1-Year Mortgage Anniversary

It has been 1 year since we re-financed our mortgage.  At the time, I posted two posts about it; the first was going over my to-do list for the renewal, and the second was all the details of our new mortgage.

While I am still waiting for the renovations to be actually completed, I am happy with our decision to use money out of the equity in our home for that purpose, even if it goes against a lot of traditional personal finance advice.  And, I am still happy with our decision to not make paying off the mortgage a priority at this point, since we have a nice low fixed rate of 2.34% for four more years.  Since rates have already started to increase, we will have to revisit that decision when we go to renew in four years, but until then we will probably just let it go on auto-pilot.  That being said, I wouldn’t be a personal finance geek if I didn’t play with numbers in a spreadsheet… And so, of course, I have done that with our mortgage…  Continue reading

My Mortgage Renewal – Part 2

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Earlier this week I posted the first part of this process, which was going through the original plan and seeing what I did or didn’t actually complete.  I was pleasantly surprised by the results.  I actually did do most of the list!

But, that post didn’t cover any of the specific details of our renewal, so I promised I would share that in another post.  So let’s get to it.

First up, let’s do a little background.  My husband and I bought our house in the December of 2013.  We bought it the first day on the market and though we paid slightly over asking price, we asked for a long closing time because we had to sell my townhouse and I still think we got a great deal.  So we moved in to the house in March of 2014.

The house itself was pretty clean, well maintained and livable, but definitely not updated.  We had big dreams of renovations, but had to wait a while before we could fund anything major.  But even without any updates to the house, the market has done what the market has done, and the value of the house has increased substantially. Continue reading

My Mortgage Renewal – Part 1

mortgage

As I’ve mentioned since the beginning of the year, our mortgage was up for renewal November 1st.  Well that date has come and gone, so you might be wondering what happened?

Way back in February I put together a plan of 17 steps to follow in preparation of everything that I thought we’d need and want to do before the renewal.  We didn’t exactly follow the plan, but we did do quite a bit…

  1. Discuss the plan with my husband.
    I’m not totally sure that I actually shared the full plan with him at any point, but we did discuss all the things we wanted to do as preparation for the renewal.  So… Done!
  2. Research Bank Accounts.
    I did do some research for bank accounts, and posted about it… so… Done!
  3. Ask Current Bank About Cancellation Fees.
    Yeah, I never really did that… And it didn’t really matter because we waited until the end to get our new mortgage, so we didn’t need to worry about the cancellation fees… Not Done, but OK.
  4. Ask Current Bank About Property Tax Account
    I asked my current bank and they informed me that whatever cash is left in that fund would be rolled in to the payout amount, and that my new mortgage would have to start from scratch if we choose to go with the same set up.  So… Done!
  5. Research Advertised Mortgage Rates at Some of the Major Banks
    Thanks to Jordann at My Alternate Life, I learned about RateHub.ca and did quite a bit of research through them to figure out what the going rates were.  Another one Done!
  6. Visit 2-3 Banks/Brokers to Discuss Options for Mortgages Continue reading

2016 Goal #6 – The Plan

2016_6_Plan

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…

Continue reading