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Don't just blithely sign mortgage renewal form

posted by The Mortgage Associates    |   September 22, 2014 09:02

Don't just blithely sign mortgage renewal form

Article by Ted Rechtshaffen, Financial Post, September 18, 2014

"It is mortgage renewal time in my house.

I am one of those debt loving people who believe I can do more with my money by carrying a big debt at 3%, than by paying off my house and using up all that cheap capital - but that financial idea is a story for another column.

So, even though my mortgage comes due in October, I decided to lock in a rate four months earlier at a different institution at 2.79% for five years fixed. I was thrilled to have another five years of cheap money.

Even though I had already locked in elsewhere, I was interested in what my current mortgage lender would provide. I waited and I waited. Just four weeks before it was due for renewal they sent me a mortgage renewal notice. They could have sent it to me two or three months before my mortgage came due, but they may prefer to leave consumers less time to shop around and more inclined to just renew.

Here is where it gets interesting. "Please indicate which option you are accepting by signing your initials in the appropriate area indicated and return your signed agreement," the letter stated.

I could just initial the fiveyear fixed rate - for the princely rate of 4.79%.

Further on in the letter under a section called "Get the best rate," it offered to extend to you our special interest rate hold guarantee provided if I signed by my renewal date. But all this says is that if the rate went down between now and about three weeks from now, I would get the lower rate.

This is a full 2% higher than what I am actually going to get somewhere else."

To read the full article, please click here.

Canada takes its lumps as OECD cuts global economic forecasts

posted by The Mortgage Associates    |   September 19, 2014 08:17

Canada takes its lumps as OECD cuts global economic forecasts

Article by Michael Babad, The Globe and Mail, September 15, 2014

"Canada’s economy will be among the top performers in the G7 this year, the OECD says in a new forecast today. But hold that thought.

The Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development trimmed its 2014 outlook for Canada, to economic growth of 2.3 per cent from 2.5 per cent, but that should be second only to Britain’s projected 3.1 per cent.

The U.S. economy is forecast to grow by 2.1 per cent, Germany by 1.5 per cent, Japan by 0.9 per cent, and France by 0.4 per cent. Italy’s economy is projected to shrink by 0.4 per cent.

While Canada may sit near the top of the G7, that’s still just moderate economic growth.

Next year, according to the group’s forecasts, economic growth in Canada will pick up to 2.7 per cent, trailing America’s 3.1 per cent and Britain’s 2.8 per cent, but still outpacing the rest."

To read the full article, please click here.

Shawna MacDonald is Saskatoon's best Mortgage broker!

posted by The Mortgage Associates    |   September 17, 2014 16:20

Shawna MacDonald"I have used Shawna to purchase two properties, and also had the opportunity to use her to renew one of the mortgages on one of my existing properties.  I can honestly say that I would never go to anyone else but her.  She works hard for your business, and works hard to meet your needs.  She is extremely knowledgeable, funny and is always willing to help you out.  I am so thankful to have used her!  She is Saskatoon's best mortgage broker!"

Wesley Wizniuk & Lee Adams, September 2014






Loonie slightly higher ahead of Fed announcement

posted by The Mortgage Associates    |   September 17, 2014 08:33

Loonie slightly higher ahead of Fed announcement

Article by Linda Nguyen, The Globe and Mail, September 17, 2014

"With no domestic economic data set for release Wednesday, the loonie will be looking for most of its direction from a key announcement from the U.S. Federal Reserve.

The Canadian dollar was sightly higher in morning trading, up 0.09 of a cent at 91.25 cents US.

Markets are awaiting the latest interest rate announcement by the U.S. central bank to be released at 2 p.m., followed by a news conference by Fed chair Janet Yellen. What traders will be carefully eyeing is whether the Fed will be changing the language it uses when it speaks about its intention to raise interest rates."

To read the full article, please click here.

Bank of Montreal lowers five-year fixed mortgage to 2.99%

posted by The Mortgage Associates    |   September 16, 2014 08:01

Bank of Montreal lowers five-year fixed mortgage to 2.99%

Article by Garry Marr, September 9, 2014, Financial Post

"Bank of Montreal is lowering the rate on its five-year fixed rate closed mortgage to 2.99%, a move that in the past has triggered a rate war among its competitors.

BMO quietly started promoting the new rate on its website Tuesday. It amounts to a 30-basis point drop from the 3.29% it was advertising earlier this week."

To read the full article, please click here.

Just becuase you can get a big mortgage doesn't mean you should

posted by The Mortgage Associates    |   September 15, 2014 08:41

Just because you can get a big mortgage doesn't mean you should

Article by Douglas Hoyes, HUFF Post, September 14, 2014

"The average house price is expected to reach $396,000 in 2014 and $402,000 in 2015 according to the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation. And that doesn't even come close to reflecting higher prices in cities like Toronto and Vancouver. Since higher house prices mean larger mortgages, how can we determine just how much mortgage is too much of a risk?

The "cash flow" answer is that if you can't afford the monthly mortgage payment (and property taxes, and repairs and maintenance) your mortgage is too big. The "equity" answer is that if you have less than 10 per cent equity in your house, you are at higher risk of financial problems.

We recently dug deeper into our analysis of everyone who filed a bankruptcy or consumer proposal with my firm, Hoyes Michalos & Associates, and we discovered that insolvent debtors who own a home almost always have a high ratio mortgage:

More than nine in 10 insolvent homeowners had mortgage debt exceeding 80 per cent of the value of their home, the traditional definition of a high risk mortgage. Worse, seven in 10 had less than 10 per cent equity and 64 per cent reported having no net realizable value in their home at all."

To read the full article, please click here.

CMHC could force banks to pay deductibles on mortgage insurance

posted by The Mortgage Associates    |   September 12, 2014 08:36

CMHC could force banks to pay deductibles on mortgage insurance

Article by Garry Marr, September 8, 2014

"The Canada Mortgage and Housing Corp. is looking at a new formula to push some of its losses on to financial institutions, essentially forcing them to pay a deductible on mortgages insured with the Crown corporation before claims are paid, according to sources.

The Financial Post has learned the Office of the Superintendent of Financial Institutions is involved in discussions with CMHC, which it oversees, while the Canadian Bankers Association is said to be against the measure.

“The CBA has ongoing discussions with CMHC about a variety of issues in the mortgage and housing markets,” said Maura Drew-Lytle, a spokesperson for the CBA, in an emailed statement. “The International Monetary Fund made a really vague reference to the notion of a mortgage insurance deductible in its Financial Sector Assessment report on Canada, but you would have to speak to CMHC about whether or not it is an idea that they are considering."

To read the full article, please click here.

Over the entire process of buying a house and getting a mortgage, Shawna was the smoothest part

posted by The Mortgage Associates    |   September 11, 2014 08:17

Shawna MacDonald"Was very happy with Shawna and the rest of her team. Everything was clearly explained and everything was handled promptly(all calls returned quickly and any questions/concerns answered well). Over the entire process of buying a house and getting a mortgage, working with Shawna was the smoothest part and I felt like I was very informed during the entire process. Thx again!"

Sol Bergren, September 2014






Shawna's friendly, caring personality helped ease the nerves as a first time home purchase

posted by The Mortgage Associates    |   August 28, 2014 14:54

Shawna MacDonald"As a first time home purchase, Shawna made the process go smoothly.  Her friendly, caring personality helped ease the nerves."

Adrian & Sheila Thomas, August 2014







The Ultimate List of Homebuyers Tips

posted by The Mortgage Associates    |   August 27, 2014 08:20

The Ultimate List of Homebuyers Tips

Article by Andy Fulton, April 21, 2014

"The Internet is awash with short and incomplete lists of tips for homebuyers. For the many Americans unfamiliar with the home-buying process, trying to determine which tips to focus on could be confusing. Upon reading these lists, aspiring homebuyers must ask themselves, “Are these tips that industry experts would actually recommend, and are they worth spending my valuable time on?”

To remedy this problem, Market Leader gathered tips for homebuyers from half a dozen sources, put them all on one giant list, and, after removing the trivial and contradictory ones, surveyed almost 400 real estate agents about the importance of each tip. For the 17 tips featured in this survey, participants indicated whether they found them to be very, moderately or slightly important for homebuyers – or not recommendable at all!"

Click here to read all the full article.