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Beware of “Friendly” Calls From Your Bank

For better or worse, Canadians have a lot of trust. In each other, in their government, in the places they eat, in the places they shop – and apparently in the places they bank. A 2020 survey found that seven out of 10 Canadians believe their banks have their best interest in mind when offering advice. Well, if you’re one of those seven out of 10 people, I hate to burst your bubble… but I have reason to believe otherwise.

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What Nobody Is Telling You About Fixed Rate Mortgages

My father keeps the news on constantly. It’s like an addiction, and CP24 is his drug of choice. It hurls bad news all day and all night. Not because it’s helpful, or even that interesting – but because it keeps his eyeballs on the screen. My father isn’t alone. CP24 and other 24-hour news sources are tattooed onto screens across the country.

Unfortunately, a lot of that bad news has to do with the housing market. It seems as though there’s a constant parade of “experts” telling you that we’re in a bubble. To sell now and rent until the market corrects itself. To avoid “risk” and go with a fixed rate mortgage. 

This last myth in particular has gone viral and needs to be dispelled.

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Don’t Fall For Low Fixed Rates

The fixed rate versus variable rate debate has never been more heated. With fixed rates currently averaging historical lows of roughly 2.25%, a lot of people are left wondering, “why wouldn’t I choose a fixed rate mortgage?” Fair enough – it certainly appears to be a safe bet on the surface. Lock in a low rate. Maintain it for the entirety of your term. Never worry about rates going up.

This belief is fuelled by the big banks spreading hysteria that variable rates are sure to shoot up. Why risk it when you can go with a record low fixed rate? Here’s the truth: The banks are pushing 5-year fixed rate mortgages because they’re more profitable for them. A variable rate mortgage isn’t the gamble it’s made out to be. In fact, it’s by far the more prudent move. 

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The CMHC Takes a Step in the Right Direction

In July 2020, with CEO Evan Siddall at the helm, the CMHC decided to tighten the rules for insured mortgages. With revisions like a much higher minimum credit score, and much lower maximums for gross and total debt service ratios, it instantly became much more difficult for Canadians to qualify for an insured mortgage. Unsurprisingly, this proved to be an unpopular move. So why did Siddall do it?

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Q and A | Jenelle Cameron of Remax Hallmark In Conversation with Steve Garganis of Mortgage Architects

Q & A | Jenelle Cameron of Remax Hallmark In Conversation with Steve Garganis of Mortgage Architects

Q&A | Jenelle Cameron In Conversation with Steve Garganis of Mortgage Architects

I participated in a Q & A with one of my good realtor friends, Jenelle Cameron of Remax. We had a chance to discuss the current impact of COVID-19 on mortgages and the real estate market in general. Find out the latest on mortgages, what’s happening with closings during this time, and more!

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