A Balanced Mortgage Has More Than Just a Great Rate

Alberta is full of unique individuals. At Balance Mortgages we have a home mortgage solution to fit every need. Before you contact us and start your new mortgage application process, take the time to review the solutions that Balance Mortgages provides for each of life’s real estate adventures. 

Click on the tabs below to get specific information related to different mortgage types available through Balance Mortgages.

Renewing Your Mortgage

Here’s how it usually happens. You receive a notice from your lender, probably a bank, to say that your mortgage renewal is now due. Typically this letter arrives three weeks or a month prior to the renewal date. Too many homeowners feel pressure to get it done quickly, sign the renewal note and let the bank take care of it. Here’s what you should be doing:

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    Know your mortgage renewal date 4-6 months in advance

    You need time to look at your options. It’s not just the rate but have your personal circumstances changed? Have you lost or changed jobs? Has your family grown? What pressures are you facing now? In other words, are your mortgage requirements different?

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    Never assume that your lender knows best

    No matter what the hype, your current lender has one interest in mind – their’s. They want you to sign that renewal and send it back to them. That’s why they send the renewal notices out when they do. And of course they assure you that their rates and terms are just what you need.

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    Do your own research

    You’ve probably had a mortgage for a number of years. The rate and terms were set back then. The odds are that the economy has changed. The rules are different. Go online, check with friends and, of course, check with your mortgage broker, see for yourself what has changed and what the possibilities are.

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    Get a mortgage broker that acts in your best interests

    A qualified mortgage broker has options that you don’t even know about. Rates from a broad variety of lenders; terms that fit your particular need at this time; choices you are unlikely to get from your current lender.

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    Bottom line – the possibility of your saving thousands of dollars

    Don’t risk losing thousands of mortgage renewal dollars over the long term without checking your options. This is your money. Let Balance Mortgages help you make the best use of it, by renewing your mortgage with the best rate and terms for your particular needs.

Construction mortgages are tricky and complex.

Why are they tricky?

Because a house under construction is a work-in-progress.

Its value increases the closer it gets to completion.

A house already completed has a market value against which a mortgage can be arranged.

With a house in progress, mortgage or construction payments are based on stages or draws. These stages are:

  1. Initial land draw (if you don’t already own the land)
  2. Lock Up
  3. Drywall
  4. Completion

Once a particular stage is complete – i.e. drywall – the builder gets paid through construction draw mortgage financing up to completion of that stage.

In order to lend money for construction, the banks insist on this process.

The bank’s concern, and it’s a very real one, is that if something goes wrong during construction, if the buyer walks away, or the builder goes bankrupt, then it’s tough for a bank to sell an unfinished home and get its money back.

This is why the bank is involved with the construction process – having them on your side is invaluable. They will send their own inspectors to check the progress of the construction before releasing funds for the next stage – they want the same thing as you, a well constructed home that will retain its value.

Bottom line:

Some bank mortgage brokers and other private brokers, make construction mortgages sound easy. They aren’t.

Balance Mortgages can guide you through this tricky, complex process so you know what to expect at every stage. 

Investment Property Mortgage

What you Need to Know:

If you plan to invest in a rental property as a source of ongoing income you need to know the following key information:

  • If you are not an owner-occupier, the minimum down payment is 20%.  
  • If you plan to use one of the units yourself, you may qualify for a rate of between 5-10%. Should this property be valued at over $500,000, your down payment will be 5% of $500,000 plus 10% of any amount above $500,000.
  • Buildings with five + units are generally considered commercial
  • Buildings with 1-4 units are generally considered residential
  • Be well informed beforehand about the real estate market in which you plan to invest.

Terms Specific to Investment Properties:

  • A CMHC fee may apply
  • Usually you receive the lender’s best interest rates
  • When you put down 20% or more, you may qualify for up to 30 year amortization. This may add 0.25% to your premium
  • You can get a mortgage up to 80% of a property’s listed value
  • You make a monthly mortgage payment
  • Investing in a condo, or in high risk cities like Vancouver and Toronto, lenders may require an additional 5% down payment

Qualifications for an Investment Property Mortgage

  • TDR (Total Debt Ratio) must be within lender’s limits – usually 40-42%. TDR is calculated by dividing total monthly expenses by total monthly income from all sources.
  • Good credit history

Investment Property Mortgages can be complex. Make sure you are certain about this one. Check with professionals like Balance Mortgages so that you fully appreciate what’s involved and can make the best possible decision for yourself.

Home Equity Loan

What is a Home Equity Loan/Mortgage?

A home equity loan, or mortgage, utilizes existing equity in your home to secure an additional loan.

When do I need a Home Equity Loan?

Generally, home equity loans are utilized for a couple reasons:

  • Home improvement renovations or addition projects – garages, basement remodeling, etc.
  • Pay down other high interest loans including credit cards and vehicle loans


  • Borrower can access up to 80% of home equity
  • Fixed or variable rate of interest are available
  • Can choose from open or closed term loans, based on your needs and repayment over a fixed term

Home Equity Line of Credit (HELOC)

You may also be approved for a Home Equity Life of Credit (HELOC), rather than a Loan or Mortgage, if there’s enough equity. The Government’s rules for HELOC’s is that they can not exceed 65% of the appraised property value, so it can be a bit more difficult to get these, but definitely worth it as they carry improved payment terms and rates.

Your Balance Mortgages broker has the expertise to advise you on when to consider a Home Equity Loan or HELOC and where to obtain the best terms.

You’re New to Canada

You qualify for a regular mortgage, just like everyone else. We ensure that, just because you’re New to Canada, you aren’t discriminated against. You don’t have to have a bigger down payment. You don’t have to pay a higher interest rate. We make sure you are treated fairly and we will help make sure that you get the best possible rates and terms without feeling left in the dark.

If you don’t qualify, you may still be able to obtain a mortgage through one of the New to Canada Programs offered by:

Balance Mortgages has built a reputation for helping those new to Canada to obtain their first mortgage. We can give you all the information you need with these New to Canada programs and the required steps to get into your new home.

Tailoring Mortgages to Suit Your Life is What We Do

Mortgage Rates
That Fit

Your mortgage is unique.
So are your circumstances.
We find the best match.

Your Money and You

We always take the time to educate clients. Questions? What do you need to know? We answer and advise. find the best match.

No Hidden Agenda

We work for you – period. We’re not beholden to any one lender, any particular cause.

Certainty & Confidence

Doubts or concerns about your new or renewing mortgage? We bring experience and certainty to the table.

Our Most Popular Alberta Mortgage Resources

Have you checked out our blog? You really should! It is full of great finance information, tips for your home, and tons of great info about Edmonton and area. And of course, we have lots of resources on mortgages.

Here are some of our most popular resources to help you get the most from your visit.

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    Credit Repair – Tips and Advice

    Not sure exactly how this credit thing works? That’s ok. It changes all the time! Get some great advice on maintaining or improving your credit score – essential to get the best mortgage rates. View Post

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    Alternate Credit Checklist

    Are you self employed? Or have income that is hard to prove? You will need to know all about the alternate credit checklist. We’ve got you covered. View Post

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    How To Have A Stellar Credit

    Go beyond average and boost that credit score well into the 700s or higher! We’ve got great tips and advice on achieving exceptional credit scores. View Post

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    Mortgage and Pre-Approval Restrictions

    Get the scoop on the restrictions that could affect your mortgage. View Post

We’ve spent the last 4 years trying to get approval for a home, but with all the rejections from the banks, we became very discouraged. Cynthia worked with us in making suggestions that could correct our credit history and make it more appealing to lenders. She also came to meet us and spend time with us during our house inspection in the middle of one of the worst winter storms!

– Paul and Amanda

Thanks again for your work on our mortgage.
It was a pleasant experience.
I was truly a novice and you walked us through the entire process very well.
I just received the final package from the lawyer yesterday, so it looks like everything is complete and in 35 years we’ll own a house!

– Kevin and Holly

Mortgage Help For Realtors & Builders

Does your client need help with their first mortgage? Let us help your clients get the right mortgage to suit their needs and existing lifestyle. Our client education will help you find the affordable home for your clients, while ensuring that they will value your own wok.