The real estate and mortgage industry is a competitive business. Changes in lender policies have led to an altered mortgage landscape. The recent slump in oil prices and a lowered loonie have dampened housing activity in some parts of the country.
Early forecasts pointed to a slower pace in sales but that has not happened, with the exception of regions affected by a prolonged winter. The Spring market has turned out to be surprisingly strong and house price projections have been revised upward due to high consumer confidence and low inventory.
Each year hundreds of thousands of properties trade hands and this will continue.
For consumers, competition is a good thing because it gives you choice. In the mortgage industry, with historically low interest rates, it's easy to shop the market to find a low advertised rate, whether from your local bank or from your mortgage broker. However, mortgages are not as simple as some make them out to be, especially when rate is all that is considered.
It's important that homebuyers educate themselves about mortgages including the following areas: pre-payment terms, penalties, fixed vs. variable, open vs. closed, etc. Each situation is as unique as each borrower and each needs a unique strategy.
By working with a licensed mortgage professional, you have a trusted adviser and problem solver. Brokers take the time to first understand a client's needs, both short term and long term, then recommend the right mortgage and present options. In addition to straight home purchases, brokers work with clients who refinance to consolidate debt, who are looking to purchase second homes, who are looking for the best options at renewal time, and brokers help clients make property-related investment decisions.
Although the lending environment has changed over the past few years, brokers keep up-to-date with all the changes and have access to a variety of lenders including banks, credit unions, trust companies, monoline lenders and private lenders. For example, if your personal profile does not quite fit a particular bank's profile, you may still be able to qualify for a mortgage by working with a mortgage broker. No one is more knowledgeable and more informed than we are.
Many clients are doing research online and we encourage that. We work with a wide variety of clients with different credit profiles. We counsel clients who have less-than-stellar credit or home buyers who don't qualify under the new mortgage rules. Everyone is important to us.
We take care of our existing clients, understand our lenders and keep educating ourselves. We make sure we understand what you want and what you need - both your financial goals and your personal goals - and not just in the short term.