Amortization Options

General Leanne Mollica 26 Feb

Your mortgage amortization period is the number of years it will take you to pay off your mortgage. Depending on your choice of amortization period, it will affect how quickly you become mortgage-free as well as how much interest you pay over the lifetime of your mortgage (a longer lifetime equals more interest, whereas a shorter lifetime equals less interest but also bigger payments)

Amortization Benchmarks

Let’s start by looking at the mortgage industry benchmark amortization period. This is typically a 25-year period and is the standard that is used by the majority of lenders when it comes to discussing mortgage products. It is also typically the basis for standard mortgage calculators. While this is the standard, it is not the only option when it comes to your mortgage amortization. Mortgage amortizations can be as short as 5 years and as long as 35 years!

 

Benefits of a Shorter Amortization

Opting for a shorter amortization period will result in paying less interest overall during the life of your mortgage. Choosing this amortization schedule means you will also become mortgage-free faster and have access to your home equity sooner! However, if you choose to pay off your mortgage over a shorter time frame, you will have higher payments per month. If your income is irregular, you are at the maximum end of your monthly budget or this is your first home, you may not benefit from a shorter amortization and having more cash flow tied up in your monthly mortgage payments.

 

Benefits of a Longer Amortization

When it comes to choosing a longer amortization period, there are still advantages. The first is that you have smaller monthly mortgage payments, which can make home ownership less daunting for first-time buyers as well as free up additional monthly cash flow for other bills or endeavors. A longer amortization also has its advantages when it comes to buying a home as choosing a longer amortization period can often get you into your dream home sooner, due to utilizing standard mortgage payments versus accelerated. In some cases, with your payments happening over a larger period, you may also qualify for a slightly higher value mortgage than a shorter amortization depending on your situation.

 

Let’s Chat!

I am happy to help with the decision for the amortization that best suits your unique requirements and ensures you have adequate cash flow. However, it is important to mention that you are not stuck with the amortization schedule you choose at the time you get your mortgage. You can shorten or lengthen your amortization, as well as consider making extra payments on your mortgage (if you set up pre-payment options), at a later date.

 

Ideally, you are re-evaluating your mortgage at renewal time (every 3, 5, or 10 years depending on your mortgage product). During renewal is a great time to review your amortization and payment schedules or make changes if they are no longer working for you.

 

If you have any questions or are looking to get started on purchasing a home, don’t hesitate to reach out to me today!

DLC Marketing Team

Turning Your Homeownership Dreams Into Reality, @mymortgagestrategy

Great News On The Inflation Front Cause Big Bond Rally.

General Leanne Mollica 21 Feb

canadian inflation falls to 2.9% in january, boosting rate cut prospects

The Consumer Price Index (CPI) rose 2.9% year-over-year in January, down sharply from December’s 3.4% reading. The most significant contributor to the deceleration was a 4% decline in y/y gasoline prices, compared to a 1.4% rise the month before (see chart below). Excluding gasoline, headline CPI slowed to 3.2% y/y, down from 3.5% in December.

Headline inflation of 2.9% marks the first time since June that inflation has moved into the Bank of Canada 1%-to-3% target band and only the second time to breach that band since March 2021.

Grocery price inflation also decelerated broadly in January to 3.4% y/y, down from 4.7% in December. Lower prices for airfares and travel tours also contributed to the headline deceleration. Prices for clothing and footwear were 1.3% lower than levels from a year ago, potentially reflecting the discounting of winter clothing after a milder-than-usual winter in much of the country.

The shelter component of inflation remains by far the largest contributor to annual inflation. The effect of past central bank rate hikes feeds into the CPI with a lag. The y/y growth in mortgage interest costs edged lower in January but still posted a 27.4% rise and accounted for about a quarter of the total annual inflation. Inflation, excluding mortgage costs, is now at 2.0%. Home rent prices continue to rise, but another component under shelter – homeowners’ replacement costs inched lower on slower house price growth.

On a monthly basis, the CPI was unchanged in January, following a 0.3% decline in December. On a seasonally adjusted monthly basis, the CPI fell 0.1% in January, the first decline since May 2020.

The Bank of Canada’s preferred core inflation measures, the trim and median core rates, exclude the more volatile price movements to assess the level of underlying inflation. The CPI trim slowed three ticks to 3.4%, and the median declined two ticks to 3.3% from year-ago levels, as shown in the chart below.

Notably, the share of the CPI basket of goods and services growing at more than 5% has declined from the peak of 68% in May 2022 to 28% in January 2024.

Bottom Line

The next meeting of the Bank of Canada Governing Council is on March 6. While January’s inflation report was better than expected and shows that the breadth of inflation is narrowing, it is still well above the level consistent with the 2% inflation target.

Shelter inflation will remain sticky as higher mortgage rates over the course of last year filter into the index and the acute housing shortage boosts rents.

The Bank of Canada will remain cautious in the face of still-high wage gains and core inflation measures above 3%. I hold to my view that the Bank will begin cutting rates in June.

 

Please Note: The source of this article is from SherryCooper.com/category/articles/

Turning Your Homeownership Dreams Into Reality, @mymortgagestrategy

Navigating Spousal Buyout Mortgages: A Guide for a Seamless Transition

General Leanne Mollica 16 Feb

The decision to pursue a spousal buyout mortgage can be both emotionally and financially challenging.  

I’m here to provide you with the information you need and to address and answer the 10 most commonly asked questions to make this process as smooth as possible.

 

Q1: What is a Spousal Buyout Mortgage?

A spousal buyout mortgage is a financial arrangement that allows one spouse to buy out the other’s share of a jointly owned property, often due to a divorce or separation. This allows the remaining spouse to retain ownership of the home and continue living there.

 

Q2: How is the Home’s Value Determined?

The value of the home is typically determined through a professional appraisal. This valuation is crucial for calculating the buyout amount and establishing the new mortgage terms.

 

Q3: Can I Afford the Spousal Buyout?

Understanding your financial capacity is crucial. We’ll work together to assess your income, credit score, and existing debts to ensure that the new mortgage is affordable and suits your financial goals.

 

Q4: What Happens to the Existing Mortgage?

In a spousal buyout, the existing mortgage is typically refinanced or a new mortgage is secured. This allows for the transfer of ownership and establishes the terms of the buyout, including the repayment of the outgoing spouse’s share.

 

Q5: What if I Have a Low Credit Score?

While a low credit score may pose challenges, it doesn’t necessarily disqualify you from a spousal buyout mortgage. We’ll discuss options such as co-signers or taking steps to improve your credit before applying.

 

Q6: Can I Use a Spousal Buyout Mortgage for Other Debts?

The primary purpose of a spousal buyout mortgage is to facilitate the buyout of the property. However, if there is sufficient equity, we can explore the possibility of using some funds to pay off other debts, providing a holistic financial solution.

 

Q7: Are There Tax Implications?

It’s important to be aware of potential tax implications, such as capital gains tax. We’ll work closely with tax professionals to ensure you understand and plan for any tax obligations associated with the spousal buyout.

 

Q8: How Long Does the Process Take?

The timeline for a spousal buyout mortgage can vary based on factors like the complexity of the divorce settlement and the efficiency of the appraisal process. We’ll work diligently to streamline the process and keep you informed every step of the way.

 

Q9: Is a Full Appraisal Required

Yes, a physical appraisal of the property is necessary.

 

Q10: What do I Need to Start the Process?

The documents that we will have to review are:

  • Signed separation agreement
  • Your current mortgage statement
  • Property Tax Statement
  • Previous 2 Years Notice of Assessments
  • List of debts you wish to payout along with the spousal buyout

 

Remember, I am here to guide you through this process. Feel free to reach out with any additional questions or concerns. Together, we can ensure a seamless transition and help you move forward on a solid financial footing.

Dedicated to Turning Your Homeownership Dreams Into Reality, @mymortgagestrategy

Leanne Mollica

What’s Next for your Home After a Separation?

General Leanne Mollica 15 Feb

Growing up, most people dream about living a fairytale with a wonderful partner and a life of bliss. Unfortunately, real life is not always a fairytale and not every relationship lasts forever. In fact, latest statistics show that 38 percent of all marriages in Canada end in divorce.

Separating, whether through divorce or ending a common law relationship, is never an easy step. Losing someone close to you (whether for the better or not) is hard – but it doesn’t have to mean losing your home too. Most individuals who are going through a separation feel as though they are forced to sell their home and split the equity depending on your agreement, but there is another way.

spousal buy-outs

Spousal buy-outs are one of the mortgage industries best kept secrets and we want to blow the lid on this great alternative! While not everyone will want to remain in their home, many individuals may opt to remain rooted – especially for those with children who are already enrolled in school and happy in their neighborhood. This is where the Spousal Buy-Out Program comes in.

Backed by all three of Canada’s mortgage insurance providers (Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation, Sagen™ and Canada Guaranty), this program is designed to allow one party to refinance the shared home up to 95 percent of its appraised value. In order to qualify, both you and your ex-partner must currently be on the deed to the property. As a one-time opportunity, the Spousal Buy-Out Program can also be used to pay off other debts outside the separation agreement, further assisting with the transition.

Now you may be thinking “I wish I could, but I can’t afford it”. Well, don’t sell yourself short just yet! We understand the cost of purchasing a home, whether outright or from your partner, can be high. Fortunately, The Spousal Buy-Out Program was designed to help YOU and mitigates these costs by allowing individuals to bring on a cosigner, such an existing family member or even a new partner, to assist.

If you are separating from your spouse or partner and would really like to hold onto your shared home, there are a few things you will need including:

1. AN APPRAISAL

An appraisal report will likely have been obtained to determine Equalization of Assets. However, in some cases the appraisal may not be acceptable to a lender unless it was originally ordered by a third party. The appraisal must also have been produced within 90 days (less with some lenders) to ensure accuracy. If the original report was previous to 90 days, a new one must be obtained.

2. A SIGNED SEPARATION AGREEMENT

To qualify the lender must be provided a signed copy of the separation agreement. The details of asset allocation must be clearly outlined.

3. AN AGREEMENT OF PURCHASE AND SALE

A standard agreement of sale indicating the new ownership.

4. AN EMPLOYMENT LETTER OR RECENT PAY STUB

This is required so the lender can verify your ability to manage your mortgage payments.

5. DEBT PAYOUT LIST

This is an optional one-time option for paying off additional debts outside of the separation agreement. The proceeds can only be used to buy out the other owner’s share of equity and/or to pay off joint debt as explicitly noted in the signed separation agreement.

Moving on in life can often be difficult, but this program allows you to maintain some of your routine and security by ensuring you – and your children – can remain in the home you love.

DLC Marketing Team

Turning Your Homeownership Dreams Into Reality, @mymortgagestrategy

Canadian January Jobs Report Suggests No Recession In Sight.

General Leanne Mollica 13 Feb

January jobs report dispells recession fears

Today’s StatsCanada Labour Force Survey for January was a mixed bag and shows the dramatic effect of surging immigration. Canadian employment rose by a stronger-than-expected 37,300, but part-time jobs rose by 48,900, and in the public sector, the gain was huge. The employment rate fell a tick because population growth outpaced employment growth. The working-age population surged by 125,500 in a single month and is up by a remarkable 1 million adults year-over-year.

This ballooning of the working-age population is without precedent. In the past, it has never grown more than 500,000 in any year. Holy Cow, what are we doing? Where will all of the people live, where will their kids go to school, where will the new hospitals be built, not to mention the transportation infrastructure on already crowded subways and roadways?

The unemployment rate fell a tick to 5.7%, the first such drop since December 2022. This reflected the 0.2 percentage point decline in the labour force participation love to 65.3%, as the number of people in the labour force held steady and the population rose.

Most of the new jobs were in the service sector, led by wholesale and retail trade, and finance, insurance, real estate, rental and leasing. There were declines in other sectors, especially in accommodation and food services.

In January, average hourly wages were up 5.3% year-over-year, still way too high for the Bank of Canada. According to Statistics Canada, average hourly wages rose 5.9% to an average of $60.58 for employees with hourly wages in the top 25% of the wage distribution in January 2024, compared with an increase of 4.6% (to $17.64 per hour) for those with hourly wages in the bottom 25% of the wage distribution (not seasonally adjusted). Of course, the highest-paid workers earn a salary and are not paid by the hour.

Bottom Line

The next Bank of Canada announcement date is on March 6th. There is plenty of data yet to come out before then. But judging from what we already know, the economy is not in recession, and wages are still rising too rapidly. Housing markets are already beginning to heat up, and the US economy is running red hot. The strong US inevitably spills into Canada. This gives the BoC more time to ponder inflation. So far, there is no hurry for them to cut rates.

Please Note: The source of this article is from SherryCooper.com/category/articles/

Turning Your Homeownership Dreams Into Reality, @mymortgagestrategy

Making Your Home Workspace More Productive.

General Leanne Mollica 6 Feb

Fall in love with your home and your workspace again with these tips to help you make your home office space more productive!

  1. Establish Boundaries: A key component of being more productive at home is to establish proper boundaries between work and personal life. While not all of us at home have space for a dedicated home office, it helps to create a dedicated area in your house such as your kitchen table. In addition to having a dedicated physical space to create boundaries, establishing when it is time to focus on work versus switching off for the day is key. Establishing norms such as time and location can make a big difference in ensuring productivity, but ensure you have discussed with your manager and/or team about when communication is expected.
  2. Create a Routine: This is especially important for individuals who are used to an office setting and whose mornings would consist of showering, breakfast and commuting. When the commute is off the table, it is just as important to maintain a good morning routine – even if you have the option of more flexible hours. Determine what works best for you to keep you focused and engaged and maintain that routine throughout the week.
  1. Declutter: When working at home, you no longer have to account for just your immediate space but the general environment as well. It can be distracting to try and work at the kitchen table when your sink is a mess or the carpet needs vacuuming. Be sure to keep your house as decluttered and tidy as possible to prevent mid-day distractions and to clear your mind to better focus on work-related tasks.
  1. Take Breaks: When working in an office, you’ll often be reminded to take your lunch break when the rest of your colleagues are headed out for theirs. At home, it can be a little more difficult to maintain your lunch hour – or take breaks at all! And when we do, often these breaks are little more than scrolling through social media. While taking breaks is vital, a productive break is even more so. Consider reading relevant articles to give you some inspiration, making a home cooked meal or even taking a walk around your block for a more restful break.
  2. Upgrade Your Equipment: Whether you’re currently working in an old wooden kitchen chair or lack proper wrist support, a big step towards being more productive at home is upgrading your equipment. If you’re going to be sitting all day, investing in a comfortable, supportive desk chair that won’t leave you feeling achy will make a huge difference! Also, make sure you have enough desk space to be able to work comfortably and include ergonomic support where applicable for an even more comfortable (and productive!) work-at-home experience

DLC Marketing Team

Turning Your Homeownership Dreams Into Reality, @mymortgagestrategy

Avoid Costly Mistakes When Building a New Home

General Leanne Mollica 5 Feb

Avoid Costly Mistakes When Building a New Home.

Building a new home is a super exciting endeavor as you opt to create the perfect space for you and your family. However, building a home is not without its costs and potential surprises… to mitigate bumps on your homebuilding journey and avoid costly mistakes, consider the following tips:

Set a Realistic Budget

When building your own home, it is vital to be realistic about your budget and what you can afford. Making a list of wants versus needs can be a good way to determine what is required, and where you can spend extra money should your budget allow for it. When constructing your budget, don’t forget to include construction costs from materials to labour, as well as permits, inspections, landscaping and unforeseen contingencies. The contingency fund should be approximately 10-15% of your budget put aside to cover unforeseen issues or changes.

Hire Reputable Individuals

From your architect and your contractor to your landscaper and inspector, it is vital to have the right people in the right positions. This will ensure that you not only get the best advice, but experienced individuals will also help to steer you through the process and mitigate potential issues. Be sure to do your research, ask for references and ensure the individual(s) you hire are licensed and insured.

While you’re researching individuals, it can also be a good idea to get multiple quotes. While you may have a contractor you like, reaching out to other individuals can help ensure you’re getting the best rate.

Review Contracts Carefully

Read and understand all contracts and agreements thoroughly between your contractor and yourself, your designer, your home inspector, etc. Ensure that everything is in writing and that you and your builder are on the same page regarding expectations, timelines, and costs.

Make and Follow Your Plan

Once you have your budget and the right people on the project, it is time to make a plan. You must work with an architect or designer to ensure that your new home aligns with your needs, lifestyle and budget. This should also include future plans – do you want to have children? Plan on adopting a pet or two? Possibly need space for an older family member in a few years? Getting this right from the beginning will help to avoid potential changes to the plan down the line, which will reduce expansions to cost and timelines.

Choose Your Materials Carefully

Choosing to invest in energy-efficient features and materials can help you to reduce long-term utility costs. While initially these installations may be more costly, they will work to save you money in the long run. Whenever possible, make sure these materials are also as durable as possible to ensure longevity and low maintenance requirements.

Secure the Necessary Permits

Ensure that you obtain all required permits and approvals before starting construction. One of the most important reasons to do this is to ensure that the work being done is safe, but having permits and inspections is also vital to ensure you can get insurance on your new build. Non-permitted renovations or build additions, changes, etc. can result in trouble securing insurance, on top of fines and other potentially costly issues.

Invest in Inspections

Having inspections done throughout the process of building your home can save you issues down the line by ensuring that all the installations are done correctly and safely and that your house meets the proper codes for electrical, plumbing, etc.

By taking proper steps and being proactive throughout the home-building process, you can minimize the risk of costly mistakes and ensure that your new home meets your expectations while staying within your budget.

Written by MY DLC Marketing Team

Turning Your Homeownership Dreams Into Reality, @mymortgagestrategy