MORTGAGE PREPAYMENT(S)- THE PERFECT HOLIDAY GIFT!

Mortgage Tips Darick Battaglia 4 Dec

Do you know what kind of prepayment privileges you currently have with your mortgage? Does your current lender allow you to make a 10% prepayment or a 20% prepayment on your principle amount? Can you double your monthly payment? Or can you even increase the amount you are paying monthly?

This is important information, and the following break down is going to show you why making a prepayment on your mortgage may just be the best holiday gift you can get yourself this season!

Mortgage Structure

Mortgage Amount: $400,000

Term: 60 months (5 years)

Interest rate: 3.19%

Payment: $1,932.19/month

After 5 years of monthly payments…

Interest paid: $59,068.97

Principal paid: $56,862.43

Balance outstanding: $343,137.57

Amortization remaining: 20 years

After 5 years of monthly payments with double-up payments twice yearly…

Interest paid: $57,621.44

Principal paid: $77,631.86

Balance outstanding: 322,368.14

Amortization remaining: 20 years

Effective amortization: 15 years 1 month

Interest saved over term: $1,447.53

Let us break this down. If you double your monthly payment of $1,932.19 twice a year, for the term of your mortgage (5 years in this case), you will save $1,447.53 in interest over those 5 years. Not too bad. But there is more…

If you did these double-ups twice a year for 5 years, and refinanced your mortgage after the 5 years but continued paying the higher payment of $1,932.19 instead of what the new monthly payments would be ($1,557.19), that extra $375 a month goes directly to the principal amount owing and takes 4 years and 11 months off of your amortization…

If that doesn’t excite you and you decided instead to continue making double-up payments for the remainder of the amortization, you would save $38,550.70 in interest…

So this holiday season, when you get your year-end bonus or are deciding how much to spend on loved ones, maybe first consider allowing yourself a mortgage prepayment or two because it could save you years of payments and potentially thousands of dollars in interest!

Courtesy of Ryan Oake – AMP – DLC Producers West Financial based in Langley, BC

THE #1 MISCONCEPTION ABOUT MORTGAGE FINANCING!

Mortgage Tips Darick Battaglia 3 Dec

It is a reoccurring but common misconception that you will qualify for a mortgage in the future because you have qualified for a mortgage in the past.

This is not accurate!

Do. Not. Assume. Anything.

Even if your financial situation has remained the same or has improved, securing mortgage financing is more difficult now than it has in recent years.
The latest changes to mortgage qualification by the federal government has left Canadians qualifying 20-25% less. On top of that, guidelines that lenders would use in determining your suitability have been replaced with non-negotiable rules and declarations.

As mortgage professionals, we keep up to date with the latest trends going on in the mortgage world by understanding lender products and staying attentive to evolving changes.

From experience, we can tell you that having a plan is crucial to a successful mortgage application. Making assumptions about your qualification or just “winging it” is a recipe for disaster. Here are a few points on why a mortgage broker is a must for the first time home-buyer.

1. They have access to over 40 different lenders, not just one
2. They work for you, not for the lender
3. They will guide you through the application process
4. They save you valuable time by shopping for you
5. They pull your credit once — if you go to multiple banks, you will have multiple credit pulls

If you are thinking about buying a property, please feel free to contact a Dominion Lending Centres mortgage professional where we can help you devise a full-proof plan!

Courtesy of CHRIS CABEL – AMP – DLC HomeHow Mortgage based in Calgary, AB.

WOULD A CO-SIGNER ENABLE YOU TO QUALIFY FOR A MORTGAGE?

Mortgage Tips Darick Battaglia 29 Nov

There seems to be some confusion about what it actually means to co-sign on a mortgage… and any time there is there is confusion about mortgages, it’s time to chat with your trusted Dominion Lending Centres mortgage professional!

Let’s take a look at why you would want to have someone co-sign your mortgage and what you need to know before, during and after the co-signing process.

Qualifying for a mortgage is getting tougher, especially with the 2017 government regulations. If you have poor credit or don’t earn enough money to meet the banks requirements to get a mortgage, then getting someone to co-sign your mortgage may be your only option.

The ‘stress test’ rate is especially “stressful” for borrowers. As of Jan. 1, 2018 all homebuyers with over 20% down payment will need to qualify at the rate negotiated for their mortgage contract PLUS 2% OR 4.99% which ever is higher. If you have less than 20% down payment, you must purchase Mortgage Default Insurance and qualify at 4.99%. The stress test has decreased affordability, and most borrowers now qualify for 20% less home.

In the wise words of Mom’s & Dad’s of Canada… “if you can’t afford to buy a home now, then WAIT until you can!!” BUT… in some housing markets (Toronto & Vancouver), waiting it out could mean missing out, depending on how quickly property values are appreciating in the area.

If you don’t want to wait to buy a home, but don’t meet the guidelines set out by lenders and/or mortgage default insurers, then you’re going to have to start looking for alternatives to conventional mortgages, and co-signing could be the solution you are looking for.

In order to give borrowers, the best mortgage rates, Lenders want the best borrowers!! They want someone who will pay their mortgage on time as promised with no hassles.

If you can’t qualify for a mortgage with your current provable income (supported by 2 years of tax returns and a letter of employment) along with solid credit, your lender’s going to ask for a co-signer.

Ways to co-sign a mortgage

The first is for someone to co-sign your mortgage and become a co-borrower, the same as a spouse or anyone else who you are actually buying the home with. It’s basically adding the support of another person’s credit history and income to those initially on the application. The co-signer will be put on the title of the home and lenders will consider them equally responsible for the debt should the mortgage go into default.
Another way that co-signing can happen is by way of a guarantor. If a co-signer decides to become a guarantor, then they’re backing the loan and essentially vouching for the person getting the loan that they’re going to be good for it. The guarantor is going to be responsible for the loan should the borrower go into default.
Most lenders prefer a co-signer going on title, it’s easier for them to take action if there are problems.

More than one person can co-sign a mortgage and anyone can do so, although it’s typically it’s the parent(s) or a close relative of a borrower who steps up and is willing to put their neck, income and credit bureau on the line.

Ultimately, as long as the lender is satisfied that all parties meet the qualification requirements and can lessen the risk of their investment, they’re likely to approve it.

Before signing on the dotted line

Anyone that is willing to co-sign a mortgage must be fully vetted, just like the primary applicant. They will have to provide all the same documentation as the primary applicant. Being a co-signer makes you legally responsible for the mortgage, exactly the same as the primary applicant. Co-signers need to know that being on someone else’s mortgage will impact their borrowing capacity while they are on title for that mortgage. They’re allowing their name and all their information to be used in the process of a mortgage, which is going to affect their ability to borrow anything in the future.

If someone is a guarantor, then things can become even trickier the guarantor isn’t on title to the home. That means that even though they’re on the mortgage, they have no legal right to the home itself. If anything happens to the original borrower, where they die, or something happens, they’re not really on the title of that property but they’ve signed up for the loan. So they don’t have a lot of control which can be a scary thing.

In my opinion, it’s much better for a co-signer to be a co-borrower on the property, where you can actually be on title to the property and enjoy all of the legal rights afforded to you.

The Responsibilities of Being a Co-signer

Co-signing can really help someone out, but it’s also a big responsibility. When you co-sign for someone, you’re putting your name and credit on the line as security for the loan/mortgage.

If the person you co-sign for misses a payment, the lender or other creditor can come to you to get the money. The late payment would also show up on your credit report.

Because co-signing a loan has the potential to affect both your credit and finances, it’s extremely important to make sure you’re comfortable with the person you’re co-signing for. You both need to know what you’re getting into. I recommend looking into Independent Legal Advice between all co-borrowers.

Co-signing is NOT a life sentence Just because you need a co-signer to get a mortgage doesn’t mean that you will always need a co-signer.

In fact, as soon as you feel that you’re strong enough to qualify without your co-signer – you can ask your lender to reconsider your application and remove the co-signer from the title. It is a legal process so there will be a small cost associated with the process, but doing so will remove the co-signer from your loan (once you are able to qualify on your own), and release them from the responsibility of the mortgage.

Removing a co-signer technically counts as changing the mortgage, so you need to check with your mortgage broker and lender to ensure that the lender you choose doesn’t count removing a co-signer as breaking your mortgage, because there could be large penalties associated with doing so.

Co-signing is an option that could help a lot of people buy a home, especially first time home buyers who are typically starting their career and building their credit bureau.

A final mortgage tip: a couple of alternatives to co-signing that could help someone out:

providing gift funds for a down payment
paying off someone else’s debt, giving them more funds to pay the mortgage

Courtesy of Kelly Hudson – AMP – DLC Canadian Mortgage Experts based in Richmond, BC.

VARIABLE RATE? TO LOCK IN OR NOT?

Mortgage Tips Darick Battaglia 28 Nov

This post applies if you are taking a new mortgage, whether it’s for a purchase, refinance, or renewal. The variable remains the main contender.

But what about all the economists saying if you are currently in a variable rate mortgage then you should rush to ‘lock in’?

You mean the economists that are employed by profit driven shareholder owned institutions that directly benefit from your locking-in (banks) via instantly increased profit margins and massively higher (up to 900% higher) prepayment penalties that 2/3 mortgage holders will trigger?

A bit biased, that crowd.
Also they are generalists, they’re not specialists.

But what about independent real estate experts?

While these experts may have their finger on the pulse of many facets of the real estate market, many remain totally unaware of how exactly mortgage prepayment penalties are calculated, and just how likely you are to trigger them.

Also generalists, are unaware of many nuances of mortgage products.

So what’s my game?

I’ve never really had game, so to speak. And I don’t stand to profit from your locking in, or from your staying variable. In fact as I type this on a stunning day I’m wondering just what I’m doing in my office at all.

I’m just a Mortgage Broker offering an opinion. An opinion that reflects my personal policy, an opinion shaped through 25 years of experience with my own mortgages, an opinion based on 11 years of experience with 1,673 client’s mortgages.

I’ve seen a few things, mortgage specific things.

I’ve watched 2/3 of my clients break their mortgages and trigger penalties. Almost every single one of them a small and relatively painless penalty thanks to staying variable.

But what about these rising rates?

If you are currently in a Prime -.65% to Prime -1.00% variable then to lock-in would be to inflict an immediate rate hike on yourself that might take the government another 12-18 months to pull off… if they pull it off.

Stay variable.

If you are in a Prime -.35 or shallower mortgage, we should discuss restructuring that into a Prime -1.00% mortgage and reducing your rate by .65% or more.

Staying variable.

My crystal ball says yes, perhaps another two or three 0.25% hikes through 2019, but at that point the odds favour (heavily) an economic contraction that will in turn trigger a corresponding reduction in interest rates.

It is my theory, and that of others smarter than I, that the fed is pushing rates up aggressively to beat said economic contraction, because they want to have the tool of ‘reducing interest rates’ back in their toolbox when the rainy days come. And we are overdue for stormy economic times. And when those times arrive it will not be prudent to be locked-in.

Courtesy of Dustan Woodhouse – AMP – DLC Canadian Mortgage Experts based in Coquitlam, BC

CONGRATULATIONS ON THE MORTGAGE! NOW LET’S GET RID OF IT!

Mortgage Tips Darick Battaglia 22 Nov

So now that you’re a home owner, what are your next steps? Well first, you will have to figure out exactly how you are going to get RID of that mortgage. Yes, that’s right. Now that you got it, here are four ways you can pay it off and be done with it!

1. ACCELERATE YOUR PAYMENT FREQUENCY

Making the change from monthly payments to accelerated bi-weekly payments is one of the easiest ways you can make a huge difference to the bottom line of your mortgage. A traditional mortgage splits the amount owing into 12 equal monthly payments however, an accelerated biweekly payment is simply taking a regular monthly payment and dividing it in two. Instead of making 24 payments, you will make 26. The extra two payments really accelerate the repayment of your mortgage!
Here is an example of what I’m talking about.
Bob currently has a $300,000 mortgage at a 4% fixed rate with a 25 year amortization period. He will save $32,000 just by moving to biweekly accelerated payments from biweekly. Go Bob!

2. INCREASE YOUR MORTGAGE PAYMENT AMOUNT
Unless you opted for a “no-frills” mortgage, chances are you have the capability of increasing your regular mortgage payment by 10-25%. This is a great option if you have some extra cash to spend within your budget. This money will go directly towards paying down the principal amount owing on your mortgage. The more money you can pay down when you first get your mortgage, the better. At the end of the day, you will pay less interest over the lifespan of your mortgage. By voluntarily increasing your mortgage payment, it is metaphorically like you are signing up for a long term forced savings plan where equity builds in your house rather than your bank account.

3. MAKE A LUMP SUM PAYMENT

Again, unless you have a “no-frills” mortgage, you should be able to make bulk payments towards your mortgage. Depending on your lender and your mortgage product, you should be able to put down anywhere from 10-25% of the original mortgage balance. Some lenders may be particular about WHEN you can make these payments, however if you haven’t taken advantage of a lump sum payment yet this year, you will be eligible.

4. REVIEW YOUR OPTIONS REGULARLY

As your mortgage payments are withdrawn from your account, it is easy to put your mortgage payments on auto-pilot especially if you have opted for a 5-year fixed term. Despite the term of your mortgage, it is highly encouraged to give your mortgage an annual review. This review gives you a conscious look at the overall stance of your mortgage which could rise to opportunities of refinancing or lowering your interest rate!

Courtesy of CHRIS CABEL – AMP – DLC HomeHow Mortgage based in Calgary, AB.

MORTGAGE INTEREST RATE TIERS

Mortgage Tips Darick Battaglia 20 Nov

Since we know that lenders can back-end insure our mortgages (please read our Mortgage Insurance Market and Wholesale Lenders article first), and that this specifically makes these mortgage investments more attractive to investors, what does it mean for borrowers (every day people like you and me)?

To recap, any mortgage that is inexpensive for a wholesale lender to get financing for allows the lender to pass on savings to their clients, meaning mortgages that are insured get the best rates! An insured mortgage is where a borrower pays the mortgage default insurance because they have less than 20% down payment and is required on all mortgages where the down payment is less than 20%.

But, lenders can also pay for insurance for their client! An “insurable” mortgage is one where the clients puts 20% down (or more), and their mortgage is approved as though a client is paying for insurance, but the actual insurance is paid for by the lender.

Rates for insurable mortgages are generally very similar to insured mortgages. An “uninsurable” mortgage is one where mortgage insurance is not available.

The graph below outlines what type of mortgages are insured, insurable or uninsurable.

So what does this all mean for you, the borrower?

If your mortgage is insurable, you may be able to get the best rates. What is interesting to note is that if you have a mortgage that was previously uninsured, your current lender cannot insure your mortgage but your mortgage may be insurable if you transfer to a new lender – this is where our opportunity lies!

As an aside, if your mortgage was previously “insured,” and you paid for mortgage insurance, you will also be offered the best rates upon transfer or renewal.

Courtesy of EITAN PINSKY – AMP – DLC Origin Mortgages based in Vancouver, BC.

4 FACTS ABOUT USING A GUARANTOR

Mortgage Tips Darick Battaglia 16 Nov

A Guarantor, when it comes to mortgages, is exactly what it sounds like—they “Guarantee” the mortgage for another person if they are unable to pay back the loan.

Guarantor’s or co-signers are often used if someone has:

• Damaged or poor credit
• Insufficient income

In most cases, someone with poor credit and/or insufficient income has a more challenging time securing a mortgage. Adding a guarantor can help get the file approved as the lender is assured that he or she will be paid, should the mortgage holder default.

Many people will assume that a co-signer and a guarantor are the same thing. This is not the case though…there are key differences that you should know before becoming a guarantor on a mortgage.

1. Whose name is on the loan?
This may seem like a small detail, but when it comes to loans, whose name is on it matters!
With a guarantor, their name will not be on the title of the property, but it will be on the mortgage. With a co-signor, this changes in that their name will be on the mortgage and on the title of the property. In addition to this, for a guarantor mortgage the guarantor must be a spouse. With a co-signer this is not the case, and you can utilize whomever agrees and meets the qualifications.

2. What’s the Risk?
For the people seeking a guarantor, a portion of risk is alleviated because they have the guarantee of the guarantor. However, for the guarantor, there is a heightened risk. They are responsible for the entire amount of the loan if the borrower defaults at any time. With this in mind, lenders require the guarantor(s), in addition to the borrower(s), to qualify for the loan they are looking to borrow. They must meet the following lending requirements which include:
. Credit Check
. Disclosure of income
. Disclosure of Liabilities
. Disclosure of Assets

It is also highly advisable that a potential guarantor seek legal advice before signing for the loan—and this should be a separate attorney from the one that is involved in the mortgage transaction. Seeking out proper legal advice can allow the potential guarantor to ensure they fully understand the contract, the loan, and any other details.

One final note that should be evaluated by any potential guarantors, is the relationship with the person you will be signing for. You are taking a risk and taking on a lot of responsibility for this person and it is advisable that you know the person well and trust them.

3. What other Variables are there to Consider for Guarantors?
There are a few other things that a guarantor will want to consider before finalizing anything. One of these is the fact that if you are a guarantor, you may not be able to qualify for a large loan or mortgage on your own. Look at your goals and future (or current) expenses before taking on this additional responsibility. As a final note to guarantors, they may want to consider creditor insurance (amount varies based on the loan) to protect themselves and their assets.

4. Can your relationship with your bank dictate if I need a Guarantor?
In some cases, yes! If you have a long-standing relationship with your current bank and they have seen your ability to responsibly handle debt-repayment, they may consider not requiring you to have a guarantor. This is not always the case, but it is an option that your mortgage broker may review with you.

These 4 facts along with your mortgage broker’s advice, can help you decide if you want to be a guarantor, or if you truly require a guarantor mortgage after all!

Courtesy of Geoff Lee – AMP – DLC GLM Mortgage Group based in Vancouver, BC

PRE-APPROVED FOR YOUR MORTGAGE… WHAT DOES THAT REALLY MEAN?

Mortgage Tips Darick Battaglia 15 Nov

There is a myth out there that once you’re pre-approved for a mortgage, you’re good to go out and buy a home… with a no subject offer… DON’T do it!

A pre-approval means that based on being able to PROVE (through documentation) your CURRENT income, expenses, down payment and credit bureau you SHOULD be able to get fully approved once you find the right property (this is the first half of the equation).

Remember that there cannot be any major changes to the your mortgage application details prior to the completion of their purchase as it may affect the your qualifications and change the conditions of the approval.

I always recommend my clients put in a “subject to financing” clause with their realtor when they are putting in an offer to protect themselves.

Here’s why:

The lender can like you and your financial picture, BUT the lender doesn’t know which property you want to purchase (this is the other half of the equation). Here are 3 examples:

A bidding war has bid up the price and the best offer (yours) has been accepted. YIPPEE!!! The lender sends in their appraiser to determine the value of the property. The appraisal comes in at a lower price than your accepted offer DRATS!! You now have to come up with the difference between the appraised value and your offer, since lenders will only offer a mortgage based on the appraised value of the home.
You are buying a condo/townhouse and the strata minutes indicate that there are: leaks, electrical issues, roofing problems, etc. that the strata needs to act upon. If the Strata doesn’t have a big enough contingency fund, the lender can decline due to potential special assessments down the road.
Property zoning – if the zoning is anything other than residential then your options will be limited. Some condos are zoned commercial if there is a large commercial component to the complex. Industrial, Agricultural Land Reserve (ALR) in B.C., or leasehold (government or otherwise) limit a buyer’s options.
As you can tell “you may be pre-approved” but most certainly the subject property is not!!
There are several properties that most lenders will not touch these days. Here’s a (partial) list of property details that can affect most lender’s decisions on approving your mortgage:

A remediated grow-op or drug lab
Leased land or co-op
Age-restricted property
Special assessment (pending or otherwise)
Any reference to water or leaks in the minutes
A “fixer upper”
Contains asbestos, vermiculite insulations or has (even partial) knob-and-tube or aluminum wiring
Is on land with a commercial zoning component
Livestock is present, etc.
Self-managed strata’s (no strata management company)
Size of the property- below 500 sq. feet,
Doesn’t use municipal sewage or waste
Over 1 Acre and/or multiple buildings
Ongoing or upcoming assessments or legal proceedings
Strata with small contingency fund
The lender reviews the details of each property in detail once you have an accepted offer in place.

It’s important that the real estate agent discloses the information to their buyer ASAP so that it can be brought to the lender’s attention. The agent should be proactive in getting all documentation pertaining to the building/property, so that the buyer can make an educated buying decision. Many of the issues stated above can affect the long-term value and marketability of a property.

If you have a “subject to financing” clause in your purchase agreement, and you can’t find a lender (for whatever reason), then you can back out of the deal with no financial repercussions.

In my opinion you need to always put in a “subject to financing clause” as that’s the best protection you have. With subject free offers you could forfeit your deposit (and facing potential legal action from the seller) should you want to cancel your contract after the agreement has been made, even though you were technically “pre-approved”.

Courtesy of Kelly Hudson – AMP – DLC Canadian Mortgage Experts based in Richmond, BC

WHY CAN’T YOU PORT YOUR MORTGAGE?

Mortgage Tips Darick Battaglia 7 Nov

Policies are always changing, and when you port a mortgage, a FULL application must be approved and completely underwritten with full, credit, income, property and policy review.
It’s a mistake to believe that just because you already had a mortgage, you will easily get a new one. Policies and rates are changing rapidly and you need a strategy to stay informed. SO BEFORE you consider a move, understand the worst case scenario of what you qualify for without porting your mortgage so you avoid disappointment of falling into the 70% of people that don’t end up porting. Mortgages can be made simple, when you are empowered with relevant information relating to the current market and your life stage. Depending on those factors, you might be happy to get rid of your old mortgage and get in with the new! We have a mortgage for that, and can help. On average less than 3% of mortgages are portable.
Let me list a few of the reasons why
1. Dates– most lenders have a different policy on the dates that will allow to port the mortgage; it can be weeks or months. Your closing date will determine that.
2. Amortization– porting a mortgage means you port the same amortization, so if you are moving up the property ladder, that may mean your payments are significantly increased making it less affordable or meaning you can’t qualify with your income.
3. Amounts– some have a 10% variance limit up or down, where the penalty will trigger or it’s no longer a fit within the policy.
4. Change in credit– depending on the credit score and outside debts you have will determine if you still fit the credit profile your previous mortgage had.
5. Income– if there has been a change in your income type or amount this will also impact the options.
6. Property type– some lenders only lend on single-family homes, or a particular zoning, or don’t do private sales- even if they did when you originally got your mortgage with them.
7. Rate– maybe the change in rates either way of the product type you took doesn’t allow for a port due to one or a few of the combined factors. For example, going from insured to uninsured comes with different policies.
8. Product– maybe the product you had no longer exists for your particular profile.
9. Inspections – maybe the lender approved it initially but after your inspection just as you wanted a reduction in price, they decide they are no longer going to lend on it or decide it doesn’t fit the profile or they wont do it under that program ( instead you need a purchase plus improvements or a hold back they may or may not participate in and maybe want a different fix that you or a strata council agree on.
10. Bridge – if you want to buy before you sell, all the above factors come into play. Maybe the original lender doesn’t allow the length of time you need, there cost to bridge is much higher, or maybe they don’t approve that portion of the loan, which puts you back at square one.

Purchasing a home is complex, with many moving parts and needs to be understood as such. When you have an experienced Dominion Lending Centres mortgage broker by your side while lots of things ca home up, we can guide you through what is best for your family, which is why we encourage you to be educated, and empowered so you are ready for your next part of your ownership journey.

Courtesy of Angela Calla – AMP – DLC Angela Calla Mortgage Team based in Port Coquitlam, BC

NO NEED TO PANIC AFTER RATE INCREASE

Mortgage Tips Darick Battaglia 6 Nov

You may have already seen the more technical BANK OF CANADA RATE ANNOUNCEMENT on October 24th, or you may not have. The Coles Notes (the simplest version) are as such:

Global economy remains strong, the USMCA will reduce trading uncertainty
Canadian economy is balanced for the foreseeable 2 years
Household spending will increase, but backed by income growth
Housing activity across Canada is stabilizing

On October 24th the Bank of Canada did what we all expected, they increased the Overnight lending rate by 0.25% to 1.75%. This equated to a PRIME being increased by 0.25% to 3.95%. All variable rate mortgages and lines of credit utilize PRIME to calculate the current interest rate.

Now the BIG QUESTION, how do we as mortgage consumers respond? First, ask your Dominion Lending Centres mortgage broker how they plan to react in accordance to his own financing.

No need to ask me, I will tell you. Variable, with no hesitation. I will stay the course by not pushing the panic button.

WHY?

Because if I decide to move, re-finance, consolidate, leverage equity or to simply break the mortgage for any reason my penalty will only be 3 months interest. I also need to consider how much money I have saved over the term by utilizing a variable rate mortgage rather than a fixed. During my current mortgage the spread between variable and fixed is approximately 1%.

Please excuse the following ‘tongue & cheek…’To go with a fixed mortgage tells me that you can predict the future with absolute certainty.

I know I can’t, so I rely on statistics. 65% of all fixed mortgage consumers will break their mortgage in 33 months, the penalty that follows is unavoidable. For the average B.C. mortgage of $350,000 the penalty is approximately $14,000. By opting for a fixed rate mortgage, you have declared to the universe that there is a zero percent chance you will need to access equity, amend the current mortgage or consider applying for a secured line of credit.

Real estate wealth is a long game, building net worth doesn’t happen overnight. Gains are not made in the short term. Just like other markets (stocks, bonds, mutuals, GICs RRSPs), there will be highs and lows.

What does this increase mean?

Dollarize it for your own personal consumption. For an increase of 0.25% the payment will go up $13 per every $100,000 borrowed. For some variable rate borrowers, the payment hasn’t even changed as the lender only adjusts the principal and interest allocation.

Now the question becomes, what do you do? Remain with variable or lock into a fixed. I recommend staying the course.

Courtesy of MICHAEL HALLETT – AMP – DLC Producers West Financial based in Coquitlam, BC.