Edition #34    Volume # 1

Mortgage Loan Minute 60 seconds to informed home ownership
Spring Family Enjoying their new home  
In This Issue
Rules, rules and more rules...
Tracy's Q and Eh?
Quick Links
  Current interest rates: 

  Prime Rate ...................  3.00
 Qualifying Rate ..............  5.34
  3 year fixed ..................  3.42
  5 year fixed ..................  3.89
  7 year fixed ..................  4.99
  Variable rate .................  2.20
   (prime - .80%)
Tracy Irwin, AMP
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Dear Tracy, 

Happy Spring ...well, almost!

Check out my new and improved website where you can challenge your mortgage knowledge with The Mortgage Quiz or ask me a mortgage question with my new live chat feature (see the bottom bar on the website page). 
  Have a mortgage question?
I would love to hear from you!
Rules, rules and more rules.... 

Well, our government has intervened again!  It has only been a year since the last round of changes.  The newest with new rules effective March 18, 2011 and include:


Newest rule #1: Maximum amortization has been reduced from 35 years to 30 years.


While we agree that it is a good idea for individuals to qualify for a lower amortization period and be able to save interest, there are some situations where a longer amortization makes sense. For instance:

  • First time homebuyers trying to get into the housing market

With the increase in the average home price, it is very difficult for first time home buyers to get into the market.  This group is also at the beginning of their career and have tremendous upside for increased earnings.

  • Investment Property Owners

Investors don't necessarily want to pay down their mortgage quickly.  It is more about the profit that the property generates versus reducing their mortgage quickly.

  • Seniors

Seniors may be looking to take equity out of their property, stay in their home longer and have smaller mortgage payments.


Only 22% of the entire mortgage market has an amortization greater than 25 years!


Newest Rule #2:

Lowering the maximum loan to value (mortgage amount / property value) from 90% to 85%


While this new rule will help you keep more equity in your home, it doesn't identify or address the real culprit.  The ridiculous credit card interest rates and managing your "non-asset"  debt. 


Current debt to income ratio is 146% - higher for the first time in history than our American friends.


Newest Rule #3:

You must have 20% down payment in order to qualify for a secured line of credit.


There is always the temptation with an interest only loan to only pay the minimum required so that you are never reducing  your debt.  With this new rule, you will be protected with a minimum of 20% equity in your home.


If you have any questions on how the new rules will affect you and your mortgage, I'm only a click or call away! 

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Tracy's Q and Eh?

Q: If you were making 1 extra mortgage payment each year, how much would the life of a 30 year mortgage be shortened by approximately?
  • 5 years
  • 8 years
  • 15 years
  • It doesn't shorten the life of the loan

Eh? It will shorten the life of the mortgage by 5 years.


 Here's how you can Save Money with your Mortgage?


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Who's the slowest putter on tour?
According to Golf Magazine Bernhard Langer is the slowest player in on the pro tour, with an average of 90 seconds per putt. So if you plan to play a round with Bernhard, count on adding almost an hour watching Bernhard Putt - assuming only two putts per green.   
Tracy Irwin, AMP
Mortgage Broker

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