Category Archives: Financing

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.


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


Helpful tips from BMO Bank of Montreal

Is buying a vacation property right for me?

6 questions to ask before making a move.

As the weather warms up, a cottage by the lake may sound appealing ― but is owning a second home right for you? If you’re looking to purchase a place, prices will vary greatly depending on where you’re searching.

There are several important factors to consider before purchasing a vacation home, so don’t let the allure of a lake breeze or the excitement of water sports keep you from thinking it through. First, ask yourself these six questions: Continue reading


13 tips for cheaper home insurance

When you see how home insurance has gone up in recent years, it can be tempting to downgrade your coverage or shop around for a better deal. There may be good reasons for premiums going up, but who doesn’t want to spend less on insurance? The good news is you can! Here are a few reasons why home insurance rates are on the rise, and 13 tips to help you pay less.

Why home insurance premiums are going up

There are several reasons why your premiums go up when you renew your home insurance.

  • Your insurance amount generally increases by a certain percentage at each renewal to cover inflation (the cost of materials and labour) as well as new purchases you’re likely to have made.
  • Payouts on home insurance claims are increasing at an alarming rate (up 20% between 2009 and 2013, and 300% since 1990).
  • Payouts for natural disasters have increased six-fold since the 1990s.

So the two main reasons are that there are more claims, and those claims are more and more costly.

“But I haven’t made a claim!” That’s true, but remember that home insurance is like group insurance. You pay to protect other people’s property as well as your own. The premiums that you and other policyholders pay are pooled to pay for any losses incurred, which tend to cost a lot more than your monthly premium.

As a result, the more claims there are, the more you have to pay.

If you have made a claim yourself, there’s a good chance that your insurance will go up at your next renewal. Insurance is there to cover you in case of a loss, but making a low-value claim is not always in your best interest. Continue reading


Tax-deductible moving expenses


Relocating for work or school? If you are moving to start a new job, run a business or study full-time at a post-secondary level, you may be eligible to deduct some of your moving expenses from your income taxes.

Eligibility rules are the same for both the Canada Revenue Agency and Revenu Québec. If you want to deduct moving expenses, your new home must put you at least 40 km closer to your workplace or school.

Expenses you can deduct:

  • moving company fees
  • rental fees for a truck or trailer
  • storage costs for your household belongings
  • food and lodging expenses for you and your family during the trip to your new home
  • the cost of selling your old home or cancelling your lease
  • the cost of upkeep for your old home if it remains vacant for a time despite reasonable efforts to sell (maximum $5,000)

Continue reading


Residential rental property – a good investment?

What are the first things you should ask yourself before buying rental property?
First of all, will you live there or not? From a fiscal point of view, if you are renting out the entire property, you could deduct all of the day-to-day expenses related to the building from your income. But if you’re an owner-occupant, only expenses related to the rental units will be deductible. On the other hand, when you go to sell, the portion of the building occupied by the owner is exempt from capital gains tax. If it is completely rented out, all of your capital gains will be taxable.

In addition, when you have a specific property in mind, you need to consult the assessment roll to ensure that the number of units on the realtor’s listing is correct. If a livable basement is considered to be a dwelling by the city, this counts as one more unit. If this is the case, you might have to make a bigger downpayment.

Speaking of which, how much of a downpayment do you need for this type of purchase?
If you’re renting out all of the units, you need to make a minimum downpayment of 20% of the building’s purchase price.

If you’re going to be an owner-occupant, you could lower the downpayment to 5% of a duplex’s purchase price with mortgage loan insurance. For a triplex or quadruplex, you’ll need to put down a minimum of 10%.

The rules are the same for all Canadian financial institutions. Continue reading