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New year, new mortgage: why now is the time to refinance

January 6, 2021

Given current conditions in the mortgage lending environment, there are many reasons to look into refinancing, even for those whose mortgages aren’t imminently up for renewal. Unsurprisingly, COVID-19 is a substantial factor at play in people’s decision to refinance.

Beyond the lifestyle changes associated with living through a pandemic, the main reason to explore the possibility of refinancing these days is the exceptionally low interest rates. The rates are so low, in fact, that in many cases they will offset the penalty incurred by breaking your mortgage term early to refinance.

“The majority of people have mortgages with rates much higher then what they can get on the current market,” said Teddy Kyres, president of Orbis Mortgage Group. “The key would be to review their penalty with a mortgage professional, and we’re finding the majority of time if you properly calculate then penalty, it is well worth it to refinance.”

The same can be said for people’s investment properties, he added.

“Instead of selling their rental units and paying capital gains tax, some clients will refinance and take out the majority of their equity that way,” Kyres said. “When consulting with a tax expert, many will recommend refinancing rental properties and essentially differing clients’ tax hit.”

With unprecedented rates available now, people need to take advantage while they can by consulting with their mortgage professionals and exploring their options.

“I think right now everyone should review their current loan,” Kyres said. “The market can change quickly, which we saw in March of this year when rates sky-rocketed within a matter of weeks at the beginning of COVID-19. Whether you have a $100,000 or $1 million mortgage, the calculation does not take time and is often worth thousands of dollars in savings.”

If your mortgage is up for renewal, it’s critical to explore your options rather than simply renewing your current mortgage. This is a costly mistake made by a large portion of homeowners.

“When an institution mails out their renewal letter, it is most often not a competitive offer because they inherently know that the majority of their mortgage clients will renew without negotiating,” Kyres explained. “At renewal, clients should review their loan as most lenders will be extremely aggressive in trying to acquire their business. Also, most of the time their legal fees are paid by the new lender and their rate is often much more competitive. This can translate into thousands in savings for clients.”

No matter your situation, speaking with an expert is essential when making decisions about your mortgage, as each client’s mortgage and lending profile is different and should be treated as such.

Moreover, seeking professional guidance can result in savings clients weren’t even aware was possible, Kyres explained.

“Given the fact that the Autorité des marchés financiers (AMF) now governs mortgage brokers, our services have been brought to the next level in terms of the analysis that must be performed on every clients’ lending options,” Kyres said. “Mortgage brokers must now work in the same way as financial planners and advisors in assessing all lending needs and properly delivering the correct product.”

The result? A more comprehension experience for clients, and one that can result in substantial savings. But how long will low rates last? That’s difficult to predict.

“What I can say for sure is that now is the best time in history to acquire a mortgage,” Kyres said. “Going forward I believe rates will stay low for a while however this is not guaranteed. I would say it’s in everyone’s best interest to explore refinancing options now with their mortgage professional.”

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