Mortgage Questions & Answers

(March 10, 2014 )

At The BC Home Hunter Group our real estate team understand full well the importance and impact that both interest rates, mortgage rates and conditions play in all of our lives. Our team and outstanding industry partners will decipher the complexities and impact that they might have on you, your family and home.
Call or email us any time to chat about any of your concerns and for our Truth About Real Estate newsletter.

Conventional or high-ratio
A conventional mortgage is a loan for no more than 80% of the appraised value or purchase price of the property, whichever is less. The remaining amount required for a purchase (20%) comes from your resources and is referred to as the down payment. If you have to borrow more than 80% of the money you need, you'll be applying for what is called a high-ratio mortgage. Here's how a high-ratio mortgage works: Any purchase where the down payment is between 5% and 19% is considered a high-ratio mortgage, and the mortgage must be insured by the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC). The insurer will charge a fee for this insurance. The amount of the fee will depend on the amount you are borrowing and the percentage of your own down payment. Typical fees range from 1.09% to 3.09% of the principal amount of your mortgage. This amount can be paid up front or added to the principal portion of your mortgage. A Mortgage Advisor can help you determine the exact amount.
Fixed Rate
When you take out, your interest rate will not change throughout the entire term of your mortgage. As a result, you'll know exactly how much your payments will be and how much of your mortgage will be paid off at the end or your term.
Variable Rate
With a variable-rate mortgage, your rate will be set in relation to Bank Prime at the beginning of each month. In other words, it may vary from month-to-month. Historically, variable-rate mortgages have tended to cost less than fixed-rate mortgages when interest rates are fairly stable.
When rates change, your payment amount remains the same. However, the amount that is applied toward interest and principal will change. If interest rates drop, more of your mortgage payment is applied to the principal balance owing. This can help you pay off your mortgage faster.
Short Term Mortgage
The term is the length of the current mortgage agreement. A mortgage typically has a term of 6 months to 10 years. Usually, the shorter the term the lower the interest rate.
A short term mortgage is usually for two years or less.
Long Term Mortgage
A long-term mortgage is generally for three years or more. Short-term mortgages are appropriate for buyers who believe interest rates will drop at renewal time. Long-term mortgages are suitable when current rates are reasonable and borrowers want the security of budgeting for the future. The key to choosing between short and long terms is to feel comfortable with your mortgage payments. After a term expires, the balance of the principal owing on the mortgage can be repaid, or a new mortgage agreement can be established at the then-current interest rates.
Open Mortgage
Open mortgages can be paid off at any time without penalty and are usually negotiated for very short terms. They are suited to home owners who are planning to sell in the near future or those who want the flexibility to make large, lump-sum payments before maturity.
Closed Mortgage
Closed mortgages are commitments for specific terms. If you want to pay off the mortgage balance, you will need to wait until the maturity date or pay a penalty.

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