Thursday, August 18, 2011

New Home Buyer? Mortgage Basics.

Purchasing a home can be one of the biggest investment decisions we make in our lives. It is important to understand how mortgages work since we don't usually pay all the money upfront to purchase a home.

Depending on the type of mortgage you choose (fixed vs. variable, open vs. closed) you can save tons on interest over the life of the mortgage.

One tip is to increase the frequency of your mortgage payments. Instead of paying once a month, choose a bi-weekly payment plan. You cut the payment that you would regularly pay in a month into half and pay it every two weeks. Since there are 52 weeks in a year you actually end up making 13 mortgage payments in a year instead of 12. That extra payment cuts down the amount you pay in interest over the life of the loan dramatically and will allow you to own your home mortgage free years sooner.

With little to no change in your life style you can shave off $1000's in interest. For more on mortgage basics check out this video:

Got a Mortgage? Shop Around!

When we go out shopping we often try to get the best deal, whether it's by clipping coupons or checking the weekly flyer. The same goes for mortgages, only in this case we're shopping for the best interest rate. It's always a good idea to get at least two to three different rates from different banks. Knowing who can offer the lowest rate is an excellent bargaining chip when negotiating for the best rate.

To find the most competitive mortgage rates in Canada go to Ratehub:

This is an excellent site that has the most up to date Canadian mortgage rates. It also has some cool calculators that help you find out how much house you can afford and what the payments would be like.

Don't forget that the bank is in business to lend money. You can always take your business elsewhere. Shopping around and paying the best rate will help you become mortgage free years ahead!

Here's a video with some tips on how to negotiate the best mortgage rate:

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Welcome to Moneyville!

Here are some links to an excellent personal finance site. It's a site that is run by the Toronto Star. Moneyville has numerous bloggers that update it with great articles on a weekly basis.

Here are some of the latest must read articles:

Confessions of a Car Salesman

Why Life Insurance Premiums Are Rising?

The 7 Certainties of Investing

5 Things You Should Always Buy at the Dollar Store (Instead of Regular Retail Store)

These are only a select number of the many articles available at this site. It's a great resource so I'll leave a link at the bottom of this page.

Are you's next blogger?

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Market Turmoil - Time to Search for Bargains!

The last 6 months of stock market trading on the TSX has been especially troubling. We've watched it drop from it's high of 14, 469 to 11, 670. A decline of nearly 20%. In the last two days it looks like a rebound is taking effect. So are we out of the forest yet?

It's impossible to predict the short term movements of the market and it would be foolish to try. However, with the recent turmoil many bargains may be popping up. For long-term value investors these market corrections can present incredible value opportunities.

To get a better idea of how to spot great deals in the market place read "The Little Book of Value Investing" by Chris Browne. A lot of people panic when they see the value of the portfolio drop precipitously and bale out shortly before the market recovers. Value investors inherently avoid the herd mentality and are constantly on a hunt for bargains while looking more towards long term prosperity.

To quote Warren Buffet druing the bottom of the bear market in October 1974 when Forbes magazine asked him how he felt, Warren responded "Like an oversexed guy in a whorehouse. Now is the time to invest and get rich." Don't forget another great quote from the Oracle of Omaha, “Be fearful when others are greedy, and be greedy when others are fearful. And most certainly, fear is now widespread, gripping even seasoned investors.”

Don't take my word for it, listen to the man himself: