5 Reasons Why You Should Use a Broker

A lot of homebuyers, especially those who are buying a home for the first time, will go to their bank to apply for a mortgage. What they don’t realize is that they could be missing out on better mortgage rates and packages than their lender are offering them. Whether it’s for a first-time mortgage, second mortgage, renewal, or refinance, if you want to get the best deals possible, you really should be going to a mortgage broker. Our Ottawa mortgage broker team is here to tell you why.

Much Lower Rates 

A mortgage broker works to find the mortgage package that is best for you and your financial situation. They also have access to hundreds of lenders offering a variety of mortgage packages. This means they can offer you the best rates out there. Many brokers will get a bonus for working with certain lenders, which means they can pass those savings down to you. It also allows you to compare a number of mortgage options.

It Will Save You Time and Money

Shopping around and applying to different lenders can take up a lot of time and could cost you more in the end. It also impacts your credit score when you apply for many loans in a short period of time. When you use a broker, they do the shopping around for you in as little as a few minutes. They take care of the paperwork needed and can find mortgage packages that aren’t offered to the public. Because they are able to find better rates, it will save you money in the long run.

Protects Your Credit Score 

As mentioned above, when you apply for any type of line of credit, it leaves a hard check on your credit record. When you have too many hard checks in a short amount of time, it can lower your credit score. Since the rates that you get for a mortgage are based on your credit score, a lower one means you end up paying more. When you use a broker, your credit report is only accessed once and protects your credit score from being impacted, while still being able to see offers from different lenders.

Cut The Costs

Lenders will usually compensate a broker directly, which means those mortgage costs are not passed on to the homebuyer. In cases where a lender does not compensate the broker directly, those fees may be passed on to you for certain mortgage packages. However, a good broker will always make you aware of any charges upfront.

Advice that is Unbiased

When you apply for a mortgage using a lender, the offers and advice they give can be a bit biased because they want to make the most they can out of a mortgage deal. Sometimes, this leads to you being sold a mortgage package that really isn’t the best for you. Brokers, on the other hand, work for you and their main priority is to give you advice that is unbiased. For a broker, it’s referrals from clients that matter. They will go over your finances and needs and find something to match those requirements. With a broker, you know that you are getting the best advice and mortgage package for you.

You can see why it makes sense to use a mortgage broker when you are looking for a mortgage loan. If you have questions about your mortgage options, give our Ottawa mortgage broker team a call today!

Characteristics of Great Mortgage Broker

The main goal of our Ottawa mortgage broker team is to work in your best interests. This means finding a mortgage package that benefits your situation the most. When you are shopping around for a mortgage, you need to find a broker who will do their best for you. There are certain characteristics that you should look for in a broker before you decide to work with them.

Putting Your Best Interests First

As I mentioned above, one of the key characteristics of a great mortgage broker is their ability to know what is best for their clients and then act on that. This means they need to have the experience and knowledge necessary to find mortgage options that will suit your financial circumstances and needs.

Sadly, there are some mortgage brokers who put their needs before their clients. This can result in being given mortgage options that aren’t best for you simply because they will get more commission by selling that particular mortgage package to you. It could end up costing you more in the end.

Detail Oriented

The mortgage process is quite complex and a mortgage broker needs to have that sharp eye for details so that all of the right paperwork is submitted at the right time and transactions take place as they should. All it takes is one major detail to be missed and the whole process is jeopardized. It goes beyond the paperwork though. A great mortgage broker needs to keep you in the loop, let you know about any changes, and should always make sure you understand those little details as well.

Honest and Transparent 

Another characteristic of a great mortgage broker is honesty and transparency with everything they do. If a mortgage broker is promising you more than they can actually deliver because they are desperate to close a deal, that is a warning that they could be hiding things, such as fees, or making changes without telling you. A great mortgage broker is straight and upfront about everything they are doing. They will also tell you if they are unable to do something for you and are realistic when it comes to what you are able to qualify for with a loan. They will give you both the good and the bad.

Upfront with Fees

A broker should always be open about any fees you may be charged from the start. There are some situations where a broker will be given a compensatory fee working with specific lenders for example. This is something they need to let you know. If you have a broker who seems to break out into a sweat every time you ask about fees, it could be a red flag that they aren’t telling you everything.

Your finances and financial situation are a delicate and private area of your life. It makes sense to choose the best broker for the job, who is trustworthy, will work with you and is transparent about everything they are doing.  If you’re looking for an Ottawa mortgage broker that you can trust, give our team a call today!

What is a Credit Freeze?

Due to a recent data protection privacy scare, Quebec has brought forward a bill that will allow people to put a freeze on their credit report. Our Ottawa mortgage broker team have has many clients asking how this works and whether it would damage their credit in the future. We’ll go over what a credit freeze is and how it works.

Credit freezing is an option that is free in America, and while it isn’t offered to Canadian’s just yet, it looks like a service that many provinces in Canada are considering. Canada does offer credit monitoring, however, this doesn’t protect consumers very well because they aren’t contacted immediately if suspicious activity has been detected on their account. 

What is a Credit Freeze?

A credit freeze allows you to lock your credit file should there be suspicious activity. It gives more control to Canadians by not allowing any access to a person’s credit until the freeze is removed. This means fraudulent scammers wouldn’t be able to open a new account or make a credit inquiry, protecting a person from credit fraud.

Is It Worth Doing?

A credit freeze protects your credit from hackers and frauds, however, it also means you are blocked from being able to apply for credit. In order to be able to apply for a loan, you can temporarily lift the freeze, but would need to freeze your credit immediately after getting approved for the credit line you were applying for. 

In America, applying to freeze your credit means having to contact all 3 of the credit reporting agencies that serve the U.S. So it can take some time to lift a freeze as well, which isn’t great if you are applying for a time-sensitive credit deal. 

The Pros of Credit Freezing

  • Gives you extra control of your credit data
  • Protects you from having a hacker try to open new credit accounts in your name

The Cons of a Credit Freeze

There are some downsides to credit freezing:

  • Data that has already been compromised is not protected
  • While it stops any new credit lines being opened, it won’t stop an already hacked credit line from being used
  • When you freeze your credit, you are given a secret PIN to use. The problem here is that a hacker can get hold of that PIN

While a credit freeze won’t damage your credit score, anything that was compromised before the freeze could result in issues on your credit report that will need to be disputed.

A credit freeze is one of the best ways to protect and prevent your credit information from being further compromised. It’s a great option for those who don’t often apply for credit or who don’t use their current accounts often. It makes it easier to when something has gone amiss. While it can seem like a hassle, it does give that added protection you need in a day and age where hackers and fraudsters are finding new ways to commit identity theft.

If you have questions about credit freezing or ways to keep your credit information safe, give our Ottawa mortgage broker team a call today!

Top First Time Buyer Pitfalls to Avoid

Our Ottawa mortgage broker team knows that buying your first home can be both exciting and stressful. It involves a lot of paperwork and knowing what pitfalls to avoid along the way. If you aren’t aware of what to watch out for, it can end up costing you thousands more than necessary, and hours of frustration. In the worst-case scenario, you could face disappointment and not get the home you had your heart set on, because of a pitfall that could have been avoided. We have a list of the top pitfalls to avoid when buying your first home to help you out.

Pitfall 1 – Not Getting A Mortgage Pre-Approved 

Getting yourself pre-approved for an Ottawa mortgage can play an important role when buying your first home. Sadly, many new home buyers skip this step, which can not only make the buying process longer but also have seller’s choosing someone with a pre-approval over your bid. A pre-approval is something seller’s like to see because it’s more of a guarantee that your bid won’t fall through at the last minute. It gives you an edge over those who don’t have a pre-approval and you also know how much you can realistically afford.

Keep in mind that a pre-approval is not the same thing a pre-qualification. Having a pre-qualification means that you have gone through the general steps of checking your credit score. A pre-approval means your financials were gone over in order to determine how much you have been approved to borrow. 

Pitfall 2 – Using the Sellers Real Estate Agent 

It’s not in your best interest to use the seller’s real estate or listing agent, which is a mistake we have seen many new homebuyers make. The reason for this is that you risk being in a dual agency situation, with the agent stuck between representing yourself and the seller. 

The reason this is an issue is that the agent involved can’t really give you advice on what they feel the home their seller is offering is really worth. They also have their hands tied regarding negotiating requests for any repair work to be done once a home inspection has been done. Using the seller’s agent basically means you are giving up your rights to representation.

Pitfall 3 – Forgetting to Budget for Additional Expenses 

Knowing how much you will need to buy a home and covering a downpayment aren’t the only things you need to factor into your budget. You need to have money set aside for the day to day running of the home too. You need to consider how much your monthly utilities will be, the costs of general maintenance, insurance for the home, and so on. We’ve seen buyers purchase a home at the high end of their budget, only to open themselves to financial stress because they didn’t factor in these things as well.

Pitfall 4 – Forgoing a Home Inspection

Another important step that some new homebuyers forgo are paying for a home inspection. This is really an important part of the home buying process though. You may feel like you are saving yourself some money at the time, but not having one can lead to bigger expenses, not to mention unwanted surprises, later on down the line. A home inspector can tell you whether a home is sound or will end up being a money pit full of repair issues. They will look for things like mould problems and structural problems that you can’t see yourself. 

Pitfall 5 – Making Financial Changes Before Closing

Making any type of financial change before closing your deal can jeopardize you. Just because you have been pre-approved does not mean everything is in the bag. Before closing, the lender will go over your credit report again to see if there have been any major changes. They look for things like opening a new line of credit, changing jobs, or buying big-ticket items on credit. All of this can change how much you are eligible for with your mortgage and could see everything fall through at the last minute. Save those changes for after you have closed on the mortgage and home purchase.

If you have questions about buying a home for the first time and need to tips, give our Ottawa mortgage broker team a call today!

Getting Your Finances Ready for Your First Home

Having worked as an Ottawa mortgage broker for many years, I know what a big financial commitment it is to buy your first home. The process of applying for a mortgage can feel stressful and overwhelming at times too. This is why it’s important to not only get your documents in order but your finances as well. This means doing a bit of research on your options, budgeting, and cleaning up your credit. All of this should be done six to nine months before applying for your mortgage. Let’s look at how you can get your finances ready to buy your first home.

Get familiar with your budget

One of the most important steps to getting your finances ready is to know what your budget is. All too often, I have seen home buyers start looking for a home before they even know what they can really afford. This just leads to disappointment and a lot of time wasted. Take the time to go over your monthly incoming and outgoing funds first. When budgeting for a mortgage, you need to make sure you factor in fees and expenses that go with it. Knowing what you can afford will help you cut down the time it takes to find a home and you won’t be faced with disappointment when you find you can’t qualify for the amount you want. 

Clean up your credit

Another main step to take is pulling your credit history well before you apply for a mortgage. You will need to go over it carefully to be sure there are no errors or discrepancies that are affecting your credit score. Look for accounts listed as not paid that you have paid off, or debts that may not be yours. Errors need to be disputed with a credit bureau and this can take some time. You should also look at how many high-interest credit cards you have and try to pay these down. It will help bring your credit score up, which can then get you a better interest rate on your mortgage. 

Getting pre-approved

Being pre-approved for a mortgage amount is something many overlooks, but it can give you an advantage when it comes to putting a bid in on a home. You have the security of knowing just how much you have to work with, and most sellers and real estate agents will choose someone who has a pre-approval over someone who doesn’t. It also gives you some time to work on your credit should you find you can’t get a pre-approval for the amount you had hoped. 

Savings 

In Canada, owning a home comes at a high cost. It has become a bit harder to qualify with the mortgage stress test changes as well. Not everyone, especially first time home buyers, can come up with a 20% down payment to buy a home. The thing is, the more you are able to put down, the better the interest rate you can get. This is why you should consider opening a savings account and regularly put money aside to build up that down payment amount you can offer. It’s also important to set aside money for the expenses of applying for a mortgage separately so you aren’t dipping into your down payment fund.

Know your options

In Canada, many mortgages come with options and features that can be useful to you. Take the time to become familiar with these options and what you may be able to qualify for, such as special funding for first time home buyers. Have a look at the pros and cons of variable and fixed-rate mortgages, as well as loan term times to see what would work best for you. Many websites have online mortgage calculating tools that can help you with this to give you a better idea of what you want. 

If you have questions about mortgage rates or how to get your finances in order, give our Ottawa mortgage broker team a call today!

How to Know if You Are Ready to Buy Your First Home

Making the decision to become a homeowner is a major financial accomplishment. But how exactly are you supposed to know if you are ready to buy your first home? Well, you should first speak with a mortgage professional so they can review your finances and help provide some professional advice.

Your local Ottawa and Oshawa mortgage broker with The Mortgage Emporium has also listed some other tips for knowing if you are ready to buy your first home.

Tip #1: Stable Income

Having a stable income is vital when beginning the application process. Your broker will want to be sure you have a sufficient amount of savings so you can make payments on-time towards your Ottawa or Oshawa mortgage. Your income also determines what type of home loans you can qualify for, so be sure and have all your financial documentation organized before you attend your first meeting with a mortgage broker.

Tip #2: Good Credit Score

The other main factor that has a big impact on what mortgage options you could be approved of is your credit score. The higher your score is the better rates you may receive and the more options you may qualify for. Therefore, if you already have a good credit score, then you could be ready to buy your first home and should begin your application for an Ottawa or Oshawa mortgage.

Tip #3: Minimal Amounts Of Debt

Depending on how much debt you have accumulated may affect the status of your application and postpone your ability to become a homeowner. So, before you begin applying for a home loan, you should first try to lower the amount of debt you have and pay off as much high-interest loans as you can. In doing so, this will also help improve your credit score.

Tip #4: Ready To Settle Down

A good sign of knowing if you are ready to become a homeowner is whether or not you are ready to settle down. If you like to move around and never spend longer than a couple of years in one place, than buying a home may not be the best financial option. However, if you are planning on being in one area for at least five years, then you may want to start looking at different homes to purchase.

Contact Us

If you would like to receive more tips on how to know if you are ready to buy your first home or if you are interested in beginning your application for an Ottawa or Oshawa mortgage, please contact The Mortgage Emporium team at 888-421-9330.

Ottawa and Oshawa Market Update

2019 is here and it’s the time to make your homeownership dreams come true. If you have been on the fence about buying your first home, there is no better time to do so than right now. This time of year means that Ottawa and Oshawa mortgage rates are at an all-time low. Mortgage professionals are expecting these rates to rise in the spring and summer, so schedule an appointment with a broker now so you benefit from these current low rates.

To help you get started, your local broker with The Mortgage Emporium has listed the most current market update for the Ottawa and Oshawa region.

 

Ottawa Market Update

In reference to Zolo.ca, the current average sold price for all property types in Ottawa is $515,000. According to the housing rates of the previous month, the current average price has massively increased by 160.4% and has increased by 30.4% since January 2018.

Prices are only expected to continue to rise throughout the year so it would be in your best interest, financially, to schedule an appointment with your Oshawa mortgage broker now before these rates become too expensive.

Houses are selling at a fast rate and the selling to listing ratio is at 100%, this makes Oshawa an excellent place to settle down and become a homeowner.

 

Oshawa Market Update

The current average sold price for a home in Oshawa is $476,000 according to Zolo.ca. This price is a 7.6% decrease since December 2018 and is a 2.8% decrease since January 2018. This current decrease in price is an excellent opportunity for those looking for an Oshawa mortgage.

As mentioned previously, experts are predicting that housing rates are going to get more expensive in the next few months, so take advantage of these current low prices and schedule a meeting with your broker today.

The housing inventory for Oshawa currently has about 293 listings. There were 117 homes sold within the last year, homes spend an average of 32 days on the market and the selling to listing ratio is 98%. Oshawa has a thriving residential market and would, therefore, be a wonderful place to purchase your dream home.

 

Contact Us

For more information about the current market trends for Oshawa and Ottawa or to get started on your home loan application, please contact your Ottawa and Oshawa mortgage broker with The Mortgage Emporium at 888-421-9330.

Oshawa Mortgage Broker – 5 Things Your Broker Wishes You Knew

As an Oshawa mortgage broker, I continue to dedicate my time to educating my clients as I help them find the perfect mortgage for their home financing needs.

Throughout my years in the mortgage industry, I have learned that while a lot of people research different home financing options before they meet with a mortgage broker, there are often a few things that are missed during this research that their mortgage broker wishes they knew.

If you are looking to purchase a home in the near future, take a look at the list below to find out what your mortgage broker will wish you knew before you got started with the mortgage process!

_ Always call your mortgage broker first! An excellent mortgage broker will want to be there to guide you through the entire process and will want to be kept in the loop on all matters that concern your finances and thoughts about the home-buying process.

_ Educate yourself on down payment requirements. Whether this means asking your mortgage broker right out of the gate or doing your own research beforehand, don’t wait until the last minute to find out your down payment funds can’t be used because they don’t follow financial regulations.

_ Find and hold onto ALL documentation. If you know you will be purchasing a home, do not discard any important documentation. Your mortgage broker will be able to provide you with a list of what they will need in advance, but it is better to be safe than sorry. Holding on to important paperwork will make things much easier as you progress through the process.

_ Don’t make any drastic or sudden changes. Don’t quit your job. Don’t buy a car. In some cases, even purchasing larger items you plan to use in your new home can mean the difference between getting approved or denied for your mortgage.

_ Mortgage brokers can’t do everything. While mortgage brokers are home financing superheroes most of the time, there are a few things we are not able to do. Mortgage brokers cannot approve your mortgage or determine the loan amount you will receive. It is, however, our job to work with top-rated mortgage lenders to ensure that you are getting the best options for these things.

If you are looking to purchase a home in the near future, it is also important for you to know that as an Oshawa mortgage broker, you will always be my top priority. Give me a call today to find out more about the mortgage process or to get your loan application started today!

Ottawa Mortgage – Tips for Renewing Your Mortgage

 

Don’t renew your mortgage without speaking to an Ottawa mortgage professional, like our team at the Mortgage Emporium!

Review Your Options

If it will be time to renew your mortgage in the near future, we advise that you take the time now to review the different options that are available to you. There are many different aspects of a mortgage, and when you renew your mortgage you may have the opportunity to change one or more of these to make your loan more affordable.

Change Your Rate

More often than not, interest rates will have changed since you obtained your original mortgage. If rates have gone down and you are in a fixed-rate mortgage, renewing your mortgage at a lower rate could save you a good deal of money.

That is why, as we said in the beginning of this post, you should not renew your mortgage without speaking to a professional. If you just blindly sign your renewal, you may be agreeing to continue paying a higher rate than what is currently available to you.

Change Your Monthly Payment

You may have the option to adjust your monthly payment when you renew your mortgage. If you want to pay off your mortgage faster and have the room in your budget, increase your monthly payments. If you are less concerned with how quickly you can pay off your mortgage and would like more wiggle room in your monthly budget, ask about decreasing your monthly payments.

Re-Evaluate Your Mortgage Insurance

If you have been paying an insurance premium with your monthly mortgage payment because either your credit or down payment was too low when you obtained your mortgage, you may be able to adjust these premiums or even get rid of your mortgage insurance premiums altogether.

If you do decide to discuss changes to your mortgage agreement, make sure to review the amended mortgage contract before you sign the official documents.

At the Mortgage Emporium, we are always happy to help our clients save on their home financing, whether they are first-time home buyers or looking for help as they renew their existing mortgage.

Give us a call today to set up your mortgage consultation and start saving now!

 

Source: http://globalnews.ca/news/1130403/5-things-to-know-about-renewing-y

Ottawa Mortgage Broker – The Benefits of Getting Pre-Approved

 

If you are looking to purchase a home in the Ottawa area, the first step in your home buying process should be to contact an Ottawa mortgage broker. As experts in the industry at the Mortgage Emporium, we will help you get pre-approved for the mortgage you need, in a timely manner, so you can move on to finding the house of your dreams.

Getting pre-approved for your loan is a huge step in the mortgage process, and should be done before anything else because it will act as a sort of road map for the rest of the mortgage process.

Without a pre-approval you won’t be aware of any credit issues you may have, you won’t be aware of what price range you should be looking in and you won’t have any idea as to whether or not you can expect to be approved for your mortgage.

When you go through the pre-approval process, you will be filling out a complete application and providing documentation, just as you will when you officially apply for your mortgage. At this point, if you are pre-approved, that’s fantastic and you can move on to house hunting. If you are not pre-approved, your mortgage broker will be able to explain why your loan was denied, giving you the chance to resolve any issues before you actually apply for your loan.

A pre-approval will also give you a much better idea as to what sort of financing you can expect to receive which will help you narrow down your search by providing you with a solid price range to work within. You will also have the added bonus of greater bargaining power when you do find a home as a pre-approval is the next best thing to being approved and closing on your mortgage.

If you are interested in purchasing a home and aren’t sure where to begin, start with getting a pre-approval. Get in touch with an Ottawa mortgage broker at The Mortgage Emporium by calling phone number 1-888-421-9330 to get your mortgage process started with a pre-approval today!

Source: http://www.nytimes.com/2012/06/10/realestate/mortgages-the-advantages-of-preapproval.html
Source: http://www.mortgage101.com/article/advantages-mortgage-preapproval