For most Canadians, buying a home is the largest financial decision they will make in their lifetime. Yet, consumers across the country are more likely to painstakingly review dozens of investment possibilities for their portfolios than to scrutinize their mortgage choices. The mortgage world – like the investment world – can sometimes be confusing. There is a vast array of choices – open, closed, fixed, floating, long or short amortization, prepayment options, portability… and of course, the rate itself.
Making the right mortgage decision can have a huge financial impact over the long term. Many Canadians have an investment advisor to help them sort through their choices. Now, Canadians are also beginning to turn to mortgage brokers to help them make better mortgage decisions. Canadians are just now catching up with their counterparts south of the border, where mortgage brokers already arrange approximately 70 per cent of mortgages for U.S. properties.
So what is a mortgage broker? The role of a mortgage broker is to understand your mortgage needs, seek out the best options for your situation, and guide you through the lending process. A mortgage broker does not work for any individual institution or lender, but is independent, and has up-to-the-minute loan rates for a wide array of banks and other lending institutions.
There was a time when the banks exercised the view that they “owned” their customers, and mortgage brokers were perceived only as a last resort for home buyers with poor credit history. But times have changed, and home buyers in every bracket are learning they can benefit from the professional advice of a mortgage broker.
A good investment advisor can make you thousands of dollars. But a good mortgage broker will SAVE you thousands of dollars. Whether you are buying a home or renewing a mortgage, consider making a mortgage broker part of your financial plan this year.