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MORTGAGE BASICS: Continued
HOME EQUITY LINES OF CREDIT: (HELOC) or Secured Lines of Credit – Use the equity in your home that you have built up to purchase investments (where interest costs would be deductible against the earned income), finance home renovations, buy a car, or any other reasonable needs, with rates as low as prime. They can be arranged up to 75% of the purchase price or value of the home, and should you need more, we can arrange another secured line of credit as a Second mortgage up to 90%. Accessing the available credit is as simple as writing a cheque, or using the issued credit and/or debit card. You do not have to draw the money until you need it, and once you make a withdrawal, you can pay of your balance at any time or make monthly payments as low as interest only. As you pay down the balance, you have that much more available credit.
Being a secured product, there are the normal legal and appraisal fees that are applicable. From time to time, there are promotions where a lender will cover for part or all of these costs.
A word of caution: Although these lines are very flexible and versatile products, great caution and care should be taken. It is very easy and very tempting to use it for everything whereas normal restraint would have been exercised, and suddenly, there are thousands of dollars more that have to be repaid.
FIXED-TERM MORTGAGE: With a fixed-rate mortgage, the interest rate is set for the term of the mortgage so that the monthly payment of principal and interest remains the same throughout the term. Regardless of whether rates move up or down, you know exactly how much your payments will be and this simplifies your personal budgeting. In a low rate climate, it is a good idea to take a longer term, fixed-rate mortgage for protection from upward fluctuations in interest rates.
THE ADJUSTABLE RATE MORTGAGE: The Adjustable Rate Mortgage (A.R.M.) provides a lot of flexibility, especially when interest rates are on their way down. The rate is based on the Bank of Canada’s Prime lending rate, and may have a discount or premium subtracted or added to the Prime rate. (eg. Prime – .50%, or Prime +.50%) In most cases the rate will be adjusted monthly to reflect current changes in rates. Typically, the mortgage payments remain constant, but the ratio between principal and interest fluctuates. When interest rates are falling, you pay less interest and more principal. If rates are rising, you pay more interest and less principal, and if they rise substantially, the original payment may not cover both the interest and principal. Any portion not paid is still owed, or you may be asked to increase your monthly payment. This mortgage is fully convertible at any time without any cost to you, if you choose a 3 year term or greater.
EQUITY MORTGAGE: These are mortgages that are assessed on the equity of the home (market value minus the mortgage amount). They can be as high as 75% of the purchase price or value of the property and if more is required, we can look at a small Second mortgage. These are generally offered to applicants that do not meet the normal income and/or credit qualifying guidelines. You may have little or no income verification, self-employed, and/or your credit may be less-than-perfect.
MULTIPLE TERM MORTGAGES: If you wanted the lower rates of a short term mortgage but also want the security of a long term, why not choose both. Yes, “build your own mortgage” product. You can split your mortgage in to as many as 5 parts, all having different terms, rates, and amortizations, but one total monthly payment. This way, you are spreading the risk. But, be prepared to be “hands-on” and watch the market carefully. This is not for everyone, as the time and stress levels are quite high.
6 MONTH CONVERTIBLE MORTGAGE: When rates are on their way down, or you may feel that they will in the near future, a 6 month convertible mortgage offers you the short term commitment at fixed payments, with an added advantage that while within the term, the mortgage is fully convertible to a longer term from 1 year to 10 years. At the end of the 6 month period, the mortgage becomes fully open, where one can renew with the existing lender or transfer to another lender.
PRIVATE MORTGAGES: Non Lender Lending – If your financial situation is a little more complex than most – no credit history, bankrupt or recently discharged, no verifiable income – you can still achieve your dreams of home ownership. We can get you a mortgage in most situations regardless of your circumstances. Where traditional financial institutions have given the answer “No”, non-traditional or private lenders may be able to offer you solutions. These lenders may charge higher rates and fees, but the end result is that you will still own your own home.
BRIDGE FINANCING: Bridge financing refers to a special, short-term loan needed to cover the time gap when two properties, both firm sales, are involved and the closing dates don’t match. The property being purchased closes before the one that was sold. There is a small set-up fee charged by the lender to have the bridge loan arranged, plus the cost of the interest as now you are carrying both properties for a short time. The rate charged on the bridge loan is about 2-3% above the bank’s prime.
At F1RST CHO1CE Mortgage Solutions we’re passionate about sharing our knowledge, experience and unbiased opinions with borrowers who are looking for a trusted advisor to help them with their financing options.
ANY QUESTIONS?…Contact a Mortgage Advisor today!