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Top Mortgage Tips for 2015

1. Get last year’s bills under control.
It can happen to anyone…and it does, to most of us. The holiday season can be tough on the pocketbook and many of us find ourselves racking up a balance on credit cards or falling behind on bills. Discussing your options for debt consolidation with a Mortgage Broker can save you hundreds of dollars of interest while stabilizing your credit score.

2. Monitor your credit score. 

As referenced in the previous point, last year’s credit activity can hang over this year’s mortgage application. It’s a good idea to keep ongoing tabs on your credit – even if you aren’t planning to acquire or renew this year. The sooner you catch irregularities, the easier it is to make them go away!

3. Amp up your payments. 

Maybe you got a big Christmas bonus, or better yet, a raise. It can be tempting to pocket the extra cash, but chipping away at your mortgage now will save you money down the road.

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4. Consider renovating instead of selling.

If you’re feeling a little cramped for space but you aren’t in a rush to sell, why not consider a renovation? A little refresh/update to your kitchen, expansion in your bathroom…new sundeck…whatever the job, it’s less expensive than buying a bigger house. I can help you finance a reno with a HELOC.

5. Check on your mortgage. 

Take a moment to calibrate and see where your mortgage is at. A refresher as to where you are with your payments and how your mortgage is structured can help you plan your upcoming year.

6. Don’t renew on autopilot. 

A renewal is just as important as a first mortgage. But when the paperwork arrives in the mail it can be easy to just sign the line without digging a little deeper and looking into your various options – however, in doing so you could save yourself thousands. Call me before you renew!

7. Check your tax credit eligibility.

If you bought in 2014, you might be able to claim the $5,000 non-refundable Home Buyer Tax Credit which can mean up to $750 in federal tax breaks. I can help you find out if you qualify – or, ask your accountant.

8. If you must borrow, consider borrowing against your home.

University education, a second property, maybe a boat? There are plenty of reasons to borrow money, and oftentimes mortgage financing is the best deal out there. Don’t forget to consider this if faced with a large purchase in 2015.

9. Call me if you’ve separated or are getting divorced.

Not for a date (although I’m sure you’re great) – but because I might be able to help you. There are many options for you when going your separate ways; and if one of you wants to keep the principal home, there’s almost always a way.

10. Make this year the year that you start your ’emergency fund’. 

We all want one, but sometimes building up an ’emergency fund’ is easier said than done (especially when the holiday season rolls around). You can avoid high interest credit card charges resulting from emergency purchases if you stash a little from each paycheque into a savings account.