Has the idea of buying an investment property ever crossed your mind?


Maybe you’d like a place to rent out and have someone else pay some or all of your mortgage while you build equity in a tangible real estate asset, or perhaps as a home for your child to live in.


Whatever your reason, investing in an additional property (or multiple properties) can be a good way to accomplish those goals, but there are also some key considerations before you dive in.


Aside from the potential challenge of finding a good tenant, there are some financing hurdles that you should be aware of.


Mortgage Rules for Investment Properties


While there are many Canadian lenders that will finance rental properties, the Department of Finance tightened mortgage lending criteria as part of its rule changes introduced in 2016.


That included eliminating mortgage default insurance, for certain mortgage types, including those for investment properties with less than 5 units.


As a result, you need at least 20% down to...

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Mortgage rates have spent the better part of the past year in near-freefall, with numerous terms setting fresh record lows.


But a couple of weeks ago, rates pulled a U-turn and have been starting to climb higher ever since. And here’s why. Since the beginning of February, 5-year Canada bond yields, which typically lead fixed mortgage rates, have surged. They’ve risen nearly 60 basis points over the past month to a 12-month high.


With funding costs being pushed up and margins being squeezed, lenders could no longer hold rates at those record-low levels.


As for why bond yields are rising—which often coincides with market optimism—the answer is multi-fold.


For one, yields have been soaring south of the border, and when U.S. bond yields move, Canadian yields often follow. Given expectations for rising vaccination rates and ultimately an end to lockdown measures and a return to normalcy, many see greater inflationary pressure ahead, which usually leads to rising interest...

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Should I Refinance My Mortgage?


I think we can safely say that 2020 has been a strange year. A year of lockdowns due to a pandemic, financial support from the government, and the lowest interest rates in recent history. This has led to a rise in the number of homeowners who are considering refinancing their mortgage. According to a recent poll, approximately 20% of Canadian homeowners say they plan to refinance their mortgage in the next 12 months.


Like all financial decisions, it’s important to look at the bigger picture, which includes reviewing your goals.


First Things First -- What’s a refinance?


A refinance alters the terms and conditions of your mortgage – it’s essentially a new mortgage. Specifically, you are increasing the amount of your mortgage, whether to pay off consumer debt, finance a renovation, invest, or to get a lower rate.


Here are a few reasons to opt for a refinance:


  1. Decrease your overall monthly debt payments by using the equity in your home...
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Revisiting Fixed Vs. Variable Mortgages


It’s the classic rate decision many mortgage shoppers are faced with. And it’s only been made more complicated since the start of the pandemic. Towards the latter half of 2019, variable rates were flying off the shelves with rates as low as prime – 1%. A lot has changed since then.


In March, fears over the COVID-19 pandemic and the subsequent lockdown forced most banks and other mortgage lenders to cut their fixed rates from 3.95% to 2.45% within the span of just one month. At the same time, variable-rate discounts were scaled back to just prime – 0.15% to 0.25%. By the summer fixed rates were setting historic lows. That led to a dramatic shift in mortgage selection by borrowers.


Why the shift in mortgage preference?


First, the fixed rate mortgage is among the most competitive mortgage products on the market. And many believe variable rates have no more room to fall, given that the Bank of Canada’s overnight target rate...

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Why it is important to get preapproved? Is preapproval the same as a ratehold?


Preapproval and ratehold are used interchangeably quite often but they can mean two very different things. It is dependent on how your mortgage broker manages them.
A true preapproval is complete when your income and down payment documents have been reviewed and your credit reviewed.


A ratehold is completed when the application is submitted to the lender. Sometimes, with rateholds, the income and down payment documents have not been reviewed.


Preapprovals with income and down payment documentation, have a much better chance of turning into an approval with the lender. It takes out the majority of the surprises in the deal. Part of our responsibilities as mortgage brokers is to review documents and look for any issues that might arise and to give advice on what is required in the documentation. There are even a few lenders that will actually underwrite the preapprovals which means they will review income and down...

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