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There’s something about September that signals a fresh start. It’s a perfect time to get serious about saving money on your mortgage. So get out your notebook: here are five surprising mortgage facts that can save you money over the long term! 

Fact #1: Your credit score matters even more
Lenders are beginning to review client files prior to renewal, which means if your credit score has slipped, you may be offered a higher rate at renewal, even if you have never missed a payment. Regardless of where you are in your mortgage term, it is very important to always pay your bills on time, use only 30% of your credit limits, and monitor your credit score regularly.

Fact #2: Refinancing is still one of the best ways to get debt under control
If you’re holding too much high-interest debt and you have enough equity, consolidating all of it into a low-interest mortgage can save you thousands in interest, lower your monthly payments, boost your cash flow, and eliminate the stress of multiple debt payments. It can also improve your credit score!

Fact #3: Interest-only mortgages are once again available for those with more than 20% equity in their homes
While not a product for everyone, this can be a great financial strategy for those who want to minimize their mortgage payments to free up cash flow for other uses like investing, business needs, post-secondary education, maternity leave or other life situations. Lump sum payments can be made when the time is right for principal paydown.

Fact #4: Variable mortgages are popular
While fixed rates are higher today than they were a year ago, many lenders are offering exceptionally low rates on their variable rate mortgages. In addition to offering the ability to save on interest, a variable mortgage can be significantly less expensive if you need to get out of your mortgage later.

Fact #5: Insured mortgages get the best rates
If your mortgage is not insured, it’s possible that you weren’t eligible for the best rates available at that time. Some uninsured mortgages can now be switched at renewal to a new lender that will offer an insurable rate, a move that could offer huge savings. Not sure if your mortgage is insured or not? I can find that out for you.

If you have any questions about your current mortgage strategy, are thinking of refinancing, or getting closer to renewal, get in touch. I’m here to help you, your family and friends understand which mortgage facts are the most important at any given time.


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500 solar panels cover south side of downtown Edmonton office tower

In a sea of Edmonton downtown construction, it may be difficult to draw eyes to a specific project, unless you’re Gene Dub.

The Edmonton architect showed off his latest creation, a 10-storey officer tower near 106 Street and 104 Avenue, directly across from the MacEwan campus.

The Edge is built up with an entire north wall of windows, drawing in natural light to cut back on energy consumption. But it’s the opposite side of the building that is getting the most attention.

Solar panels cover the entire south side, with a price tag of $400,000.

Dub has been told his office tower boasts the largest vertical solar wall in Canada.

“You have enough power generated by those panels to power up 26 houses,” Dub said from inside the tower.

“Those solar panels will end up generating enough power for 80 per cent of the power needs of the building.”

That solar power would likely be reduced if a neighbouring tower project is constructed; Dub predicts by 20 per cent.

The architect admits he was disappointed with Edmonton city council’s decision in September 2015 to approve a Toronto developer’s request for three 40-storey towers next door on the old Healey Ford site.

Construction has not yet broke ground.

Full global news article here