So, your mortgage is coming up for renewal this year. You’ve probably been in your mortgage for at least three years – but likely closer to five, as this is the most common term.
Does the mortgage stress test affect you? Absolutely! And, here’s how…
Continue reading “What Impact will the Stress Test have when Renewing Your Mortgage?”
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!”
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 nothing surprising about the loosening of mortgage standards to spur growth. In the last real housing bubble of 1990, banks and government brought in stricter lending rules, making it tougher for borrowers to get a mortgage.
Fast forward to the present. We’ve yet to see a housing bubble or market crash, but the government has taken drastic – perhaps even unheard of – precautions to slow the housing market.
In 1990, I was working for the largest trust company in Canada. I can tell you that it has never been harder to qualify for a mortgage than it is today!
Continue reading “Looser Mortgage Standards Hit the UK! Is Canada Next?!”
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!”
Our lifecycle goes something like this… Go to school. Find a job (and work hard for 40 years). Fall in love. Get married. Save money. Buy a house. Start a family. Retire on enough pension or savings. Enjoy the results of your hard work. Live in your house until death. Leave the house for your kids.
This is how most of us envision a normal lifecycle. But how often does this really happen? How many people really live happily ever after? What’s the big deal about tapping into home equity to fully enjoy life?
Continue reading “Live Your Life: You’ll never see a U-Haul following a hearse!”
Last Wednesday, the Bank of Canada (BoC) raised its overnight target rate to 1.5% – up from 1.25%. This is the fourth increase since last June, when the target rate was 0.5%.
The timing is suspect to me. Last year, we had an increase around this time, but that was coming off of the hottest housing market in 29 years. We’re currently on the heels of a brutally slow spring market, yet rates are still rising? I don’t get it… this is a poor decision, in my opinion.
When it comes to four rate increases in the past year, there are facts, realities and perceptions that come into play… Continue reading “Why Did the Bank of Canada Raise Rates Last Week?!”
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”
The BIG SIX BANKS have been caught. For those who still think the banker is your friend and is only looking out for your best interests, guess again. They’re in the business of selling and making money. The FCAC has finally reported what Financial Experts have known for years!
This report was recently released… but I wonder how soon it will be forgotten? And how much media attention will this important story really get?
Don’t forget, the BIG SIX BANKS are among the Top 10 Largest and most profitable corporations in Canada. They spend billions in marketing each year. That sort of advertising budget can make us forget about these types of announcements.
Continue reading “BIG SIX BANKS exposed and called out by Financial Consumer Agency of Canada!”
You’ve heard the stats: 1 out of every 2 marriages fails. Actually, I think the number of failed marriages is even higher now. Wait, let me rephrase that. A marital split is not a failure. I think that’s old-world thinking. A marital split is usually a positive move for all parties involved – for the spouses who are no longer in love and the kids who don’t have to see an unhappy married couple.
Marital splits can be a very emotional and difficult time in one’s life – especially when there are kids involved. There’s always one parent who wants to keep the house because the kids grew up there or have friends there or it’s just more familiar to them.
Having worked on 8,000+ mortgage applications at this stage in my career, I’ve witnessed my share of separations and divorces. I’m going to share what I’ve seen – a financial and personal perspective on marital splits.
Continue reading “I’m getting divorced. Should I keep the family home?”
Quick, what’s the first thing that comes to mind when you think of “second mortgages”? For some it could be that shady-looking character in a smoke-filled pool hall… guys with gold chains and a baseball bat nearby. Maybe you’re thinking of someone in financial trouble? Or, perhaps it’s just someone who doesn’t want to pay outrageous costs and penalties to refinance their existing mortgage.
The mere mention of second mortgages conjures up all sort of images. Most of them, negative. For many, a second mortgage can be a last-resort solution during a financial crisis. For several others, it can be an opportunity to save money. That’s right, to save money.
Sure, second mortgages carry a higher interest rate than first mortgages, but they can also serve a purpose. One of those purposes can be to save you money. Yup, I said it again. There are some new trends emerging with today’s new mortgage products that are forcing consumers to seek other options. Two of these trends are INFLATED PREPAYMENT PENALTIES and NO FRILLS MORTGAGES! Continue reading “Considering a Second Mortgage? It can save you money!”