Don’t buy a home alone – a mortgage professional can help

Content From: Mortgages Report

 Published Thursday, Apr. 23 2015, 5:19 PM EDT

Jim Murphy, AMP, President and CEO of the Canadian Association of Accredited Mortgage Professionals (CAAMP), answers questions about mortgage brokers and the services they offer


What are the benefits of using the services of a mortgage professional when buying a home or renewing a mortgage?

Mortgage brokers offer expertise to assist with the biggest financial decisions most Canadians will make in their lifetime.

Once a mortgage broker sits down with you in order to fully understand your income, type of work and total assets, as well as whether you’re new to Canada or self-employed, they’re able to then negotiate on your behalf with multiple lenders – including banks, credit unions and trust companies – to ensure you are matched with the best product to meet your specific needs.

And it’s a service that is generally free to the homeowner. In the vast majority of cases, mortgage brokers in Canada – including AMPs – are paid by the lender once they successfully place your mortgage. So it’s in a broker’s best interest to ensure you receive the best possible mortgage product and rate, tailored to your unique requirements.

What distinguishes Accredited Mortgage Professionals, or AMPs?

The AMP is a designation granted by CAAMP – the mortgage brokering industry’s national association – to mortgage brokers who have been in the industry for at least two years, have taken additional courses, and have passed a national proficiency exam.  Recently, CAAMP undertook measures to strengthen the designation by enforcing more stringent requirements for qualifying and renewing. This ensures that those who obtain the designation have met the highest standard of education and ethics in the Canadian mortgage industry.

In the vast majority of cases, mortgage brokers in Canada – including AMPs – are paid by the lender once they successfully place your mortgage.

When is the right time to connect with a mortgage professional?

It’s never too early, especially if you are a first-time homebuyer. If you’re thinking about buying a home, you want to know the mortgage amount for which you qualify before you head out on your search. That way, you can look at options within your budget and avoid the disappointment of becoming attached to a home that’s beyond your financial means.

If you don’t have a mortgage broker yet, you can visit http://www.caamp.org to find a member in your community through our online directory – or talk to family, friends and other referral sources.

Is there anything else homebuyers should keep in mind when looking for a mortgage professional?

If you don’t understand something your mortgage professional has explained to you, be sure to ask questions until you feel comfortable. And although rate is important, there are many other questions that are just as important when it pertains to your mortgage. Are there penalties for breaking the mortgage early? What are the prepayment options?

Also, there is no substitute for being prepared. Educate yourself and get the facts you need to make the right mortgage decision and increase your home-buying confidence. Although buying a home is a sound investment idea, it is critical to understand what homeownership entails. Understanding each step of the home-buying process is key to ensuring you will make a wise decision that suits your emotional needs and your financial situation.

Should borrowers stay in touch with their mortgage professional after the mortgage is finalized?

CAAMP research shows that homeowners like to hear from their mortgage professional five or six times a year. That may include a spring, fall and winter newsletter with basic tips about spring cleaning or home maintenance. There are always things going on with the Bank of Canada, the real estate market and the government that may affect a homeowner, depending on what type of mortgage they have. Because a home is usually your largest financial investment, it’s wise to stay on top of that activity, and a mortgage professional can help keep you informed about your mortgage options throughout the home-buying process and beyond.

DATA

In 2014, the share of outstanding mortgages that were placed through the broker channel reached its highest point since we began measuring:

30 per cent

of outstanding mortgages were obtained through a broker. (55% were placed through a bank).

67 per cent

(up 10% from last year) cited the top reason to consult a mortgage broker as “to get the best rate.”

Just 1 in 10

broker customers choose ONLY rate as the reason for choosing brokers, showing that most customers are looking for brokers to provide a variety of benefits over the direct-to-bank channel.

Of first-time homebuyers,

73 per cent

rated mortgage brokers/specialists as important sources for mortgage info (31% consulted a broker and 66% consulted a lender’s specialist).

Past mortgage broker customers are

44 per cent

more likely than average to be in the housing market in the next year.

Homebuyers average a

20 per cent

down payment,

and nearly

80 per cent

of Canadians say they could have afforded a larger down payment.


This content was produced by Randall Anthony Communications, in partnership with The Globe and Mail’s advertising department. The Globe’s editorial department was not involved in its creation.

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