Mortgages Made Easy Blog

Our brokers post interesting news, tips, and industry updates every week.
JUN
28

How to avoid the hidden trap of mortgage penalties

How to avoid the hidden trap of mortgage penalties

Every mortgage shopper wants the lowest mortgage rate possible, but be careful; sometimes a low rate comes with unrealistic terms and conditions, or potential future penalties and fees that could nullify your initial savings.

I recently read in the news about a Toronto man who had to shell out $13,000 in fees for breaking his mortgage contract early. Nadim Kara didn’t know homeowners with a fixed term longer than five years can only be charged a penalty of three months’ interest if they break their mortgage after the fifth year. If Nadim had waited 60 more days to break his contract, he would have paid $3000 in fees rather than $13,000. This pertinent information was not in his contract, or explained to him until after the fact.

This story is an example of why having an experienced mortgage broker on your side is so important. Brokers take a forensic approach to examining the details of your mortgage contract to ensure you are protected, and that includes checking that the contract isn’t missing any information. Mortgage contracts must disclose all information on penalties for ending a mortgage early and how they will be calculated. Our brokers have been around the block a few times and won’t let mistakes fall through the cracks.

Many homebuyers can be overwhelmed by the technical language in mortgage contracts and may not pay close enough attention to the details before signing the dotted line. Our brokers are here to answer your questions and explain the fine print, so you don’t have to worry about overpaying on your mortgage, or being taken advantage of later.

We’ve been helping our clients navigate the mortgage industry since 1989. Give us a call at 613-563-3447 and let us take the confusion out of planning your mortgage.

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322 Hits
MAY
09

Is a CHIP Reverse Mortgage Right For You?

Is a CHIP Reverse Mortgage Right For You?

If you are a homeowner, 55 or older, and considering selling your home or downsizing, you should know there are other options available. One such option is a CHIP Reverse Mortgage. 

What is a reverse mortgage?

A reverse mortgage is a home loan that gives owners access to their home equity and turns it into tax-free money for you to spend as you wish. Instead of selling or downsizing to save money for your future, you can keep the home you love. 

How does a reverse mortgage benefit me?

A reverse mortgage allows you to receive up to 55% of the value of your home (depending on your age, type of home and location). The money from a reverse mortgage can supplement monthly income and help you enjoy your retirement or cover expenses, without dipping into your savings. With a reverse mortgage, you can avoid taking out a line of credit. Any outstanding loans will be paid out by the proceeds from your reverse mortgage.

Also, as long as you live in your home, you won’t have any regular mortgage payments. You retain ownership and control of the house and will never be asked to leave or sell (as long as you pay taxes, insurance and maintain the property).

Homeowners can receive the money in three ways:

• As one lump sum in advance

• Some now and some later

• Planned advances over a set period of time

Finally, once the CHIP Reverse Mortgage is repaid, you keep the remaining equity on your home. On average, the amount left over is 50% of its value when sold. 

Call one of our mortgage brokers today to find out if a CHIP Reverse Mortgage is right for you.

 

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544 Hits
JAN
09

The rules have changed, so you better have your credit story straight.

Know the rules

The recent mortgage rule changes in Canada have been all over the news. In short, it’s tougher to get a mortgage today than it was just a few weeks ago. That doesn’t mean you can’t get a mortgage, but it does mean that you need to be really well prepared before you go shopping. When the rules tighten up, presenting yourself in your very best light can go a long way to increasing your options. One brilliant way to make a great impression on a lender is to have your credit story in order.


One thing that becomes an Achilles heel for a lot of borrowers is their credit score – and that even holds true for borrowers with really high incomes. You would be amazed how much weight your credit score carries. So, before you go for pre-approval, here are some sure-fire steps you can take to put the odds in your favour.

Find out where you stand, not where you hope you stand.

Your credit report can be had for free. It’s the same report that lenders will reference when they assess your credit-worthiness as far as them lending you their money. Good, bad or ugly, your journey starts with a review of your credit score, because the truth will set you free. The last thing you want is to be turned down over a bad report or even an error in your report. You’d be surprised how few times people actually go into their report and clear out long out of date information that could be hurting their credit rating. The more accurate the report, the faster you’ll know where you stand.

Be obsessed with paying your bills on time

This is hugely important to your credit health. Pay your bills on time. By on time, I mean in time for the payment to be received and processed before the due date so that your payment is registered on time, not submitted on the day it is due. And if you can’t pay the full bill, pay your minimum balance. If you do, you’ll be rewarded in your credit report.

And if you’re in a short-term jam and can’t make ends meet one month, call your creditor immediately, in advance of the payment due date and explain the situation.  Great communication with your creditor can also prevent a late payment form being reported to the credit bureau and repayment reliability is the single biggest influencer on your credit score. 

Are you a first time buyer? Build your credit score now.

New buyers often think that they stand a better chance at getting a mortgage if they don’t have credit cards of a history of debt. Sorry, but that’s not true.

When you don’t have any credit record, lenders can get leery. Lenders actually love seeing a healthy record of borrowing and repaying on time, as per agreement. It tells them that you have experience and you can handle the obligations that come with borrowing money. Being able to own and manage a credit card and also stay within your limit gives you a green light with lenders.  Of course, there are essential strategies that need to be employed, and simply running a credit card to the limit then only making months of the minimum payment won’t actually be great for your score. Remember, whether it’s a credit card bill, or your Internet and cable bill, paying them on time every time sets you up for mortgage success.

And here’s a tip no one usually knows: If you have more than one credit card or an old card you no longer use, don’t close the account. Having an active card that you don’t use also sends the message that you don’t use credit for the sake of using credit and lenders like seeing that too. It’s all a test and sticking to a simple payment plan can yield great scores in ways most people could never imagine,  

Lay off that “fist full of cards”

Opening multiple credit cards at the same time as you plan to seek a mortgage can also send a bad signal to a lender. You might think being approved for several credit cards at once is a sign of credit worthiness, but a mortgage lender looks at it differently. The mortgage lender sees a red flag as they assume you need these to pay bills and make ends meet regularly. That’s an instant stress test when it comes to assessing your ability to repay your mortgage with a lot of high interest debt on your plate. Once again, having a couple of cards that you manage well is fine, having a wallet full of high interest debt, is not.

Stay in touch with your credit report

We help our clients devise and execute many more credit strategies – all aimed at improving their ability to borrow for a mortgage at the best rate. One thing we always tell clients: now that you’re armed with credit IQ, make sure you occasionally check in on your credit report. It keeps you completely current on your most important asset when searching for a mortgage (or anything else of high net worth): your credit worthiness.

Pick an expert’s brain, for free

Ok, so I’ve just shared some sound advice about how to give you a better mortgage experience by building credit score.  But we’ve got plenty more ideas and strategies available, if you really want to supercharge your credit story. Trouble is – and stats will bear me out on this one – most of us need help to understand our situation and what the best way to improve it is. We’ve been helping clients secure mortgages and get their credit house in order for more that 30 years, and we can help you. It costs nothing to get our opinion and our quick form is effortless and completely confidential. The rules have changed and more than ever, today someone should be looking out for your interests. We’re happy to take on that challenge.

Looking for a mortgage? Wondering if you qualify? Interested in refinancing? Our secure and completely confidential “no obligation” quick-form can give you answers, fast. Find it here.

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1223 Hits
DEC
12

Canada’s new mortgage rules: who’s looking out for your interests now?

Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation logo

Recently, the CEO of the Canadian Mortgage and Housing Corporation stated they would issue a “red level” warning for the Canadian housing market. 

In case you’re wondering, a “red level” warning indicates evidence of problematic conditions in the housing market and is primarily based on 4 factors: 

  • Overheated demand, which is marked by the number of houses for sale being greater than number of new listings
  • Accelerating rise in house prices
  • The overvaluation of homes as reflected in prices that are not justified by income, mortgage rates and population
  • Overbuilding of new homes

What does it mean for you as you prepare to get a mortgage? Well, like most things, there is more than one theory about the warning, who it might effect and how.

Some economists, knowing the economy is moving forward and a housing slowdown is already in the works, feel that this warning may really be about slowing down Vancouver’s out-of-control property run and influencing federal policy around housing.

In our opinion, the warning won’t have much impact on buyers, but once again, the new mortgage rules (and coming rule changes) will definitely impact buyers in regards to the new “repayment stress tests” that borrowers will be facing for new mortgages. This could significantly impact first time buyers in the market.

In simple terms, if you are a new buyer with less than 20% down payment, you’ll most likely be approved for less home ownership.

Of course, there are still many excellent options out there, as long as you know how to access them - even for first time buyers.

If you’re trying to get yourself approved for a new mortgage under the new rules, there may never be a more profitable or more valuable time to put a great mortgage broker to work on finding you the best solution out there.

Think about it: Ottawa Carleton Mortgages currently works directly with more than 20 quality lenders, including banks as well as some of the leading “non-big-bank” mortgage lenders in Canada. Nothing works better for you than having lenders compete for your business.  Add in the unimpeachable guidance of a 30+ year proven track record and there is simply no way you can get yourself the same options and advantages on your own.

The government and the big banks are not motivated to help you succeed in your mortgage quest, but we are, and I guarantee it. Put us to the test today and see just how much mortgage you can actually get for yourself.

It’s your money, so make them work for it. We’ll help you do that.

Looking for a mortgage? Wondering if you qualify? Interested in refinancing? Our secure and completely confidential “no obligation” quick-form can give you answers, fast. Find it here.

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947 Hits
OCT
20

Canada’s new Mortgage Rules: A message to First Time Home Buyers 

New mortgage rules

Canada’s new mortgage rules came into effect this week. The bottom line is that they make it more difficult for anyone seeking a new mortgage, trying to buy a rental property, looking to transfer a mortgage or seeking to renew an existing mortgage.

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1080 Hits
AUG
15

How to crush your mortgage debt

Crush mortgage debt

Paying off your mortgage early isn’t easy, but it’s certainly worth it.

Of course, tightening up your spending belt is a core tactic for freeing yourself from mortgage debt, but it’s not the only way. There are other tricks that won’t cost you a dime but will save you a ton. Here’s some foolproof guidance.

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1255 Hits
JUN
30

The Best Mortgage Is NO Mortgage

Debt free just ahead

Getting Started

There is GOOD & BAD credit debt, as I used to tell my two kids when they were teenagers.  When I got them their first credit cards they were aghast.  “Dad you’ve told us that debt is bad.” I clarified by stating that there is GOOD debt, such as mortgage debt on your home, and BAD debt, such as paying high interest rates on credit cards.  In order to qualify to borrow for GOOD debt and owning your own home, you need to have a plan and discipline. Having two credit cards & using them properly is a great strategy to achieve the goal of home ownership.


 

The Plan

To obtain a prime mortgage for your home requires good credit, a minimum credit score of 650-680 points is required. Using two credit cards for at least 2 years and paying them properly will help make this happen. You must have credit cards to create a good credit score. Not having a credit score will cause you to be declined for prime mortgage terms & rates! Paying your credit card debt in full on or before the due dates is the best plan.  You get to use the banker’s money for approximately 45 days without paying any interest!  And you’re not paying the monthly minimum payments with the 9% -20% interest rates!  This allows you to put some savings away for the down payment on your new home. Of course, you can pay the minimum payment every month with the high interest charges and still have a good credit score.  It’s just a dreadful financial plan that can lead you to the abyss. (See other blogs on credit).

The Best Mortgage Is No Mortgage

I’ve said this for many years when I’m asked what the best mortgage is; my answer is always the same, NO MORTGAGE.  People always say that’s impossible and for the majority this is the true, not because of the mortgage amount but because they didn’t have a plan. But for those that have discipline and the right plan it’s not only possible- it’s a guarantee.

You must have a plan to pay the mortgage BEFORE the amortization time, which is usually 25-30 years.  You can’t do this without the right plan or discipline.  The plan is simple and guaranteed to work; all mortgages allow you to prepay lump sum payments as well as increasing your payments.   As much as 20% can be increased in payments or lump sums deposits. I know, you are wondering where can you find that extra cash?  Prepaying even 10% on a $250,000.00 mortgage will set you back $25,000.00! This for most people is too much but what about $1,000.00 each year, or an increase in your payment by $20-$25.00?  Most people can find a way for these small amounts.  And if you do this, I guarantee even the small amounts add up to the point you will have your mortgage paid in full many, many years ahead of schedule.  In addition, taking even a slightly shorter amortization period will not increase your payment by very much but save you thousands of dollars in mortgage interest.

We can help you with your mortgage plan and show you the proof and the savings of what these smaller amounts can do. The savings of interest & the quickness of your mortgage balance dropping are amazing and improve each month and year. And seeing this in print is a huge motivator.

Get started & give us a call.

Looking for a mortgage? Wondering if you qualify? Interested in refinancing? Our secure and completely confidential “no obligation” quick-form can give you answers, fast. Find it here.

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1207 Hits
APR
14

How's your plan working?

Plan, act, evaluate, improve

It’s been said before, but there’s never been a better time to get a mortgage. Rates today continue to be historically low, which means you’ll never be able to buy more home than you can now.

Of course, a mortgage is simply a low interest secured debt and as such, should really be entered into with some sort of long term plan that goes beyond getting the mortgage approved. If you have a home buying plan, great. If you don’t, here are some things to consider.


 

A mortgage without a plan is like a gym membership without a plan.

Well, actually there’s one difference; one costs a heck of a lot more than the other. That aside, the lesson is that without a mortgage plan, your success could be limited.

Every mortgage client wants the lowest rate available and everyone in the mortgage lending space knows exactly who’s offering what rates, so there are no surprises there.

But beyond searching for a great rate, you still need a plan to ensure that allows you to take full advantage of the potential a great mortgage offers you.

Your goals are unique. Your mortgage should custom-fit your goals.

Again, it’s essential that you understand your situation, how to reach your goals and what mortgage details and terms will serve you best. The best way to get those answers is to research more than one perspective, and that must include asking a mortgage professional for their opinion. It can only help you make a great decision, so take the time and do this right.

Track records matter

You’re probably going to own your home for a long time, it might be wise to talk with people who have succeeded helping others over a long period of time. Why? Well, this is the biggest financial commitment most of us make and having the peace of mind that comes with a proven track record is really worth its weight in savings. It’s nice to know that when you pick up the phone that the person you dealt with picks it up on the other end. That accountability is critical to your long-term mortgage success, and that’s our stock-in-trade.

Be brutally honest with yourself: If your plan isn’t working, get a new plan

Many mortgage clients are smartly folding their high interest debt into their new mortgage, which is obviously a brilliant way to stop the big interest wheel form churning relentlessly.

That’s a great way to start down a new path, but you also need to make changes in your life so that you can capitalize on this new easier, lower payment so that you don’t simply fall right back into high interest spending.

We’re experts at helping our clients link their new mortgage to their goals – not just for the moment, but for the years ahead as well. We may sound obsessive about linking your mortgage to a better financial future for yourself, but the truth is that when this is done right, many of our home owner clients experience the kind of freedom and control that they never thought they could, and that can be life changing. If your current plan isn't getting you where you need to be, you owe it to yourself to drop us a line and drop in for a chat. There’s no obligation and the very worst you can do is leave with a greater understanding of what it’s going to take to get you where you want to go with your next mortgage.

Many can offer a mortgage rate, but few will share what we will with you.

We specialize in “mortgages made easy”, and we’ll show you just how easy.

Looking for a mortgage? Wondering if you qualify? Interested in refinancing? Our secure and completely confidential “no obligation” quick-form can give you answers, fast. Find it here.

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1089 Hits
APR
14

We've been where you are

Compass laying on mortgage rate charts

The mortgage landscape is changing. Fast. A simple Google search will tell you that. Of course, getting approval for a mortgage and just as importantly, getting approved for the best mortgage for your set of circumstances may not be nearly as straightforward. Mortgages are exceptional financial tools that are tied to the biggest decisions most of us ever make: buying a home. Of course getting a great mortgage isn’t a one-time decision, as most homeowners renew that commitment every 3-5 years. And no matter whether it’s your first home purchase, your 4th home purchase, or you’re simply looking to eliminate high interest debts through a mortgage renewal, it’s crucial to do your homework. As we always say, the devil is in the details and the only great mortgage is a mortgage that’s great for you.


 

No matter what your situation, we've been through it and the folks we've helped have been through it, and that experience is what really makes us a great choice for you.

I started this company a long time ago and I can tell you I’ve personally seen the highest highs and the lowest lows. I went from the penthouse to almost wiped out in the mortgage crash in the 80’s. It wasn’t pleasant, it wasn’t easy, but it was entirely fixable. Because of my deep hands-on experience in finance and mortgages, I made tough decisions and executed a financial plan that allowed me to rebuild myself into a stronger person and a better businessman.

So why should you care?

The advice and guidance we offer is proven. Beyond getting the best mortgage rates in the market, the advice and guidance we offer is simply not taught in books. Between what we've experienced and the thousands of clients we've helped, we've been where you are and we have solutions for your goals and dreams.

Looking to eliminate high interest debt? We've been there. Got decent credit and looking for the best options that reward your hard work and responsibility? We have some superb options for you. Are you a first time homebuyer? We've all been there. Rebuilding or protecting your assets after a break up? We've helped hundreds in the same situation.

There is no financial situation we haven’t seen or found solutions to. That's the difference with a company like ours. Getting a great rate is simply table stakes. The starting point. Getting the perfect plan for you? Well that’s something entirely different. Your situation and goals are entirely unique to you so your solution should be too. Our experience and generosity are anything but cookie cutter.

When we promise you “mortgages made easy”, we mean it.

Looking for a mortgage? Wondering if you qualify? Interested in refinancing? Our secure and completely confidential “no obligation” quick-form can give you answers, fast. Find it here.

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1211 Hits
MAR
04

The brutal truth about getting a mortgage

Time for truth

We meet all kinds of mortgage shoppers in our business. Young and old, people buying their fifth home and people hoping to buy their first. Some people have zero debt, good income, and no credit history; There are also people with tons of debt hoping to refinance and make the kind of changes that get them back on track. You name the situation and I guarantee we’ve come across it, and can give the mortgage advice you need. To that end, I thought I’d take some time to boil down the act of getting a mortgage, into areas we like to call the brutal truths of mortgages:


 

A mortgage is a loan – a really big loan

I’m stating the obvious, but that’s because I never lose sight of the fact that a mortgage is a loan and as such, comes with 2 key parts: the part where you qualify for that loan, and the part where you get a loan that has the conditions you need to meet for successfully repaying that loan. Both ends of this require shrewd attention, because conditions can make all the difference in approval and repayment. I like to point this out to everyone so they look at their needs, goals and conditions from a holistic, 360-degree perspective instead of looking only at shiny rates while ignoring what’s under the hood.

Sometimes having patience (and a plan) gets you to a better mortgage down the road

Your credit history and debt load will have a huge impact on qualifying for a mortgage and the rate you qualify for. Many customers are shocked to discover that not having a credit card or debt history actually works against them when shopping for a mortgage. Other customers are surprised to see that simply reassigning some of their existing debt can make a massive difference in getting them qualified. One thing a lot of people don’t realize is that a great mortgage broker should also be a master of understanding debt. I can’t tell you how many folks we’ve helped sort out challenging debt situations so they not only qualified for a mortgage, but they also had a legitimate plan for getting out of, and staying out of high interest debt for the rest of their life. For these clients, getting a mortgage was actually life changing. Sometimes it takes a bit longer to get there, but in the long run, you’ll be miles ahead.

The lowest rate is the most important aspect of your mortgage. Except when it isn’t

If everyone was the same and everyone had perfect credit and debt history, we could all simply shop for a rate. Trouble is, that’s not really how things go. Sure, you’d be hard pressed to beat our best rates anywhere, but the truth is we all have a story, and for a whole host of reasons, good people can find themselves in tough spots. For example, jobs disappear, marriages end, and the investment market can fluctuate wildly. When these things happen, “perfect world” conditions don’t apply and sometimes we need to deal with big financial changes in our lives. Those changes might put people into conditions where they no longer qualify for the best rate possible, and when that happens, a smart mortgage broker can give you options and insights most of us couldn’t possibly find on our own. Conditions change and when you need a solution for those new conditions you’ll be hard pressed to find better advice than you’ll get from a mortgage broker who’s seen pretty much everything there is to see; me.

In the end you have a decision to make

Like anything in life, we all get to make our own decisions, and when it comes to getting a mortgage, you get to decide: am I going to get the best mortgage and financial solution on my own, or by working with someone I trust?

It’s a simple question. If you’re the type of person who really has your house in order, or the kind of person who simply loves planning and negotiating with banks and lenders, you just might be perfect at securing your own mortgage. If you’re the kind of person who wants a mortgage but finds the planning and negotiation process a challenge or worse, something you’d prefer to avoid like the plague, you’ll need to protect your interests by working with someone who’ll work their butt off for you.

We’re ok with whatever you think works best for you, but we’re also happy to have you put our approach to the test. It won’t cost you anything to find out, but it could save you a fortune.

Looking for a mortgage? Wondering if you qualify? Interested in refinancing? Our secure and completely confidential “no obligation” quick-form can give you answers, fast. Find it here.

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1417 Hits
JAN
04

Getting pre-approved for a mortgage can pay dividends, but only if you understand how and why

Mortgage 3D word cloud

Getting your mortgage pre-approved has some obvious benefits:


 

  1. When it’s done right, you get am accurate understanding of how much home you can afford. That’s important, because of you stick to a plan that you can afford, you take a ton of future stress out of home ownership.

  2. When you get pre-approved, you lock in rates so that you are protected from any unsuspected rise during the buying process. Again, stress-relieving.

  3. You tell sellers that you’re a serious buyer, and given how competitive the property market has become, this can be advantageous to you.

  4. You are not obliged to work with any lender, even the lender who pre-approved you, so there’s really no reason you shouldn’t find out where you stand in the eyes of lenders, and doing so before you start house hunting can make the process way more efficient and way less stressful.

Now that’s all good, but here’s what you need to know about the process to really take full advantage of pre-approval:

  • Different lenders act differently. Some pre approvals offer rate guarantee, but don’t look into your qualifications until you go to buy.  That could set you up to be rejected when you go to buy. To avoid disappointment, be sure you are actually pre-qualified and not just getting a rate.
  • The Devil is always in the details. We offer the best advice available, but in the end, the lenders underwriter has final say on what you qualify for. Lenders always look at what you have for down payment, your employment record and income, your credit rating and your debt load. Accuracy always makes the process and results better.

  • How you act after pre-approval matters. Being pre-approved is step one. Maintaining good standing after pre-approval is a critical step 2. If you miss payments, increase your debt or mess around with your down payment money, you could quickly find yourself not approved. This stuff really matters to lenders, so forewarned is forearmed.

  • Pre-approval don’t necessarily mean best rate. Getting pre-approved actually costs the lender money, so those costs find their way into your rate. The best rates are often found for 30 – 45 day property closings, so check your rate then and if you don’t like the rate compared to what the market is offering, simply ask the lender to improve it. If they won’t, you can apply with another lender, but remember; your mortgage is never simply about the rate. Terms matter, even more than rate sometimes. When you compare your rate make sure you compare your terms as well, for a tiny advantage in rate may come at the price of better terms, and that’s not a smart decision.

  • Let me restate: features and details matter. Not all lenders are created equal and that means that not all pre-authorization is created equal. Every borrower has a unique set of circumstances they are faced with and choosing a lender should always come down to a combination of rate, features and terms. Some people need long rate holds. Others want the deepest discounts available, and some simply want better repayment/pre-payment terms and features in a mortgage. Add it all up and one thing is clear; doing your homework with the help of a great mortgage broker can only improve your experience and your results.

Looking for a mortgage? Wondering if you qualify? Interested in refinancing? Our secure and completely confidential “no obligation” quick-form can give you answers, fast. Find it here.

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1331 Hits
DEC
28

Do the math: it’s tough to beat what a Mortgage Broker offers you.

 

Boy holding chalkboard with math equation

A skilled mortgage professional deals with multiple lenders. While there are options other than mortgage brokers available, the simple truth is that the mortgage industry revolves around Canada’s big banks, and it’s hard to imagine any option fully out-flanking our six big banking brands. Banks control funding markets. They own trusted brands and they possess extraordinary resources. And while the banks competitors will continue to earn decent slices of the lending market, I believe that banks will retain their dominance in mortgages.


 

So why am I telling you this?

Because Mortgage brokers are experts at dealing with banks, we deal in ways that most borrowers can’t. A skilled, full-service mortgage professional offers a compelling combination of experience and the ability to deliver one-on-one personalized service that mortgage customers, including income property investors, leveraged investors & credit-challenged borrowers can gain greatly from.

We bring a level of competition for your mortgage business to the table that the average borrower couldn’t hope to on their own. And even if you are traditionally comfortable working directly with banks, we get the banks and our other lenders sharpening their pencils that much more for the opportunity to do business with you. In other words, we keep lenders lean, so to speak, in that the deals and terms we expect from them.

At the end of the day it really comes down to this: who’s working for your best interest? Put us to the test and we’ll show you just how much easier life gets when you have a great mortgage broker on your side.

Looking for a mortgage? Wondering if you qualify? Interested in refinancing? Our secure and completely confidential “no obligation” quick-form can give you answers, fast. Find it here.

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1453 Hits
DEC
21

Mortgage brokers explained

Couple talking to a mortgage broker

Many people don’t really understand what a mortgage broker is or what they do. 

The simplest way I can explain a mortgage broker (and believe me, we are not all created equal) is that I find and secure the best mortgage rates and terms for my clients based on their goals and situations by making sure that quality lenders have to compete for the right to your business. In short, I save you money and reduce stress. 


 

As this blog grows, we will be sharing the best of what we know so that anyone following us will be fully informed to make great decisions when it comes to mortgage and personal finance. For today, I’m going to share some key mortgage broker insights with you. 

  1. In all but rare cases you don’t pay for my services, the lender does. Knowing that fact, you should also know that we’ve been doing this kind of work – successfully – for more than 30 years, which means that when it comes to the bottom line, your bottom line rules, and we’re great at getting our clients superb mortgage options and financial solutions that most folks couldn’t hope to on their own. And we only get paid when we get you what you need, so we are completely motivated by your success.

  2. We have relationships with dozens of lenders, which means we have a lot of lenders competing for the right to lend to our clients. We actively negotiate with multiple lenders with one goal; to get the hungriest of the best of them to give you a superior mortgage deal. Dealing with just your bank to avoid the hassle of trying to do what we do might seem easier, and most of us hate change to begin with, but we take all of that stress off of your plate and you’ll be surprised how much money we can save you. Like really surprised.

  3. When I wrote that all brokers are not created equally, I wasn’t kidding. Experience really counts in this business and few can come close to our experience. We do things right, which means we have solid, longstanding relationships with the best of the lending industry, experience with every imaginable client situation out there, and a history of successfully helping clients in challenging situations. We can stick handle like few others can. Again, I share this for the simple fact that no matter what your reasons or situation, you still want the best mortgage solution possible, and our experience really matters in the Mortgage industry.

  4. We are absolute detail hounds. Great rates are what everyone is after, but a low rate without great terms and conditions can be costly for you in the long run.  A great broker forensically goes through the details of any mortgage to ensure that rate and terms are the best for you and your situation. Again, our experience offers borrowers a massive level of security. Rate is important, but your future financial health is just as important. Fear any broker who doesn’t think this way.

  5. Sometimes it’s about low rates, but sometimes it’s about fixing bigger problems. We are exceptional at what we do, but sometimes we have clients that are really up against it for a host of reasons. For example, if you have a really poor credit score and a history of unpaid bills, you may qualify for a mortgage to help you reset things, but you won’t qualify for the kind of rates that lenders offer tier 1 credit ratings. If your goal is to get the lowest rate, we may not be able to help you. If your goal is to turn things around and legitimately rebuild solid credit worthiness for yourself, we absolutely have solutions.  Again everyone’s situation is unique, and a great broker can help just about anyone who’s serious about planning a better way forward. But, to be clear, we do not walk on water.

Looking for a mortgage? Wondering if you qualify? Interested in refinancing? Our secure and completely confidential “no obligation” quick-form can give you answers, fast. Find it here.

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1416 Hits
DEC
08

Trust is not a 4 letter word

Rock climbers demonstrating trust

When it comes to mortgages or home equity loans knowing who to trust is every bit as important as knowing how to get a great rate. Sure, everybody wants the best, lowest rates, but everyone’s situation is unique and not all mortgages are created equally. Like a lot of things in life, the devil is in the details. You can trust our mortgage advice and tips. 


 

For instance, most people think a mortgage is little more than a commodity. Most people are wrong. A mortgage is a complex, detailed agreement and navigating one without a trusted advisor is a scary thought that can cost you a bundle. Plus, picking a mortgage without using all the information available to you can be a deadly mistake. We’ve seen many people withhold key information only to secure a new mortgage or refinancing that is inadequate for their needs, which means that in a couple of years, they can wind up in an even worse financial situation. Don’t be that person.

A mortgage or a home equity loan is an incredibly powerful device that can help you improve living, expand property ownership, and to better manage debt - but only if you secure the kind of mortgage that is connected to a plan that’s perfect for you and your goals. A good mortgage broker lives to show you the way to plan your financial future by securing the very best mortgage solution for you, and the best part: in almost 100% of the cases, you don’t have to pay a cent for this help.

Drop us a line or check out this link. We’ll work our butts off for you and we’ll get you the right mortgage the right way.

Looking for a mortgage? Wondering if you qualify? Interested in refinancing? Our secure and completely confidential “no obligation” quick-form can give you answers, fast. Find it here.

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1374 Hits
DEC
08

I’ve refinanced before. Should I again?

The short answer is yes, there’s never been a cheaper time to borrow money in history. The longer answer is yes, but only if you’re willing to follow a better mortgage plan.

A good mortgage broker can be a very powerful ally, but as much knowledge as we have to offer and as many lenders as we have bidding for your account, we still have limits. For example, if you’ve refinanced before and you are in the position to have to do it again, we can help, but the solution might not be instant or easy.

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1210 Hits
NOV
27

Want the best mortgage rate? Here’s how you get it.

Golden egg among regular eggs

Every mortgage shopper in the country is seeking the lowest mortgage rate possible, but be careful: sometimes the lowest rate may not get you the best mortgage.

For example, many folks automatically look to the banks we’ve known our whole lives for their lowest rates. While banks may post low mortgage rates for banks, they often aren’t the lowest rates in the market, and unless you work with someone like a mortgage broker, you probably wouldn’t know that.


 

You are not alone in your search. Mortgage brokers live to hunt down the best mortgage rates and terms for their clients (good one’s do, at least) Here’s how a brokers mind works: in almost all cases, it costs you nothing for our services. Zero. We have many lenders we negotiate with on your behalf, so at the very least, working with a broker will get competing lending institutions battling for the right to provide you with a mortgage. Do you seriously believe that simply approaching one bank can compare when it comes to saving you money?

And the better your credit score, the more leverage you have when it comes to securing the very best rates and terms out there. Plus, the larger the down payment you can afford = even more leverage. But remember, it’s not just about rate. Mortgage terms really do matter. It really serves you great advantage to shave basis points off your mortgage if potential future penalties and fees in the mortgage completely nullify those initial savings. Again, a good mortgage broker will show you where the mines are hidden.

Mortgages are a great opportunity, but only if you do your homework and really understand all aspects of what makes a mortgage right for you. As mortgage brokers, we breathe this stuff daily and we can’t wait to share what we know. Give us a call or check out our confidential online mortgage form. The worst that can happen is you’ll save a bunch of money. Your money.

Grant

Looking for a mortgage? Wondering if you qualify? Interested in refinancing? Our secure and completely confidential “no obligation” quick-form can give you answers, fast.  Find it here.

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1335 Hits
NOV
25

The very best mortgage rates start years before you need a mortgage……

Credit card shopping spree

Most of us want to raise healthy, happy children, and one great component to that is teaching finance for teens. This should include a very healthy understanding of credit at an early age. When you understand how powerful smart credit habits can impact your life, you make it work for you, not against you; that can be life changing.


As a counter-intuitive as it might sound, one great way to raise financially bullet-proof kids (works for any age, of course) is get them two credit cards, not one. Having and using two credit cards strategically is powerful credit score builder.

The secret is keeping the amount of credit used on each card to 75% or less of the total available credit value of that card, and then paying off the card completely in advance of the due date to avoid high interest charges or poor ratings. When you consistently do this, your credit rating will soar! Sure, it requires a bit of discipline and a healthy fear of paying fees, but without discipline, no plan in the world is going to save you from yourself. And down the road, when you start looking for a home & mortgage, the payoff for this discipline will be massive. Plus living a life of debt respect is truly stress-free living. More to follow on this subject.

Looking for a mortgage? Wondering if you qualify? Interested in refinancing” Our secure and completely confidential “no obligation” quick-form can give you answers, fast.

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1176 Hits
NOV
17

Most Canadians don’t use a mortgage broker. That’s unfortunate (for them).

Mortgage broker explaining document to couple

It’s true, less than 30% of Canadians use a mortgage broker.

I think there are two main reasons for this:

  1. Most Canadians don’t understand what a good Mortgage Broker does or how that broker can save them a great deal of money, and
  2. Most people hate the idea of change (until they understand the cost of staying put, that is)
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1173 Hits
JUN
25

Pitfalls of Collateral Mortgages

Miniature man figure standing on coins

Most mortgage shoppers will ask about rates, terms, mortgage payments, prepayments, etc. Most people would not know to ask if their mortgage is going to be a conventional or collateral mortgage.

Many people don’t know the difference between the two. You could end up with a collateral mortgage from your bank and not even know it? It is usually in the fine print and many times the banker does not understand or will not disclose it to you. Not knowing the difference between the two mortgages can become expensive for you. You want to not only know the difference between the two products, but you want to have a choice of products. Most people when they ask for a $300,000.00 mortgage believe that that is the amount that the bank would register on title. This is not what happens when the banker registers their collateral mortgages.


 

Collateral Mortgage

A collateral mortgage registered on your home is usually for a larger amount than you asked for. If you asked for a $300,000.00 mortgage, the banker can choose to register $350,000.00 or $450,000.00! The amount registered can be 100% to 125% of the house value! This allows you to borrow, at a later date, the extra funds based on the bank’s current lending criteria, your ability to repay the mortgage. The banker will tell you that this will save you money and it is for your benefit; it is what they don’t tell you that can cost you money and hassles.

Beware of What The Banker Does Not Tell You!

They won’t tell you that you cannot transfer your mortgage to another lender on the maturity date for FREE. You could pay the mortgage at maturity from another lender but it would likely cost you close to $1,000.00. This means you are married to the bank regardless of what their renewal rate is! There would likely be lower rates available, (there usually are), but you can’t do a FREE TRANSFER if you have a collateral mortgage.

Would you agree that this is why many of the major banks are switching to collateral mortgages?

The bank may also use the collateral mortgage to offset other mortgage debt, your car loan, credit card debt, or line of credit.

See Collateral Mortgage Article

If your banker declines an increase of funds to you at a later date you can’t do anything about it. You would have to pay the bank in full plus penalties & legal fees. You cannot put a second mortgage behind the bank’s mortgage because the bank has registered 100%-125% of the property value. You think you have equity but you don’t!

Risks & Costs

We see clients all the time that have gone back to their bank to borrow more money on their home and they are declined for the increase. So they ask us for a small second mortgage. We cannot help them unless we pay their bank’s mortgage in full. No one can help them because their bank has a mortgage registered on title for 100%-125% of the house value. Now they have legal fees, discharge fees & potential penalties.

You may decide you want a collateral mortgage but we think most people want to have choices.

The best advice is asking the question up front to your broker or banker and make sure you know what you are signing up for. Not knowing could end up costing you thousands of dollars.

Our clients have the options explained to them up front and they choose what they want, not what some banker is selling. At many of the banks now you don’t have any options, other than their collateral mortgage.

Call us for more information on this or any other mortgage questions you have at 613-563-3447.

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Contact Us

  • Ottawa-Carleton Mortgage Inc
    381 Richmond Road Ottawa,
    Ontario K2A 0E7
  • Phone: 613-563-3447
    (24 hours)
  • Fax: 613-563-3195

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