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Sunday, August 28th, 2016

Buying a house? Don’t go to the bank

An independent broker isn’t tied to a financial institution.

An independent broker isn’t tied to a financial institution.

I sold my property last week and I’m in a mad scramble to find a new home. With my wish list in hand and a pre-approved mortgage under my belt, I’m confident I’ll eventually find what I’m looking for.

Much to the chagrin of my financial planner, a bank employee, I’ve decided to use an independent mortgage broker rather than getting my mortgage from the bank. Based on my research, mortgage brokers often have access to better rates and more flexible repayment terms.

Mike, my broker and an old pal from university, walked me through the pre-approved application process and reviewed my commitments to the bank where my existing mortgage resides. He then shopped my application around to multiple vendors and came back less than 24 hours later with a rock-bottom rate.

An independent mortgage broker isn’t tied to any financial institution and instead works on your behalf, rather than the lender.

Because they are not employees of a lending institution, mortgage brokers are not limited in the products they can offer you.

They can seek out the best mortgage options to suit your specific situation, from a multitude of lenders — banks, trusts, private companies and insurance firms. Their primary role is to provide unbiased mortgage options and advice to clients.

In most cases, mortgage brokers are free. When the broker matches a lender with a buyer and a mortgage is placed, the broker is paid by the lender based on size of the mortgage, not the rate.

If you’re thinking of using a mortgage broker, choose wisely. Get referrals from trusted friends or family members. Do your research in advance of meeting with them; know about current rates and structures. That way you’ll have some idea of what you’re hoping to achieve and can clearly communicate it.

I love saving money, and based on my recent first-hand experience, using a mortgage broker will save me tens of thousands of dollars.

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