26 Oct

PAYMENT FREQUENCY, DOES IT REALLY MAKE A DIFFERENCE?

General

Posted by: Prabhjeev Gambhir

PAYMENT FREQUENCY, DOES IT REALLY MAKE A DIFFERENCE?

It has been said that there are two certainties in life; death and taxes. Well, as it relates to your mortgage, the single certainty is that you will pay back what you borrowed, plus interest. However, how you make your mortgage payments, the payment frequency, is somewhat up to you! The following is a look at the different types of payment frequencies and how they will impact you and your bottom line.

Here are the six main payment frequency types:

  1. Monthly payments – 12 payments per year
  2. Semi-Monthly payments – 24 payments per year
  3. Bi-weekly payments – 26 payments per year
  4. Weekly payments – 52 payments per year
  5. Accelerated bi-weekly payments – 26 payments per year
  6. Accelerated weekly payments – 52 payments per year

Options one through four are designed to match your payment frequency with your employer. So if you get paid monthly, it makes sense to arrange your mortgage payments to come out a few days after payday. If you’re paid every second Friday, it might make sense to have your mortgage payments match your payday! These are lifestyle choices, and will of course pay down your mortgage as agreed in your mortgage contract, and will run the full length of your amortization.
However, options five and six have that word accelerated attached… and they do just that, they accelerate how fast you are able to pay down your mortgage. Here’s how that works.
With the accelerated bi-weekly payment frequency, you make 26 payments in the year, but instead of making the total annual payment divided by 26 payments, you divide the total annual payment by 24 payments (as if the payments were being set as semi-monthly) and you make 26 payments at the higher amount.

So let’s say your monthly payment is $2,000.
Bi-weekly payment : $2,000 x 12 / 26 = $923.07
Accelerated bi-weekly payment $2,000 x 12 / 24 = $1,000

You see, by making the accelerated bi-weekly payments, it’s like you’re actually making two extra payments each year. It’s these extra payments that add up and reduce your mortgage principal, which then saves you interest on the total life of your mortgage.
The payments for accelerated weekly work the same way, it’s just that you’d be making 52 payments a year instead of 26.

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21 Aug

EVERYTHING YOU NEED TO KNOW ABOUT REVERSE MORTGAGES

General

Posted by: Prabhjeev Gambhir

Wouldn’t it be wonderful to be able to have money to do more of the things you love? To be able to have the freedom to pursue things you truly enjoy, especially in your Golden Years? Enter in a CHIP Reverse Mortgage! A Reverse mortgage is a simple and sensible way to unlock the value in your home. This mortgage product can tap into your home’s equity and turn it into cash to allow you to enjoy life on your terms.

A CHIP Reverse Mortgage is a loan secured against the value of the home. With this type of mortgage product, you are not required to make regular mortgage payments. Instead, the loan is repaid only when the homeowners no longer live in the home. Keep in mind that there are conditions with this. The homeowner is required to keep the property in good condition and keep up to date on property taxes and insurance.

There are also other qualifications an applicant must meet in order to qualify for this type of mortgage.

  1. Homeowners must be age 55 or older
  2. You must reside in your home/residence for 6 months out of the year
  3. If the title of the property is registered to more than one person, you must be registered as joint tenants, not just as tenants in common. The difference between these two types of shared ownership is what would happen to the property when one of the owners passes on. If the property is joint tenants, the interest of a deceased owner automatically gets transferred to the remaining surviving owner. If it is tenant in common the deceased tenant’s property interest belongs to his or her estate.
  4. Although you do not need to have an income to qualify for the borrowed amount as there are no payments required, you will have to stay up to date on paying the property taxes, fire insurance and strata fees (if applicable). The income you have coming in will have to be enough to adequately cover those associated fees.

Now for the big question you are all asking: How much can I borrow?

Well, to answer this there are factors that contribute to the total value. First, your age is a determining factor for this mortgage product. Essentially, the older you are the more you will qualify to borrow. The second factor is in direct relation to the details of your property. For instance, a detached home will qualify to borrow a higher amount than say a condo or townhome. The final factor to consider in this is the maximum amount that can be accessed through a CHIP Reverse Mortgage. The max amount is set at 55%. So, if your property is worth $1,000,000 and you are looking to qualify for the maximum amount, that would give you a mortgage of $550,000. If accessing 55% Loan To Value is not high enough there are private lending options that will consider increasing the Loan To Value up to 65%.

An easy way to take all three of those factors into consideration is to visit www.chipadvisor.ca and enter in your details. This can give you a rough idea of what the maximum amount is that you will be able to receive through a CHIP Reverse Mortgage.

One final note is to consider the costs associated with a CHIP Reverse Mortgage. Yes, there are no required payments due while you are living in your home. However, you should expect the following costs to be associated with this product:

1. An appraisal of your property will be required with an approximate cost of $300.
2. There will be legal costs associated…

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18 Aug

WHAT DOES THE FUTURE HOLD FOR MORTGAGES?

General

Posted by: Prabhjeev Gambhir

There have been a dizzying number of changes to the mortgage rules over the last six or seven years. The red hot markets in Toronto and Vancouver coupled with increased household debt and concerns over the risk to the Canadian tax payer through CMHC have caused the federal government to step in repeatedly. Here are a few of the changes we have seen.

  • Maximum amortization from 40 years to 25 years.
  • Mortgages must qualify on the stress test rate which is currently 4.84%.
  • Homes over $500,000 need 10% down on any amount over that threshold.
  • Homes over $1,000,000 are not eligible for mortgage insurance.
  • Refinances can no longer be guaranteed by mortgage default insurance.
  • Foreign buyers faced additional restrictions.
  • Home Equity Lines of Credit are maxed at 65% of the property’s value.
  • Refinances are maxed at 80%.
  • All outstanding credit cards and lines of credit have to be included at a 3% repayment.
  • Increased mortgage default insurance premiums.

This list could go on but these are some of the major ones. Recently the powers that be have announced another round of proposed changes which, if history holds true, we would anticipate to come into existence in October of this year.

The overall indebtedness of Canadian households through Home Equity Lines of Credit is a concern which may signal a further set of limitations to this type of mortgage.
There is consideration being given to a risk sharing model between the mortgage insurers and the banks. At the present time if you were to default on your mortgage the lender has the assurance that the default insurance will make them whole. Going forward this may not be the case.
How could you be affected? There will likely be an increased level of scrutiny applied to mortgage applications. If your credit is blemished or less than perfect you could face higher rates or be shut out of buying a home. They will likely also want to see savings beyond just the down payment and closing costs.

The fact of the matter is that if a bank has an increased risk overall they are going to certainly be more selective in who they lend their money to.

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7 Jul

5 WAYS TO BOOST YOUR FINANCIAL FITNESS

General

Posted by: Prabhjeev Gambhir

Thinking about buying your first home?

The race to home ownership is more like a marathon than a sprint: diligent planning, pacing and strategy are the keys to success. Are you ready to approach the starting line? Here are five ways to shape up and boost your financial fitness so you’re set for success.

1. Check your credit score
First things first: order a copy of your credit report and credit score. Your credit score, which is calculated using the information in your credit report, is what lenders look at when considering you for a mortgage. Your score impacts whether or not you get approved and what interest rates you’re offered.

2. Reduce (or eliminate) credit card debt
Ideally, your credit card balance should be zero. But if, like 46% of Canadians, you carry a balance each month, make it your priority to chip away at it. You’ll boost your credit score while reducing the amount you’re paying in interest, freeing up more cash for saving and investing.

Use one – or, better yet, both – of the following strategies to make a dent in your debt:

• Make more money (i.e., take on a side gig, work overtime hours, pick up odd jobs)
• Save more money (i.e., sacrifice your satellite TV package, swap your gym membership for running outdoors, cut back on eating out)

3. Bulk up your savings

Now’s the time to save aggressively, stashing that cash in a registered retirement savings plan (RRSP) or tax-free savings account (TFSA). Use automated savings to ensure that money goes straight from your checking account to your savings, investment accounts or both.

Remember: As a first-time homebuyer, you can withdraw money from your RRSP to put toward a down payment. (Generally, you’ll have up to 15 years to pay it back into your RRSP.)

4. Stick to a budget

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