Mortgage Intelligence

Oshawa's Mortgage News Desk!


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Easy ways to boost your credit score!

  1. A secured credit card will allow you to establish or re-establish a solid credit rating. These cards require a deposit so the cardholder can never be in default.
  2. Check your credit report and make sure it is accurate. If there are discrepancies, get in touch with the credit agency.
  3. The single biggest factor in your credit score is having a timely bill payment history.  Don’t let a bill get past due, and never let a bill go to collections. 
  4. Your score is based on your credit balance relative to your available credit. Try not to use more than 30 per cent. If your limit is $10,000, don’t let your balance go higher than $3,000.  
  5. Having a credit history is important. You need a record of owing money and paying it back. Take this into consideration if are thinking of cancelling a card.

Contact the experts at MiMortgage.ca at 866.452.1100 to find out more information.


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The lowdown on the First-Time Buyer Incentive

The first-time buyer incentive, launching on September 2nd, is a shared equity program designed to reduce mortgage payments for qualifying first-time buyers who have the minimum 5% downpayment required for an insured mortgage. The Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC) will provide 5% of the cost of an existing home, or 10% of a new home. This incentive isn’t payable until you sell the property and is not charged interest. 

There are a few caveats. If your household income is more than $120,000, you aren’t eligible for the program. And your total borrowed amount (including the incentive portion) can’t be more than four times your household income. With a household income of $120,000, the maximum purchase price would be approximately $505,000 with 5% down, and about $565,000 for a 15% downpayment.  

You are required to pay the incentive back after 25 years or when you sell the home, with the repayment amount based on the property’s fair market value, whether it has increased or decreased in value. If you received a 5% incentive and your $500,000 home increases in value to $600,000, then you are required to repay $30,000. If the value deceases to $450,000, you’ll repay $22,500. You can repay the incentive at any time without penalty

This new incentive program has certainly added another layer of complexity to the already complicated mortgage world. Getting expert advice throughout your mortgage years is more important than ever. 

Got a homebuying dream? Feel free to get in touch with the team at MiMortgage.ca for a review of your situation at any time! We can certainly run some numbers to determine if this is something you, or someone you know, may want to consider. 


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10 Money-Saving Tips for Summer

The lazy days of summer are here and with them come plenty of ways to spend. Here are some easy tips that can help you maximize enjoyment while minimizing how much you spend!

1. Budget it. set a budget for what you plan to do this summer and stick to it. If you have a plan and write it down you are less likely to go into unexpected debt by overusing your credit card.

2. Head to the library. Get your summer reading material at the library. Reading is a great cost-effective way to fill the hours! Libraries also often have free programs for families.

3. Shop second hand. Going to garage sales or flea markets in the summer can be a fun way to explore and spend your morning. If you need to buy something this summer start your search here.

4. Perfect the potluck. Make your your own signature dish and get guests to bring a favourite of their own, allowing them to share in the cost and effort of your backyard meal.

5. Pack a lunch. Make it part of the experience of a car trip or excursion Find a picnic spot to enjoy your home Ade goodies, and bring your snacks instead of buying expensive convenience store items. Also plan brown-bag it at work.

6. Drop it. Spend more time outdoors and drop your cable and gym membership for the summer..

7. Cut cooling costs. Set the temperature just one degree higher, and be mindful if electricity costs are higher during certain parts of the day. Open the windows at night, and close the blinds during the day. On hot days, skip the hot stove. Replace your AC filters.

8. Find free local fun. Check out your local events calendar. There are plenty of free or low-cost local offerings that you are sure to enjoy.

9. Snap up those souvenirs. The best summer souvenirs are often the photos. Skip the souvenir shops; take more pictures instead.

10. Create breathing room. If you have enough equity, take advantage of your low cost funds to refinance your mortgage if you have a large upcoming expense. Or perhaps you need to roll large amounts of credit card debt into your mortgage, a simple strategy that can save you thousands, give you one manageable payment and help you be mortgage free sooner.

For more information on your mortgage needs, contact the team at Mortgage Intelligence-Oshawa at 1.866.452.1100 or visit us at www.mimortgage.ca. Now kick back and really enjoy your summer!


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Fixed or Variable-Rate Mortgage?

If you are rate shopping, you’ll notice that the lowest available rate will be for a variable mortgage, which is why we’re often asked “what does variable mean and how is it different from a fixed-rate mortgage?”

With a variable mortgage, your mortgage rate will move in conjunction with your lender’s Prime lending rate, which in turn tracks the Bank of Canada’s benchmark rate, and will typically be quoted as Prime minus a specified percentage. It can be difficult to predict our economic future so you won’t know for sure what kind of rate ups and downs might be ahead of you.

With a fixed-rate mortgage, your payments are fixed for the term of the mortgage, which offers stability.  Fixed-rates are usually better suited to first-time buyers or those who haven’t owned a home for a very long period. Ask yourself these questions: Do you like or need to know exactly what your payment is going to be over a longer period of time? Do you want to avoid the need to consistently watch rates? Do you have less than 20% down? If you answered “yes” to all or most, a fixed-rate mortgage could be the better choice for you.  

A variable-rate mortgage is best suited to people who have a flexible budget and can tolerate slightly more risk. Ask yourself these questions: Do you watch market conditions? Can you handle any rate increases that could increase your payment? Do you have more than 20% equity in your home? If you answered “yes” to all or most, a variable-rate mortgage might best suit your needs. Most variables allow you to exercise an option to “lock in” a fixed rate at any time for the remaining portion of your mortgage term or longer. You can also set up your payments at what they would be if you took the higher rate, which helps you pay down your mortgage faster, and creates a financial buffer for you if rates rise later.  

If the uncertainty of a variable rate is going to give you sleepless nights, you’re in good company. Many Canadians prefer the certainty of a fixed-rate mortgage. They know exactly how much they will pay over the term of their mortgage, and they can plan accordingly… with no financial surprises. However, lower-rate variable mortgages with a strong Prime minus offer give you the potential to save a lot on interest. And, if your circumstances change and you need to get of out of your mortgage, you will appreciate the lower penalty to get out of a variable versus a fixed-rate mortgage.  

Your best option is to get professional and personalized advice. The team of experts at MiMortgage.ca would be happy to help you determine which option is best suited to your needs. Contact us at 1.866.452.1100 to speak to an expert now.


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Eight tips you won’t get from your bank in 2019

If you’ve got a mortgage – or plan to get one this year – you probably know that it’s more complicated than it used to be just a few short years ago. That said, we have many tips and strategies that can help you get the mortgage you need, tweak the one you have, or help you plan for renewal. Here are our top eight:

  1. To get the best deal, you need options. When you go to your bank, you’re talking to one lender. Their best deal might not be THE best deal. It’s also difficult to qualify at a bank if you are self-employed, have past credit issues or finding the stress test a challenge. Credit unions, alternative and private lenders are increasingly helping people get into new homes or refinance their mortgage.
  2. Best-rate quotes are often meaningless. Mortgage rule changes have thrown mortgage pricing up in the air. Your actual rate depends on a whole slate of factors, which is why you can only get an accurate rate quote after an in-depth assessment of your personal situation.
  3. The devil is in the details. People tend to focus on rate, but you can save thousands by making sure you get a mortgage that has fair penalties, allows you to prepay, and ensures you will also be treated fairly at renewal. Don’t end up paying exorbitant fees, or be forced to take a high rate at renewal.
  4. An insured mortgage might be a smart move. If your mortgage is “uninsured” and you want to switch to a new lender for a better rate at renewal, that lender will qualify you using a “stress test”, which may affect your ability to move your mortgage, and giving your lender no incentive to offer you the best rates. It’s possible that you can switch your mortgage to a lower-rate insurable mortgage that has more flexibility.
  5. A 30-year amortization can give you wiggle room on cash flow. A longer amortization (20% or more in equity required) allows you to minimize your mortgage payments and free up cash flow for uses like investing, business needs, post-secondary education, maternity leave, home maintenance, or other life situations.  You can keep your payments at a shorter amortization and only use this flexibility if the need arises.
  6. Monitor your credit score. The best rates go to borrowers with the best credit scores. Lenders are also paying closer attention to any warning signals that clients may have trouble paying their mortgage. If your credit slips and your lender feels your risk has increased, you may be offered a higher rate at renewal.
  7. A rental suite can be a sweet mortgage helper. A home with a rental suite could help you buy a single-family home instead of a condo, get you into that neighbourhood you love, or help you offset mortgage payments in the house you’re in so you can become mortgage free sooner or have the freedom to channel money into other areas.
  8. Plug your biggest money leak. If debt is choking your cash flow and you have enough equity in your home, you may be able to move that debt to your lower-rate mortgage and save thousands. Using home equity to pay down debt is one of my specialties!

It’s a New year. A New chance to make sure your mortgage strategy is working for you and helping you build wealth. Get in touch with the experts at MiMortgage.ca for a review of your situation.  Contact us at 1.866.452.1100 to speak to an expert now!


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Financial comfort & joy!

Contact the team at MiMortgage.ca at 866.452.1100 to speak to an expert now!


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Fixed or Variable-Rate Mortgage?

If you are rate shopping, you’ll notice that the lowest available rate will be for a variable mortgage, which is why we are often asked “what does variable mean and how is it different from a fixed-rate mortgage?”

With a variable mortgage, your rate will move in conjunction with your lender’s Prime lending rate, which in turn tracks the Bank of Canada’s rate, and will typically be quoted as Prime minus a specified percentage. Unless you have an economic ouija board, you won’t be able to predict what kind of rate ups and downs might be ahead of you.

With a fixed-rate mortgage, your payments are fixed for the term of the mortgage, which offers stability. Fixed-rates are usually better suited to first-time buyers or those who haven’t owned a home for a very long period. Ask yourself these questions: Do you like or need to know exactly what your payment is going to be over a longer period of time? Do you want to avoid the need to watch rates? Do you have less than 20% down? If you answered “yes” to all or most, a fixed-rate mortgage could be the better choice for you.

A variable-rate mortgage is best suited to people who have a flexible budget and can tolerate slightly more risk. Ask yourself these questions: Do you watch market conditions? Can you handle any rate increases that could increase your payment? Do you have more than 20% equity in your home? If you answered “yes” to all or most, a variable-rate mortgage might best suit your needs. Most variables allow you to exercise an option to “lock in” a fixed rate at any time for the remaining portion of your mortgage term or longer. You can also set up your payments at what they would be if you took the higher rate, which helps you pay down your mortgage faster, and creates a financial buffer for you if rates rise later.

If the uncertainty of a variable rate is going to give you sleepless nights, you’re in good company. Many Canadians prefer the certainty of a fixed-rate mortgage. They know exactly how much they will pay over the term of their mortgage, and they can plan accordingly… with no financial surprises. However, lower-rate variable mortgages with a strong Prime minus offer give you the potential to save a lot on interest. And, if your circumstances change and you need to get of out of your mortgage, you will appreciate the lower penalty to get out of a variable versus a fixed-rate mortgage.

Your best option is to get professional and personalized advice. The team at MiMortgage.ca would be happy to help you determine which option is best suited to your needs. Contact us at 1.866.452.1100 to speak to an expert now.