The Mortgage Survival Checklist
Greg Williamson is an award winning top producing mortgage professional for over 22 years. Greg has been named Mortgage Broker of the year in Canada twice in his career, and he has been awarded a life time achievement award by the Canadian Mortgage industry. Greg and his team have been involved in over 10,000 real estate transaction in his career. When Greg retired from the mortgage industry he created the Canadian Home Buyers Academy to take all his knowledge garnered from his years of experience at the top and give it to everyday Canadians to help protect them financially.
With a wealth of knowledge on the subject of real estate, we're excited to welcome Greg as a Friend of BRITT guest contributor.
If I was randomly dropped off into the Yukon wilderness without any modern amenities, there is a 100% chance that I would die…
I’ve seen the survival shows. Could I manage a shelter? Maybe. Could I manage a fire without a lighter? Ha. Absolutely not.
Here’s the point:
While I wouldn’t be able to provide any survival tips (“just stay alive” is all I’ve got), I do know a few things about mortgages in my 22+ years of helping people. I’ve attempted to condense all of this “survival knowledge” into 4 basic steps to make sure you survive (and thrive!) when it comes to getting a mortgage.
For those of you who are already experts, these might seem common-sense or simplistic. But for anyone looking to make sure they’re strategically investing and preparing diligently to buy a home, this is a great place to start.
Here Are the 4 Things You Need to Survive:
1. Assess your financial situation accurately
This one seems simple, right? But you’d be amazed at the number of people I’ve worked with who don’t seem to understand the components of pre-approval for a home.
A lender looks at three things: your income, your debts, and your down payment. Before shopping for a lender, have these mapped out and ready to present clearly. By thoroughly organizing your documents (bank statements, pay stubs, proof of down payment), you’ll start your mortgage survival off on the right foot.
2. Know what to look for in a mortgage lender/broker
If you’ve ever taken a look at some of my other guides, you’ll be familiar with the 5 most common Bank Traps. Just like in the wild, sometimes the berry that’s bright, red, and tasty-looking might not actually be the best option.
Similarly, all mortgage brokers are not created equal. The best philosophy when it comes to picking a mortgage broker? Go with the one who will actively manage your money and treat your mortgage like an investment, not set up your mortgage and forget it.
For specific questions every buyer needs to ask to determine the quality of a mortgage broker, take a look at this guide. I’ve seen too many people get burned simply by lacking the knowledge about what kind of broker they should be looking for.
3. Interest Rates are not always what they seem
Hey, you’re surviving! You’re shopping for mortgage broker and seem to be doing a good job of weeding out the ones who might not have your best *ahem* interest in mind.
But, HERE’S THE #1 MISTAKE I SEE PEOPLE MAKE: THEY INCORRECTLY SHOP ONLY FOR THE BEST RATE. Did you know that many banks artificially deflate their rate to lure you in? As I mention in this blog, understanding rate (and their tendencies to rise) is crucial when it comes to staying alive in the wild.
Bonus tip: Avoid wild animal attacks
Whether you’re shopping for a mortgage or surviving in the wild, being mauled by a grizzly is seen as a negative in most parts of Canada. And yes, bears can run at top speeds of 64 kph… I’m not sure why I find this so horrifying.
4. Decide on the best term for you…with the help of an expert
One of the common questions when it comes to planning for a mortgage is “What type of mortgage is right for my financial situation?” And, this can seem overwhelming.
Fixed rate or Variable rate? What length of mortgage amortization is best? Most important of all is understanding how different lenders register their mortgages, and how they calculate breakage penalties. Getting this wrong can mean severely limiting your competitive options in the future at renewal as you will be subject to large legal fees to move your mortgage and potentially crazy penalties. I talk more about that in this post.
While there is something to be said about surviving independently, to revisit my long-running metaphor, it would be pretty damn helpful to have the guidance of an expert when it comes to either making it in the Yukon OR investing wisely in a mortgage. One of the ways our Academy helps people in shopping for a mortgage is to analyze their personal information and provide 5 mortgage offers uniquely catered for them. Make sure there’s an expert by YOUR side.
What Happens When You Follow These Steps?
Congratulations! If you follow these steps, you’ll be on your way to lifelong security, at least in the world of mortgages. Surviving the Yukon wilderness? Different story altogether.
Want to go ahead and make it easy for yourself? Click here to get our Top 5 Mortgage Offers for your financial situation. Our principles are simple: we want to analyze your financial situation, find offers that fit what you’re looking for, and provide unparalleled expertise to give you the mortgage security you deserve. By preparing your report in less than 48 hours, we want to do everything we can to make your mortgage process quick, convenient, and super smart.
Stay safe (remember…avoid the grizzlies).
– Greg Williamson | Founder of Canadian Home Buyers Academy