Six questions answered
As the longest spring in memory finally gives way to summer, it’s nice to see people safely enjoy the sunny weather. I hope that you and yours are in good health. There continues to be uncertainty about the shifting mortgage market. Here are the most common questions:
Should I break my fixed mortgage to get a lower rate?
If you’re only partway through your fixed mortgage term, you’ll need to pay a penalty to break your mortgage. Locking in a low rate now can be a strategy to provide some reassurance in an uncertain future, and you may be able to save considerable money over the long term and not be out of pocket to complete the transaction. If this is a question that’s on your mind, get in touch so I can provide you with detailed cost/benefit analysis.
Can I refinance my mortgage to deal with high credit card balances?
If you have more than 20% equity in your home, you may have the option of refinancing your mortgage and roll all your debts into a new, low-interest mortgage. You can get immediate cash-flow relief and one manageable monthly payment. Your lender will need to re-qualify you, so if you’re already dealing with reduced income or collecting CERB payments that could impact your ability to qualify. I can help you look at all your options.
What about my mortgage renewal?
Get in touch now to start a consultation on your options. A lost job or drop in income will be a factor if you want to move to a new lender for a lower rate. You can renew with your current lender at their best offer, or use an open mortgage for a few months, with a strategy of moving to a lower-rate closed mortgage without penalty as soon as your finances stabilize.
Should I lock in my variable-rate mortgage?
If you have a deeply discounted variable-rate mortgage, you are in a very good position given the recent drops in prime rate. Variable mortgages can be converted to fixed without penalty, providing long-term peace of mind knowing you have security for the next five years. While the rate environment remains in flux, it might be best to enjoy your lower rate for now and re-evaluate in 6 to 12 months.
Should I take the mortgage payment deferral that is available?
The immediate relief is compelling. However, your lender will add the interest accrued during the skipped period to your outstanding balance, which will increase your mortgage balance. Alternatively, you may be able to borrow from a Line of Credit, making interest-only payments until the financial stress begins to ease. Other options include extending your amortization or moving from accelerated to monthly payments.
Fixed or variable mortgage rate?
The answer again depends on you: your tolerance for risk, where rates are expected to go, and personal preference. With the rate environment changing all the time, what may be the right decision for you this week, could be different next month. Let’s have a conversation so I can get a clear picture of your plans and current situation.
Good news! The qualifying rate has been lowered to 4.94%, which is great news since it is used in stress tests for both insured and uninsured mortgages, and a lower rate means it is easier for borrowers to qualify. For the first time since January 2018, when stress testing began, the mortgage qualifying rate is under 5%. Find out how much you qualify for!
Have a question? Get in touch at any time. Be safe. Be well. Be happy.