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Mortgage Forces busts 5 common myths about home mortgage loans

Danny Saikaley, the founder and president of Mortgage Forces, an Ottawa-based broker that specializes in securing loans for members of the military, debunks mortgage myths he hears on a daily basis from his customers that don’t know the ins and outs of the business like he does.

“Most people only ever negotiate one or two mortgages in their lifetime,” he said. “We do it every day.”

In the past five years, Saikaley has served more than 5,000 customers nationwide who are military members, reservists, veterans and Department of National Defence employees, and he’s often confronted by his customers’ incomplete knowledge of how mortgages work. Here are some of the most common myths he encounters:

Myth #1: You must have at least a 10 per cent down payment in order to purchase a home in Canada.
“The Canadian Mortgage and Housing Corporation sets the rules for what they will insure,” said Saikaley, “and they have changed the rules for houses valued below $1 million. You can still put a five per cent down payment on houses worth $500,000 or less. When the price goes over $500,000, the minimum down payment is still five per cent. It only goes up to 10 per cent for the amount over that first $500,000.”

In the past five years, Mortgage Forces has served over 5,000 customers nationwide.

Myth #2: A down payment for a mortgage has to come from your own savings.
“Some people don’t know that they can borrow their down payment,” explained Saikaley. “Mortgage Forces has access to lenders who can give people money for the down payment on a house with a loan or line of credit, as long as they qualify for it. Some people wonder how their friends come up with $20,000 for a down payment on a house. The truth is not many people do it on their own because they borrowed it.”

Myth #3: You will always get the best mortgage rates at the bank where you have your chequing account.
“If that was the case, Mortgage Forces wouldn’t exist because people wouldn’t bother to come to us for a higher rate,” joked Saikaley. “It costs a lot to run a bank branch. They are very profit driven and have monthly quotas. It’s cheaper for banks to pay Mortgage Forces to find customers for them than it is for them to do it on their own, and it’s not just one bank that deals with us; they all do.”

Myth #4: You must get your mortgage from the same lender you were pre-approved with.
“A pre-approval is like a security blanket that holds a mortgage rate in case they rise suddenly. Some banks offer them and others don’t,” said Saikaley “It doesn’t bind you to anything. Only when you sign for the house and pick up your keys are you obligated to pay a mortgage. People don’t apply for a pre-approval because they think it will affect their credit ratings, but it is in no way an obligation.”

Mortgage Forces is an Ottawa-based broker that specializes in securing loans for members of the military.

Myth #5: Mortgage brokerages charge borrowers a commission fee.
“We don’t charge fees,” said Saikaley. “We have partnerships with the banks and they pay us directly.”

For more information on mortgages visit

This story was created by Content Works, Postmedia’s commercial content division, on behalf of Mortgage Forces.

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