Fixed versus Variable Penalties
I sat there with tears in my eyes and a lump in my stomach and felt like a complete and utter failure.
My husband and I were parents to a beautiful one year old and we had decided for me to stay home since daycare was going to cost more than 3/4 of my income. We were young and we were in debt.
The value of our house had risen significantly and we wanted to use some equity to pay off our debt and sleep better at night. Everything was fine, we were approved without problem, then the bomb was dropped on us .
.we found out that we would have to pay almost $8000 in penalties to break our mortgage! $8000!!! We didnt have that kind of money! We were doing our best but had not realized how expensive a baby on one income was (oh, how naive we were). How did this happen? Were smart people who read all of the paperwork before we signed it (so we thought).
If wed had a variable rate mortgage, our penalty and administrative fees would have been less than $1000. We chose a five year fixed rate because thats the smart thing to do, interest rates are always changing, and you dont know what the rates are going to look like next year.
Ive since found out that interest rates are not as scary as the news portrays them. The Bank of Canada meets 7 - scheduled in advance -times each year to look at the prime rate. The prime rate has increased by more than 0.25% only ONE time in the last ten years. Were Canadian! We dont like shocks! Slow and steady could be our motto! Thankfully the Bank of Canada likes to be boring, dependable, and stay the course.
I never want anyone to feel like I felt that day. Understanding your options is a top priority for me. I translate industry speak into regular English so that my clients understand ALL of their options and the possible outcomes of their choices. Ill ask you lots of questions to fully understand your needs and meet those needs with a loan from one of the many lenders I deal with.
Straight answers, no surprises, an expert on your side.
Virtual Tours and Live Streams a Hit on REALTOR.ca
While staying home to help stop the spread of COVID-19, Canadians are spending more time looking at properties on REALTOR.ca, Canadas No. 1 real estate platform*. During the week of March 9, visits to REALTOR.ca dropped by 30%; however, since April 12 traffic has crept back up by 14% and consumer inquiries to REALTORS through the site rose by 25%similar to levels during the same period last year. Despite the pandemic, REALTOR.ca has seen a 14% increase of visitors during the first quarter of 2020.
As COVID-19 is limiting how buyers can visit homes that interest them, REALTOR.ca makes it possible for Canadian REALTORS to virtually showcase listings by integrating video and 3D tours from 10 of the most popular services. Since April 7, REALTORS can also schedule and promote live stream open houses using popular platforms such as Facebook Live, Instagram Live, Zoom and YouTube.
If theres one thing 30-plus years in this business has taught me, its that as an industry we are early adopters of technology, said Costa Poulopoulos, Chair of the Canadian Real Estate Association. With restrictions on how we can continue to serve our clients, Im proud that weve been able to add features for REALTORS that allow them to continue to show homes to interested buyers.
Canada's Manufacturing heavily impacted in March
Manufacturing shipments fell 9.2% in March after climbing 0.4% the prior month. This result was more than double the drop expected by consensus (-4.5%). Lower sales were registered in 17 of the 21 industries surveyed, including transportation (-26.5%), petroleum and coal products (-32.2%), and plastics/rubber products (-10.9%). Alternatively, shipments increased for food manufacturing (+8.2%) and paper manufacturing (+8.4%). With the price effect removed, total factory sales decreased 8.3% m/m, while inventories grew 0.8%. As a result, the real inventory-to-sales ratio rose from 1.56 to 1.72, a bad sign for future production.
Manufacturing sales came in much worse than expected in March, matching their largest one-month decline on record (December 2008). Sales retraced all the way back to their level in June 2016. It should come as no surprise that disruptions from COVID-19 were the chief cause of the decline. Indeed, 78.3% of manufacturing businesses reported being impacted by the pandemic. Transportation saw a significant decline owing to plant closures, while refineries lowered production as demand and prices waned. Not everyone experienced an adverse shock, as evidenced by marked increases for food (groceries) and paper manufacturing (toilet paper) in the month. This will likely be transitory, however, as households rushed to stock up in March. Eight of the ten provinces reported lower sales, with Ontario and Quebec posting the largest declines. All told, given that confinement measures had been in place for only two weeks in March, the April manufacturing picture can be expected to be even worse.
Home sales fell 56.8% from March to April, to the lowest level recorded since the inception of seasonally adjusted data in 1988. The fall was generalized to all the 26 major markets tracked by CREA except Newfoundland and Labrador, where sales rose 13.6%. New listings also fell sharply (-55.7%) but active listings only 8.7%. Therefore, the active-listings-to-sales ratio (our preferred gauge of market conditions) skyrocketed from 4.3 months of inventory in March to 9.2 in April, the largest since the 2008-09 recession.
Source: National Bank of Canada