Long term contracts have a price… nothing has changed from 2010

Originally posted in 2010…. some things never change..  enjoy and beware.

Here’s a great article written by consumer advocate, Ellen Roseman.  She points to different industries where signing in for the long term protection can be very costly and expensive.

Ever wanted to change cell phone providers?  How about internet providers?  Move your investments or rrsps?  Cancel that hydro or gas contract because you moved?

And how about mortgages?  When interest rates started heading downward about 12 months ago, thousands of borrowers in fixed rate mortgages wanted to get out of their higher rates and start benefitting from the record low interest rates we have been seeing.

But they were shocked to hear of unbelievably high early prepayment penalties… the example Ellen uses is about a $46k penalty on a $530k mortgage with a major bank…  I’ve seen dozens and dozens of situations like this.

Beware of long term mortgages… with the average person moving or refinancing about every 3 years, choosing a 5 year fixed rate term is usually not the best option.  It could cost you more than you think… always seek professional advice from a reputable mortgage broker before selecting your mortgage.

(Just a personal note… It sure would have been nice to see some mortgage relief given to the average homeowner during the recession.   CMHC used to cap their penalties to 3 months interest but removed this cap in 2000…quietly, all financial institutions are free to charge a higher penalty…and they all do.. the longer the term, the greater the penalty…)

Your best interest is my only interest.   I reply to all questions and I welcome your comments.  Like this article?  Share with a friend.

Steve Garganis 416 224 0114 steve@mortgagenow.ca

Toronto 15% Foreign tax, new Rent controls… it changes nothing!

15% Foreign home buyers tax, not a big deal

Last year, Vancouver introduced a 15% foreign homebuyers tax.  I predicted it would come to Toronto after 6 months.

Today, Ontario’s govt has copied Vancouver by introducing a 15% foreign homebuyers tax.   The hope is this will discourage foreign investors from buying and speculating on the Toronto housing market (by the way, there is no data to prove that foreign investors are a factor or contributing to the red hot housing market).

Vancouver tried this last year. But what happened?  The amount of sales slowed, but just temporarily. And house prices didn’t really drop.  This year, Vancouver house values are up over 3% and climbing.   Read the rest of this entry »

Housing bubble is coming… again?

You’ve seen them before.. but they went silent for a few years.  I’m talking about the housing bears.  The pessimists that say house prices are too high and will crash.  A housing bubble.

Are they right?  Maybe.  But here’s the thing.  We’ve been hearing that house prices are too high for over a decade.  One of the more vocal pessimists is David Madani, Economist for Capital Economics.

HOUSING BUBBLE?

Madani was on BNN this past week saying we are in a ‘Full blown housing bubble’.   Hmmm, that sounds familiar.  Let me think… when did I hear that before?  Oh, that’s right, 2011.   He said, we could see house prices drop by 25% in 2011.  And he was completely wrong. (hope you didn’t listen to him). Read the rest of this entry »

Enjoy the low rates..No rate hike with Bank of Canada

The Bank held their third, of eight, scheduled meetings this week.   As widely predicted, the Bank of Canada announced that it is holding the key rate steady.

While noting that “economic growth has been faster than expected”, the bank said it’s too early to determine if the economy is on a “sustainable growth path”, citing weakness in export growth, business investment and employment.

The Bank’s three measures of core inflation, taken together, continue to point to material excess capacity in the economy. While there have been recent gains in employment, little growth in wages and hours worked continue to reflect economic slack in Canada, in contrast to the United States.

The bank also took into account uncertainties that include the potential impact of U.S. trade policies. The next rate-setting day is May 24.

This announcement means there should be no change to the prime rate. Great news if you have a variable-rate mortgage or line of credit, need a new mortgage, are renewing, or want to save thousands by consolidating debt at the lowest-cost funds. Or perhaps you are thinking of using home equity to invest in a rental property or second home, or cost effectively complete renovations.

Given the uncertain economic outlook, we continue to expect interest rates to stay low in Canada well into 2020, although the new mortgage rules have caused mortgage rates to be very complicated. Quick rate quotes are not very reliable! That’s why it’s so beneficial to work with an experienced mortgage broker who has access to a wide range of lenders and knows the right questions to ask to assess your situation and provide the best mortgage for your needs. Save yourself time and stress; don’t just ask what the rate is, have a conversation instead.

Your best interest is my only interest.   I reply to all questions and I welcome your comments.  Like this article?  Share with a friend.

Steve Garganis 416 224 0114 steve@mortgagenow.ca

BIG FIVE BANKS employees speak out about deplorable sales tactics… and it’s gone viral!

A news story from CBC has gone viral.   The BANK employees are under tremendous pressure to sell YOU products.  They will say and do almost anything, according to the CBC news article.

For those of us working in Financial Services, this is old news.   Stories of high pressures sales and tied selling has been going on for over two decades.   Sales targets were introduced to the retail branch network in the ’90s.  It was the beginning of a new sales culture.  Prior to this, bank tellers and account managers had always worked with a ‘soft sell’ approach.  They were there to help and service your needs.  This was about to change forever.

Your bank teller is now scanning your financial profile to see if they can up sell you some bank product.   Last week, my son and I were in the TD Bank and they informed my son he was preapproved for a TD Visa card..  of course, there was a small annual fee… so we can add to the BANK’s $billion profits!

Now we are seeing Mobile Mortgage Reps working for Banks.  They come to your home or business.  They are paid on a commission basis.   Think about it. How can anyone expect them to be unbiased?   They can only sell you one brand and one range of products.  Are all mortgage products the same?   They can never truly provide neutral advice or recommend other brands.

It will be interesting to see if this issue gets swept under the rug or if it will become a big stink.  The BIG FIVE BANKS rank in the top EIGHT largest corporations in Canada.  And last year, RBC was the first Canadian corporation to report over $10billion in net profit.

Hmm, I wonder how they make all that money, year after year, after year, after year.

Your best interest is my only interest.   I reply to all questions and I welcome your comments.  Like this article?  Share with a friend.

Steve Garganis 416 224 0114 steve@mortgagenow.ca

Panic buying? When will the housing market slow down?

 

hot-housing-marketHouses selling over asking price is becoming the norm, these days.  Kinda crazy.  Sometimes a house is just listed under market value to attract a frenzy of buyers. An old tactic that has worked well in larger urban markets.  Today, that tactic is being used in smaller communities, too.

What’s unclear is if this selling tactic is contributing to houses selling for more than they’re worth.  And what is a home worth, anyway?   I always thought a house was worth what someone was willing to pay in the open market.  That’s still true in most cases, today.

When I see reports of houses selling for $100k, $200k and $300k over asking, it makes me wonder.  How long will this market last?  Will it crash?  And if so, when?   It’s hard to make forecasts and I can’t see into the future, but let’s examine this a little.

WHEN WILL THE HOUSING MARKET CRASH? Read the rest of this entry »

Another example of BIG SIX BANK inflated penalty calculation.. $13,634.00! Wow!

big-six-banks1 If you still think your local BANK is your best friend, think again.  Last week, one of my client’s discovered it would cost them $13,634 to exit their mortgage early.  Compared with only $2736 if they had chosen a BETTER mortgage Lender.

Here’s the details..  The clients had a $395,000 mortgage balance remaining.  Renewal date was October 2018.  Original term was 5 yrs and their rate was 2.77%.  The rate is competitive, but not any better than what I could have offered at that time.  There had to pay the mortgage out.

Penalty quote is $13,634.  That’s equal to over 14 months interest!!  Wow!  Incredible.   $13,634 compared to $2736.

I’ve shared many examples similar to this in the past.  It’s really simple.  DON’T FOCUS ON THE RATE!.   There is so much more to choosing a mortgage than just rate.  The average Canadian changes their mortgage ever 3 years.  And there are many reason this happens.. change of job, marital status, family issues, health issues, etc.

And if you are expecting your Banker to show you other products to compare, well, that’s just not gonna happen.  It’s like expecting Ford to send you to Toyota for a new car.  Not gonna happen. Do yourself a favour and speak with an unbiased, neutral professional. Speak with an experienced Mortgage Broker that deals with dozens of Lenders.  You’ll be glad you did.

Your best interest is my only interest.   I reply to all questions and I welcome your comments.  Like this article?  Share with a friend.

Steve Garganis 416 224 0114 steve@mortgagenow.ca

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