Mortgage brief…Is it worth changing your mortgage today?

Fixed rate mortgageMortgage rates have never been lower.  Should you break your current mortgage to take advantage of the lower rates?   The answer is ‘yes’ and ‘no’.

YES….if the penalty to break your mortgage is less than the potential savings.  We are seeing many opportunities today where it PAYS to break your mortgage and get into today’s lower rates.

EXAMPLE for one client..  Existing mortgage is $275,000.  The existing rate is 2.99% with 3 years to go.  The penalty to exit is $3500.  The current 3 year rate is 2.24%.  Gross savings is $5602.  Net savings is $2102.

NO… if the penalty to break your mortgage is less than the potential savings.   EXAMPLE..  Penalty is $6500 and Gross savings is $5602.  Net loss is $898.

YES… if you think interest rates are going to be much higher in the next few years, you may still want to bite the bullet, pay the penalty and lock into a longer term fixed rate mortgage.   Everyone is different and has different needs, risk tolerances, plans.  This is a personal choice.

I’ve seen examples of both situations.  You could save money by breaking your mortgage.  The best advice is to speak with an experienced Mortgage Broker. Get an UNBIASED opinion.

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

 

Online shopping for Stocks, Vacations and Mortgages. An In-depth comparison…

which mortgageIS CHOOSING A MORTGAGE IS AS EASY AS BOOKING A TRIP OR TRADING A STOCK?…LET’S FIND OUT!

Sure, you can book a flight online or a buy a stock through the web.   But, can you really choose the right mortgage product on your own?  Can you really find the absolutely lowest cost mortgage financing option?  I’ll bet some consumers can. I’ll also bet the vast majority cannot…. and there’s a steady stream of horror stories, on this news site and others, that show just how costly and financially dangerous it is to be in the wrong mortgage product, with the wrong lender.

I’ve shared dozens of those experiences on this site.    Consumers who were directed into the wrong mortgage by their Banker or by some web site claiming to offer ‘the lowest rate’.   I empathize with these consumers as I believe they were just trying to save some money but instead ended up paying far more than they had to. Read the rest of this entry »

Rate shopping sites…tested again.. and failed again.

which mortgageA few years ago, I published a study on Rate shopping sites.   These sites were gaining popularity with consumers as a  place to go if you wanted to get the best rates.  And they attracted a lot of attention.

You know the sites… they have catchy ads like ‘shopping for the Best Mortgage rates in Canada’ or ‘comparing Canada’s mortgage brokers for the best rates’.  
Hey, who doesn’t want the best rate?  These ads work. Canadians were clicking these links to get more info.

Sounds great, right? Yet, it’s not.  
Read the rest of this entry »

Housing bubble? Waiting for the crash before buying has cost you 60% in the last 6 years.

Housing BubleBad news travels 10 times faster than good news!  It’s just human nature that we can’t seem to escape.  We seem more likely to gossip about someone’s misfortune than their accomplishments.

Here’s a negative headline….  YOU LOST APPROXIMATELY $355,000, SO FAR, IF YOU’VE BEEN WAITING TO A BUY HOUSE SINCE 2008.  Read on to see understand how and why.

Take Wednesday’s headline in the Financial Post, “Bank of Canada warns house prices are overvalued by up to 30%” .  WOW!  How’s that not gonna get your attention?   It certainly got mine.  I immediately had to read this article.  But the more I read, the clearer it became that this statement wasn’t exactly true.

The article pointed to a semi-annual report that is put out by the Bank of Canada entitled, Financial System Review December 2014.  That headline is an attention grabber.. And like most media headlines, it’s not the full story.  In fact, it’s not an accurate reflection of what the Bank of Canada report had to say.   If you look at Stephen Poloz’s (Bank of Canada Governor) comments, he says “there is some risk that the housing market is overvalued, and our estimates fall in the 10 to 30 per cent range”.

But he’s not done there.. Read the rest of this entry »

Attn: Ontario landlords… Rent control rules may not apply!

landlord-tenantDid you know that Alberta has no residential rent control?   And British Columbia landlords can increase rents by the rate of inflation PLUS 2%?   In Ontario, the Landlord and Tenant Board sets annual rent increases.   For 2014, the rent increase was a mere 0.8% and for 2015 the rents can only be increased by 1.6%.  Anyone that’s bought a rental property has probably been following these rules for years.   An increase of 2.2% over a 2 year period sounds great if you are a tenant, but somewhat unfair if you are landlord.

Now, what if I told you there’s a good chance your PROPERTY IS EXEMPT FROM ONTARIO’S RENT CONTROL RULES?  Meaning you can increase the rents as high as you like.   According to the Ontario Landlords Association, more and more properties are becoming exempt from Ontario’s rent control rules.  
Read the rest of this entry »

Use your mortgage to pull debt together and save for retirement.

saving-for-retirementPerhaps too much debt has made your monthly cash flow tight, putting you under some financial pressure and making it almost impossible to save for retirement. With the right plan in place, it may be possible to simplify your debt, reduce interest costs, and save for retirement, all without earning more or cutting your spending. 

If you have enough equity in your home (you can’t refinance a mortgage above an 80 per cent loan to value), we can show you how to use that equity to roll your high-interest debt into a low-rate mortgage and make a large RRSP contribution if you have contribution room.

Here’s an example – mortgage, car loan and credit cards total $225,000. If you have enough equity, you can roll that debt into a new $233,000 mortgage, including a fee to break the existing mortgage, and look at the payoff. Read the rest of this entry »

Is your banker giving you their best rate?

greedy banker EVEN THE BANK OF CANADA SAYS MORTGAGE BROKERS WILL GET YOU A LOWER RATE.

The Bank of Canada did a study a few years ago called Competition in the Canadian Mortgage Market.   The study concluded that consumers get a lower interest rate through brokers.    They also said that higher income earners were actually paying higher rates because they are less likely to spend the time to shop around for lower rates.

Last week, I did an interview for the news media about what a broker does.   They also interviewed one of my clients.  This client owns more than one property, he’s an experienced real estate investor and a senior manager for a major corporation.  He uses my service because I save him time and money.   He trusts my advice.  It’s that simple.   Here’s a link to the article.

IS YOUR BANKER GIVING THE BEST RATE?

A simple question.  How many of us can truly answer, yes?    You walk into your branch, you see a posted rate.  Then your banker shows you the “special rate” or “discounted rate”.   And then maybe they tell you they can do a little better.  But how much better?  And why aren’t they giving this up front?   Don’t loyal customers deserve the best?  Does this game sound familiar?

Read the rest of this entry »

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