25 May

Why Use a Mortgage Broker During COVID-19 Restrictions?


Posted by: Jenni MacDonald

Going to your Bank is a hard habit to break.  We are used to going to our bank for all things mortgage, but is this really the best option when you are searching for a mortgage during the COVID-19 restrictions?

Here are some reasons that my clients would recommend using the services of a Mortgage Broker:

1. Reduces Your Stress – A Mortgage Broker can complete the full application process online and with phone and text so there is no need to leave your home or stand in a separate line up at your branch.  We can collect your paperwork via email and fax and text.  We keep in good communication with you (often even late nights and weekends!) so that there are no surprises on closing day.

2. Saves You Time and Gives You More Options – Mortgage Brokers have relationships with many lenders. We work with lenders you have heard of and some you probably haven’t.  Mortgage Brokers already know most of the products that are out there to choose from so you don’t have to spend the time researching them yourself and wondering if there is something better somewhere else.  Also, mortgage payments can come from any of your existing accounts so there is no need to change your regular banking habits no matter which lender you decide to work with.

3. Finds a Lender That Will Consider Your Current Income – Not all lenders will accept income that is not guaranteed during COVID-19 restrictions, so your branch may not be able to approve you until your income is back to normal.  A Mortgage Broker has access to lenders that will accept your pre- and post- COVID-19 income.

4. Saves You Money – Mortgage Brokers often have access to rate discounts because of a high volume.  In many cases, a Mortgage Broker can get you a better rate at your branch than you can.

5. Services Are Free and Your Opinion Matters – Mortgage Brokers are paid by the lender and not by you.  If you, as a client, are happy, you will tell your friends about the service. Mortgage Brokers rely on referrals to succeed in their business so your opinion of their service will always matter.

6. Studies Mortgages and are Regulated – When you visit your local bank branch, you meet with someone that is well versed in all of the products available to you from that branch.  Their training includes a broad spectrum of products so that they can offer you the best product for your needs.  When you work with a Mortgage Broker, you are working with someone that has studied only mortgages and has completed annual mandated courses that are required to maintain a license to sell mortgages.

7. Have Access To Private Lender Options – There are specific situations (especially to get through the COVID-19 restrictions) where a short term private mortgage may be needed to get through.  Mortgage Brokers have access to Private Lenders that will accept less stringent documentation than a Bank will to approve a mortgage.

8. Considers All Situations – As Mortgage Brokers, we see every scenario out there. Damaged credit, low household income, low net worth might be a deterrent for the bank, but a Mortgage Broker knows lenders that consider all types of unique situations.  A plan and strategy are usually suggested to make sure there is a mortgage option available in the future.

Rather than traveling to your Bank, why not try a Mortgage Broker now?

If you are interested in finding out more, I’d be happy to look at your mortgage options with you.

📲View current mortgage rates

📲Apply for a mortgage

11 May

Need Some Funds To get Through the Devastation of COVID-19?


Posted by: Jenni MacDonald

A refinance can help!

This is a challenging time for many of us.  But help is out there.  If you’re struggling financially, a refinance might net you some extra cash.

Refinancing Your Home

While the Government and Banks have provided some programs to help with cash flow through this difficult time (please contact your lender for a 6 month deferral of your mortgage payment if you need it), you may still need some extra funds to make it through. With the uncertainty of when our economy will recover from the devastation of the Coronavirus (COVID-19), you may be wondering if you can use some of the equity in your house to help with your other monthly commitments.


Whether it’s for some new furniture, some house upgrades or to cover some monthly costs, the new mortgage rules allow a maximum amount of up to 80% of the appraised value to be available for a refinance.  If you qualify, the rates will not be the advertised rates that you see from major lenders.  Typically, the rate for a refinance mortgage is about 0.3 – 0.4% higher than the advertised rates on a 5-year fixed term.  You also have the option of getting an extended amortization of 30 years to help offset the higher monthly payments.  The longer amortization may also help with having to qualify the payments at 2% over the interest rate you will pay (stress test).  However, if you have been laid off due to COVID-19, some lenders may not accept your income at this time.  We do have a list of lenders that are still accepting income from clients that are on temporary COVID lay-offs.


If you are refinancing your first mortgage and it is not time to renew yet, there will probably be a penalty.  The amount of the penalty will vary so your best option is to call your current lender and ask what the penalty would be to payout the current mortgage.  The other possible costs with refinancing a first mortgage is an appraisal (Cost around $350) and legal fees to discharge the current mortgage and register the new mortgage (Cost around $1200).


In rare cases, you may need to consider looking at a private mortgage in a new first mortgage position or getting a private second mortgage.  Private mortgages in first position are usually at higher rates (8% – 10%  plus fees).  Private mortgages in second position are even higher at 12% – 15% interest plus fees.


If you are over 55 years of age and have limited income and owe less than 50% of the value of your home, you may want to consider a CHIP Reverse Mortgage.  This option has become the best choice for some clients that have lost their part-time jobs.  Please contact me for details regarding your specific situation to make sure it is the best option for you.

While I don’t always recommend a refinance; in specific cases, it may be your best financial option to get through a crisis.  Getting good advice from a Mortgage Broker is the best first step to make when you are considering the refinance option.

If you are interested in finding out more, I’d be happy to look at your mortgage options with you.

📲View current mortgage rates

📲Apply for a mortgage