Mortgage Types 101.

General George Macris 21 Nov

Get to know the important basics before you choose your mortgage.

You have to be sure you select what is most important to you – lower rates or flexibility. Before you choose a mortgage, take some time to study mortgage types:

Closed Mortgage: If you want consistency with respect to rates and the length of your mortgage agreement, a closed mortgage is best for you. Interest rates are typically lower (and do not change with the length of the term). However, a closed mortgage does not offer much flexibility in paying off your mortgage sooner – with the exception of a once-a-year lump sum payment up to 20% of your entire mortgage.

  • Predictability and consistency with respect to payment amount
  • Often comes with lower interest rates
  • Limited flexibility with paying down the mortgage faster
  • Cannot change interest rate during the term of mortgage

Convertible Mortgage: Want the best of both worlds? Then consider a convertible mortgage. Convertible mortgages are flexible yet offer minimal risk. Often with a lower interest rate than an open mortgage, convertible mortgages provide the opportunity to switch to a longer-term closed mortgage without penalty.

  • Provides an opportunity to take advantage of lower interest rates and switch to a closed rate without penalty
  • Offers lower interest rates than an open mortgage

Open Mortgage: If you are looking for flexibility with regard to paying off your mortgage, consider an open mortgage. No penalty is incurred if you decide to make lump sump payments or pay off your mortgage before the term expires; however, this flexibility comes often with a higher interest rate – which can result in higher monthly payments.

  • Maximum flexibility; no penalty for making lump sum payments or paying off your entire mortgage before the term expires
  • Higher interest rate
  • Best for those looking to pay off their mortgage as soon as possible

Still not sure which type of mortgage is best for you? Contact me today at 514 651-2395

Weak October Jobs Report Likely Takes Further BoC Rate Hikes Off The Table

General George Macris 6 Nov

Today’s StatsCanada Labour Force Survey for October was weak across the board. Total job gains were meagre, full-time jobs fell, hours worked were flat, wage inflation eased (a bit), and the unemployment rate rose.

Employment changed little in October, up only 17,500 (0.1%), after rising 64,000 in September and 40,000 in August. The employment rate—the proportion of the working-age population with a job—fell 0.1 percentage points to 61.9% in October, as the population aged 15 and older increased by 85,000 (+0.3%).

Most notably, the unemployment rate rose 0.2 percentage points to 5.7%–its fourth monthly increase in six months and its highest level in 21 months, adding evidence to a weakening economy. The latest monthly GDP figures released earlier this week point to a flat to negative growth rate for the third quarter this year. Final data will be released later this month, but today’s numbers suggest that the overnight policy rate at 5.0% has peaked. The pace of employment gains is running below labour force growth from record population increases. It indicates that labour demand is cooling while supply is catching up quickly. The Bank of Canada expects the economy to move into modest excess supply in the fourth quarter, helping to reduce consumer price inflation.

As unemployment has increased and job vacancies have decreased in recent months, the labour force participation rate—the proportion of the population aged 15 and older that was either employed or looking for work—has remained relatively high. The participation rate in October (65.6%) was unchanged from the previous month and up 0.2 percentage points on a year-over-year basis.

The most significant job gains were in construction, rising by 23,000, more than offsetting a decline of 18,000 in September. The most economically sensitive sectors posted job losses. These included manufacturing, wholesale and retail trade, finance, insurance, real estate, and rental and leasing, as well as accommodation and food services.

Wage inflation continues to be troubling for the central bank. On a year-over-year basis, average hourly wages rose 4.8% in October, following an increase of 5.0% in September.

Bottom Line

The Bank of Canada meets once again on December 6th. Before then, we will see another CPI inflation report on November 21, Q3 GDP on November 30 and the November Labour Force Survey on December 1. Given the Bank’s general reluctance to hike rates just before the holiday season, the Bank of Canada will remain on the sidelines.

Judging by today’s weaker-than-expected employment report in the US as well, the Fed will also hold their pause for the remainder of this year.

Rate relief, however, is still many months away. The central banks will want to see inflation at 2% with the belief that it will remain there before they begin to cut interest rates. That will happen, but probably not before next summer. According to Bloomberg News, “Traders in overnight swaps brought forward their expectations for when the Bank of Canada will start loosening policy, and are now betting policymakers will cut interest rates by 25 basis points in July, from September a day ago.”

Dr. Sherry Cooper
Chief Economist, Dominion Lending Centres

Countertop Materials for Your Kitchen

General George Macris 19 Sep

Countertop Materials for Your Kitchen

Published by DLC Marketing Team

September 12, 2023

They say the kitchen is the heart of every home, and what better way to treat this important space than by ensuring you have all the right materials?

When it comes to your kitchen, there are a variety of options for cupboards, appliances, and countertops. What you may not realize, is how much you actually utilize your countertop space and the importance of choosing the right material for your cooking habits and style.

If you are considering a reno, or looking to purchase a new home, understanding the pros and cons of different countertops can ensure you make the best choices.

  • Granite: A popular and durable option, granite comes in various colors and patterns. Along with being strong, it is resistant to heat and abrasion. However, it is a premium-price material and requires regular sealing every three to five years due to its porous nature.
  • Marble: One of the more high-end options, similar to granite, marble provides a much-needed level of uniqueness in its patterns as well as holding up well to heat, cracking, and chipping. On the other hand, marble is more sensitive to scratches and staining and should be resealed at least once per year to improve longevity.
  • Quartz: One of the most durable and maintenance-free countertop options, quartz comes in various options from vibrant to natural finish and is nearly indestructible under standard home conditions. Not only is quartz scratch-resistant, but it can also resist stains, bacteria, and heat damage.
  • Laminate: If you’re looking for a more budget-friendly option, laminate can be a great way to go. Not only can laminate be made to resemble stone, granite, or even quartz at a fraction of the cost, but it is also easy to clean and maintain while being resistant to mold, mildew, and stains. However, bear in mind that laminate is quite sensitive to heat and can be prone to peeling or scratches.
  • Butcher Block (or wood): Butcher-block wooden countertops have a great natural look while being a hardworking surface great for food prep and highly resistant to heat. However, as wood is quite porous it is important to properly seal and oil your countertops to reduce bacteria and moisture susceptibility.
  • Stainless Steel: Opposite the natural look of butcher-block designs, stainless steel provides a much more industrial kitchen vibe. Stainless steel has become extremely appealing over the years due to the ease of wiping it down and its ability to inhibit bacteria buildup. However, not without its limits, stainless steel has a tendency to result in lots of water spots and fingerprints on its smooth surface. It is also more pricey than other options, but being impervious to heat damage has its charms.
  • Soapstone: A wonderfully stain-resistant option, soapstone is entirely non-porous in addition to being heat and bacteria-resistant. However, to maintain this natural stone it needs to be treated regularly with oil and care must be taken to avoid surface damage such as scratches and dents.
  • Ceramic Tile: Tile is an inexpensive option for your kitchen (and bathroom) counters, which is easy to install by an experienced do-it-yourselfer. Not only is tile inexpensive, but it comes in a variety of options and colors as well as being hard, durable, and resistant to heat. Keep in mind, the sizing of your tiles as smaller tiles will be more difficult to clean as opposed to larger settings. Tile is also more vulnerable to cracking, though relatively easy to replace a broken piece. It is also important to note that grout can be prone to staining.

Regardless of what type of kitchen you are designing or moving into, knowing how to care for your countertops can help increase your kitchen longevity and enjoyment!

Using the CHIP Reverse Mortgage to Supplement your RRIF.

General George Macris 28 Jul

As you near retirement age, the years of diligently contributing to RRSPs are about to pay off. Understanding Registered Retirement Income Funds (RRIFs) becomes crucial, especially if you have registered retirement savings or pension plans.

What exactly is a RRIF?

Unlike a Registered Retirement Savings Plan (RRSP), which serves as a retirement savings account where you contribute money, a RRIF allows you to take out a certain amount each year once you reach a certain age.

Now, let’s explore how a RRIF works.

When you turn 71, the money you’ve saved and invested in your RRSP accounts must be moved into a RRIF, an annuity, or withdrawn as a lump sum. If your spouse is younger, you can delay this until their 71st birthday.

What’s the advantage to convert to a RRIF?

A RRIF acts as a tax-deferred retirement income fund, which means any interest or earnings generated within the account won’t be taxed until you withdraw them. However, when you take money out of your RRIF, it becomes taxable income. Each year, you must withdraw a minimum amount from the RRIF.

If you need funds before reaching 71, you can convert your RRSP into a RRIF and start withdrawing money immediately. However, there are some important tax considerations to be aware of:

  1. Taxes on Withdrawals: The amounts you withdraw will be taxed, but the tax will be based on the minimum required withdrawal and any additional amount you take out.
  2. Minimum Withdrawal: Once your RRSP is converted into a RRIF, you must withdraw a minimum amount each year, determined by the government and based on age. For instance, at 64 years old, you must withdraw 4% of your total investments; at 71, it increases to 5.28%, and at 85, it goes up to 8.51%.
  3. Withholding Tax: A withholding tax will apply if you withdraw more than the minimum required amount. The withholding tax rates are 10% for amounts up to $5,000, 20% for between $5,000 and $15,000, and 30% for payments over $15,000.

What if I don’t have enough in my RRIF to generate sufficient retirement income or if I outlive my RRIF?: The CHIP Reverse Mortgage Option

The CHIP Reverse Mortgage allows you to access tax-free cash from the equity you’ve accumulated in your home. Using this money as retirement income allows you to preserve your investments for an extended period while enjoying an improved cash flow. Additionally, there are no monthly mortgage payments with the CHIP Reverse Mortgage, helping you increase your monthly cash flow even more.

Contact your Dominion Lending Centres mortgage expert today to discover how the CHIP Reverse Mortgage can help you enhance your retirement income.

Home Renovations – Reality vs Television.

General George Macris 28 Jul


Watching home renovation shows is inspiring, often providing us with ideas for our own spaces. However, there is a bit of a downside when it comes to these shows – they can be misleading when it comes to the renovation process.

While we may want to recreate something from one of these shows, without knowing all of the ins and outs, you could be starting a project you’re not ready for! In order to sort out what is real and what is television magic, we have broken down some of the components that go along with a renovation.

Budget & Financing

When it comes to most home renovation shows, there is little to no discussion regarding finances. In reality, if you’re looking to renovate your home you would want to discuss with your mortgage broker or a mortgage expert from Dominion Lending Centres to determine your options.

Some of the ways that you can finance a renovation include:

  1. Mortgage Refinancing: This option will allow you to borrow up to 80% of your home’s appraised value (less any outstanding mortgage balance). Refinancing your mortgage (if approved) will provide you to access funds immediately and tends to have lower interest rates than a standard credit card or personal loan. This is best suited to large-scale renovations or remodels. You will want to refinance at the end of the mortgage term whenever possible to avoid breaking your mortgage and owing penalties.
  2. Purchase Plus Improvements Mortgage: This is a great option if you haven’t yet bought that home and will allow you to finance your renovation at the time of purchase. This type of mortgage is available to assist buyers with making simple upgrades, not conducting major renovations where structural modifications are made. Simple renovations include paint, flooring, windows, a hot-water tank, a new furnace, kitchen updates, bathroom updates, a new roof, basement finishing, and more. Depending on your mortgage, the Purchase Plus Improvements (PPI) product can allow you to borrow between 10% and 20% of the initial value for renovations.
  3. Financing Improvements Upon Purchase: Similarly to Purchase Plus Improvements, this option allows you to finance your renovation project at the time of a new purchase by adding the estimated costs to your mortgage with CMHC Mortgage Loan Insurance. You can obtain financing with only a 5% down payment for both the purchase of your home and the renovations for up to 95% of the value after renovations! Plus, there are no additional fees or premiums and you can earn added rebates for energy-saving renos.
  4. Line of Credit or Home Equity Loans: Lastly, you always have the option of utilizing a secured line of credit or home equity loan to pay for your renovation. Securing your renovation loan against the equity in your home can typically be up to 80% of the property value; accessible at any time. This will typically provide lower interest than non-secured financing and allows you to access funds at any time.

Once you have your source of renovation financing, you need to create a budget. On television, it is very hard to determine whether a renovation budget that is listed is accurate. In fact, in some cases the network or show itself even adds to the budget behind the scenes! As viewers, we are simply not aware of what has been factored into those numbers by the television producers such as design fees, permits, labour, material costs, promotional giveaways, etc.

Fortunately, when it comes to reality, you can easily create a realistic budget for your renovation by simply doing some research and requesting quotes. Working with a professional contractor in these cases is crucial to ensure all the work done is to code and to avoid any surprises down the line. A professional can also help you create a detailed budget and timeline for your project so you know what to expect. During all stages of the renovation from picking out paint and new tile to labour costs, be sure to consult your budget. You don’t want to be partway through your renovation only to find out that you’ve run out of money due to making changes or selecting more expensive materials!

Renovation Timeline

Perhaps one of the least realistic aspects of home renovation shows is the timeline. It can seem like just a few short weeks to re-do your entire kitchen, but in reality, that timeline is often stretched.

Working with your contractor to create a realistic timeline based on your goals will help make the process less stressful and ensure you know what you’re getting into BEFORE you start.

Keep in mind, just because you’re ready to renovate, that doesn’t mean a contractor will be available. You may also run into snags such as material shortages or other issues so keep that in mind when you are planning out your timeline.

Planning & Design

When it comes to home renovation television, there is often an interior designer who comes in and makes decisions without the clients; in reality, that is not the case. When it comes to a real-life renovation, all the changes would be well-documented and planned out in advance with the clients (or by the client). In addition, unlike television shows that don’t show certain aspects, you will need to ensure you get building permits and inspections done throughout your renovation. While it can be time-consuming, this is extra important to ensure that your renovation is legal and therefore covered by insurance should anything happen.

While doing a home renovation in real life is different from television, with the right planning and support team for financing and contracting, you can bring your vision to life! Contact your Dominion Lending Centres mortgage expert to get started.

RESP a No-Brainer when it Comes to Education Savings.

General George Macris 28 Jul

Another school year is over, and we all know what that means…. your kids have inched another year closer to graduation and in many cases, heading off to another “school” to further their education and skills. Whether it’s university, career college or vocational school, it would be nice to be in a position to help them out with the cost, but it isn’t going to be cheap!

A quick look at this list shows that just the tuition fee for a Canadian university now runs $5000 to $10,000 per year. That could add up to $40K by graduation and you still haven’t bought books or other supplies or paid for food and a place to live if they are leaving the nest to pursue that education.

The good news is that there is a no-risk education savings account that pays a 20% dividend for the first year on new deposits, and you can get that same dividend offer every year for 14 years! Your scam-alert detector may be going off full blast, but it’s true, and it is called a Registered Education Savings Plan or RESP.

You may have noticed the word “registered” in the name and just like an RRSP or TFSA, it isn’t a regular savings account. There are government controls on how much you can deposit in the account and how and where the beneficiary (your kids) can spend the money. However, it is free and easy to open one and the rules and regulations are not that onerous given the benefits. Some of the need-to-know facts are:

  • Contributions up to $2500 annually receive a 20% Canada Education Savings Grant (CESG) from the federal government regardless of your income level (low-income earners may also qualify for additional grants). CESG grants are deposited annually into the RESP and can be invested along with the rest of the funds. Some provinces offer additional education savings programs that work in conjunction with an RESP.
  • Just like an RRSP or TFSA, the funds in the account can be invested — individual stocks, ETFs, mutual funds, GICs, cash, bonds, etc. This allows the fund to grow over time and you can adjust the risk to suit your preference and timeline to when your kids will need the money.
  • It isn’t just for university – colleges, technical training institutions, correspondence courses, even out of country programs often qualify.
  • The CESG is only for kids under 18 and there is a lifetime maximum of $7200. Best to start early if you want to max out the benefits, although there are some rules to catch-up if you get started late.
  • There are no tax deductions for contributions (unlike an RRSP), but there is no tax on your original contributions when withdrawn. Grant funds and any profits from investments are considered income and taxable when withdrawn, but students normally have a low tax rate so the effects can be minimal.
  • The funds can be used for a wide variety of education related expenses – food, transportation, tuition, books, computers… and a lot more!

There is a ton of information out there on the ins and outs of RESPs and it can get a little tricky if you have a couple of kids. A good place to start is the federal government RESP website.

Being knowledgeable about how the program works is the place to start, but it won’t help you find the $2500/year (per child) you need to max out the grant opportunities. As mentioned, you can catch up with contributions down the road (and get that free grant money) as your income grows, but you will shorten the timeframe for growing your investments in the account. One convenient option is to tap a portion of your monthly CCB payment — even $100 month would get you $250/year in CESG grants.

Investing in education/training is usually money well spent and delivers a solid return, and a RESP is a complete no-brainer when it comes to paying for that education. The earlier you get going with one the better it will work out, and the more relief you will feel with every passing school year.

Strata Insurance: The Importance of Deductible Coverage.

General George Macris 28 Jul


Strata insurance has been steadily rising across Canada, but many homeowners are unaware of changes to their policies. In some areas, deductibles are doubling (or even tripling!), which can result in extremely high costs if you are not updating your individual policy.

To ensure that you remain up-to-date with your strata insurance policies, it is vital that homeowners living within a strata building check with their strata management for a copy of the most recent insurance policy. While it is good to check over the entire policy, a few key areas to review are your deductibles and comparing your coverage with your individual homeowner policy to ensure all gaps are filled.

Unfortunately, many homeowners within strata buildings do not realize the importance of having individual coverage. Typically, strata insurance covers the building itself. This means that, in the event of an accident, such as a fire or flood, the building can be re-established. Unfortunately many homeowners think this is enough coverage, but it is equally important to ensure that you have your own individual homeowners insurance policy.

The purpose of an individual policy is to help to protect the contents of your apartment, townhouse or condo in the event of an accident. This means that any upgrades you made to your unit would be covered, as well as your belongings. More importantly, however, is these policies also serve to fill in the cost gap relating to the strata building deductible.

Historically, deductibles in strata managed buildings averaged $25,000. This means that, in the event of an accident (flooding, fire, etc.), you would need to pay $25,000 upfront to have the repairs made. However, as the costs of strata insurance increases across the country, these deductibles are changing.

For many homeowners, there has been no change to the insurance cost or strata fees, leaving them unaware of any adjustments to their policy. Instead, the changes are being made directly to the deductible to cover the increased costs. In fact, in some cases the deductibles are doubling or even tripling, leaving homeowners with a hefty bill in the case of insurance coverage. Instead of having a $25,000 deductible, many homeowners are seeing this increase up to $250,000.

With so many increases to various fees and changes to policies within strata organizations, it has become even more important to maintain vigilance and be aware of any changes to your strata policies. Typically, these are shared with homeowners via meeting minutes and e-mails which every homeowner in a strata building should have access to.

If you receive any updates from your strata management, you must be sure to review them. Always take your strata and individual policy to an insurance agent to ensure you are aware of your coverage and that your individual homeowner’s policy is working in your favor. Investment property owners especially need to check their existing deductible against the updated deductible and insurance policies to avoid any future issues.

What’s being done about title fraud?

General George Macris 28 Jul


Your home is one of the greatest investments you’ll make in life. The idea of something happening to it is one of the worst images you can have as a homeowner. You can protect your property from damage or even break-ins, but identity thieves can threaten your ownership.

Title fraud can leave you out tens or even hundreds of thousands of dollars. Depending on what the fraudster is after, you could lose your equity, or even your home.

FCT is committed to protecting homeowners by catching fraud before it happens, providing education on fraud prevention, and stepping in to prevent losses if a scam succeeds.

a quick breakdown of title fraud

Title fraud starts with stealing a homeowner’s identity, then follows one of two main paths:


  • Someone impersonates a homeowner to sell their property.
  • To the innocent buyer, it looks like a regular home sale. The “seller” often has property access as a tenant or AirBnB guest and can show buyers around.
  • The fraudster disappears after a quick sale, usually for below market value.
  • The homeowner often learns about the fraud when the buyer attempts to move in.

Depending on where you live, what happens next can be different: In B.C., the innocent buyer gets to keep the house, while in Ontario, the homeowner gets to keep it. In either scenario, someone is left with no home and without the equity to buy another.


  • Someone impersonates a homeowner to take out a mortgage on their property.
  • To the lender, it just looks like the homeowner wants to refinance or take out some home equity.
  • The fraudster walks away with the money, sometimes making a few payments on the new mortgage to cover their tracks.
  • The homeowner often learns about the fraud when the fraudulent mortgage goes into delinquency and the lender starts to take action.

Title fraud fact: Did you know that seniors are especially vulnerable to title fraud?

If you’re the homeowner, you can’t sell your property or take any equity out of it until your title is restored. This usually means tens of thousands in fees.

An underwriter at FCT recently caught an attempted mortgage title fraud in a town near Calgary. After spotting an issue with one piece of ID in a routine refinance deal, she flagged it with the team’s Certified Fraud Examiner (CFE), who investigated and confirmed the fraud. Someone was pretending to be the homeowner and taking $400,000 out of the property. We put a stop to that deal.

how is fct protecting homeowners?

To FCT, being protected means having peace of mind. Here are just some of the ways we’re making sure homeowners have that:


Our underwriting team identified $350 million in suspicious transactions in 2022, from residential deals alone. The team monitors for the red flags we’ve identified over three decades of experience, and prevent hundreds of millions in losses every year.


We aren’t the only ones working to protect consumers. Lending and legal professionals across Canada are stepping up to educate themselves about title fraud and how to help prevent it. We provide free seminars, articles and videos to both professionals and the public—the more everyone knows about title fraud, the harder it gets for the fraudsters.


When FCT looks at a deal, it’s because a lender, legal professional, or homebuyer wanted to protect it with title insurance. That protection means that the buck stops with us. If we don’t catch a fraudulent deal before it goes through, we’re the ones who pay for it, not you.

Beyond the coverage, every policy we issue carries a duty to defend. That means if there’s a possible fraud, we step in to navigate the process on your behalf. We take on the work and costs it takes to make you whole, hiring investigators, retaining counsel and even going to court so that you don’t have to.

The threat of fraud is on the rise, but you don’t have to face it alone. Learn more about title fraud by following the links in this article, and if you don’t have title insurance yet, get protected now. It takes minutes to do, and lasts for as long as you own your home.

Insurance by FCT Insurance Company Ltd. Services by First Canadian Title Company Limited. The services company does not provide insurance products. This material is intended to provide general information only. For specific coverage and exclusions, refer to the applicable policy. Copies are available upon request. Some products/services may vary by province. Prices and products/services offered are subject to change without notice.

What is Alternative Lending?

General George Macris 28 Jul

When traditional lenders (such as banks or credit unions) deny mortgage financing, it can be easy to feel discouraged. However, it is important to remember that there is always an alternative!

If you’re seeking a mortgage, but your application doesn’t fit into the box of the big traditional institutions, you’ll find yourself in what’s commonly referred to in the industry as the “Alternative-A” or “B” lending space. These lenders come in three classifications:

  • Alt A lenders consist of banks, trust companies and monoline lenders. These are large institutional lenders that are regulated both provincially and federally, but have products that may speak to consumers who require broader qualifying criteria to obtain a mortgage.
  • MICs (Mortgage Investment Companies) are much like Alt A lender but are organized in accordance with the Income Tax Act with an incorporated lending company consisting of a group of individual shareholder investors that pool money together to lend out on mortgages. These lenders follow individual qualifying lending criteria but tend to operate with an even broader qualifying regime.
  • Private Lenders are typically individual investors who lend their own personal funds but can sometimes also be a company formed specifically to lend money for mortgages that carry a higher risk of default relative to a borrower’s situation.  These types of lenders are generally unregulated and tend to cater to those with a higher risk profile.

All classifications noted above price to risk when it comes to a mortgage. The more broad the guidelines are for a particular mortgage contract, the more risk the lender assumes. This in turn will yield a higher cost to the borrower typically in the form of a higher interest rate.

Before considering an alternative mortgage, here are some questions you should ask yourself:

  1. What issue is keeping me from qualifying for a traditional “A” mortgage today?
  2. How long will it take me to correct this issue and qualify for a traditional lender mortgage?
  3. How much do I have to improve my credit situation or score?
  4. How much do I currently have available as a down payment?
  5. Am I willing to wait until I can qualify for a regular mortgage, or do I want/need to get into a certain home today?
  6. Is this mortgage sustainable? Can I afford the larger interest rate?
  7. Can I exit this lender down the road in the event the lender does not renew or I cannot afford this alternative option much longer?

If you are someone who is ready to go ahead with an alternative mortgage due to a weakercredit score, or you don’t want to wait until you’re able to qualify with a traditional lender, these are some additional questions to ask when reviewing an alternative mortgage product:

  1. How high is the interest rate? What are the fees involved and are these fees paid from the proceeds, added to the balance or paid out of pocket
  2. What is the penalty for missed mortgage payments? How are they calculated? What is the cost to get out of the mortgage altogether?
  3. Is there a prepayment privilege? For example, are you able to avoid penalties if you give the lender a higher mortgage payment once a month?
  4. What is the cost of each monthly mortgage payment?
  5. What happens at the end of the term. Is a renewal an option and what are the costs to renew if applicable
  6. What is the fine print?

When it comes to the alternative lending space, things can get complex. Contact a DLC mortgage expert today if you’re considering an alternative lender and we can help you source out various mortgage products, as well as review the rates and terms to ensure it is the best fit.

What insurance protection does your new home need?.

General George Macris 28 Jul

With interest rate hikes on pause, more buyers are coming off the sidelines and looking to enter the market. Prices are high, so protecting your investment and your home is more important than ever.

What insurance will you need to protect your new home? A quick Google search will turn up entries for title insurance, as well as for home insurance. They each protect consumers, but from very different things.  Here’s a quick breakdown on each type of insurance and why properly protecting yourself takes both:

title insurance


Title insurance protects your right to own your property. It deals with hidden issues your home may have, as well as future risks like fraud. This is just some of what title insurance covers:

  • Title defects that can keep you from selling,
  • Title fraud and home title theft,
  • Encroachment and access issues,
  • Tax arrears and unpermitted work from previous owners.

Want to know more about title insurance coverage?


You only pay once for title insurance, usually between $150—$800, depending on where your home is and how much you bought it for. There are no monthly or annual payments, and your coverage lasts for as long as you or your heirs have an interest in the property.

home insurance


Home insurance covers four main things:

  • Damage to your home or other structures on the property,
  • Lost, damaged or stolen valuables, depending on your policy,
  • Liability for accidents or injuries that happen on your property,
  • Losing use of your home because of an event covered by your home insurance (usually to do with damage to the home).


It varies, but the average cost for home insurance in Canada is currently a little less than $1,000 per year.1 Your cost can change from year to year if you switch providers or update your coverage. Many home insurance policies also give you the option to purchase additional coverage, like flood protection, which increases your premiums.

which do you need, home insurance or title insurance?

They cover very different things, so you need both. It’s the only way to protect both your home itself and your ownership of it.

  • Title insurance doesn’t cover most property damage, lost or stolen items, or medical/injury liability.
  • Home insurance doesn’t cover fraud, back taxes, or the City forcing you to alter or remove structures on your property.


A north Ontario homeowner and her neighbour had discovered that her water and sewage lines didn’t connect to her street. Instead, they connected to the next street over via her neighbour’s property. They forced her to relocate her water and sewer lines at huge expense.

But fortunately, she had a title insurance policy in place with FCT. We stepped in to resolve the issue for her, and we were able to cover the full cost of moving her water and sewer lines.

Paid: $115,284.32

Without title insurance, where would the homeowner in that case have come up with $115,000? The risks title insurance protects you from are unpredictable and can be hugely expensive. If you don’t have title insurance and home insurance, the truth is that you’re at risk.

how can you get protected?

You can get title insurance coverage, even if you already own your home with an existing homeowner’s policy. But the best time to start protecting your new home is while you’re purchasing it. Talk to your lawyer or notary about title insurance from FCT, or learn more about residential title insurance here.


Insurance by FCT Insurance Company Ltd. Services by First Canadian Title Company Limited. The services company does not provide insurance products. This material is intended to provide general information only. For specific coverage and exclusions, refer to the applicable policy. Copies are available upon request. Some products/services may vary by province. Prices and products/services offered are subject to change without notice.