Renewing in a Higher-Rate Environment

GUEST POST by Marion Logan of Invis Pacific View Mortgages

Renewing in a higher-rate environment

I've been getting a lot of questions lately about mortgage renewals – not surprising, given the steady rise of mortgage rates over the last couple of years. People with mortgages renewing in 2023 and even 2024 are justifiably concerned about what their new mortgage will cost, what impact it will have on their cash flow, and whether or not they will even be able to pass the stress test with today's rates! Far too many people go into auto-pilot mode when it's time to renew their mortgage and will often just accept the renewal offer they get from their current lender. It's temptingly easy and in some cases, it may even work out well, but in our current environment, this is a risky and potentially costly misstep. The reality is, if you're coming up to the end of a 3-, 4-, or 5-year term, you will be renewing at a significantly higher rate which means a higher mortgage payment and an increase in your total cost of borrowing. And while we may not be able to control interest rates, there are some ways to minimize your cost increase in the short term.


  1. A good end result starts with a good plan.I can't emphasize enough how important it is to start the process early. Get in touch with me so we can take the time to review your file. There might have been some significant changes in your life and your financial picture since we negotiated your previous mortgage so it's always a good idea to discuss your priorities, concerns, wishes, etc.
  2. Don't assume that your current lender will offer you the best rate or terms for your renewal. There may be a product from a different lender that's better suited to your current needs, or another lender might be offering a better rate. If your current lender sees that you are considering all your options, they may even be inclined to make their offer more attractive to keep your business.
  3. Consider a shorter-term or a variable-rate mortgage. If you're worried about locking in a high fixed rate for a long term, it may make sense for you to choose a shorter term and "wait and see" what mortgage rates look like in a year or two. Or, we could look at a variable rate. A shorter term will allow you to renew more frequently and take advantage of lower rates if they drop in the future. A variable rate will fluctuate with the market and may save you money if rates go down. But since no one can predict what rates will do, both options come with some risks and uncertainties. Together, we can discuss the pros and cons of either option before you make a final decision.
  4. Pay down your principal as much as possible.One of the best ways to reduce the impact of higher rates is to lower your outstanding balance. The less you owe, the less interest you will pay. You can pay down your principal by making lump sum payments, increasing your monthly payments, or choosing an accelerated payment schedule. I can review your mortgage contract with you so you can take full advantage of your prepayment privileges without triggering any penalties.
  5. Repeat #1.Call me – the sooner the better! As an independent mortgage professional, my job is to find the best mortgage solution for your needs and goals. I have access to a wide range of lenders and products that may not be available to you directly. I can also provide you with unbiased advice and guidance throughout the renewal process. Whether you want to stay with your current lender or switch to a new one, I can help you negotiate the best possible terms and conditions for your renewal.

Like any important financial decision, renewing your mortgage requires careful consideration and it's not something you want to do while under time pressure. And this advice doesn't just apply at renewal time – if you want to discuss debt consolidation strategies, if you have a large expense coming up and want to explore financing solutions, or if you want to review your overall mortgage strategy, don't procrastinate! Contact me today and let me help you achieve your financial objectives – at renewal or at any point during your mortgage term.

Marion Logan is a licensed mortgage broker who works with Invis Pacific View Mortgage in Comox, BC. She serves clients all over the Comox valley, surrounding communities and throughout Vancouver Island. Although Marion does not advertise outside her primary market, she helps clients all over Canada.


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Invis Inc. 420 - 2100 Derry Rd. W, Mississauga, ON L5N 0B3


Why Now is the Perfect Time to Buy a Home

When Should You Get Into the Real Estate Market

With the current real estate market continuing to remain strong and interest rates staying relatively high, it can be difficult to decide when is the right time to make a purchase. It’s easy for potential buyers to second guess and feel discouraged from making a purchasing decision, but there are several factors that suggest now could in fact be an ideal time to secure your spot in the real estate market. In this blog post we're going to dive deeper into why now may just be the perfect opportunity for you get into the property market!

Understanding the Current Real Estate Market

The current real estate market can be a tricky landscape to navigate. With high interest rates and many prospective buyers vying for the same properties, it can quickly become overwhelming. However, by taking the time to understand the market, you can turn what might seem like a disadvantage into a winning strategy. Being knowledgeable about the current trends and conditions is essential for making informed decisions and staying ahead of the game. While it may be tempting to rush into a deal, taking the time to research the market and work with a trusted agent can ultimately pay off in big ways. So don't let the challenges of the current real estate market discourage you - with the right approach, there are still great opportunities to be had.

Advantages of Buying a Home Now

With high interest rates and uncertain market predictions, it's understandable why some may be hesitant to invest in a home. However, waiting for the perfect time could lead to missed opportunities. While there has been some fluctuation in house prices, experts don't see any drastic changes in the near future. Plus, by waiting, you run the risk of housing becoming even less affordable. It's best to take advantage of the current market and invest in a home at a price that you can afford. Don't let fear hold you back from making a smart investment in your future.

Breaking Down the Interest Rates

Interest rates are one of the most important economic indicators in the financial industry. They determine the cost of borrowing money, and can have a significant impact on the decisions of businesses and individuals alike. Understanding interest rates can be tough, but it's essential to anyone looking to make informed financial decisions. A savvy investor will want to know what factors are used to calculate interest rates, how they change over time, and what impact they have on the economy. By breaking down the complex world of interest rates, investors can gain a deeper understanding of the financial market and make smarter investment decisions.

Ways to Save for a Down Payment

Saving for a down payment can feel like a daunting task, but with a few simple strategies, you can successfully reach your goal. Start by setting a monthly savings goal and keeping track of your progress. It's also helpful to put aside money each month as if you're already making mortgage payments. Any extra income, such as work bonuses, pay raises, and tax refunds, should also be added to your savings. To further reduce your expenses, consider paying with cash instead of credit cards. Lastly, it's important to talk with a mortgage lender to understand what you need for pre-approval. These steps may take some time and effort, but they will ultimately help you achieve your dream of homeownership.

Considering the Long-Term Effects

Making choices in the housing market can have long-term effects on your future. It's important to carefully weigh the potential benefits and drawbacks before taking the plunge. Factors such as location and market conditions can greatly impact the value and appeal of your home in the years ahead. However, owning a home can also bring a sense of pride and security, and may provide financial benefits in the long run. Ultimately, each person's situation is unique, and it's important to consider your own goals and priorities before making any big decisions about homeownership.

Preparing Your Credit Scores and Budgeting for Expenses

If you're looking to buy a home, it's important to keep your credit score in mind. Don't make any major purchases before taking out your mortgage - this can hurt your chances of getting approved or end up costing you more in interest. Instead, focus on maintaining a good credit score by paying bills on time and using credit responsibly. Additionally, budgeting for expenses before buying your home is important for your money sense. This can include setting aside money for a down payment, closing costs, and any other fees associated with buying a home. By being smart about your credit and your budget, you'll be on the right track to achieving your home ownership goals. 

In conclusion, now is the time to buy a home. With interest rates being higher than normal, getting into the market at whatever you can afford is more advantageous than not taking on the financial commitments that come with homeownership at all. To get started, focus on understanding the current real estate market and take advantage of short-term benefits as well as the long-term effects of such an investment. Make sure to break down interest rates and get creative in saving for a down payment. Don't forget to check your credit scores and budget for additional home-buying expenses ahead of time. For more help with this process, contact me today to see what homes are available in your budget, so you can purchase your first home without breaking the bank!


Get Ready to Sell: How to Boost Your Home Value

Get Ready to Sell: How to Boost Your Home Value

Are you ready to sell your home? If so, then you're likely wondering what kind of renovations and/or improvements can help increase the value of your home and get you the most amount of money back?

 The Appraisal Institute of Canada suggests that improving your kitchen and bathroom and painting both the inside and outside of your house are good ways to begin home renovations. They also recommend enhancing lighting, countertops, curtains, cabinet hardware, and flooring, as these changes can significantly improve the value of your home when selling.

Prioritize What Needs To Be done

While it's important to focus on improving the look of your living spaces, don't forget to prioritize necessary work that will be a worthwhile investment, such as fixing the roof, windows, and doors. If these essential components are in poor condition or need to be replaced, potential buyers won't be impressed by cosmetic changes like new countertops. Experts suggest that investing in repairs like windows or a roof can bring a return of up to 75% of the cost.

Investing in energy efficiency is a great way to make a profit while improving occupant comfort and reducing electricity costs. For a long-term gain, individuals can take advantage of financial assistance and tax credits from municipalities and the government when renovating for energy efficiency.

Assess Recoverable Value

When considering major renovations such as a kitchen or bathroom you must calculate the recoverable value. According to experts, the maximum amount you should spend on renovating your kitchen is 15% of your total property value. For example, if your house is worth $250,000, you shouldn't spend more than $37,000 on your kitchen renovation. However, it's important to note that you can expect to recover approximately 75% of this cost when you sell your home.

According to Eric Périgny, president of Reno-Assistance, the percentage of the amount you can get back from renovating your kitchen depends on its previous condition. If your kitchen was already in good shape before the renovation, you may receive a lower percentage. If you have completely redone your kitchen and plan to sell your home, it may be better to leave it as is rather than doing small jobs. Potential buyers may not see the small jobs as added value in the selling price.

Staying Neutral is Key

Avoid making changes that are too eccentric or exclusive to your taste, as buyers may find it difficult to match the decor. Stick with neutral colors and keep the design of your home timeless. You want buyers to be able to envision themselves living in the home, and that is difficult for them if everything is overly personalized.  

Keep Your Receipts

To prove the value of the renovations it's best to keep your receipts (materials, fees, etc.) in a safe place to prove the date, cost and quality of the work. This will add weight to your argument when negotiating the sale of your property.

Maintain your property

If renovation is not the wisest option for you, then ensuring consistent maintenance of your property is a profitable tip that should not be overlooked. When choosing between two similar options in the same neighborhood, the condition of the property will be a crucial factor, with an impeccable property being preferred over a neglected one.

Get an Expert Opinion

Consider calling us to come in for a walk-through before making any major property renovations in preparation for selling your home. We have seen many clients invest in costly renovations, such as installing a swimming pool or building a large deck, that may not provide a positive return on investment. In some cases, such renovations may not be reflected in the appraised value of the home. Thus, we advise against making costly upgrades that might not increase your home's value in the eyes of potential buyers. Give the Comox Valley Homes Team a call today to discuss your home!

MLS® property information is provided under copyright© by the Vancouver Island Real Estate Board and Victoria Real Estate Board. The information is from sources deemed reliable, but should not be relied upon without independent verification.