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The Home Of Your Dreams

Which is harder — finding the right property or finding the money to pay for it? Well, it depends on how indecisive you are, and how indecisive your mortgage lender is. Luckily, there are a lot of lenders out there and even more types of mortgages, and ultimately only one home that you’ve set your sights on. So, you just need to match them up.

There are two prime options: mortgage brokers and loan officers. A mortgage broker has the advantage of playing the field, so to speak. With fingers in all the banking pies you can think of, they know what mortgage deals are out there and how they compare. That can really help you avoid the extra hits on your credit score from shopping around because a mortgage broker is a one-stop shop.

Brokers can offer the personalized service that you might feel — or might have experienced — as lacking from big business mortgage lenders. They’re effectively doing the negotiations for you, and that can go a long way to easing the stress of securing your home. But they don’t work for free. Mortgage brokers are typically paid a commission for each mortgage they sell and those rates differ depending on which financial institution they use to secure your new mortgage.

On the other hand, a loan officer is the inside man or woman. Without the middle-broker, this officer may be able to negotiate something custom tailored to help secure your desired property at a price and rate that works well with your budget. And, though they may be the face of a mortgage lender, they can offer a close, personal connection, which could come in handy when it is time to renew your mortgage or if you need to renegotiate your loan later on due to unforeseen circumstances.

So while the mortgage broker can access a variety of generic mortgage packages from several different lenders, the loan officer can perhaps get the in-house deals that will be customized to your financial picture specifically.

Mortgage brokers are licensed in some provinces and as “accredited mortgage professionals” have mandatory training courses they need to take each year to keep their status. Loan officers also take educational courses on a variety of topics from personal finance to investment markets and their unique mortgage products.

Continuing financial education is crucial. The world of finance is constantly changing with new policies, procedures and packages being offered every month. You will want to ensure your mortgage professional has all of the latest information, so be sure to ask questions about their continuing educational courses.

Don’t use either mortgage brokers or loan officers to avoid reading the fine print yourself. These will be complex deals and you need to understand every word of them. The brokers and loan officers will understand the deals but it’s not their money, it’s yours — so protect it. Are there hidden penalties you’ve not noticed? Is the repayment period the one you want? Is there future flexibility if you need it? You can rely on both professionals for help, but don’t let that absolve you of having to pay attention.

Choosing between a mortgage broker and a loan officer is an entirely personal choice. Your real estate agent will be plugged into both through their day-to-day work and might be able to recommend individuals or where you might look to help secure the home of your dreams.

In either case, at some point they are making money from finding you a mortgage that works — make sure they work for you and expect results that get you out their door and into that of your new home.