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Mortgage Maturity

April 03, 2014 | Posted by Nathan Zacharias | Tagged in

As one of the biggest loans you might ever enter into in your lifetime it’s always recommended to revaluate your mortgage on an annual basis just like the rest of your personal finances, however, at the very least you should have a strong look at your mortgage terms before signing the renewal that your current lender offers you.

If for no other reason you want to ensure you are getting yourself the best mortgage rate and terms available for your situation. Even a quick phone call to you mortgage broker can help you determine if the mortgage renewal offer is in line with current products and rates on the open market. Remember that 1/4% on your outstanding mortgage balance can make a large difference over time and for that reason a quick phone call is well worth your time!.

What to Consider?

  • How long will you remain in this home? If it is not for the foreseeable future then you should maybe consider an open mortgage term, or a 1 – 3 year mortgage term to avoid future costs related to payout penalties
  • Do you have debt at a higher interest rate than your current options for your mortgage? If so you may want to consider using the equity in your home to pay your high interest rate debts to zero
  • What is the rate of return on your investments? If they are not doing so well you may want a flexible mortgage so you can focus your efforts on paying down your mortgage in lieu of investing activities
  • Expecting some big contracts or bonuses over the next few years? If so you should make sure you have a mortgage product that allows you to make large lump sum payments without penalty
  • Maybe you would like a line of credit secured against your home for emergencies, or to employ such investing strategies as the Smith Maneuver

Depending on what you decide to do with your mortgage on your maturity date the lingo used to describe the transaction can change. Most commonly changes made to an existing mortgage at the end of the mortgage term that are placed with a new lender are referred to as either a Transfer or a Refinance.  If you increase the size of the mortgage to extract the equity in your home then you might call it an Equity-Take-Out Mortgage

In any event, as your current mortgage term comes up for renewal you should consider both your current and future needs and whether or not your mortgage options can help you achieve your goals more easily.

Costs Involved?

Transfer – If you simply transfer your mortgage from one lender to another for a better rate and/or terms and do not increase the mortgage amount this usually does not involve any significant costs at all, and in actuality the transfer is usually done because of cost savings over time via interest rate and/or other terms. The new lender usually pays for an appraisal if required, and for any costs involved at land titles.

Equity-Take-Out – Since the new mortgage amount is larger than the original amount that was registered on your certificate of title, the new mortgage will have to be registered at land titles for the new amount of the mortgage to ensure the lender is protected for the new funds that are advanced. Because of the process involved there will be some legal fees, and likely an appraisal required and costs for this vary from company to company so you can look around, but you always want to ensure that both are on the lenders approved list before you proceed.

The most important thing for you to do before your maturity date is to ensure you check into your options, and NEVER blindly sign a mortgage renewal offer without doing some homework first!