Mortgage Bytes

  • Falling-Interest-Rates 14 of 16 economists surveyed by Bloomberg predict the Bank of Canada will lower rates again on Jan. 22, 2008.
  • A friendly reminder:  The mortgage industry slows down in the last week of December due to limited holiday staff.  Finalize loose ends and have documents in by Monday if you want to close a mortgage by year’s end.
  • “In the next 30 to 60 days I think more people will realize that variable-rate mortgages are a reasonably safe investment,” says Mortgage Intelligence’s John Schipper.
  • Lender Tip:  Merix is offering a 5-year fixed mortgage with 1.5% cash back to help cover Toronto’s new Land Transfer tax.  The offer is only good on GTA properties.
  • Bush wants to freeze mortgage resets for five years in the U.S.  But is it a good plan?  Could it spark more problems?  Bush says, “”There is no perfect solution.”
  • Canadian Capitalist and Million Dollar Journey have a good series going on the “Do-it-Yourself” Smith Manouevre (Part 1  Part 2  Part 3).  Canadian Capitalist deserves extra credit for being one of the few sites that highlight the risks of this strategy.
  • Thicken My Wallet lists the pros and cons of putting rental properties in a corporate name.
  • Given the trend towards long amortizations, RE/MAX Condos Plus opines, “Generally, Canadians are a conservative bunch, but it is just a matter of time before we have the ‘never pay it off’ mortgage.'”  In Europe, this is better known as the 100-year mortgage.
  • Lender Tip:  GE Money lets you re-draw up to 120% of your original mortgage amount after one year if you qualify.
  • MortgageBrokers.com offers RE/MAX agents a pension savings plan for referring business to its agents.
  • Cid Palacio, BMO’s vice-president of retail financing products, wants you to come on in and negotiate your best rate.  Getting a mortgage at a bank is more and more like buying a car.  Put on your haggling boots if you want the best deal. Fortunately, there are professionals to negotiate for you–except at BMO and Royal Bank where there is no broker channel.
  • Toronto has 317 payday loan stores today versus 39 in 1995.  Only 1 in 5 payday loan clients have a mortgage.
  • Is it a good idea to refinance and pay off your credit cards?  Not if you rack them up again.
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