Why refinance: how to know when

November 15, 2024

Refinancing is most often motivated by lower interest rates, which can bring the dual benefit of lower mortgage payments and lower interest costs over time. But there are many other legitimate motivations. Some are a product of "creative" financing products such as Adjustable Rate Mortgages that were rare a generation ago. Your personal priorities ...

How to negotiate your first mortgage

October 17, 2024

Other than getting the best rate possible, what do you need to know about negotiating a mortgage? Are you aware of break fees? Pre-payment priviledges? Do you know what penalties, if any, the bank will charge you? Have you come up with a budget, independent of the bank's? Doug Melville, Canada’s banking ombudsman, joined us on Wednesday to ...

Turn, turn, turn

June 16, 2024

One afternoon last week, three hours apart, I met with two couples, both of whom read this blog. As it turned out, they both wanted financial help. The young, urban couple – he’s in IT, she’s in HR – rent a one-bedroom condo and are shopping for a home. But not fast. When they do, I was told, it will be in the $700,000 range. They have $82,000 ...

How to understand your credit rating

April 11, 2024

What is a credit rating? The credit rating is an instant view of the financial capacity of an individual at a given time. It is obtained by the evaluation of all the information known on a borrower regarding his term loans, credit card history, and credit margins. Most lenders will quote an R (revolving credit, a line of credit for example) or ...

Are you buying material?

April 11, 2024

So you think you're ready to become your own landlord - ready to put down some roots in a community and build your own personal nest egg. There's no doubt owning a home has many advantages. Yet, this great financial asset also comes with weighty responsibilities. It's a good idea to think carefully about renting vs. buying before taking the ...