Big Banks - Spring Rate Promo
It started a few weeks ago – the big banks launching what seems to be an annual competition for mortgage business. Many already anticipated the move by BMO, as this is the fourth year that BMO leads the promotion of Spring teaser rates.
Before jumping on any bandwagon, read the fine print. For instance, is it a long-term rate special or does it last 6 months and then pop-up? Does it have prepayment penalties? And are prepayment penalties based on the Posted Rate, or the rate you got?
Now’s the time to review options. The renewed "Rate War" underscores the intense competition among Lenders as the Spring market begins to bloom.
Seeing New Windows A Little More Clearly
If cold, drafty, or frozen windows have been an issue this winter, now’s an ideal time for replacement planning. As you comparison shop, look beyond materials and design, and evaluate the A, B, C ratings.
A) Air Tightness - rated A1, A2 or A3 to reflect increasing levels of air tightness. Fixed windows tend to have higher ratings. Sliders tend to be "leakier" than casement windows.
B) Water Leakage - resistance to wind-driven rain is rated from B1 to B7. The higher the number, the more resistance to wind-driven rain penetration.
C) Wind Resistance - Ratings range from C1 to a high of C5. CMHC advises a minimum of a C2 rated window.
Glazing – Triple-glazed windows help reduce noise transfer from outside, and tend to be better insulators than double-glazed windows.
Low-emissivity (Low-E) windows enhance energy efficiency. Low-E windows have a thin coating of metal oxide on the inside window pane that filters UV rays and blocks interior heat from escaping through the glass.
Updating the Flooring? Check The Bylaws First.
Condo bylaws cover many things – one of them may be the type of flooring in the suite to reduce noise transfer. For example, the bylaw may specify that wall-to-wall carpeting is a must in the living room, or detail that a wood floor must have a sound-proof, foam underlay. Before you shop, find out what’s allowed.