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Mortgage Amortization Graph
Getting Your First Mortgage
The traditional period for amortization of a mortgage (the time to pay it off) is 25 years. But this is done in periods of five years at a time, though it is possible to pay the mortgage down in a shorter period, just not longer. The longer the amortization period, the smaller the monthly payments will be, but the more the loan will cost in total.
Most mortgages have a five year term, though shorter terms are possible. The five-year mortgage term is the amount of time a mortgage contract is in effect. At the end of each term, the mortgage must be renewed for another term, at which point there is an opportunity to consider making any changes. Possible changes include renegotiating the rate as well as other details of the contract for the next term. The agreed-upon interest rate remains in effect for the term.
It is possible to choose between an open mortgage, which provides a person the flexibility of being able to repay all or part of a mortgage at any time without a prepayment charge, or a closed mortgage, which limits prepayment options. The latter usually has a lower interest rate.
Traditionally, mortgage payments are made every month. It is possible to arrange biweekly payments which permit faster repayment and a lower loan cost. A biweekly payment means making a payment of one-half of the monthly payment every two weeks. This results in 26 payments a year instead of 24.
A mortgage allows the option of building up a cash account. As the principal is amortized, the stored funds can be used as a source to take out cash when needed, and borrowed without charge. After use, the amounts are simply added back to the mortgage principal.
There are also options for flexible or skipped payments.
Most Canadian mortgages are portable, which means that if the owner moves before the five-year term is up, they can choose to apply their old mortgage to a new home. If it's a more expensive home, it is also possible to take out a new loan for the difference.
Homeowners' Association (HOA) Fees
Homeowners' Association (HOA) fees are funds that are collected monthly from homeowners to obtain the income needed to pay for things such as master insurance, exterior and interior maintenance, landscaping, water, sewer, and garbage costs.