As a part of my financial goals for 2016, goal #6 is to learn about the options for our mortgage renewal later this year, and figure out the best way to consolidate our accounts and get that area of our finances organized and sorted. When I wrote about the goal originally, I made a note that it was not really a “SMART” goal and was super vague and definitely needed some work to make it more of a plan…
Not sure who said it originally, but there is a quote going around the internet:
A dream without a plan is just a wish.
In my case, it is a goal without a plan… but whatever.
So, last week, while I was doing my best attempt at adulting by learning about home insurance (yes, I was learning about it the day before it was due for renewal, but better than not learning at all, right?) I found out that they actually have my mortgage provider listed on the insurance, which clued me in to the fact that when I get my mortgage switched up, I’ll have to tell my home insurance provider as well. Anyway, it also reminded me of this goal, and so I thought I’d sit down and write up a plan. It really is the only way to get things done… Make it in to small baby steps… Not that it will prevent me from procrastinating, but maybe it’ll help?
So here’s what I came up with, and please let me know if you see something that is obviously missing…
- Discuss this Plan with my Husband.
Probably best if I share this with the other person who is quite heavily invested, right?
- Research Bank Accounts.
Part of moving our mortgage to a new bank is also moving my bank accounts (I want to cut all ties with my old bank if possible…)
- Ask Current Bank About Cancellation Fees.
What is the cost for canceling early? Right now? 6 months early? 3 months early?
- Ask Current Bank About Property Tax Account
I may have discussed this before, but our property tax is paid through our mortgage, but it is sort of this separate account that gets a small portion of each monthly payment, but we don’t actually have any access to or knowledge of the balance. And here’s the real kicker, if it doesn’t have enough in it when the property tax is due in July, then the account goes in to overdraft and we pay interest on that debt, without even having access to that account!!! Anyway, last year I made a lump payment to get it in the black, and made sure that we pay enough each month to never go in to the negative, but I want to make sure that any positive balance that we have in there is not lost when we leave…
- Research Advertised Mortgage Rates at Some of the Major Banks
This is mostly so that we have some knowledge of what are the normal going rates, so hopefully we can get a better deal somewhere once we talk to them in person.
- Visit 2-3 Banks/Brokers to Discuss Options for Mortgages
I want to shop around. Long story short, my bank made it impossible to leave when we bought the house, so we didn’t get a good rate and any of the current rates would be better than what we have… However, I don’t want to just take the first good rate that is offered to me. I want to make sure that I do my research and know that I am getting the best rate possible.
- Learn About Adding Names to the Property Deed
Long story really short, this is part of why we want to leave my current bank…
- Meet with my Husband’s Financial Adviser
This isn’t totally related to the mortgage, but my husband’s financial adviser (from before we were together) wants to meet me, and check in with our status.
- Decide On and Open a New Bank Account
(Or Multiple Accounts depending on how we decide to organize our finances…)
- Link New Account to Tangerine Savings Accounts
Right now we have our shared savings in a couple joint savings accounts with Tangerine. They link to my old account, so I’ll want to update that.
- Learn about Options Regarding Property Tax Payment
I’ve always had it included in my mortgage, but after this year and learning what I have about the hidden property tax account, I want to know if we can just manage that ourselves.
- Get our Credit Reports
This is pretty important for getting a good deal on a mortgage (from what I understand), so we want to make sure we take a close look at what the banks are looking at and make sure that everything is correct.
- Transfer Money to New Account, Move Automatic Deposits and Withdrawals to New Account, and Close Up the Old Account
- Decide On Mortgage Provider and Transfer Mortgage to New Provider
This has to happen by November 1st, but depending on how things go, if we can save money by doing it earlier (smaller payments and no penalties), then we will definitely do it sooner.
- Tell the Insurance Company about the Change
This is what I learned about last week.
- Get any Legal Documents Updated that are Required
I’m not sure if there are any that will need to be updated, but it’s something I want to double check and learn about, if there are…
- Update YNAB with New Account(s)
This is the fun part! I get to play with my YNAB software and rearrange everything. (Yes, I am a big YNAB nerd!)
Is there anything major that I’m missing? What research or learning did you do before getting or renewing your mortgage? Do you have any tips or tricks to get the best rate on a mortgage?
4 thoughts on “2016 Goal #6 – The Plan”
I love how you broke down this pretty large task into small and easy chunks!
I don’t know if you’ve already come across this website in your research, but you should check out RateHub.ca’s education centre for information on renewing your mortgage. http://www.ratehub.ca/renewing
I’d also definitely look into their mortgage rates section just to give yourself an idea of what is available out there.
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Thanks for the link! I’ll definitely check them out. (Gotta do my research!)
The steps might be a little basic… but then I can check them off easier, and everyone likes checking things off on a list!
For your property taxes when you do come for renewal I would try to see if you can pay that directly to the city itself. A lot of the times when you are a first time home buyers the bank wants to make sure you pay it but when you renew and move to a new bank see if you can have the process changed. You obviously have to be diligent in putting money aside to pay the taxes but it is usually better in your account vs sitting at the bank. That extra interest if you go into the red sucks as well since you can’t see the balance. That’s almost as bad as mortgage insurance offered by the bank.
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I went to the bank where my current mortgage is yesterday and was able to check the balance of my property tax account, so we are good for this year’s taxes, but I will definitely look in to paying our taxes direct to the city ourselves when we go for the mortgage renewal. It totally made sense to have them take care of it when I didn’t really pay attention to my finances, but now that I am aware and pretty on top of things, I feel like I can be responsible enough to pay them. We’ll see what the banks think though.