Home values have been on the rise over the past few years, and the average detached home in Canada now costs close to three quarters of a million dollars. As a buyer, that means that securing the right mortgage is more important than it's ever been — after all, the terms you negotiate now will have a huge impact on your family's financial future.
Whether you're a first-time buyer or a seasoned real estate investor, the time and effort it takes to find the best mortgage broker in Ottawa is well spent, as it can make your home buying experience simple and stress-free. Here are some tips on how to find the best mortgage broker.
Would you rather fly with a pilot who's just earned their wings, or one who's logged thousands of hours in all kinds of conditions? Sure, they're both licensed, but the latter has 'been there, done that' when it comes to successfully dealing with real-world challenges throughout their career.
The same idea applies when it comes to finding a mortgage broker. Here in Ottawa, all licensed mortgage brokers must be at least 18 years old and successfully meet the strict criteria set by the Financial Services Regulatory Authority of Ontario (FSRA). Beyond that, the amount of hands-on experience varies widely between mortgage brokers.
The best mortgage broker for Ottawa home buyers is one with the experience it takes to help you secure the lowest available rates under the terms that fit your needs, both now and in the future. They'll have the skills needed to navigate the ever-changing mortgage landscape and provide you with a number of viable lending solutions.
The Canadian mortgage industry was once dominated by the big banks, but there's now more options than ever when it comes to mortgage lenders. Look for an Ottawa mortgage broker who has established extensive industry connections with traditional mortgage lenders such as banks and credit unions, as well as some lesser-known alternatives including monoline lenders.
Working with a mortgage broker who can access a wide range of traditional and non-traditional lenders means that you'll have more options when it comes to who holds your mortgage. Dealing with a smaller lender can also open up opportunities that might not be available through a big bank, and as an added bonus, some smaller lenders may be willing to consider financing mortgages that larger lenders won't touch. Moreover, smaller lenders may have lower interest, more flexibility, and reduced penalties compared to major banks.
Another question to ask when searching for the best mortgage broker in Ottawa is whether or not they work with private lenders. If you're self-employed, a non-resident, or if you're looking to finance a custom home build with a construction mortgage, sometimes you might have trouble finding a solution with a traditional lender. Private lenders often offer more flexible terms than major banks, and they may even consider mortgages for home buyers who simply can't meet the tough lending criteria laid out otherwise.
Let's face it: home buying is stressful, especially in today's ultra-competitive market. Choosing an Ottawa mortgage broker with strong communication skills can go a long way towards reducing that stress and making your search for the right mortgage successful.
The best Ottawa mortgage broker is one who takes the time to understand your unique financial circumstances, goals and requirements. There's no such thing as a one-size-fits-all mortgage, and a good mortgage broker knows that. Finding the right solutions often means lots of listening on the part of the broker, because the more your mortgage broker knows about your needs, the better they'll be able to meet those needs.
The Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation published a guide that gives you a good idea of the kinds of information your mortgage broker needs, and the questions that they should be asking.
If you're feeling a bit overwhelmed by all the industry lingo, you're not alone. Your home is likely the biggest single purchase you'll ever make, and I'm here to help you navigate the process of financing your property. Drop me a line today to find out how we can work together to achieve your goals. I’m happy to help!
Andrew Thake is a seasoned mortgage broker with over 15 years of industry experience. He’s assisted more than 2,200 clients in finding their ideal mortgage solutions. Recognized for his excellence, Andrew has received high honours and awards, including the National Rookie of the Year from TD Canada Trust and recognition as a Top 10 Ottawa Mortgage Broker in 2023. He has also been inducted into the Hall of Fame at Dominion Lending Centres and has consistently received their Platinum Award during his tenure as a mortgage broker.
Andrew’s dedication lies in serving his clients and prioritizing their needs with an empathetic approach. Throughout the application process, he provides tailored, informed, and efficient services to ensure the best mortgage solutions for his client’s unique circumstances. The best part of Andrew’s job is when he gets to see the joy on his clients’ faces following their mortgage approval.