- Lower Monthly Payments: With an interest-only mortgage, you only pay the interest on the loan for a certain period (typically 5-10 years), which can result in lower monthly payments compared to a traditional amortizing mortgage. This can be appealing if you want to free up cash for other investments or expenses.
- Flexibility: Interest-only mortgages provide more flexibility in your cash flow. You have the option to pay more than the interest if you choose, which can help you pay down the principal faster or invest in other opportunities.
- Tax Benefits: In Canada, interest on your primary residence is not tax-deductible. However, if you use the mortgage for investment purposes, the interest may be tax-deductible, providing potential tax benefits.
- Balloon Payments: After the interest-only period, you’ll start paying both the principal and interest, which can lead to significantly higher monthly payments. If you haven’t prepared for this transition, it can be financially stressful.
- Building No Equity: During the interest-only period, you’re not building equity in your home. If property values decline or you need to sell your home, you may find yourself owing more than your property is worth.
- Interest Rate Risk: If you have a variable interest rate, your payments could increase if interest rates rise. This risk can be mitigated by choosing a fixed-rate interest-only mortgage, but they tend to have higher initial interest rates.
- Investment Risk: If you’re planning to invest the money you save by choosing an interest-only mortgage, there’s no guarantee that your investments will outperform the interest rate on your mortgage.
In Ottawa, where the real estate market can be competitive, it’s essential to carefully consider your financial situation, long-term goals, and risk tolerance before opting for an interest-only mortgage. You should also consult with a financial advisor or mortgage specialist to understand the specific terms, risks, and benefits of the mortgage products available in your area.
Generally, interest-only mortgages are better suited for financially savvy individuals who have a clear strategy for managing their finances during and after the interest-only period. It’s essential to have a plan for paying down the principal or dealing with potential interest rate increases to ensure the long-term stability of your financial situation.