A lot has been said about Thursday’s budget announcement. From Flaherty’s shoe selection to a vague job-training program, many Canadian’s were left slightly confused following the much-anticipated announcement.
With that being said, Flaherty’s eighth (and potentially final) budget announcement could have been worse, especially for the mortgage industry. Thursday’s budget included a tightening of controls on mortgage lending once again, as well as another promise to further limit lender access to bulk mortgage insurance. While this will inconvenience some lenders, it’s actually good news for taxpayers. The announcement is just the latest in a long line of moves from the Finance Department that touch on concerns over the housing market. As Canadian’s continue to sink themselves deeper into household debt, Flaherty once again verbalized his mounting anxiety over interest rates. Read more
Investing in property has long been a great way to diversify your portfolio and improve your long term returns.
Unfortunately, recent rule changes have changed the playing field for many potential real estate investors. While buyers used to be able to purchase an investment property with very little down and still receive a great rate, current hiccups in the market and changes to legislation are making it more difficult for investors to get in the game. Read more
Mortgage brokers are expected to be honest when it comes to providing their customers with financial advice. It’s their job, after all, to find you the best possible rate based on your unique financial situation. But, as with any other position of authority, there are always a few bad apples in the bunch. If you’re shopping for a mortgage rate, never assume that just because your broker has a friendly face, that he or she is looking out for your best interests.
Educate yourself in order to avoid less-than-ethical mortgage brokers. Remember, mortgage brokers are usually paid by the lender for referring customers and processing applications. This compensation varies based on the lender and the mortgage type. As such, it’s difficult for many brokers to resist the temptation of a higher commission for recommending a certain product. The following are five important conflicts to discuss with your broker the next time you’re shopping for a new rate. Read more
It’s no secret that the banking industry operates in a regulatory environment. Bankers and advisors are required to adhere to strict rules and restrictions… except when it comes to mortgages. According to Samantha Gale, a former mortgage regulator with B.C.’s Financial Institutions Commission and chief executive officier of the Mortgage Brokers Association of British Columbia, individual bank mortgage reps, unlike mortgage brokers and agents, operate outside of regulatory boundaries.
In fact, most banks set their own mortgage recommendations and compensation agreements themselves.
Consumer protection differs greatly between brokers and bankers. Since bank employees are the ones recommending the mortgage product, or an alternative lender, and these banks aren’t required to abide by the same broker regulations, there’s nothing stopping them from doing what they please.
Which begs the question, just whose interests are these bankers looking out for? Read more