at 642 King Street W. - Second Floor, Suite 200, Toronto, M5V 1M7 Canada
Dominion Lending Centres Toronto offers mortgages solutions for purchases, refinances, self Employed, real estate investment, Commercial and much more.
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Lawn and Garden Water Savings Tip: In the summer months, municipal water use doubles. This is the season when Canadians are outdoors watering lawns and gardens, filling swimming pools and washing cars. Summer peak demand places stress on municipal water systems and increases costs for taxpayers and water users. As water supplies diminish during periods of low rainfall, some municipalities must declare restrictions on lawn and garden watering. By applying some handy tips, your lawn and garden can cope with drought conditions and you can minimize water wastage. General tips Much of the summer peak demand is attributed to lawn and garden watering. Often, water is applied inefficiently, resulting in significant waste due to over watering, evaporation or run-off. Here are some general watering tips to help avoid wasting water: Before watering, always take into account the amount of water Mother Nature has supplied to your lawn or garden in the preceding week. Leave a measuring container in the yard to help monitor the amount of rainfall (empty it once per week). Also bear in mind any watering restrictions that may apply in your municipality. Water in the early morning, before 9AM, to reduce evaporation and scorching of leaves from the sun. Water on calm days to prevent wind drift and evaporation. Set up your sprinkler or hose to avoid watering hard surfaces such as driveways and patios. If you’re not careful, it’s water and money down the drain. Water slowly to avoid run-off and ensure the soil absorbs the water. Regularly check your hose or irrigation equipment for leaks or blockages. Collect rainwater from your roof in a rain barrel or other large container and keep it covered with an insect screen. Direct the down spout of your eavestroughs into the rain barrel. Choose an efficient irrigation system. A soaker hose placed at the base of plants on the ground applies water to the soil where it’s needed – rather than to the leaves – and reduces evaporation. Drip...
A New Normal For the Canadian Mortgage Market: First-time homebuyers continue to enter the Canadian housing market in substantial numbers, encouraged by low interest rates and acting in response to their own favourable economic circumstances, according to the Canadian Association of Accredited Mortgage Professionals (CAAMP), in its newest consumer survey report, Looking for a “New Normal” in the Residential Mortgage Market. The report, which examines Canadians’ attitudes about their home purchase decisions, found that homeowners appear to be “happy with the decision to buy their home.” They say they feel confident they can weather a downturn in the housing market and they consider mortgage debt to be “good debt”. Their attitudes are the same whether they live in Toronto, Calgary or Vancouver where prices continue to rise, or in areas where home prices are stabilizing. Following are some highlights of the findings: There were approximately 650,000 homes purchased over the last year and, among those purchases, 55% were first-time buyers More than 80% of homeowners in Canada have 25% or more equity in their homes Average mortgage interest rate for all homeowners is 3.24% (down from 3.52% the previous year), and 3.02% for mortgages renewed within the last year Only 4% of mortgages have rates of 5% or higher 87% of all mortgages have amortizations of 25 years or less. For homes purchased in the last year, 92% have a 25-year amortization or less In the last year, 74% of new mortgages were fixed-rate mortgages – down from 84% in the previous survey a year ago The percentage of new mortgagors with variable rates was 20% – up from 13% in the previous survey Combination mortgages were at 6% – up from 3% in the previous survey 39% of all new mortgages were obtained through a mortgage broker – up from 31% in the previous survey In the past year 11% of homeowners took out equity from their home with the average amount being $51,000 – up from $48,000 in the previous...
How Important is a Mortgage Rate? Often times, borrowers are fixated on their mortgage rate because it’s the one aspect of their home financing they know to ask about. But, it’s important to look beyond mere rates into the bigger picture surrounding what’s significant when it comes to your specific mortgage needs. If we dollarize the difference between 2.99% and 3.04%, for instance, it works out to an additional $2.66 in your monthly payment per $100,000 of your mortgage. Over the course of a five-year term, this culminates into just $159.60 per $100,000. While “no-frills” mortgage products typically offer a lower – or more discounted – interest rate (like the 2.99% used in the example above), when compared with many other available products, the lower rate is really their only perk. The biggest problem with looking at rate alone is that you may end up paying thousands of dollars in early payout penalties if you opt for a five-year fixed-rate mortgage, for instance, and then decide to move before the five years is up. No-frills mortgage products won’t let you take your mortgage with you if you purchase another property before your mortgage term is up – ie, portability is not an option with this product. Portability is an important option that could save you money over the long term if the home of your dreams is within your reach before your mortgage term is up and rates have risen, which they have a tendency to do over a five-year period. This type of product is only plausible for those who have minimal plans to take advantage of benefits that will help pay off your mortgage faster – such as prepayment privileges including lump-sum payments. Essentially, this product is only ideal for: first-time homebuyers who want fixed payments and have limited opportunities to make lump-sum payments during the first five years of their mortgage; and property investors who need a low fixed rate and aren’t concerned with making lump-sum payments. It’s understandable why these products may seem appealing. After all, not everyone feels they have the extra cash to put down a huge lump-sum payment. And who needs a portable mortgage if you’re not planning on moving any time soon? But it’s important to remember that a lot can change over the course of five years – or whatever term you choose for your mortgage. You could get transferred, find a bigger house, have babies, change careers, etc. Five years is a long time to be anchored to something. Many people won’t sign a cell phone contract for longer than three years that they can’t get out of, so why would they then sign a mortgage for five years that they can’t get out of? The thing is, you can still obtain great mortgage savings without giving up the perks of traditional mortgages. For starters, many lenders are willing to offer significant discounts if you opt for a 30-day “quick close”. And there are many other ways to earn your own discounts. For instance, by switching to weekly or bi-weekly mortgage payments, or by obtaining a variable-rate mortgage but increasing your payments to match those of the going five-year fixed rate, you’ll be ahead of the typical discount of a no-frills product before you know it – and you won’t have to give up on options. Banks don’t give anything away for free – they’re there to make money. That’s why it’s essential to discuss the full details surrounding the small print behind the low rates. It’s also important to take into account your longer-term goals and ensure your mortgage meets your unique needs now and into the future. As always, if you have questions about mortgage rates, or other mortgage-related questions, I’m here to help!
Should You Skip A Mortgage Payment? Lenders are advertising the option of skipping a mortgage payment more often these days – with one major bank even creating a TV ad! But unless this is your only option, it’s not recommended that you skip a payment because, like most ads that sounds too good to be true, this option is as well. The banks want you to think they’re advertising the option to skip a payment to do you a favour. But it’s important to realize that lenders are in the business of making money. They’re not going to create an ad that doesn’t benefit them in the long run. And it’s not like you can simply choose to skip any payment at will when you need it most. You actually have to prepay your mortgage in order to take advantage of this mortgage vacation option. You can miss a regular mortgage payment as long as you have already prepaid that amount by doubling up any mortgage payment, increasing your mortgage payments or making lump sum payments. It’s important to know how much you can prepay each year before making extra payments – this varies from lender to lender. And if you’re going through the trouble of prepaying your mortgage, you want to make the savings work to your advantage by actually paying your mortgage off quicker – not diminishing those savings by taking a mortgage vacation. The number of eligible payments covered by your payment vacation will be based on a combination of your prepaid amount and your current regular monthly mortgage payment. There is also typically a maximum payment vacation permitted per mortgage term, regardless of how much you have prepaid your mortgage. Other considerations to think about when looking at the mortgage vacation option include: Interest is capitalized (ie, interest is added to your outstanding principal balance) Borrowers lose the benefit and interest cost savings of prepaying their mortgage once they use the mortgage vacation option If you happen to already be in arrears on your mortgage, you can’t take advantage of this option. It’s always important to read the fine print and ask questions when using a tool advertised by your lender. Better yet, speak to your mortgage professional – we know the ins and outs of all the bank offerings and can help advise you on your best options. As independent, unbiased mortgage professionals, it’s our job to show transparency to ensure you have the right security, product, term and rate for your mortgage needs at the lowest overall cost, and with the most control in homeownership for the security you deserve. As always, if you have any questions about the information above or your mortgage in general, I’m here to help!