We answered your Saskatoon mortgage questions on Talk to the Experts!

Saskatoon mortgage questions

This latest show we are featuring is the TRUSTED SASKATOON PERSONAL FINANCE SHOW
All of the questions on the show have been submitted by our wonderful Trusted Saskatoon Facebook Fans and one lucky fans question was chosen by Brent to win the Prize package submitted by the 3 Trusted Businesses worth over $350

Your Mortgage Now : $100.00 gift certificate that can be used at any of the Trusted Saskatoon Partners!

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We had the opportunity to answer your mortgage questions on 650 CKOM Trusted Saskatoon’s Finance Show. Make sure to listen to our show below as we covered topics on Mortgage Renewals, Fixed VS Variable Rates, Mortgage Broker VS The Bank, Home Equity and Rental Properties. Those who asked us the questions were also drawn for some great prizes!

To read our answers, you may also visited the Trusted Saskatoon Blog.

We’d like to hear from you! Please feel free to contact us today about your home mortgage questions.

Devin Cristo & Wes Will are Trusted Saskatoon Mortgage Associates of YourMortgageNow.ca

5 Tips to Become Mortgage-Free Faster!

Your Mortgage Now shares 5 Tips to Become Mortgage-Free Faster

Budget for it first.

There are a number of strategies to help homeowners pay off mortgages quicker; all involve paying more money.

Your first step should be to determine if you have the flexibility in your budget to put more money toward your mortgage.

Balance everything – You want to be setting yourself up for a strong financial future by putting money away for things like your retirement and your kids’ education.

Accelerate your payments.

If you do have the extra budget room, consider adjusting your payment plan.

For example, if you go on a bi-weekly accelerated schedule, making a payment every 14 days, instead of twice a month, you’ll have made the equivalent of 26 payments, by the end of the year.

Smaller, more frequent payments will reduce your interest costs and get you mortgage-free faster. If you tie it in to your payroll, you don’t even miss it.

Increase your monthly payments.

Most financial institutions let homeowners make additional mortgage payments alongside their regular monthly payments.

Depending on the lender, a homeowner may be allowed to pay between 10 to 100 per cent of the mortgage payment and have it go directly toward paying down the principal, not the interest.

Make a lump sum payment.

Say you get a bonus at work or receive an inheritance – putting a chunk of that windfall toward your mortgage can make a difference.

Most lenders let clients pay lump sums between 10 to 20 per cent of the original mortgage, or the remaining balance. The full amount can be paid in one go or it can be made in instalments.

(Note: the lump sum contribution is over and above the amount you are allowed to contribute in additional bi-weekly payments.)

Reduce your amortization.

The principal-to-interest ratio on a mortgage leans more heavily toward interest in the first part of the mortgage term.

If you’re taking a shorter amortization, you’re tipping the scale a little bit so that a bigger portion of your payment is going towards your principal for that portion.

The strategies outlined earlier – making accelerated, additional and lump sum payments – can effectively reduce your amortization period, while still giving you financial flexibility.

 

Devin Cristo & Wes Will are Trusted Saskatoon Mortgage Associates of YourMortgageNow.ca

Buying a House With a Friend is Becoming the New Trend!

With house prices rising, it can difficult to afford a home on your own. You and a friend might be in the same situation and feel that if you pool your resources, you can invest in a home instead of throwing your money away by paying rent. What all parties have to realize is that this is a business partnership and should be treated as such.

What is involved with Buying a House With a Friend

Before you buy, it is important to look at the big picture and answer these questions:

  • Are my friends in a stable financial situation? Can they afford to split mortgage payments, utilities and come up with their share of a down payment? Ask them straight out, to avoid any issues in the future.
  • Do we share the same values? Are you both neat freaks? Couch potatoes? This can lead to tension as unlike a traditional business you are living with each other. People are used to doing things a certain way, are you ready to compromise?
  • Does everyone agree that this is an investment? Eventually, people’s lives change, they meet someone, relocate for a job. Have you talked about what will happen to the property when one person inevitably needs to sell their share?

Now that you have decided that this deal is going to work, you have to look at getting a mortgage. Is everyone involved going to be listed on the mortgage? All parties will have their credit ratings looked at and generally the person with the lowest credit rating will set the bar as to what a mortgage will be approved for.

After all of these questions have been answered and you have decided to go forward it is recommended that you find a lawyer. Once again, treat this investment as a business arrangement. Sit down with legal council and have a written agreement compiled that includes things such as:

  • Who will cover the down payment, property taxes, bills, and repairs when they are needed.
  • What will happen to the home if one of the owners is killed or incapacitated.
  • When can someone sell or leave the partnership? Do they need to give notice? Can the other partners buy out their share?

Sitting down with a lawyer will make sure that everyone fully understands how situations will be handled as they come up.

The last thing you may want to talk to your new business partner about are the house rules. Set out guidelines regarding pets, parties, noise and guests.

Purchasing a home with a friend can be an excellent way to start building your equity. As long as all of the people involved have been upfront with each other, there should be no surprises along the way to jeopardize the partnership. Let us help you when it is time to apply for that mortgage. We are here to answer any other questions that you may have when planning on buying a home with friends.

Devin Cristo & Wes Will are Trusted Saskatoon Mortgage Associates of YourMortgageNow.ca

How can Bridge-Financing Fill the Gap Between Home Closing and Buying?

You have just found the home of your dreams and can’t wait to make an offer but you still have your own home to sell. There are options as to what you can do so that you don’t miss out on this opportunity, depending on your situation.

 

What is Bridge-Financing

One of those options is called bridge financing, and it is useful when a person needs funds to close the deal on a new home but have not closed the sale on their current home. This option can be expensive if you are not in a position of having a lot of money saved but can also be worth it as a short-term solution. Bridge financing usually carries a higher borrowing rate than your traditional mortgage (ex. prime + 1 or 2%). But remember, this loan should be paid in full in only a few days or weeks which means your expenses could range from hundreds to a couple of thousand dollars depending on the amount borrowed.

Not all banks allow for bridge financing and you should check into this before adding this to your options. If this sounds like an option you can afford, you should also keep in mind the costs of having to carry two mortgages, property taxes, home insurance and utilities on both properties as well as the temporary bridge loan. The only problem that could arise in this situation is if the sale of your house falls through and you have to deal with all of these expenses on a long-term basis.

With all of this in mind, bridge financing can still be the best way to deal with two different closings that don’t match up. If this is something that might work for you please contact us so that we can help you make that decision or find an option that will work for you.

Devin Cristo & Wes Will are Trusted Saskatoon Mortgage Associates of YourMortgageNow.ca

How Much is Enough to Save for a Mortgage?

When should you start to save for a mortgage?

The challenge today is saving for a sizable deposit for a down payment and closing costs. Credit scores are critical, but so are income and assets when you are applying for a mortgage.

Home buyers are required to have at least 5% deposit of the home purchase price, although if you don’t want to purchase default insurance, then you’ll need at least 20% for a conventional mortgage.

There are several benefits to waiting until you have enough for a down payment of 20% or more before you purchase a home.

  1. Reduced mortgage payments
    The more you put down on your home upfront, the smaller your mortgage payments will be. That could help your monthly budget. More important, you could save thousands of dollars in interest in the long run. For example, on a 30-year mortgage at 5% interest, putting an extra $10,000 into the down payment will save you $9,325 in interest payments over the life of the loan.
  2. Lower interest rate
    Lenders often offer better interest rates to borrowers with a lower loan-to-value ratio, or the percentage of the purchase price that you’re financing. An increase in your down payment lowers the ratio and reduces the risk to the lender that you will be unable to pay your full loan balance. Lower interest rates can also save you money over the life of the mortgage.
  3. No mortgage-insurance fees
    If you want to contribute a smaller down payment than the traditional 20%, most lenders require that you take out mortgage insurance. This insurance protects the lender in case you cannot pay your mortgage.
  4. Instant Equity Building
    A significant down payment builds instant equity in your home. A 20%t down payment immediately puts equity into a property when you purchase it.

So, if you’re a first-time home buyer, how do you save for a down payment?

As a first-time buyer, you’ve got other things to consider, including:

  • Your rental costs. (Are they higher or lower than your potential ownership costs?)
  • Alternative uses for your down payment money. (Can you get a better return by investing down payment funds elsewhere?)
  • The size of your emergency fund. (Home ownership comes with a laundry list of unexpected expenses.)
  • Your economic stability and future earning power.

There are several ways to piece together a bigger down payment. You can:

  • Cut your spending and reduce your credit card limits. You might want to consider asking your credit card company to reduce your overall limit as this will help boost the overall amount lenders will be willing to offer you.
  • Get rid of debit! Carrying high levels of debt will reduce the overall amount lenders will be willing to offer you for a mortgage. Demonstrate to the lenders that you have responsibly made repayments on your credit cards.
  • Sell old, unwanted items.
  • Tap into the bank of mom and dad. Gifts from parents get a lot of young people started as home owners.
  • Borrow from your RRSP under the Home Buyers’ Plan (HBP).
  • Apply tax refunds and bonuses.
  • Get rid of one car in a two-car household.
  • Postpone a vacation for 18 months or more.
  • Get a second job. Working a couple nights a week at a part-time job only puts extra cash in your account. It also decreases time and opportunity for you to go out and spend unnecessary money.
  • Use municipal first-time home buyer grants when applicable (like this one in Saskatoon).

There are ways we can help you plan your down payment. Give us a call today at (306) 244-7755 or visit www.www.yourmortgagenow.ca

Refinancing Your Mortgage with Home Equity

MORTGAGE REFINANCING 101 

Refinancing Your Mortgage with Home Equity

re financing mortgage saskatoon

With spring just around the corner you might be thinking about renovating the house, sprucing up the backyard or even purchasing your first cottage. Refinancing your mortgage may allow you to find the money that you need for these aspirations.

The first thing that you have to consider is how much equity has built up in your home since you started paying down your mortgage. Your home equity – your home’s value minus the balance of your mortgage – is available for you to withdraw and invest in a number of ways, including home renovations, additional real estate, post secondary education and much more. Has the property value increased? Decreased? You can obtain a realistic figure by getting a market evaluation on your home. By multiplying your current market value by 80% this should give you an idea of how much you would be able to borrow for your new project.

The second thing is to look at different options when it comes to realizing your goals and every individual situation is different. Some choices that a person can look at are:

  • a new mortgage (the amount of your existing balance plus the amount that you would like to borrow);

  • a home equity line of credit;

  • or a combination of a mortgage and line of credit.

The third step would be to sit down with a mortgage specialist and assess your different needs and that is why we are here to help you answer these important questions. So contact us today and we will help you come up with the best strategy for your lifestyle.

Do you have questions about refinancing your mortgage? Give us a call today at (306) 244-7755 or visit our website at www.www.yourmortgagenow.ca

6 Inexpensive Ways to Reduce Your Energy Bill

Is a budgeting plan apart of your new year’s resolution? Why not start with lowering your energy bill…

There are a lot of little things you can do to make a big difference in your heating or cooling bill. Here are just a few examples:

  1. Turn down the thermostat a couple of degrees in winter. (And turn it up a few notches in summer.) Chances are, you’ll hardly notice the difference in comfort, and you’ll cut your heating/cooling costs by about 5%.
  2. Do you need the air conditioner on all the time during the summer months? Consider turning it way up, or completely off, at night when it’s cooler outside.
  3. Invest in a programmable thermostat. That way, you’ll be able to set up a schedule that uses less heating/cooling energy while you’re out of the house.
  4. Let the sunshine in through windows in the winter (and block the sun where possible in the summer.) “Passive heat gain” can contribute to up to 20% of the heat in your home. Best of all, the sun is free.
  5. Use energy efficient lights throughout your home. These can cut the cost of lighting by up to 40%!
  6. Be careful with outside lights, which can use a lot of energy! Turn them off before you go to bed or, better still, use programmable outside lighting that can be set to turn off automatically.

These are just a few ideas for reducing your energy bill. If you do some research, you can probably discover many other ways to cut your costs. It’s worth the effort!

6 Tips to Help Renew Your Mortgage

The biggest monthly expense for most Canadians is their mortgage payment. So
before you decide to renew with your current mortgage lender, take a look at these tips to help lower your payments come renewal time.

1. Get Started Early
Start shopping around for a better rate four to six months before your mortgage is up for renewal.
This is the longest lenders can guarantee a discounted rate. If your current lender’s rate rises, you have your guaranteed rate to fall back on.

2. Do Your Homework
Find out what other lenders are offering before you negotiate a lower rate from your bank. View our current rates at www.www.yourmortgagenow.ca

3. Never Accept the Bank’s Posted Rate
If you don’t ask for a better rate, you won’t get one. If you current lender has the best mortgage features, advice and policies, ask your bank to match a competitor’s lower rate.

4. Negotiate on other Available Options
The amortization period, the rate type (fixed or variable) and the flexibility of the payment schedule can also determine ways to lowering your costs, not just the interest rate.

5. You Can Change Lenders
A lot of people renew with their lender and don’t even think about switching to another one. You could be missing out on what other financial companies are offering, plus there is no penalty if you switch at renewal time.

6. Use a Mortgage Broker
If you don’t like negotiating and don’t have the time to research rates, a mortgage broker will do ALL the legwork for you — even without charging you anything, since they are paid a commission from the lenders.


Did You Know
Saving even half a percentage point on your mortgage rate can save you up to $10,000 over 25 years (based on a $150,000 mortgage).


If your mortgage is coming up for renewal in the new year or you have questions about your current mortgage, contact us today!

Things To Do Before You Renew Your Mortgage

If you have a mortgage coming up for renewal this year, it’s a good idea to check on a few details well in advance of your current term’s expiration date.

For example, determine whether you need to produce new documents to verify ownership before you get your new financing in place. An old property survey or condo agreement that is outdated and/or in need of correction may require official amendments before you can secure your new mortgage. Since such documents can take time, it’s wise to keep an updated file of all changes to your ownership status and have it ready when it’s time to renew.

Is your mortgage up for renew? Make sure to contact us to secure your low interest rate! (306) 244-7755 or devinandwes@www.yourmortgagenow.ca

Debt Consolidation With Your Mortgage

With the availability of credit, you may have a car loan, credit cards or other debt starting to mount, and maybe taking a toll on your budget. For some, it can be easy to max your credit card, get that new car loan, but then find it hard to keep your payments under control. You may want to consider increasing your mortgage to pay these debts out. This will not only reduce your monthly commitments, but also ease the strain on your monthly budget.
If you are thinking about consolidating other debts with your mortgage, you may have questions like:

  • Can you consolidate your current debts into your mortgage?
  • Will my current bank or lender allow me to do that?
  • What will be my monthly repayments on my increased mortgage?
  • Banks or lenders lend against the value of your home, do you have enough equity in your home to increase your mortgage to pay out those debts?

There are many options if you are thinking about consolidating your current debt into your mortgage. It is important to speak to a qualified Mortgage Broker to see which option suits your financial situation. A Mortgage Broker will look at your current bank or lender, and if that doesn’t suit, look at different banks and lenders they deal with, so they can explore many different options, and find one that suits you best.

What Type Of Debts Can You Consolidate With Your Mortgage?

All banks and lenders have different rules about what you can consolidate into your mortgage. It is important to get some information from your Mortgage Broker first, so you can learn what you can do, and then make an informed decision on what is the best option for you. Some of the types of debt you can consolidate are –

  • Credit Card Debt.
  • Car loans or personal loans.
  • Business Debt.
  • Tax Debt.
  • Investment Debt.

What Are The Advantages and Disadvantages Of Consolidating Other Debt With Your Mortgage?

Some advantages and disadvantages of consolidating your current debts with your mortgage may include –

Advantages

  • Your interest rate on your mortgage is more than likely cheaper than credit cards and other loans, saving you money.
  • You monthly commitments (repayments) may be reduced, helping your monthly budget out.
  • You may want to make a plan paying that debt down faster by consolidating it into your mortgage, and paying more than the minimum repayment, thus saving you money and interest charges.

Disadvantages

  • Although the your minimum monthly repayments may of been reduced, some of the debt in the longer term may cost you more money. For example: a car loan may of been taken over a 5 year loan term, but on your mortgage, even though the interest rate may be cheaper, your mortgage may be over a term of up to 25 years, therefore increasing the amount of actual interest you pay on the original car loan, as it is now paid over the remainder of your mortgage term.
  • Reduces the equity in your home. This may be an issue in the future, if you want to buy another home, investment property etc.
  • There maybe a fee to increase your mortgage or refinance your mortgage to another bank or lender.

It is important to talk to a Mortgage Broker , and determine what may be best for your financial situation before you make any decisions. This way you can learn the pro’s and con’s of consolidating other debts into your current mortgage, and make an informed decision.

Contact us today!