My Dear Clients, what a year 2021 has been!
Pandemic uncertainty threw us for a loop, but we are still here and holding on. We’ve seen fires and floods and continue to rebuild. Some have lost loved ones, homes, and businesses.
In spite of it all, we remain steadfast in our quality commitment to our clients. Please read our Year in Review below to learn all about our setbacks and successes at the end of the year for The Mortgage Center TMK.
Also, please take a brief moment to vote in our Community Outreach Poll to decide where a donation will be made to help our local community and surrounding areas recover from the devastation and loss of the past year.
The Mortgage Center TMK has had its fair share of ups and downs along with the economy and community of British Columbia. Let’s take a look at our recap over the past year.
Interest rates were at historic lows all year while fixed rates saw gradual increases in the past few weeks. Lower interest rates enabled many to take advantage of refinancing their current loan for a lower rate.
The Bank of Canada announced its key lending rate increase will take effect as soon as April 2022, due to Canada’s high COVID-19 vaccination levels, solid employment rates, and strong economic growth, effectively ending its bond-buying program.
With the rise of the key rate, the prime rate is also expected to go up, which will have a subsequent influence on the variable rates. The Bank of Canada’s current overnight rate is holding steady at 0.25%.
Inflation is expected to remain above range through most of 2022 with relation to supply constraints and higher energy prices. It is predicted to decrease toward the end of 2022, declining from a projected 4.8% in 2021’s fourth quarter to just 2.1% in the latter half of 2022.
COVID-19 brought many challenges and hardships, but with it, a great deal of support and resources also became available to help those most impacted by job termination, financial struggles, business expenses and operating costs, and housing or mortgage difficulties.
Canadian banks and lenders initiated a number of new policies to help protect homeowners from losing their houses during an uncertain time. This assistance bolstered the economy in an otherwise troublesome period and allowed people to stay in their homes through deferred mortgage payment and foreclosure and eviction protection programs, loan extensions, and no penalty fees enforced for bounced payments. One bank even had the option to skip a payment.
It was often dependent upon the bank and the unique situation specific to a particular borrower, on a case-by-case basis, but banks were more willing than ever to assist throughout the duration of a crucial and ongoing crisis. Especially when backed by ongoing emergency monthly government relief stipends to eligible households, as well as loans, grants, and other subsidies.
This has allowed the housing market to maintain a foothold and set the stage for the prospective opportunity to make a gradual comeback in the year ahead. The potential for overall growth looks promising as the economy makes its way towards recovery.
The Mortgage Center TMK was voted one of the Top 50 Mortgage Brokers across Canada in 2020 by Canadian Mortgage Professionals Magazine. I am thrilled that my team’s commitment to excellence has been recognized by such a prestigious publication. I am proud of all they have achieved in the face of so many obstacles.
The Mortgage Center TMK was also voted Best Business of 2021 by Three Best Rated in Port Coquitlam, B.C.
In addition to this, our company achieved a record-breaking volume in 2021. My team has funded over $1 billion in mortgages. As my valued clients, you have contributed to my success over the years and for that, I am so grateful.
This year has in no way been easy by any means. Many have still been impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. Countless lives have been lost to this deadly virus. Others still continue to fight through the after-effects of exposure to COVID and the toll it has taken on their body.
On top of all of that, the B.C. province was ravaged by wildfires, with more than 1,600 fires burning nearly 8,700 kilometres of land from April through September. The entire village of Lytton was eradicated. It was the third-worst wildfire season on record.
Now that fire season is over, we face an even bigger challenge, the heavy flooding that follows a difficult fire season. This, in turn, is resulting in mudslides and landslides as well.
So this year, rather than spending money on Christmas Cards and stamps, I have decided to opt for a cash donation to a particular charity instead, as is customary with The Mortgage Center TMK’s history of community giving. I am reaching out and asking YOU, my clients, to take a minute to take part and have a say of where you would like to see the cash donation go to by voting below for one of the following:
I will also be working with my two oldest grandchildren Mila and Branson, who are both 4 years old, in stuffing CARE package stockings to give out to the homeless and less fortunate, along with a bagged lunch, the week of December 19th. They will be joining me as we deliver and put smiles on people’s faces because we all deserve to SMILE.
To close out this year in review newsletter, I just want to say that I am so thankful for everything that was accomplished this year despite the circumstances.
We at The Mortgage Center are like a family and our clients are an extension of that family. PLEASE take part in our poll, as a valued client, I want to hear from you and have your vote count.
This Holiday season, take time to appreciate life, offer gratitude, and spread kindness. From everyone here at The Mortgage Center TMK, stay healthy. And may 2022 bring us all Peace, Joy, Prosperity, and Health!
The Mortgage Centre TMK has once again been voted one of the Top 50 Mortgage Brokerages across Canada in 2020 by the Canadian Mortgage Professionals Magazine. Its an honour to be recognized nationally for our dedication to providing the best possible service to our clients and our focus on giving back to the community through events, fundraisers and donations of food and clothing to local shelters.
You can find read our article in the Candian Mortgage Professionals Magazine or read it below:
Chances are, the COVID-19 pandemic has already affected your day-to-day life. As uncertainty casts its shadow, businesses around the world are scrambling to adapt and make sure they can continue to operate. Client-facing businesses such as banks and financial institutions have made major policy changes in order to ensure that Canadian home-owners are fully supported during this crisis. Ranging from mortgage deferrals to credit relief, Canada’s banks are pulling out all the stops to support our local communities and businesses.
Do you have a mortgage at the moment? Curious about what some of the big players are doing to help out borrowers like yourself? Read on below to find out!
“In response to the rapidly-evolving COVID-19, TD announced additional proactive measures to further support our customers, colleagues, and communities. Alongside Canada’s six largest banks, TD has announced a commitment to work with personal and small business banking customers on a case-by-case basis to provide flexible solutions to help them manage through challenges such as pay disruption due to COVID-19; childcare disruption due to school closures; or those facing illness from COVID-19. This support will include up to a six-month payment deferral for mortgages, and the opportunity for relief on other credit products. If you are directly impacted by COVID-19 and as a result are facing financial challenges, let us know by reaching out to us at 1-888-720-0075. We are prepared to help you find a solution to meet your needs. You’ll have a lot on your mind, and we want to be there for you.”
“During these challenging and uncertain times, we wish to confirm that First National has a program in place to address payment difficulties caused by the current COVID-19 pandemic. We appreciate that there may be requests to self-isolate, there may be a pause to regular employment or other work-related matters resulting from COVID-19 that may impact you. Our financial relief program is customized to each individual’s circumstances and could include deferral of payments on mortgages for up to six months. If you have any questions, you can reach us at 1.866.557.5509 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org. We commit to working with our customers on a case-by-case basis.”
“Scotiabank is here to help our customers navigate this uncertain time. We have announced additional measures to reduce and delay the transmission of COVID-19 and to provide financial relief to those who need it most.
As every situation is different, we are committed to trying to work with all our customers on a case-by-case basis to help understand, and hopefully alleviate, financial hardships that may be experienced as a result of COVID-19. Our support measures are flexible, including payment deferrals for mortgages and relief on credit products for those who qualify.
Should you have any existing Scotiabank customers contact you for guidance, please recommend they call 1-800-4-SCOTIA (1-800-472-6842). While we may experience slower than usual response times due to a high volume of calls, please rest assured that Scotiabank is committed to providing our mutual customers with the best service we can.”
“We join Canadians across the country in expressing our concern for those directly impacted by COVID-19. We understand that some borrowers may be experiencing financial hardship and we’re committed to working with them through these difficult times.
Under the terms of their RFA mortgage, borrowers may have options available to them, including skipping or deferring payments. We encourage our clients to contact us at the first sign of difficulty to discuss their individual situation. COVID-19 is impacting all of us, in one way or another. Now more than ever, we must stand together to navigate this situation. Please know—we’re here to help.
Wishing you and your family good health.”
“This support will include up to a six-month payment deferral for mortgages, and the opportunity for relief on other credit products.
Individual Canadians or business owners facing hardship are encouraged to contact their bank directly to discuss options that could be available to them.
These measures are an important first step and underscore the resilience of Canada’s financial system and the strength of our major banks. Banks will monitor evolving economic conditions and consider other measures if necessary.
Canada’s banks have a long history of standing by Canadians through challenging times and this commitment will continue throughout this crisis and beyond. To start, find out about how you can skip a payment by contacting your branch and more information will follow. What does RBC’s relief plan look like? Further details will follow in the days to come. For more information, please refer to rbc.com.“
“We’re not providing official payment holidays at this time. However, no NSF fees will be charged.
If clients cannot make the payment then just let it bounce. Client will not be penalized and no foreclosure action will be taken at this time.
Please be patient when making a call to the lenders as I am sure they will be receiving an influx of calls in the coming day and weeks.
If you’re looking for an expert opinion you can trust during uncertain times, I can help. Whether you are considering buying a home, refinancing, switching lenders or need help planning for COVID-19, you can expect the best rates with fast, friendly, professional service and a mortgage package that is tailored to suit your personal goals.
Getting a mortgage is a big commitment for any homeowner and it can be tough to find the right mortgage for your current situation. But it’s even harder to predict what your needs will be years down the line. When things change, sometimes your mortgage needs to change as well, which is why it’s important to know your options when breaking a mortgage contract.
Why break your mortgage contract?
There are many reasons to consider renegotiating your mortgage. One of the most common reasons homeowners break their mortgage is a change in finances, but other factors can also play a role. These can include:
If you’ve decided to renegotiate and get a new mortgage, you’ll need to complete a mortgage stress test. This is to prove that you’re able to afford your new interest rate.
Pros and cons of breaking your mortgage
There are sometimes significant costs in breaking a mortgage. It’s important to have a thorough understanding of the terms of your contract, so that if things change, you’re aware of your options. If you’re unsure, speaking to your current lender about your course of action is a good first step. And while there are usually fees associated, the benefits of breaking a mortgage can sometimes outweigh the costs.
Some of the benefits of renegotiating can include:
Possible downsides of breaking your mortgage include:
Although breaking your mortgage contract isn’t always the right choice, in some cases it makes the most sense for homeowners to renegotiate. By speaking with a qualified mortgage broker about your current contract, financial situation, and long-term plans for your property, you can build a plan to get the right mortgage rate for you.
If you’ve decided to break your mortgage contract, there are two options in securing a new rate.
Option 1: Renegotiating with your current lender
Depending on the institution you have signed with, you may be able to extend your mortgage and secure a better rate. This is called early renewal, or sometimes the blend-and-extend option. This is because your old interest rate is blended with the rate of your new term. Depending on your lender, you might avoid having to pay a prepayment penalty, but administrative fees might still apply.
By law, your lender must be transparent on how it calculates your interest rate. By being proactive and factoring in all costs of breaking your mortgage, you can determine if your current lender still suits your needs. If not, it’s time to start shopping around for a new lender.
Option 2: Changing lenders
Sometimes when considering renegotiating, you’ll find a more favourable interest rate at a different institution. To sign with a different lender and secure a better rate, you’ll need to pay the prepayment penalty to your current lender and break your contract. This penalty can be pricey, so make sure to calculate how much you’ll save with the new rate, versus how much you’ll pay your current lender in fees.
A lower interest rate doesn’t necessarily mean you’ll save money. Breaking your mortgage contract can mean lots of administrative fees and penalties, some of which might take you by surprise if you haven’t done your homework. By consulting a qualified mortgage broker, you can get an expert’s opinion on your current finances and the going rates, helping you write a roadmap for your financial future.
If you have any questions about blended interest rates, prepayment penalties, or breaking your mortgage contract, don’t hesitate to contact Milka Lukacevic and the experts at The Mortgage Centre today.
Each year, thousands of mortgages are renewed in Canada. If your mortgage term is coming to an end in the next few months, it’s time to start thinking about renewing your contract. Fortunately, renewing your mortgage doesn’t necessarily mean you’ll be paying the same rate as before. In fact, your mortgage renewal can be an opportunity to negotiate with your lender, or even renew with a different institution for a better rate.
Whether you’ve signed for a term of one year, five years, or even longer, almost every homeowner will need to deal with the mortgage renewal process at some point. That’s why it’s so important to understand the steps in renewing, as well as your options in getting the best rate possible.
If your mortgage is with a federally regulated institution, the first step in the mortgage renewal process will be receiving a renewal notice.
Understanding your renewal notice
By law, your lender is required to issue you a renewal notice at least twenty-one days before the end of your term. Your mortgage renewal notice should have the same type of information as your mortgage contract, including:
This renewal notice will likely have a contract that you can sign and send back, locking you into another term with your lender.
For many homeowners, this renewal notice is the end of the line for them. More than half of Canadian mortgagors will accept the renewal with their current lender, and sign themselves onto another term without negotiating. In fact, most lenders bank on this fact. Many don’t want to deal with the ‘hassle’ of negotiation, and so your lender won’t offer the most generous terms, hoping that you’ll choose convenience over a better rate.
And the truth is, many people take this option – it seems so much simpler than re-qualifying for a mortgage with a new lender. But if you choose to sign your current lender’s renewal contract, you could be leaving a significant amount of money on the table.
Your mortgage renewal is the perfect opportunity to reassess your situation, and see if the terms of your contract are still working for you. If you’re considering making a change before your next mortgage term, there are some questions to ask yourself:
By answering these questions, it should become clear whether or not a new term with your lender is going to work for you. It’s not always easy to do this – looking so far into the future can be a challenge. Consider speaking with a mortgage broker to help you answer these questions, and explore new options for your next term.
For many of us, situations change, and the terms of our mortgage contracts are no longer ideal. This is why it’s so important to shop around the mortgage market before it’s time to renew, and ensure you get the best rate. You’re well within your right to negotiate with your current lender, and sometimes this is the best course of action. Loaning institutions will want to keep you signed on with their contract, and will often give you a break on your new term in the interest of keeping your business.
However, there may be a different institution with a rate that can’t be beat, or a contract that is otherwise more suitable. In the short-term, switching lenders can cost you money. There are more fees and charges, such as for appraisals or administrative costs, which can make switching lenders feel intimidating. However, if you sit down with your finances and the going rates, you might find that making the change can save a lot more money down the line.
If you’re not planning on moving anytime soon, you’ll be living in your home for years to come, paying down your mortgage as you go. If you have a long time before your mortgage is amortized, think of switching lenders as a long-term investment. Although there might be initial fees, the savings of a lower interest rate will add up over time, and more than pay for the upfront costs of switching lenders. As well, bear in mind that a lender may be willing to swallow some of these costs to get you in the door, so don’t forget to negotiate your terms, whether you’re switching or not.
Getting help from the pros
For many, the mortgage renewal process is a stressful time, with lots of questions and the worry that you’re not getting the best deal. That’s why it can be such a relief to sit down with a qualified mortgage broker, a professional that understands the mortgage market and process inside-out.
A mortgage broker can walk you through your current term, and compare it to what’s currently available from your lender and others. They will also take a look at your finances, and make projections on what kind of contract will work for you down the line. And while doing your own research is a crucial first step in locking in the best rate for your next term, nothing can replace getting help from the pros. So if you still have questions about the mortgage renewal process, reach out to Milka Lukacevic and the team of mortgage experts at The Mortgage Centre.
Let’s face it, no one really likes paying down their mortgage. Although it’s exciting to finally find your dream home, and even better to be paying a great rate on it, it’s most exciting for it to be paid off. By finding a mortgage with prepayment privileges, you can have that satisfaction and accomplishment of making your final payment that much sooner. Here’s how.
How do Prepayment Privileges work?
A prepayment privilege is an available option in some mortgages that allows you to pay more than the specified rate. Exact prepayment rate options vary amongst lenders, and some go as high as 20/20. Meaning that, in addition to a lump sum of up to 20% of your mortgage, you can up your usual payment by 20% as well.
Increasing your monthly payment:
Imagine you’ve just started making payments on a new home, worth $475,000. At the regular rate of 2.44%, this comes to a monthly payment of $1,583.33. Assuming your mortgage is amortized over 25 years, after 5 years of regular payment, you’ll have 20 years left, and have paid $69,499.80.
But, if you were to make your regular payment with a 20% increase, your monthly payment would go up to $1900 a month. After five years at this increased rate, you would have paid $114,000, and have cut roughly five years off of your mortgage amortization!
Increasing your monthly payments is a great way to slowly but surely speed up the process of paying off your mortgage. However, an additional 20% to a mortgage every month isn’t feasible for many homeowners. This is where lump sum prepayment privileges can come in handy.
Lump sum payments:
One of the advantages of prepaying for your mortgage with lump sums, is that the payment goes directly to the principal of the mortgage. What does this mean? For starters, you’ll immediately be paying less for interest in your monthly payments. Your amortization period will also decrease, just like it would if you were to increase your monthly payment.
Using the example above, you could hypothetically pay $95,000 a year for five years, and have your mortgage paid off twenty years earlier than you otherwise would. In an ideal world, we’d all be able to take advantage of this option. However, not everyone is able to put so much money toward a mortgage at one time. This is why most lenders offering prepayment privileges will allow lump sums to be paid in increments as low as $100.
Lump sum payments are a great option for those looking to pay off their mortgage as quickly as possible, without committing to an increased monthly rate. Major financial events such as promotions, bonuses, and inheritances can all be perfect opportunities to make lump sum payments on your mortgage, and to get one step closer to total financial freedom.
Choosing a mortgage
In general, a mortgage with prepayment privilege options can provide you with greater flexibility in how you pay your mortgage. However, every financial situation is unique, and some mortgages can be more or less suitable, depending on the needs of the homebuyer. If you’re already doing your research on prepayment privileges, you’ve taken the first step to ensure your success in finding the perfect mortgage.
For customized, specialized, and qualified mortgaging consultation and advice, look no further than Milka Lukacevic and the experts at The Mortgage Centre. We’re ready to help you secure the home, rate, and mortgage of your dreams, contact us today.
When it looks like rain, do you pack an umbrella? We all plan ahead, just in case things don’t work out as anticipated. Why should your mortgage, probably the most significant financial move of your life, be any different? A mortgage stress test is an analysis of your planned mortgage rate, possible increases in interest rates, and refinancing possibilities. These factors are compared to your anticipated income, allowing you to look ahead and see what you will able to afford. If you’re ready to get started with finding the right mortgage for you, a mortgage stress test is the
What is a mortgage stress test?
How do you find out the minimum monthly payment you’ll need to afford to qualify?
When calculating a stress test, there are many factors to consider. Current and future employment, changes in income or expenses, and shifting families can all play into the final figure of what you’re able to afford. Not only will complying with this test qualify you for the right mortgage, it will provide you with security and peace of mind throughout the term of your mortgage contract.
If the mortgage stress test is sounding a bit… stressful, don’t worry. Canadians everywhere face difficulties when applying for a mortgage due to a lack of research and preparation. If you’re looking into how to calculate your own mortgage stress test, you’re well on your way to owning a home, with financial stability and a great rate to boot. If you have questions about your mortgage rate, the Bank of Canada’s qualifying rate, stress tests, or anything else in the world of becoming a homeowner, don’t hesitate to contact Milka Lukacevic and the TMK team at The Mortgage Centre today!
If you’re in the market for a new home, you’ve probably heard talk of working with a mortgage broker. Many buyers, especially those in the market for the first time, make the mistake of purchasing without a broker, costing them time and money down the line. At the same time, many buyers opt to get their mortgage through their bank, which can potentially stop you from getting the best available rate. Here are just a few reasons why you should consider working with a mortgage broker.
There are lots of factors that may affect the mortgage that you and your broker decide upon. For instance, if you plan to move away in a few years, you may want to look at portable mortgages. Or perhaps you anticipate a major change in income in the next few years (pregnancy, a child moving away for school, or a promotion at work), in which case an interest-only loan, or adjustable rate mortgage may be more appropriate. Your case has countless facets and variables that make your mortgaging situation unlike any other. It deserves a careful and personal touch in whoever is securing your mortgage.
If you’re ready for your mortgaging needs to be addressed in an efficient, personalized, and helpful manner, look no further than Milka Lukacevic at The Mortgage Centre. You can count on The Mortgage Centre to provide objective, useful advice, that will help you get approved, and moved into your dream home, all the sooner. If you have any questions, or are ready to get started, don’t hesitate to contact Milka Lukacevic at The Mortgage centre today.
As long as you owe a balance at the end of your mortgage term, you will be required to renew it. Each renewal offers the opportunity to identify your financial goals and adjust or re-mortgage to find one that works for you. Here are some of the most important steps to take when it’s time to renew your mortgage.
1. Plan ahead
Most lenders will let you start an early mortgage renewal process 120 days (about four months) before the end of your current term. Make a note of this day in your calendar and be prepared to get started on finding a new rate. If you’re not ready to sit down with a mortgage broker, you can start researching online to see the options available to you. The more information you have, the more likely it is you can find a good rate for your household. For more information on finding a better rate, take a look at 5 Tips for Your Mortgage Renewal.
2. Identify any changes in your financial goals
Whether the birth of a child or a raise in salary, financial changes and challenges happen in every household. Your mortgage renewal date is the perfect time to reflect on your goals and any changes that have occurred since signing on to your last mortgage rate. If you’re planning to move in the next five years, want access to equity, or are retiring soon, you should factor these goals into any conversation with lenders, banks, and mortgage brokers.
3. Make a list of your ‘mortgage musts’
In tandem with any changes in your financial goals, identify if your needs for a mortgage have changed in your last term. Some of the questions you should be asking yourself are:
If the answer to any of these questions is yes, changes might be needed for your mortgage when you renew. Give special consideration to monthly prepayment options and penalties, as well as refinancing.
4. Be ready to renew within a month of the end of your term
Your current lender is required by law to send you a renewal notice, within a minimum of twenty-one days of the end of your term. This notice will have a renewal offer for the lender’s lowest posted rate,
which is guaranteed up until the maturity of your mortgage. However, your research should tell you whether or not this is the best rate available on the market. If your current lender’s offer doesn’t beat other options on the market, you have the right to negotiate a rate match.
5. Make your choice!
You’ve done your research, identified your financial goals and your ‘mortgage musts,’ and know what you’re looking for in a mortgage rate renewal. Whether you decide to stay with your current lender after a rate negotiation, or go through the process of switching renewals, it’s important to be decisive and to act in your best interest.
If you need help in identifying the best mortgage renewal option for you, get in touch with our team to get started today. Milka Lukacevic is your trusted and local Port Coquitlam mortgage broker.
For most Canadians, the biggest monthly expense is their mortgage payment, however, many homeowners opt to automatically renew their mortgage when their term is up. Rather than getting stuck in a mortgage that doesn’t work for you, take the opportunity to shop around. Here are five tips to get the best rate for your next mortgage renewal:
1. Start early!
Many mortgage holders make the mistake of starting their search for a new rate too close to the end of their term. This limits your options considerably and can sometimes leave you paying even more than before. For the best results, start looking four to six months before the end of your term, since this is the maximum amount of time that most lenders will guarantee a rate. If your current lender raises your rate, you have an option to fall back on, and if they drop it, you can use your options to negotiate a better rate.
2. Advocate for yourself
If you find a better rate, don’t be afraid to negotiate with your bank. If you don’t ask for a change in your monthly mortgage payment, the banks will happily charge you the same amount that you’ve been paying. Banks will also sometimes be more accommodating in negotiations if you’re willing to transfer accounts and investments to them (e.g. an RRSP).
3. Focus on all negotiable options
When looking for a new mortgage rate, many homebuyers get stuck in the trap of focusing solely on their interest rate. Other factors, such amortization period, rate type (fixed versus variable), and payment schedules can save you time and money down the line. When comparing mortgage options, ensure you’re looking at all these aspects to find the best mortgage renewal plan for you.
4. Do your research
Before even starting negotiations with your bank, do your homework on all the available rates that other lenders are offering. The more options you find, the more leverage you will have in negotiating your rate with a bank. Ensuring you are well-informed in considering mortgage options is a great way to find a better rate without the hassle of switching lenders.
5. Use a mortgage broker!
If you are inexperienced in the field of mortgage options, or simply don’t have the time to research and negotiate with various lenders, consider working with a trustworthy mortgage broker. A broker can do the hard work of research and negotiation, saving you money on your mortgage renewal. According to the Bank of Canada, homebuyers using a mortgage broker often pay less than those without.
Whether you’re renewing a mortgage or looking into getting your first mortgage, get in touch with your local Port Coquitlam mortgage broker, Milka Lukacevic.