long and stressful, but make sure you do not rush it.


Become Home Smart

We suggest to that you read up on TTMF’s 5 Steps to Financing so you can better understand how the application process works. Pay attention to the qualification criteria as these directly affect the strength of your application. Remember, in the How to Calculate your Mortgage Amount blog, your income, age and current level of debt are the main factors that are taken into consideration when assessing your ability to qualify for a mortgage and the amount you qualify for.

Check out TTMF’s 2% Program and 5% Mortgage Program and familiarize yourself on their mortgage rates…the best on the market.

Remember, TTMF is always here to help. Make an appointment with a knowledgeable TTMF representative by logging on to to chat online or call 623-TTMF.


We’ll take you from here…to home. Let’s get started…today!


Related articles:

What to Ask Before Taking a Mortgage

The Benefit of Home and Land Ownership for First-Timers

Building a Home – The More Cost Effective Approach to Homeownership

Buy Land to Start your Homeownership Journey

Pre-Qualified for Mortgage Financing – What you need to know

Fri 24th Mar, 2023

Do you really need a ‘license’ to find your dream home? Or do you just need to get familiar with the jargon that you may encounter during the home or land buying process?

When searching for a home or land, or applying for a mortgage, you may hear your lender use several terms or acronyms.

So, if you are  ready to buy your first parcel of land, purchase a home, or just really need an acronym refresher, keep this month’s guide handy. Trust me, you will be fluent in the language of home and land purchasing before you know it!


When you have started searching you may encounter…

Downpayment – A downpayment is the amount of money a buyer has saved in order to purchase a property. This can typically range from 5 – 20% of a house or land cost.

Mortgage – A mortgage is a loan that is used to purchase a home or parcel of land.


When you are “shopping around” for a mortgage, you may hear the terms…

Credit History – A credit history is a record of a borrower’s responsible repayment of debts and is used to create a credit report on you. It looks at your payment history on your loans, credit cards, bills and other financial obligations.

Prequalification – This is an evaluation or an early look of a potential borrower’s financial status to determine the size and type of mortgage available to him/her. For example, TTMF’s Pre-Qualification Process analyses your financial information to calculate your price range. Your assessment is based on age, income, and existing financial commitments.


When you are applying for a mortgage…

Agreement for Sale – After having identified the home that you are eligible to purchase, the first step is the signing of an Agreement for Sale between the seller of the home (Vendor) and yourself.

Lawyer’s/ Attorney’s Fees – These are the fees charged by the attorneys for the preparation of Deeds and varies in accordance with the value of the mortgage facility being granted.

Closing costs – Closing costs are the expenses over and above the property’s price that buyers and sellers usually incur to complete a real estate transaction. Those costs may include statutory costs (paid to the Government), legal costs, application costs and other costs associated with getting the necessary documents to submit with your application.

Completion Certificates – These certificates ensure that you build according to the approved plans in order to obtain your Final Completion Certificate usually within six (6) months of completion of construction. You must also submit this document to the mortgage or financial lending agency.

Deed of Conveyance – After the title search has been completed, a Deed of Conveyance must be prepared. This document essentially conveys or transfers ownership of the property from the vendor over to you, thereby enabling you to offer it as security for the mortgage.

Deed of Mortgage – The Deed of Mortgage is effectively the loan agreement made between the lender and yourself. It contains the details regarding the amount of the mortgage loan or the principal sum, the rate of interest that will be charged, the repayment term and the monthly instalment.

Legal Fees – Generally critical to your budgeting process, the legal fees are fees that are usually incurred during the mortgage process are:

Stamp Duty – Stamp Duty is a tax that you must pay when carrying out certain transactions that require legal documents, when buying land or a home or seeking a mortgage. For example, it comprises of statutory payments that must be made to the Board of Inland Revenue in order that the Deeds of Conveyance and Mortgage can be registered.

Title Searches – Once your application for mortgage financing has been approved and you have signed your letter of offer, the attorneys who are acting on your lender’s behalf would be instructed to conduct a title search on the property. This title search effectively traces the ownership of the property to ensure that the Vendor possesses an unencumbered property, and as such is in a legal position to sell the property to you.

Town and Country Approvals – These are approvals for the permission to carry out development and is granted by the Town and Country Planning Division (TCPD) through the Minister of Planning and Development. Planning permission is necessary to ensure the optimal and efficient use of land and the enhancement of the quality of the environment building plans must be drawn and approved by the Town and Country Planning Division.

Title – This legal document states who owns or has owned a property and notes any liens associated with it. In the case of real estate, the documentary evidence of ownership is the title deed that specifies in whom the legal estate is vested and the history of ownership and transfers.


Owning a home or land, you may be interested in…

Tax Exemptions – There are many expenses that the government allows you to deduct from your declared income, and being a first-time homeowner is one of them. Tax deductions provide extra disposable income, by reducing the amount of tax you pay.

Home Equity – Equity is net ownership. In other words, it is the difference between how much your property is worth and how much you still owe on your mortgage. Equity is also sometimes called owner’s interest.



Become Home Smart

Check out TTMF’s 2% Program and 5% Mortgage Program to read up about TTMF’s mortgage rates…the best on the market.

Remember, TTMF is always here to help. Make an appointment with a knowledgeable TTMF representative by logging on to to chat online or call 623-TTMF.

Follow us on Instagram & Facebook or sign up for our monthly newsletter for more helpful tips on homeownership.

We’ll take you from here…to home. Let’s get started…today!


Related articles:

Five Steps to Financing

How to get Approved for a Mortgage

Homeownership Hope

Key Steps to financing your First Home

Buy Land to Start your Homeownership Journey