“Head & Shoulders Above the Rest”

FAQs & Reviews

What my clients are asking and saying. Give me a call with your questions and I am happy to provide advice!



Q: I am a first-time homebuyer. How much do I need to save for a down payment to buy a house?

A: The minimum down payment on any mortgage in Canada is 5 percent but putting down more is beneficial whenever possible as it will lower the amount being borrowed. However, if you can only afford the minimum that is perfectly okay! Just remember, if you are putting down less than 20 per cent to purchase your home, default insurance will be mandatory to protect the investment.

Q: What’s a CHIP?

A: The acronym CHIP stands for Canadian Home Income Plan. As a Canadian 55 years or older, you may be eligible to access up to 55% of your home equity tax-free – and without impacting your CPP or OAS income. A CHIP Reverse Mortgage is a loan secured against the value of your home and, unlike a traditional loan or mortgage, you’re not required to make regular mortgage payments. The loan is repaid only when you no longer live in your home. By paying off your debt now and/or helping a family member when they need it most, you can put yourself and your family in a better financial position moving forward.

Q: Should I get a variable rate or fixed rate mortgage?

A: In the last 10 years, the prime lending rate has gone from 2.50% to 3.95% and now sits at 2.45% as of January 2022. Due to recent events, these rates have seen even more of a downturn providing huge benefits to new borrowers looking to pay as little as possible. While a variable-rate mortgage is linked to the Prime Rate, which could cause fluctuations, historically the choice of a variable rate mortgage over a fixed term has allowed borrowers to save in interest costs.

However, due to the uncertainty and potential fluctuations that can occur with a variable-rate mortgage, it comes down to the borrower’s comfort. Some individuals have no wiggle room in their budget for potential changes in mortgage payments, or they do not like the uncertainty. For these clients, a fixed rate would be the best choice. On the other hand, clients who qualify for variable-rate mortgages have a unique opportunity to take advantage of lower interest rates.

Q: I want to buy a rental property. Do you have any tips?

A: Walk Score is a big attraction to most renters. What is the proximity to schools, hospitals, local transportation, grocery stores, etc.? Look for properties that are in a central location in a city, or a city that is showing high economic growth – the rental demand will be greater. What are the average rental rates in the area? Your monthly rent is your bread and butter. Find out what the average rental rates are in the area by visiting Statistics Canada or the Canadian Rental Housing Index.

Are there employment opportunities in the area? Statistics Canada (www.statcan.gc.ca) offers reliable and timely data on the latest trends in the real estate market. Also, keeping up with the news will help you hear if a large corporation may be moving into the area, with families soon to follow. Consider if the property is in a college town or near a military facility where there will always be a need for rental properties.


Craig is a knowledgeable and candid Broker who makes the deal happen! A pleasure to deal with during a rather stressful life event. Thanks to Craig, I feel secure about my home ownership and financial future! Skip the rest, connect with Craig first!

Katie R

Craig really came through for me under a tight timeline and helped make sure that everything went smoothly. He was helpful and always found answers when I had questions. When an issue popped up late in the process, Craig was able to navigate the process to ensure that both the lender and I were satisfied. I would happily recommend Craig Howie to anyone seeker out a broker.

Cory C

Craig was great! He always answered my questions very fast, and I had many as buying my first home.

He was very knowledgeable, took time explaining things & got me the mortgage I needed fast. I would definitely recommend him.

Ingrid B

Fast efficient service, keeps you updated along the way, excellent service as well as a follow up after transaction and an entire year later to check how things are going. I would definitely recommend to family and friends, and in the future if required I will most definitely reach out to Craig.

Lorraine M

Craig Howie mortgage agent

DLC Platinum Award   rotary international


Service Area

Whitby, Oshawa, Ajax, Ontario