Thursday, February 15, 2018

Renewing your mortgage? Here’s what you need to know

Consumers are much more informed these days about mortgages and mortgage products, and are highly engaged, especially millennials who are comfortable searching the Internet for information and rates.  According to the Canadian Mortgage and Housing Corporation’s (CMHC) 2017 Consumer Survey, 76% of mortgage consumers did online research, and 31% access online information through their mobile devices.

Among those going online, 50% went to lender websites, 25% to broker websites, and 15% visited both lender and broker sites.  Seventy-six per cent used a mortgage calculator, 51% did a financial self-assessment, and 29% filled out an online pre-approval form.

Because consumers are highly engaged, they are more confident about their mortgage decisions. Still, with all that research, more than half contacted a mortgage broker to get further clarification.

According to the survey, mortgage broker share of the market is increasing with renewers, from 26% in 2016 to 35% in 2017. This is a prudent move, considering how much the mortgage rules have changed.

This may be the year you get that renewal letter in the mail. Many of you may just sign the new renewal rate because it’s easy, and the idea of switching to another lender may be too onerous. You are busy with work and family and don’t have the time to do the research to see if there may be a better deal for you.

The CMHC survey found that 39% of households automatically renew their mortgages when the term is up instead of trying to find a better deal. When you’ve done your homework prior to purchasing a home, it only makes sense to do as much research at renewal time as you can. Quite often the renewal rate offered to you by your lender is higher than the market average.

There may also be material changes in your household. Perhaps you’ve started a family, or one of you has been promoted.  This is another good time to contact a mortgage broker to review your financial situation and see what makes sense for you to do.

Here are some tips to make sure you’re getting the best mortgage product:

·       Get going early. Start the discussion four to six months ahead of renewal time. Most lenders will guarantee a discounted rate for four months but your renewal agreement is usually sent only 30 days ahead of your maturity date.

·       The posted rate is usually not the best. Often, depending on your lender, you’ll get the posted rate, not the discounted rate, as a renewal rate. A report by Mortgage Professionals Canada found that renewers working with a mortgage professional saved approx. 2 points below posted rates. That can translate into thousands of dollars in savings.

·       Do your homework. Shop around to get the best deal, tailored to your particular situation. If you decide to switch lenders, there are no penalties at renewal time.

·       It’s not always about interest rate. Don’t fixate on rate. There are other options that may appeal to you such as changes to amortizations or changes to the rate type.

·       Why a mortgage broker? Most surveys find that brokers can get you a better rate because of their relationships with multiple enders. A broker can give you independent advice because they are not tied to one lender. A broker can also save you time with one-stop shopping. And there’s no cost to you.

In some cases, the new rule changes may necessitate that you stay with your current lender at renewal time. A broker can help assess the situation and provide advice, even if that means staying with your current lender.

The bottom line is that research is equally as important at renewal time as it is when purchasing your new home.  Don’t leave it until the last minute.









Thursday, January 18, 2018

Options for first time home buyers

Interest rates are going up, mortgage rules have changed and house prices in some parts of the country don’t seem to be going down – yet. This may not look good for first time homebuyers who may find they can’t afford to buy that dream house – yet. But it’s not all gloomy. There are still areas of the country where prices have remained steady; and if all goes the way the government indicates, prices may start coming down in 2018.

First timers should still be looking at their options.

Usually the biggest obstacle for first time home buyers is coming up with the down payment. In 2017 the average down payment for first time home buyers was 26%. Sources included:

  •         Loans, gifts from parents and/or other family members (accounted for 18% of down payments)
  •        RRSP withdrawals (accounted for 7% of down payments)
  •        Own savings (accounted for 54% of down payments)
  •        Loan from a financial institution (accounted for 19% of down payments)


With the new rules introduced over the past year and the fact that we’re now in RRSP season, it’s a good time to look at the Government of Canada’s Home Buyers' Plan for first-time home buyers, which allows them to withdraw up to $25,000 from their RRSP, without a penalty.  If you are married or purchasing the property with another first-time home buyer, each of you may withdraw the maximum each for a total of $50,000.

Once you decide to use your RRSPs then there are a few rules.

What’s the definition of a first-time home buyer?

You are considered a first-time home buyer if, in a four-year period, you have not occupied a home that you or your common-law partner or spouse owned. Even if you or your spouse or common-law partner have previously owned a home, you may still be considered a first-time home buyer.

The four-year period begins on January 1st of the fourth year before the year you withdraw the funds and ends 31 days before the date you withdraw the funds. For example, if you withdraw funds on March 31, 2018, the four-year period began on January 1, 2014 and ends on February 28, 2018.

If you don’t fit that four-year window yet, you could wait and buy later. For example, if you sold your home in 2013, and did not purchase another one until 2018, you can participate as a first-time home buyer.

Also, buyers must have a bona fide purchase agreement for a house that will be owner-occupied.

What’s a qualifying home?

No rentals or investment properties. You must have either bought or built the home before October 1st of the year, after the year of withdrawal. And you can buy or build the home alone or with others. When purchasing with others, the benefit applies to the entire purchase even if only one person qualifies as a first-time home buyer.

Paying it back

RRSP withdrawals must be paid back within 15 years so each year 1/15 must go back into the fund. If not, then that amount will be taxable. For example, if you withdraw $25,000 from your RRSP then you must pay back $1,667 every year for 15.

However, it’s not straightforward – you must designate the amount as a payback for the Home Buyer’s loan.

RRSP withdrawal conditions

  • You have to be a resident of Canada at the time of withdrawal
  • You have to receive all withdrawals in the same calendar year
  • You can only withdraw up to $25,000
  • No tax will be withheld
  • You cannot withdraw from an RRSP that is locked in
  • Your RRSP contributions must be in the account for 90 days before withdrawal
  • You must fill out a form to withdraw funds, which can be found at the Government of Canada website

TIPS

You may want to consider borrowing to deposit into an RRSP this tax season which, after 90 days, can be used as a down payment. There might also be a tax benefit for you.

You can use your RRSPs as a down payment more than once as long as the balance from the first withdrawal has been paid back in full.

To keep track of your account, each year you will get a statement with your Notice of Assessment showing what you owe and how much contribution you have in your RRSP.

TFSA

This might be a better way to save for your down payment. It is, however, a longer-term strategy. There isn’t a lot of room to save, the maximum is $5,500 each year, but your money grows tax free. When you hit your target, you can withdraw the money with no strings attached.
For more information about the Home Buyer’s Plan and to develop a plan for your down payment, contact your mortgage professional. He or she has the tools and the expertise to help you realize your dream of home ownership.







Wednesday, January 03, 2018


By Bud Jorgenson, VP.TMG  Prairies
Mentor of the Year, 2017, Mortgage Professionals Canada

What’s best for consumers?

We need to clear the air. We’ve recently come across marketing materials that some Bank mortgage specialists have been sending aimed at “educating” members of the public on the impact of the mortgage rule changes and the limitations of dealing with mortgage brokers. Some bank specialists are referring to mortgage brokers as sub-prime brokers and that the recent changes to the mortgage rules will negatively impact us. As mortgage brokers we would like to respond.

We agree that it is vital for Canadians to be educated on the ways in which the most recent mortgage rule changes coming into effect, and all recent regulatory and legislative changes will impact mortgage consumers and markets as a whole.  We applaud all efforts to bring awareness at this very important juncture in our industry.

The Office of the Superintendent of Financial Institutions (OSFI) is an independent government agency whose mandate is to supervise federally regulated financial institutions.  OSFI is the agency who is updating their B-20 underwriting guidelines that came into effect on January 1, 2018.

In addition to having access (directly or indirectly) to most of the major Tier 1 banks in Canada, mortgage brokers also have access to many other provincially-regulated and private mortgage lenders. Those lenders include Credit Unions, Monoline mortgage lenders who have funded hundreds of billions of dollars in aggregate (including First National, MCAP, Merix, Street Capital, etc) alternative lenders (Canadian Western Bank, Equitable Bank, Home Trust, etc.) and private lenders. 

This allows brokers to ensure that the features of the mortgage are aligned to the client’s needs. Brokers will look at prepayments options, how penalties are calculated, how the mortgage is registered and how the client credit fits against the available products.

Perhaps it is only semantics but when a customer deals with a broker they do not have to ‘negotiate’ a rate with the lender directly – the broker shops the market to secure the best overall cost of borrowing for the unique needs of the consumer.  This competition maximizes the opportunity for a consumer to get the best overall deal.

The recent OSFI changes are actually targeting all consumers (including the federally regulated banks) rather than only the subprime market. In fact, it may create market share opportunities for subprime lenders. 

We certainly agree on the need for consumers to get the best advice. A mortgage broker is licensed with their corresponding provincial regulator. They have to meet initial education and licensing requirements and then have to maintain educational requirements going forward. Given the breadth of lender and mortgage products available to brokers, they have to constantly do research on the options available to their clients.

Brokers also get to deal with large regulated banks. Sometimes that represents the best option for the client to consider. Other times specialty lenders, mono-line lenders and unregulated lenders represent the best interests of consumers. 

Broker market share has actually increased steadily since the onset of the Global Financial Crisis and with each additional mortgage rule and regulation changes. This is because brokers are best suited to assess a mortgage client’s needs and then access a number of market options to fit those needs.

Debunking the myths

Myth: With the broker channel, the goal is to move the mortgage on each renewal
Reality: The goal of the broker channel, in general, is to present multiple options to consumers so they get the optimal mortgage for their unique needs. That includes looking at prepayment options, type of mortgage charges, costs of borrowing, portability, etc.  Brokers often advise their clients to stay with their current lender at renewal. The  goal at renewal is exactly the same. The result of providing clients with the best ongoing advice at the time of origination and at renewal, a broker is able to grow their referral networks.

Myth: If the client remains with the same lender at renewal a small trailer fee is paid to the broker. 
Reality: This is true in some cases and creates accountability between the lender, broker and customer in those cases.

Myth: If they (brokers) move the mortgage to a new lender then the full mortgage commission is paid as it represents a new deal to that new lender. This becomes a “residual or passive income” source for the broker.

Reality: If a client chooses to move their mortgage at renewal after being given the options then it is considered a new deal. As such it has all the corresponding work associated with any new file at that time.  That is not residual income – it is earned income and in most cases paid by the financial institution receiving the mortgage, NOT the client.

Clients save money when they work with a mortgage broker at renewal

The Bank of Canada released a report a few years ago titled “Competition in the Mortgage Market” and found the following:

Banks also offer larger discounts to new clients than to existing clients. Consumers willing to switch financial institutions when shopping for their mortgage will see, on average, an additional discount of 7 basis points from the posted rate. The results also indicate that borrowers who use a mortgage broker pay less, on average, than borrowers who negotiate with lenders directly. This average discount is about an additional 19 basis points.”

Most mortgage brokers offer ongoing advice and information to their clients. Because they deal with a wide variety of lenders for unique circumstances they are often very well versed in issues affecting mortgage borrowers.

For example, as of January 1st, a bank rep may tell you all uninsured mortgages have to be qualified at the benchmark rate or 200 basis points (whichever is higher). What they mean to say is all their mortgages are qualified in that manner.

It may be that a bank may be the best option for many clients but other lenders, credit unions for example, can still qualify the borrower at the contract rate.

By working with a licensed mortgage professional, you have a trusted advisor and problem solver, who is best positioned to navigate these changes.

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. As the lending environment changes, brokers keep up-to-date with all these changes and have access to a variety of lenders including banks, credit unions, trust companies, monoline lenders and private lenders. No one is more knowledgeable and more informed than we are.











Monday, December 18, 2017

Consider getting pre-approved before January 1, 2018

There is not a lot of time left. New home buyers may want to consider getting a pre-approval before the new rules come into effect on January 1, 2018. Some lenders have already implemented the new rules, which includes a stress test,  that will affect homebuyers with down payments of 20% or more.
Armed with a pre-approval, you may be able to purchase a home before the expiry date – usually 120 days –  and won’t be affected by the new rules. Many buyers are getting ahead of the new year.
According to statistics released on December 14 by The Canadian Real Estate Association (CREA), national home sales rose strongly in November 2017.
Highlights:
  •  National home sales rose 3.9% from October to November.
  • The number of newly listed homes climbed 3.5% from October to November.
  • The MLS® Home Price Index (HPI) was up 9.3% year-over-year (year-over-year) in November 2017.
  •  The national average sale price edged up 2.9% year-over-year in November.
Home sales via Canadian MLS® Systems rose for the fourth month in a row in November 2017, up 3.9% from October. Led by a 16% jump in sales in the Greater Toronto Area (GTA), the surge in sales there accounted for more than two-thirds of the national increase. The continuing rebound put November sales activity a little over halfway between the peak recorded in March 2017 and the low reached in July.

 “Some home buyers with more than a twenty percent down payment may be fast-tracking their purchase decision in order to beat the tougher mortgage qualifications test coming into effect next year,” said CREA President Andrew Peck.

“National sales momentum remains positive heading toward year-end,” said Gregory Klump, CREA’s Chief Economist. “It remains to be seen whether stronger momentum now will mean weaker activity early next year once new mortgage regulations take effect beginning on New Year’s day.”
Let’s Review
The new rules apply to federally regulated financial institutions, not credit unions or private lenders. Yet.
Insured Mortgages
This is a mortgage transaction where the default insurance premium is paid by the client, as is typical in a high-ratio mortgage, meaning with less than 20% down.

Insurable
This type of mortgage can now be considered the new “insured mortgage”. These are still eligible for default insurance but is portfolio-insured at the lender’s expense or high-ratio insured at the client’s expense. There are tougher rules as well – the maximum amortization is 25 years, applicants must qualify at the Benchmark rate and property must be valued at less than $1M. Property must also be owner-occupied.

Un-Insurable
These mortgages are not eligible for default insurance and apply to refinances, rental properties, stated income, and on purchases greater than $1M.

All uninsured mortgages are subject to a new qualifying rate, as of January 1, 2018, or stress test. This rate is the Bank of Canada’s five-year rate, currently at 4.99%, or the lender’s contract rate plus 2% --whichever is greater. Your mortgage payment will still be based on the contractual mortgage rate but the higher rate will be used for qualifying purposes.

Which mortgage is best for me?
That depends. Every situation is unique. There are pros and cons for each of the three types of mortgages, depending on your financial goals.  For example, sometimes the spread between the insurable and un-insurable rate is significantly large enough to justify the borrower paying high-ratio mortgage insurance to obtain the lower rate.

A mortgage professional can explain the differences and give you the best advice and get you best interest rate.


So, start with a pre-approval.  Call your TMG mortgage professional today.

Friday, December 08, 2017

Mortgage fraud becoming more common

Real Estate and mortgage fraud is a growing concern to the industry as high prices in some markets have squeezed buyers and attracted perpetrators. The victims of fraud can include homeowners who find their homes have had mortgages placed against them by unknown individuals. Other victims include buyers in neighbourhoods or in condo complexes whose homes have been artificially inflated or deflated.

Issues of fraud can range from prospective home buyers submitting fake or altered documents including letters of employment, bank statements or tax returns, to money laundering schemes, identity fraud and title fraud.

While some may consider upping the rental received on a basement suite or deciding to leave something out of their mortgage application as harmless “white lies,” that are not doing anyone any harm, the reality is that any type of fraud puts everyone at risk -- lenders, insurers, consumers, and the economy.

In a recent Mortgage Professional Canada Fraud Summit a panel of experts weighed in on the state of fraud in Canada and what’s being done to mitigate risk for all involved.

In an online survey, Equifax found that 84% of Canadians felt the country’s housing market had become too expensive for first-time home buyers. Sixteen per cent thought mortgage fraud was a “victimless” crime. And 8% admitted to making false statements on their own applications.

Why is fraud becoming more common?
The Canadian mortgage industry’s rules and guidelines have become more complex. As prices increase, coupled with short housing supply, some Canadians feel they need to get into the market fast, even if they can’t qualify in the standard way.

In a hi-tech world it’s not always the case that lenders and borrowers meet face-to-face and more and more applications are received over the Internet, fax or e-mail. Then there’s also pressure from consumers to have those deals close quickly.

Types of Fraud

There are two general categories of fraud:

  • Fraud for shelter – There may be no intention to default but an individual commits fraud in order to get a mortgage on a home they could not otherwise obtain or afford.
  • Fraud for profit -- There is an intent to default and/or flip the property, then walk away with the proceeds. For example, title fraud  -- a fraudster assumes the identity of a homeowner, then proceeds to use forged documents to transfer ownership of a property and will use fake identification to get the mortgage on the property, then walks away with the money. 


How do they do it?
Actually, there are many ways but banks and non-bank lenders watch for three of the most frequent methods:

Falsifying Owner Occupancy
This is quite easy to --a rental property requires a 20% down payment or more. However, if a buyer says they’re purchasing an owner-occupied home, with a 5% down payment, then turns around and rents it, there’s not a lot that can be done about that in advance of funding.

Playing with debt
If someone can’t qualify for a mortgage due to a high debt load, they may ask friends or family members to loan them the money to pay off debt, which, of course, does not show up on a credit check. But they still owe the debt.

Lender also look more critically at the following: Private purchases and sales, high ratio mortgages, equity gifts, powers of attorney, recent activity on a title and if the property is free and clear.

The costs of mortgage fraud
There are financial costs --insurer payouts for defaulted loans and police and court costs to deal with offenders. Then there are the costs to the individuals who were not aware of the fraud and who are in danger of losing their homes. There is a reputational risk for all mortgage brokers and the erosion of consumer trust.

What’s next
Detecting fraud has become a priority for the mortgage industry. The Financial Transactions and Reports Analysis Centre of Canada (FINTRAC) is investing in automation with a focus on fraud for commission, increasing income verification intelligence and improving Fraud Trending Reports.
Also, compliance is getting stricter and lenders and insurers are becoming more sophisticated and more hi-tech. They have the ability to model applications and behaviours, which offers a multi-view of a borrower. There is also pattern recognition software used by insurers. 


But, fraudsters don’t go away, they come up with more elaborate schemes. The industry and consumers need to stay on top of it all. So, educate yourself about fraud to better protect yourself.

Friday, October 27, 2017

A time of great change

As you probably know, the mortgage rules are changing once again, effective January 1. The introduction of the minimum qualifying rate (stress test), this time for uninsured buyers, may be the toughest change so far. Uninsured mortgages account for 46% of the country’s $1.5 trillion mortgage credit, according to the Bank of Canada.

 A survey by Mortgage Professionals Canada found that this requirement would disqualify about one in five potential home buyers.

Doug Porter, chief economist for BMO said that the last set of changes took 5 to 10 per cent of buying power out of the market and estimates that the new changes will do the same.

Paul Taylor, President of Mortgage Professional Canada said the new stress test will further reduce purchasing power, especially for first-time homebuyers. “Since everyone must qualify their GDS and TDS limits at least at the Bank of Canada 5-year benchmark, every home buyer now potentially sees their eligible loan amount reduced as a result of an artificial interest rate carrying cost.”

Since this means buyers can afford less house, the changes may dampen the overall market, not just for first-time home buyers. If existing homeowners can’t afford to move up, some may decide to not move at all.

“If there is a reduction in housing market activity between 10% and 15% as we expect, based on the analysis of our Chief Economist, Will Dunning, we would expect to see a large reduction in housing starts as well,” Taylor added.

The Ontario Real Estate Association has called these changes, “overkill” that will hurt middle class families. It’s those families who may not be able to take advantage of better rates and/or better mortgage products at renewal time. This may force them to stay with their existing lender.

“We believe many non-prime borrowers will turn to financing from credit unions, MICs and privates,” Taylor added. “In the alternative space, where interest rates are already in the 6-10% range, having to qualify at a rate 2% higher than contract will disqualify some borrowers. This incents competitors to traditional lenders to offer rates that may be higher but easier to qualify for, as long as they are less than 2% higher.”

Having fewer options is significant for the economy and for consumers.  While these rules will have a minor negative impact on large Canadian banks, it’s the overall mortgage volume from banks, monolines and non-prime lenders that may be affected. This change may impact their overall lending volume an could impact the entire housing market.

“We expect this to be a drag on the overall economy, specially in areas of the country that have had balanced or declining housing market activity,” Taylor said. “There is no doubt that this policy will supress demand, which will have a negative impact on the market and the spin off industries that are reliant on housing market activity. The irony of course, is that the government is at risk of creating the very situation that these policies are designed to avoid by triggering a housing market slowdown.”

And, the change will impact the mortgage broker industry as well.  

Andrew Matheson, Area Vice-President, TMG Atlantic has crunched the numbers and has determined that home buyers will need 20% more income to qualify. “This could make it more challenging for those refinancing.”

“I’m also concerned that consumers may be pushed into higher interest credit products or even turn to their credit cards,” he said. “And new home buyers may have to find a co-borrower or use the bank of Mom and Dad.”

He’s already seen the Atlantic market tightening up, especially in rural areas. “A client who use to qualify for a mortgage in an urban area could qualify in a rural area,” Matheson explained.  “That’s not the case anymore. Lenders are now looking for stronger credit profiles.”

Matheson is fielding many calls from clients and potential purchasers about the implications of the rule changes. “There is a lot of uncertainty,” he said. “I understand the need for changes in hot cities like Toronto and Vancouver, but they’re are a bit over-the-top for Atlantic Canada. The onus is on mortgage brokers to educate purchasers and help them plan their purchase.”

This sentiment is shared by Taylor. “Given the sheer number of changes that have occurred or are about to occur in the past year, the mortgage finance world has become much more uncertain and complex,” he said. “Borrowers, now more than ever, need the expert advice of a mortgage broker to find the right rate with the right terms that suit their individual situation.”

While the new rules do not apply to credit unions yet, those that securitize loans may be impacted since market participants only buy compliant mortgages.

There’s evidence that credit unions are already thinking along those lines. Meridian, one of Ontario’s larger credit unions, says it’s reviewing B-20 even though it “does not technically apply to our business.”

“Meridian will consider that guideline as we are a prudent and responsible lender with a strong balance sheet,” Meridian president and CEO Bill Maurin told BNN in an email.

There may be an upside, however. Despite a slowing economy, consumers remain confident, population growth is strong, job growth has been good and we still have relatively low interest rates.

While January 1, 2018 is the date the new stress tests to take effect, it’s expected that lenders will make the changes before then. That said, now is the best time for Canadians to seek out the advice of a mortgage professional for their expertise and flexibility in the marketplace.
























Thursday, October 05, 2017

Good reasons to use a mortgage broker


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 with clients.”

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