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Don Johnstone - Mortgage Broker

Don Johnstone

AMP Mortgage Broker

License #MO8007429

Phone: 1-519-362-0353


Guelph Second Mortgages

For over 10 years, Don Johnstone has been helping people just like you find the ideal mortgage for your lifestyle and financial needs. He is an industry expert at finding the best rate possible for your situation and then negotiating terms that fit your personal situation.

Don is able to negotiate mortgages from all Major banks in Canada, as well as all of the specialty financing companies.

Don is an AMP (Accredited Mortgage Professional) Certified Broker and brings with him expertise in First and Second Mortgages, providing the best possible rates, as well as money-saving advice. He is also regularly involved in helping his customers find Private Mortgages, Consolidating their debts, or simply providing solid financial advice.

To get your mortgage questions answered right now call 519-362-0353 for a no obligation free consultation.


From Don Johnstone.

First Time Buyers - Honest advice. Fast Service. Low fees.

First time buyer Buying your first home is a wonderful experience. We take pride in helping first-time home buyers navigate the process of getting pre-qualified and ultimately approved for their new home loan. We understand that sometimes the loan process can be confusing, but it is a necessary part of buying your home. Because this is the biggest single purchase that you may ever make, we educate you as we take you through the mortgage process. We believe that the better educated you are about all the mortgage options, the better decision you can ultimately make.

- We will educate you on your credit score and what the lending guidelines are.
- We will then discuss your budgetary goals and find a suitable mortgage payment for your situation.
- We then go out on your behalf and negotiate the best mortgage options from over 30 different lenders (this includes all major banks).
- We then deliver all the options to you, and through education and our years of experience we select the mortgage that is best for you.

Your first foray into buying a home can be confusing and overwhelming with the number of mortgage product choices, and available options. Don Johnstone has over 10 years of direct experience in assisting you through the maze of lender options, terminologies and mortgage documentation. Don can help you very quickly attain a mortgage pre-approval that will strengthen your position in negotiating a purchase price for your home.

Second Mortgage - Fast turnarounds. Low fees. Easy to understand terms.

Second Mortgage A second mortgage can be used to reduce monthly payments, provide funds for a home renovation or just too simply free up cash should you need it: pretty much for whichever reason you should choose.

Akin to a home equity loan, the lender will secure a second mortgage on the property as security. Since second mortgage lenders are at a higher risk of loss in case of default the interest rates on second mortgages are higher than those rates charged on first mortgages.

You can also employ a second mortgage for consolidating credit card debts. This can reduce the monthly payments, reduce your overall interest rates and payments and transform monthly compound interest to semi-annual interest. Furthermore, it is better to use these funds for heavier expenses, as the repayment amount can be higher than the original mortgage.

Refinancing - Debt consolidation

Refinancing - Debt Consolidation Whatever your reasons for wanting to refinance your existing mortgage—whether it be to reduce your monthly payments by consolidating non-mortgage debt, free up funds for investments or to fund improvements to your home, etc., we can help you. Whatever the reason, we can assist you in negotiating with your current lender or some cases even switch to a new one who could provide you with a more favorable rate, terms or conditions!

To start the process, here are a few things you need to know:

Consolidating other debts

The interest rates charged by lenders on unsecured loans, lines of credit and credit cards are typically higher than the rates offered on funds secured by a mortgage. Unsecured debts have a higher rate than your mortgage as the lenders compensation in case you default.

It would be logical for most people, therefore, to simply use what available home equity they have so as to pay out their debt as this reduces interest cost.

If the total of your existing mortgage and the debt to be refinanced amounts to less than 85% of your home’s value, and should your income and credit standing pass qualifications, refinancing your first mortgage shouldn’t be too hard.

Combining Existing Mortgages

When you combine mortgages and increase your mortgage where the final mortgage amount is greater than 80% of the value this will result in a high-ratio situation and you will be required to pay an insurance premium. When this occurs, one needs to look closely at the total amount of savings along with the cost of mortgage insurance to be certain such a step would be financially worthwhile.

Combined mortgages result in a new “conventional” mortgage

High-ratio insurance is not a requirement if the new mortgage amount is less than 80% of the current value of your home. If your income and credit rating allows you to qualify, Don Johnstone can help you!

Whether you have insurance or otherwise, one should keep in mind a critical factor which causes the failure of many such refinances. The new mortgage will often require that some or all of the cash flow previously used to service the now consolidated debt is now applied to the new mortgage. A majority of the homeowners who go through this process tend to simply take increase in the cash flow savings into an upgraded lifestyle: they could either re-incur debt that has already been paid out or incur a new one for which they now qualify—or both.

It is vital that you approach such consolidation or re-combination of your obligations with a clear and unmitigated priority of applying all your savings toward paying the mortgage. Otherwise, this new mortgage will be more of a burden rather than a solution. For more information, you can contact Don Johnstone at (email address).

Breaking a closed mortgage to transfer to a new lender

A number of closed mortgages offer a feature that allows arrears to be paid out with a penalty, after a certain amount of time has passed on the mortgage. You can choose the “prepayment” clause in your mortgage to determine your financial standing and—even better—call your institution and inquire about the cost of paying out in full.

Damaged Credit

Damaged Credit Worried about whether you can ever make a purchase with debts and bills accumulating all around you?

Do you feel overwhelmed by the amount of collectors calling and mortgage and property taxes trailing after you?

Well worry no further

At Guelph Second Mortgages, we specialize in analyzing financial needs and capabilities, thus providing financial solutions and assistance for clients with bruised credit or bank refusals.

Working in collaboration with a growing network of financial and lending institutions, we can assure you that we will be able to meet your needs. We can provide you the help and support you will need to get right back onto the path to financial freedom.

- Are you currently in an unstable employment? - Going through damaged credit? - Are you behind on your mortgage payments, property tax or income tax? - Have you declared past bankruptcies?

Rest assured we tread through different and alternative paths in order to provide solutions and assistance for all credit types and financial and employment situations. No matter what credit application rejection you may have gone through in the past, do not hesitate to contact Don in order to find out what other options lay in store for you.

Home Equity–LOC

Home Equity- Line of Credit Rearranging your finances, whether it be your existing mortgage balance, making use of your Home Equity for whichever purpose you may wish to do so, is refinancing that needs strategic financial planning. Whichever your choice, this is a financial decision that necessitates the assistance of a mortgage expert to ensure that you get the best possible deal from the numerous options that are available.

- Would you like to decrease your monthly payment?
- Consolidate your debt?
- Planning to renovate?
- Do you wish to draw cash out of your home?
- Do you want to increase your flexibility with a credit line or perhaps break your mortgage?

If you want to say “yes” to any of the items listed above, Don Johnstone can help!

Switching a mortgage

Switching a Mortgage Most people are unaware of the ramifications of changing lenders. When you renew a mortgage, you are basically starting from scratch. You are, simply put, discharging the existing mortgage and taking out a new one, thus beginning a whole new slew of payment process—albeit at a lower principal amount. Therefore, you should treat the idea of switching mortgages as important as the first time you took one out. Please remember that your circumstances may have changed since then and thus will require a different and remodeled product with different terms suited to your current standing.

In most provinces, switching requires only a simple assignment of interest in the mortgage to be executed by all parties, as well as registered on title. This assignment attaches more specific terms that will have a paramount legal effect, as well as replaces the standing ones of the transferring institution. And so, even though the old mortgage is still registered on title, all previous terms and conditions on record by your previous lender will be replaced by those of your new lender, under the assignment of interest.

Furthermore, the form you have on hand from your previous lender who did your prior mortgage financing has a rate that could not be as competitive as it should be. Do not let the harsh reality and rigors of negotiation distract you by simply signing the form and sending it back to the lender as it will no doubt cost you in higher rates.

Lenders depend on 70% of mortgage renewals simply signing the form and mailing it. Human nature of relying on convenience is one of their key strategies, though they are not forcing you to do so otherwise.

Now, let Guelph Second Mortgages do the work for you! Convenience coupled with lower cost. All with a mortgage that has terms that suit your current situation. Fact is it is highly likely that another lender may give you what you want, at a rate you want, since there are no legal implications to actually switching.

Renovation Loans

Renovation Loans You may be able to get a lot more equity than you realize if you are intending on using the new funds to renovate and improve your home. Guelph Second Mortgages can guide you through the process of securing a home improvement loan.

The mortgage insurance providers AIG, Genworth and CMHC will insure new mortgages based on the improved value of the home after the modeled and improvements have been completed. Please do note that pools and spas are considered “over improvements,” and such may not qualify for a high-ratio equity take-out and may render your home improvement ineligible. However, if the total requirement is less than 80% of your home’s current value, acquiring the funds for improvements or renovations you may want to complete could prove to be less trouble than expected.

Mortgages for Self-employed

Mortgages for Self Employed Don Johnstone can obtain you a mortgage in most situations, regardless of your current or previous situation. Where traditional financial institutions may have failed you, Don can get you a product tailor-fitted to your needs—and at a competitive rate!

New to Canada?

New to Canada Mortgage If you have a valid work visa or confirmation of application for Permanent Residency, full-time employment, credit references from your home country and down payment means from your own resources, then you may be qualified enough to obtain your own new home sooner than you think.

For new immigrants who may have a bit more of a complicated situation with their respective finances (e.g., no credit history, bankrupt or recent discharges, no verifiable income, etc.), despair not. You can still make your dreams of home ownership a reality.

Traditional financial institutions may fail you, but non-traditional or private lenders may just be the answer to your dilemma. Don Johnstone can assist you in obtaining a possible mortgage, regardless of your financial standing.

Granted that these alternative means may ask for higher rates and fees but the end should greatly justify it when you land the dream home of your own.

Vacation Properties

Vacation Properties Don Johnstone can make your dreams of purchasing a secondary home for whatever reason—be it for vacation or retirement plans—come true.

Whether it be a cabin by the water or a resort condominium, Don can help with the required financing plan to meet your needs. Don’s association with nationwide lenders can and will provide the mortgage financing you need for ANYWHERE in Canada.

The process includes an interview to create a brief but accurate description of your current standing and obligations in order to send you off with a clear picture of what you are able to afford.

There are of course different properties with different criteria, varying from different lenders’ perspectives. Don can have this all sorted out for you!

Renewing a mortgage

Renewing a Mortgage Majority of the usual mortgage applicants or simply those whose mortgages are up for renewal tend to be hasty in signing forms, sending it back to the respective lender. Problem is, usual result includes a higher rate and an unsuitable mortgage product. Allow Don Johnstone to do the work for you as he can guarantee that you get the best possible rate and product designed especially for you and your needs. To sign up for our Mortgage Renewal Registry, click here.

If you want to renew your mortgage or perhaps switch to another lender who could give you a better rate, you should know that most lenders now offer “no cost” or “low cost” switches. This is a smart and better way in reducing your interest costs. We at Guelph Second Mortgages can take care of all the details, as well as negotiate on your behalf with your existing lender—even find you a new one with competitive rates.

Don can help you find the best product tailor-fitted to your needs, and at the best rate possible! We at Guelph Second Mortgages will do all the research you’ll need to help you avoid the confusion and frustration of going through all the options available.

What type of mortgage should you choose? These are some things to keep in mind:

Short-Term Risk and Variable

If you are prepared to take a risk, and current rates are low and stable, you can actually pay a lower rate with a short-term mortgage. You can simply choose your term for every 6 months or float your rate against prime with the option of locking into a longer term at a later date to play safe. This, however, is not for everyone as sudden rate movements can have an impact on your payments. Worry not if all these sounds alarming for Don can assist you and help identify if this option is suited for you.

Long-Term Mortgages

Any term longer than 3 years is considered as “long term.” Because long-term rates are often higher than short-term rates, you may not want to choose this option. However, locking you in will help you avoid exposure to rate increases. can assist you and help identify if this option is suited for you.

Split-Term Mortgages

A split-term allows you to minimize you interest rate. An example of splitting is when you’re given a $200,000 mortgage, splitting into an even 40,000 segment, each with terms of 6 months, 1-, 2-, 3- and 5-year terms negotiated at the current best rates. Too much information at once? Talk with us!

Mortgage Prepayment Options

Many lenders allow making a lump sum payment, usually 10–20% of the original balance. Also, many mortgage products include a “double up and skip-a-payment” feature. This feature allows you to save on extra mortgage payments, at which time you can “skip” payments if you need to. Ask Don for advice today!

Mortgage Payment Changes

Most mortgages now allow amortization to be adjusted by increasing payment on closed terms by 10–20% per year, once annually.

Mortgage Payment Frequency

Presently, mortgages often come with the option to pay at a frequency that matches your cash flow, whether weekly, bi-weekly, or semi-monthly. A benefit of this “accelerated” weekly and bi-weekly payment is that by dividing a regular monthly payment into two and four, respectively, and deducting it at the new interval, extra payment against the principal is made per year.

Take advantage of our renewal registry now and get the best possible rate held for up to 120 days prior to your renewal!

Get in touch with Don


of commonly used terms.


A mortgage is amortized over a period of years. The amortization period is the length of time it takes to pay off the mortgage in full. The usual amortization period is 25 years. However, this period is adjustable and can be accelerated to pay off the mortgage more quickly or, in some cases, can be stretched to 35 years to reduce the monthly payment.


Some mortgages are assumable, with the proper qualifications. This means that should you sell your house before the term of the mortgage is completed, the purchaser can take over your mortgage—if they qualify. This allows you to avoid paying a penalty when breaking your mortgage.

Blend & Increase

These terms pertain to the ability to increase your existing mortgage or the term of the mortgage, with only the increased amount or term at today’s interest rate. The interest rate for an existing mortgage is integrated with the interest rate of the increased amount. This is advantageous if you have a good rate on your existing mortgage or if you want to avoid a penalty to pay out an existing mortgage.

Commitment Letter

This is the document that your lender will confirm as the basic terms and conditions, upon which the lender will provide the mortgage and indicate the conditions that must be met before funding. The standard conditions include—but are not limited to—receipt of an appraisal, income verification by way of employment letters and income tax returns, as well as verification that the purchasers’ down payment has not been borrowed.


For reasons, planned or unplanned, the borrower may need to sell before the end of the mortgage term. Discharge fees vary widely between lenders which may result in thousands of dollars in penalties. Worse yet, if the discharge policy is “No Discharge,” the borrower may be locked in for the entire term of the mortgage.

Early Pay-out Penalty

Many people don’t think about breaking their mortgage when they are in the midst of arranging it, however, this possibility cannot be overlooked. An individual’s circumstances can change—transfer of employment, marriage breakdown, etc. Some mortgages are fully closed and cannot be broken under any circumstance. Other mortgages have a sales clause that allows early payout of the mortgage upon an arms-length sale of the property, subject to a penalty (for example, 3-month interest). Some mortgages allow the borrower to break the mortgage, for any reason, upon payment of a penalty.

Interest Adjustment Date

This may apply to mortgages that close on any day other than the requested day of payment. For instance, as some lenders want monthly payments to be made on the first day of the month, they will adjust the interest due on closing so that interest on your mortgage is paid up until the first of the coming month. If you close on the 20th of the month (and the month has 30 days), you will have to pay interest for 10 days so that you are paid up until the first of the coming month. Then, your first full mortgage payment will be due on the first of the following month.

Interest Rate

The rate of interest is a key consideration when arranging your mortgage. The interest is the payment to the lender for the use of the mortgage money. The interest rate can be fixed (where the rate remains constant for the term) or floating (where the rate changes at regular intervals). Short-term or convertible terms usually have lower interest rates and can be used to a borrower’s advantage in an unstable market. These mortgages allow you to ride out a fluctuating or falling rate market until rates reach a level where you wish to “lock-in” to a longer term. On the other hand, long-term rates offer stability and eliminate the need to monitor rates daily.

Interim Financing

When the purchase of your new home closes in 60 days, but the sale of your current home closes in 90 days, you will need interim or bridge financing. This is because for 30 days, you will own both properties, and not receive the equity out of your old property. If your chosen lender cannot provide you with interim financing, you may find that getting it from other lenders will be very expensive.


This key term is a contract made between a borrower and a lender, where the borrower pledges a property to a creditor as security for the payment of a debt. “Charge” is another word for mortgage.

Mortgage Life Insurance

Life insurance that pays off the balance of the mortgage in the case of the borrowers death (i.e., if a spouse dies, the remaining spouse would not have to worry about mortgage payments—it would be paid in full). The monthly cost of getting this insurance through the lender is typically less costly than obtaining a similar coverage directly from an insurance company.

Payment frequency options

You will often have the choice of making payments on your mortgage on a monthly, semi-monthly, bi-weekly, or weekly basis. Increasing the payment frequency, i.e., bi-weekly instead of monthly, can shorten the amortization of your mortgage and save you a considerable amount of interest. By law, all mortgages in Ontario are registered as having monthly payments. Any change to this is done by an amendment to the mortgage. This amendment is a privilege and can be revoked in the event of failure to make payments.

Pre-authorized chequing/debit

In this computer age, mortgage payments are normally made by pre-authorized chequing or debit where the lender takes your regular monthly, semi-monthly, bi-weekly, or weekly payment out of a predetermined bank account automatically.

Prepayment privileges

These prepayment privileges allow you to make extra lump sum payments, double your payments, or increase your regular payments. Prepayment privileges vary from lender to lender. If you want to be able to pay your mortgage off quickly, check the flexibility of your prepayment privileges.


If you have a good mortgage rate and a number of years remaining on your term, you may want to take your mortgage with you to a new home when you move. This can be done if the mortgage is portable. The property you are moving into will have to be reviewed and approved by the lender before you can shift the mortgage to the new property.

Rate Guarantee

Rate Guarantee pertains to the period of time, prior to closing of your house purchase (“the completion date”) that a lender will guarantee that the interest rate they have offered will not rise. This is usually for a period between 60 and 90 days, although longer rate holds are available under special conditions. The commitment letter will also state under what conditions (if any) that they will decrease the interest rate if and when rates in general drop prior to your completion date.

Standard mortgage fees

All mortgages have standard fees associated with them such as renewal fees, discharge fees, NSF fees, etc. These vary from lender to lender and should be considered carefully.

Tax holdback

When property taxes are included with mortgage payments, the lender will hold back funds from mortgage proceeds to cover interim or final property taxes payable to the municipality. The amount depends on the month the mortgage was funded, and on the dates when interim and final taxes are due. Holdbacks are used to pay for the current year’s taxes, while monthly tax installments are accumulated in the account to pay for next year’s taxes.


This is the period of time that the interest rate and the loan is contracted for. Terms can vary from 3 months to 35 years (although the standard term is still 25 years).


Don Johnstone, AMP Mortgage Specialist

10 Carter Drive
Guelph, ON N1E1X7, Canada
(519) 362-0353

Guelph, Ontario