13 Jun

Renewal – are you considering moving from you current variable rate to a fixed rate?


Posted by: Nicole Crichton

Renewal – are you considering moving from your current variable rate to a rixed Rate?


After a few years of higher rates, some borrowers who were in a variable may consider moving to a fixed rate at renewal because they feel it is a more stable option for them.

Here are some benefits of making this switch:

Stability in Payments

With a fixed-rate mortgage, your monthly payments stay the same throughout the life of the loan. This consistency makes budgeting easier and can protect you from potential interest rate hikes that could increase your payments with a variable-rate mortgage.

Protection Against Interest Rate Increases

Switching to a fixed-rate mortgage ensures you are protected from rising interest rates. If market rates go up, your mortgage rate and monthly payments remain unchanged, providing financial security and peace of mind.

Long-Term Planning

Fixed-rate mortgages are great for long-term planning and financial stability. You can predict your housing expenses over the entire loan term and this makes it easier to manage your overall budget and achieve your financial goals.

Risk Management

Locking in a fixed interest rate reduces the risk of future interest rate hikes, and as such provides financial protection and reduces uncertainty.

Potential Savings

In some economic environments, fixed-rate mortgages might offer lower interest rates compared to variable-rate mortgages.  No one can predict the future of rates, so you will never know up front which option will end up saving you the most money over the term and life of your mortgage. You are making the best choice based on the information you have and your current goals.

Easier Financial Planning

Fixed-rate mortgages simplify financial planning. You won’t need to anticipate and adapt to changes in interest rates, allowing you to confidently plan for other financial goals and expenditures without the worry of fluctuating mortgage payments.

Overall, moving from a variable-rate to a fixed-rate mortgage offers stability, protection, and peace of mind. It’s an option for homeowners, especially those seeking long-term financial security.

The best advice is always to discuss your goals and options with your mortgage broker.  There is no one size fits all mortgage type.

Nicole Crichton

22 Jan

Unlock the Full Potential of Your Mortgage Renewal


Posted by: Nicole Crichton


Unlock the Full Potential of Your Mortgage Renewal

As your mortgage renewal approaches, let’s use this opportunity to explore a realm of possibilities that could significantly enhance your financial well-being in 2024. Delve into the benefits that renewing your mortgage can offer, and let me help you navigate the available options.

Ensure You Are Receiving Lower Rates as they Decrease

In 2024 the market is anticipating a decline in interest rates.  Ensure you explore all your options and don’t just sign the renewal notice your current lender sends you.  I can help you shop around and potentially secure a more advantageous rate without disrupting your existing mortgage.  If rates decrease between when we secure a rate for you and your renewal date, I’ll ensure you get the lower rate.

Consolidate Your Debts Wisely

Consider your mortgage renewal as a strategic juncture to evaluate your outstanding debts and contemplate consolidation. Whether it’s holiday credit card balances, car loans, or educational expenses, merging these debts into your mortgage can simplify your financial landscape. With mortgage interest rates typically lower than those charged by credit card companies, this consolidation not only streamlines payments but may also lead to significant savings.

Home Projects

Unleash the potential of your home equity during the renewal process to complete long-awaited home renovations. Whether it’s transforming your kitchen, updating your bathroom, or even acquiring a vacation property, your renewed mortgage can serve as a valuable resource for realizing your aspirations. Renewal can be an excellent chance to turn your dreams into reality.

Optimize Your Mortgage Product

Evaluate your current mortgage product and its alignment with your financial objectives. If you find your variable-rate or adjustable-rate mortgage too volatile, consider locking in a more stable option. Conversely, if you believe variable rates suit your needs better,  this can be the opportunity to switch during your renewal. Tailor your payment structure and amortization schedule to expedite mortgage repayment and align with your evolving financial goals.

Explore Lender Options

If dissatisfaction looms with your current lender, your mortgage renewal is the perfect juncture to explore alternative options. Different financial institutions may offer lower rates or mortgage products better suited to your requirements. Switching lenders during renewal ensures your mortgage aligns seamlessly with your evolving needs and aspirations.

Tailored Guidance

As your mortgage approaches renewal, reach out to me and discuss your scenario. I am dedicated to discussing your unique situation, exploring beneficial changes, and helping you achieve financial success in the present and the future.


Nicole C

3 Oct

Fall Market Update


Posted by: Nicole Crichton


As you may have heard,The Bank of Canada opted to maintain its policy rate at 5% as of September. The recent rate hikes over the spring and summer have slowed the housing and mortgage markets as potential buyers were unsurprisingly spooked by the rise in mortgage rates. More recently, fixed-rate loans have become more expensive because of the rise in longer-term interest rates. As a result, housing affordability became a bigger hurdle and led to a slight decrease in home prices by 6% in major markets over the summer.

With The Bank of Canada currently maintaining the 5% policy rate, many hope this will be the peak in overnight rate changes. If so, homeowners and potential buyers will be granted some breathing room. We will find out more with their upcoming announcement on October 25th.

As we turn the corner into Fall and start looking ahead to the coming year, analysts are forecasting stronger housing markets. The expectation is that The Bank of Canada will gradually cut interest rates by mid-year, allowing potential buyers to better navigate their affordability.

As the supply shortage continues, new listings are likely to rise and provide much-need inventory. As we move into 2024 and start to see interest rates decrease, motivated sellers will move off the sidelines and housing demand is expected to be resilient.

For anyone who is thinking about purchasing this season, it is important to get pre-approved to guarantee your interest rate for 90-120 days while you shop the market. This way, you will avoid being impacted by potential rate changes and can properly estimate your budget for mortgage costs. Plus, pre-approval will indicate to the seller that you will not have issues obtaining financing (assuming nothing changes between now and the purchase with your job, savings, etc.), which is key during the current economic landscape.

To help you make the best decision possible, download the My Mortgage Toolbox app to determine what you can afford, and what your mortgage would look like at various interest rate levels.

You can also reach out to a DLC Mortgage Expert today for unbiased advice if you have any concerns, questions or just want to get started on your pre-approval!


Published by DLC Marketing Team

September 26, 2023

17 Aug

Choosing Your Ideal Payment Frequency.


Posted by: Nicole Crichton

Your payment schedule is the frequency that you make mortgage payments and ranges from monthly to bi-monthly, bi-weekly, accelerated bi-weekly or even weekly payments. Below is a quick overview of what each of these payment frequencies mean:

Monthly Payments: A monthly payment is simply a single large payment, paid once per month; this is the default that sets your amortization. A 25-year mortgage, paid monthly, will take 25 years to pay off but includes the added burden of one larger payment coming from one employment pay period. With this payment frequency, you make 12 payments per year.

Example: $750k mortgage, 3-year fixed rate, 5.34%, 30-year amortization you would have a monthly payment of $4,156.19. No term savings; no amortization savings.

Bi-Weekly Payments: A bi-weekly mortgage payment is a total of 26 payments per year, calculated by multiplying your monthly mortgage payment by 12 months and divided by the 26 pay periods.

Example: $750k mortgage, 3-year fixed rate, 5.34%, 30-year amortization you would have a bi-weekly payment of $1,915.98 with term savings of $177 and total amortization savings of $1,769.

Accelerated Bi-Weekly Payments: An accelerated bi-weekly mortgage payment is also 26 payments per year, but the payment amount is higher than a regular bi-weekly payment frequency. Opting for an accelerated bi-weekly payment will not only pay your mortgage off quicker, but it’s guaranteed to save you a significant amount of money over the term of your mortgage. This frequency also allows the mortgage payment to be split up into smaller payments vs a single, larger payment per month. This is especially ideal for households who get paid every two weeks as the reduction in cash flow is more on track with incoming income.

Example: $750k mortgage, 3-year fixed rate, 5.34%, 30-year amortization you would have accelerated bi-weekly payments of $2,078.10 with term savings of $1,217 and total amortization savings of $145,184. Plus, you would save 4 years, 12 months of payments by reducing scheduled amortization.

Weekly Payments: Similar to monthly payments, your weekly mortgage payment frequency is calculated by multiplying your monthly mortgage payment by 12 months and dividing by 52 weeks in a year. In this case, you would make 52 payments a year on your mortgage.

Example: $750k mortgage, 3-year fixed rate, 5.34%, 30-year amortization you would have weekly payments of $957.50 with term savings of $253 and total amortization savings of $2,526. You can move to accelerated weekly payments to save even more!

Prepayment Privileges: In addition to fine-tuning your payment schedule, most mortgage products include prepayment privileges that enable you to pay up to 20% of the principal (the true value of your mortgage minus the interest payments) per calendar year. This can help reduce your amortization period (the length of your mortgage).

By exercising your prepayment privileges, you can take time off your mortgage. For instance:

Extra $50 bi-weekly is $32,883 total savings and an additional 1 year, 2 months time saved
Extra $100 bi-weekly is $62,100 in total savings and an additional 2 years, 3 months time saved on your mortgage
Extra $200 bi-weekly is $111,850 in total savings and an additional 4 years, 1 month of time saved on your mortgage.
Understanding the different payment frequencies can be key in managing your monthly cash flow. If you’re struggling to meet a large payment, breaking it up can be effective; while the same can be true of the opposite. Individuals struggling to make a weekly or bi-weekly payment, may benefit from one monthly sum where they have time to collect the funds.

Contact a Dominion Lending Centres mortgage expert for more information or download our My Mortgage Toolbox app from Google Play or the Apple Store and check out the different payment calculators!

Published by DLC Marketing Team
Aug 15, 2023

19 Jul

Strata Insurance: The Importance of Deductible Coverage.


Posted by: Nicole Crichton

Strata insurance has been steadily rising across Canada, but many homeowners are unaware of changes to their policies. In some areas, deductibles are doubling (or even tripling!), which can result in extremely high costs if you are not updating your individual policy.

To ensure that you remain up-to-date with your strata insurance policies, it is vital that homeowners living within a strata building check with their strata management for a copy of the most recent insurance policy. While it is good to check over the entire policy, a few key areas to review are your deductibles and comparing your coverage with your individual homeowner policy to ensure all gaps are filled.

Unfortunately, many homeowners within strata buildings do not realize the importance of having individual coverage. Typically, strata insurance covers the building itself. This means that, in the event of an accident, such as a fire or flood, the building can be re-established. Unfortunately many homeowners think this is enough coverage, but it is equally important to ensure that you have your own individual homeowners insurance policy.

The purpose of an individual policy is to help to protect the contents of your apartment, townhouse or condo in the event of an accident. This means that any upgrades you made to your unit would be covered, as well as your belongings. More importantly, however, is these policies also serve to fill in the cost gap relating to the strata building deductible.

Historically, deductibles in strata managed buildings averaged $25,000. This means that, in the event of an accident (flooding, fire, etc.), you would need to pay $25,000 upfront to have the repairs made. However, as the costs of strata insurance increases across the country, these deductibles are changing.

For many homeowners, there has been no change to the insurance cost or strata fees, leaving them unaware of any adjustments to their policy. Instead, the changes are being made directly to the deductible to cover the increased costs. In fact, in some cases the deductibles are doubling or even tripling, leaving homeowners with a hefty bill in the case of insurance coverage. Instead of having a $25,000 deductible, many homeowners are seeing this increase up to $250,000.

With so many increases to various fees and changes to policies within strata organizations, it has become even more important to maintain vigilance and be aware of any changes to your strata policies. Typically, these are shared with homeowners via meeting minutes and e-mails which every homeowner in a strata building should have access to.

If you receive any updates from your strata management, you must be sure to review them. Always take your strata and individual policy to an insurance agent to ensure you are aware of your coverage and that your individual homeowner’s policy is working in your favour. Investment property owners especially need to check their existing deductible against the updated deductible and insurance policies to avoid any future issues.


Published by DLC Marketing Team

21 Apr

5 Steps to Getting a Mortgage


Posted by: Nicole Crichton


While the mortgage process can be daunting, here it is broken down into 5 easy steps to help you get started!  I’m always there to help guide you every step of the way so that is even easier to make your dreams of home ownership happen.

  1. Options: As a mortgage professional I have access to 90+ lenders with dozens of solutions to suit your mortgage needs. During our initial consultation, I will review your situation and provide an overview of mortgage options that are best suited to your needs. From there, we work together to complete your mortgage application and obtain financing.
  2. Collection: When it comes to a mortgage application, you’re required to submit the following items to the lender: credit report, agreement of purchase and sale(or estimated mortgage amount if you are refinancing), proof of income/employment, down payment amount, identification and solicitor information. I’m able to assist you with preparing, gathering and sending this documentation in.
  3. Submission: As a mortgage professional, I will submit your mortgage application to the appropriate lender with the mortgage product that best suits your needs. As I work with dozens of lenders from banks to credit unions to trusts and private options, I can put their negotiating power to work for you to get you the best mortgage product.
  4. Approval: Once you have been approved for your mortgage, you will be required to sign. From there, you will obtain approval documents including: payment details, mortgage terms and privileges, pre-funding conditions (if they apply).
  5. Closing: This is the final step to homeownership where your signed documents are submitted to the lender with all supporting information. From there, the lender will review and approve the final documents and send their instruction package to your lawyer. When you meet with your lawyer, they will require final identification and signatures, and review your closing costs.  It is on the closing day that the mortgage funds will be transferred to your lawyer to close the sale.

If you are looking to purchase your first home, or a new home, in the coming months, reach out for the advice and expertise to ensure you get the best mortgage product for YOU.


DLC Marketing Team

28 Mar

What is the First Time Homebuyer Incentive?


Posted by: Nicole Crichton

What is the First Time Homebuyer Incentive?

The first-time homebuyer incentive program is a shared-equity mortgage with the Canadian government that helps qualified first-time buyers reduce their monthly mortgage payments to better afford a home!

The Incentive: This program allows you to obtain an incentive from the government to assist with your down payment, thereby lowering your overall mortgage amount and, in turn, your monthly mortgage costs.

  • 5% or 10% for a first-time buyer’s purchase of a newly constructed home
  • 5% for a first-time buyer’s purchase of a resale (existing) home
  • 5% for a first-time buyer’s purchase of a new or resale mobile/manufactured home

Qualifying for the Incentive: This program is designed to assist first-time homebuyers, therefore you must:

  • Have never purchased a home before
  • Have not occupied a home that you, your current spouse or common-law partner owned in the last 4 years
  • Have recently experienced a breakdown of marriage or common-law partnership

If you meet the above criteria, further qualifications are based on your income and status as follows:

  • Your total qualifying income is no more than $120,000 ($150,000 for homes in Toronto, Vancouver, or Victoria)
  • Your total borrowing is less than four times your qualifying income (four and a half times your income if you’re purchasing in Toronto, Vancouver or Victoria)
  • You are a Canadian citizen, permanent resident or non-permanent resident authorized to work in Canada
  • You meet the minimum down payment requirements

Additional Costs: With the incentive, there are a few additional costs to be aware of such as additional legal fees (your lawyer is closing two mortgages, the one on your behalf and that on the Government’s behalf), appraisal fees to determine the repayment value of your home when it comes due, plus other potential fees such as refinancing or switching costs if you decide to move or update your mortgage.

Repayment Process: When it comes to repayment of the incentive, the homebuyer is required to pay back after 25 years or when the property is sold, whichever comes first. They are also able to repay anytime prior to this without penalty. The repayment is based on fair market value at the time of repayment and you would pay back what you received. For instance, if you received a 5% incentive, you would repay 5% of the current home value at the time of repayment.

Keep in mind, if you choose to port your mortgage or go through a separation during the term and want to buy out your co-borrower, you will have to repay the incentive sooner.

To learn more about the First Time Homebuyer Incentive and contact a DLC Mortgage Expert today to get started on your home buying journey!

Click Here

Published by DLC Marketing Team

March 28, 2023

1 Mar

Mortgages and Corporations


Posted by: Nicole Crichton

Mortgages and Corporations.

If you are a self-employed client who owns your own business, you may have chosen to set that business up as a corporation. This means the business operates as essentially its own person. They have income through business revenue and expenses from marketing costs, materials, office space, etc.

When it comes to getting a mortgage, there are a few benefits to putting that mortgage under the corporation instead of your individual self:

  1. Corporations tend to pay a lower tax rate than the personal income tax rate and only pay taxes on the net business income.
  2. When it comes to qualifying for a mortgage, a lender can look at the business income or the personal income they pay themselves.
  3. Adding the net business income or the personal income from year 1 and year 2 and dividing it by two is the income a lender will associate with that borrower. Keep in mind though this will also be affected if there is more than one shareholder.

There are two ways one can go about this type of corporate mortgage, depending on if the corporation is the operating company or acts as the holding company.

Mortgages and Operating Companies

As with any mortgage, there are considerations and more-so when looking to put your mortgage under your corporate umbrella. While you would essentially qualify as though you’re buying a property in your name, your application will be packaged much differently to the lender. You would be instead qualifying as a corporation with a personal guarantee from yourself.

It is also possible to do a mortgage deal under your personal name but utilize both personal and corporate income. Lenders can do this by looking at both personal T1 generals and respective NOA, plus you can qualify by looking at the Net Business Income before taxes as seen on company financials.

When it comes to getting a mortgage under an operating company (versus a holding company), you may encounter limitations with the lenders that provide this type of deal. You would be looking at an Alt A (B Lender) to finance this particular mortgage, which may come with higher interest rates.

Mortgages and Holding Companies

When it comes to getting a mortgage under a holding company, you will find things are a bit easier. Having a mortgage under a holding company, versus the operating company, essentially removes any limitations or liability from the operating company with regards to the mortgage.

However, to be eligible, you must meet the definition of a Personal Holding Company (PHC) or Personal Investment Company (PIC) per the bank. This is typically considered “a Canadian incorporated entity established by an individual or individuals for the purpose of conducting investment activities, which can include holding real estate, and/or investments. Personal Holding or Investment Companies, and the owner of the PHC or PIC must qualify personally, and sign as covenantor”.

Some additional reasons to consider a mortgage under a corporation or holding company include:

  1. If your intent is to flip properties rather than hold them as rental revenue, it might make sense to consider holding it through a corporation
  2. You have retained corporate profit that can be used to buy a property without withdrawing money personally and incurring personal tax.

The most important thing to note when going this route for a mortgage is that ALL DIRECTORS listed on the corporation MUST also be listed on the mortgage application. For a sole proprietorship, this is easy as there is typically only one director, however on larger corporations this is something to consider.

For some individuals, the benefits might not be enough to convince them to put their property under the corporation but for others, it may be the perfect solution.

To find out how your income would be viewed by a lender if you have your business set-up as a corporation, contact a Dominion Lending Centres mortgage expert.



Published by DLC Marketing Team

1 Feb

4 Key Things to Know about a Second Mortgage


Posted by: Nicole Crichton

A second mortgage is a mortgage that is taken out against a property that already has a home loan (mortgage) on it. Generally people take out second mortgages to satisfy short-term cash or liquidity requirements, have an investment opportunity or to pay off higher-interest debts (such as credit cards and student loans) that a second mortgage might offer.

If you are considering a second mortgage for any reason, here are a few key points to keep in mind:

Second Mortgages and Home Equity: Your second mortgage and what you can qualify for hinges on the equity that you have built up in your home. Second mortgages allow you to access between 80 and 95 percent of your home equity, depending on your qualifications.

For example, if you seeking 95% Loan-to-Value loan (“LTV”):

House Value = $850,000
95% LTV (maximum mortgage amount) $807,500
less: First Mortgage ($550,000)
Amount Available Through Second Mortgage $257,500

Second Mortgages and Interest Rates: When it comes to a second mortgage, these are typically higher risk loans for lenders. As a result, most second mortgages will have a higher interest rate than a typical home loan. There is also the option of working with alternative and private lenders depending on your situation and financial standing.

Second Mortgage Payments: One advantage when it comes to a second mortgage is that they have attractive payment factors. For instance, you can opt for interest-only payments, or you can select to pay the interest plus the principal loan amount. Work with your mortgage broker to discuss options and what would work best for your situation.

Second Mortgage Additional Fees: A second mortgage often comes with additional fees that you should be aware of before going into the transaction. These fees can vary widely but often are a percentage of the mortgage. Other fees to consider include appraisal fees, legal fees to set up the second mortgage and any lender or broker administration fees (particularly with alternative or private lenders).

Second mortgages are a great option for many homeowners and, in some cases, may be a better solution than a refinance or a Home Equity Loan (HELOC). If you are interested in learning more or want to find out if a second mortgage is right for you, don’t hesitate to reach out to me today.


Published by DLC Marketing Team

24 Jan

Recession Proofing Your Finances


Posted by: Nicole Crichton

Recession Proofing Your Finances.
The latest news has been focused on rising interest rates, surging inflation, and economic uncertainty with suggestions that the Canadian economy could be tripped into recession.

With all this information circulating, now is a good time to discuss ways to adapt your finances and protect your future. Fortunately, there are a few key things you can do to get started today!

Set a budget and reduce monthly expenses and overall debt by including the following:
Review your income and expenses and identify areas for reduction – such as getting a cheaper cell phone plan, reducing streaming service subscriptions, reviewing transport costs, etc.
Make a list of your current high-interest loans (such as credit card balances). If your mortgage is up for renewal, you may be able to benefit by consolidating debt into your mortgage to save on interest and free up cash flow with one payment. Refinancing your mortgage before the renewal is also an option, but a review of the penalty cost versus your debt consolidation goal should be considered. As your mortgage professional, I can assist you with this analysis.
Allot a percentage of your income towards savings such as an emergency fund. Your goal should be to have the equivalent of 3 to 6 months of earnings in this fund to provide breathing room should you lose your job or face any unexpected expenses. Another form of emergency funds could also be a line-of-credit. Once set-up, these generally have no cost to you unless you use it in the event of an emergency.
Having a healthy and realistic budget will give you peace of mind and allow you to properly allocate your monthly cash flow between debt, expenses, and savings.

Evaluate your investment portfolio:
While you will want to avoid making any knee-jerk reactions, it maybe a good time to diversify your portfolio to help reduce risk. Consider rerouting your investment to real estate or other areas to ensure you have various sources of income and always talk to an expert.
Find additional income sources!
Many people have found innovative ways to increase their income by asking the following three questions:
Are you a fit for a potential promotion?
Do you have a review coming up?
Do you have transferable skills that you can apply to consulting or additional contract work?
One final reminder – don’t panic. I know the word “recession” can be stressful but understanding what is happening and making appropriate adjustments will help you stay financially secure.

If you have any additional questions, don’t hesitate to reach out to a Dominion Lending Centres mortgage expert. We would be happy to chat with you anytime about the impact on your mortgage, or how to make changes for the long-term.

Published by DLC Marketing Team