Searching for the right mortgage provider can seem quite complicated, especially if you’re a first-time homebuyer. While there are a number of banks and mortgage lenders that you can choose from, getting a mortgage through a mortgage broker can make the process easier.
First, brokers will negotiate with a number of different lenders in order to get you the best mortgage rate possible. Moreover, brokers will be responsible for completing any related paperwork for you. Best of all, their services are free since the mortgage lender will pay the broker a finder’s fee.
For those in the Kitchener-Waterloo area, Mortgage Intelligence is a mortgage brokerage that might be a great option for you. We spoke with Dereck Landry, who’s been working in the industry since 2008. Dereck has been with Mortgage Intelligence for the past eight years as a broker and independent consultant.
Q. What is it about your brand/business that sets you apart from other mortgage brokers?
A. My brand is Mortgage Intelligence and my website is derecklandry.com, which is all about service. We’re always trying to reinvent the wheel and stay fresh. The mortgage industry and its customers are always evolving, and you need to stand out from the herd to survive. We’re working on some new branding—The Healthy Broker—as we speak. It’ll be fun and exciting for brokers and clients alike.
Q. What’s the market you serve and what makes it unique?
A. I serve Kitchener-Waterloo, Cambridge, and Guelph as my primary markets but I also serve all of our Ontario clients via online services. Kitchener-Waterloo is an amazing set of twin cities that are also adapting and growing in order to stay competitive and modern. There, we have two universities, Google, Oktoberfest, the new i-On transportation system under construction, think tanks, and the list keeps growing. It’s an exciting time to be living in Kitchener-Waterloo.
Q. What’s the most common problem clients come to you with?
A. Clients often come to me to refinance their mortgages because of their heavy debt load situations. Credit cards and loans, along with a mortgage payment, can be extremely difficult to navigate through the rigors of day-to-day living. At Mortgage Intelligence, we trim off high-interest debt because often times, we don’t even know how much extra debt we’re carrying around daily until we lose it. Clients can refinance up to 80% of the value of their current homes and are still able to use a 35-year amortization with some lenders. That can really help with cash flow and taking the pressure off.
Q. What should people look for when choosing a mortgage broker?
A. How long the broker has been around, the company he/she works for, accessibility, knowledge, honesty, and customer reviews.
Q. Mortgage rules have been changing a lot lately. What do people who are saving to buy their first home need to keep in mind?
A. Having good credit is more important than the down payment. Make sure you pay all your bills on time, keep credit card balances under 70% of your credit limit, and try to maintain two healthy credit cards. Also, save as much as you can while managing your debt loads accordingly. Lastly, stay within your affordability range and remember to protect yourself when putting down an offer on a home.
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Flickr: Joe Mabel