Types of Mortgages

Mortgage/Home Loans

Types of Mortgages

For fixed-rate mortgages the interest rate is established for the term of the mortgage so that the monthly payment of principal and interest is unchanged throughout the term. Irrespective of whether rates move up or down, you understand precisely how much your payments will be thus making personal budgeting easier. When rates are low, it may be better to take a longer term, fixed-rate mortgage for protection from upward fluctuations in interest rates.

With an open mortgage you have the ability to repay the mortgage at any time without penalty. The availability options are reduced to shorter terms (6 months or 1 year only), and the interest rate is higher than closed mortgages as much as 1%, or more. This type of mortgage is typically favoured by those thinking of selling their home, or if they are going to pay off the entire mortgage (i.e. through the sale of another property, an inheritance, etc.).

Closed mortgages grant the security of fixed payments for terms between 6 months to 10 years. The interest rates are significantly less than open mortgages. They can deliver as much as 20% prepayment of the original principal, which is more than the majority of what people prepay on a yearly basis. However, if you want to pay off the entire mortgage before the maturity, there will be a penalty charge for breaking that mortgage. This penalty is customarily three months interest, or the interest rate differential.

A mortgage with a lot of flexibility is the Adjustable Rate Mortgage (A.R.M.), particularly chosen when interest rates are going down. The rate is based on prime minus 0.375% and can be changed monthly to reflect the current interest rates. During the first three months of the mortgage, a sizable rebate on the rate is given as a welcoming offer. The mortgage payments usually remain consistent, but the ratio between principal and interest fluctuates. When interest rates go down, you pay less interest and more principal. If rates increase, you pay more interest and less principal. If rates rise substantially, the initial payment may not cover both the interest and principal. Any portion not paid is still owed, or you may be asked to increase your monthly payment. This mortgage is fully adaptable at any time without any penalties to you (providing that you choose a three year term or greater), and offers a 20% prepayment privilege at any time throughout the year.

Equity mortgages are evaluated based on the equity of the home (market value minus the mortgage amount). You can receive as much as 80% of the purchase price or value of the property. These are generally offered to applicants that do not meet the normal income and/or credit qualifying mortgage guidelines (i.e. little or no income verification, self-employed, and/or less-than-perfect credit).

This type of mortgage provides the convenience of the lower rates of a short term mortgage and the security of a long term, in one mortgage. Your mortgage can be split in to as many as five parts, all having different terms, rates, and amortizations, but in one convenient monthly payment. However, you should be aware of any market changes with this mortgage. This type of mortgage is not for everyone, as the amount of time and stress involved is quite high.

When interest rates go down, or you suspect that they will in the approaching future, a 6 month convertible mortgage gives you a temporary commitment at fixed payments, with the bonus ability that while within the term, the mortgage is fully adaptable to a longer term from 1 year to 10 years. When the 6 month period is over the mortgage becomes fully open, and it can be renewed with the current lender or moved to another lender. This type of mortgage is offered at most financial institutions, but each lender’s terms are different.

This mortgage takes care of everything automatically for you. For Purchases, it includes: Solicitor’s legal fees and standard disbursements to close the purchase and mortgage; Title transfer; Title Insurance from LandCanada for the clients; CMHC application fee or Appraisal fee; 1% Cash-Back to cover Land Transfer Tax; Registration of Deed and Mortgage. For Refinances, it includes: Legal fees and standard disbursements to prepare and close the mortgage; Title Insurance from LandCanada; CMHC application fee or appraisal fee; 1% Cash-Back; Registration of new first mortgage; Registration of discharge of existing first and second mortgage. The minimum available is a 5 years term.

This allows you to use the equity in your home to purchase investments (where interest costs would be deductible against the earned income), renovate your home, buy a car, etc., with rates as low as prime. Up to 75% of the purchase price or value of the home can be arranged. It is very easy to access the available credit, with many lenders also providing an issued credit and/or debit card. The money does not have to be drawn until you need it, and you can pay off your balance at any time or make monthly payments. As the balance is paid down, there is much more available credit (revolving credit).As it is a secured product, the conventional legal and appraisal fees are applicable. Now and then, there are promotions where a lender will cover part or all of these costs. You should be cautioned that although these lines are very flexible and versatile it can be extremely tempting to use it for unnecessary purchases.

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