Monday, April 30, 2007

Changes to Federal Legislation affecting High-Ratio Mortgages

Recent federal legislation has increased the maximum loan to value ratio under which conventional lending can be done in Canada without a requirement for mortgage insurance.

An amendment to the Canadian Bank Act came into effect on April 20, 2007, which increases the threshold for mandatory mortgage default insurance on residential real estate secured loans to 80% loan-to-value ratio (LTV) from 75% LTV. Mortgage default insurance in the 75.1% to 80% range is no longer required by Law.

Why is this great news? It makes home ownership more accessible as the purchaser will no longer have to work to build up a 25% down payment in order to save the cost of mortgage insurance premiums. The reduced requirement of 20% will put home ownership within reach for more clients and sooner than before this change.

On a Purchase Price of $250,000 the savings on insurance premium is approx $2,500. a fee that will no longer be added to the mortgage also reducing the interest charges on that same amount over the amortization of the mortgage.

For details on this and other innovative borrowing strategies contact:

Ontario Mortgage Team
Mortgage Intelligence Inc.
Leading the way to a better mortgage

Purchase * Refinance * Renewal * Investment
FREE Mortgage Information and apply on-line at:

Tuesday, April 10, 2007

In every child's first drawing of a house, what do you see?

A modest home, a front path lined with flowers, smoke coming from the chimney, and yes -- a tree. We all have our favourites - trees to hold a swing, to provide shade, to fill a view, to freshen the air, or just to send our eyes skyward.

Trees are embedded in our human imagination. We'll be coming up to tree-planting season again. Here are just a few reasons why you should consider planting a new tree, or to take really good care of the trees you already enjoy:

• Beauty. "I think that I shall never see a poem as lovely as a tree." Do you remember reading this is high school? Plant a tree for the sheer beauty of it.
• Spirit. Urban planners say that trees bring out the best in people. We know that a tree-lined street is more inspiring and feels more friendly than a bare one. The tree-huggers are on to something.
• Oxygen. The green lungs of our neighbourhood, town, country, continent, hemisphere, and planet -- trees give us the necessary air of life. We need more of them. If you need to remove a dying tree, make a plan to plant one somewhere as a replacement.
• Cleanse. Trees help remove carbon dioxide and other pollutants from our atmosphere. We need trees to do this for us - more now than ever. There is always fresh air in the forest. No coincidence. Thank the trees.
• Cool and shade. Trees can lower the air temperature around your home by many cooling degrees on those hot summer days. Not only do they provide much needed protection for you, your family, and your shade-loving pets, but they also emit cooling moisture into the atmosphere.
• Windbreak. If you plant evergreens on the north side of your home, you can save energy dollars in the cold season. These stately trees provide a lovely backdrop for your summer garden, and when snow-laden in the winter - they look especially grand.
• Prevent soil erosion. The root systems of trees will hold your soil in place - something to think about if you have steeper gradients on your property.
• Natural habitat. Without our trees, where would birds and other creatures hang out? Plant a tree and watch for the arrival of the songbirds.
• Increase property value by up to 10 percent. Yes, that's right. 10 percent. More in some cases, and that adds up to a lot of dollars.
• Privacy. Screen yourself from traffic, unsightly views, and neighbours whose property is too close. Trees will also buffer sound: reducing some of the undesirable traffic, train, and mechanical noises, which surround us.
• Autumn. What would our favourite season be without the glorious display of our deciduous trees? Yes, raking the leaves can be a chore, but it's worth it.
• Go native. If you need to plant or replace a tree - select a native species. You'll find that native trees are: less susceptible to pests and disease, don't need as much water, and are altogether much less demanding than non-native species. Ask a local arborist (your city or town usually employs one) to recommend a tree for your property.
• Natural legacy. Plant trees for your children, your grandchildren, and your great-grandchildren. Celebrate weddings, births, anniversaries and other special occasions with a tree.

Take the time to enjoy pushing your loved ones on a rope swing or just sit in the shade of your tree while you read your children Dr. Seuss' "The Giving Tree".


Ontario Mortgage Team
Mortgage Intelligence Inc.
Leading the way to a better mortgage

Purchase * Refinance * Renewal * Investment
FREE Mortgage Information and apply on-line at:

Tuesday, April 3, 2007

Spring-cleaning your debt could save you thousands

Wouldn’t spring-cleaning be so much more gratifying if – somewhere under dusty barbecue parts and outgrown hockey skates – you found an envelope with, say, $5000 in cash? Wouldn’t that make spring-cleaning worthwhile? Of course it would!

Well, you may not uncover a financial windfall when you’re cleaning the garage this spring, but a little time and attention to the task of spring-cleaning your financial house can be very rewarding. This spring, dust away the cobwebs and take a hard look at your debt servicing costs.

Are you continuously carrying a large monthly balance on your credit card? Or are you making regular use of your overdraft protection at the bank? Worst of all, could it be that you’re carrying a balance on a high interest department store card? Take some comfort in knowing that you’re not alone. However, this particular kind of financial clutter – ongoing, unsecured consumer debt – is both confusing and costly. Guess what? It’s time to spring-clean your debt!

Begin by making a quick list of any loans, credit cards or other unsecured debts. In addition, make a note of the interest rates charged on any outstanding balances. Finally, do a quick calculation of what you have paid in debt servicing costs this winter. Has the tax man sent you a bill? Don’t forget to include that debt in your spring-cleaning project.

Next, take a look at the going mortgage rates, and make an appointment with a mortgage professional. By rolling your other debt into a mortgage-either new or existing-you can reduce the number of payments you’re making each month, you can save big on interest charges, and you can improve your cash flow.

How much difference will it really make? Well it can be as good – or better – than finding the $5000 envelope of cash in your garage. Why? As an example, if you have a $160,000 mortgage at 6%, high interest credit cards and other loans of say $33,000; your total monthly payment could be $2,014.

Now if you took that $193,000 and added on an approximate $3,000 penalty to refinance your mortgage, you may be able to potentially roll that $196,000 into a 5.09% mortgage (OAC, rates subject to change) that could reduce your overall monthly payment to $1,150. That’s a monthly savings of $864.

Your monthly payment has been reduced, you’re saving on interest charges, and all of your high interest credit card debts are gone. Imagine if you funneled some of that cash flow back into your mortgage!

If you have equity in your home -- preferably more than 25% equity – you may want to consider taking advantage of attractive mortgage rates and rid yourself of your financial clutter. Regardless of where you are in the life of your mortgage, talk to a mortgage professional who can analyze your situation and outline your spring cleaning options.

So as you polish the windows, shake out the carpets and clear out the garage, don’t forget the most rewarding task of all: spring-cleaning your debt. Your financial house will enjoy the fresh beginning, too!


Ontario Mortgage Team
Mortgage Intelligence Inc.
Leading the way to a better mortgage.
Purchase * Refinance * Renewal * Investment

FREE Mortgage Information and Apply On-Line at: