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By starting with the right questions, accredited mortgage professionals (AMPs) help homebuyers find the best mortgage for their needs and navigate the application. process. (istockphoto.com)

By starting with the right questions, accredited mortgage professionals (AMPs) help homebuyers find the best mortgage for their needs and navigate the application. process.

(istockphoto.com)

A Special Information Feature

Expertise essential in shifting mortgage market Add to ...


By Jim Murphy

President and CEO of the Canadian Association of Accredited Mortgage Professionals (CAAMP)


Last year, mortgage brokers processed 28 per cent of all mortgage transactions in Canada, an increase from 25 per cent in 2012. Among first-time buyers who want to shop the market, the self-employed and new Canadians, even more used the services of a mortgage broker. The overall increase in mortgage broker transactions was due largely to a 40 per cent share of all new mortgages in 2013.  

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These savvy borrowers know that in today’s world there is a lot of information that must be considered before finalizing a mortgage. There is no substitute for being prepared. Educating yourself and getting the facts you need to make the right mortgage decision increases home buying confidence. 

Buying a home is the biggest financial commitment most Canadians will make in their lifetime. A mortgage broker can help you navigate the sometimes intimidating process of securing a mortgage. By asking you the right questions about your financial situation, they will work with you to provide the best product for you, based on your personal circumstances. Mortgage brokers have access to multiple lenders, including banks, credit unions, trust companies and private lenders.

In a recent survey by our organization, the Canadian Association of Accredited Mortgage Professionals (CAAMP), the top five reasons identified by consumers for dealing with a mortgage broker were getting the best rate, obtaining multiple quotes, not having to do the research themselves, helping them understand their options and to help with the paperwork. 

CAAMP created the Accredited Mortgage Professional (AMP) designation so that homebuyers can easily identify mortgage advisers who are knowledgeable and up to date on the local market and are best suited to finding the right mortgage product. Using the services of an AMP when taking out a mortgage will help you navigate the home buying process and provide you with peace of mind.

Mortgage brokers focus on mortgages. To maintain the AMP designation, they are required to keep current with products and the market by taking continuing education courses and by working with their lender partners on a daily basis. 

Mortgage rules have changed significantly over the last few years. The federal government has brought in four different regulatory changes affecting mortgage default insurance. In Canada, if you put down less than 20 per cent on the purchase price of a home, mortgage insurance is required. The government requires a minimum five per cent down payment, has scaled back amortizations to 25 years and has instituted minimum debt service levels, among other changes that also affect home equity lines of credit and the ability to refinance your property.  In addition, new mortgage underwriting guidelines have also been adopted for federally regulated financial institutions. These changes all affect consumers, especially first-time buyers, along with the size of mortgage they qualify for.

In this rapidly shifting environment, it is more important than ever to use the services of an AMP, a mortgage professional who is familiar with the implications of these changes and who can provide the best recommendation for your individual needs and circumstances.

When finalizing a mortgage, it is important to ask lots of questions, such as why a certain product is being recommended and what the penalties are if you withdraw the mortgage early or want to pay it off faster. Accredited mortgage professionals have the expertise and experience required to answer these essential questions and help you achieve your home ownership goals.

Find a mortgage professional near you at www.caamp.org.


HOME OWNERSHIP ASPIRATIONS
BY THE NUMBERS

According to the recently released 21st Annual RBC Home Ownership Poll,

62 per cent

of Canadians plan to buy a home with their spouse or partner –and...

28 per cent

intend to buy a home by themselves.


The increase in buying intentions reported indicates that there is renewed confidence in the market, says Rachel Wihby, senior manager of home equity finance at RBC. The poll results show that “Canadians are more prepared to take that step into homeownership,” she adds.


Among respondents who reported they were likely to buy a home within the next two years, a full...

40 percent

will be first-time home-buyers. 

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