Tag Archives: mortgage broker

Bank Early Renewal Notices

March 4, 2013

0 Comments

If you’ve had a mortgage for more than one term, you’ve more-than-likely received a renewal notice from your bank or current lender. Obviously, the lender that currently has your mortgage (assuming you’ve made all the payments on time, etc.) wants to keep your mortgage. They’d love nothing more than to sign you up for another 5 years.

But when your mortgage comes up for renewal, don’t simply sign that renewal notice. Take the time to figure out if they’re offering you the best rate and options. Odds are, the rate in your renewal letter is far from their best rate – do some research, either on your own, or with the (FREE) help of your favourite mortgage broker.

Renewal time is a great opportunity to fine-tune your mortgage to fit your current needs. It’s likely that you’re in a different situation than the one you were in when you got the mortgage initially. Instead of potentially throwing money away to your current lender, and rather than spending hours going through websites and newspapers trying to find the best rate, let a mortgage broker do the heavy lifting for you. We work with dozens of different lenders, and because we play around in the sandbox of mortgages all day every day, we can easily get you set up in the best mortgage for you, and save you time and money.

Tim

Tim is a mortgage agent in Barrie who specializes in helping first-time home buyers. He works with a variety of lenders and can help customize a mortgage with the best rates & options that fit the needs of each customer.

More Posts - Website

Continue reading...

Hunting for a Home

February 25, 2013

0 Comments

Article courtesy of Genworth Canada.

 

Looking for a home can be an intimidating task filled with many questions. What home do I buy and where? Who do I go to for help? And how do I know if I am making a good purchase?

There’s no one “right way” to go about finding a home. But here are a few tips that may make the process a little easier and remove some of the anxiety associated with making what is, for most people, their largest single purchase in life.

The first thing to do is determine how much you can afford [the best way to do that is to contact your favourite mortgage broker!] and what type of home you want or need. This would include the size, number of bedrooms, location and special features such as a garage, fireplace, fence, dishwasher, hot tub etc.

You’ll also want to consider such things as proximity to schools, community centres and play and sports facilities, public transportation, hospitals, libraries and shopping areas and your workplace. These factors are important to you and your family.

Since your home is probably your single largest investment, you’ll want it to be as attractive as possible to purchasers when you’re ready to sell. So keep in mind the features you think will make it attractive to potential buyers in the years ahead.

Finding a REALTOR® to handle your purchase is important. Talk to a few realtors with different companies who know the area where you’re looking to buy. A real estate professional can show you homes in your price range in the areas you like that meet your particular needs and budget.

With so many homes to choose from, how do you know if what you’re going to buy is good value?

It’s very important to inspect the structure and grounds of the home you’re thinking of buying and look around the neighbourhood to be sure it’s an area where you want to live.

Get a copy of the land survey from the seller to check the boundaries of the property to make sure they are clear of encumbrances and walk around the property yourself to make sure there are no surprises.

You’ll also want to tour the neighbourhood and see the house at different times of the day or on weekends to check traffic patterns and noise levels that could affect your decision to buy.

When you find a home you like, inspect it yourself carefully for such things as structural defects, signs of water damage, lack of water pressure, faulty plumbing or inadequate wiring.

You may want to get an inspection done by a professional home inspector before you buy. A professional may uncover problems that you wouldn’t notice.

A good inspector will check the house from the basement to the roof, including the heating and cooling systems, plumbing, walls, ceilings, insulation, electrical wiring, foundation, ventilation, doors and windows, and septic and sewer systems.

An inspector will determine if any repairs are necessary. If possible, plan to go along with the inspector during his inspection. You could pick up some valuable information that will help you in the future with the maintenance of your house. Your real estate agency can likely refer an inspector if you don’t know of one yourself.

Some careful planning can help to ensure that you get a good-quality house that will meet the needs of you and your family in an area you like for a price you can afford without any nasty surprises after you take possession.

Tim

Tim is a mortgage agent in Barrie who specializes in helping first-time home buyers. He works with a variety of lenders and can help customize a mortgage with the best rates & options that fit the needs of each customer.

More Posts - Website

Continue reading...

How Much Do Mortgage Brokers Cost?

October 24, 2011

0 Comments

Back in the “old days,” people would usually only go to a mortgage broker when they weren’t able to find a mortgage on their own (self-employed, past bankruptcy, bad credit, insufficient income, etc) – they had usually been turned down by a bank, and needed the help of a mortgage broker to obtain financing.  The mortgage broker would arrange financing through an alternative lender or private investor, and would then charge the client a brokerage fee for his/her services.

A couple of decades ago, many of the major financials institutions realized it was much cheaper to pay someone to bring them qualified mortgage clients rather than having a branch on every corner, with costly overhead (not to mention the high expense of training and maintaining staff).  So many banks and lenders started paying finders’ fees to mortgage brokers for qualified mortgage applications.

Today, many mortgage brokers do not charge their clients many (if any!) fees for a standard mortgage transaction, and instead rely solely on finders’ fees for their source of compensation.  It’s never a bad idea to ask a mortgage broker up front how much they charge – but in most cases, the advice and the help from a mortgage broker will usually cost you, the client, absolutely nothing (and, in many cases, will probably save you thousands of dollars!!!).

Tim

Tim is a mortgage agent in Barrie who specializes in helping first-time home buyers. He works with a variety of lenders and can help customize a mortgage with the best rates & options that fit the needs of each customer.

More Posts - Website

Continue reading...

What IS a Mortgage Broker?

August 15, 2011

2 Comments

Most people are probably familiar with the term mortgage broker, but many Canadians aren’t really all that sure what a mortgage broker actually doeshow much they cost, and how much money you can actually save you on your mortgage.  The Mortgage Monday column will hopefully address those questions (and more) over the next couple of months, but before we even get to what a mortgage broker does, maybe a good starting place would be what exactly IS a mortgage broker?

The Mortgage Brokers Act of Ontario defines a mortgage broker as

…a person who carries on the business of lending money on the security of real estate, whether the money is the person’s money or that of another person, or who holds himself or itself out as or who by an advertisement, notice or sign indicates that the person is a Mortgage Broker, or a person who carries on the business of dealing in mortgages.

Ummm… yeah.  That’s the government for you.  Basically, a mortgage broker is someone who “deals with mortgages.”  Functionally speaking, though, a mortgage broker is the middle man (or middle woman) between a borrower and a lender, to help in arranging mortgage financing (and is somehow compensated for doing so – almost always in the form of a finders fee paid by the lender… but more on that in coming weeks).  A mortgage broker will not only help you find the best rate and term for your mortgage (and all the other neat options being offered with mortgage financing these days), but also walk you through the process step-by-step (as, unfortunately, a lot of the paperwork is “governmentese” like the definition above).

 

Mortgage Broker vs. Mortgage Agent

While most people refer to anyone who works on mortgages a “mortgage broker,” there are actually several different terms used to describe someone who “deals in mortgages” (gotta keep the general public confused, you know).  From a practical standpoint, anyone working on behalf of a Mortgage Brokerage (who is not a licensed broker) is referred to as a “mortgage agent” (which is what I am – I work with Geri Janes, a mortgage broker, and we work under Real Mortgage Associates, a mortgage brokerage).  Functionally, a mortgage broker and a mortgage agent are basically the same: we arrange mortgages on behalf of our clients.  Mortgage brokers and agents must have a license (which authorizes us to “deal in mortgages”) in Ontario, that we receive and maintain through education requirements put out by FSCO (the Financial Services Commission of Ontario).

There’s a whole other group of mortgage professionals called “Mortgage Development Officers” who work for one specific lender (usually a chartered bank).  These folks appear to perform the same function as a mortgage broker/agent, but they’re really only able to place clients in a mortgage with their employer.  These are the “mobile mortgage specialists” and people at the bank you chat with when you simply go to your bank to get a mortgage.  They can’t really shop around at other lenders like mortgage brokers/agents can, and if you don’t qualify for a mortgage there, there’s not much they can do to help you qualify for a mortgage elsewhere.  There are some other differences (they don’t have to be licensed, no education requirements, different disclosure requirements, etc), but the main difference is a mortgage broker/agent can shop around to get you the best mortgage you qualify for, whereas an a bank employee can only offer you what their bank has available.

 

So, a mortgage broker/agent (from hereon in, by the way, I’m just going to use the term “mortgage broker” – it’s more widely recognized and accepted than mortgage agent, and it’ll keep me from doing “mortgage broker/agent” all the time) is someone who helps a borrower and a lender connect, and works as the middleman between the two parties to arrange a mortgage.  Usually, the cost is FREE to the borrower, as the lender usually pays a mortgage broker a “finders fee.”  A mortgage broker can shop around to a variety of lenders to find their customer a mortgage that most suits their needs (best rates, terms, pre-payment options, etc).  Really, when it comes down to it, a mortgage broker does all the leg work and shopping around in the world of mortgages, so you don’t have to.

Tim

Tim is a mortgage agent in Barrie who specializes in helping first-time home buyers. He works with a variety of lenders and can help customize a mortgage with the best rates & options that fit the needs of each customer.

More Posts - Website

Continue reading...

Welcome to Barrie Real Estate Talk!

August 8, 2011

0 Comments

Welcome to BarrieRealEstateTalk.ca!  Every blog has to start with one post and, well, this is it.  While it may be easy to extrapolate the theme of this site based simply on the domain name (in case it’s not straight forward, we’re going to be talking about real estate, specifically in the city – and surrounding areas – of Barrie, Ontario), I thought I’d give you a little insight into whom the authors are, what we do, and our plans for this collaborative blog.

We met through SCYPA (the Simcoe Country Young Professionals Association) where Cesia and I are on the board of directors, and both Laura and Brendan are members.  While we are all quite young compared to many of our peers, we all have experience, knowledge and passion in each of our respective sectors  in the real estate industry.  Since we are all active on a variety of social media platforms (check out our bio’s with links to our social media profiles on the right), it seemed like a collaborative blog was an obvious extension to our current social media endeavours.  With a unique perspective on the industry – from real estate to financing to law and contracts – a weekly column by each of us not only helps to share knowledge of the entire real estate industry with each other, but also allows our current (and future!) customers to have a wider look at the real estate industry as a whole.

Laura KellerThe first step for many people when they buy their first home is to contact a real estate agent.  Laura Keller of Century 21 B.J. Roth Realty and Brendan Clemmens of Royal LePage First Contact Realty are residential real estate agents who work closely with their clients, guiding them step-by-step through the entire transaction.  Whether you are buying your first home, or selling your current home and moving to a new one, both Laura and Brendan are fantastic choices to help you with all your real estate needs.

Tim L. WalkerOnce you’ve begun to work with a real estate agent, it’s probably a good idea to find out “how much house” you can afford.  While many Canadians simply go to their bank and see if they qualify, more and more Canadians are using mortgage brokers to not only help them shop around for the best deal, but to also guide them through all the financial traps and hurdles spread throughout the mortgage industry.  I may be biased (ok, I am biased), but as a licensed mortgage agent with Real Mortgage Associates, I believe I provide top-notch customer service while getting you the best rate you qualify for – every time (usually at no cost to my clients!).

Cesia GreenOf course, the final step to each and every real estate transaction involves contract and law.  No real estate transaction is complete without the involvement of a lawyer.  Cesia Green, a newly appointed partner at Wall-Armstrong and Green (you can tell she’s a partner because her last name is now in the company name!), practices in the areas of real estate and wills and estates.  Let’s be honest: mortgages are confusing enough for most people, but the contract and law side of mortgages can be tough even for the “smartest of cookies.”  Cesia works through the confusion with each of her clients so that you understand all aspects of the legal side of real estate.

So there you have it – this is the BarrieRealEstateTalk.ca team.  Every week (I’ve got Monday, Laura is on Tuesday, Cesia on Wednesday, and Brendan on Thursday) we’ll put out some thoughts on the Barrie Real Estate industry from our own unique positions in the industry.  We hope to eventually incorporate guest blog posts from others in the industry as well (if you’re interested, please get in touch with me to discuss the details).  Along the way, we’d love for you to engage us with comments and discussions – feel free to ask questions and post comments on any of our posts.  If you’re interested in any of our specific services, feel free to contact each of us directly (contact information can be found in our bio’s on the right).

We look forward to the discussions to come, and hope that this blog not only is informative, but interactive and entertaining as well.

Let the Barrie Real Estate Talk begin!

Tim

Tim is a mortgage agent in Barrie who specializes in helping first-time home buyers. He works with a variety of lenders and can help customize a mortgage with the best rates & options that fit the needs of each customer.

More Posts - Website

Continue reading...