If you’re a first-time homebuyer, getting your first mortgage can be a rather stressful process. Whether it’s learning about mortgage rates, amortization periods or prepayments, you’ll need to gather quite a bit of information before coming to a final decision on your mortgage.
When Sandra (who didn’t want her last name used) and her family were buying a new house in Toronto and needed to secure a pre-approval and a financing loan, they went to a mortgage broker to get the best mortgage rates.
However, Sandra’s experience didn’t start out perfectly. She had to see a few mortgage specialists before she found the right financing option for her family.
“I spoke with two mortgage specialists from my current bank on separate occasions: Once for a pre-approval and then a second time for financing,” she explains. “The experience was unpleasant. I felt as though their main concern was their business instead of helping us secure the best rate. At one appointment, the mortgage specialist answered his cell phone three times to speak with other clients while I was still meeting with him. I wasn’t impressed.”
Finding a different broker
After her less than satisfactory experience with her current financial institution, Sandra was introduced to CanWise Financial (which is owned and operated by Ratehub.ca) vice-president and mortgage agent Bryan Freeman.
“I’m part of a very active group of new mothers on Facebook in my neighbourhood,”
she says. “One of the members of this group recommended Bryan to us.”
He turned out to be just the mortgage specialist Sandra was looking for. Having her questions answered honestly and being able to get help when she needed it were of the utmost importance.
“Bryan was ridiculously friendly, helpful and always available to answer my many questions,” Sandra says. “There were some questions that came up with our gift letters and Bryan was able to clarify some information with the bank very quickly.”
Getting to know your mortgage options
As a homebuyer, you’ll have the option of speaking with multiple mortgage brokers before you enter a mortgage agreement. Like Sandra, many homebuyers might start by meeting with a mortgage advisor from their current financial institution before seeing a mortgage broker to see if they can qualify for even lower rates elsewhere.
There are other ways you can get to know what financing options are available to you. Sandra searched and used various online mortgage calculators in addition to consulting the specialists at her current bank.
Working with CanWise
“As a first step, we weighed out our options and compared using a broker versus a bank for our pre-approval and financing,” she explains. “Once we were pre-approved and our offer for a house was accepted, we sent our broker the listing information, deposit amount, and total house value.”
After completing these initial steps, getting approved for a mortgage through Bryan and CanWise was a smooth and quick process for Sandra and her husband.
“Bryan worked on our mortgage approval, which took a few days. Once it was approved, he provided the mortgage documents for us to complete,” Sandra says. “We sent the package back to Bryan, who then coordinated with the bank and our lawyers.”
Although working with a mortgage broker can take some weight off your shoulders, it can be stressful when applying for a mortgage. Bryan helped Sandra and her husband reduce some of that stress while also ensuring they were fully engaged in the mortgage process.
“The most stressful part of applying for a mortgage is not knowing if you’ll secure the financing,” she says. “Bryan supplied us with tons of information so that we understood the process and he assured me countless times that we were ideal candidates for financing.”
The advantages of using a mortgage broker
Mortgage brokers in Canada will offer you their services free of charge since the mortgage provider you end up choosing will pay the broker a finder’s fee. Brokers can also be extremely helpful as they often have extensive industry knowledge and access to volume discounts from multiple mortgage lenders. Sandra found that having Bryan readily available to answer her questions was a big benefit.
“Having someone who knows what they are doing and will shop around for the best rates was an advantage,” she says. “I found the process of shopping around very stressful since I didn’t know what questions to ask. Bryan was always available to answer questions and ease any stress I felt over the process.”