What does a mortgage broker do - ARCH

What exactly does a mortgage broker do?

Whether you’re a first-time homebuyer or you’re renewing the mortgage on your existing home, you have a very important decision you’ll need to make when buying your home: where to get the best deal on your mortgage.

For most Canadians, the default options is to get their first mortgage from their local bank branch, then just keep renewing it with the same bank every five years. Sure, this approach is fairly easy, and the experience is great but it’s always best to do your research before committing to any one particular lender. 

A popular alternative is to use a mortgage broker.

Mortgage brokers do not work for the big banks. Instead, he or she works for a mortgage brokerage that has access to many lenders, including banks, credit unions, and dedicated mortgage lending companies. The role of your broker is to shop around, finding you the absolute best mortgage for your situation from all of the available options.

When you use a mortgage broker, there’s still a chance you’ll end up with a mortgage from one of the big banks – but only if they have something great to offer you. Your broker will help you sift through all the options, help you comfortably decide on what’s best for your situation.

Here are some of the advantages of working with a mortgage broker:

Save time… lots of it

Rather than spending time on doing the research when it comes to rates, terms, and all of the other fun things, a mortgage broker will do all the shopping and comparing for you. You’ll be presented with an option or two, or even three that make the most sense for your situation. You’ll also have someone who can explain all the ins and outs so you can make a comfortable and informed decision without needing a Ph.D. in personal finance. Phew! 

Save money… lots of it

There’s a lot of misleading advertising from lenders trying to bait people with low-interest rates. A mortgage broker can help you figure out what’s what and, in many cases, will be more successful in finding and negotiating the best rate for you.

While the interest rate is very important, it’s actually not the only factor you’ll need to consider in the overall cost of a mortgage. For example, different lenders have different rules about how much you can prepay and when, or what happens if you need to skip a payment.

Even more significant are mortgage breakage fees. Life happens, and a great number of people end up breaking their mortgage before the maturity date. If you have a variable rate mortgage, the breakage penalty might be a few thousand dollars. If you have certain varieties of fixed rate mortgage, the penalty could be in the tens of thousands of dollars. A good mortgage broker will make sure you understand all of these details before you sign.

Save grief… lots of it

When you’ve started the home-buying process, there’s nothing worse than needing a mortgage but running into trouble qualifying for one. The major Canadian banks typically have the least lenient lending policies and can be especially befuddled by people with non-standard situations, such as those who are self-employed or those who are financing an investment property.

This is another area where mortgage brokers can help. With access to smaller, more specialized lenders on top of the big banks, your broker has a lot more options to get you the financing you deserve. Sometimes people find they can start with a short-term mortgage from a specialized lender then switch to a mainstream bank once they are more established. Mortgage brokers can make this type of scenario possible.

Some food for thought

Purchasing a home (whether it’s your first or not) is likely one of the largest financial decisions of your life, and a mortgage is a huge financial commitment. That’s why it’s generally a mistake to “jump the gun” and accept the very first offer that comes your way. There is zero risk in exploring a wider range of options outside of your local bank, and that often involves the aid of a mortgage broker. 

It’s important to keep in mind that mortgage brokers work on commission which is generally close to 1% of the value of your mortgage. So, for example, a $500,000 mortgage comes with a $5,000 commission cheque for the broker. This creates an incentive for them to get you the biggest mortgage they can. 

Here at Arch we work several leading mortgages brokerages and brokers across the country who can help get you into your first (or second) home by working closely with you to understand the full scope of your needs. If you’re looking for a mortgage broker to work with, our team can help connect you to the right firm and professional that will put your best interests forward. 

Becoming a first-time homebuyer_ Cash flow is everything and more

First-time homebuyer? Cash flow is everything

First-time homebuyers constantly face financial pressures, a lot of them. There’s the urgency to save for a down payment (which we can help with), the inevitable legal and closing fees, and moving costs, to name a few.

But there’s one really major financial pressure that many new homeowners find themselves under – the cash crunch in the early days after getting the keys to their new home. It’s not uncommon for first-time homebuyers to have next to little money left over after moving into their new home. In fact, it’s very common. This creates a ton of stress and turns the short-lived excitement of a new home into tremendous anxiety. 

This alone is just one of the many reasons why we’re supporting first-time homebuyers by providing the down payment

In addition to the tireless amount of saving you’ve done to buy your first home, it’s super important to understand the upcoming expenses and make sure that you have sufficient cash-flow to pay for them. 

But just how much should you tuck away to pay for these expenses? Traditionally, experts have recommended saving the equivalent of three months’ salary for any expenses related to moving into a new home. Now while this might seem like a bit of a stretch, you should actually consider saving even more than that. Here’s why:

First-year surprises

When a friend of mine first bought her first home, the first thing she noticed was the bills. In the first year she was getting a steady stream of letters from various organizations demanding money for this and for that. Just about every utility that serviced the home had an account transfer fee. Even the municipality charged a change of ownership fee for the property taxes.

Then there’s the chance of unexpected surprises that [do] happen on closing. We’ve all heard the horror stories of sellers taking all of the light bulbs with them, or leaving the home full of garbage that needed to be hauled away – unfortunately, these situations happen. Chances are most of these expenses will be relatively small, but having a solid amount of money tucked away and additional cash on hand will help keep these annoyances from becoming disasters.

Things break

When you own a home, you become the newly appointed landlord. That means there’s no one to call when things go wrong or break. And, unless your new home is newly constructed, there’s also no warranty.

The minute you get your keys, the home – and everything in it – becomes your responsibility. Things will break, and it’s possible that a major component of the house could fail even on the first day you own it. Your furnace could fail. So could your air conditioner, water heater, washing machine, dryer, dishwasher, oven or refrigerator. Sounds expensive right? That’s because it is. 

Insurance won’t help, either. Your home insurance is intended to cover you in the event of a major loss- a fire, theft, or vandalism. It doesn’t protect you against broken down appliances or general wear and tear.

 Again, having a solid amount of money tucked away and additional cash-flow will help keep these major expenses from completely busting your budget.

Mortgage payments are non-optional

We would never recommend paying your rent late, and for obvious reasons. Your credit can take a hit, and you could even be evicted from your home. You’re almost certain to lose your deposit on top of  being sued for the amount you owe. It’s just not a good situation whatsoever, but the repercussions are fairly self-limiting.

However, when you own your home, everything is at stake. If you fall too far behind paying your mortgage, the lender (or mortgage insurer) can evict you from your home and sell it to recover what you owe them. In certain provinces with power of sale, money left over after all of their expenses and fees will be returned to you. In provinces with foreclosure, you lose everything no matter what.

In both cases, if the home sale doesn’t cover all of what you owe, you remain completely liable for the difference. And in the absolute worst case, you could have to declare bankruptcy, which has a long-lasting effect on your ability to get any sort of credit. 

Having a sizable amount of savings tucked away can help prevent this situation in a few ways. In the worst-case scenario, your savings (let’s call it an emergency fund) can help you keep making mortgage payments while you sell your home on your own terms.

Added tip: By having access to the full down payment amount through ARCH you’ll be able to lower the total amount owing on the home, meaning that your monthly mortgage payments (and interest) will be considerably lower. This means you’ll have more cash on a monthly basis to tuck away in a savings and emergency fund. 

Credit will be harder to come by – at least at first

When you buy a home you can expect your credit score to take a hit, at least at first. Couple that with having recently moved (and a recent job change, if you’ve moved for work), and you are suddenly no longer an ideal candidate for borrowing any sort of money. Your savings (and cash-flow) can help carry you through this period after buying a home when it may be harder to get approved for traditional types of loans. 

Fortunately, if (and when) you make all of your mortgage payments on time, your status as a homeowner could actually make it easier for you to borrow money in the future.

Cash-flow is king

Having a sufficient amount of savings and additional cash on a monthly basis isn’t just a good idea, it’s absolutely necessary when you’re on your way to becoming a new homeowner. Having some extra savings can make the transition to ownership easier, and it can make the early days of having your own home a lot less stressful, too.

4 benefits brokers and agents gain from using ARCH down payment program

4 benefits brokers and agents gain by using ARCH

The ever-rising housing costs and regulations around purchasing a home in Canada not only makes the dream of home ownership difficult for first-time home buyers, but it also makes the role of real-estate professionals ever-challenging.

When your clients are faced with rules and regulations that become obstacles, it means you’re also faced with figuring solutions that fit their situation, and will actually benefit them in the long run. 

One of the major challenges that has become a topic of discussion across the Nation, is down payment requirements. To no surprise, most Canadians have the liquidity to take on and carry mortgage costs, but they lack sufficient funding to put upfront for the down payment.

And if you’re clients have been faced with this, which is probably likely, you’ll know all too well how disheartening it can be for individuals and young families looking to get into their first home. 

Well, we’ve got good news!

We’re actively partnering with local real-estate networks, agents, as well as mortgage brokers and agents who are looking for new, alternative, and innovative ways to help their clients get into their first home.

The reason is quite simple.

Working together means we can help more first-time home buyers achieve their goal of becoming home owners. And without having to feel like they’ve been stretched too thin.

By partnering with us you’ll gain immediate benefits that will both help you continue to grow your business as well as make your clients happy.

Here are 4 benefits that you’ll gain:

1. Help your clients get more value

Partnering with ARCH means that you’ll help your clients access a legitimate source of funding for the down payment. Which is exactly what they’ve been looking for.

That means your clients can take a deep sigh of relief knowing they won’t have to save every penny of theirs to come up with the 5% minimum, because they’ll now have the full amount. And you know what that means? It means they won’t have to settle on the size or amount of a home, because their approval amount will likely increase as a result of having the full amount for a down payment.

And it also means that you can now become the real-estate superhero your clients have been dreaming of.

2. Convert renters to homeowners

Partnering with ARCH means that you’ll have confidence in offering home ownership support to your clients that are currently stuck, or at least feel like they’re stuck, in the rental market.

It’s time to help your clients stop paying for someone else’s mortgage and create the opportunity for them to start building their own equity.

3. Re-engage with past, previously unprepared clients

 Chances are you have dozens, if not even hundreds, of potential clients who became interested in purchasing their first home, but fell short due to the down payment requirements.

Well, now you can start re-engaging with past clients who weren’t quite ready to make the commitment due to this barrier, letting them know that the wait is up and that home ownership is calling their name. 

4. Access a trusted, professional network

When you partner with ARCH, you gain access to the various real-estate organizations that we work with, in addition to our network of qualified first-time home buyers.

We’re focused on a win-win-win approach.

The better we can help your clients gain comfort in the home buying process, the better we are able to help them reach their real estate dreams. 

Getting your clients into their first home

There’s no argument that saving up for the down payment is one of the major challenges most Canadians are struggling with when it comes to purchasing their first home.

But it doesn’t have to be, not anymore.

By having access to the full down payment through ARCH’s program, we are able to help your clients reach home owner status.  

4 direct benefits you gain from using ARCH for the down payment on your first home

4 direct benefits you get by using ARCH

With the ever-rising housing costs and the regulated requirements around purchasing a home in Canada, the dream of home ownership seems like it’s becoming a [very] one for nearly every first-time homebuyer.

While most Canadians can actually afford the monthly payments required to take on a mortgage, they lack one of the biggest components of the entire home buying process:

The required down payment.

What once used to be considered a normal thing of having the full down payment at the time of purchase, has now become a huge financial hurdle – and certainly the biggest one when it comes to purchasing that first home of yours.

Let’s put it this way…

Did you know that nearly 50% of all renters in Canada have less than a total of $5,000 to their name?

That’s hardly enough to cover just the closing costs alone.

To say it’s a massive problem is a bit of an understatement.

Even more so, the traditional ways of coming up with a down payment (savings, loans, gifts) aren’t quite as “accessible” as they once used to be.

And that’s exactly why we’ve created a new way to help first-time homebuyers just like yourself to come up with the required (and full) down payment.

Having the full down payment will multiply your benefits as a new home owner. Here are 4 direct benefits you’ll gain:

1. Get into the housing market quicker

With having access to the full amount for a required down payment, it’s [finally] time to start feeling better about the homebuying process.

As long as you’ve had those conversations with your mortgage broker and even real-estate agent, you’re ready to make the move into the housing market.

There’s no more waiting until you’ve saved at least 5% for the down payment, because you’ll have 20%. Which means you won’t need to worry about how much the marketing will increase before you’re ready to buy, because you’ll be ready to buy.

There’s no time like the present, and we’re here to help guide you.

2. Stop paying someone else’s mortgage, start building your equity

It’s finally time to stop paying rent and funding someone’s mortgage on a property that will continue to go up in value over the course of even just 5 years.

Instead, it’s time to focus on paying off your mortgage and start building your equity so that you can not only feel good about owning your home, but so that you can start building your future wealth.

3. Lower your monthly payments

 Our goal isn’t to help you out with a small portion of the down payment, it’s to make sure that you’re putting down 20% of the required down payment.

In other words, our job is to make sure that you have the full down payment.

By having the full amount to put down towards your future home, the total amount of the mortgage you’ll take on significantly decreases.

Meaning what exactly?

Ultimately, that means you’ll be paying considerably less on a monthly basis, and you’ll even avoid having to pay any sort of mortgage loan insurance that’s required to pay for anything less than a down payment of 20%. Which means, you guessed it, your monthly payments will go down even more.

Here’s the tough part…

Deciding what you’ll do with that extra money you’ll have every month. Are you focused on building your investments, saving for annual vacations, or paying off your mortgage quicker?

4. Avoid paying unnecessary interest

One of the best benefits is that you’ll pay considerably less in interest overtime.

For starters, you’re not taking on any sort of additional monthly loans to help fund your down payment. With ARCH, you pay back the initial investment when you later sell your home.

That means you won’t be taking on any monthly payments (or interest) other than what’s tied to your mortgage.

Additionally, by being able to take on a smaller mortgage, you’ll immediately decrease the total amount owing on your home, your monthly payments, and the interest you’re paying on that loan.

It’s like a win-win-win situation… but possibly even better.

Getting into your first home

There’s no argument that saving up for the down payment is one of the major challenges most Canadians are struggling with when it comes to purchasing their first home.

But it doesn’t have to be, not anymore.

By having access to the full down payment through ARCH Foundations, not only will we help you when it comes to the down payment portion, you’ll also get the rest of the benefits that come along with putting up the full amount.

Finally, something to feel better about when it comes to purchasing your first home.