Once you have an accepted offer on a home, you must choose the type of mortgage you would like to have. Do you want a fixed or variable rate mortgage?
Most people opt for a fixed-rate over a variable rate because of its simplicity and stability, but it’s not the only option. Variable rate mortgages have advantages too.
Check out the difference between a fixed rate and a variable rate and how to tell which option is right for you.
A fixed rate mortgage has one interest rate for the term of the mortgage, for example a 5-year fixed term. A fixed rate mortgage also has the payment for the term. For example, if you have a 5-year term, your payment remains the same for 5 years. If the lender is also collecting your property taxes, your payment may change slightly as those payments change.
With a variable rate mortgage you potentially has different interest rates during the term. A variable rate is typically offered for a 5 year term.
If the Bank of Canada changes their overnight rate, your mortgage payment or amortization may change. The lender ties their Prime rate to this Bank of Canada benchmark rate. However the lender will add a premium to or subtract a discount from their Prime rate. For example, a variable rate mortgage with Prime minus 0.6%. Your premium or discount will stay the same as Prime changes, for example the 0.6% discount, as this is locked in for the 5-year term.
Learn more: Bank of Canada Policy Interest Rate
The choice between a fixed and variable rate is a person one.
Some questions to ask yourself to help you decide are:
Typically most people have a gut feeling on if they would like to go fixed or variable and asking yourself the above questions can assist with your decision.
If you would like to talk about fixed and variable rates more, I would be happy to review with you.