23 Apr

Are Banks the only Place to Access a Mortgage?


Posted by: Amie Shackleton

More Options for Buyers to Obtain the Right Mortgage

As a mortgage agent, it is my job to provide the client with the best mortgage to suit their financial goals today a and will continue to suit their financial goals in the future.  When speaking with a client we analyze their current financial situation as well as finding out what their future goals are, then we match a mortgage to suit their needs.

As a mortgage agent I can offer a client a mortgage from a Bank, Monoline Lender, Alternative Lender, Trust Company,  Credit Union or a Private mortgage.

Today we are going to talk about Monoline Lenders.

What usually follows once someone hears the term “Monoline Lender” for the first time is a feeling of suspicion and lack of trust. It’s understandable, I mean why is this “bank” you’ve never heard of willing to loan you money when you’ve never banked with them before?

In an effort to help you see the benefits of working with a Monoline Lender, here is some basic information that will help you understand why you’ve never heard of them, why you want to, and the reason they are referred to as lenders, not banks.

Monoline Lenders only operate in the mortgage space. They do not offer chequing or savings accounts, nor do they offer investments through RRSPs, GICs, or Tax-Free Savings Accounts. They are called Monoline because they have one line of business- mortgages.

Why Haven’t I Ever Heard of my Lender?

This also plays into the reasons you never see their name or locations anywhere. There is no need for them to market on bus stop benches or billboards as they are only accessible through mortgage brokers.  Thus making their need to market to you unnecessary. The branch locations are also unnecessary because you do not have day-to-day banking, savings accounts, investment accounts, or credit cards through them. All your banking stays the exact same, with the only difference of a pre-authorized payments coming from your account for the monthly mortgage payment. Any questions or concerns, they have a phone number and communicate documents through e-mail.

Keeping More Money in Your Pockets.  Monoline Lenders can save you thousands of dollars in Penalties.

Monoline Lenders also have some of the lowest interest rates on the market, the most attractive pre-payment privileges, and the lowest pre-payment penalties, especially when compared to a bigger banks. If you don’t think these points are important, ask someone whose had a mortgage with one of these bigger banks and sold their property before their term was up and paid upwards of $12,000 in penalty fees. An equivalent amount with a Monoline Lender would be anywhere from $2,000-$4,000 in fees.

You deserve to have the best mortgage that could potentially save you thousands of dollars.   They are some of the most accommodating and client service-oriented lenders around! If you have any questions, don’t hesitate to contact me.

9 May

Going Firm


Posted by: Amie Shackleton

It’s a hot market out there, making it a great time to sell….but then wait, you now are a buyer that may feel like you are being forced to go in “firm” with your offer.

You have been to your bank and you, your realtor and the seller all think that you have been pre-approved to buy your dream home.

The offer goes in, and you, your realtor are thrilled, you won, your dream house is all yours.  You go into your bank to find out that there a few obstacles that were not discussed in your original pre-approval meeting. Suddenly there are issues, that were never brought to your attention and now you are scrambling to secure financing. 

Thorough Review is Needed Prior to Going ‘Firm’

Recently I met with a young couple that thought they were “pre-approved” by their bank.  Their bank never pulled a credit bureau and didn’t verify the client’s income prior to giving the clients the go ahead to purchase their new home.  To top it off the clients were not given all the information about the actual cost involved in the purchase of this home.

Fortunately, we were able pull this together for the clients after a few days of high stress for the client.  All of this could have been avoided for the client’s had their bank just taken a closer look at all the client’s details.

One of the many benefits of dealing with a mortgage broker with a great reputation.

The Banks Pre-Qualification is NOT a Pre-Approval

First, understand that if you are pre-approved by the bank you actually are not. You go out and buy thinking you are solid when it couldn’t be further from the truth.

You see, the banks do not pre-approve you like we doThe banks only pre-qualify you, meaning that they ask you for your income, crunch a few numbers and tell you verbally only what you can afford. That’s all. And that is not enough.

Get Your Pre-Approval from a trusted mortgage Professional

All this can be avoided if you get pre-approved by us at the lowest rate in Canada, in the first place. We verify your income, employment, credit and down payment in writing to ensure there will not be any surprises prior to you shopping for a house. We do a thorough analysis, you can count on, especially if you need to go firm on financing.  

When we pre-approve you, the only thing still outstanding is the property you buy, which must be marketable and in good condition. When these conditions are met, a smooth buying experience ensues.

With our pre-approval you can go out and buy with complete confidence.  You can bank on that!

Amie Shackleton



23 Sep

5 Common Mortgage Mistakes


Posted by: Amie Shackleton

Like many aspects of your life, obtaining a financing on a new or existing home can be a lot less stressful and a whole more straight-forward if you are prepared.  But if you are not prepared, there are many common mistakes you can make.  Most of these mistakes are easily avoidable with some preparation and informed advice – feel free to call or email with any questions or concerns!

Below are the top 5 Mortgage Mistakes people make when trying to find financing for their home:

Failing to choose the best Product for Their Situation:

There are many different types of mortgage loans available on the market.  There are fixed and variable rate products, hybrid and no-frills mortgages, lines of credit, term options, amortization choices, and much more.

And although having a choice, it can be quite overwhelming without expert advice.  While one person would benefit from a variable rate product, their neighbor may be better suited to a fixed rate product.  The key is to always explain your current situation and future goals in detail so we can select a product that best meets both your current and future needs.  The best rate does not necessarily mean it is the best product for you.

Automatically Renewing With Your Existing Lender:

Although you may feel and allegiance with your current financial institution that holds your mortgage, they may not be able to offer you the best choices.  When refinancing or renewing, it’s important to always shop the market for your best available options, much like you did when you applied for your first mortgage.  This ensures you end up with the best mortgage rate and terms customized to suit your unique situation.  In many cases your bank will offer you the posted rate in hopes that you’ll simply sign and return the commitment without shopping around.  Make sure you do your due diligence when refinancing and renewing.  After all, this your home, your mortgage and your money!

Signing Documents Without Reading Them

Never sign documents without reading them.  If you are unsure about something, always ask for clarification.  Remember that you’re the one entering into a law abiding agreement, so you need to read and understand and agree what is in the commitment.

Taking Your Credit to the Limit

Make sure that your credit balances are in your favour when it comes to your mortgage application.  Lenders are looking for an appropriate debt to income ratio.  In other words, you need to have more income than you have debt.  Avoid running up a balance on your credit cards and pay down existing debts as much as possible.

Failing to Plan Ahead

If you know that you’ll need to obtain, renew or refinance a mortgage, it’s essential to plan for it by ensuring your credit is in order.  If it’s not, start preparing.  Don’t make any purchases on your credit cards that you can’t pay off and if you carry a balance on your credit cards, start them down.  Refrain from making any large purchases before securing your mortgage.  If you’re planning to buy a car, wait until after you have secured financing, as your debt to income ratio will rise and you don’t want this to happen while trying to get a mortgage.

Understanding how the mortgage process works and how lenders qualify you loan will help you avoid the above mistakes.  As always, if you have any questions or concerns, need clarification we are just a phone call or email away. 

Amie Shackleton  |  519-949-1225  |  ashackleton@dominionlending.ca

14 Oct

Why Use a Mortgage Professional


Posted by: Amie Shackleton

Why Use a Mortgage Professional


There are generally two ways to get a mortgage in Canada: From a bank, or from a licensed mortgage professional.

While a bank only offers the products from their particular institution, licensed mortgage professionals send millions of dollars in mortgage business each year to Canada’s largest banks, credit unions, and trust companies … offering their clients more choice, and access to hundreds of mortgage products!

As a result, clients benefit from the trust, confidence, and security of knowing they are getting the best mortgage for their needs.

Mortgage professionals work for you, and not the banks; therefore, they work in your best interest. From the first consultation to the signing of your mortgage, their services are free. A fee is charged only for the most challenging credit solutions, and it’s especially under those circumstances that a mortgage professional can do for you what your bank cannot.

Whether you’re purchasing a home for the first time, taking out equity from your home for investment or pleasure, or your current mortgage is simply up for renewal, it’s important that you are making an educated buying decision with professional unbiased advice.