Something strange has been going on over the past decade. We’re often being told – and, in many cases, convinced – that it’s better to rent than to own.
I firmly believe everyone should own their home. In fact, I think we should own at least one investment property… and, in many cases, more than one, but I’ll get to that in a minute…
I can understand why many people, particularly Millennials, are believing it’s better to rent than own. After all, it’s easier to rent. Just look online for a condo or house for rent. Apply, sign the lease and you’re done. We’ll call this the Convenience factor.
Continue reading “Why are We Being Poorly Advised Against Homeownership?”
Rate forecasting isn’t rocket science – it’s more common sense than you think! But, it requires a clear mind to make sense of all the rubbish that’s being published these days.
I’ve been forecasting for a while now that interest rates would start to come back down this year. Currently, interest rates are down by around 0.4% and will come down further.
WHY ARE RATES FALLING? Continue reading “Mortgage Rates have Dropped and Will Fall Further”
The beginning of the year is typically tough financially for most of us. Holiday bill payments, RRSP contributions, property tax bills, etc. And, if you’re self-employed, you probably have to make some sort of business tax or corporate tax payment. If December is the Holiday Season, then January and February feel like a hangover!
Banks and credit card companies love this time of year because this is when we’re most likely to carry a balance, forcing us to pay those crazy interest rates that range from 9% to 24%.
But, wait! Before you get too depressed, there may be a better option. There’s a less expensive way to manage your debt.
Continue reading “Debt Consolidation Tip: Pay less interest!”
If you’re a regular reader of this site, you’ll know I’ve been very skeptical and critical of the Bank of Canada (BoC) for continuing to increase interest rates. It just hasn’t made sense.
The BoC raised rates FIVE TIMES between July 2017 and October 2018. That’s a 1.25% increase. For anyone with a $300,000 mortgage, your payment increased by $189 per month. Or, to put it another way, for every $100,000 of mortgage, your payment went up by around $63 per month.
Yet, we kept hearing that the BoC wanted to raise rates further. Economists and other experts were saying we should expect more rate increases by the end of 2018! Wow!
Continue reading “Remember when I said rates could go down, not up?!”
If you’re planning to buy your first home anytime soon, you may be able to take advantage of a helpful federal government program. This enables you to withdraw money you’ve already contributed to your registered retirement savings plan (RRSP) and use it towards anything related to your home purchase, including your down payment, closing costs or real estate fees.
But, the key is that the funds must be in your account at least 90 days before you can withdraw them under the Home Buyers’ Plan (HBP).
You can withdraw up to $25,000 ($50,000 per couple) from your RRSPs tax- and interest-free to buy or build a qualifying home for yourself or a related person with a disability.
Continue reading “Thinking of buying a home? Contribute to your RRSP so you can borrow tax-free!”
Whenever there’s speculation that the Bank of Canada (BoC) will raise its key interest rate – or rates actually rise – many people are preoccupied worrying about locking in if they have a variable rate or renewing early in a fixed rate.
But, don’t panic! Rates aren’t going through the roof.
Continue reading “Where are rates headed? Down!”
Let’s forget about hot and cold real estate markets for a second. I realize that’s hard to do with so many media outlets pushing opinions. But, let’s look at historical trends and patterns that have remained consistent for well over 30 years.
The Spring housing market is the best time to sell. Sale prices are usually highest from February to June. It’s also going to provide buyers with the most selection as the number of listings usually increases.
But, it’s important to remember, however, that the Spring’s not always the best time to buy.
Continue reading “When’s the best time to BUY a home? December, of course!”
Could 2018 be the year where the pessimists finally get their way? I hate to admit it, but this could be the year where buying a home may not be a good idea.
OK, just kidding!!!
But after years of seeing countless articles and posts about rising interest rates, housing affordability issues, mortgage stress tests disqualifying some people from being able to buy, higher personal debt levels, NAFTA economic fears and Donald Trump (ok, Trump has nothing to do with this, but you can’t write an article these days without blaming him, right?!), does it still make sense to buy a home?
Yes! There is positive news. You can still buy a home. And you can still qualify for a mortgage.
Continue reading “Buying a home is cheaper than renting. Don’t be intimidated!”
Would it surprise you to learn that your doctor uses a mortgage broker? Well, it’s true – doctors use mortgage brokers all the time.
In fact, I personally have an extensive list of medical professionals as clients, including family doctors, specialists, dentists, veterinarians… and the list goes on.
So, why would these high-income earners use a mortgage broker?
Continue reading “Your Doctor Uses a Mortgage Broker!”
There’s a great new flexible interest-only mortgage product that could prove beneficial for a number of borrowers, including first-timers, real estate investors, professionals, seasonal workers and others looking for lower monthly mortgage payments.
Designed to help borrowers increase monthly cash flow by providing maximum flexibility, this product can be used for both purchases and refinances.
I recently tried this product out and was really impressed!
Continue reading “Looking to boost Cash Flow? New Flexible Mortgage could be a game-changer!”
The incredible variable rate wars we’re seeing this month are about to come to a close! It would be a shame to miss out on these savings! And, while there is a possibility that they’ll extend into June, I wouldn’t risk it – deep savings like these don’t come around every day! In fact, I’ve never seen advertised variable rates this low!
If your mortgage is coming up for renewal soon – or, even if it’s not – it’s worth a call to your mortgage broker to discuss the possible savings. The math speaks for itself…
Continue reading “Record-Low Variable Rate Wars EXPIRE THURSDAY… Don’t miss out!”
In order to fully understand how to take advantage of record-low variable rates, it’s important to learn some mortgage history.
BMO came out swinging first a week ago with a variable rate of Prime minus 1.00%. Historically, when a BIG SIX BANK comes out with a huge price decrease, it’s only for a very short time – likely 2-3 weeks. But, during that time, they can gain massive volumes and satisfy their market share requirements from the average borrower.
With all the talk of interest rates going up, this is welcome news for borrowers. Last week, I wrote about Variable rates at Prime minus 1.09%. This week, the banks have caught on.
Continue reading “And the Variable Rate price wars begin… Here’s how you can benefit!”
Quoting rates isn’t straightforward anymore. Your final rate is based on your credit score, purchase price or home value (homes over $1 million purchased after Oct 17, 2016 have higher rates), the loan to value (mortgages under 65% LTV and above 80% LTV get best rates), location, job type and income confirmation documents.
That’s right… ALL these factors will determine your interest rate!
Today, there’s a great variable rate available at Prime minus 1.09%. That translates to 2.39%. This is a real rate… it’s not a bait-and-switch ad like so many rate-comparison sites are quoting these days.
Continue reading “Prime minus 1.09%… Yes, this is a record-low Variable Rate!”
Much has been written about last week’s Posted rate hikes by TD and RBC. Don’t panic! This is just their posted rate – it’s not the actual rate they give to clients.
I do, however, think we’ll see a minimal rate hike in the coming weeks due to five-year Government of Canada bond yields increasing slightly. Fixed rates are priced closely to bond yields.
Continue reading “TD & RBC raised the POSTED rate… but not their REAL rates”
When it comes to mortgages, $100 isn’t going to get you very far. But what if you paid an extra $100 a month towards your mortgage? It’s not a lot of money these days, but it can add up to some solid savings over time.
Let’s look at a $300,000 mortgage with a 2.89% rate and a 25-year amortization. At the end of five years, you’ve paid off an extra $6,444. The balance owing is $249,435. And the remaining amortization is 17 years and 9 months instead of 20 years. This also represents an interest savings of $11,423 over the life of the mortgage. Not bad!
Now let’s look at paying an extra $200 per month. At the end of five years, you’ve paid off an extra $12,888. The balance owing is $242,991. And the remaining amortization is 15 years and 11 months. This represents an interest savings of $20,708 over the life of the mortgage! Continue reading “How can an extra $100 boost your mortgage?”
Trying to decide what’s the best move can be difficult… and, I must admit, this isn’t an easy subject to tackle. There are so many opinions! But it’s important enough that I’m going to put my two cents into the discussion. (My final recommendations are listed at the bottom if you want to fast forward.)
First, let’s come to the understanding that we’re all different and have unique needs. You must first ask for professional advice in order to make up your own mind. Having said that, I think that, for me, this is actually a very easy decision. Continue reading “RRSP, RESP, TFSA or Mortgage prepayment… Which offers the best bang for my buck?”