When it comes to mortgage financing, more and more Canadians are choosing to work with a professional mortgage broker. According to a recent study by the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC), 23 per cent of mortgages written were arranged through a broker.
Canadians are just catching up with their American neighbors, who are far less likely to simply walk into their home bank for a mortgage. In 2000, almost 70 per cent of all U.S. mortgages were arranged through mortgage brokers.
If we follow the U.S. model – and it seems that we are — then we’re in for a sea of change in the way Canadians manage their most significant personal asset. It makes sense. After all, investment returns aren’t as lucrative as they were twenty five years ago, and investors are seeking out ways to make financial gains through avenues they may have overlooked.
There are some significant benefits to working with an independent mortgage broker. Firstly, let’s compare mortgage expertise: Most banks have one or more representatives who are specifically assigned to assist with mortgages. Their role is to develop mortgage business for the banks. A mortgage broker, on the other hand, is a trained mortgage professional who has met standards for education. The comprehensive training of an independent mortgage broker may exceed the training of their counterparts at the bank. More importantly, the mortgage broker is independent. He or she is not an employee of a lending institution, but has access to rate and option information for a full spectrum of chartered banks and other lending institutions. Their role is to find the best possible mortgage rates and options for you.
Let’s also look at choice: A mortgage broker offers you access to many competitive lenders, each with a range of mortgage options. It would take weeks of research, phone calling and personal visits to recreate the range of features and options that a mortgage broker has at his or her fingertips. Rate information, mortgage options and payment schedules are up-to-the-moment, so you and your broker can make valid comparisons of the options available. The result of all this choice is a mortgage which is customized to meet your needs and to save you money.
Also consider accessibility. Your mortgage broker will be available to you before and after your mortgage closes, which will be good news for those who have spent long hours on hold or in a telephone voice answering loop.
Above all, clients have turned to mortgage brokers for better rates.Access to a broad range of lending institutions is a critical advantage for mortgage shoppers. A quarter-point difference on your mortgage rate can add up to thousands of dollars over the life of your mortgage. Many mortgage brokers work inside a brokerage organization with sufficient mortgage volumes that they can negotiate the best possible rates for your situation. Canadian homeowners who have experienced the benefits of a mortgage broker are unlikely to ever return to a world in which they simply accept the best posted rate at their local bank.