Find the best mortgage rates in British Columbia
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Current mortgage rates in British Columbia
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Open mortgages vs closed mortgages
Open mortgages have no penalties when it comes to lump sum payments or paying out your mortgage early. Because of this flexibility, the interest rate on open mortgages is higher while the mortgage term is shorter. Closed mortgages are more common among Canadian homeowners as they offer lower interest rates and a longer mortgage term. The lower interest rates of closed mortgages may provide more affordable monthly payments but they are usually accompanied by an early payout penalty.
Variable mortgage rates vs fixed mortgage rates
Variable mortgage rates are lower than fixed-rate mortgages but, the rates on variable mortgages fluctuate with changing market dynamics – specifically, the Bank of Canada’s lending rate. This means your mortgage interest rate may go up or down during the term of your mortgage. While your regular payment will remain constant, the change in the interest rate will impact the amount of principal you pay off each month. When rates on variable interest rate mortgages decrease, a larger portion of your regular payment is applied to the principal; whereas, if rates increase, more of your regular monthly payment will go towards the interest. Rates on fixed mortgages do not change for a pre-determined time (the mortgage term), the maximum being 10 years.
Mortgage term is the contracted time frame that has been agreed upon with the lender. During the mortgage term, the agreed upon parameters will be in force including, the interest rate, prepayment privileges, payment amount and payment frequency. The mortgage term can be between 1 to 10 years, 5 years is the most common mortgage term chosen by Canadian homeowners.
The amortization period is the time it will take to pay off the mortgage in full based on the current interest rate, payment amount and payment frequency. Increasing or decreasing payment amounts or frequency will impact the amortization period. Fluctuations in the mortgage interest rate with a variable rate mortgage will also impact the amortization period. If rates increase (which means you are paying less principal and more interest with each regular monthly payment), this will lengthen the amortization period. Conversely, if rates decrease (which means you are paying more principal and less interest with each regular monthly payment), this will shorten the amortization period. The amortization period is typically between 5 to 35 years with, 25 years being the most common amortization period chosen by Canadian homeowners.
Mortgage prepayment penalties
Most lenders will charge you a fee if you wish to payout or renew/refinance your loan before the mortgage term ends. The penalties and how they are calculated are included in the mortgage contract and should be read carefully before making a decision.