Snag a great mortgage renewal deal

By Vikram Barhat | July 18, 2012 | Last updated on July 18, 2012
2 min read

As the real-estate industry awaits the impact of new mortgage rules on prospective homebuyers, people are focusing on low mortgage rates.

The current low-interest-rate environment is good news for homeowners looking to renew their mortgages, says Marcus Arkan, CEO, principal broker of Syndicate Mortgages Inc, a mortgage brokerage firm in Toronto.

“The rates are still low and there’s still a chance to find a great renewal deal,” he says. Yet, many clients don’t.

Read: Canadian real estate at tipping point

Arkan shares some tips on what homeowners can do to help mortgage brokers find a good deal.

Start early

Acting and preparing early is the most crucial element of the strategy. Homeowners must allow brokers a two-month grace period in order to let them find a good deal and product suited to their unique needs and lifestyle.

Many homeowners wait until the last moment expecting interest rates to drop further. The strategy may backfire in case the rate moves in the opposite direction.

Consider switching costs

To get better rates, superior service, or more suitable terms, many borrowers change lenders after the existing term ends.

Mortgage brokers can assess the cost of switching lenders, which includes fees to register the new mortgage and discharge the previous.

Drive a hard bargain

A good mortgage broker will help negotiate rates for renewal, sometimes face to face. They may be able to find rates that homeowners may find hard to acquire on their own.

Keep your options open

Mortgage rules are now flexible and homeowners can take advantage of newer rates even if their terms haven’t ended.

Many experts insist rates will rise earlier than expected, since rates have never stayed at their lowest for the whole five-year term. Earlier this year, rates hit a historic low of 2.99%.

However, faltering growth in emerging markets and signs of a weakening global recovery have led the BoC to stand at 1%.

Vikram Barhat