One of the most important steps when buying property is securing a mortgage. I recommend getting pre-approved for a mortgage before you start looking for a new property, so you know exactly how much you can afford and to save you time later on when you make an offer on a home. For a first-time homebuyer, it can be difficult to know where to start when looking for a mortgage. What is the difference between a mortgage broker and a mortgage specialist? Should you look for a mortgage through your financial institution or through a different lender? Below I’ll discuss the differences between a mortgage broker and a mortgage specialist, and offer some recommendations for my clients looking for the right mortgage for them.

What is a Mortgage?

Simply put, a mortgage is a loan, usually supplied by a bank or a credit union, that is used to purchase real estate. Your loan is paid back to the lender in a monthly blended payment of interest and principal. There are many different kinds of mortgages to suit the needs of different homebuyers, and a mortgage professional can help you decide what kind of mortgage is the best for you. Read more about understanding your mortgage here.

What is a Mortgage Specialist?

A mortgage specialist is employed by a bank and works to secure a line of credit only with that particular financial institution. When looking for a mortgage, some people may prefer the convenience and simplicity of keeping all of their finances with one institution, especially if it’s somewhere they have been loyally banking for a long time. Securing a mortgage through a mortgage specialist also gives you the option of negotiating your own interest rate, though the rates offered through banks typically tend to skew higher than what other lenders may offer. While brand loyalty and simplicity may be offered by a mortgage specialist, you will not be able to shop around for the best interest rate and may not know what other (and possibly better) rates are offered by different mortgage lenders.

What is a Mortgage Broker?

 A mortgage broker is a licensed professional employed through an independent firm. A mortgage broker works as the middle-man between their client and the lending institution. Unlike a mortgage specialist, a mortgage broker isn’t confined to only one lending institution and has the ability to find the best mortgage for their clients because they have access to various lending institutions. And a mortgage broker’s expertise often comes free to their clients as a mortgage broker’s commission is typically paid to them by the lending institution! A mortgage broker offers competitive rates, flexible hours, and valuable expertise that a bank may not be able to offer their clients.

Below are five excellent mortgage professionals that I recommend to many of my clients looking to speak with someone about their mortgage options:

  • Jacquie Claggett at Bayfield Mortgage Professionals: 604-302-1502
  • Deryk Williamson & Alex McFayden at Thrive Mortgage Company: 604-398-5575
  • Jamie Slusarchuk at True North Mortgage: 604-751-6681
  • Doug Lifford at Doug Lifford Mortgage Services: 604-820-4572

What Is the Difference Between a Mortgage Broker and a Mortgage Specialist?

 A mortgage broker and a mortgage specialist will both work to get you the best mortgage they can, but the main difference between a mortgage broker and a mortgage specialist is the variety of mortgage products they can offer. A mortgage broker has access to a variety of lenders and can find a competitive interest rate for their clients, whereas a mortgage specialist is limited to products offered by their financial institution. If you are uncertain about which mortgage professional you want to work with, I suggest speaking with a few different mortgage brokers and mortgage specialists until you find the right fit.

A mortgage is a long-term commitment, and it’s important to be informed and to go over all of your options carefully before you sign on the dotted line. Whether you have questions about your mortgage options or would like to discuss the current value of your home, feel free to give me a call at 604 302 0177 — let’s talk!

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