Tag Archives: mortgage rates

And Another 3/4 Percent Rate Increase

As predicted, the Bank of Canada increased interest rates by another three quarter percent this morning.

Hopefully you were able to get an early mortgage renewal as we talked about two weeks ago. Or at least passed on the heads-up…

If you’re not anywhere near renewal – many of us are envious. Even more so if you don’t have a mortgage in the first place!

On a $400,000 mortgage, for example, today’s change will increase a mortgage payment by $250 a month (or $62.50 for every 100,000 of mortgage balance). Between the rate increases and the Trudeau stress-test there aren’t going to be many first-time buyers that will have any chance of qualifying for their first home.

How sad that the Federal Government seems to have a single-minded focus on stopping home sales when it’s such a massive part of our economic activity from legal fees to home improvement stores, builders to realtors. Let’s hope that, at some point, they realize more supply would make a massive difference…but that’s not likely…

Close To Your Mortgage Renewal? Make a Call To Save $10,000 Or More

There’s another (likely “only”) half a percent rate increase coming at the next Bank of Canada meeting in September. While inflation seems to have peaked, but that’s just an educated guess, our rate increases may not be over until the end of the year.

If you have a mortgage coming due for renewal like I do, it’s not a pleasant thought. However, if your mortgage comes up in the next six months, a number of lenders WILL let you renew if you’re within that six months! That’s what I did last week. My rate is going up 2.4 percent, but that’s better than three percent after the September increase, and any other jump after that. Check with your lender today if your mortgage is up in February next year or earlier! That call may end up saving you over ten thousand dollars!

What’s the rate increase going to cost you? That depends on the rate you currently have. However, a 3% increase on each $100,000 will be $3,000 a year. So someone with a $400,000 mortgage will see their payments go up close to $1,000 a month! What do you get for that? Nothing! It’s a huge increase in your monthly spending for just getting to stay in your home. Yes, it stinks and it’s depressing, but that’s what rising rates cause. Your early renewal will start the following month, so be ready to change your payment budget!

How long should you renew for? That’s up to you. I only ever answer questions as to what I would do – or in this case, what I did. My thinking was that rates will peak sometime next year at the latest. But then it’ll take a while for them to ease downward. Like gas prices, they spike up and take forever to come back down. Even when the Bank of Canada decreases rates, that doesn’t mean the chartered banks will immediately pass that prime rate decrease on. So it didn’t make sense to me to just do a two-year mortgage for that reason. But I sure wasn’t going to sign for five years at these rates as selling or refinancing triggers a big penalty (typically three months or the interest differential – whichever is larger.)

So I picked the kind-of middle option of a three-year term at 5.2%.

While my mortgage is pretty small, I sympathize with anyone who is close to the $400,000 mortgage example about to flush $36,000 of net income down the toilet over the next three years…

Close To Your Mortgage Renewal? Make a Call To Save $10,000 Or More

There’s another (likely “only”) half a percent rate increase coming at the next Bank of Canada meeting on September 7th. While inflation seems to have peaked, but that’s just an educated guess, our rate increases may not be over until the end of the year. (Their next meeting date to likely raise rates again will be Oct.ber 26th.)

If you have a mortgage due for renewal like I do, it’s not a pleasant thought. However, if your mortgage comes up in the next six months, a number of lenders WILL let you renew if you’re within that six months! That’s what I did last week. My rate is going up 2.4 percent, but that’s better than three percent after the September increase, and any other jump after that. Check with your lender today if your mortgage is up in February next year or earlier! That call may end up saving you over ten thousand dollars!

What’s the rate increase going to cost you? That depends on the rate you currently have. However, a 3% increase on each $100,000 will be $3,000 a year. So someone with a $400,000 mortgage will see their payments go up close to $1,000 a month! What do you get for that? Nothing! It’s a huge increase in your monthly spending for just getting to stay in your home. Yes, it stinks and it’s depressing, but that’s what rising rates cause.

How long should you renew for? That’s up to you. I only ever answer questions as to what I would do – or in this case, what I did. My thinking was that rates will peak sometime next year at the latest. But then it’ll take a while for them to ease downward. Like gas prices, they spike up and take forever to come back down. Even when the Bank of Canada decreases rates, that doesn’t mean the chartered banks will immediately pass that prime rate decrease on. So it didn’t make sense to me to just do a two-year mortgage for that reason. But I sure wasn’t going to sign for five years at these rates as selling or refinancing triggers a big penalty (typically three months or the interest differential – whichever is larger.)

So I picked the kind-of middle option of a three-year term at 5.2%.

While my mortgage is pretty small, I sympathize with anyone who is close to the $400,000 mortgage example about to flush $36,000 of net income down the toilet over the next three years…

Zig When Banks Want You to Zag & Adulting 101

Last month we talked about a survey that showed 8 out of ten people want financial advice from their bank. Great idea – from the wrong people! Getting financial advice and learning the insights is a great ideal or it’ll cost you huge. But don’t get it from people who are on commission. Here’s more proof of that going on right now:

Interest rates are stable and heading down. The Federal Reserve in the US will start dropping them before Canada, but they will come down in both countries. I first mentioned that we will be going into a recessing last fall already.

What are all financial institutions advertising heavily right now? Getting a fixed longer term mortgage at a “special” rate. OK, rates are coming down – so the WORST thing to do is lock yourself in right now at higher than need be rates! Banks want you locked in for five years or longer. That way, when rates come down, you’re way overpaying and it’s their additional profit.

What you do not hear from any of them right now are any ads on GICs. Why? Because if you lock those in right now you’ll get the higher rates before they drop. That’ll make you money but cost the banks a significant amount of profit: You get the high rate – they have to pay it while prime rates are dropping.

Adulting 101 Course

What a great idea! And it’s something four or five parents or grandparents can do together this summer: An Adulting Boot Camp. A high school in Lexington Kentucky this year started a three-day adulting 101 course for grade 12 students. Day one is all about money, day two is home & health and day three is being a professional. It’s everything from budgeting to saving, how to do laundry, basic cooking, car maintenance, ironing a shirt, shaking hands, making eye contact, tucking in your shirt, leaving your cell off during an interview and a ton more.

I love it love it love it! They may seem like such no-brainers to us older generations, but it isn’t in any way shape or form for 18-year olds!

George Boelcke – Money Tools & Rules book – yourmoneybook.com

Mortgage Rates Are Down…Sort Of…

It seems like a lot of people got really excited when the Royal (now matched by a number of others) dropped their mortgage rate by 0.15% last Thursday.

Any time rates or prices drop, it’s great for buyers, but this one isn’t anything to get excited about. It’s a rate drop for new mortgages and not a drop in the prime rate. So if you’re on a variable rate mortgage, it’s not likely your bank will drop your payment starting next month. Even if they did, it’d amount to $5.60 on a $250,000 mortgage. If they choose to drop your line of credit rate, you’d save $1.20 a month on an average $36,000 credit line.

Any tiny drop in rates isn’t going to rescue the housing market in 80% of the country. What needs to change is the mortgage stress rules that force borrowers to qualify for sticker rates when their actual rate will be about two percent lower. That rule certainly makes sense in overpriced housing markets.

It was designed to slow down the market. But what it’s done is not only slow it down, but stop it, and then shrink it in a big way. Toronto sales down 16% last year, as well as prices – Vancouver sales down 32%. Overall, sales are down 47% and mortgage applications are now at a 22-year low. One of the big banks’ mortgage applications are down by half over a year ago.

Is THAT what the goal was? The desire to own a home hasn’t changed, but the ability has. Now there are many signs that the federal government is running scared – and should be.

The stress test might still have a purpose but should be set by postal codes so the slow housing markets don’t keep getting killed. Plus, we’re pretty much done with rate increases. Sure, there might be one or two more, but we’re much more likely to have a recession in the next year than to have another huge wave of inflation with the corresponding rising rates.

It’s an old stat, but someone buying a home spends an additional $10,000 in everything from furniture to painting, renovators to appliances. None of that happens if the housing market has grinded to a halt. And I still maintain that there are tons of younger people who would love to get into the housing market but can’t. And if they don’t buy an entry level home, the people selling those can’t move up when they can’t sell…and none of the dominos to a healthy housing markets move!

George Boelcke – Money Tools & Rules book – yourmoneybook.com

Mortgage Rates & Recalls Information You Really Need

Not nice of some of the big no-service banks to once again take advantage of us. Not nice – but expected. One of them is Scotiabank, who passed on 0.15% of the quarter point decrease last week. I just saw a number of line of credit statements…they’re not the only ones.

On a positive note, the Okanagan right now has some of the lowest mortgage rates in the country. Prospera Credit Union has a five year variable rate of 2.05%. If you want a fixed rate – and you should – it’s 2.65% posted rate, and profit sharing and rebate. Plus, you get to deal with a credit union and not the banks, and that’s the biggest bonus.

Over the past year there have to be about 50 million vehicle recalls of various sizes and degree of danger. That’s a staggering number, led by 30 million recalls for defective airbags, and tens of millions from General Motors.

The problem is that these recalls have to get to the vehicle owners and have to be fixed. Some are minor, but lots of others are safety issues that have caused a lot of fires and deaths. If you purchased a new vehicle, the manufacturer has your information and you’ll get a recall letter. That’s required by law. If you’ve moved, they do not have your address, so you’ll need to go to a dealer – any dealer – and get them to update your address.

If you purchased a used vehicle, they have no idea who you are, or how to reach you! You need to let your car’s manufacturer know that you own one of their vehicles. Whether it’s for a current recall or for one down the road! You can take your registration to a dealer and ask them to put it into the manufacturer’s system – NOT just into the dealer’s service department data base. And never give them your phone number or email address. You don’t want junk mail and solicitation – you want recall information. When you’re at the dealer they can also pull up any existing recalls right on the spot.

An alternate plan is to just do a google search for  your manufacturer in Canada. That’ll give you their website and a customer contact phone number that should be able to do the same thing.

However, the most urgent thing you need to do is to check your vehicle for recalls – now! Here is the link to Transport Canada, or you can just search: “Transport Canada safety recall” and you’ll get to the website. The site doesn’t need a serial number, just the year, make and model.

Link to Transport Canada to search recalls

 

 

Is There A Point In Paying Down Your Mortgage?

I recently received an email from a lady asking if there is still a point in paying down her mortgage when house prices don’t seem to be increasing.

It’s a very good question. However, she’s confusing the mortgage with the value of her house. They really aren’t connected. The mortgage is the DEBT owed – the value (up or down) is what it can be sold for. The difference is what comes out in cash equity when it’s sold. In a perfect world, the mortgage is tiny – the value is high. So what’s cashed out on sale is huge equity. Or if the mortgage balance is still high and the value hasn’t gone up much – the difference between the two is a much smaller amount of equity.

The value is what you can sell the house for. The mortgage balance determines the cheque you’ll actually get if you sell.

The difference between owing and value is your equity. If you pay down the mortgage – the equity increases. That takes work and money. If you just pay the regular mortgage, equity builds slower. On the “value” side of the house – that is a second increase, but one you can’t control much, as it’s the market and what a buyer is prepared to pay.

All of us, hopefully, will pay off the mortgage. It’s just a question of whether it’s double or triple the original amount when interest is added for 25 years, or whether it’s much quicker and thus, much less interest, by paying weekly payments (that takes about seven years off) or adding a lump sum whenever  you can.

She’s right in that it’s the last debt that should be paid as it’s the lowest interest rate. It shouldn’t even happen before paying off a car or credit card. But for someone that’s debt free, except the house, it then becomes a choice. Invest extra money, or pay off the house – or both.

For over six years now we’ve heard that there’s an imminent massive housing price correction. I guess all these ‘predictors’ will eventually be right if you just keep saying it every year. In 2014, prices increased an average of 6% while the Bank of Canada predicted a 30% correction. In 2010, the Economist warned of a 25% reduction but prices increased 6.8%.

Predicting the housing market is a game you’re bound to lose, just like trying to time the stock market. Pay down your mortgage and invest a little money each and every month. If you’re not retiring today, or not selling your house this week – watch all those investment shows for entertainment value, and not specific advice to your financial situation.

Price Matching Dilemma

When your mortgage is up for renewal you’re a free agent. At that point, you’ll have no penalties to move your mortgage somewhere else and most places will cover the cost of your appraisal and legal fees in order to get your business.

A friend was in that position and was given the posted (insanely high) renewal rate for five years. She was told: Yea, that’s the best we can do. One phone call later and she had a rate half a percent lower. She called back her big bank and was told by the same lady: OK, we’ll match that. Another day with another lender and she received an email that they’d do it for a full percent less. Again, she went back to her big-five bank who indicated they’d also match that!

But rather than going to the lender who gave her a full percent off, she stayed with the big bank! TWICE they obviously wanted to take her for a ride at an inflated rate. Yet she ended up giving them the business? That’s just so wrong in so many ways. Well, it’s easier was her response. Easy? They tried to shaft her.

I don’t have an answer, but I’m quite sure that businesses who offer a better price, product or rate up front will stop doing so if we don’t end up supporting them and just use them to hold others accountable.

Looks like Low Rates Will Be Here a Bit Longer

If you’re a homeowner, it looks like interest rates will stay low for at least the next year or so. According to a new Bank of Montreal economic study there isn’t a reason to expect higher rates anytime soon. That’s great news if you have a lot of debt, especially a mortgage or line of credit.

Right now, you can get around a 3% fixed five year mortgage. That’s incredibly low and worth taking advantage of. In a few years, when people are paying five to eight percent rates, you’ll look back and wonder how they every dropped this low.

Your credit card rates are insane anyway and a move in rates won’t impact them much. But you have to know that rates will rise and get back to some kind of historical averages. The place where that can become a real problem is with two really large debts that most people tend to carry: their mortgage and line of credit.

Lines of credit are set off prime rate, or prime plus one or two percent. They’ll change monthly so a change in interest rates will hit you immediately. And it’s likely that your balance is such that you can’t readily pay it off when rates do rise, so be carefully.

For your mortgage, low rates give you the opportunity to lock them in. If you’re up for renewal in the next year or so, you should really really consider a five year fixed term. That’s assuming you’re not moving in that time, that you’ll shop around, and don’t settle for the posted retail rates. Right now you can get close to a 3% fixed rate!

If you’re considering selling a low rate also helps the value of your home. Most people look at the payment they need to make more than the price of the house. Assuming they have a down-payment, and can afford $1,500 a month, the buyer can afford a purchase price of around $310,000. If your house is way above that, the buyer won’t qualify and can’t buy it. If rates move to 6%, that same buyer can now only afford a purchase price of around $235,000.

A three percent change in interest rates reduce what any buyer can afford by $75,000. That means fewer people can afford your home and it’s likely that prices will come down as fewer buyers can afford what’s out there. Your house hasn’t gone bad, it’s just that a prospective buyer can only qualify for the same payment, but that extra $75,000 goes towards interest and not the principal.

Gotta love the low rates if you’re a buyer or have a mortgage. But what goes down must come up.