Capital Mortgages opened in January 1999 and has since serviced thousands of clients and arranged several billion dollars in mortgages in Ottawa area.

What To Know About Re-Financing Your Mortgage Throughout COVID-19

What To Know About Re-Financing Your Mortgage Throughout COVID-19

The ongoing pandemic has thrown all of us for a loop, with many people either being temporarily laid off, having their salaries cut or being let go altogether. It’s a scary and unprecedented time that is leading a large percentage of Canadians to consider whether they should refinance their mortgages. Doing so will allow them to give themselves a safety net by potentially resetting their rate to be lower, reducing their payments or pulling out equity from their homes in the event of job loss.

Here are a few factors you should keep in mind when planning to refinance your mortgage:

  1. Refinances are not urgent for lenders – Your refinance request will be a third priority (or lower) for lenders after new purchase and lender switches. Coupled with the high demand for refinancing right now, keep in mind that it might take a lender longer to reply on your application.
  2. You may be required to pay a penalty – You’ll have to pay a penalty if you break an existing closed mortgage to refinance. These fees can range from $1,000 to several thousand dollars – check your mortgage contract to determine how your lender will calculate your penalty. Here is a helpful list of penalty calculators by major lenders. 
  3. Employer verification will be strict – Given the situation we’re currently living through, your lender might make you prove that you will not be laid off during the economic shutdown if you don’t work a job that has been deemed to be essential
  4. Fluctuating ratesKeep in mind that mortgage rates are fluctuating often right now, even though the Bank of Canada slashed its overnight rate in March. Make sure you’re not overpaying for a fixed or variable mortgage and consider a cheap shorter term if you’re able to find one. Rates will likely return to normal once we’re through the worst of the pandemic.
  5. Opt for a home equity line of credit – A HELOC is a great alternative to using credit cards for a source of emergency liquidity. Payments are usually interest-only and you can generally borrow at your lender’s prime rate plus a variable of approximately +0.5% to 1%, versus the higher interest rates of credit cards. Note that you’ll need an excellent credit score and stable employment to be approved.

 

Refinancing your home can be a complex decision when considering all of the factors involved. Don’t hesitate to give us a call at 613-228-3888 if you require more clarity on your mortgage’s details, we’d be happy to walk you through it.

New Mortgage Rules 2018: What You Need To Know

If you own a home in Canada, are currently house-hunting, or are looking to buy sometime in the near future, you’ve no doubt been following the news closely for the past few months. As soon as word hit that the Office of the Superintendent of Financial Institutions (OSFI) would be introducing new mortgage rules at the start of 2018, people started scrambling to understand what this would mean for them and their home purchases.

 

Now that January is here, and the new mortgage regulations have been implemented, you may be feeling more confused than ever. Read on to learn more about the new mortgage rules introduced on January 1, 2018, and how they might affect you this year:

 

What Are The New Rules?

There are a number of changes but the one garnering the most attention, and the one that will affect the most people, is the introduction of a stress test for all mortgage applicants. Now, regardless of the size of their down-payment, home buyers will have to show that they can afford their mortgage payments should interest rates increase. Under the new mortgage “stress test”, potential home buyers will need to qualify for a mortgage at a rate either 2% higher than the mortgage rate they qualified for, or at the Bank of Canada’s ‘benchmark’ rate.

 

Why Are The New Rules Being Introduced?

While taking into account the rapidly rising prices seen in the Canadian real estate in the past few years, the new rules are aimed at cooling the housing market and keeping things under control. In the past decade, Ottawa has made six regulatory changes to the mortgage market in an attempt to limit the amount of debt taken on by Canadians and financial institutions in Canada.

 

Who Will Be Most Affected?

The new mortgage rules will likely affect around 100,000 Canadian home buyers, as well as those looking to refinance their mortgages in 2018. Home buyers will have less purchasing power than they would have done before the rules were implemented on January 1st .This could mean that home buyers will have to settle for a less expensive home than they had originally anticipated, or will have to wait to save up a larger down-payment. Homeowners looking to refinance their mortgage in 2018 will have to qualify according to the higher stress-state rates rather than the actual mortgage rate. This means that homeowners may have to settle for a smaller mortgage.

 

The team at Capital Mortgages happily extends our services to help you understand the 2018 mortgage rules and how they will affect you, your family, and your finances. We have summarized the new rules as best we can in this blog post for you but, should you have any further questions, please do not hesitate to reach out and speak with one of our experienced mortgage brokers today.