11 Apr

A Shifting Market….. Again

General

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By Angela Calla- Dominion Lending Centres AMP

The recent data sure has changed the tone of rates in the coming months.

The prime rate – what variable rates are based on, while a few short weeks ago was expected to rise three times in the next 18 months now with the data on the slowing of the market and uncertainty in projects moving forward as expected, there are signs increases could be delayed until next spring.

The bond market– what fixed rates are based on, has dropped, which means rates (after the banks have hung on as much as possible ) should come down slightly.

What does his mean for borrowers? Let’s break it down per segment

  1.  Homebuyers – more affordability due to the recent dip in prices – pending price category anywhere from 10-30%. Remember, working with an unbiased mortgage professional we do a full look back upon closing to ensure the lowest cost of borrowing.
  2.  Home sellers – price sharp if you want to sell or else no point in being on the market
  3.  Renewals rejoice – payment shock shall be reduced upon renewal.
  4. Those carrying debt outside of a mortgage ex: credit cards, car payments, lines of credit – now is your time to see how much money moving that debt into a new restructured mortgage will  improve your cash flow. It’s the most effective strategy for protecting your credit.

The most constant theme in everything above: The market is always changing, yesterday’s news is exactly that. Aligning yourself with the frontline experts who will help you with clarity in the ever-changing market. This is why while experts can give you the data on the current market – it’s always subject to change. The decisions a borrower makes is their responsibility to adapt to. If you have any questions, contact me directly.

4 Apr

When Death Strikes Suddenly

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By David Cooke AMP Dominion Lending Centres

Recently I was finishing up a mortgage with a young couple who had just had a beautiful baby girl. I brought up the topic of mortgage and life insurance as well as getting a will written up. The response from the husband was that it was such a morbid topic and a real downer when they were excited about their new home.

The fact is that people, even young people die from car accidents, cancer, and even accidental drownings while on vacation. It’s a topic everyone avoids but it needs to be addressed, particularly when you are taking a major financial step like buying a home. What would happen to your spouse if you died suddenly with your mortgage not paid off?

I spoke to a major Canadian mortgage company about this topic.
I asked if the surviving spouse would be kicked out of the house. “ When someone dies who was on our mortgage we want to know right away . We ask for a copy of the death certificate so that we can take them off title. We will let the mortgage run it’s term if payments are being made on time. Many surviving spouses receive a life insurance policy and can pay off the mortgage or at least keep up the payments. We will renew the mortgage if payments are up to date. However, should the surviving spouse want to refinance the mortgage they would have to re-qualify for it.”

So what can you do to make life easier for your family should you die with a mortgage on your home? The easiest option is to have sufficient life insurance to ensure that they can keep up payments or to pay off the mortgage. Dominion Lending Centres mortgage professionals all offer MPP (Mortgage Protection Plan), a life insurance policy that pays off the mortgage in full in case of the death of the policy holder. The payments never go up because the mortgage balance is going down as the insured person gets older.

Another option is term insurance or whole life insurance. Speak to your favourite insurance broker about this.
Finally, if the surviving spouse is 55 or older, and they can’t afford to maintain the mortgage, a reverse mortgage may be the solution. No payments are made on the principal unless you decide you want to. When the widow(er) moves out the sale of the home pays off the mortgage and interest.

While it can be a “downer” to talk about death and disability, a responsible home purchaser needs to have the conversation with their Dominion Lending Centres mortgage professional at the time of their purchase, refinance or renewal. The sudden death of a family member causes enough grief for the survivors, why add to their misery. As the old commercial used to say “Why wait for spring, do it now”.