30 Jan

ARE YOU IN A VARIABLE RATE MORTGAGE? ME TOO.

General

Posted by: Iko Maurovski

Are you in a Variable Rate Mortgage? Me too.

If you’re in a fixed rate mortgage, this news does not impact you. Mind you ‘impact’ is too strong a word to use for the subtle shift that occurred Jan 17, 2018.

Short Version

The math is as follows:

A payment increase of ~$13.10 per $100,000.00 of mortgage balance. (unless you are with TD or a specific Credit Union, in which case payments are fixed and change only at your specific request)

i.e. – A mortgage balance of $400,000.00 will see a payment increase of ~$54.40 per month

Personally, we are staying variable, for a variety of reasons…

Long Version

Qualification for variable rate mortgages has been at 4.64% or higher for some time. This required a household income of greater than $70,000.00 for said $400,000.00 mortgage .

Can 99% of said households handle a payment increase of $54.40 per month? Yes.

Will 99% of households be frustrated with this added expense? Yes.

Ability and annoyance are not the same thing.

Have these households enjoyed monthly payments up to $216.80 lower than those that chose a fixed rate mortgage originally? Yes.

Are 99% still saving money over having locked into a long term fixed from day one? Yes.

Should I lock in?

A more important question is ‘why did we choose variable to start with’? And this may lead to a critical question ‘Is there any chance I will break my mortgage before renewal’?

The penalty to prepay a variable mortgage is ~0.50% of the mortgage balance.

The penalty to prepay a 5-year fixed mortgage can increase by ~900% to ~4.5% of the mortgage balance. A massive increase in risk.

There are many considerations before locking in, many of which your lender is unlikely to discuss with you. It’s to the lenders advantage to have you locked into a fixed rate, rarely is it to your own benefit.

At the moment decisions are being made primarily out of fear. Fear of $13.10 per month per $100,000.00

What about locking into a shorter term?

Not a bad idea, although this depends on two things:

Which lender you are with as policies vary.
2. How many years into the mortgage term you are.

If your net rate is now 2.95%, and have the option of a 2-year or 3-year fixed ~3.00% – this may be a better move than full 5-year commitment.

Do not forget the difference in prepayment penalties, this is significant.

Bottom line – Know your numbers, know your product, stay cool, and ask me if you have any concerns.

These are small and manageable increases.

F.Y.I 

It was a bit disappointing to see logic and fairness fail to enter the picture, after the last two Federal cuts to Prime in 2015 of 0.25% each the public received cuts of only 0.15% each time.

Every single lender moved in unison, not one dropped the full 0.25%.

Amazingly, not a single lender saw fit to increase rates by the exact same 0.15% on the way back up. Every lender has instead increased by 0.25% – a full 100% of the increase passed on to you, the borrower.

Not cool man, not cool at all.

We share all the pain of increases, and get only part of the pleasure of decreases.

I am disappointed by this, not surprised, but disappointed.

Your Interest is my Only Interest

25 Jan

MORTGAGES WITH THE 20 PER CENT

General

Posted by: Iko Maurovski

There have been a lot of discussions around the new mortgage rules and I have had a few clients ask about what these changes mean for them. Since stress testing on mortgages began last year, the biggest change this January will be for people who are putting more than a 20% down payment on their new homes.

What do the new mortgage rules mean for them?
The impact of the new mortgage rules as of January 1, 2018, will require all uninsured mortgage borrowers to qualify for their mortgage using the Bank of Canada five-year benchmark rate, or at their current rate plus an addition 2%. (Uninsured mortgage borrowers are typically those who purchase a new home with more than 20% of its total value.)The government is stress testing our current finances as a way to help prevent any unnecessary financial risks from Canadians. This change was primarily intended to help curb the housing bubbles in Toronto and Vancouver, but will affect homebuyers across the country, including those looking to qualify for a mortgage in Edmonton.

Why are new mortgage rules being introduced?
The revisions have been put in place to help ensure that uninsured borrowers can cope with higher interest rates. In the past, when there was a change in the market (increased interest rates, low employment, reduction in house values, etc.), Canadians were finding it difficult to keep up with their mortgage payments. In the past year, we have seen an increase in interest rates which has caused some concern with the government. The overnight rate – the interest rate set as the Bank’s policy interest rate, which influences mortgage rates, sat at a historically low 0.5% earlier in 2017  – has been raised 75 basis points by the Bank of Canada since July. A third rate hike took place this month. Although an unexpected surprise for many, the hike in interest rates is essentially providing Canadians with an opportunity to act more financially responsible. This new regulation will help make it more difficult for Canadians who were borrowing against the value of their homes to make new financial investments, thereby reducing the country’s financial risk.

Despite the changes to the new mortgage rules, people will still be looking to buy new homes with mortgages, but will be shifting their outlook on what they need. In Edmonton, where housing price are still very affordable, the shift may not be as difficult as in other markets. In a recent interview with BuzzBuzzNews, real estate broker and TalkCondo operator, Roy Bhandari said, “The new rules won’t slow sales. Instead, buyers will look at more affordable options on the market.”

Your Interest is my Only Interest

Iko M.

22 Jan

9 REASONS WHY PEOPLE BREAK THEIR MORTGAGES

General

Posted by: Iko Maurovski

Did you know that 60 per cent of people break their mortgage before their mortgage term matures?

Most homeowners are blissfully unaware that when you break your mortgage with your lender, you will incur penalties and those penalties can be painfully expensive.

Many homeowners are so focused on the rate that they are ignorant about the terms of their mortgage.

Is it sensible to save $15/month on a lower interest rate only to find out that, two years down the road you need to break your mortgage and that “safe” 5-year fixed rate could cost you over $20,000 in penalties?

There are a variety of different mortgage choices available. Knowing my 9 reasons for a possible break in your mortgage might help you avoid them (and those troublesome penalties)!

9 reasons why people break their mortgages:

1. Sale and purchase of a home
• If you are considering moving within the next 5 years you need to consider a portable mortgage.
• Not all of mortgages are portable. Some lenders avoid portable mortgages by giving a slightly lower interest rate.
• Please note: when you port a mortgage, you will need to requalify to ensure you can afford the “ported” mortgage based on your current income and any the current mortgage rules.

2. To take equity out
• In the last 3 years many home owners (especially in Vancouver & Toronto) have seen a huge increase in their home values. Some home owners will want to take out the available equity from their homes for investment purposes, such as buying a rental property.

3. To pay off debt
• Life happens, and you may have accumulated some debt. By rolling your debts into your mortgage, you can pay off the debts over a long period of time at a much lower interest rate than credit cards. Now that you are no longer paying the high interest rates on credit cards, it gives you the opportunity to get your finances in order.

4. Cohabitation & marriage & children
• You and your partner decide it’s time to live together… you both have a home and can’t afford to keep both homes, or you both have a no rental clause. The reality is that you have one home too many and may need to sell one of the homes.
• You’re bursting at the seams in your 1-bedroom condo with baby #2 on the way.

5. Relationship/marriage break up
• 43% of Canadian marriages are now expected to end in divorce. When a couple separates, typically the equity in the home will be split between both parties.
• If one partner wants to buy out the other partner, they will need to refinance the home

6. Health challenges & life circumstances
• Major life events such as illness, unemployment, death of a partner (or someone on title), etc. may require the home to be refinanced or even sold.

7. Remove a person from Title
• 20% of parents help their children purchase a home. Once the kids are financially secure and can qualify on their own, many parents want to be removed from Title.
o Some lenders allow parents to be removed from Title with an administration fee & legal fees.
o Other lenders say that changing the people on Title equates to breaking your mortgage – yup… there will be penalties.

8. To save money, with a lower interest rate
• Mortgage interest rates may be lower now than when you originally got your mortgage.
• Work with your mortgage broker to crunch the numbers to see if it’s worthwhile to break your mortgage for the lower interest rate.

9. Pay the mortgage off before the maturity date
• YIPEE – you’ve won the lottery, got an inheritance, scored the world’s best job or some other windfall of cash!! Some people will have the funds to pay off their mortgage early.
• With a good mortgage, you should be able to pay off your mortgage in 5 years, there by avoiding penalties.

Some of these 9 reasons are avoidable, others are not…

Mortgages are complicated… Therefore, you need a mortgage expert!

Give me a call and let’s discuss the best mortgage for you, not your bank!

Iko

647-200-0723

16 Jan

COMING OFF THE BOTTOM

General

Posted by: Iko Maurovski

Are the good times really over for good?
Recently, for the first time since 2012 we have seen the 5-year bond market climb back up over 2.0%. Based on amazing employment numbers and the likelihood that the Bank of Canada will raise rates on January 17, the bond market has continued a climb out of the basement and maybe running full steam uphill in response to a better economy.
Let’s look at the last 10-years of bonds and how they correlated to the 5-yr. fixed mortgage rate because it is still the choice of most Canadians as it is a stable place to build your home budgets around. In 2007 the 5-year bond was at 4.13% and the 5-year benchmark rate 6.65%. Follow the melt down that started to happen in 2008 the bond slowly but surely began to sink and by 2012 the 5-yr. bond was at 1.25% and the bench mark 5 yr. rate was at 5.29%. But wait we weren’t done; in 2015 the bond sunk all the way to .65% but the bench mark rate was still at 4.74%, if you took that rate at the branch you really paid too much as we were almost at 2.25% for standard feature 5 year fixed at that time.
So now turn the corner and we see that the bond is on its way back up. We come into 2018 with it having climbed all the way back to 2% almost an 8-year high and of course Governor Poloz has already had the bench mark at 4.99 so I don’t think it will be long before we see the bench mark reset again. Will it be long before the new qualifying numbers are 6% again, still some factors to watch, NAFTA, employment, world markets, price of tea in China, price of oil in Alberta.

Your Interest is My Only Interest

Iko 647-200-0723

15 Jan

BANK BROKER VS. MORTGAGE BROKERS | HERE’S THE SCOOP

General

Posted by: Iko Maurovski

Ask any mortgage broker and they can tell you that there are a handful of misconceptions that the public has about working with a mortgage broker. From questioning their credentials (we all are regulated and licensed with in our own province, and are constantly re-educating ourselves) to assuming that the broker does not have access to the same rate as the banks (we do in fact—plus access to even more lending options) mortgage brokers have heard it all!

With the recent changes to the B-20 guidelines taking full effect as of January 1, 2018 the mortgage landscape is changing and we firmly believe in keeping our clients educated and informed. With these changes, there have been a number of misconceptions that have come to light regarding mortgage professionals and their “limitations” and we felt it was time to address them:

Myth 1: Independent Brokers don’t have access to the rates the banks do.

Fact: Not true. Brokers have access to MORE rates and lenders than the bank. The bank brokers only have access to their rates-no other ones. A mortgage professional has access to:

• Tier 1 banks in Canada
• Credit Unions
• Monoline Lenders
• Alternative Lenders
• Private Lenders

This extensive network of lender options allows brokers to ensure that you are not only getting the sharpest rate, but that the mortgage product is also aligned with the client’s needs.

Myth 2: The consumer has to negotiate a rate with a lender directly.

Fact: Not true at all! Your mortgage professional will shop the market to find the best overall cost of borrowing for the client. Broker’s will look at all angles of the product to ensure that the client is getting one that will suit their unique and specific needs. Not once will the client be expected to shop their mortgage around or to speak to the lender. This is different from the bank where you are limited to only their rates and are left to negotiate with the bank’s broker—who is paid by the bank! We don’t know about you, but we would much rather have a broker negotiate on our behalf. Plus, they are FREE to use (see myth #6)

Myth 3: A Broker’s goal is to move the mortgage on each renewal.

Fact: A Mortgage Broker’s goal is to present multiple options to consumers so they can secure the optimal product for their specific and unique needs. This entails the broker looking at more than just the rate. A broker will look at:
• Prepayment options
• Costs of borrowing
• Portability
• Penalty to break
• Mortgage charges

And more. If the Broker determines that the current lender is the most ideal for their client at the time of renewal, then they will advise them to remain with that lender. The end goal of renewal is simple: provide clients the best ongoing, current advice at the time of origination and at the time of renewal

Myth 4: The broker receives a trailer fee if the client remains with the same lender at renewal.

Fact: This is on a case-to-case basis. At times, there is a small fee given to the broker if a client opts to renew with their current lender. This allows for accountability between the lender, broker, and customer in most cases. However, this is not always the case and the details of each renewal will vary.

Myth 5: If a Broker moves a mortgage to a new lender upon time of renewal then the full mortgage commission is received by the broker, allowing the broker to obtain “passive income” by constantly switching clients over.

Fact: Let’s clarify: If a client chooses to move their mortgage at renewal after a broker presents them with the best options, then it is in fact a new deal. By being a new deal, this means that the broker has all the work associated with any new file at that time. It is the equivalent of a brand-new mortgage and the broker will have to do the correct steps and work associated with it.

A second point of clarification-although the broker will earn income on this switch, the income (in most cases) is paid by the financial institution receiving the mortgage, NOT the client.

Myth 6: It costs a client more to renew with a mortgage broker.

Fact: Completely false. Clients SAVE MONEY when they work with a mortgage broker at . A broker has access to a variety of lenders and can offer discounts that the bank can’t. Additionally, most mortgage brokers offer continuous advice and information to their clients. Working with a broker is not a “one and done” deal as it is a broker’s goal to keep their clients informed, educated, and well-versed as to what is happening in the industry and how it will affect them. When you work with a broker instead of the bank, you not only get the best mortgage for you, but you also have access to a wealth of industry knowledge continuously.

Mortgage Brokers are a dedicated group of individuals who work directly for the client, not the lenders or the bank. Brokers are problem-solvers, advisors and honourable individuals. We work hard to give our clients the best that we can in an industry that constantly is evolving and changing.

Your Interest is my Only Interest

Feel free to call any time 647-200-0723