Three months worth of interest payments or an interest rate differential fee? You should do the math.
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Conventional vs. high-ratio mortgages: which is cheaper?
There are so many types of mortgages out there that it’s easy to get confused. To get you started, you’ll need to consider your mortgage down payment on your Northwest Territories home.
If you’re able to put more than 20% of the value of the home as a down payment, you’ll be offered a conventional mortgage contract. On the other hand, if you put down less than 20% of the purchase price of the home as a down payment, you’ll be offered a high-ratio mortgage contract. You can get both on LowestRates.ca.
We’ve also pulled a sample of rates to show you the difference between high-ratio and conventional mortgages. Keep in mind that homebuyers with high-ratio mortgages are required to purchase mortgage insurance from the CMHC, which means rates are often lower.
To see a comparison of high-ratio mortgages and conventional mortgages in the Northwest Territories, check out this graph.
Conventional 5-year fixed mortgage rates vs. high ratio 5-year fixed mortgage rates in Northwest Territories
|Date||Average Conventional Rate||Average High Ratio Rate|
Last Updated: May 1, 2021
Fixed rate vs. variable rate mortgages: which is cheaper?
When it comes to choosing your rate structure, a variable mortgage rate loan for a Northwest Territories homebuyer has been known to yield more savings than a fixed rate mortgage rate loan for a Northwest Territories homebuyer.
So what are the current mortgage rates in the Northwest Territories? How do variable mortgage rates in the Northwest Territories, Canada compare to fixed rates?
To find out, we took a closer look at the 5-year variable mortgage rates and 5-year fixed mortgage rates that residents of NWT have applied for on our site. We discovered that with either type of rate, you’re getting a great deal. Check out our chart and see for yourself.
5-year fixed vs. 5-year variable mortgage rates in Northwest Territories
Last Updated: May 1, 2021
Factors that affect your Northwest Territories mortgage rate
Before a bank, mortgage company or broker in the Northwest Territories will be willing to lend you the money for your mortgage, they will want to get a sense of your financial health. To do this they will consider a few different things.
Down payment: Ideally, a lender would like to see you make a down payment of 20% or more on the purchase of your new home. This is the first indicator that you are probably a low-risk borrower but before they come to this conclusion fully they will want to review a couple more items.
Debt service ratios: A mortgage payment is a big debt to have each month, especially when you have other bills that are due every 30 days. Brokers, banks and mortgage companies will want to know you can comfortably handle all of them. To find out if you can they rely on two formulas that compare your monthly income vs. your monthly expenses:
- Gross debt service ratio (GDS): This calculation determines what portion of your income each month will be going towards property expenses i.e. mortgage payments, property taxes, utilities, etc. All of these expenses are then added up and divided by your gross annual income. If the percentage is 32% or less, the bank or lender will be confident in your ability to pay your housing costs each month.
- Total debt service ratio (TDS): This calculation takes all of the property expenses used to calculate the GDSR and adds on any other monthly payments you may have (e.g. student loan, car loan, minimum credit card payments, etc.). The total of these costs is then divided by your gross annual income. If the percentage is 40% or less, the mortgage company will be confident in your ability to make all of your payments each month.
Credit score: Your credit score says a lot about your history as a borrower, specifically about how reliable you are with making payments and managing credit. If you have a bad credit score lenders will shy away from giving you a mortgage.
Your credit score is based on four aspects: whether you make payments on time (either on installment loans or revolving credit accounts); whether you’re responsible with the credit limits available to you (i.e. using less than 20%-30%); whether you’ve maintained longstanding relationships with banks and lenders, and, lastly, whether you’ve avoided opening too many new accounts.
Income: If you have a good and stable income that’s another sign for the lender that you will be capable of making your mortgage payment every month.
Typical mortgage amount in the Northwest Territories
To calculate what the size of the mortgage on your Northwest Territories property will be, we first need to know where you plan on buying, the size of your down payment and your mortgage interest rate.
On a Northwest Territories detached home worth $359,280, a buyer who can make a 20% down payment will have to borrow $287,424.
On the same home, a buyer who can only make a 10% down payment will have to borrow $323,352.
Plus, keep in mind, if your down payment is less than 20% you will need to get mortgage loan insurance through the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CHMC). This will protect your lender if for some reason you are unable to make your mortgage payments
With CMHC mortgage loan insurance you can qualify for a mortgage for up to 95% of the purchase price of your NWT home.
Northwest Territories’ housing market and home prices
The average price of resale residential homes sold across the Northwest Territories in January 2021 rose 16% to $359,280 vs. $309,071 in January 2020.
Northwest Territories closing costs and land transfer tax
When buying a new home it’s important to budget for all of the costs that are associated with finalizing the purchase. Here’s what you need to know.
Property valuation (appraisal) fee: The home you are buying becomes the collateral for the mortgage loan you are taking out. Simply put, if one day you can no longer pay your mortgage, the lender takes possession of your house. They can then sell the house in order to get back the money they loaned you for your mortgage. A property valuation or appraisal is an independent evaluation of the value of your home and ensures the lender that your house is worth the amount of mortgage they are lending you. Approximate cost: $400 to $500.
Home inspection fee: The house you’ve decided to buy may look like it’s in great shape but there could be underlying issues that you don’t realize. Before you sign on the dotted line have a licensed home inspector go through the home you’re considering. They’ll check everything out and provide you with a report that summarizes their findings and recommendations. Approximate $450 plus taxes.
Title insurance: Sometimes people don’t discover their home has a defect till after they’ve bought it and moved in--sometimes months later. By having title insurance, the homebuyer is protected. It covers any losses that might incur due to undetected or unknown defects to the property. Title insurance can be purchased through your lawyer. Expect to pay around $250.
Mortgage default insurance: If you can only afford a down payment on your new Northwest Territories home that is less than 20% you are obligated to purchase mortgage loan insurance through the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CHMC).
Legal fees: Buying a home is a legal transaction therefore it will require a real estate lawyer to look after all the necessary paperwork. Budget for $2,000 to $3,000 for this cost.
Land transfer tax: When one person exchanges a piece of property with another land transfer tax must be paid. In the Northwest Territories on properties that are $1 million dollars and less you will pay $1.50 for every $1,000. On properties that are over $1 million, you will pay $1,500 plus $1 for every $1,000.
Home insurance: Homeowners insurance covers the cost to repair or rebuild your home after events like fire, smoke, theft, vandalism, a falling tree, or damage caused by weather such as lightning, wind, or hail. Most standard homeowners insurance policies also cover the replacement cost of furniture, clothing, and other possessions that you keep in your home.
Your questions about Northwest Territory mortgages, answered.
What’s the difference between a mortgage term and an amortization period?
Mortgage term: The mortgage term is the amount of time that you commit to your mortgage rate, lender and the terms and conditions of the contract. At the end of the term, you’ll renew your contract with the mortgage company for the remaining principal at a new rate. The process repeats until you’ve paid off the mortgage on your Northwest Territory home. A mortgage term can vary in length, from six months to 10 years, with the most common term in Canada being five years.
Amortization period: The amortization period is the amount of time it will take you to pay off your entire mortgage. In Canada, the maximum amortization period is 35 years. But, if your down payment was less than 20% and you were required to purchase mortgage insurance from the Canadian Mortgage Housing Corporation (CMHC), then your maximum amortization period is 25 years.
What’s the difference between an open mortgage vs. a closed mortgage?
That rate you end up getting for your mortgage loan will depend on whether you opt for an open mortgage or closed mortgage.
Some home buyers prefer an open mortgage because it gives you the flexibility to pay off your mortgage at any time. With a closed mortgage, if you pay it off before the mortgage term ends, you have to pay a penalty.
However, taking a closed mortgage means you’ll get a lower interest rate. Rates for open mortgages in the Northwest Territories and across the country are usually higher.
How much does it cost to live in the Northwest Territories?
Owning a Home: According to the Canadian Real Estate Association, the average price of a residential home in the Northwest Territories as of January 2021, is $359,280.
Renting an Apartment: These were the average rents in Yellowknife, Northwest Territories in 2020.
- 1-bedroom Rental Apartment: $1,621/mth.
- 2-bedroom Rental Apartment: $1,839/mth.
Car Insurance: Residents of the Northwest Territories pay some of the lowest car insurance rates in Canada. The average cost of an insurance policy for a driver in the Northwest Territories is $978 per year according to the Insurance Bureau of Canada.
How much does getting a lower interest rate matter in Northwest Territories?
Few things in life are black and white, but when it comes to saving money on your mortgage there is no grey area when it comes to mortgage rates — the lower your mortgage rate the more you will save on the cost of interest over the lifetime of your mortgage.
The lowest rate possible isn’t the only thing you should want your new mortgage to have.
Another important feature it should include is prepayment privileges. Having prepayment privileges will give you the ability to make extra payments on your mortgage if you have some money to spare down the road. For example, if you receive a bonus or raise, or inherit money from a relative. Making just one extra payment will reduce your mortgage principal, amortization period and the cost of interest.
One other smart thing your mortgage should have is portability. Someday you may decide to buy another home or maybe you’ll get a can’t-pass-it-up job opportunity in another province and have to move. With a portable mortgage, you can take your mortgage with you and use it to finance your new home. You’ll save money because having a portable mortgage means you’ll avoid the charges that would occur if you had to close one mortgage and open a new one.
Your questions about LowestRates.ca, answered.
How are mortgage rates determined on LowestRates.ca?
LowestRates.ca works with more than 75 banks and brokers to bring you competitive mortgage rates from lenders in Canada and we’re always adding new ones. We work with our partners to obtain their best deals and offers, and then we let them compete for your business. All you have to do is answer a few questions, and in minutes you’ll be provided with today’s mortgage rates. There’s no obligation, but you can choose to speak with our broker partner to secure your best rate and see if you're eligible for more savings.
Is it safe to get a mortgage online?
Yes, it’s safe — you no longer need to visit a bank branch or mortgage broker’s office in person to apply for a mortgage. It’s becoming increasingly common for Canadians to apply for mortgages online. LowestRates.ca only works with reputable, trustworthy financial institutions. Your credit score won’t be affected and your information is secure. We don’t share your information with anyone unless you want to connect with a mortgage broker. We take care of the heavy lifting by comparing the market for you and can connect you with the best mortgage lenders in the country.
How do I know I’m getting the lowest rate?
We have a strong selection of lenders on LowestRates.ca including the big banks and many independent providers and we’re adding more lenders all the time. This ensures we’re always delivering you a competitive rate. Even if you’re not ready to commit to anything, you can use our site as a starting point for research (it’s totally free, and you’re under no obligation).
The better informed you are, the more likely you'll negotiate a better deal for yourself. And, really, that’s what we care about the most.
This offer condition can save you a lot of headaches on existing homes and even new builds.