Building the Right Team at Mortgage Time

Choose professionals for your mortgage. The Mortgage Group.

Your mortgage is one of the largest purchase items you will probably take on in your life. In making that commitment, you will most likely seek advice from several people: your family, your partner, your real estate agent, your financial planner and your mortgage broker.

Ensuring that you employ the best real estate professionals that you have access to – home buying professionals with your best interest in mind – will save you exponentially down the line. It takes a solid team to secure an optimal home.

Finding a well-connected Canadian mortgage broker is your first step. A mortgage broker will help you ascertain the true amount you can afford to spend on your new home, before you start shopping. A mortgage pre-approval will give you powerful buying power with home sellers, and will hold for you the best mortgage rates available, usually within 90 days. With one mortgage application, a mortgage broker will scout the Canadian mortgage market for you, and find the mortgage product that best suits your needs, be it through a bank, trust company, credit union, insurance company or private lender.

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Choosing the right mortgage broker

When it comes to the world of home loans, mortgage brokers can be invaluable. Not only can they help potential home buyers find the lowest mortgage rates, they can put them in contact with lenders who suit their needs. Of course, as with any service, the process only works if home buyers use the right professional. Fortunately, there are a number of strategies consumers can use to help them choose the right mortgage broker.

Understand the service
Before hiring a mortgage broker, a borrower should fully understand what services they offer. Brokers act as intermediaries between borrowers and lenders, helping the former find the best match with the latter. They can act as guides through each step of the loan process, analyzing a borrower's financial situation and helping to determine loan types that best suit a borrower's needs. Continue reading

Finding the right mortgage broker

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Taking out a mortgage can be a long and arduous process. When making a financial decision as large and important as buying a house, you want to make sure you’re getting the best deal. High mortgage rates and poor terms can wreak havoc on your finances, and the sometimes complicated process can be overwhelming for borrowers who are less than knowledgeable about the housing industry. Luckily there are professionals available to help guide you, ensuring a smooth process while helping you obtain the rate that fits your finances best.

A mortgage broker is an intermediary who brings borrowers and lenders together. Instead of dealing with the company that originates the mortgage and attempting to sift through the complex process yourself, brokers allow you to shop around for the best rates with an experienced professional advising you along the way. Continue reading

Brokers vs. Banks: Which is right for you?

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For something as seemingly straightforward as buying a home, the mortgage process can feel overwhelmingly complex. As the paperwork piles up and a deluge of real estate terms are thrown your way, you want to feel confident in your decisions, not boggled down by convoluted procedures.

One element of the purchasing process that causes confusion among home buyers is whether or not to use a mortgage broker. A mortgage broker is an intermediary between borrowers and lenders. Their job is to find the right loan and lender for borrowers, ensuring a smooth mortgage process for all parties involved.

According to the Canada Housing Mortgage Corporation’s 2012 Mortgage Consumer Survey, 27 percent of Canadian consumers used a mortgage broker to arrange their loans, up from 23 percent in 2011. That number was even higher among first-time home buyers, with brokers responsible for 48 percent of mortgage originations in that sector.

So should you be one of the nearly one-third of Canadians who turn to mortgage brokers when purchasing a home? The following are some of the benefits brokers can offer. Continue reading

Allies all homebuyers should have: Experienced brokers, small lenders

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Whether you're dipping your toes into the mortgage pool for the first time or you're practically a professional homeowner, there are plenty of considerations and preparations that should be taken before names can be signed on the dotted line. Sufficient finances and budgets may be obvious first steps – after all, you risk foreclosure if you can't pay for your fancy new pad – but monthly payments must also be planned for in advance so the lights and water won't get turned off.

What's the point of spending all your money on a house that doesn't even have electricity and running water, anyway? Not only will you have to miss your favorite guilty-pleasure TV shows, but getting ready for work in the mornings would be an interesting experience, to say the very least.

However, one important step many potential homebuyers – inexperienced or otherwise – forget is to join forces with a few key allies. Sure, spending the time looking for the perfect connection could potentially lengthen the process of buying your dream home, but having pros on your side could save time and money – and ensure you always have running water. Continue reading

Canadian mortgage brokers could take tips from Aussie counterparts

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G'day, mate! Canada and Australia have a lot in common besides being English-speaking nations of the British Commonwealth. Both countries, for example, have a large – and growing – Asian population. This is a group of people who are not terribly familiar with the concept of mortgage brokers, according to Australian Broker Online. Perhaps Canadian immigrants could learn a thing or two from the lenders in the land down under.

Tom Mak, an Australian-based broker who was born in China, told ABO that a significant amount of Asians don't use mortgage brokers because they don't understand the concept. When he started with his current firm, most of the clientele were native Australians who knew what a broker does and how they could expect to benefit from their services. But as the years went on, he began to reach out more and more to the local Asian community, trying to dispel some of the confusion they feel toward the profession. Continue reading

Don’t let another mortgage renewal opportunity pass you by

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Every year, hundreds of thousands of Canadians have to renew their home loans; it's just a fact of life. But not all of them are taking full advantage of the opportunity this provides to save money on their mortgages.

Is your home loan coming up for renewal? If it is, don't let this chance pass you by! There are so many things you can do to save money on your home loan, like:

• Switch to lower mortgage rates
• Alter the length of your loan
• Change lenders to get a better deal

Do some research, see what options you have. When you took out your first mortgage, you didn't just walk into the nearest brokerage firm and say, "one mortgage, please." You looked around, compared rates, figured out your costs and determined the benefits and drawbacks of different mortgage packages. Why wouldn't you do that again? Continue reading

Canadian mortgage rates drop at big banks; brokers still best bet

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Some of Canada's biggest banks don't appear to have heard recent calls to raise interest rates sooner than later. The Royal Bank of Canada, Toronto-Dominion and BMO have all dropped the mortgage rates on their five-year home loans.

RBC was the first major financial institution to lower its rates, which fell from 5.44 percent to 5.34 percent on May 24. TD and BMO followed suit the next day. The move comes on the heels of a plea from the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development for the country to raise its interest rates sooner than later. In March, all of the nation's big banks lowered fixed-interest mortgage rates to 2.99 percent on four- and five-year products.

TD Bank CEO Ed Clark, for one, doesn't share the concerns of the OECD when it comes to interest rates. In a recent earnings report, Clark noted that he sees "signs that the housing market is slowing, and the risk of a sharp correction are diminishing.”

While big banks may have dropped their interest rates, mortgage brokers are usually able to find the best mortgage rates in the country. Brokers work with a variety of lenders and have the flexibility to find exactly the right mortgage to suit a homebuyer's needs.

Financial advisers chosen on blind trust, report shows

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A recent study finds that many Canadians are choosing their financial advisers on blind trust, rather than through diligent research and fact-based decisions.

A large portion of Canadians are confused or misinformed about the role of a financial advisor, as well as their appropriate qualifications and ethical obligations to the consumer, the Financial Planning Standards Council report showed. Part of the reason, according to a recent analysis from business communications professional Talbot Boggs, is that regulations governing the financial planning industry are piecemeal at best. There are currently no government standards or professional oversights concerning competence or ethical behavior.

By performing some due diligence when selecting a financial planner, consumers can be sure to find the right person to help them achieve their financial goals. A similar process should be performed when selecting a mortgage broker. An integral part of financial planning is affording a home, and mortgage brokers can help would-be homebuyers find the best mortgage rates for their budgets. Brokers are in the market to help buyers by offering the most solid advice they can. One mortgage broker group, the Canadian Association of Accredited Mortgage Professionals, recently warned the federal government that a plan to change mortgage refinancing rules would adversely affect homeowners.

Get a mortgage online? Someday

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As more people are turned off from dealing with big banks, many financial services – including home loans – are shifting to the internet, according to The Montreal Gazette.

Technology, particularly cellphone technology, that can perform many bank functions wirelessly and online has been emerging in greater volume over the last few years, and with it the opportunity to conduct financial transactions without dealing directly with a bank, the source reported. One recent agreement between banks has paved the way for consumers to make credit card purchases on their smartphones. Homebuyers could soon sign for mortgages with a digital signature from their home computer, according to the Gazette.

"The technology exists," Yvon Audette, an IT advisory partner at KPMG Canada, told the source. "The only [action] I can't think about how to do digitally is a bank draft or a certified cheque. All the other bits and bytes exist to do everything digitally. So I think there's just a matter of time."

Canadians who are sick of dealing with big banks but prefer human interaction in their homebuying transactions should consult with certified mortgage brokers. Brokers have access to a large network of lenders and can help consumers get the best mortgage rates available.