What to know about mortgages from alternative lenders + MORE Mar 25th

Canadian housing mortgage rates are all over the map. Don’t get trapped in an unnecessarily costly mortgage agreement.
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Average cost to rent condo in GTA hits $2,206, up by $214 in past year + MORE Apr 12th

The average cost to rent a condominium in the Greater Toronto Area has risen by almost 11 per cent in the past year, partly because tougher mortgage rules have shut out new buyers and flooded the market with renters, a new report by research firm Urbanation says..... More »

My fellow partisans: How we can yell at each other more thoughtfully + MORE Mar 31st

Jason Lietaer is a conservative strategist and commentator who is the president of the national communications firm Enterprise Canada. He is an aspiring participant of championship parades to be held for the Leafs and Raptors. Over the past several years, fuelled by the rise of social media and an i.... More »
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How can an extra $100 boost your mortgage? + MORE Mar 28th

When it comes to mortgages, $100 isn’t going to get you very far. But what if you paid an extra $100 a month towards your mortgage? It’s not a lot of money these days, but it can add up to some solid savings over time. Let’s look at a $300,000 mortgage with a 2.89% rate and a 25-y.... More »
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Ontario Housing Market: Increased Opportunity for Investors! + MORE Apr 6th

Rental vacancies are ridiculously low and demand for rental units is high… and growing! That’s just a sampling of the opportunistic real estate investment news Ted Tsiakopoulos, CMHC’s Regional Economist for Ontario, shared recently at the Canadian Mortgage Brokers’ Associat.... More »
TORONTO _ Samantha Brookes has been warning Canadians to take a close look at the clauses in their mortgage contracts for years, but her refrain has become a bit more prevalent in recent months.
Since the Office of the Superintendent of Financial Institutions’ mortgage stress test was implemented in January, the founder of the Mortgages of Canada brokerage has seen “a huge influx” of Canadians who fail to qualify for a bank mortgage turning to alternative lenders that range from risky loan sharks to larger, more conventional companies like Home Trust.
While alternative lenders can provide a lifeline for Canadians who have run out of other financing options, Brookes said they come with pitfalls for those who don’t bother looking at the fine print.
“You need to read those contracts,” she said. “(With an alternative lender), the interest rates are higher, the qualifying rate is higher than if you were going with a traditional bank and they are going to charge one per cent of the mortgage amount (as a lender’s fee) for closing, so that means your closing costs increase…

Continue Reading On canadianbusiness.com »

TORONTO — Samantha Brookes has been warning Canadians to take a close look at the clauses in their mortgage contracts for years, but her refrain has become a bit more prevalent in recent months.
Since the Office of the Superintendent of Financial Institutions’ mortgage stress test was implemented in January, the founder of the Mortgages of Canada brokerage has seen “a huge influx” of Canadians who fail to qualify for a bank mortgage turning to alternative lenders that range from risky loan sharks to larger, more conventional companies like Home Trust.
READ: Your mortgage is about to get more expensive
While alternative lenders can provide a lifeline for Canadians who have run out of other financing options, Brookes said they come with pitfalls for those who don’t bother looking at the fine print.
“You need to read those contracts,” she said. “(With an alternative lender), the interest rates are higher, the qualifying rate is higher than if you were going with a traditional bank and they are going to charge one per cent of the mortgage amount (as a lender’s fee) for closing, so that means your closing costs increase…

Continue Reading On moneysense.ca »

Should Pete sell mutual fund to pay down the mortgage?Shutterstock
Q. I have $103,490 left on my mortgage and I pay $325 bi-weekly on it @2.89% fixed rate (mortgage is being renewed shortly). I have the ability to pay off up to 15% ($18,700) of the original mortgage annually in a lump sum without fees. Should I pull money out of my mutual funds (averaging 7% annual return) to put down a lump payment? Or, keep everything as it is? I can also pay down up to double the required bi-weekly payment without charges also, so possibly increasing the biweekly payment would be better? Any advice?
Thanks, Pete
A. Pete, this is actually a common question. People want to know where their money will be most effective. You have had a low rate on your mortgage and even with renewal, it will remain relatively low. Meanwhile, your mutual funds are earning 7%.
Related: Paying down an income property
I do not recommend withdrawing from a higher earning investment to pay down a lower cost debt. That would not be effective and there may be other fees associated with that strategy including possible deferred sales charge fees or maybe taxes (if RRSP money is involved)…

Continue Reading On moneysense.ca »

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