• WHAT IS PRIME RATE?

    Author: Boychuk Mortgage Group |

    Prime rate is the benchmark rate that lending institutions use to determine lines of credit, mortgages, and personal loans.

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  • HOW OFTEN DOES THE BANK OF CANADA MAKE CHANGES TO THEIR RATE?

    Author: Boychuk Mortgage Group |

    The BoC meets eight times each calendar year to analyze the Canadian economy and to decide on whether they should lower the overnight rate, raise the overnight rate, or keep rates neutral. At these meetings, the BoC will also announce any policy changes or updates that would otherwise impact the general Canadian economy. Historically, the government does not make changes to the overnight rate when they meet. Over the past 10 years, we’ve seen the variable rate stay fairly flat, with minimal fluctuation. Over the past 30 years, whenever we found ourselves in a rate rising environment, it’s been on average 13 months of…

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  • WHAT IS THE BANK OF CANADA?

    Author: Boychuk Mortgage Group |

    Like the United States’ federal reserve, the Bank of Canada (BoC), is Canada’s central bank and is responsible for directing the economic and financial welfare of Canada.

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  • WHAT IS AN ADJUSTABLE-RATE MORTGAGE – ARM?

    Author: Boychuk Mortgage Group |

    When working with a lender that offers an ARM product, your payment is NOT static on the day of closing, meaning your ARM payment will change with any adjustments to the Bank of Canada’s overnight policy rate. This means your amortization will remain static and you will pay your mortgage off on time. When the interest rate drops, your amortization drops. When the interest rate pops, your payment pops.

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  • WHAT IS A TRIGGER RATE?

    Author: Boychuk Mortgage Group |

    As interest rates on variable rate mortgage products increase, the payments do not change. There will be a point where the principal and interest payments can no longer cover the interest charged on the mortgage. This happens when your rate has exceeded the Trigger Rate, otherwise reflecting an INTEREST ONLY payment with additional interest owed if your variable rate increases BEYOND that Trigger Rate. Because there is no further principal being paid down, the amortization remains “forever”. To offset any payment shock, it’s recommended you increase your monthly payment to cover the outstanding interest given you surpass your Trigger Rate. At renewal, the remaining…

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  • WHAT IS A VARIABLE RATE MORTGAGE – VRM?

    Author: Boychuk Mortgage Group |

    When working with a lender that offers a VRM product, your payment will remain static on the day of closing, meaning your VRM payment will not change & only the principal & interest on the back end will fluctuate with any BoC change. This means your amortization will otherwise adjust accordingly. When the interest rate drops, your amortization drops. When the interest rate pops, your amortization pops. With some static variable rate mortgage products, there is a trigger rate and trigger point which will inflict an increase to your payment should your mortgage ever reach that point (see below for explanation). It’s also…

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  • IS A VARIABLE RATE MORTGAGE SIMILAR TO A HOME EQUITY LINE OF CREDIT?

    Author: Boychuk Mortgage Group |

    Somewhat! There is an initial approved total mortgage amount, the money is advanced, and there is an agreed upon monthly installment, based on an agreed amortization – a.k.a. ‘the life of the loan’. Whereas, a HELOC may have the exact same balance forever with only the monthly interest being paid off. A VRM is initially set up with the idea that it will be paid off in full over 25 to 30 years. Hence the payment including both an interest portion, and a principal portion. A VRM seems different than a HELOC, but as you will discover through this series of questions…

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  • WHAT IS A TRIGGER POINT?

    Author: Boychuk Mortgage Group |

    For a conventional VRM product, meaning a mortgage product with 20% or more in equity, the Trigger Point is when the principal mortgaged amount plus interest owing, exceeds 80% of the fair market value of the property as determined by your lender. For an Insured VRM product, meaning a mortgage product with less than 20% equity, the Trigger Point is when the principal mortgaged amount plus interest owing, exceeds 105% of the original principal mortgage amount (loan). On HELOC products, if at any time the outstanding principal amount (including any deferred interest) exceeds the original principal amount, then your mortgage has reached…

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  • HOW MUCH WILL MY VARIABLE RATE PAYMENT FLUCTUATE?

    Author: Boychuk Mortgage Group |

    If you currently have a mortgage, your payment will change approximately $12 - $13 for every $100,000 that you owe on your mortgage for every 0.25% change in prime rate. If you have a mortgage balance of $500,000 and the Bank of Canada changes their overnight rate by 0.25%, that’s an increase / decrease of about $60 to your monthly payment. Note, a typical increase made by the BoC is 0.25%. If your interest rate were to double – that would mean your payment would increase by 25%. If your interest rate were to triple – that would mean your payment would increase…

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  • What is a variable rate mortgage (VRM)?

    Author: Boychuk Mortgage Group |

    A variable-rate mortgage, also known as an adjustable-rate mortgage (ARM), is a type of home loan in which the interest rate can fluctuate periodically throughout the term. Unlike fixed-rate mortgages, where the interest rate remains unchanged for the entire term, variable-rate mortgages are tied to a benchmark rate (e.g., the Bank of Canada's overnight rate) plus a margin set by the lender. This means that your monthly mortgage payments can vary over time based on changes in the benchmark rate.

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  • How does the interest rate fluctuate in a variable-rate mortgage?

    Author: Boychuk Mortgage Group |

    The interest rate in a variable-rate mortgage fluctuates in response to the Bank of Canada’s changes to their overnight policy rate; also known as the BoC’s prime rate. The Boc meets 8 times a year and in response to market conditions & economic outlook, they will either raise, lower, or maintain the policy rate. Your variable rate mortgage will fluctuate in accordance with the BoC’s decision to increase or decrease their overnight policy rate.

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  • Are variable-rate mortgages suitable for first-time homebuyers?

    Author: Boychuk Mortgage Group |

    Variable-rate mortgages can be suitable for first-time homebuyers depending on their risk tolerance and financial circumstances. They often start with lower initial interest rates compared to fixed-rate mortgages, which can result in lower initial monthly payments and potential cost savings. However, because the interest rate can fluctuate, borrowers should be prepared for possible increases in monthly payments over time, which could impact budgeting and financial stability.

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  • Can I switch from a variable-rate mortgage to a fixed-rate mortgage during the term?

    Author: Boychuk Mortgage Group |

    Yes, in many cases, you can switch from a variable-rate mortgage to a fixed-rate mortgage during the term, but this may be subject to certain conditions and fees. Some lenders offer options to convert or lock in your variable-rate mortgage to a fixed-rate mortgage to provide stability if you prefer predictable monthly payments or if interest rates are expected to rise.

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  • What are the potential risks of choosing a variable-rate mortgage?

    Author: Boychuk Mortgage Group |

    One potential risk of choosing a variable-rate mortgage is interest rate volatility. Since interest rates can fluctuate, your monthly mortgage payments may increase if they rise significantly during the mortgage term. This variability can make budgeting more challenging and may impact your financial stability if you are not prepared for potential payment increases. Additionally, if you plan to keep the property for a long time, rising interest rates could result in higher overall interest costs compared to a fixed-rate mortgage.

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  • What should I consider before choosing a variable-rate mortgage over a fixed-rate mortgage?

    Author: Boychuk Mortgage Group |

    Before choosing a variable-rate mortgage over a fixed-rate mortgage, consider the following factors: Risk Tolerance: Assess your comfort level with potential fluctuations in interest rates and monthly payments. Financial Stability: Evaluate your ability to absorb possible increases in mortgage payments if interest rates rise. Market Conditions: Consider current and projected interest rate trends and economic conditions. Flexibility: Determine if you prefer lower initial payments and potential cost savings offered by variable rates. Long-Term Plans: Evaluate how long you plan to own the property and whether a variable-rate mortgage aligns with your long-term financial goals.

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