Carolyn Withey licensed with
Mortgage Architects in Alberta
I believe in transparency and education. As a Mortgage Advisor and intermediary between my clients and the mortgage lenders, I offer the best options available and I offer guidance along the way. Mortgages can be complicated, so I work hard to make it as smooth a process as possible and answer all questions throughout the process. I believe in integrity and trust, so I only recommend mortgage options that I would use myself.
Are you thinking about buying a new home? Start here!
Whether it is your first home or your fourth, getting professional mortgage advice is a great place to start, even before you begin your search for the perfect home. A Mortgage Planner will help you to determine what you can afford, and specializes in the kind of education that can help get homebuyers off to a great start. The other benefit is that with all this extra knowledge in your corner, there is actually no cost to you as a client. Mortgage Planners are commission-based, meaning that in most situations we get paid directly by the lender, so our services are free to our clients.
Buying a home is both exciting and stressful! Your Mortgage Planner can help ease some of this stress, as they do the heavy lifting putting together your mortgage application, handling all of the paperwork and finding you the best combination of a low rate, and the best mortgage features to match your needs.
A Mortgage Planner looks out for your interests, not those of one specific bank or lender!
Don’t let yourself sign a mortgage renewal without shopping for the best rate and terms!
Lenders make it very easy to just sign on the dotted line, but the option they send you may not be the best option available. At renewal, you can revisit everything pertaining to your mortgage – amortization, rate, term, etc. with no penalties. Securing the best available rate, can be a difference of hundreds of dollars a year.
This can also be a great time to evaluate your long and short-term goals… to possibly pay down your amortization faster, or roll in debts that cost extra each month with higher interest rates, or to access equity for a project you’ve been considering.
As a Mortgage Planner we work for our clients, not one particular bank. We work with a wide variety of lenders so we can always make sure you are being offered the best possible solution to meet your goals. There are some great products and options out there, as the lenders are competing for your business. As a Mortgage Planner I will help you look at all of the options available, so be sure to reach out before signing a renewal letter.
Review your mortgage yearly, to make the most of your financial portfolio!
A refinance can be a great tool to help lower your overall costs, or make bigger plans.
A refinance is where you break your existing mortgage and replace it with a new mortgage with different terms – new amount, new interest rate, new everything. This is often done to help lower your monthly costs, to pay down your mortgage faster, or to free up some equity for a big project. Though assessing your situation is a free service with a mortgage advisor, to see if it makes good financial sense… there is a cost to breaking your initial mortgage before the term, so it always makes sense to talk to a Mortgage Planner who can evaluate whether this makes sense for your specific situation.
There are several compelling reasons why homeowners refinance their mortgage:
When you are ready to sell your home and buy a new one, your first move should be to look into your mortgage options.
Your options will often include bringing your mortgage with you if it is portable. Be sure to read the terms carefully for any current mortgage and understand that even porting a mortgage means reapplying in full for the new purchase. If the mortgage you need for the new purchase is larger then the original, you can often “blend and extend” your current mortgage rate, with the mortgage rate you will be offered on the additional funds you need. There are times however, that breaking your current mortgage and setting up a whole new mortgage for the total amount you need, can actually save you more in the long run. This makes it important to compare the blend/extend rate you will receive, against the rate you would get with an entire new mortgage.
A Mortgage Planner can help with this, by evaluating all of the options to see which actually makes the most financial sense. They will weigh out the cost to break your current term and obtain a new rate, versus porting your current mortgage and topping it up. It’s often worth a professional mortgage analysis to determine which option is the most beneficial to you. There’s no cost or obligation. We are up-to-date on current rates and all of the new opportunities available, and from a wide range of lenders. Reach out to a Mortgage Planner to take an in-depth look at all of your options!
Owning a vacation home is a great option both as a financial investment and as an investment in your lifestyle
Whether it is to fulfill a dream of having a weekend retreat, or maybe it just might makes sense to buy a second property while your children attend university. The appeal of a vacation property or second home is often as much economic based on a properties appreciating value, as it is an investment in yourself and your family.
It may not be as far off as you may think either, as there are a number of excellent financing options available for purchasing vacation properties which can bring this investment within reach. You can buy a vacation property or second home with as little as 5 percent down payment, as long as you intend to use it for your own use. A Mortgage Planner can help you look at ways to use the built up equity in your primary residence, or add on a home equity line of credit (HELOC) to access the down payment.
Most lenders look for a well-built property, in a good location, and with year-round access, though there are opportunities to buy seasonal properties as well. There are sometimes other factors to consider with this type of purchase, such as zoning where a property is located, so it is a good idea to speak to a Mortgage Planner who is familiar with these specifications which may affect which lending options are available.
Residential real estate is often a solid investment, depending on location and economy, and typically appreciates faster than inflation.
Buying a ‘rental’ property as an investment can make good financial sense, as the mortgage and other costs can be offset by the income the property will generate. Keep in mind that a rental property purchase does require a minimum of 20% down payment.
Over the long term, an investment property or multiple real estate holdings can be a great source of income into the future as the mortgage is paid down, as well as a long-term investment from the standpoint of appreciating value if the real estate market is strong as a whole. Consider speaking to a Mortgage Advisor to weigh out the overall costs versus the many values this type of investment can offer.
Canmore, Banff, Bow Valley, and Cochrane offer amazing recreation on your doorstep, urban-style amenities, wonderful scenery, and a close-knit local community. Get started on finding your dream home purchase.
Down Payment is one of your most important considerations before you look to purchase your new home. In most cases, you want to save five percent of the purchase price, but there are benefits to saving more.
The decision to choose a fixed or variable rate is not always an easy one. It should depend on your tolerance for risk as well as your ability to withstand increases in mortgage payments.
Mortgages in Canada are typically amortized between 25 and 30-year terms. While this seems long, there are ways to pay off your mortgage in a shorter period of time, with a little bit of planning and a small bit of sacrifice.
First Time Home Buyers Plan – first-time homebuyers can withdraw individually $35,000 tax-free from their RRSPs, provided they adhere to the repayment plan.
First-Time Home Buyer Incentive – This ‘Incentive’ helps people across Canada purchase their first home. The program offers 5% or 10% of the home’s purchase price to put toward a down payment, which is in addition to your own required down payment amount (min 5%). This program can help lower your mortgage carrying costs, making homeownership more affordable. There are many stipulations to this program, so please reach out for more information.
Gifted down payment from an immediate family member – can be a source of funds as long as the homebuyer receives in writing that they are not required to pay the money back at any time.
There are important factors to consider in either direction you may choose and it’s worthwhile to spend time discussing both options with your Mortgage Planner and researching which would work best for you, and for your future plans.
Fixed-rate mortgages often appeal to clients who want stability in their payments, manage a tight monthly budget, or are generally more conservative. But there is a flip side to this option if you need to break your mortgage term early and it can cost you hundreds or even thousands more in the long run if you intend to sell or refinance before the term is over.
Variable-rate mortgages offer less certainty that the rate of payment will stay at the same point as when you start your term, but does offer a number of benefits that are worth weighing out. A variable-rate generally allows the borrower to take advantage of lower rates – the interest rate is calculated on an ongoing basis at a lenders’ prime rate minus or plus a set percentage. The way a penalty is calculated to break the term early is different than a fixed rate in most circumstances and is often much less expensive than breaking a similar fixed rate mortgage term early.
Increase the frequency of your mortgage payments, to weekly or bi-weekly. Both options add extra payments to the year, but can significantly lower the interest paid over the term of your mortgage.
Increase the amount of your mortgage payments. Let’s say you get a 5% raise each year at work. If you put that extra 5% of your income into your mortgage, your mortgage balance will drop much faster without feeling like you are changing your spending habits.
Mortgage lenders will also allow you to make extra payments on your mortgage balance each year. Apply this money to your mortgage as a lump-sum payment and watch the results. By applying these strategies consistently over time, you will save money, pay less interest and pay off your mortgage years faster!
As a mortgage broker, licensed with Mortgage Architects, I offer my mortgage expertise to prospective homeowners in Canmore, Banff, throughout the Bow Valley, and across Alberta. It is my promise to my clients that I work efficiently and professionally to customize a home loan solution that best fits their mortgage needs.