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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…”

Got a mortgage? Good news: Bank of Canada didn’t raise rates yesterday!

Blog Image, Your Best Mortgage is About More than Rate, Feb Mar 2018

Yesterday, Bank of Canada (BoC) Governor, Stephen Poloz, left rates unchanged. This kept the bank prime rate at 3.45%.

This also, indirectly, affects fixed mortgage rates. Great news for anyone with a mortgage. Go ahead, it’s okay to feel good about paying a low interest rate on what’s probably the biggest debt of your life!

ARE ECONOMISTS RIGHT?

For months we’ve heard economists forecasting 2-4 BoC rate hikes for 2018. So far, we’ve had one increase – in January. Should we be expecting three more increases? Only time will tell, since the BoC raises its rate when inflation rises above the target inflation rate… currently the range is between 1% and 3%, and sits at an acceptable 2.10%. Some believe inflation has increased temporarily, in part, due to increased minimum wage.

Continue reading “Got a mortgage? Good news: Bank of Canada didn’t raise rates yesterday!”

Yes, you can still buy a home in Canada… Keeping the dream alive

Homeownership Image, March 2018

Canada’s a nation of immigrants. It truly is the land of opportunity. Chances are, your parents, grandparents or great grandparents came here from another country.

There are many reasons why people left their homeland. Some left by choice to pursue a better life. Others had to leave for safety reasons. Whatever the reason, most of us have a common goal: A better life.

Homeownership has always been an important part of that dream. We want to own something. We want to plant roots. There’s a pile of statistics to support this claim. In my 28 years in the financial services industry, I can attest to this claim.

Continue reading “Yes, you can still buy a home in Canada… Keeping the dream alive”

Rent is up, vacancy is down… rental properties make sense

Real Estate Investment Image, Feb 2018

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!

Rents have definitely gone up with inflation (or even higher, in many cases, as we have seen in urban markets like Toronto and Vancouver). This is part of what makes rental properties attractive rent rises with inflation and, in many cases, even higher. This is how you create your own pension or retirement income! Continue reading “Rent is up, vacancy is down… rental properties make sense”

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.  
Continue reading “Rate shopping sites…tested again.. and failed again.”

Lower rate = Lower payment and a Lower balance in 5 years!

Mortgage Burning1 We all know that a lower interest means a lower monthly payment.   But did you know that a lower interest rate means you will also owe less when your mortgage comes up for renewal?    This has been overlooked by consumers and experts alike.  I haven’t seen any articles covering this.  And it should change how you choose your next mortgage product.

It all has to do with the effects of compounding interest.   Let’s take a look at 2 borrowers, each with a $400k mortgage.  Borrower 1 is Mary.   Borrower 2 is Dave.   Mary has today’s 5 yr fixed rate of 3.29%.   Dave has the more normal rate of 5.50% (the rate most experts think we will see in the next 3 to 5 yrs).    We’ll amortize both mortgage over a 25 yr term.

Dave’s mortgage has monthly payments of $2441 and a balance owing of $356,749 at the end of 5 years.   Mary’s mortgage has monthly payments of $1953 and a balance owing of $343,728 at the end of the first 5 years.  Notice the difference in the balance owing after 5 years.    We are talking about a $13,021 difference.  That’s the effects of compounding interest. Continue reading “Lower rate = Lower payment and a Lower balance in 5 years!”

Mortgage rates hit all-time lows….it all adds up to record savings too.

graph trend downMortgage rates are still low… In fact, they are at record lows…  5 year fixed rates for qualify products can be found at 2.89%… some No Frills products are at 2.79% (stay away from these products)..   Put another way, for every $100,000 of mortgage you borrower, your payment is $468/mth.

Compare this with the average 5 year fixed rate for the past 25 years being over 7.00% and you have huge potential savings.  That same $100,000 mortgage would cost you $700/mth… That’s a $232/mth difference.  No wonder more Canadians are buying homes, buying rental properties or tapping into their equity to invest. Continue reading “Mortgage rates hit all-time lows….it all adds up to record savings too.”

So-called “Best Rate sites” are put to the test with shocking results.

which mortgageThere’s been a surge of ‘Best Rate’ sites popping up… Chances are, you’ve probably seen one or more of their online ads…   You know the ones…‘shopping’ for the Best mortgage rates in Canada’ and ‘comparing Canada’s mortgage brokers for the best rate”.   It does sound great… and it seems to be getting lots of attention… Even the media are covering and quoting these sites…  And although I like that these sites promote how Mortgage Brokers can offer great rates, I’ve noticed some disturbing trends that you need to watch out for.

“I JUST WANT THE BEST RATE”

You say you want the ‘best rate’?  Really?  Or do you want to pay the least amount of money on your mortgage?   I’ll bet it’s the latter.  Make no mistake, these two things are very different and I’ll prove it.  But let’s face it, the rate gets everyone’s attention.. Most people don’t want to hear anything beyond that.. until they get burned for $$thousands on the mortgage later on.

Now what if I told you that 80% of my clients were paying a rate of 1.35% during 2009 and 2010, would that get your attention?   Of course.  And it’s true.  80% of my clients were in a Variable Rate mortgage based on my recommendations….and almost all of them didn’t panic and lock into a fixed rate (like the BIG SIX BANKS wanted them to)…they stayed in those products based on my specific advice recommending they not lock into a Fixed rate….    That’s called being in the right product at the right time.  My average client saved $6,000 during that time. Continue reading “So-called “Best Rate sites” are put to the test with shocking results.”

Listings down, prices up…. housing bubble?

Latest housing stats show listings are down, sales are down… but prices are up, only slightly…. and houses aren’t on the market as long.  They are selling faster.   Doesn’t sound like a bubble to me.  More like a soft landing.

This is exactly what the govt had in mind when it changed mortgage rules a few months ago and made it tougher to qualify for a mortgage.  It’s still too early to say if these changes are just right or went too far….. We’ll need another 6 months or so to see the full effect.   Best guesses are that the housing market could slow by 5%.   But I haven’t seen that happen… In the Greater Toronto area, we are still seeing multiple offers and sales go above asking price….  The interesting stat for me is the fewer number of sales… We’ll be watching that stat… fewer sales over an extended period of time will stop any price increases…

This also means we should expect interest rates to remain low.  The Bank of Canada will be under less pressure to raise rates with a flat housing market.   Throw in the U.S. Fed’s announcement last week that they were going to keep rates the same until 2014-15, and we have the perfect setting for low rates.

RECORD LOW INTEREST ARE STILL HERE…. WHY AREN’T WE TALKING ABOUT THIS?

Speaking of low interest rates…  Here’s some advice… before you put your plans to buy on hold, you should remember that we are still enjoying historically low interest rates.  5 year fixed rates at 3.09%… Variable rates at 2.65%..!!   This is a fact that so many of us tend to ignore…. maybe it’s just too boring to talk about.    I’ll make it more exciting…

A $400k mortgage will carry for $1912/mth based on today’s 3.09% 5 yr fixed rate…….Wanna wait for house prices to fall and save some money?  Ok, but you should also expect interest rates to rise… lower house prices are caused by higher interest rates and higher unemployment…  We don’t expect higher unemployment so we must attribute any house price drop to a rise in interest rates……a look back at the last housing crash in 1989 showed interest rates went up to 11% and 12% just before the crash….. make sense so far?

This is where so many of us stop thinking or analyzing…Cashflow and affordability are probably just as important or more important than rate, mortgage balance, purchase price, etc… if you aren’t comfortable with the payment, you will run into problems…. By the way, affordability is still VERY good according the RBC affordability index.

REAL MORTGAGE MATH SHOWS TRUE COST OF WAITING TO BUY

Let’s continue….Let’s say rates go to more normal levels…  we’ll use 5% interest rates..  That same $400k mortgage will cost you $2326/mth.….  and if you wanna adjust the mortgage size by $40k because house prices should fall 10%, okay…  a $360k mortgage at 5% will cost you $2094/mth... That’s still $182/mth more… and let’s also not forget, that you may have lost 1, 2, 3 or more years of not paying a mortgage down….  Did you know you will pay your mortgage down by around $10k per year in the first 3 yrs alone?

Real Estate isn’t always a great investment, but it usually makes more sense to buy, hold and enjoy, than it does not to buy and rent….  And with interest rates at record lows, it’s even easier to make that recommendation.   Stop listening to the pessimist that say the sky is falling or the world is ending…  If we listened to them, we would be renting for the last 10+ years… for that’s how long they have been saying house prices are inflated and need to drop…..

As always, if you aren’t sure where you fit in or what’s best for you, feel free to contact me to discuss…  Your questions and comments are welcome.

Steve Garganis

steve@mortgagenow.ca

416 224 0114

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