Special to The Globe and Mail
Published Wednesday, Oct. 16 2013, 5:00 AM EDT
The lowest possible rate is how many define a good mortgage. But that’s like judging the “best car” by the one with the lowest monthly payment.
Anyone who’s had to cough up a mortgage penalty or deal with refinance limitations can vouch for one thing: Mortgage restrictions can easily outweigh small (e.g., 0.10 to 0.15 percentage point) differences in interest rates.
It’s tough to predict your refinance needs three or four years out. Statistics show that well over half of Canadians with a mortgage renegotiate before their term is up. And the average five-year borrower changes their mortgage every three-and-a-half years.
That’s why it often pays to trade a slightly lower rate for more flexibility, unless you know you won’t change your mortgage during its term. A cheap rate can certainly save hundreds of dollars up front. Just be sure it doesn’t cost thousands after closing. ...Read More