Building your Homeownership Budget

General Angela Calla 10 Feb

Making the transition from renter to homeowner is likely one of the biggest decisions you’ll make throughout your lifetime. It can also be a stressful experience if you don’t plan ahead by building a budget and saving prior to embarking upon homeownership.

Budgeting is a core ingredient that helps alleviate the stress associated with money issues that can sometimes arise if you purchase a home without knowing all of the associated costs – including down payment, closing expenses, ongoing maintenance, taxes and utilities.

The trouble is, many first-time homeowners fail to carefully think about their finances, plan a budget or set savings aside. And in this society of instant gratification, money problems can quickly escalate.

The key is to create a realistic budget based on your goals. Track your spending and make your dollars go further by sticking to your budget once it’s in place. Budgeting offers a step-by-step formula for figuring out how to best save your hard-earned money to invest in homeownership.

Following are three top tips to help you prepare for the purchase of your first home:

1. Set up a savings account. You can deposit a predetermined amount into this account each


pay period that you won’t touch unless it’s absolutely necessary. This will enable you to put money aside for a down payment and cover closing costs, as well as address ongoing homeownership expenses such as maintenance, taxes and utilities.

2. Save up for big-ticket items. As you accumulate money in your savings account, you will be able to also save for specific purchases to help furnish your home – avoiding the buy now, pay later mentality, which can have a negative impact on your credit when you’re seeking mortgage financing.

3. Surround yourself with a team of professionals. When you’re getting ready to make your first home purchase, enlist my services as a licensed mortgage professional and find a trusted real estate agent. Experts are invaluable as you set out on the road to homeownership because we help first-time buyers through the home purchase and financing processes every day. Experts can answer all of your questions and set your mind at ease. I have access to multiple lenders, and can help you get pre-approved for a mortgage so you know exactly what you can afford to spend on a home before you head out house hunting, while a real estate agent will be able to match your needs with a house you can afford. Both parties will negotiate on your behalf to ensure you get the best bang for your buck. And, best of all, these services are typically free. Experts will also be able to refer you to other reputable professionals you may need for your home purchase, including a real estate lawyer and home appraiser.

Angela Calla, AMP t: @angelacalla 604-802-3983

Beware of Mortgage Rate Fixation

General Angela Calla 10 Feb

There has been a lot of chatter surrounding ultra-low rates that were introduced by many banks early this year. But, it’s important to look beyond mere rates into the bigger picture surrounding what’s significant when it comes to your specific mortgage needs.

While “no-frills” mortgage products typically offer a lower – or more discounted – interest rate when compared with many other available products, the lower rate is really their only perk.

The biggest problem with looking at rate alone is that you may end up paying thousands of dollars in early payout penalties if you opt for a five-year fixed-rate mortgage, for instance, and then decide to move before the five years is up.

No-frills mortgage products won’t let you take your mortgage with you if you purchase another property before your mortgage term is up – ie, portability is not an option with this product. Portability is an important option that could save you money over the long term if the home of your dreams is within your reach before your mortgage term is up and rates have risen, which they have a tendency to do over a five-year period.

This type of product is only plausible for those who have minimal plans to take advantage of benefits that will help pay off your mortgage faster – such as pre-payment privileges including lump-sum payments.

Essentially, this product is only ideal for: first-time homebuyers who want fixed payments and have limited opportunities to make lump-sum payments during the first five years of their mortgage; and property investors who need a low fixed rate and aren’t concerned with making lump-sum payments.


It’s understandable why these products may seem appealing. After all, not everyone feels they have the extra cash to put down a huge lump-sum payment. And who needs a portable mortgage if you’re not planning on moving any time soon?

But it’s important to remember that a lot can change over the course of five years – or whatever term you choose for your mortgage. You could get transferred, find a bigger house, have babies, change careers, etc. Five years is a long time to be anchored to something.

Many people won’t sign a cell phone contract for longer than three years that they can’t get out of, so why would they then sign a mortgage for five years that they can’t get out of?

The thing is, you can still obtain great mortgage savings without giving up the perks of traditional mortgages. For starters, many lenders are willing to offer significant discounts if you opt for a 30-day “quick” close.

And there are many other ways to earn your own discounts. For instance, by switching to weekly or bi-weekly mortgage payments, or by obtaining a variable-rate mortgage but increasing your payments to match those of the going five-year fixed rate, you’ll be ahead of the typical 0.1% discount of a no-frills product before you know it – and you won’t have to give up on options.

Banks don’t give anything away for free – they’re there to make money. That’s why it’s essential to discuss the full details surrounding the small print behind the low rates. It’s also important to take into account your longer-term goals and ensure your mortgage meets your unique needs.

As always, if you have questions about mortgage rates, or other mortgage-related questions, I’m here to help!

Angela Calla, AMP @angelacalla 604-802-3983

Get the facts on mortgage rates from Feb Home Discovery Show on CKNW with Angela Calla

General Angela Calla 10 Feb

Rates, Rates, Rates… it’s what determines who has the best mortgage, right? WRONG! This is often what borrowers have been conditioned to believe to try to make a complex matter simple in today’s quest for simplicity.

Consider this: lenders are luring customers in their doors by offering slightly lower mortgage, only to make it up elsewhere (such as through unfavourable mortgage terms and fees).

On a $300,000 mortgage, the payment difference between 3.29% and 3.19% ( 10 basis points) only works out to a monthly savings of $16.21 – just $972.60 for an entire 5-year term.

By making one simple shift in how you set your payments up when taking the 3.29% rate, you can actually take 4.6 years off the life of your mortgage – saving you $70,660.62 off the top instead of taking the lower “rate” – as the “terms” are set up in your best interest.

If you simply took the lower ”rate” due to not knowing the “terms”, you could actually end up paying $6,695.59 more than had you opted for the slightly higher rate product that included more suitable terms. These lower rates also come equipped with added fees and unfavourable terms such as prepayment penalties, legal and discharge costs, appraisal costs and portability/blending restrictions.

Remember your AMP works in your best interest and not the lender’s. We make recommendations without bias as we’re compensated equally regardless of whether we place your mortgage with a  bank, trust company or credit union. We are here through the life of your mortgage and we believe in empowering Canadian borrowers to make financially literate decisions so you understand how the recommended mortgage works in your favour based on ALL the TERMS – and bring you closer to mortgage freedom.

Angela Calla is Host of The Mortgage Show on CKNW Saturdays @ 7pm One of Canada’s top Mortgage Experts and AMP of the Year in 2009 by Caamp she can be reached at 604-802-3983 or t: @angelacalla

Banks raising rates ahead of schedule, don’t wait get your ratehold in @angelacalla

General Angela Calla 9 Feb

Lenders offer great options for a short period of time (all the time not just at this point in time), as we see below in the article from Reuters todays market is no exception. Working with us we ensure you have the best option not only when you first get a mortgage but throughout the entire term of you having a mortgage, so you can use any market to your advantage. Our service is free and without bias as we are compensated equally regardless of where we place your mortgage. Contact us for your rate hold today at

(Reuters) – Canada’s big banks, which entered a mini-price war on mortgages last month, are now raising their rates ahead of schedule, due to higher costs that make the cheap mortgages more expensive to fund.

Royal Bank of Canada (RY.TO) and Toronto-Dominion Bank (TD.TO), which had offered a record-low rate of 2.99 percent on a four-year mortgage, said on Wednesday they were cancelling the offer, well ahead of the original expiry date of February 29th.

TD’s lowest rate on a four-year mortgage is now 3.39 percent, it said.

Bank of Nova Scotia (BNS.TO) followed suit on Thursday, while a Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce (CM.TO) spokesman said the bank would likely adjust rates on Friday.

The moves underscore how nervous the banks have become about narrow margins in their consumer lending portfolios. Bond yields have begun to inch higher from historically low levels in December. Banks typically issue bonds to fund their mortgage lending.

“Our long term funding costs have gone up considerably due to global economic concerns, and while we have held off in passing on these rate changes to our clients, it is now necessary for us to increase this mortgage rate,” said RBC spokesman Matt Gierasimczuk.

Analysts say the banks will struggle to increase earnings this year due to low rates, which narrow the margins on loans.

While they can partially compensate for that by raising lending volumes, the Bank of Canada and the federal Finance Department have been warning Canadians to lower their already-high debt levels.

Bank of Montreal (BMO.TO) kicked off the price war when it announced a two-week offer of a record-low 2.99 percent 5-year mortgage in mid-January.

The move to cut rates drew criticism as it came just days after bank CEOs had warned of the possibility of a housing bubble in certain regions across the country.

(Reporting by Cameron French; editing by Rob Wilson)

Angela Calla can help you get the best mortgage options and ensuring you have a rate hold in place contact her at 604-802-3983 or @angelacalla

5 places you can live for $26 a day

General Angela Calla 2 Feb

If you make $15 dollars and hour full time, you can own a home in these 5 hot spots

1. Coquitlam

2. Port Coquitlam

3. Surrey (has enough jobs for the housing avaliable)

4. Langley

5. Delta

You can purchase up to a 2 bedroom apartment in these areas and there are approximatly 350 homes avaliable in this category. With the monthly cost including taxes and maintenence fees of these examples of approx $1100 a month, that’s lower than the average rent in some places. Although this won’t be an option for all, some people will be pleasantly surprised these deals really do exist.

To get pre approved to learn about your options at no cost to you, and get a full list of avaliable properties in this range and area email me at or call 604-802-3983

Angela Calla, AMP Dominion Lending Centres