9 Reasons People Break Their Mortgage

Mortgage Tips Peter Carstensen 25 May

Did you know, approximately 60 percent of people break their mortgage before their mortgage term matures? While this is not necessarily avoidable, most homeowners are blissfully unaware of the penalties that can be incurred when you break your mortgage contract – and sometimes, these penalties can be painfully expensive.

Below are some of the most common reasons that individuals break their mortgage. Being aware of these might help you avoid them (and those troublesome penalties), or at least help you plan ahead!

Sale and Purchase of a New Home
If you already know that you will be looking at moving within the next 5 years, it is important to consider a portable mortgage. Not all mortgages are portable, so if this is a possibility in your near future, it is best to seek out a mortgage product that allows this. However, be aware that some lenders may purposefully provide lower interest rates on non-portable mortgages but don’t be fooled. Knowing your future plans will help you avoid expensive penalties from having to move your mortgage.

Important Note: Whenever a mortgage is ported, the borrower will need to re-qualify under current rules to ensure you can afford the “ported” mortgage based on your income and the necessary qualifications.

To Utilize Equity
Another reason to break your mortgage is to obtain the valuable equity you have built up over the years. In some areas, such as Toronto and Vancouver, homeowners have seen a huge increase in their home values. Taking out equity can help individuals with paying off debt, expand their investment portfolio, buy a second home, help out elderly parents or send their kids to college.

This is best done when your mortgage is at the end of its term, but if you cannot wait, be sure you are aware of the penalties associated with your mortgage contract.

To Pay Off Debt
Life happens and so can debt. If you have accumulated multiple credit cards and other debt (car loan, personal loan, etc.), rolling these into your mortgage can help you pay them off over a longer period of time at a much lower interest rate than credit cards. In addition, it is much easier to manage a single monthly payment than half a dozen! When you are no longer paying the high interest rates on credit cards, it can provide the opportunity to get your finances in order.

Again, be aware that if you do this during your mortgage term, the penalties could be steep and you won’t end up further ahead. It is best to plan to consolidate debt and organize your finances when your mortgage term is up and you are able to renew and renegotiate.

Cohabitation, Marriage and/or Children
As we grow up, our life changes. Perhaps you have a partner you have been with a long time, and now you’ve decided to move in together. If you both own a home and cannot afford to keep two, or if neither has a rental clause, then you will need to sell one of the homes which could break the mortgage.

Divorce or Separation
A large number of Canadian marriages are expected to end in divorce. Unfortunately, when couples separate it can mean breaking the mortgage to divide the equity in the home. In cases where one partner wants to buy the other out, they will need to refinance the home. Both of these break the mortgage, so be aware of the penalties which should be paid out of any sale profit before the funds are split.

Major Life Events
There are some cases where things happen unexpectedly and out of our control, including: illness, unemployment, death of a partner or someone on the title. These circumstances may result in the home having to be refinanced, or even sold, which could come with penalties for breaking the mortgage.

Removing Someone From Title
Did you know that roughly 20% of parents help their children purchase a home? Often in these situations, the parents remain on the title. Once their son or daughter is financially stable, secure and can qualify on their own, then it is time to remove the parents from the title.

Some lenders will allow parents to be removed from title with an administration and legal fees. However, other lenders may say that changing the people on Title equates to breaking your mortgage resulting in penalties. If you are buying a home for your child and will be on the deed, it is a good idea to see what the mortgage terms state about removing someone from title to help avoid future costs.

To Get a Lower Interest Rate
Another reason for breaking your mortgage could be to obtain a lower interest rate. Perhaps interest rates have plummeted since you bought your home and you want to be able to put more down on the principle, versus paying high interest rates. The first step before proceeding in this case is to work with your DLC mortgage broker to crunch the numbers to see if it’s worthwhile to break your mortgage for the lower interest rate – especially if you might incur penalties along the way.

Pay Off The Mortgage
Wahoo!!! You’ve won the lottery, got an inheritance, scored the world’s best job or had some other windfall of cash leaving you with the ability to pay off your mortgage early. While it may be tempting to use a windfall for an expensive trip, paying off your mortgage today will save you THOUSANDS in the long run – enough for 10 vacations! With a good mortgage, you should be able to pay it off in 5 years, thereby avoiding penalties but it is always good to confirm.

Some of these reasons are avoidable, others are not. Unfortunately, life happens. That’s why it is best to seek the advice of an expert. Dominion Lending Centres have mortgage professionals across Canada wanting to be part of your journey and help you get the best mortgage for YOU.

https://dominionlending.ca/mortgage-tips/9-reasons-people-break-their-mortgage

Thinking about buying a second property? Here’s Three Ways to Finance It

General Peter Carstensen 3 May


Ways to finance a second property

Often the best option is to refinance your current mortgage.

Mortgage refinancing means getting a reevaluation of your home and then redoing your mortgage based on the current value. This will allow you to tap into the equity your home has built over the years, and pull out the extra funds for a down payment on your secondary property. When using some of your current equity, keep in mind, that it will increase the principal amount and the interest payments on your mortgage as the mortgage is refinanced at a higher amount.

There is a second option to unlock your home equity, which is through a line of credit or a HELOC, which stands for “Home Equity Line of Credit”. This option allows you to borrow money using the equity in your property, with the property as collateral.

A HELOC serves as a revolving line of credit to allow the borrower to access funds, as needed, letting you utilize as much (or as little) equity as required. HELOC payments are unique as they are interest only payments versus regular mortgages, which have both Principal Interest and Tax added on. Another benefit to utilizing a HELOC is that you will only pay interest on the amount you actually use! This can provide financial breathing room, especially during tight months. That said, if you do choose to pay the interest as well as a portion towards the principle, it can help you pay off the loan much faster.

You can utilize a HELOC by tying it to your existing mortgage or applying for it separately.

In Canada, you are able to borrow up to 65% of your home’s value using this method. However, keep in mind, your HELOC balance AND current outstanding mortgage cannot exceed 80% of your home’s value when added together.

Co-ownership? It’s on the rise

Co-ownership is rising in popularity as budgets are stretched thin across the country. Co-buyers can include siblings, parents with children, unmarried partners, friends, and more.

Given rising home prices, some would-be home buyers have to get creative to make their homeownership dreams a reality. And co-ownership is becoming a viable option for many. However, there are a few things to consider:

1) Understand the process – you’ll want to know all parties involved in the purchasing process (lawyers, realtors, mortgage professionals who specialize in co-ownership scenarios), as well as the costs that will be incurred (such as legal and realtor fees). Know the existing rules and regulations of your province surrounding co-ownership. For example, Ontario and BC offer comprehensive guides on property co-ownership.

2) Establish trust and define the property’s purchase – Will the property be for long-term investment or rental, principal resident or a short-term investment or rental.

3) Iron out the details such as – how will legal, real estate and other costs be divided? What Happens if one party dies or decides to sell early?

Intent to Rent

If you are purchasing a secondary property – whether a vacation home or investment property – there are a few differences if the intention is to rent. Before you look at purchasing a rental property, there are a few things to consider:

1)The minimum down payment required is 20% of the purchase price, and the funds must come from your own savings; you cannot use a gift from someone else.

2)Only a portion of the rental income can be used to qualify for and to determine how much of a mortgage you can afford to borrow. Some lenders will only allow you to use 50% of the income added to yours, while other lenders may allow up to 80% of the rental income while subtracting your expenses. This can have a much higher impact on how much you can afford.

3)Interest rates will usually have an added premium on them when the mortgage is for a rental property versus a mortgage for a home someone intends on living in. The premium can be anywhere from 0.10% to 0.20% on a regular 5-year fixed rate.

Rental income from the property can be used to debt service the mortgage application, but do bear in mind that some lenders will have a minimum liquid net worth requirement outside of the property.

Along with the added monthly cash flow, rental properties have the added benefit of being able to write off interest on ANY money used for the rental, even if it is pulled from your primary home’s equity. Also, if you do eventually want to sell this property, do note that it will be subject to capital gains tax. Your accountant will be able to help you determine potential write-offs and required tax payments if you do decide to sell in the future.

Before you jump into the purchase of secondary property, consult with a Dominion Lending Centres mortgage professional. They can help review your financial situation, current mortgage and equity, and help you make a plan. The keys to success are right around the corner with a little bit of expert advice!