Owning a home is usually on a list of lifetime goals. And new home buyers usually have a lot of questions. Some worry about coming up with the down payment, some aren't sure about their credit scores, others are self-employed, and already know that it can be challenging to get credit at all.
These concerns and any other questions home buyers have can be answered by mortgage brokers. In fact, mortgage professionals are valuable resources who are often overlooked simply because they are not connected to a bank. In some regions, there is still a perception that brokers are last resort lenders. In fact, mortgage brokers have access to most lenders, including the banks, and are uniquely qualified to assist clients get into the best mortgage products.
Angela West, a first-time home buyer in the North Bay area in Ontario decided to use a mortgage broker with her purchase, initially to get a better rate, but it turned out to be more than she expected.
"The process was very easy, much easier than dealing with the bank. My self-employment wasn't an issue, where it would have been with the bank. My partner has also made very different amounts of money in the past three years, even though last year was a really good year for him salary-wise, so that may have been an issue with the bank as well."
West also said it was clear to her that the broker took the time to get the best deal -- the best product and the best rate. "I liked the fact that someone was on my side."
The whole experience was a positive one despite the perception some consumers may have. "I can see where some people may be concerned that a mortgage broker is less "legit" since they aren't working with established financial institutions, but it wasn't the case. I would definitely recommend using a mortgage broker."
Bud Jorgenson, Vice-President, Prairies Region for TMG The Mortgage Group said mortgage brokers have an edge with first time home buyers because of their knowledge about the home buying process.
"We fully understand every aspect of the deal, from Purchase and Sale Agreements, working with lawyers, home inspectors, and lenders, to closing processes and the costs associated with that," he said. "We understand title insurance, default insurance, mortgage protection insurance and we are knowledgeable about legal requirements for a variety of different properties. And because we fully understand it, we are there to help guide our clients throughout the whole process."
For Ian Syphus, who refinanced his home in Niagara Falls, Ontario to consolidate debt, the process was surprisingly easy and stress-free.
"The Broker did everything -- she prepared the paper work, found the best rates, clarified any concerns -- I just needed to sign," he said. Syphus also liked that the broker went to his home.
This is a big plus according to Gord Appel, Vice-President, Alberta Region for TMG. "Using mortgage brokers save valuable time for clients by eliminating the need to visit a variety of lenders and fill out multiple applications. Our hours are generally the client's hours and we can be mobile, which can certainly benefit busy families."
Follow up after financing was also an important factor for both West and Syphus. "I like the fact that I am always updated on rates via e-mail newsletters," Syphus added. "And there is constant contact even after the papers are signed -- that's much more personable than banks."
This is a key reason clients will benefit from working with mortgage brokers, according to Gerald Krahn, Vice-President, and Ontario Region for TMG. "Brokers take time to listen to a client and do what's in their best interest, not only for the short term but will look at the whole picture 5, 10 years down the road. For example, when some banks introduce a low fixed rate, it may come with certain restrictive conditions. When brokers quickly counter that with the actual facts, the result is a stronger relationship.
Mortgage brokers are continually focused on the industry and keep up-to-date on changes. "We are truly experts on all things mortgage-related," added Dan Pultr, Vice-President, B.C. "However, our expertise is not limited to mortgages. We understand our local real estate markets. We also understand credit issues and ways to improve credit scores, with the end result of helping clients achieve their dream of home ownership."
With the changes in mortgage rules and qualifications over the last two years and the rising interest rates, TMG The Mortgage Group continues to offer its brokers the tools and support that helps them better serve their clients.
Find your local TMG mortgage broker at www.mortgagegroup.com