Its been a very long time since I wrote an opening to a newsletter. I feel rusty and out of practice. Have you ever put something off for so long that by the time you had to do it you felt embarrassed? That’s me right now. I feel like I have not connected with you in a very long time. Let’s catch up.
First, after a few hiccups, and trying to find a good fit to replace Linda, Keri Alain joined me in March of this year as my administrative assistant, she is still learning and growing, and I believe enjoying the process, as much as one can during the summer buying the market. Please be patient with us as Keri settles into the role. If you receive an email from Kerri, say hello.
What’s happening with Jacquie? Where is she working? You may be curious as to where does Jacquie work?
If you are a long term client/friend, you may have noticed some changes in the past couple of months. Here’s what happened. After a rough 2017, with the introduction of the strenuous rule changes in late 2016, there was so much uncertainty in the mortgage industry, I decided I needed to have a more local team, a place where I could walk down the hall and chat with my teammates in person. With much sadness, I left my Toronto based team at Oriana Financial and joined the Ottawa based team of Smart Debt Mortgages in January of 2018. Smart Debt was a franchisee of DLC mortgages, and In April of this year, Smart Debt Mortgages converted to Mortgage Intelligence from DLC. It was the right move, and I can see how some people could be confused? Here’s the funny thing, I started my career with Mortgage Intelligence in 2005, Oh my, that was a long time ago. So coming back to MI is like returning home.
What does this mean, nothing? I am still an independent mortgage agent delivering mortgage advice and providing my clients with reliable information so they can make an informed decision: my phone number and email are the same, only the branding has changed. If you have questions, please feel free to call me. I’m always available to connect and clarify.
The government rule changes that caused industry chaos, changing brokerage names within sixteen months, finding a breast lump (everything is fine), becoming an empty nester (that’s a different story) were all unexpected life changes. The point, you never know where life is going to take you?
When I am chatting with someone who is solely fixated on the rate alone, I will ask; what changes have you experienced over the past five years? What possible changes could happen over the next five years? Life is not static, and neither should your mortgage. It’s important to factor when considering a new mortgage. Many ultra-low rate mortgages are rigid and have extra penalties attached to the agreement. Some contracts even contain a clause that states you must sell your home to be able to be released from the mortgage. Meaning you are stuck with that lender for the entirety of the mortgage contract. These types of clauses are not worth the savings should life happen, and you need to make a change to your mortgage.
Here are just a few examples of why you might need to break your mortgage contract; accessing the equity in the home to pay down debt, renovations, family financial emergency, death, taxes, school fees. You may also experience a divorce, job loss, illness, relocation, or it might be as simple as you have outgrown your home and want to sell. Yes, you can port the mortgage, but if the current contract does not meet the port rules for that lender, or that contract does not allow for porting or perhaps the rates are better for you to cancel your existing mortgage, you will have a penalty.
As always, I am here to answer your mortgage questions. Mortgages and rates have never been more complicated. If you are looking for a new mortgage, I’m here to support you. Call me.
A dorm with pub crawls, only fancier: co-living comes to Canada
I love the idea of collaboration and coexisting with my fellow humans. Remember, when we used to say, “It takes a village.” I like to think that we are reverting back to those times. Although I love that social media has linked shut-in persons or those who are too shy to connect to have a voice and make new connections. I believe that we, as humans, have lost our ability to truly connect with one another. I’m hopeful that the return of this type of living situation, even though it came about from a lack of affordable housing will allow for the return of genuine human connection.
What are your thoughts on communal living?
Let me tell you a story. In 1998, freshly separated, I moved into a townhouse condominium project, there were 19 units, two rows of houses with a private street down the middle. Within the 19units were several single moms, retired persona, a couple of small families and a few singles. Because it was a new complex, we were all new and venturing out on a new life path. It didn’t take long before our kids were playing together, we were sharing meals, having communal parties, holiday events, helping each other with childcare, health matters, home matters, emotional matters, sharing our lives as friends, more than friends, we were family.
I lived in the complex for five years before I sold my unit to move to a bigger home. To this day, some of my best memories and personal growth moments have come from the support and friendship I found while living in a “communal type” situation. I love the concept so much, I might one day return to this style of living.
A peek behind deeply discounted 5-year rates
When considering a deeply discounted 5-year rate, keep in mind that the cheapest isn’t always best. Strangely, we know that’s true when we’re shopping for anything else – but we still tend to believe that the lowest rate is the one and only factor in choosing a mortgage. But, that low-rate mortgage could actually cost you more in the long run.
An amazing cut-rate mortgage could have you locked into a very rigid contract filled with financial “trip lines” that could work against you down the road. That’s why it’s important to check the fine print. For instance, is the mortgage fully closed? That means you’re not leaving the lender unless you sell your house, so your options are limited and you have no negotiating power if your needs change in the next 5 years. Low or no prepayments: means you have no or limited ability to chip away at your principal to reduce your overall cost. Maximum 25-year amortization can take away flexibility you may need later. Many prudent homeowners take a 30-year amortization but set their payments higher using a 25-year or lower amortization. This gives them the option to reduce their payments should an emergency arise or a special need like maternity leave. For first-time buyers too, a 25-year amortization means higher payments than a 30-year amortization and could limit their entry into the market.
Spot a deeply discounted 5-year rate? Talk to me first. I’ll always help you find the right combination of low rate with the options you need to achieve your goals for home ownership and the financial future you want.
Selling real estate? The CRA is watching
What clients need to know about reporting transactions.