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Your Guide to Getting the Best Mortgage Rates in Calgary
Calgary sits in the sunny eastern foothills of Canada’s Rocky Mountains, where the Bow and Elbow rivers meet. It’s the major urban centre for the entire southern half of the province of Alberta, and is surrounded by an area of profound beauty with an unspoiled, resource-rich natural environment. With a population of 1,635,000 quality of life is high and housing abundant.
Calgary, a cosmopolitan city with numerous skyscrapers, owes its rapid growth to its status as the centre of Canada’s oil industry. It’s still, however, steeped in the western culture that earned it the nickname “Cowtown,” evident in the Calgary Stampede, its massive July rodeo and festival that grew out of the farming exhibitions once presented there.
About the Calgary Housing Market
Calgary Real Estate Board (CREB) statistics report a year-over-year increase in sales of 4.35% in the first quarter of 2020, setting the Calgary housing market up for the best first quarter in years. Not surprising, however, the spread and implications of COVID-19 derailed some of this optimism. The average price of a home in Calgary was $466,357 in July 2020 – up 3% from the same month of 2019 when the combined price of single-family, condos and attached homes were recorded at $452,805.
Calgary Mortgage Brokers
Looking to buy in Calgary? It’s best to speak to someone who understands the market to help you navigate mortgage rates in this city. Don’t hesitate to submit an application online and one of our advisors will be happy to help you find the best product for your needs.
What are the Different Types of Mortgages?
Open VS Closed Mortgage
With an open mortgage, you’re able to prepay any amount of your mortgage at any time without facing a prepayment penalty. The compromise for having an open mortgage is that interest rates are higher to make up for the flexibility of being able to pay it off at any time.
With a closed mortgage, on the other hand, the interest rate is more attractive than a closed mortgage because you’re limited by how much extra you can pay towards your mortgage each year. So, the compromise here is that you’ll face a prepayment limit. This means that you’re only permitted to pay a certain percentage of your original or current balance per year – often 15%, on average, but this varies between lenders. If you have the choice, be sure to always opt for the original balance prepayment option as it will enable you to pay off more in a year. And if you choose to pay more than your annual limit, you’ll receive a prepayment penalty. It’s important, therefore, to be aware of your limits and stay within them.
Fixed-rate mortgages make up 70% of all mortgages in Canada. A fixed-rate mortgage keeps your interest rate steady over the term of your mortgage (1-10 years). There’s no doubt that the five-year fixed-rate mortgage is the most common choice selected by Canadian homeowners. But, this isn’t the best option for everyone, regardless of its popularity. Fixed-rate mortgages appeal to homebuyers who are looking for a dependable payment schedule, manage a tight monthly budget or are generally more conservative. For instance, Millennials with large mortgages relative to their income may be better off opting for the peace of mind provided by a fixed rate and payments.
Variable interest rate mortgages
A variable interest rate can increase and decrease during your term. If you choose a variable interest rate, your rate may be lower than if you selected a fixed rate.
There are two types of variable mortgages: a) Variable rates with Fixed payments and b) Variable rates with Adjustable payments
Fixed payments with a variable interest rate
In general, under this option, the payment remains fixed over time despite variations of the interest rate.
If the interest rate goes up, more of your payment goes towards the interest, and less to the principal.
If the interest rate goes down, more of your payment goes towards to the principal. This means, you pay off your mortgage faster.
That being said, if the market interest rates increase to a certain percentage or trigger point, your lender may increase your payments. This payment increase will make sure that you pay off your mortgage by the end of the amortization period. The trigger point is listed in your mortgage contract.
Adjustable payments with a variable interest rate
With adjustable payments, the amount of your payment changes if the interest rate changes. A set amount of each payment applies to the principal. The interest portion changes as the interest rates change. You’ll know in advance how much of the principal you’ll have paid at the end of the term.
What Affects My Mortgage Rate in Calgary?
Factors such as credit score and income play a big part in qualifying for the lowest interest rate in Calgary. The riskier a borrower appears, the higher the interest rate can be. Rate is definitely not the most important aspect of a mortgage, however, as many rock-bottom rates often come from no-frills mortgage products. In other words, even if a borrower qualifies for the lowest rate, they must often give up other features such as prepayments and porting privileges when opting for the lowest-rate product.
There are many other ways to save money over the mortgage term instead of taking the lowest rate, including rounding up mortgage payments or making lumpsum payments when bonuses, etc are received throughout the year. It’s important, however, not to exceed the allowable limit on annual extra payments with your lender.
The size of your down payment will determine whether you must also pay mortgage default insurance in addition to your regular mortgage payments. Mortgage default insurance is required any time you make a down payment that’s less than 20% of the property’s value.
If you select a longer amortization period (the maximum is 25 years on mortgages with less than a 20% down payment and 30 years on mortgages with down payments of 20% or higher), your individual mortgage payment will be lower because they’re spread out over a longer period of time. Longer amortizations can come equipped with higher interest rates. You’ll also pay more interest the longer you take to pay off your mortgage.
If you’re buying a home that you personally intend to live in, this is considered your primary residence and is known as owner occupied. If you’re buying an investment property that you intend to rent to others, you’ll pay higher interest rates than on your primary residence. The logic behind this is that people will pay the mortgage on their primary residence before any rental properties. As such, lenders build added risk into the rates for rental properties.
The type of mortgage you select – such as variable vs fixed and open vs closed – will play a role in your mortgage rate. Each selection is a personal choice based on a number of factors.
When looking at open vs closed mortgages, for instance, it’s important to note that open mortgages are priced higher because of the flexibility they offer to pay the mortgage off at any time without facing a penalty.
And while variable mortgages have proven to be more cost effective over time than fixed mortgages, some people prefer the certainty of having the same payment throughout the mortgage term as is the case with fixed mortgages.
Your Credit Score
The ideal candidate for a traditional mortgage lender has a credit score that’s 680 and above. The higher the score is above 700 the better – with a maximum score of 900 possible – as borrowers will qualify for the lowest rates. There are options available for people with lower scores as well, but you can expect rates to be higher and terms to be shorter in these circumstances.
How nesto Works
We offer all the help of a mortgage broker, without the commission. Simply put, our salaried mortgage advisors are rewarded based on your satisfaction. We’re here to help you reach your goal and guide you through the complicated world of home financing. #yesyoucan #empowermentisthenewsexy
Every mortgage professional knows the market’s best rates every time they check their email. Only a few of them will give you that rate without making you work for it. nesto’s here to change the industry for this very reason. You always get the best rate upfront with nesto.
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*Applicable with an accepted offer to purchase or renew. Conditions apply