Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Ready for Seconds

Are you thinking about buying your second home? Or your third, fourth, or even fifth property? Below are a few signs that you're ready to make the move to a new address.
  • You've reassessed your needs. What you were looking for when you bought your current home might not be what you're looking for now, in terms of both the property and its location. Establishing your list of needs is a must before you start shopping for your next home, as doing so will help keep you focused and on budget.
  • You know the market. Depending on if it's a buyer's market or a seller's market, and especially if you have two transactions to juggle, you need to decide what to do first: buy or sell. That decision largely depends on whether it's a sellers' or buyer's market. If it's the former, you'll likely want to buy first; if it's the latter, selling first probably makes more sense.
  • You've considered your costs. If you're buying before selling, have you determined how you'll be paying for the down payment and closing costs on the new place, given you'll still have money tied up in your current home? If you're moving to a pricier property, have you budgeted for the increase in costs associated with a more expensive home?
  • You've shopped around for a mortgage. Mortgage shopping is an important, although often confusing activity. As such, you may be tempted to stick with your current lender at whatever terms they're offering. But terms are ever changing, so if you're willing to put in the effort, you could save thousands by shopping around again.
The home selling and buying experience doesn't have to be overwhelming if you have the right support. Remember to call on your real estate and lender representatives before venturing into your next move.

Sweet Dreams

Most of us are sleep deprived and overstressed. If you consider yourself to be among this majority, keep on reading. Below are some words of advice on how to turn your bedroom into an oasis of relaxation and get a better night's sleep so you can take on tomorrow with more energy.

Hit the Sheets - Did you know that synthetic and "wrinkle-free" sheets are chemically treated, typically with formaldehyde? Exposure to these chemicals can cause rashes, respiratory problems and insomnia. Opt instead for natural fabrics like cotton, linen and silk as they breathe better and are more comfortable.

Consider thread count – the number of threads per square inch of fabric. The higher the count, the softer the sheets; quality sheets begin at about 200.

Breathe Easy - Indoor air pollution can actually be worse than outdoor air pollution (in part due to the toxicity of synthetic materials such as polyester sheets) and it can reduce the quality of your sleep and cause breathing disruptions. Pick up a good air purifier – one with a HEPA (High Efficiency Particulate Air) filter – and keep it in your bedroom. Look for its CADR, or Clean Air Delivery Rate – the higher the number, the better it will work.

Go Low-Tech - If it doesn't contribute to a sense of calm, it doesn't belong in your bedroom. That means the computer, smart phone, and TV should go. Studies have suggested that staring at the bright screens of electronic devices before bedtime can disrupt your sleeping cycle and suppress melatonin, which promotes sleep. The exercise equipment needs to go, too – anything that serves as a distraction shouldn't be welcome in the bedroom.

Clear the Clutter - It's hard to relax in a messy room – every out-of-place item is like a reminder you should be cleaning up, leaving you feeling guilty instead of relaxed. Rid your bedroom of everything you don't need there (like the TV), and take advantage of storage space: nightstands with doors/ drawers, under-bed containers, a storage bench or ottoman at the foot of your bed. Install a closet-organizing system – and keep the closet door closed.

Consider Colour - Shades of red, orange, and yellow are fine as accents, but you probably shouldn't use them to paint your bedroom walls; they're activating colours – just what you don't want where relaxation is the goal. Passive colours are key: greens bring a sense of balance and refreshment; blues lend bedrooms a sense of coolness and tranquility; purples create a reflective, dreamy atmosphere. Neutral tones also work well in bedrooms.

Left in the Dark - Light tells your brain it's time to be awake (which is why going to bed with the TV on isn't a good idea). Consider blocking out light with heavy drapes, or blackout curtains or blinds. In addition to task lighting for activities like reading, your bedroom should have soft ambient lighting – small table lambs (with softer or coloured bulbs), sconces, dimmer switches, or candles.

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Good Debt vs. Bad Debt

Not all debt is created equal - and not all debt is bad. In fact, you need some debt to establish a good credit rating. Being a responsible borrower means knowing which types of debt can help you reach your financial goals and which types leave you further behind. So how do you distinguish between debt that's good and maybe not so good?  Good debt includes any investment or purchase that helps improve your overall financial position:

Mortgage loans. We are benefiting from historically low mortgage rates, and over the long term, property has gained in value. You also build equity as you pay down your mortgage. This combination of low mortgage rates and increasing home equity creates smart debt.

Investments. Certain investments generate income and capital gains. Often, the interest expense on money borrowed for investments is tax deductible. Borrowing money to maximize your RRSP contributions is also good debt, since you're investing in your future and benefiting from tax sheltered investment growth.

Bad debt involves purchases where the value becomes lower than the original cost, and which can carry a high rate of interest, making them harder to pay off:

Credit cards. Though you need to activate and use at least one credit card to generate credit history, irresponsible use can get you deep into debt. If you usually carry a balance on your card and make only the minimum payment each month, you'll end up paying significantly more in the long run.

Buying a new vehicle. Before you start shopping for new wheels, keep in mind that cars start depreciating in value as soon as you drive them off the lot. Try not to buy more car than you need!

Deferred purchases. Be wary of advertisements for big purchases like furniture or home electronics at places where you "do not pay until 2015!" Sellers add financing charges to the cost of these items, and you could also be slapped with a steep interest rate until the item is paid off.

Preventing or reducing credit card or other bad debt may seem overwhelming at first, but it is manageable. Avoid cash advances, since these carry high interest penalties; use your debit card or cash instead. Only use your credit card to buy what you can afford, and pay off the balance in full each month. If you're still unsure about your debt situation, set up a meeting with your mortgage broker. He or she can take you through your finances and advise you how you can use your home equity to trade bad debt for smart debt, and give you some financial breathing room. The right refinancing package can help put an end to the monthly squeeze of too much credit card debt or too many loans, and help you get back into your financial comfort zone

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

5 Year Mortgage Rate - 2.99%

Take Advantage and be part of History! Yes the lowest 5 year ever in History!
Limited Time Offer

Term      Rate       Max Am.      Max Prepayment
5 yr     2.99%      30yrs                20 + 20

This Mortgage is fully portable, assumable, and fully open with only 3 months interest or IRD penalty!!

This rate definitely won’t last long, so give me a call ASAP!!!

*Rate available for new business ONLY! 60-day max rate hold, not available for per-approvals

**O.A.C. Rates subject to change without notice

Call me today as this is a limited time offer.

Victor Peca

Monday, January 16, 2012

MI- Rate Watch - This edition of Rate-Watch - Understanding your credit report and credit score – Part 2

This edition of Rate-Watch has our latest, best national rates for Canadian mortgages. You may qualify for even better discounts or regional specials, so be sure to contact us to learn about all your rate options.
In This Issue
  • Our Best Rates
  • Understanding your credit report and credit score – Part 2
Our Best Rates

Posted Rates
Our Rates
Rates are subject to change without notice. *OAC E&OE

Other Rates:

Variable Rate Mortgage: Prime - 0.10
Lower rates may be available in certain regions, or to those with higher credit scores or higher net worth – be sure to check with us for full details.    
Rates are subject to change without notice.  Fixed mortgage rates shown in table above and quoted variable mortgage rates are available nationally to qualified individuals.
Your Credit

Understanding your credit report and credit score – Part 2
Last week, I noted that people with a lower credit score can find themselves paying a higher interest rate, or even denied access to certain types of loans. The good news is that by taking a few basic precautions, prospective borrowers can protect their credit report and credit score, and increase their access to better rates and a better choice of mortgage products.   
Here are a number of steps that you can take to keep your credit report and credit score healthy: 
  • Pay your debts on time – always meet due dates.    
  • Don't max out your credit cards – use only up to 50% of a card's credit limit.
  • Borrow only the amount you can afford to repay.
  • Check your credit report for mistakes.  You can obtain a copy of your credit file free from Equifax (1-800-465-7166) and Trans Union (1-800-663-9980).  These free reports will not contain a credit score and it's a good idea to get both reports.  You can order more comprehensive reports including your credit score online from these companies, for a fee. 
I can advise you on the ins and outs of improving your credit score over time.  For those with bruised credit, as your good credit history is established, in due course your borrowing options will increase. 

Victor Peca
Mortgage Broker
Mobile: 4168884934
Fax: 18668438311

Visit Website




There's a good reason why Mortgage Intelligence is Canada's premier mortgage brokerage: we make getting the right mortgage easy.

At Mortgage Intelligence, we negotiate with a full range of Canadian financial institutions to make sure you have access to more mortgage products with extremely competitive rates.

We're the Intelligent way to:

Buy a residence

Invest in a vacation home or income property

Renew or refinance your mortgage

Consolidate your debts

And more

Mortgage Intelligence, Inc. 600 - 5770 Hurontario St., Mississauga, ON L5R 3G5

I RESOLVE... to clear these holiday bills and start building wealth

Most Canadians suffer with their highest personal debt load in January, when the "holiday hit" arrives and your credit card statements let you know just how much you spent on the festive season. It's especially hard if you already had a burgeoning debt load before the holidays.

This year, make the best New Year's resolution ever: resolve to clear that debt, and start building wealth. With the right plan in place, this year could be the beginning of a strong new financial life. Start now, and every month you could be seeing the difference: a boost to your monthly cash flow, one easy payment, faster debt paydown, and potentially thousands of dollars in interest savings.

It's not about borrowing more: it's about restructuring your debt to save interest and pay down faster. Your debts could be standing in the way of your financial security. Add up the interest you're paying on all your bills this month. Then talk to us about how you can slash that.

We can show you how to use your home equity to consolidate your high-
interest debt into a new or existing mortgage. In almost every case, you're better off rolling large amounts of high-interest debt into a mortgage. Why? Because we are benefiting from mortgage rates that continue to be among the lowest in decades.  Just compare mortgage rates with what you're paying on your credit cards and other debts. 

First we'll do an assessment of your situation.  Here's an example - mortgage, car loan and credit cards total $225,000. Roll that debt into a new $233,000 mortgage, including a fee to break the existing mortgage, and look at the payoff: 



Monthly Payments*
Monthly Payments*
Car Loan
All Credit Cards


*4.5% current mortgage, 3.6% new mortgage, 25 year am. Credit cards 19.5% and car loan 7%, both at 5 year am. OAC. Subject to change. For illustration purposes only.

That's $943 less each month! Now decide how to use that $943. If you put $500 into your mortgage payment, you'll reduce your amortization from 25 years to 15. Or you could invest in RRSPs or RESPs and reap some tax benefits. Consider putting some funds aside each month into a
"December" fund - so you never have the financial pain of the "holiday hit" again!

It's a new year. Make it the start of a new financial life.

We'd love to help you crunch some numbers to see what kind of life you could be living, something to really celebrate about next New Year's Eve!