Estate Planning: Are You Covered?

General Mark Goode 15 Feb


Looking at where you are now, and where you want to end up, do you personal goals include a review of your finances and estate? If it doesn’t, it certainly should be at the top of your list! Proper estate planning can ensure that you have a stress-free year knowing you are covered!

Is your will up-to-date?

The purpose of a will is to outline your assets and determine how they will be distributed, as well as who will be in charge of managing affairs. Some key components to include in this document are:

  • Up-to-date list of your significant assets; note the location if outside your province or outside Canada.
  • Who will inherit your assets? And which?
  • Outline of where you want assets to pass outside your estate to avoid probate fees (e.g., an insurance policy, an RRSP)? Do this via beneficiary designation.
    • If they are minors, do you have a trust or other provisions in place?
  • Is the list of beneficiaries in your will up to date? Have there been recent births, deaths or marriages in your family?
  • Have you included alternates in case your named beneficiaries predecease you?
  • Do you want to give to charities or other organizations?
  • If you have children, have you indicated a guardian and spoken to them?
    • Did you include an alternate in case the guardian you chose is unable to commit?
    • Have you reviewed your choice of guardian as your child grows older?
  • Your executor who will carry out your wishes after you die. You can name one executor or two or more co-executors. Be sure to name one or more alternates as well.

Have you assigned a power of attorney?

Another important (and often overlooked!) aspect of estate planning involves naming a power of attorney. This individual is someone you trust to make decisions for you should you become unable to do so due to injury or illness, whether temporary or otherwise. Power of attorney documents are created for you by a wills and estates lawyer (or notary in Quebec) as part of your estate plan. Be sure to get duplicate copies made for your POA(s) and to keep in your file. Ask friends and family for recommendations on a preferred estate lawyer.

Do you have mortgage protection insurance?

Through Manulife Mortgage Protection Plan (MPP), you have the opportunity to add a portable insurance policy to your mortgage that helps protect your loved ones and your home should something unexpected happen to you. Unlike bank insurance, MPP is a portable life and disability product that you can take with you, from lender to lender and property to property. This gives you the utmost future flexibility and is unlike bank insurance products which tie you down exclusively to them.  To ensure you get the best rate at renewal, you must have invested in an insurance product like MPP that will give you the freedom to move! At Mortgage Man DLC it is always offered as an option with your mortgage package.

Mortgage life insurance will protect your family’s future by paying out your mortgage should the mortgage holder pass away. Manulife will also make your mortgage payments while your claim is being adjudicated, so there is no added stress for a loved one at an already difficult time. Mortgage disability insurance will take care of your mortgage payments plus property taxes if you become disabled. Disabilities from sickness and accidents are relatively common and will affect 1 in 3 borrowers throughout their mortgage amortization.  Manulife provides budget-friendly payment options, the ability to top-up your coverage and so much more.

These are all important aspects to consider to ensure your estate and family will be provided for should something happen. While never a fun topic, it is an critical one and the better prepared you are, the better off your loved ones will be.

Contact our team today at Mortgage Man DLC, or 705.326.8523, for more information on our MPP package.

Understanding Amortization: Exploring Your Options for Loan Repayment

General Mark Goode 5 Feb

Your mortgage amortization period is the number of years it will take you to pay off your mortgage. Depending on your choice of amortization period, it will affect how quickly you become mortgage-free as well as how much interest you pay over the lifetime of your mortgage (a longer lifetime equals more interest, whereas a shorter lifetime equals less interest but also bigger payments).

Amortization Benchmarks
Let’s start by looking at the mortgage industry benchmark amortization period. This is typically a 25-year period and is the standard that is used by the majority of lenders when it comes to discussing mortgage products. It is also typically the basis for standard mortgage calculators. While this is the standard, it is not the only option when it comes to your mortgage amortization. Mortgage amortizations can be as short as 5 years and as long as 35 years!

Benefits of a Shorter Amortization
Opting for a shorter amortization period will result in paying less interest overall during the life of your mortgage. Choosing this amortization schedule means you will also become mortgage-free faster and have access to your home equity sooner! However, if you choose to pay off your mortgage over a shorter time frame, you will have higher payments per month. If your income is irregular, you are at the maximum end of your monthly budget or this is your first home, you may not benefit from a shorter amortization and having more cash flow tied up in your monthly mortgage payments.

Benefits of a Longer Amortization
When it comes to choosing a longer amortization period, there are still advantages. The first is that you have smaller monthly mortgage payments, which can make home ownership less daunting for first-time buyers as well as free up additional monthly cash flow for other bills or endeavors. A longer amortization also has its advantages when it comes to buying a home as choosing a longer amortization period can often get you into your dream home sooner, due to utilizing standard mortgage payments versus accelerated. In some cases, with your payments happening over a larger period, you may also qualify for a slightly higher value mortgage than a shorter amortization depending on your situation.

Let’s Chat!
Our team of mortgage professionals are happy to help with the decision for the amortization that best suits your unique requirements and ensures you have adequate cash flow. However, it is important to mention that you are not stuck with the amortization schedule you choose at the time you get your mortgage. You can shorten or lengthen your amortization, as well as consider making extra payments on your mortgage (if you set up pre-payment options), at a later date.

Ideally, you are re-evaluating your mortgage at renewal time (every 3, 5, or 10 years depending on your mortgage product). During renewal is a great time to review your amortization and payment schedules or make changes if they are no longer working for you.

If you have any questions or are looking to get started on purchasing a home, don’t hesitate to reach out to us at Mortgage Man DLC today 705.326.8523,

Unlocking Financial Opportunities: The Remarkable Benefits of Mortgage Renewal You May Not Know About

General Mark Goode 15 Jan


Is your mortgage coming up for renewal? This is the best opportunity to reassess the terms of your existing mortgage and make adjustments based on current marketing conditions and your financial situation. We have included some details on how to make your mortgage renewal work for you in 2024.

Time to Get a Better Rate

When you receive notice that your mortgage is coming up for renewal, it is the best time to shop around for a more favourable interest rate. Renewal time, is the easiest time to shop around or switch lenders for a preferable interest rate as it doesn’t break your mortgage. With interest rates expected to come down as we continue to move through 2024, it is an excellent time to reach our to our Mortgage Man DLC team to shop the market which could help save you money!

Change Your Mortgage Product

Are you happy with your existing mortgage product? If you answered no, now is the perfect time to find a product that best suits your current financial situation and future goals. Perhaps you are finding that your variable-rate or adjustable-rate mortgages are fluctuating too much and you want to lock in, or, maybe you want to switch to a variable as interest rates begin to level out. At this time, you can also take advantage of a different payment or amortization schedule to help pay off your mortgage quicker or better align your mortgage with your cash flow.

Renew with Existing Lender or Find a New Lender?

Many borrowers simply renew their mortgage with their current lender, but this is an excellent time to contact our Mortgage Man DLC team to explore offers from other lenders that better suit your needs. There are many benefits to using a mortgage professional.

Do You Need to Consolidate Debt or Start a Home Renovation?

Renewal time is also a great time to look at your existing debit and determine whether or not you want to consolidate it into your mortgage. You may have high interest credit card debit following this holiday season, a vehicle loan, education etc. Regardless of the type of debit, consolidating into your mortgage allows for one easy payment instead of juggling multiple loans and varying high interest rates. In most cases, your mortgage interest rate is less than you would be charged with credit card companies.

If you have been considering a home renovation, renewal time is the best opportunity for you to utilize some of your home equity to build that dream kitchen, finish the basement, update that dated bathroom or utilize it to purchase a vacation property!

Get expert advice from our licensed mortgage agents today, we’d be happy to discuss your situation and review changes that would be beneficial for you to reach your goals; from shopping for new rates or utilizing that home equity, we’ve got a mortgage solution tailored to you! Contact Mortgage Man DLC today to book an appointment 705.326.8523.

Rate Hikes Definitely Off The Table

General Mark Goode 5 Sep

The Canadian economy weakened surprisingly more in the second quarter than the market and the Bank of Canada expected. Real GDP edged downward by a 0.2% annual rate in Q2. The consensus was looking for a 1.2% rise. The modest decline followed a downwardly revised 2.6% growth pace in Q1. (Originally, Q1 growth was posted at 3.1%.) According to the latest monthly data, growth dipped by 0.2% in June, and the advance estimate for economic growth in July was essentially unchanged. This implies that the third quarter got off to a weak start.

The Bank of Canada forecasted growth of 1.5% in Q2 and Q3 in its latest Monetary Policy Report released in July. The central bank is now justified in pausing interest rate hikes when it meets again on September 6th. Today’s report is consistent with the recent rise in unemployment. It suggests that excess demand is diminishing, even when accounting for such special dampening factors as the expansive wildfires and the BC port strike.

Some details of Q2 Growth

Housing investment fell 2.1% in Q2, the fifth consecutive quarterly decline, led by a sharp drop in new construction and renovations. No surprise, given the higher borrowing costs and lower demand for mortgage funds, as the BoC raised the overnight rate to 4.75% in Q2. Despite higher mortgage rates, home resale activity rose in Q2, posting the first increase since the last quarter of 2021.

Significantly, the growth in consumer spending slowed appreciably in Q2 and was revised downward in Q1.

So what is the Bottom Line?

The weakness in today’s data release may be a harbinger of the peak in interest rates. Inflation is still an issue, but the 5% policy rate should be high enough to return inflation to its 2% target in the next year or so. As annual mortgage renewals peak in 2026, the increase in monthly payments will further slow economic activity and break the back of inflation.

The Bank of Canada will be slow to ease monetary policy, cutting rates only gradually–likely beginning in the middle of next year. In the meantime, the central bank will continue to assert its determination to do whatever it takes to achieve sustained disinflationary forces.

Today’s release of the US jobs report for August supports the view that the Canadian overnight rate has peaked at 5%. (The Canadian jobs report is due next Friday). Though the headline number of job gains in the US came in at a higher-than-expected 187,000, the unemployment rate rose to 3.8% as labour force participation picked up, growth in hourly wages was modest, and job gains in June and July were revised downward.

In Canada, 5-year bond yields have fallen to 3.83%, well below their recent peak shown in the chart below.








Source: Dr. Sherry Cooper – Chief Economist, Dominion Lending Centres.

Using the CHIP Reverse Mortgage to Supplement your RRIF

General Mark Goode 1 Aug

As you near retirement age, the years of diligently contributing to RRSPs are about to pay off. Understanding Registered Retirement Income Funds (RRIFs) becomes crucial, especially if you have registered retirement savings or pension plans.

What exactly is a RRIF?

Unlike a Registered Retirement Savings Plan (RRSP), which serves as a retirement savings account where you contribute money, a RRIF allows you to take out a certain amount each year once you reach a certain age.

Now, let’s explore how a RRIF works.

When you turn 71, the money you’ve saved and invested in your RRSP accounts must be moved into a RRIF, an annuity, or withdrawn as a lump sum. If your spouse is younger, you can delay this until their 71st birthday.

So, what’s the advantage to convert to a RRIF?

A RRIF acts as a tax-deferred retirement income fund, which means any interest or earnings generated within the account won’t be taxed until you withdraw them. However, when you take money out of your RRIF, it becomes taxable income. Each year, you must withdraw a minimum amount from the RRIF.

If you need funds before reaching 71, you can convert your RRSP into a RRIF and start withdrawing money immediately. However, there are some important tax considerations to be aware of:

  1. Taxes on Withdrawals: The amounts you withdraw will be taxed, but the tax will be based on the minimum required withdrawal and any additional amount you take out.
  2. Minimum Withdrawal: Once your RRSP is converted into a RRIF, you must withdraw a minimum amount each year, determined by the government and based on age. For instance, at 64 years old, you must withdraw 4% of your total investments; at 71, it increases to 5.28%, and at 85, it goes up to 8.51%.
  3. Withholding Tax: A withholding tax will apply if you withdraw more than the minimum required amount. The withholding tax rates are 10% for amounts up to $5,000, 20% for between $5,000 and $15,000, and 30% for payments over $15,000.

What if I don’t have enough in my RRIF to generate sufficient retirement income or if I outlive my RRIF?: The CHIP Reverse Mortgage is an Excellent Option

The CHIP Reverse Mortgage allows you to access tax-free cash from the equity you’ve accumulated in your home. Using this money as retirement income allows you to preserve your investments for an extended period while enjoying an improved cash flow. Also, there are no monthly mortgage payments with the CHIP Reverse Mortgage, helping you increase your monthly cash flow even more.

At Mortgage Man DLC, we offer a CHIP Reverse Mortgage by HomeEquity Bank. Contact our licensed mortgage agents to assist you with obtaining a CHIP Reverse Mortgage today.


Source: Our House Dominion Lending Centres


Get Top Market Value for Your Property

General Mark Goode 11 Jul

Appraisal Tips for Success

Before banks or lending institutions can consider loaning money for a property, they need to know the current market value of that property.

The job of an appraiser is to check the general condition of your home and determine a comparable market value based on other homes in your area. This is required for any buy or sell situation.

To help make the appraisal as smooth as possible and ensure you are getting top market value, check out the tips below:

  1. Clean Up: The appraiser is basing the value of your property on how good it looks. A good rule of thumb is to treat the appraisal like an open house! Stage it as you would a home for sale, clean and declutter every room, vacuum, and scrub – even consider adding a fresh coat of paint – to ensure your home is as presentable and appealing as possible. Where applicable remove personal stigma items such as alcohol or drug paraphernalia, any controversial pictures or flags, etc.
  2. Curb Appeal: First impressions can have a huge impact when it comes to an appraisal. Spending some time ensuring the outside of your property from your driveway entrance to front step is clean and welcoming can make a world of difference. Cut grass, water plants, maybe add flowers or hanging baskets to make things feel inviting and stage the yard with some lawn furniture to make it look like its own space.
  3. Visibility: The appraiser must be able to see every room of the home, no exceptions. YES, every single room including outbuildings, garage, closets, basement… Refusal to allow an appraiser to see any room can cause issues and potentially kill your deal. If there are any issues with any spaces of your home, be sure to take care of them in advance to allow the appraiser full access.
    NOTE: If there are tenants in your home, ensure you give them appropriate amount of notice for access.
  4. Upgrades and Features: Ensuring the appraiser is aware of any upgrades and features can go a long way. Make a list and include everything from plumbing and electrical to new floors, new appliances, etc. This way they have a reference as to what has been updated and how recent or professional that work was done. Knowing the age of the roof and HVAC items like water tank is important. Also, ensure the breaker box is MIN 100amps as most lenders cannot finance a home with amps under 100; older homes from the 1930 area are generally only 60amps. The same goes for knob and tube versus breaker set-ups. Upgrading is important and will add value.
  5. Be Prudent About Upgrades: While the bathroom and kitchen are popular areas, they are not necessarily the be-all-end-all for getting a higher home value. These renovations can be quite costly so it is a good idea to be prudent about how you spend your money and instead, focus on easy changes such as new paint, new light fixtures or plumbing and updated flooring to avoid breaking the bank while still having your home look fresh. Removing clutter, adding a new coat of paint and doing a deep clean will help make these spaces shine.
  6. Know Your Neighbourhood: You already know where you live better than the appraiser. Taking a look at similar homes in your neighbourhood and noting what they sold for will give you a ballpark. If your appraisal comes in low, you will be prepared to discuss with the appraiser the examples from your area and why you believe you property is worth more. In addition, keep in mind that appraisal values are based on recent sales data; if there have been zero sales in the area recently and time allows it, hold off on getting an appraisal done until some sales have been evident to ensure you’re getting the most value.
  7. Be Polite: The appraiser is there to get in and get out so let them have the run of the house while they are there. Do not follow them around and avoid asking them too many questions or making too many comments and simply be prepared should they have questions. Once they have completed the review of your home, that is a good time to bring up any comments you might have. Remember, the actual onsite inspection usually is only 15 minutes through the house but typically, the bulk of work for appraisals is at the desk, reviewing sales and other forms of research to create the appraisal report.
  8. Know The Costs: Every appraiser charges differently. If the lender allows for ordering appraisals direct, then I can shop around and fetch you the best price.

Don’t forget to contact our team at Mortgage Man DLC if you have any questions about your existing home or mortgage, or if you are looking to sell and relocate in the future!

How Job Loss Affects Your Mortgage Application.

General Mark Goode 4 Jul


Maybe you have made an offer on a home already or are still in the process of looking, you already understand that buying a home is likely the largest investment you will ever make.

When it comes to your mortgage application, there are a few things that you should absolutely avoid doing while you’re waiting for approval – such as applying for new credit, making large purchases (i.e. a new car), pulling additional credit reports, etc. Another real issue that can come up is the loss employment.

What you can afford to qualify for in relation to your mortgage depends on your income. As a result, the sudden loss of employment can be quite detrimental to your efforts. So, what do you do?

Should You Continue With Your Mortgage Application?

If you’ve already qualified for a mortgage, but your employment circumstances have changed, your first step is to disclose this to your lender. They will move to verify your income prior to closing and, if they have not been told in advance, it may be considered fraud as your application income and closing income would not match, so certainly keep that in mind.

In some cases, the loss of your job may not affect your mortgage. Some examples include:

  • You secure a new job right away in the same field as previously. Keep in mind, you will still need to requalify. However, if your new job requires a 3-month probationary period then you may not be approved.
  • If you have a co-signer on the mortgage who earns enough income to qualify for the value on their own. However, be sure your co-signer is aware of your employment situation.
  • If you have additional sources of income such as income from retirement, rentals,  investments or even child support they may be considered, depending on the lender.

Can You Use Unemployment Income to Apply for a Mortgage?

Typically unemployment income is not a suitable source of income to qualify for a mortgage. In rare cases, individuals with seasonal or cyclical jobs who rely on unemployment income for a portion of the year may be considered. However, you would be asked to provide a two-year cycle of employment followed by Employment Insurance benefits.

What Happens During Furlough (or temporary lay off)?

If you did not lose your job entirely but have instead been furloughed or temporarily laid off, your lender may take a wait-and-see approach to your mortgage application. You would be required to provide a letter from your employer with a return-to-work date on it in this situation. However, if you do not return to work before the closing date, your lender may be required to cancel the application for now with resubmitting as an option in the future.

Have You Talked to Your Mortgage Professional?

Regardless of the reason for the change in your employment situation, one of the most important things you can do is contact one of our expert Mortgage Man agents directly to discuss your situation. We can look at all the options for you and help with finding a solution that best suits you.



Second Mortgage – Just the facts.

General Mark Goode 21 Jun

One of the biggest benefits to purchasing your own home is the ability to build equity in your property. This equity can come in handy down the line for refinancing, renovations, or taking out additional loans – such as a second mortgage.

So, what exactly is a second mortgage?

First things first, a second mortgage refers to an additional or secondary loan taken out on a property for which you already have a mortgage. This is not the same as purchasing a second home or property and taking out a separate mortgage for that. A second mortgage is a very different product from a traditional mortgage as you are using your existing home equity to qualify for the loan and put up in case of default. Similar to traditional mortgages, second mortgages also come with their own interest rate, monthly payments, set terms, closing costs and more.


What are the differences between second mortgages versus refinancing?

As both refinancing your existing mortgage and taking out a second mortgage can take advantage of existing home equity, it is a good idea to look at the differences between them. Firstly, a refinance is typically only done when you’re at the end of your current mortgage term so as to avoid any penalties with refinancing the mortgage.

The purpose of refinancing is often to take advantage of a lower interest rate, change your mortgage terms or, in some cases, borrow against your home equity.

When you get a second mortgage, you are able to borrow a lump sum against the equity in your current home and can use that money for whatever purpose you see fit. You can even choose to borrow in installments through a credit line and refinance your second mortgage in the future.

Are there advantages of a second mortgage?

There are several advantages when it comes to taking out a second mortgage, including:

  • The ability to access a large loan sum (in some cases, up to 90% of your home equity) which is more than you can typically borrow on other traditional loans.
  • Better interest rate than a credit card as they are a ‘secured’ form of debt.
  • You can use the money however you see fit without any caveats.

What are the disadvantages of a second mortgage?

As always, when it comes to taking out an additional loan, there are a few things to consider:

  • Interest rates tend to be higher on a second mortgage than refinancing your mortgage.
  • Additional financial pressure from carrying a second loan and another set of monthly bills.

Before you jump into any additional loans, second mortgages or even refinancing, speak to one of our knowledgeable Mortgage Man experts. We are here to assist you in making the best solution for your needs.



Buying a New Home? Play It Smart and Don’t Be House Poor

General Mark Goode 8 Jun

Buying a New Home? Don’t Be House Poor.


Having the biggest and best home on the block sounds great – but not if it is at the expense of your life and monthly finances! Be smart about your budget and avoid buying a home at the very top of your pre-approval value, which might lead to cash flow issues and being “house poor” down the line.

Home Expenses

When it comes to your home, it is more than just your purchase price and mortgage cost. While you might be able to afford to buy a $800,000 home, can you also afford the maintenance, property taxes, utilities and more?

When it comes to your home expenses and overall monthly budget, the goal is that the costs to maintain your home do not exceed 35% of your total monthly income.

Monthly Budget

To help you keep track of your finances, consider breaking up your monthly budget into the following categories:

  • Housing – mortgage payments, property taxes, utilities, etc.
  • Transit – car payments or transit passes, gas, maintenance, etc.
  • Debt – payments to credit cards, lines of credit, etc.
  • Savings – your long-term savings for retirement, etc.
  • Life – food, vacations, fun, medical, childcare, etc.

From there, you would want to look at how much you spend on each category. The below is a good rule of thumb:

  • Housing – 35% of your monthly income
  • Transit – 15% of your monthly income.
  • Debt – 15% of your monthly income
  • Savings – 10% of your monthly income
  • Life – 25% of your monthly income

By spending too much on housing, you are forced to sacrifice in other areas of spending such as your life or savings, but it is better to be life RICH than house POOR.

If you’re not sure what you should budget for your new home, or have questions about making your home costs more affordable (such as changing your mortgage payments), please don’t hesitate to reach out to our team at Mortgage Man today!



Upgrading Your Home? Five Ways To Refresh Your Home This Spring.

General Mark Goode 1 Jun

Are you looking to upgrade your home? With warmer weather and extended sunlight hours, spring is the perfect time to give your home a bit of extra TLC. Here are five renovation projects you can do this spring that can increase your home’s appeal, inside and out:

1. Repave your driveway.

You may have noticed that your driveway is beginning to sink, or the snow, mud, salt and tire runs have taken a toll on its surface over the years. Repaving your driveway won’t be a simple DIY project, but because it’s at the front of your home, it’s worth thinking about giving it a fresh repave or investing in a more ornate design to bring your curb appeal up a level.

2. Landscaping makeover. 

Consider lining your driveway or adding flower beds, shrubs, and trees around the perimeter of your home to not only provide privacy and a beautiful aesthetic and give homes to pollinators and other wildlife. If you want options to help mow the lawn less, consider replacing some grass with bark mulch.

3. Reseal doors and windows. 

Good sealing is crucial for weatherization, making your home less drafty, more comfortable, and energy efficient. During the colder months, your door and window caulking can crack or shrink. Ensuring that there are as few gaps as possible in your door and window sealing can prevent cold or hot air from escaping or entering your home.

4. Outdoor kitchen and seating area.

An outdoor kitchen and seating can be a great home addition to entertain guests during the warm spring and summer months. With an outdoor kitchen, everything you need can be conveniently left outside, such as barbeques, ice makers, and refrigerators, saving time from making trips in and out of the house. Additionally, you can keep lingering cooking odours and messes outside. Adding an outdoor fireplace, comfortable seating, and tables lets your family and friends gather around to relax and create everlasting memories.

5. Retrofit your home.

You may have an emotional attachment to your home and desire to age in place, but you have not planned any renovations that make it easier to move around during your golden years. To boost the accessibility and comfort of your home, you can prepare for a safer washroom by replacing a tub-style shower with a curb-less or walk-in model, or you can plan features that enable single-level living, such as moving your laundry space to the main floor.

Renovating your home can be an exciting project but comes with a price tag. If you’re a homeowner aged 55-plus, the CHIP Reverse Mortgage by HomeEquity Bank is a great option to provide you with the funds you need to refresh your home to enjoy for many years to come. You can unlock up to 55% of your home’s equity in tax-free cash, and you’re free to use your money in any way you like, such as investing in your home.


Contact our team at Mortgage Man today to learn more about how the CHIP Reverse Mortgage can help you accomplish your home renovation dreams.