How Long Should it Take to pay off a Mortgage?

“The faster you pay off a mortgage, the more you save in interest,” says Louis-François Éthier, product manager at National Bank.

The truth is, paying off a $100,000 mortgage in a short period of time is extremely difficult without both a sizable and stable income, and relatively few expenses. A small regular payment stretched out over a longer amortization period (the total time required to pay off the mortgage) is usually considered an expensive strategy. This is because mortgage payments mostly cover interest and little of the principal until the interest is paid, so it can take decades to pay off the balance.

“The amount of your mortgage payments should be based on your overall budget,” says Louis-François Éthier.

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How much of your budget should go toward mortgage payments?
Most financial institutions recommend that no more than 30% of your total budget go towards mortgage payments, municipal taxes, and heating. “It’s the classic ratio in the industry: mortgage to total debt,” says Mr. Éthier. “It’s crucial to also consider other debts, such as car loans and balances on credit cards. Mortgage counsellors can help you make the right choice.”

Of course, the expected time if would take to pay off the mortgage directly influences the amount that we spend on our regular payments. Continue reading

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For your children’s health

We’re not trying to scare you or turn you into an environmental fanatic. Although many of the following recommendations are based on scientific evidence, others are just assumptions. The assumptions are serious, but they’re based on probabilities. The thing to keep in mind is to do your best according to your budget.

Children are in contact with their bedroom floor quite often, so the choice of floor covering is crucial. It’s best not to use vinyl-based covering because it contains PVC, an irritant that can cause allergies. It’s may also cause cancer. If you really want to use it, make sure you ventilate your children’s room as often as possible.

A haven for mites, traditional carpeting is to be avoided. If not, choose carpets with natural fibres. Wool is known for its resistance and durability, two essential qualities given how rough children can be.

Cork is the almost perfect covering. It prevents noise from the bedroom from spreading to the ground floor and doesn’t contain any toxic substances. Natural latex is used as a glue. Some leave it unchanged, while others apply a coat of paint or a biological varnish.  Continue reading

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Redoing the children’s bedroom

Here’s a checklist to make the job easier if you decide to redo your children’s bedroom.

Using a seagrass floor covering is an excellent decision. However, it’s recommended that you have it installed by a professional. Since it is a natural material, it can be difficult to make the joints. The product tends to fray.

Don’t forget that certain natural fibres used for floor covering, such as cork and rubber, must be placed in the room 24 to 48 hours before installation to acclimatize them to the ambient air.

Cork is not the only effective soundproofing product, sand between the joists also does the trick. It has the advantage of being inexpensive. Talk to a renovation expert.

Any handyman can install cork, as long as the surface is level.

Vinyl costs less and is more flexible than linoleum, but it’s also less resistant. And a material’s resistance is extremely important in a child’s bedroom.

If you are impatient and not very meticulous, you may not want to take on wallpaper. You will regret it. You have to wash the walls and woodwork with a stripper before applying the wallpaper. Continue reading

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Fantasy and education for children

Most people decorate their child’s bedroom in one of two ways. Either they do something fancy to show people how much they love their children, or they focus on the child’s development. We chose to focus on the second one for this article.

From an educational standpoint, decorating a child’s room is not an expense, it’s an investment. It must stimulate the development of intelligence and imagination in order to make the child resourceful and curious, which cannot be accomplished with an endless pile of toys. Keep in mind the fact that practical doesn’t mean rejecting esthetics. Quite the contrary actually. Continue reading