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Fixed, Variable, Open and Closed…What Does It All Mean?

Posted onJuly 03/2014By

Within the world of mortgages, you’re likely to hear a multitude of different words and terms to describe how it all works. Four of these words are Open, Closed, Fixed and Variable. They all explain certain conditions of your mortgage, and they’re also words you’ll have to get to know in order to decide which ones are right for you. Fixed Mortgage A “fixed” mortgage means that your interest rate or mortgage rate, is set at a certain number and won’t change for the duration of the term. Many homeowners prefer a fixed mortgage rate because no matter what happens with the interest rates out in the real world, your rate will remain constant. This gives a measure of stability, and one less thing to worry about until it’s time to renew. Variable Mortgage A “variable” mortgage rate is basically the opposite of a fixed rate. As the prime rate…

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The Basics of Term vs. Amortization

Posted onJune 30/2014By

When you first delve into the world of real estate, many words can cause confusion. The words ‘term’ and ‘amortization’ are a couple examples that may cause you some confusion. They are sort of similar, yet totally different, so it’s a good idea to learn the differences. Mortgage Term The mortgage term you hear about so often, refers to the length of time you’re committed to a specific mortgage rate, the lender and various conditions. The average mortgage term in Canada is five years, but you can also choose different lengths of time in many cases. When you think about a mortgage term, consider it like a “reset” button of sorts for your mortgage. When the term is up, you get to renew the mortgage on the amount that’s left. When you sign on for a new term, it’s generally at the current mortgage rate, so that may be good…

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What Do Your Condo Fees Pay For?

Posted onJune 27/2014By

One element of condo living that many people are not overly excited about are condo fees. Even if the concept and the layout are everything you’ve ever wanted, paying fees on top of your down payment and mortgage seems like a lot to many condo owners. What Are They? Condo fees refer to regular payments every condo owner has to make to their condo corporation, or strata board. These fees are also called strata fees and they are mandatory and non-negotiable. What Do They Pay For? The amount of your condo fees and what they ultimately pay for will vary depending on the building, but there is a list of things that are common. These include: Partial utilities for your unit. Common area maintenance, including lobby, exercise room, garbage and snow removal services and repairs. Reserve fund for the building. Condo Fee Amount As mentioned above, the amount of your…

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What is a “Walk Score” in Real Estate?

Posted onJune 23/2014By

When determining the overall appeal of a particular home or area, you may hear or see the term ‘walk score’ used. Sometimes the agents will talk about it and sometimes it’s featured along the with the ad or listing. What the Term Means Basically, the walk score is a measurement of how easily the residents of the neighbourhood are able to accomplish common, daily errands on foot. Some refer to it as the “walkability” of a certain area or address. Naturally, some cities and areas have much better walk scores than others. Some of the factors that go into determining a walk score include: Walking access to parks and other recreation spots. Walking access to malls or city centers that have shopping, restaurants and entertainment. Regular public transportation. Schools and workplaces within walking distance. Sufficient population to sustain all the businesses. Paved streets and walkways and affordable housing. Deciphering the…

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What is New Home Warranty Insurance?

Posted onJune 17/2014By

Home insurance is just part of the standard operating procedure when it comes to purchasing a house in modern society. Without proper coverage, you’re just tempting fate every single day and eventually something will happen. However, if your new home happens to be a condo the rules may be a little different. The condo corporation also has insurance, but that doesn’t mean it’s ok for you to go without. Don’t Make Assumptions In fact, one of the worst things you can do is to assume that your condo corporation’s insurance will provide you with all the coverage you need. There’s nothing worse than something happening and finding out later that you needed additional coverage for whatever it is. That’s why you should know about the different types. Standard Unit Insurance Standard unit insurance refers to a portion of your condo’s maintenance fees that are allocated to specific areas of the…

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