Mortgage Intelligence

Oshawa's Mortgage News Desk!


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Which mortgage features are the most important?

It’s easy to look online for a mortgage rate. But rate is only one aspect of saving money on your mortgage over the long term. It’s essential that you also consider mortgage features. Here are the big ones –

Early Payout Penalties. There are lots of reasons why it makes good financial sense to break your mortgage, even though you can expect to pay a penalty. But not all lenders calculate penalties the same way, and the differences can amount to thousands. Life happens, so make sure you choose a lender that has a fair prepayment penalty. And watch out for no-frill mortgages that don’t let you get out of your mortgage at all, unless you sell or the term is up.

Pre-Payment Privileges. You want the ability to put lump sum amounts on your mortgage and increase your payments so you can pay down your mortgage faster and save on interest. You should always consider having this flexibility even if you don’t think you’ll use it; your situation may change that gives you the ability to pre-pay. This flexibility can also help you reduce an early payout penalty.

Collateral charge mortgage. This type of mortgage can be difficult to transfer to another lender and cost you legal fees if you do. You are more locked in, which means your lender may not offer you the best rates if you need to refinance or at renewal.  Watch out!

Porting Flexibility. This is important if there is a chance you’ll move i.e. job change, growing family. You’ll want to take your mortgage to your new place to avoid penalties.  But make sure your lender lets you increase too should you buy a more expensive home.

Blended Mortgage. If you move or refinance, a blended mortgage allows you to blend the rate of your current mortgage with the rate on the additional funds. This way, you don’t break your current mortgage and incur the penalty. Some lenders blend and extend to a new 5 year term, others blend only to the remaining term, or offer both.

There is definitely more to getting a mortgage than just rate. For more information, contact the team at MiMortgage.ca at 1 866 452-1100 or apply online now! It’s our job to help you find the right mortgage with the rate and flexibility you need to be a happy homeowner.

 

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The Green House. Look to your mortgage for energy savings.

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Image by courtesy of fsb1879.com

If you buy an energy-efficient home or make energy-saving renovations you may be able to get a savings boost from your mortgage!  Canadian mortgage insurers have a program that helps homeowners save when they buy energy-efficient homes.

Homeowners purchasing a qualifying energy-efficient home are eligible for up to a 25 per cent mortgage insurance premium refund. If you purchase a qualifying $400,000 home with 5 per cent down, you are eligible for up to a 25 percent refund of your $15,200 in mortgage insurance premiums. That’s $3,800, a substantial savings!

Existing homeowners who make retrofits to improve energy efficiency can also apply for this refund. You’ll be required to complete an NRCan energy assessment evaluation pre and post retrofit, and you’ll need to improve your home’s energy efficiency by the required amount. Of course, your home’s energy improvements will also reduce your costs for years to come!

To find out more information about energy savings improvements and how it can benefit you, speak to an expert at MiMortgage.ca. Contact us at 1 866 452-1100 or apply online now!


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Bridge financing: what you need to know

A bridge loan is a short-term financing tool that helps you “bridge” the gap between old and new mortgages when you move from one home to another. You may be taking possession of your new home a week or two in advance of closing on your current home, either because of how your closing dates worked out, or because you want to do some renovating on your new home before you move in. Whatever the reason, bridge financing is going to be your best friend for a few weeks: making it possible to easily transition from the old to the new.

Here’s what you need to know:

  1. It’s for a specific amount, which is your home’s selling price minus your current mortgage and costs (realtor and legal fees).
  2. It’s for a short period of time e. 1 to 30 days, and your lender will want to see a firm sale agreement for your existing place, with conditions waived.
  3. Not all lenders offer bridge loans, although there are private lenders that meet this need.  Since you are working with a mortgage broker, you are in good hands: We can put together a combination of a new mortgage and bridge loan even if it’s not with the same lender.
  4. Expect to pay more. Your bridge is going to be at a higher rate than your mortgage, and will include administration fees, even when the bridge loan is with the same lender. Bridge loans from private lenders will likely have higher rates and fees, although they may offer more flexible terms.  For most homebuyers, the convenience is worth it!
  5. Plan in advance just in case. Together we’ll discuss your ability to carry two mortgages in the event that a rare worst-case scenario plays out. Your lawyer will pay out your bridge loan from the sale proceeds of your home. If for any reason the sale falls through, your lawyer will register the bridge loan as a charge on the property. And if you require a longer bridge i.e over 30 days, or for an amount over the lender’s maximum, your lender may register a charge against the property and your costs will increase

Most homebuyers say a bridge was well worth it to buy some extra time for a smooth transition. If you think you’ll need a bridge, let’s talk. Contact the team at MiMortgage.ca at 1 866 452-1100 to speak to an expert now. Our ability to offer you multiple lending options definitely works in your favour!


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Does your financial house need a good spring clean?

Wouldn’t spring cleaning be so much more gratifying if – somewhere under dusty barbecue parts and outgrown hockey skates – you found an envelope with, say, $5,000 in cash? Wouldn’t that make spring cleaning worthwhile? While you may not uncover a financial windfall when you’re cleaning the garage this spring, a little time and attention to the task of spring cleaning your financial house can be very rewarding.

Are you continuously carrying a large monthly balance on your credit cards; financial clutter that can be very costly? You may have a golden opportunity to roll this debt into a low-rate mortgage, giving you big interest cost savings, and greatly improving your monthly cash flow.

Worried about penalties? Don’t think it can make much difference? Think again. It can be as good – or better – than finding the $5,000 envelope of cash in your garage.  If you have enough equity in your home (you can’t refinance a mortgage above an 80 per cent loan to value), it’s worth taking the time to have your situation reviewed to see if you can benefit. Contact the experts at MiMortgage.ca at 1 866 452-1100 today!


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Capital gains tax: a quick primer

Leading up to the last federal budget, there was speculation that Canadians should brace for some changes in capital gains rules. That didn’t happen, and that’s good news. The sale of your principal residence for a gain is still a tax freebie.  If you are selling a property other than your principal residence, then you’ll pay tax on 50% of any gain you realize. That rate first went into effect in 1972. The inclusion rate was increased to 66.6% in 1988 and then to 75% in 1990 as part of a two-stage increase.  But it was ratcheted back down in 2000, and landed once again at the 50% rate where it has remained to today. You are now required to report the sale of your principal residence on your tax return. While still tax exempt, you may be asked to prove that it was your principal residence. If the feds do once again increase the inclusion rate, we can expect the government to provide ample advance warning to allow people to adjust their financial situations. So basically no real changes, but keep good records!

Want to find out more information on how capital gains from the sale of your residence will affect you? Speak to an extpert at MiMortgage.ca at 1 866 452-1100 now!


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Verifying Your Income

Collecting documents that you need to verify your income is a critical component of mortgage financing. Rushing around at the last minute to collect income verification documents only adds unnecessary stress.

Here’s what you need to provide depending on your employment status:

If you are thinking of getting in to homeownership, it’s time to meet with the team at MiMortgage. We will carry-out an assessment and let you know how much financing you would qualify for, and the documents you need to provide. Contact us at 1 866 452-1100 to speak to an expert or Apply Online now!


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Verifying Your Downpayment

If you are at the downpayment verification stage of the homebuying process, you are either looking at putting an offer in or you have already made an offer on a property. Please remember to make the offer subject to financing, so that your mortgage broker has sufficient time to obtain the necessary approval for financing. Once an approval has been granted for your mortgage, your lender will require confirmation of downpayment.

Here’s how you can show where your downpayment is coming from:

Need help with understanding how much downpayment you should put down and the required documents to show your downpayment? Contact the team at MiMortgage.ca at 1 866 452-1100 or apply online now!