The Importance of Saving for a Down Payment

General Beata Wojtalik 9 Feb

The Importance of Saving for a Down Payment


Saving for a down payment is a critical step in the home-buying process. A down payment is a lump sum of money paid upfront to the lender, which represents a portion of the total cost of the home. The amount of the down payment can vary, but it typically ranges from 5% to 20% of the purchase price.

There are several ways to save for a down payment, including setting aside a portion of your income each month, reducing expenses, and potentially tapping into a retirement account like an IRA. It’s also important to consider any programs or assistance that may be available to help with the down payment, such as grants, loans, or gifts from family. By planning ahead and taking steps to save, you’ll be able to accumulate the necessary funds to put towards your down payment and start building equity in your new home.


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Fixed mortgage rates are falling

General Beata Wojtalik 6 Feb

Fixed mortgage rates are falling

While rates have been steadily climbing for variable mortgages, fixed mortgage rates have been moving in the opposite direction.

Certain lenders and national brokerages have been gradually dropping rates for select terms since the start of the month. Average nationally-available deep-discount 5-year fixed mortgage rates are now about 20 basis points lower compared to earlier in the month, according to data from

The move follows the recent decline in the 5-year Government of Canada bond yield, which typically leads fixed mortgage rates.

The 5-year bond yield closed at 3.05% on Monday, bouncing back slightly from a 5-month low of 2.80% reached last week. Still, yields are down from about 3.40% four weeks ago and the 14-year high of 3.89% reached in October.

Could this be a peak for fixed rates?

While this isn’t the first time fixed mortgage rates have dipped in recent months, some suggest that with expectations of a recession on the horizon and with the worst of inflation seemingly behind us, rates could continue to ease some more.

“It certainly looks to me like we’re starting to bump up against some resistance on fixed mortgage rates,” Ben Rabidoux of Edge Realty Analytics said during a webinar for clients on Monday. “I think there is a very good chance that we’ve seen the peak in fixed mortgage rates and they’re now beginning to decline.”

He pointed to the “highly unusual” fact that fixed rates are now priced about 120 basis points (or 1.2 percentage points) below variable rates.

“That’s an indication that the rates market is projecting Bank of Canada rate cuts later this year,” he said. “This helps explain why fixed rates are lower than variable because the fixed rates are priced off the bond market…[and] the bond market is clearly signalling that the worst of the inflation scare is behind us.”

If the current trend continues, Rabidoux said that there’s a “very good chance” that 5-year fixed rates fall back to the “low fours” by the spring homebuying season.

“If [yields] continue to tick down a little, the possibility that we end up with mortgages in the high threes is not outside the realm of possibility at this point,” he added. “A lot can change, but as it stands right now, I think the direction of travel for interest rates is clearly down and that’s good news.”

Short-term fixed rates growing in popularity

Many borrowers are clearly anticipating lower rates again in the coming years, which explains the rising popularity of short-term fixed rates.

Data from the Bank of Canada shows a clear trend of borrowers shifting away from variable rates and towards short-term fixed rates.

Nearly a third (31%) of all new mortgage originations as of November had a fixed-rate term of under three years.

It’s a trend Rabidoux said he expects to continue, so long as expectations are for rates to come down in the near term.

“It makes sense. If I were taking out a mortgage today, I would be inclined to look at 1- or 2-year fixed because I think there’s a decent chance that, a year or two from now, [rates are] going to be substantially cheaper at renewal,” he said.

Meanwhile, after making up nearly 60% of new mortgage originations last year, variable-rate products are back to making up a more historically average share of new mortgages, according to the Bank of Canada data. In November, 22% of new originations had a variable-rate mortgage.


Steve Huebl


General Beata Wojtalik 16 Jan

Looking to buy a home? Learn more about the pre-approval process! 

The pre-approval process for a mortgage application involves several steps. First, the borrower must submit a mortgage application, which includes personal and financial information, such as income, assets, and credit history. 


Next, the lender will review the application and conduct a credit check to determine the borrower’s creditworthiness. 


If the lender determines that the borrower is a good candidate for a mortgage, they will then issue a pre-approval letter, which states the amount of the loan for which the borrower has been approved and the terms of the loan. 


The pre-approval letter can be used by the borrower to show that they are a serious and qualified buyer when making an offer on a property.


It is also important to note that the Pre-approval process may also include an assessment of the property value by the lender.


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Benefits of Home Ownership

General Beata Wojtalik 9 Jan

Benefits of Home Ownership

There are so many benefits to home ownership, so here are 5 reasons why you should look into buying a home today!


1.Building equity: Every mortgage payment you make is essentially money in the bank, as you’re building equity in your home.


2.Tax deductions: Homeowners can often deduct mortgage interest and property taxes on their tax returns, which can save them a significant amount of money.


3.Forced savings: When you rent, you’re essentially throwing money away each month. With home ownership, you’re putting that money towards an asset that you can potentially sell later for a profit.


4.Sense of accomplishment: There’s a sense of accomplishment that comes with owning your own home. It’s a tangible representation of your hard work and success.


5.Stable housing: With home ownership, you have the security of stable housing and the ability to customize and make changes to your living space.


If you have any mortgage questions, don’t hesitate to contact me.

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The Different Stages of the Mortgage Process

General Beata Wojtalik 7 Jan


Are you thinking about buying a home and wondering what to expect during the mortgage process? Here’s a quick overview of the different stages and what you can expect at each one:


Pre-approval: During this stage, you’ll provide your lender with information about your income, assets, debts, and credit history. They’ll use this information to determine how much they’re willing to lend you.


Shopping for a home: Now that you know how much you can borrow, it’s time to start shopping for a home that fits your budget. Don’t forget to consider other costs like closing fees, property taxes, and homeowners insurance.


Applying for a mortgage: Once you’ve found a home you want to buy, you’ll need to formally apply for a mortgage. This involves submitting a more detailed loan application and going through a more thorough underwriting process.


Closing: If your loan is approved, the next step is closing. During this stage, you’ll review and sign all of the necessary documents and pay any closing costs. Once everything is finalized, you’ll receive the keys to your new home!


Making payments: Now that you’re a homeowner, it’s time to start making monthly mortgage payments. Be sure to make these payments on time to avoid any potential late fees or credit score impacts.


The mortgage process can be intimidating, but it doesn’t have to be. By understanding what to expect at each stage, you can feel more prepared and confident as you navigate the process. Good luck!


If you have any mortgage questions, don’t hesitate to contact me.

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The Banks Vs Mortgage Brokers

General Beata Wojtalik 4 Dec

The Banks Vs Mortgage Brokers


If you’re questioning why to use a Mortgage Broker vs. the Bank, here are a few reasons you might want to consider before deciding.


  • Get independent advice on your financial options. As mortgage brokers, we have access to hundreds of different lenders.
  • We negotiate on your behalf. Many people are uncertain or uncomfortable negotiating mortgages directly with their bank.
  • More Choice means more competitive rates. We have access to a network of major lenders in Canada, so your options are extensive. In addition to traditional lenders, we also know what’s being offered by credit unions, trust companies, and other sources.
  • Mortgage brokers ensure that you’re getting the best rates and terms. Even if you’ve already been pre-approved for a mortgage by your bank, or another financial institution, you’re not obligated to stop shopping.
  • Things move quickly! Job isn’t done until your closing date smoothly. Will help ensure your mortgage transaction takes place on time. Our job isn’t done until your closing date smoothly. We’ll help ensure your mortgage transaction takes place on time and to your satisfaction.


If you have any mortgage questions, don’t hesitate to contact me.

Call me today or book a meeting:- CALENDAR LINK


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The Benefits Of A Cash-Out Refinance

General Beata Wojtalik 3 Dec

The Benefits Of A Cash-Out Refinance:

In addition to the amount of cash you can gain, getting a cash-out refinance can come with other benefits, too.


  • Low-Cost Home Improvements


  • You Could Secure A Better Loan


  • Boost Your Property Value


  • Maintain One Payment


  • Low Interest Rates


  • You May Get A Tax Deduction


Do you need more information? Don’t hesitate to contact me.


Call me today or book a meeting:- CALENDAR LINK


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Can You Roll Student Loans Into A Mortgage?

General Beata Wojtalik 17 Nov

Can You Roll Student Loans Into A Mortgage?


Rolling student loans into a mortgage is possible with the right loan and enough equity in the home. Equity is the difference between your home’s value and your current outstanding mortgage balance. It’s the money you could walk away with if you sold your house today.


Rather than selling your house, you can keep it and roll your student loan debt into it, making it easier to manage your finances and maybe even save money on interest charges. To qualify, you’ll need decent a decent credit score and proof that you can afford the higher loan payment that rolling debt into your mortgage creates.


Keep in mind, rolling student loan debt into a mortgage increases your mortgage payment but eliminates (or lowers) your other debt payments depending on whether you move the entire amount into your mortgage or just some of it.


Homeowners have a few options to roll student loans into a mortgage, including a cash-out refinance to consolidate student and mortgage debt or Fannie Mae’s Student Loan CashOut Refi program.


The reality of the situation is you’re “reshuffling” the debt, and you aren’t paying it off all at once. The key to consolidating student loans with your mortgage is to take advantage of low mortgage refinance rates (if possible) and simplify your monthly finances.


If you have any questions, don’t hesitate to contact me.


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The Conventional Home Loans

General Beata Wojtalik 15 Nov

The Conventional Home Loans

A conventional mortgage loan is a “conforming” loan, which simply means that it meets the requirements for Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac. Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac are government-sponsored enterprises that purchase mortgages 

from lenders and sell them to investors. This frees up lenders’ funds so they can get more qualified buyers into homes.


Adjustable-Rate Mortgage (ARM) – A loan with an interest rate that is tied to a specified financial index, this increases or decreases at scheduled time periods during the life of the loan. The loan includes a margin that is tied to the index.


Fixed-Rate Loan – A loan with an interest rate and payment that remains constant throughout the life of the loan. Interest is amortized over the loan period and factored into the monthly mortgage payment.


Interest Only – Monthly mortgage payments consist of interest only for a specific period, usually 5 to 10 years. During the interest only period, your balance remains the same unless you choose to pay extra toward your principal.


If any of these loans sounds like the loan for you, let’s get started!


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5 Inflation-Busting Financial Tips

General Beata Wojtalik 22 Oct

5 Inflation-Busting Financial Tips

Feeling deflated by inflation? These 5 tips can help reduce the impact of surging prices on your wallet.

Forget splurges and discretionary spending; it’s getting harder to pay for life’s essentials. Housing, food, transportation — necessary expenses for most people — are among the spending categories that have seen the biggest price jumps over the past year.

Feeling deflated by inflation? Take these five steps to limit your personal inflation – the rate at which your household expenses are rising – and the impact of surging prices on your wallet.

Inflation-busting tip #1: Begin with a budget

When the bills are ballooning faster than your paycheck, you can bring your budget back into balance in two ways: cut costs or bring in more money.

Since finding a higher-paying job or supplemental income can take time – and may not be necessary if you can keep expenses under control — start by examining the inflow and outflow of money in your bank account. Budgeting software or an online tool like Zions Bank’s home budget calculator can help you manage your monthly budget.

In taking a birds-eye view of your spending, you might see places where your expenses can be reduced or eliminated. Are you paying for a subscription service you rarely use? Or eating out more than you should?

You might also notice areas where your spending has spiked because of inflation. Perhaps more money needs to be allocated for fuel or groceries. Rejigger the budget to reflect the reality of today’s prices. Then you can make a plan for sticking to that budget.

Inflation-busting tip #2: Get time on your side

Budget management is largely time management. In a time of inflation, it’s important to plan not only for far-off expenditures like retirement or college, but to also anticipate day-to-day needs so you can spend strategically. Making a shopping list in advance, timing purchases around sales, and paying bills on time are just a few ways you can harness time to combat rising costs.

Inflation-busting tip #3: Tweak your shopping lists

Cross off bacon and add broccoli to your grocery shopping list. That’s because some prices are escalating faster than others. The price of fruits and vegetables grew 7.8% over the past year, for instance, while meats, poultry, fish, and eggs spiked 14.3% — almost double that rate, according to the May 2022 Consumer Price Index.

Whether you choose to implement Meatless Mondays or go full vegan, reduced reliance on animal products can help keep the grocery bill from eating up your food budget. When buying meat, opt for leaner cuts, which tend to be less expensive. Consider buying meat in larger value packages you can divide up and freeze some for later.

While the food at home index rose more than 10% over the past year — its biggest jump since Jimmy Carter was president — it remains a more budget-friendly alternative to dining out.

Inflation-busting tip #4: Put the brakes on travel

As gas prices accelerate and airfares soar, tighten your radius for nonessential travel. A vacation spot three hours away could offer the same psychological escape as a destination 13 hours away, without running up your gas bill.

To keep gas prices from driving your budget to the ground, keep your fuel tank over half full, drive at an even speed, and double up on errands to limit trips.

Inflation-busting tip #5: Save your energy

Shocked by your electricity bill? That’s another impact of inflation. Luckily, energy use is an area where most people can cut back.  Start with the air conditioner – a major culprit of soaring summer energy costs. You can save as much as 10% per year on heating and cooling by adjusting your thermostat by 7-10 degrees for eight hours a day, according to the U.S. Department of Energy.

To help further keep costs down, change air conditioning filters regularly, weatherstrip your doors, and shade your outside compressor.

The inflationary economy may be out of your personal control but getting creative with your spending strategies and habits can help keep its impacts on your personal finances at bay.

Kallee Feuz is a public relations officer for Zions Bank.