Variable or Fixed? an update on how to choose.

Variable rate mortgage

FIXED OR VARIABLE?

The debate over fixed vs variable never seems to end.   For the past 5 years, the Federal govt and the BIG SIX BANKS have been doing everything in their power to force us into choosing a 5 year Fixed rate.    The govt says it gives us security and protection against the anticipated interest rate hikes.   BANKS jumped on this bandwagon because 5 yr fixed is the most profitable mortgage product.. and with fixed rates hovering at 3.00% for the last 3 years, it’s been an easy sell.

On the surface, it’s not bad advice.    Fixed rates were supposed to go up.   The spread between Fixed and Variable has been less than 1.00% over the last 3 years.     My rule of thumb is that Variable rates should be 1.00% lower than 5 yr fixed in order to benefit from the possible rate fluctuations.   So naturally, 5 yr fixed was a better choice.

DO YOU TRUST YOUR GOVT AND YOUR BANK? Read the rest of this entry »

But it came in a beautiful box?!

canadian-money-giftIf I gave the option of choosing between 2 cell phones, which would you choose?   Both phones had similar specs and were identical in almost every way… except PHONE 1 came in a nicely gift wrapped box with a bow on it.   PHONE 2 came in brown paper bag but was less expensive and also had slightly better options.

Most of us would choose PHONE 2 right?  Wrong!   When it comes to mortgages, most of us are focusing too much on the beautiful gift box and not paying enough attention to the contents.  They say around 47% of all mortgages go through a BANK and 39% go through a Mortgage Broker.   Broker share is up, but not enough in my opinion.

When it comes to mortgages, the BIG SIX BANKS have been charging higher rates than what can be had from MORTGAGE BROKERS (see Bank of Canada study ‘competition in the Canadian mortgage market).   And their inflated prepayment penalty calculations are now infamous (typical BIG SIX BANK penalties are around 4 times higher than other lenders).
Read the rest of this entry »

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