31 Aug

The Bank of Canada’s Monetary Policy Report and its Impact on You.

Mortgage Tips

Posted by: Tyler Cowle

The Bank of Canada (BoC) released its latest Monetary Policy Report (MPR) last week, and the outlook is optimistic. With the economy re-opening, vaccinations on the rise, and supply chains finding relief from the bottleneck they’ve experienced, the future looks promising.

What impact does the MPR have on you? What are the implications for mortgages? Let’s take a look at some areas of particular interest.


While the economy may be starting to rebound, it hasn’t made a full recovery yet. To get back to pre-pandemic levels will take time, and the road may be winding. For that reason, the bank is maintaining its key policy rate at 0.25%. The historically low rate, which has been in place since the beginning of the pandemic, will only be raised when the economy can bear the weight of higher interest.

The BoC stresses that it takes time for monetary policy actions to affect the economy. They state that policy usually takes six to eight quarters for their full effects to be felt, so it’s always a question of playing the long game.

The MPR forecasts that the economy will grow by around 6% in 2021. This means that while the economy grew at a slow rate during the first half of the year, it’s anticipated that consumers are ready to start spending more, especially with COVID restrictions being lifted to various degrees nationwide.

While employment has been recovering, the rate has not yet returned to its pre-pandemic levels. That factor, coupled with the price of gasoline and the cost of services rising as business return, led the BoC to state that inflation will run at or above 3% through the year. The rate is projected to ease to the bank’s target of 2% in 2022, rising again then settling to the target rate by 2024.

Finally, the central bank currently purchases federal bonds at a rate of about $3 billion per week. These purchases are a means to help lower the rates on mortgages and businesses loans. Because these bonds have a guaranteed return on investment, they provide assurance for the federal government that they can balance their books with lower mortgage rates. That is, they will continue to see a return on investment, even if they aren’t recovering extra money from mortgages. The purchase of bonds will be reduced to $2 billion per week, as economic conditions have improved since the start of the pandemic.


The good news for homebuyers is that with the Bank of Canada’s rate remaining at 0.25%, mortgages will continue to be low for the next while. If you’re looking to get a new mortgage or to refinance your current one, now is a great time to do so. You’ll be able to take advantage of the incredibly low interest rate, securing it for your next term. This is assuming, of course, that you’re able to pass the stress test, if it applies to your purchase.

If you currently hold a variable rate mortgage, it could be time to think about locking in at a fixed rate. While the interest rates will stay low for the next while, they are destined to rise. While this may not happen until 2022, you don’t want to be caught unaware by rising interest.

When interest rates do rise, homeowners will feel the effects across the country. While cities like Toronto and Vancouver already have higher real estate prices, places like Montreal and Halifax are witnessing increasing prices as well. This, coupled with the high demand for real estate brought on by the pandemic, means that home buyers are taking out bigger loans to pay for their homes. When the mortgage rate increases, people who have more costly mortgages will have to pay more in monthly costs. In some cases, the increase in interest might make mortgage payments unendurable.

Be advised: The housing market remains competitive, and with the workforce returning, more individuals could be looking to purchase a home. If you are considering buying a home, take time to carefully calculate what you can afford for a down payment and how much of a mortgage you can handle. Knowing what you can safely afford when all your expenses are taken into account ensures that you only look at properties that are within your reach.


As the rise in interest rates are inevitable, here are a few tips to help you ready yourself for the event.

  • If you are currently paying your mortgage on a monthly schedule, consider changing your payment plan to a bi-weekly one as soon as you can afford to do so. By doing this, you’ll be putting more money towards the principal of your mortgage and less to the interest.
  • Set up a dedicated account and start saving any extra money that you can. Most mortgage contracts allow for a lump-sum payment at certain times. When your time comes, apply any extra money that you have to the principal of your loan. This way, you’ll reduce the principal you have left to pay, in turn lowering the amount of interest you have to pay as well. When the mortgage rates inevitably rise, you won’t feel the effects as much as you would if you had a greater principal remaining.

Remember, the BoC states that policy actions take time, and that policies must be forward looking. When thinking about your mortgage and loans, you should be considering the future as well.

Think of ways to save money on your mortgage both in the present and in the future. Speak with your mortgage broker or lender, as they may have advice about how to lower the cost of your repayments. If you’re in the market for a new home, consider the inevitable rise in interest rates when calculating what you can afford to spend on a home. You don’t want to find yourself in a situation where you’re house poor, or even worse, having to foreclose on your mortgage.

Are you currently paying off a mortgage or looking at getting a new one? Let us know your experiences in the comments.

This is intended to be used as general information only and does not constitute financial advice. Please do your due diligence before making any financial decisions.

Published By FCT

26 Aug

Download my Home Buyers Guide!

Home Buyer

Posted by: Tyler Cowle

My Home Buyers Guide contains everything you need to know about the mortgage process!

It not only explains the mortgage process; but, it also offers planning tips, what to expect and what you will need to have ready, explains the different types of mortgages, lists common costs involved and contains a glossary of common terms!

Simply scan the QR code above to download the guide; or click here!

26 Aug

All About Reverse Mortgages.

Mortgage Tips

Posted by: Tyler Cowle

While there are many different mortgage options out there, there is one type of mortgage available for seniors: a reverse mortgage. This article will be your comprehensive guide to reverse mortgages, what they bring to the table, and how they may be beneficial.

what is a reverse mortgage?

The simplest explanation for this is that it is a type of mortgage loan that is available only to homeowners 55 years old and above. In essence, it lets them convert part of the equity that is in their homes into cash.

Initially, this was a product that was created with the idea of helping retirees with limited income stay in their homes. This is achieved by using the accumulated equity in their homes to cover health care and basic living expenses. When it comes to reverse mortgage proceeds, there is no limitation or restriction on how the proceeds can be used.

It is called a reverse mortgage because instead of making monthly payments to a lender – like a traditional mortgage – the lender makes payments to the borrower.

With this type of mortgage, the borrower isn’t required to pay back the loan until the home is sold, vacated, or everyone on the title passes away. So long as the borrower lives in the home, they are not required to make monthly payments towards the loan balance. However, there is still the matter of remaining current on property taxes, HOA dues where applicable, and homeowners’ insurance.

knowing the basics of reverse mortgages

Knowing the different types of reverse mortgages can be beneficial when it comes to making the selection that fits you best. We will get into each kind in detail. There are a few details, however, that lenders will generally look for. These are:

  • Your age as well as the age of your spouse if they are listed on the title of your house
  • Where you live
  • The condition of your home, its type, and its appraised value

A good rule of thumb to consider is that the older you are and the more equity you have in your home, the more money that you could get. This is, of course, impacted by current market trends, so keep that in mind. You could even use the money from the reverse mortgage to do this.

If there is a remainder left, you can use it for a wide range of things like:

  • help with regular bills
  • cover healthcare expenses
  • pay for home repairs or improvements
  • repay debts

There is a lot of flexibility when it comes to how you spend your loan, making it one of the more versatile options out there.

If you want to learn the plain facts on reverse mortgages, there are a number of great resources available online, including information from the Financial Consumer Agency of Canada.

how to access the money from a reverse mortgage

There are a couple of ways to get access to the money from your loan. This can be achieved by either taking the money in a one-time lump sum, for starters. It can also be taken in an upfront portion with the rest over time.

Generally, it’s good to ask your lender what the options are. There may also be restrictions and fees, so be aware of those as well. You also must pay off and close any outstanding loans or lines of credit tied to the home.

single-purpose reverse mortgage

This is the kind of mortgage that is offered by provincial, local, and nonprofit agencies. Not only that, but it is considered to be the least expensive process. The municipality or agency specifies the reason for this type of mortgage, and that will be its only use.

Homeowners can use the proceeds from this type of mortgage only to pay for a specific lender-approved item. The proceeds can cover property taxes or necessary repairs to the home. Whereas home-equity loan proceeds can be used for any purpose, the lender restricts how single-purpose proceeds can be used.

The difference here is that, with a home equity loan or line of credit, there is a monthly payment. With a single-purpose loan, there is no need for repayment until the home’s ownership changes, the borrower moves to a different residence, or passes away. It can also become due if the homeowners’ insurance on the property lapses or the city condemns the property.

The reason to go with his type of mortgage is that the homeowner can expect to pay far less in interest and fees. This differs greatly from a home equity conversion or proprietary reverse mortgage. While there is no need to make a payment until it is due, fees, interest, and mortgage insurance can reduce the amount that the homeowner can borrow.

pros and cons of a reverse mortgage

After all of that, you may still be wondering whether or not a reverse mortgage is the best idea. Like anything else in life, it comes with its own set of pros and cons involved. This makes it worth considering and looking further into.

Let’s start with the good news first.


This type of mortgage can be a very powerful source of income for older individuals. It can be for those who need to increase their retirement income or take on a big household project. Since the largest asset that most retirees have is their home – and it is likely paid off – this allows for an increase in income without increasing monthly payments. It is a great way for retirees to stay in their homes.

Not only that, but it can be highly beneficial because it requires no payment. That is until ownership of the home changes hand, the home is vacated or condemned, or the borrower passes away. It is the quickest and easiest path to substantially more income for a retired person who may not otherwise have that kind of access to additional funds.


Generally speaking, the interest rates tend to be much higher than most other types of mortgages out there. It is also worth considering that the equity in your home could go down. Combined with interest on your loan adding up, it could create quite the gap.

While you won’t need to repay the loan until you pass or sell the home, paying the loan and interest in full will fall on the shoulders of your estate. Not only that, but it must be repaid within a specific period of time.

The general costs associated with this type of mortgage also tend to be much higher. While there is certainly greater flexibility in how you get and spend your money, it comes at a cost, literally.

the verdict

Ultimately, it is up to you to determine if the benefits offset the higher cost and burden of repayment that falls on your estate. Getting the money from your loan, as well as what you can spend it on, is perhaps one of the most flexible mortgage options out there. This is especially true for seniors.

It also provides much-needed income for those retirees who may not have adequate funds for retirement. This shortfall can happen for a lot of reasons, and it is common for retirees to exceed their expected retirement life.

Weighing the pros and cons is essential regardless of the loan type. A reverse mortgage has all the potential to be beneficial to seniors in need of funds and provides greater flexibility for acquiring and spending that money.

11 Aug

Choosing Your Mortgage Broker.


Posted by: Tyler Cowle

There is a little doubt that the biggest purchase of your life will be your home. When embarking on your homeownership journey, having the right support and information will make all the difference. Fortunately, a mortgage broker can help!

With access to more than 230 lending institutions including big banks, credit unions and trust companies, mortgage brokers are experts in mortgages. These connections allow them familiarity with a vast array of available mortgage products, and also ensures that the advice they offer is unbiased. Unlike banks focused on signing you for profit reasons, a mortgage broker is a third-party service who gets paid no matter which bank they sign you with. This means they can provide the best rate AND unbiased advice because they are focused on helping you achieve your dream.

It is estimated there are nearly 20,000 mortgage professionals in Canada. With so many choices, it is important to find a mortgage broker who works best FOR you.

With so much information at your fingertips on any given broker, it is easier to help narrow down the search. Especially with tools like the Dominion Lending Centres exclusive My Mortgage Toolbox app. Available on Google Play and the iStore, My Mortgage Toolbox makes it easy for potential homeowners to find a mortgage broker nearest them!

“The idea behind My Mortgage Toolbox was to make it simple for Canadians to manage the mortgage process by putting all the information they need into the palm of their hand,” noted Gary Mauris, Founder and CEO of Dominion Lending Centres.

Some features available through this application include a variety of calculators to help clients determine:

  1. What they can afford
  2. The minimum down payment required
  3. Closing cost estimates
  4. Total monthly ownership costs

Click here to download the app today!

While online tools and apps can give you pretty good insight into a potential broker, there are a few other things you might also want to consider to help make that decision a little easier.

While it is never a bad idea to go with an established professional with an abundance of clients and years of experience, you should also open to considering newer, hungrier brokers who are striving to make their mark in the mortgage space. At a busy firm, it is easy for you to feel like a small fish in a big pond, especially with a smaller portfolio, whereas a smaller brokerage can likely provide you more attention.

While brokers spend a lot of their time neck-deep in mortgages and tend to use industry jargon, a professional broker will understand if you are a first time homebuyer and will do their best to explain the terms and the process to you. Understanding is vital in your homeownership journey  so make sure to seek out a broker who is going to keep it simple for you and be honest, allowing you to understand exactly what you’re getting in your mortgage.

Ultimately, it comes down to the mortgage product but don’t be blinded by interest rates. It is important that your broker explains everything to you from term conditions to penalties, as well as why you qualified for the rate you need. It is also important to use caution if a broker is selling you on a rate and making promises to pay a fee; this is a red flag. If they say they’re going to pay for everything, they’re desperate for anything.

Of course, the rate matters, but the characteristics of your mortgage matter more and could end up costing you in the long run. You want a broker who’s going to listen to you and ask you about your needs and future goals. What are your plans five or ten years from now? Why are they so important to you as an individual? When looking at any mortgage product, consider that nearly 70 percent of mortgages are broken within three years. Even if you’re sure of today, life happens and tomorrow could be different. Therefore, you must consider the penalties for ducking out of your mortgage earlier and you should know if it is portable.

The best mortgage brokers in the business will make sure all of your bases are covered, and you’re fully aware of what you’re signing onto. The right broker will make the process easier for you, whether it’s buying your first home, shopping for a better rate, or even jumping into investment properties. No matter what stage of life you are in, we’ve got a mortgage product – and a broker – for that!

Published by the DLC Marketing Team

10 Aug

Build Financial Confidence Through Self-Empowerment.


Posted by: Tyler Cowle

The blueprint for financial freedom needs rewriting, and we have an opportunity to completely rethink success – like measuring wealth not just in dollars, but also in financial confidence. But what does financial confidence look like? It’s a feeling of having a sense of control of your financial situation, and one that gives you a much stronger chance of fulfilling the goals that matter to you. It also means being prepared for the future. So where does it start?

One of the best things you can do for your financial confidence – and your financial future – is to develop consistent savings habits. The EQ Bank Savings Plus Account offers 1.25%* interest every day with zero fees, no minimum deposits or balance, and unlimited transactions and Interac e-Transfers®. And you can even divide your money up into different categories, or buckets, while still earning high interest on each of them.

Here’s how it works: if you have multiple savings goals, like bulking up an emergency fund, saving for a vacation, and maintaining a foodie fund, you can set up an automatic transfer that deposits a set amount into each of your accounts. But it means sticking to your budgets for each bucket.

Any learning process means practice makes perfect, so make peace with that fact that when it comes to figuring out your savings goals and budgets, you’re going to make mistakes. See them for what they are (life lessons!), rejig, and try again. When it comes to building your budget, stnce is here for you. If you subscribe on stnce.ca, you’ll get immediate access to stnce’s free budgeting tool

EQ Bank – a digital bank launched by Equitable Bank – has set out to accomplish just that with stnce, their financial confidence initiative aimed inclusively at all Canadians. What began as an internal program designed for Equitable Bank employees has grown into a grassroots movement with a mission to inspire others to confidently take control of their money.

Published by the DLC Marketing Team

5 Aug

Get the Scoop on Rental Properties

Mortgage Tips

Posted by: Tyler Cowle

You might be surprised to learn that you don’t need to be one of the uber rich or make six figures to have a second property.  You just need to have knowledge, determination and financial planning!

If you are purchasing a second property with the intention to rent, here are a few extra things to know:

  1. The minimum down payment required is 20% of the purchase price, and the funds must come from your own savings; you cannot use a gift from someone else.
  2. Only a portion of the rental income can be used for qualifying and determining how much you can afford to borrow.  Some lenders will only allow you to use 50% of the income added to yours, while other lenders may allow up to 80% of the rental income while subtracting your expenses.  This can have a much higher impact on how much you can afford.
  3. Interest rates typically have a premium on them when the mortgage is for a rental property versus a mortgage for a home someone intends on living in.  The premium can be anywhere from 0.10% to 0.20% on a regular 5-year fixed rate.
  4. If you do eventually sell this property, do note that it will be subject to capital gains tax.  Your accountant will be able to help you with that aspect if you decide to sell in the future.

Prior to taking on a secondary property, you will need to have your down payment in order (whether from savings or home equity) based on the minimum requirements, and also have sufficient credit score to qualify.  In addition to the down payment, you will also need to pass the stress-test and prove that you can financially carry your existing mortgage and the new application.

If you are looking to purchase a rental property, give me a call before you start.  I would love to help review your financial situation, current mortgage and equity, and help you make a plan.  The keys to success are right around the corner with a little bit of expert advice!

Published by the DLC Marketing Team!

4 Aug

Roll With It.

Mortgage Tips

Posted by: Tyler Cowle

Fitness trainer Mandy Gill makes the case for Summer Salad Rolls!

Call them spring rolls, summer rolls, salad rolls, fresh rolls—the common denominator is that we’re certain these are the only kind of rolls you’ll want this summer.

This easy-to-make recipe, bursting with flavour, can be served as a side dish at a sunny barbecue or enjoyed as a full meal on its own. The cost to make rolls at home is a fraction of what you’d pay in a restaurant or grocery store—plus you can add in whatever ingredients you’d like.

I choose to order nearly all the items below directly to my doorstep from Vitasave.ca, which has options for free shipping across Canada and a commitment to make healthy living easy and affordable for everyone. It’s also vegan, gluten-free and dairy-free.

Summer Salad Rolls

Serving: 8-10 rolls

Total Time: 30 min

  • 1 package spring roll rice paper wrappers (found in the Asian section of your local grocery store; go for the option with little to no added sodium)
  • 1 head romaine lettuce (finely chopped)
  • 4-5 large rainbow carrots (peeled into thin ribbons)
  • ¼ cup chia seeds
  • ¼ cup hemp seeds
  • ½ cup fresh mint (this completes the flavour)
  • » ½ cup Thai basil (sub cilantro if needed)


  1. Take a rice paper and dip it into warm water. Immediately pull it out of the water, letting it drip off for a second before placing it onto a clean surface with a bit of grip (a cutting board works well).
  2. Lay carrots side by side in the center of the rice paper. This is where the colour will come from.
  3. Layer lettuce, mint, Thai basil, hemp and chia seeds on top.
  4. Pull up the bottom of the rice paper wrapper like you would to wrap a burrito, tucking the sides, and meeting at the top edge.
    1. *Tip: use the first roll as an experiment (and the one you eat), seeing as it likely won’t be your prettiest!
  5. Cut in half with a sharp knife and serve with the Lemon Garlic Tahini sauce.

Lemon Garlic Tahini

Serving: 2/3 cup

  • ½ cup tahini (from raw or roasted sesame seeds)
  • ¼ cup warm water, plus more as needed
  • 1 tbsp avocado oil
  • 1 tbsp Flavorgod, lemon & garlic
  • Squeeze of lemon, salt & pepper to taste


  1. Add tahini, avocado oil, Flavorgod lemon & garlic, and a squeeze of lemon into a small mixing bowl. Combine together.
  2. Add water a little at a time, continuing to whisk, until you have a creamy sauce. Taste and adjust seasonings as needed.
  3. If you have any leftover sauce, it can be kept in the fridge for 1-2 weeks. It’s delicious on salads, falafel, veggie burgers, and much more!

Published by the DLC Marketing Team!

3 Aug

Throw the Perfect Summer Social.


Posted by: Tyler Cowle

Throw the Perfect Summer Social.

There’s something magical about summer and no matter where you live in Canada, backyard BBQ season is the perfect opportunity to spend a little time with family and friends. Nothing says party vibes more than food on the grill and summer drinks flowing. Whether you live in a country house, a suburban townhome or a city condo, gather your crew and these few essentials.


The best parties start and end with good food and refreshing bevies. To have the most success with your backyard party, you must pre-plan!

If you are not hosting a spontaneous gathering, take a few hours the night before and meal prep. This includes planning an easy menu with bite size snacks, easy salads and flavour packed protein options to keep your guests satisfied. While burgers and hot dogs are pretty standard fare for any barbecue, consider an elevated menu that can include flank steak, grilled veggies or plank salmon. You’ll also want to make sure to assign anyone who likes to be behind the grill as your designated griller. And don’t forget to make sure the barbecue has plenty of propane!

Depending on your guests, you can either have a cooler full of pop and water bevvies or, if it is a more adult affair, add a little alcohol to the mix! Boozy lemonades or spiked ice teas are pretty easy to make and very fun to drink. Craft beer and ciders are other fun options to add that different taste. Chilled white wine is also another fan favourite on a hot day!

If you’re planning an all-day affair, you might want to keep some quick and easy desserts or snacks on hand for the evening. Homemade ice cream bars, fruit kabobs or a veggie platter, or even a couple bags of kettle chips can make great options for any peckish guests. And as the sun sets, you can break out the marshmallows and get your S’mores on in front of the fire!


Any party-goer can tell you that ambience matters. For those suburban hosts, it seems obvious that your backyard party would include, well, a backyard. Likely with a sitting area, maybe umbrellas to offer some shady spots and some water fun! But, if you find yourself in smaller city digs, that doesn’t mean your party still can’t be one for the ages. If you’re in a townhome with a small green space or a deck, you just need to make the inside and outside flow. So keep your doors open and use all the space possible.

Don’t forget about décor! While it doesn’t have to cost much, a little effort can go a long way to turning your space into a dream zone. Throw pillows, paper patio lanterns and plastic glassware are all available at your local big box stores for cheap. While music can set the ambiance, you need to know your guests. It’s not easy to pick a playlist that will appease all ears, but streaming services like Spotify and Apple iTunes have plenty of mixed playlists that should do the trick.


Once your guests have eaten their fill, you’ll still need to keep them entertained. Backyard games such as a bocce ball set, Frisbee and even a football can keep the fun and competition going for hours! If you’re looking for a more chill hang, consider setting up a card table or some board games for those who want to partake.


Depending on the temperature and time of day for your party, you might want to remind guests to bring sunscreen, hats and/or bug spray to make sure their visit is as comfortable as possible!


A backyard party is generally quite different when little ones are involved. To ensure you are able to keep everyone happy – big and small – there are a few things to keep in mind!

If your party involves kids, you’ll want to keep the food simple and easy to eat with hands, so burgers, hot dogs, chips and some watermelon are the way to go. You’ll also want to keep the kids occupied, which could include simple games or more active options (once they’ve digested their food) such as a soccer ball, mini trampoline or even a sprinkler hose to run through and keep them cool. You’ll definitely want to keep on hand as much plastic dishware as possible because accidents and spills are bound to happen!

When daylight starts to fade, you can set up a backyard movie or camp-out with some tents to settle the night down. It never hurts to tire the young ones out so the grownups can have some chill time for themselves! Most of all, have some fun! These are the kinds of nights that create lasting memories.

Published by the DLC Marketing Team!