The use and abuse of mortgages in retirement
Are retirees playing with fire? They could be if they decide to use money borrowed through a mortgage to supplement their other sources of retirement income. The most common ways those at or close to retirement do this is to hold a mortgage through their Locked-in Retirement Account (LIRA) or to borrow money against their home through a so-called “reverse mortgage.” But retirees should think long and hard before entering into either of these arrangements. READ MORE
Beware the fees and penalties!
Sometimes it makes sense to refinance a mortgage – and it’s tempting if your rate is higher than prevailing rates – but mostly it doesn’t. It would make sense only if you have a longer-term mortgage at an interest rate considerably higher than what’s on offer at current low rates. It all boils down to the math, and like it or not, you’ll have to do some number-crunching to determine whether refinancing makes sense for you. READ MORE
Learn the basics of financing before plunging in – no math degree required
Young couples shopping for their first home are faced with the bewildering new language of the real estate market – mortgages alone often seem to require a degree in higher mathematics. It’s tempting to give it all up and just let the lenders and lawyers lead the way. Often, though, that’s the shortest route to turning your dream home into a “money pit.” So it’s vitally important for first-time home buyers to learn at least the basics. Here’s a quick guide to the rules of down payments and mortgages. READ MORE
A mortgage rate hike could put you in a cash crunch
If you currently have a fairly large variable-rate mortgage on your home, it’s probably set at a very low rate, which makes your monthly payments affordable. But with interest rates apparently ready to rise, is now the time to lock in today’s low rate? READ MORE