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Rate Cuts and Pending Deals – A quick note

As the dust starts to settle on yesterday’s Bank of Canada rate cut, here’s some clarification on what happens next.

To all my pending clients or clients with something on the go, your rates will be automatically adjusted downward.

For new clients, prospective purchasers, or people that want to take advantage of these falling rates, don’t hesitate to reach out to my office today. I am happy to discuss how you can take advantage of this.

Your best interest is my only interest.

As always, I welcome your comments, calls and questions.

Steve Garganis 416 224 0114 steve@mortgagenow.ca

why rent when you could buy

The affordability of homeownership… Rent or Buy?

why rent when you could buy

After years of seeing countless articles and posts about interest rates, housing affordability issues, mortgage stress tests disqualifying some people from being able to buy, higher personal debt levels, 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 “The affordability of homeownership… Rent or Buy?”

Adjustments to the Mortgage Stress Test

Adjustments to the “Stress Test” don’t go far enough

Adjustments to the Mortgage Stress Test

In case you missed it, Finance Minister Bill Morneau announced this week that adjustments to the “Stress Test” are coming on April 6th. While the government says the change will make the stress test qualifying rate more responsive to market conditions, what does that really look like?

On the bright side, this new qualifying rate will probably be lower by around 0.30%.  This will increase the amount of a house one can buy by around 5%.  

Example… $500k increases to $525k.  

On the dark side, this isn’t really making a whole lot of difference. I don’t want to sound pessimistic, but I’d like to point out the shortcomings of his announcement. It’s purely political. They said they would do something and I guess, technically they did. But it really has no significant impact. 

Continue reading “Adjustments to the “Stress Test” don’t go far enough”

Genworth Regional Risk Report

Some great stats just came out in Genworth’s regional risk reports. Here are a few of the highlights.

As expected, Ontario’s housing market has been very healthy and active and has been picking up steam over the last 2 years.

Alberta’s economy has been hit hard over the past 3 years due to the inability to bring its biggest resource, oil and gas, to the market. We’ve all read and heard about the pipeline debacle. However, the housing market is rebounding as is shown in the stats. Let’s hope action is taken to get our western Canadians some positive changes.  

Continue reading “Genworth Regional Risk Report”
bi-weekly-and-accelerated-payments

How much do you save with bi-weekly payments?

bi-weekly-and-accelerated-payments

For years, we’ve been told to pay our mortgage bi-weekly. Magically, it will  pay your mortgage off faster. Hmm, let’s put that to the test.

(SPOILER ALERT!)  Around 10 years ago, I wrote an article showing some simple but effective math to explain this. I’m constantly getting emails from my readers asking me what they should do. Obviously, a topic worth taking another look at.

Let me also say, there is merit to paying bi-weekly… I’ll explain further on.

HISTORY OF BI-WEEKLY PAYMENTS

Back in the mid-’90s, there was a huge marketing blitz by the Big Banks that promoted making bi-weekly payments instead of the traditional monthly payments. The sales pitch was that you could save huge amounts of money and pay your mortgage off much faster, shaving 4 or 5 years off your amortization. Sound familiar? While offering some benefit, BI-WEEKLY PAYMENTS DON’T SAVE AS MUCH AS YOU MIGHT THINK!

And I’ll prove it… Here are the straight facts!

Continue reading “How much do you save with bi-weekly payments?”

Time to review your mortgage

How’s my rate?

Time to review your mortgageYou’re two years into your mortgage term. You’ve got a great rate, or so you thought? But now you aren’t sure. With so much talk about record low interest rates, you begin to question. Maybe there’s a better deal out there? Did you choose the right product and lender? Has your mortgage advisor or broker contacted you during those two years? Does this sound familiar?

We’ve all heard of buyer’s remorse. That’s when you make a purchase, only to regret spending the money days or weeks later. I’m seeing a lot of people second-guessing their mortgage decision recently. And I have news for you… RELAX! There is a way to check to and see if you made the right choice, and better still, there is a way to see if you can do better today.

Continue reading “How’s my rate?”

Rental properties as a secure long-term investment

Real estate may not be sexy, but…

Rental properties as a secure long-term investment

Rental properties are a secure long-term investment. Note the emphasis on “long-term”.

Check out any seven-year period over the past 50 years (anyone who has read this news site knows that I always recommend buying and holding for at least seven years). Property values have almost always risen.

Sure, the last five or 10 years have seen fantastic appreciation in almost every part of Canada. But, let’s leave capital appreciation out of the equation for now.

Why aren’t we talking about rental income? Or, how about the equity growth through your mortgage being paid down each year?

RENTAL INCOME IS UP, UP, UP!

Part of what makes rental properties attractive is that rent rises with inflation (or even higher, in many cases, as we have seen in urban markets like Toronto and Vancouver). This is how you create your own pension or retirement income! Continue reading “Real estate may not be sexy, but…”

When Second Mortgages Make Sense

When a Second Mortgage makes good financial sense.

When Second Mortgages Make Sense

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 sorts 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 “When a Second Mortgage makes good financial sense.”

Consolidate debt pay less interest

Want to pay off debt? Pay less interest!

Consolidate debt pay less interest

It’s not a new concept but it is one that is worth remembering and so I will repeat it. If you want to pay off debt, start by paying less interest.

January is usually a tough financial month for most of us.  Holiday bill payments, rrsp contributions, property tax bills and if you are self-employed, you probably have to make some sort of business tax or corporate tax payment.  If December is the Holiday Season, then January feels like a hangover!

Banks and Credit Card companies love this time of year because this is when we will normally carry a balance and have to pay those crazy interest rates that range from 9% to 25%.  Wait, before you get too depressed, there could be a better option.  There’s a less expensive way to manage your debt. Continue reading “Want to pay off debt? Pay less interest!”

New year new home - Learn About the Home Buyers Plan

Home Buying Goals? A New Year’s Resolution to Keep.

New year new home - Learn About the Home Buyers Plan

New year, new home? It’s a good time to take another look at the Home Buyers’ Plan (HBP).

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 $35,000 ($70,000 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 “Home Buying Goals? A New Year’s Resolution to Keep.”

Getting divorced - Should I keep the family home

Getting divorced? What about the family home?

Getting divorced - Should I keep the family home

Having worked on 8,000+ mortgage applications at this stage in my career, I’ve witnessed my share of separations and divorces. While I have shared a financial and personal perspective on marital splits in the past, it is always worth revisiting for those out there that are going through these life changes now or in the future.

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.

Continue reading “Getting divorced? What about the family home?”

You will never see a U-Haul following a hearse

I’ll say it again. You’ll never see a U-Haul following a hearse!

You will never see a U-Haul following a hearseThat’s right, I’ve said this before, and will say it again.

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 “I’ll say it again. You’ll never see a U-Haul following a hearse!”

The State of Homebuying in Canada 2019 CMHC Mortgage Consumer Survey

Significant decrease in first time home buyers in 2019

Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation released The State of Homebuying in Canada report on November 15, 2019, with a few key findings, including this headline. 

The annual State of Homebuying in Canada report noted that 56% of all purchasers were first time buyers in 2018. This dropped to 47% in 2019.

The tightening of mortgage rules which has been taking place over the last 4 years is certainly having an effect. The never ending rule changes were intended to slow home sales and prices. But like most government interventions, its had the opposite effect.

Continue reading “Significant decrease in first time home buyers in 2019”
Get a secured line of credit while you can qualify.

My advice is simple: Over 50? Get a secured line of credit while you can qualify.

Get a secured line of credit while you can qualify.

Contrary to media reports about our ‘record personal debt levels’, it’s extremely prudent to ensure you have access to emergency money.

The line of credit popularity that took place in the ’90s wasn’t a bad thing. It allowed us to borrow at low rates to invest or spend as needed. Many successful investors have been doing this for decades. Borrowing to invest makes smart financial success. Don’t let anyone tell you differently.

We’re seeing more reasons for Canadians to get a secured line of credit now: Age; Income; and Qualification.

Continue reading “My advice is simple: Over 50? Get a secured line of credit while you can qualify.”

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