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Two mortgage terms that present solid value (and two that don’t)

Mortgage rates have been all pleasure and no pain for an oddly long time.

Take five-year fixed rates. They’ve drifted lower for more than a year and a half with no significant upturns along the way.

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Scared to spend your retirement savings?

Q: I’m 56, have no debt, make about $78,000 a year and own my townhouse. I will have a small defined benefit pension (about $17,000 per year) at 62. Right now I have about $450,000 in RRSPs, non-registered investments and pension combined. I plan to quit at 59, then work three more years at an easy job just to maintain my expenses. Then I’ll retire for real at 62 and work part-time.

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Ten obstacles to getting the best mortgage rate

Anyone with a mortgage wants the lowest possible rate. But there’s an array of requirements for snagging the best all-around deal, and some of them are counter-intuitive. Once people have chosen the term and rate type for their mortgage, they often find that rates for that same term can vary by a percentage point or more. Countless factors can keep borrowers from getting a rock-star deal. Here are 10 of them:

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Average home price of affluent Canadians tops $1.5-million

Affluent Canadians are sitting on an average value of $1.5-million for their homes, a recent poll indicates.

That compares with an average price of $448,862 for homes sold in April, according to the latest figures from the Canadian Real Estate Association.

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Need a mortgage on a cottage? Here’s what lenders look for

“Lenders will look at the location, proximity to a major market, sometimes is it on a big lake, is it on a small lake, access to the property, year-around is best, paved roads is a plus,” … “Lenders will want to ensure that there’s a safe and consistent water source as this can sometimes materially impact the marketability and value of the cottage.”

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