Don’t be Afraid to Talk to a Mortgage Broker

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Halloween aside, this October has plenty of reasons to get you spooked, what with a recession, a long and tiring election campaign, and recent world events. Plenty of reasons, but your mortgage need not be one of them.

We’re here to help in this frightful time, no matter if you’re buying a home, renewing your mortgage, or looking to refinance.

Mortgage brokers have access to a wide range of lenders and products, and we can find a mortgage that’s right for you. After all everyone’s mortgage needs are different. You may require the certainty that your mortgage payment will stay the same from the first day of your term to your last. You may want flexibility, to be able to pull equity out of your home to finance a renovation or a new car. Regardless, you should be able to do so with the lowest mortgage rate available in Canada.

Mortgage rates are incredibly low right now, but you likely wouldn’t know it if you looked at your local bank’s rates. Go with your bank’s mortgage rates, you’ll probably end up paying a ghastly premium.

Refinance and Consolidate Your Mortgage

Refinance / Consolidate
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The Dirty “R” Word

If the word “Recession” fills you with unease, you’re not alone. The word doesn’t sit well with many people. Unless you are in the rare circumstance of having just come into a gratuitous fortune, or you are employed in a sector of the economy that has somehow been unaffected by it, a recession will to affect you. Even then, depending on the severity of the recession, unaffected sectors can be effected by proxy.

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Refinancing is good for more than just mortgage rates

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Ultra-low mortgage rates aren't just benefiting homebuyers. Current homeowners looking to save money on their monthly mortgage payments are taking advantage of low interest rates by refinancing. However, saving on mortgage rates isn't the only reason to consider refinancing. The act of refinancing provides mortgage holders with a number of options, and it's a good idea for all homeowners to explore these. Even if taking out a brand new mortgage to replace a current one doesn't make sense based on interest rates alone, the other opportunities refinancing provides should not be ignored. Continue reading

The Benefits of CanEquity’s Mortgage Calculator

For many home buyers, figuring out how much they can afford is an essential part of purchasing property. While creating household budgets and accounting for debt obligations can be helpful when it comes to analyzing finances, determining the costs of home loans can be more complicated. Fortunately for these individuals, CanEquity has recently upgraded its mortgage calculators, refining them with client feedback to make them bigger, better and more beneficial.

It's easy to understand why CanEquity's mortgage calculator was rated the best by The Globe and Mail, as well as why it's used by both mortgage lenders and brokers. Continue reading

Mortgage opportunities in a low rate market

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Although recent data outlining Canada’s economic growth has been less than favorable, an article from Canadian Mortgage Trends makes the case that this offers a silver lining for mortgage borrowers.

For the last few months, the trend in long-term rates has been modestly up,” writes Rob McLister for the news site. “There is, however, little chance of a meaningful jump in fixed mortgage rates until 5-year yields push above 1.55-1.60 percent – and stay there awhile. And even if yields do break above that level, few expect enough inflation risk to justify a substantial upward follow-through – at least not in the next quarter or two.”

Essentially, McLister is making the case that limited economic growth means a continuation of low mortgage rates. Recent data has caused many Canadian economists to push back their forecasts for interest rate increases to 2014. Continue reading

When to refinance

While Canada’s housing market remains in the spotlight, most of the speculation revolves around home buyers. Newspaper articles and blog posts cover every angle of the industry, discussing sales numbers, home prices and how they affect prospective buyers. However, one segment of the population is being overlooked when it comes to the opportunities the current market offers: homeowners.

Despite tighter mortgage restrictions leading to a cool down in buying and selling, government regulations have done nothing to raise the ultra-low mortgage rates Canada is currently experiencing. While the fluctuations in the market make it that much harder for prospective buyers to decide on a plan of action, the window of opportunity for current homeowners has remained open wide with no immediate signs of closing. Continue reading

Now is the time to refinance

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Taking out a mortgage can be a long and arduous process. First you have to decide what kind of mortgage you need. Then you have to search for a lender. Then you have to qualify. Then comes the paperwork. Once the process is complete, chances are you’re looking forward to not worrying about it for as long as possible.

So why would people voluntarily go through the whole process again? To save money, of course.

What is refinancing?
Essentially, refinancing your mortgage means paying off your original loan and taking out a new one. Homeowners do this in an attempt to lower monthly payments, reduce interest rates, take out home equity or change mortgage companies.

Lowering rates
While there are numerous reasons to refinance, interest rates are where the primary savings can be found. Depending on the length of your loan, interest rates can add up to exorbitant amounts on top of the money you already owe. For buyers with less-than-perfect credit scores, low interest rates are often out of reach. After making good on your mortgage payments and improving your credit history, refinancing offers the perfect way to translate your financial responsibility into a money-saving resource. When you qualify for a lower interest rate, not refinancing your mortgage is as good as throwing money away. Continue reading

Refinancing vs. Modification: Which is best for you?

Large mortgage payments and high interest rates can lead to serious distress for your bank account. Mortgages are the most formidable kind of debt for homeowners, and figuring out how to cut down on its cost while paying it off is vital for healthy finances. One way homeowners ease economic burden is by exploring loan modifications and refinances. The intricacies of each alternative might seem overwhelming to homeowners without experience, but it’s important to figure out what each avenue offers and whether or not it’s the right fit for you.

Loan Modifications
Loan modifications involve a lender changing the terms of your existing mortgage. These are often for short periods of time, focusing on helping a borrower get back on their feet financially. Despite the new terms, your original loan is still in place. Modifying your loan means working with your current lender, as they are the ones making changes to your loan terms. Continue reading

Flaherty Tightens Canadian Mortgage Rules.

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In a statement Thursday, Finance Minister Jim Flaherty announced a number of new mortgage lending rules. Come July 9th, the CMHC will no longer insure mortgages with amortizations longer than 25 years, and will further limit the amount a homeowner can refinance their mortgage to 80%, down from 85%.

The Harper government has now reduced the maximum amortization three times. In 2008, they reduced the maximum amortization from 40 to 35 years, and in 2011 they reduced it again to 30 years. In July, it will be decreased once more to 25 years, eliminating the last vestiges of the extended amortizations introduced by the CMHC in 2006.
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Home improvements dwindling amid debt worries

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Many Canadians are putting their renovation plans on hold as personal debt from credit cards, car payments and home loans continues to rise, according to a new survey.

The BMO Home Renovation Report found significantly fewer people have plans to redo their homes during 2012 compared with last year. Slightly more than half of respondents said they would undertake some kind of renovation project this year. Of those who said they would fix up their abodes, 39 percent said their kitchen was the top priority, while 35 percent said a bathroom upgrade was in order. Last year, 62 percent of survey respondents planned similar repairs.

"The scaled-back plans for home renovations likely reflect increased caution on the part of households as they continue to reduce discretionary spending to rein in debt," said Sal Guatieri, senior economist with BMO Capital Markets. "After averaging 9 percent in the past decade, consumer loan growth has slowed to almost 2 percent recently, suggesting Canadians are taking recent debt warnings to heart." Continue reading