How to Handle the Increasingly Complex Canadian Mortgage Market

Hey everyone! Spring is officially upon us now, and that means longer days, warmer nights, and of course, the spring housing market! This is traditionally the busiest time of year for anyone involved with houses – real estate brokers, mortgage brokers (that’s me!), and most importantly, the homeowners and home buyers looking to find their new perfect place. It’s an exciting season, but there’s one problem – buying a house and finding the right mortgage is becoming more and more complicated.

In October 2016, the federal government announced new mortgage financing rules that subject all insured borrowers to a mortgage rate stress test against the Bank of Canada’s unrealistically high 5-year fixed rate, reducing the purchasing power of all Canadians looking to buy a new home. In December, the Office of the Superintendent of Financial Institutions (OSFI) introduced a wholly new framework for the capital requirements for federally regulated mortgage insurers, meaning that home buyers looking to secure a mortgage have to verse themselves in new rules for lending and borrowing in order to understand how their loans will play out over the next 30 years of their lives. Additionally in December, in B.C. specifically, a new Home Owner Mortgage and Equity Partnership program was launched whose potential effects could include increased consumer debt and the risk of rising home prices.

Whew. That’s a lot to take in, and that’s just a few months’ worth of changes!

And while those may have been a busy few months, they represent an important truth about the Canadian mortgage industry: it’s complicated, and it’s always evolving. I say that as someone whose job is to understand every nuance of this industry; simply following and comprehending the changing landscape of regulations makes for a full time profession! And while I love the work I do, I know that the mortgage industry can seem overwhelming to the average home buyer, who simply wants to find a fair loan at a fair price that fits their life and future expectations. Everybody deserves that, right?

I certainly believe they do, and that’s why I’m so passionate about my work as a mortgage broker. Because that’s what you get when you call me: knowledgeable, professional advice that’s custom-tailored to your unique situation. I’ve been doing this for years in Northern B.C., and my company Peace Country Mortgages has offices in Dawson Creek and Fort St John – open weekends. My number is (250) 782-9665, and my phone is always on. Last but not least, I get paid directly by my lenders, so utilizing my years of experience and thorough understanding of the mortgage industry doesn’t cost you a dime.

Now that’s what I call simple. Have a great week everyone, and enjoy the sunshine!

Lori Lalonde, Your Northern BC Mortgage Broker

How to Save Money on Your Mortgage

Hey everyone! I’m incredibly happy to announce that my company, Peace Country Mortgages, has officially opened our new office in Fort St John! I’d once again like to thank everyone who helped make this possible, and I hope that any of my readers in the area will come stop by and say hi. I’m looking forward to working with all of you (and getting some killer mortgages!) over the coming months and years.

But for now, let’s talk about how you can work for yourself. My number one piece of advice for anyone looking to save money on their mortgage is, of course, to give me a call – but that’s not all you can do. Here are a few of my favourite tips for getting the most out of your mortgage:

1) Build Your Credit

Having good credit is an absolute priority when trying to purchase a home, so you want to make sure you’re in a good financial position before you start looking for a mortgage. You can request access to your credit report (this link runs down exactly how to do that), but the principles of improving your credit score are pretty straightforward: always pay your bills on time and in full, pay your debts as quickly as possible, and stay under the credit limit on your credit cards. If that still sounds daunting, don’t worry! I have lots of experience helping Canadians establish or rebuild their credit, and I’d be happy to add you to that list. All the information you need is just a phone call away!

2) Get Pre-approved For A Mortgage

Getting pre-approved for a mortgage means filling out a mortgage application before you even go house hunting, which, if successful, means you’ll know exactly how much money you’ll realistically be able to spend on a home. More than that, it sends a clear message to sellers that any offer you put down is serious – and, most importantly, that it will be approved. Sometimes, that certainty is just the advantage you need to seal the deal!

3) Know What You Want, But Also What You Can Afford

Building off the previous tips, it’s important to be aware of what kind of mortgage is the best fit for your life. It’s a cliche to say that buying a house is the biggest investment you’ll ever make, but it’s cliche for a reason. You want to have a very clear picture of the amount of debt you can take on before you start looking for homes, because it’s a lot easier to find a house that fits your budget than to find a budget that fits your house. There are a lot of imperfect mortgages out there, and it’s easy to look at them and figure you can work out the details later. But if you put in the extra effort up front, you can get your perfect mortgage straight off the bat – because I promise, that’s out there too.

So what does that extra effort entail? That’s up to you, but I know what I would recommend: a single phone call to an experienced mortgage broker (my number, again, is (250) 782-9665). I know that sounds like cheating, since I said these tips were things you could do yourself – but the truth is that as a mortgage broker, I’ve consulted with hundreds of people in the exact same position as you. I have first-hand experience consulting on credit, securing pre-approved loans, and finding perfect mortgages. So sure, you could do it on your own – but why would you? Mortgage brokers get paid by lenders directly, so you don’t pay a dime. You get to have an experienced professional with you every step of the way, at no cost. The single best thing you can do for your mortgage is to take advantage of that!

On that note – have a great weekend, everyone! Hope to hear from some of you soon!

Lori Lalonde, Your Northern BC Mortgage Broker

How CMHC’s Increased Insurance Premiums Will Affect Your Mortgage

Hey everyone! The big news this week is that Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC), the most experienced mortgage loan insurer in the country, has announced that it’s “increasing its homeowner mortgage loan insurance premiums effective March 17, 2017.”

That sounds daunting, so let me break it down a little bit. In Canada, homeowners who put down less than 20% of the purchase price of their home are required by law to pay mortgage insurance (which protects the lender in case the homeowner defaults on the loan). The insurance premiums vary depending on the size of the down payment and the price of a home – this is called the loan-to-value ratio – and currently the standard premium ranges from 0.6% of the mortgage value (when the loan-to-value ratio is low) to 3.85% of the mortgage value (when the loan-to-value ratio is abnormally high). Starting March 17th of this year, the new range of those values will shift so that almost all premiums will be higher than they are today, with 4.5% of the mortgage value being the new upper limit.

CMHC to Increase Mortgage Insurance Premiums

So what does that mean for a mortgage insured under the new rules? According to CMHC (via CBC), it means very little: “It expects the changes announced Tuesday to work out to an extra $5 a month, on average, per borrower.” That doesn’t sound like much, but if you multiply it by the lifetime of a mortgage – it means an extra couple thousand dollars.

Here’s the good news: “Anyone who already has a mortgage or has applied for one will be grandfathered into the old rates.” That means that if you have a mortgage now, or apply for one before March 17th, you avoid this insurance premium increase entirely. If you’ve been thinking about it at all, or if you have any questions about how these new rules affect you specifically, I urge you to give me a call at (250) 782-9665. As a mortgage broker with years of experience dealing with shifting economic climates and constantly changing rules, I know exactly how to navigate the landscape to get YOU your perfect mortgage. It doesn’t cost you anything at all to ask for my advice, but it could save you thousands of dollars in the long run if you do. I get paid by lenders directly, so my only interest is finding you the right fit – and I guarantee I will.

On a final note, I have some excellent news to share. My company, Peace Country Mortgages, is opening up a second office in Fort St John on February 1st! We’re super excited to be a part of the community, and if any of my readers live in the area, please stop by to say hi! On behalf of myself and my entire team, I want to say that we’re looking forward to working with you all and getting as many good mortgages into as many good hands as possible. See you all real soon!

Lori Lalonde, Your Northern BC Mortgage Broker

Happy New Year! What You Need to Know New Interest-Free Loans For First-Time B.C. Homebuyers

Happy New Year 2017!

Happy New Year everyone! First and foremost, I want to say thank you to Dawson Creek for another successful year in business. The support of this community means the world to me, and I look forward to another year of helping people find their perfect mortgages.

And now, back to business. In December I wrote a 2016 Year End Mortgage Update, thinking that would be my last post of a year just full of changes in the mortgage industry. Turns out there was one last bit of news I should have held out for, because the day after I published that year-end round-up, the B.C. government announced the Home Owner Mortgage and Equity Partnership program. In a nutshell, this new program aims to “help first-time homebuyers cover the cost of a mortgage down payment with an interest-free loan” (via CBC).

This is an important shift in the B.C. mortgage market, so it’s important B.C. homebuyers understand all the facts. From the official press release: the B.C. HOME Partnership program will provide first-time homebuyers “up to $37,500, or up to 5% of the purchase price, with a 25-year loan that is interest-free and payment-free for the first five years.” With that goal, the province is planning to invest “about $703 million over the next three years to help an estimated 42,000 B.C. households enter the market.” As premier Christy Clark puts it: “Our B.C. government wants to be your partner, if you want to buy your first home.”

As noble a goal as that is, and as helpful as it could prove to be for first-time homebuyers, the HOME Partnership program isn’t necessarily a great solution to the problem of skyrocketing home prices. There are two main issues that will follow these new interest-free loans: increased debt and the risk of rising prices. About the former, B.C. NDP housing critic David Eby says this (again via CBC):

“The risk of attacking this problem by encouraging people to take on more debt instead of providing more affordable housing is that people will be at increased risk of default if interest rates go up.”

In other words, this short-term solution could end up being a long-term problem. That said, it’s also worth noting that the B.C. government “has committed $855 million over five years, including $575 million this year, to support the construction or renovation of 4,900 units of affordable housing throughout the province.” Until this new program has had some time to establish itself, it’s hard to say how difficult it will be for its applicants to manage their debt – especially considering how the program is already targeting “a very privileged set of people” (according to sociologist Nathanael Lauster in an incisive analysis).

The second potential problem – the risk of rising home prices – is summed up nicely by UBC Sauder School of Business economist Tom Davidoff as “too much demand chasing too little supply”:

“People are going to bid exactly what they are willing to pay. Now you tell them you are going to give them more money … and it encourages them to bid more for the property. So to the extent you have multiple first-time home buyers bidding on the property, all this does is hand money to the property owner.”

Basically, if homebuyers suddenly have more money to spend, home sellers suddenly have more money to ask for, and property owners pocket taxpayer money with no tangible benefit for consumers. More likely to happen is that these loans will spark more first-timers to buy, which might drive up prices slightly but could still end up being a net positive. Again, we’ll have to monitor the situation for a few months before saying anything for sure – and I’ll be watching closely.

My personal opinion is that the B.C. government is focusing on addressing issues that exist mainly in the lower mainland, where housing prices are a lot higher. Here in northern B.C., where prices are more reasonable, I believe these new loans stand to really benefit first time home buyers. For all my clients and readers in Dawson Creek, Fort St. John, or anywhere else up north, this could prove to be a fantastic opportunity.

The B.C. government will start accepting applications for the HOME Partnership program on January 16, 2017. If there are any of you out there looking to buy your first home, especially up north, please give me a call at (250) 782-9665. I can answer all your questions about the process, run you through your options, and make sure that you get your perfect mortgage. That’s my only goal as a mortgage broker, and it will remain my only goal no matter how many new programs and regulations get introduced in this province. And remember, it costs nothing to give me a call! My phone is always on, because people always need mortgages.

On that note, Happy New Year! Let’s get out there and make 2017 the best year it can be!

Lori Lalonde, Your Northern B.C. Mortgage Broker

Your 2016 Year End Mortgage Update

Hey everyone! Your Northern BC Mortgage Broker Lori Lalonde here, long overdue for a blog post. It’s been a tumultuous year for all sorts of industries – including Canadian mortgages – but I’ve tried my best to walk you through all the changes that came our way in 2016.

That’s the essence of my job as a mortgage broker: I keep up with the latest, process shifts in regulations, the economy, or both, and filter all that information through the unique situations of my clients to give them the best, unbiased, professional advice I can offer – otherwise known as their perfect mortgage. Crazy as this year has been in a lot of ways, I’ve stuck to that driving goal of helping Canadians and have enjoyed one of the most rewarding and successful periods of my career. In fact, my company Peace Country Mortgages is opening its second office – in Fort St. John – on New Year’s Day! I’m very excited by this opportunity to better serve such a wonderful community, and I’ll have a lot more to say about that come the new year. For now, let’s look back at mortgages in 2016 and see where the markets are going now:

In January and February, Canadian mortgage interest rates hit an all time low, and that’s a trend we’ve seen continue pretty much all year. Shortly after, in April, BC’s Financial Institutions Commission began implementing “improved disclosure measures for mortgage brokers in British Columbia” – in other words, making sure BC consumers knew how mortgage brokers were getting paid (though naturally, those measures don’t apply to mortgages offered through the Big 6 Banks, who have shown time and time again that they don’t have consumers’ best interests at heart). How mortgage brokers get paid is something I’ve written about extensively before, but the gist of it is so simple and so pro-consumer that it’s worth repeating as often as possible:

For the majority of people making use of brokers, they get their perfect mortgage at no personal cost.

I know it sounds too good to be true, but that’s how 99% of my deals turn out. You have nothing to lose by using a professional, and everything to gain!

In May I explained why BC’s Buyers Market and Oil Boom made it such a great time to be buying a house in Northern BC (and the sheer quantity of mortgages I’ve brokered this year simply reaffirm that point!). In October we got wind of some more big regulation changes, in the form of abrupt new federal financing rules that decreased consumer purchasing power. Most recently, the surprise election of Donald Trump in the US is having an impact on international bond markets, and borrowing is becoming more expensive. The fact of the matter is that sooner rather than later, those record low interest rates we’ve been enjoying in Canada are about to start inching up.

But don’t worry! If you’re looking at getting a mortgage in 2017 or are worried about how your current mortgage might be affected by these changes, now is the time to pick up the phone and call me (at (250) 782-9665 – my phone is always on). I’ve had years of experience as a mortgage broker in this country, and managing market changes is a fundamental part of my job description. Trust me when I say that none of this is unprecedented, and my goal of getting Canadians their perfect mortgage remains rock steady. Remember, asking me for advice costs you absolutely nothing, and I have only your best interests at heart. I’ll always do my best to walk you through your options and find you the one that works best for you and your personal situation, and that will remain as true in 2017 as it did in 2016. Your perfect mortgage is out there, and I want to help you get it.

This is my last post of the year, so I want to thank all of my readers and everyone in Northern BC who made 2016 so memorable for me. I have great expectations for 2017 and couldn’t be more excited to tackle it with all of you. Until then, have a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!

I’ll see you in January!

Lori Lalonde, Your Northern BC Mortgage Broker

Canada’s New Mortgage Financing Rules: What You Need to Know

Hey everyone! Last week the federal government announced new mortgage financing rules that come into effect in just a few days, on October 17th 2016. The goal of these new rules is “to ensure a healthy, competitive and stable housing market for all Canadians,” but the fact remains that measures this drastic will have widespread effects – some of them not so good. The point of this post is to bring you up to speed with how these changes will affect you, whether you’re a long-time homeowner, just starting out, or in the market for a better mortgage.

The gist of the new financing rules is this: your purchasing power as a consumer is going to decrease. Stricter lending policies mean that the mortgage you can today is going to be better than the mortgage you can get next week – take this simple example from

A family with $100,000 of income that saved up $40,000 for a down payment can afford a $665,000 home today. After Oct. 17, when the new stress test rules kick in, that same family can only afford a $505,000 home. That’s a difference of $160,000, representing a 24% drop in affordability.

That’s pretty drastic, and it’s not the only change. There are three main points to the new financing rules, the most important of which is that from now on, all insured borrowers will be subject to a “mortgage rate stress test.” This means that your ability to pay off an insured mortgage will be based on the Bank of Canada’s posted five-year fixed rate, which is currently at 4.64% – substantially higher than the rates you can get through a mortgage broker like myself. In brief, the mortgage you’ll be able to get going forward will be significantly less than the mortgage you can theoretically afford. Note that if you have or are planning to renew an existing insured mortgage, these changes thankfully won’t affect you.

The two other points will be less noticeable to the average Canadian, but are equally important. To sum them up, the rules regarding “the exemption from capital gains tax on the sale of a principal residence” are being tightened, and “the Government will launch a consultation process… [on] a potential policy option that would require mortgage lenders to manage a portion of loan losses on insured mortgages that default.” Both these policies will have direct and indirect effects on the types of mortgages lenders will be willing to offer in the future.

“Canada’s housing agency says it’s too early to tell what impact the incoming rules are having on home-buying decisions” (via That may be true, but as a seasoned mortgage broker I can promise you that an impact is already underway. If you’re at all worried about the new changes, or you want a more personalized rundown of how they’ll affect you and your unique situation, then I urge you to give me a call at (250) 782-9665. My phone is always on, and I can help you figure out your best options. Regardless of whether or not you’re happy with the new regulations, your perfect mortgage is still out there – and I want to get it for you.

In the meantime, here’s a simple chart you can use to figure out what you might expect come October 17th:

New Canadian Mortgage Financing Rules

See you on the other side!

Lori Lalonde, Your Northern BC Mortgage Broker

The Real Value of Mortgage Brokers and Real Estate Agents

Hey everyone! It’s been a while since my last update, but that’s the Spring Housing Market for you. It’s hard to find the chance to write about mortgages when so many mortgages need to be inked themselves! But I’ve found a free moment for myself, and it’s the perfect time to talk about a topic that’s been on my mind for a while:

What are mortgage brokers and real estate agents really worth to a consumer?

That’s a tough question, because a lot of the time the value provided by people in those positions (myself included!) is difficult to quantify. There’s an excellent (if somewhat technical) article about this on Canadian Mortgage Trends, but the gist of the issue is that dollarization, “the practice of articulating the value (in dollars) that customers receive from… advice and assistance” is inherently challenging for a number of factors. The biggest roadblock in terms of mortgages and real estate is simply the enormity of the numbers at stake: specifically, the cost of purchasing a home and the extended duration of a mortgage makes it hard to pinpoint exactly which party provided what benefit where in the process.

And believe me, I understand that! In fact, confusion or uncertainty about what a mortgage broker does is one of the biggest hurdles my industry faces, and I deal with it every day. I’ve written extensively about what mortgage brokers do, how mortgage brokers get paid, and why mortgage brokers are better than going straight to the Big 6 Banks. The somewhat unfortunate truth is that posts like those are the best method I have of communicating the efficacy of my profession, simply because assigning a dollar amount to the value I bring as a broker is an incredibly complex equation that depends entirely on the specific person, home, time, and mortgage.

Let me put it another way: just like there’s no one-size-fits-all mortgage, there’s no one-size-fits-all way to say how much my services save you in the long run. All I can say is that I strive to bring every single one of my clients as much value as possible, and I don’t believe there’s a single case where using a broker would be detrimental to the process of securing a mortgage. I’ll say that again: it doesn’t matter how many dollars you ultimately end up saving, because using a mortgage broker will always bring you value – never take it away.

If you’re a little skeptical because I’m saying that as a mortgage broker, know that I believe the same to be true of using a real estate agent. In fact, one of the reasons I had the urge to write this post was because of all the recent media discussion surrounding the Vancouver housing market, much of which speculates that real estate agents are getting paid too much relative to the value they provide. Again, I totally disagree. I can speak from experience, because I’ve had the opportunity to work on both private sales and sales facilitated by a real estate agent, and I can tell you that the difference is night and day. With the latter, the process isn’t just as smooth as possible for the homeowner – it’s also as smooth as possible for me, the lawyer, and everyone else involved in the transaction. With private sales, all those parties have to work that much harder to do our due diligence, and it makes it a lot easier for something to go wrong. Something going wrong means more time, money, and stress, and that’s the last thing anyone needs when they’re transitioning their entire life to a new home.

As usual, I’ve gone on about this topic for longer than I meant to. Sorry! I’m just very passionate about helping Canadians get set up in their perfect homes, and I believe very strongly that making use of the services provided by mortgage brokers and real estate agents is the absolute best way to make that happen. I know it’s not always easy to quantify our value, but I promise you that it’s there. If you’re still doubtful – or if you have any questions – I urge you to call me any time at (250) 782-9665 to discuss it. My phone is always on, and my goal is to be worth as much as I can to everyone who calls me.

I’ll be waiting!

Lori Lalonde, Your Northern BC Mortgage Broker

Northern BC’s Buyer’s Market & Oil Boom: Two Great Reasons Why Now is the Time to Buy

Hey everyone! It’s been a while since I’ve written a new blog post, and that’s because the situation has been pretty hectic in Dawson Creek and Fort St. John these past few weeks. But for those of you who are looking for mortgages here (or even those of you who are just thinking about it!), the time has come for an update. To that end, I have information on two fronts: one, now is the time to be buying a house in Northern BC, and two, now is the time to be buying a house in Northern BC.

With me so far?

Okay, I know those points sound pretty similar, so let me break it down a little more. On the one hand, and as I’ve mentioned before, the falling price of oil and its impact on the Canadian economy has been leaving a pretty bleak impression in the minds of consumers over the past few months. And that’s perfectly understandable, even in light of the fact that Canadian mortgage interest rates are at an all-time low. That said, the net effect for prospective home-owners is actually positive, as the saturation of real estate listings has turned Dawson Creek and Fort St. John into textbook examples of a buyer’s market. Translation: if you’re looking for a home and a mortgage up here, now’s the best possible time to get them.

That was my first point. Let’s move on to second: Now’s a great time to be looking for a home and a mortgage up here.

As reported by the Business News Network just a few days ago, “B.C. is becoming an emerging oil basin thanks to wells drilled by Calgary oil-and-gas producer ARC Resources in the Tower region, about 40 kilometres south of Fort St. John.” Emphasis mine, and I stand by it: this is the start of new oil rush in the region, which is great news even given the current state of oil prices. It’s even better news if you consider how this might affect BC in the future – in the words of analyst Jeremy McCrae, “if oil prices start to come back here, especially given some of the results, watch for this… to have more growth than other areas.” In fact, McCrae says this new pool of oil could “prove to be as prolific as the best oil plays in Alberta and Saskatchewan.” In summary: if you’re looking for a home and a mortgage in Northern BC, now’s the best possible time to get them.

I hope I haven’t beaten that point into the ground yet, but I wanted to be sure to drive it home. I’ll be the first to admit that the situation in Dawson Creek and Fort St. John isn’t as prosperous as it was this time last year, but, counter-intuitively, that makes this the perfect time to be buying a home here. Not only do you have the upper hand as a buyer in a buyer’s market, but you’ll also be in the best possible position to profit once oil prices start to climb back up (and frankly it’s a good position even if they stay low).

And if you’re not sold on those points, that’s okay too! That’s why I’m here, and I urge you to call me at (250) 782-9665 and talk to me about it, any time you like. You can even visit me in my office in downtown Dawson Creek! I broker mortgages here for two reasons: one, I love helping people afford their perfect home, and two, I strongly believe that Northern BC is one of the best places to live. If you’re interested in the former and even slightly agree with the latter, well, what are you waiting for? Let’s talk!

Lori Lalonde, Your Northern BC Mortgage Broker

How BC Mortgage Brokers Make Money

Hey everyone! I hope you’re all enjoying the longer days and warmer weather, and as always I apologize for falling behind in these blog posts. I’ve been busy getting ready for the Spring Housing Market, but I just wanted to bring you all up to date on what’s going on in the Canadian mortgage world. Here goes:

For those of who you who might not have heard, there was confirmation a couple weeks ago that BC mortgage brokers will soon have to publicly disclose more information about how they get paid. This comes courtesy of Carolyn Rogers, Registrar of Mortgage Brokers and CEO of FICOM (BC’s Financial Institutions Commission), who said in an email to the media that her office “is proceeding with plans to implement improved disclosure measures for mortgage brokers in British Columbia.” Though the details of this implementation are still “underway,” the gist of it is that FICOM believes their plan will “[make] consumers aware of any potential conflicts of interest that may arise” (that’s in the words of Paul Taylor, CEO of Mortgage Professionals Canada).

And here’s the thing: improved disclosure measures for mortgage brokers sounds like a great idea in theory. In fact, I’ve written several articles about how I get paid for the sole purpose of clarifying the mortgage broker business model. It’s really not a complicated system at all, and let me sum it up right here in the simplest way possible: “99% of the time, the lender we send the deal to pays us directly.” For the majority of people making use of brokers, they get their perfect mortgage at no personal cost. The fact that that sounds too good to be true is exactly why BC consumers might be in favour of fuller disclosure from their mortgage brokers, and it’s hard to blame them for that.

So here’s the problem, as phrased by Canadian Mortgage Trends:

“Brokers from B.C. and across Canada… contend that the amount of money a broker earns on a deal is of little value to consumers without consumer education or context, and actually confuses some consumers into choosing higher-cost financing.”

That might seem counter intuitive, but to understand it you have to remember that the alternative to using a mortgage broker is going to one of the Big 6 Banks, and that these new full disclosure requirements do not apply to bank personnel. What that means is that a mortgage offered by a Big Bank might look more lucrative to a consumer than a better mortgage offered by a broker, simply because the broker’s commission disclosure skews the perception of both deals. Even RBC admits that this move is “directionally positive for banks”, and I don’t think I have to remind anyone how the banks don’t have your best interests at heart.

I’m not trying to say that consumers shouldn’t be aware of exactly how mortgage brokers make money – on the contrary, I want everyone to know that! But limiting disclosure to independent brokers, and having that disclosure be divorced from in-depth context and knowledge of the mortgage industry, is bad for Canadian consumers in the long run. But since these regulations are in the process of being implemented, it’s my duty to provide that context and knowledge, so that as many people can get their perfect mortgage as possible – be it through me, another broker, or even one of the Big Banks. To that end, here again are the links to my previous articles on how mortgage brokers get paid, and here again is my phone number that you can call at any time: (250) 782-9665. If you have any concerns or worries about how I get paid, or really any questions about mortgages in general, I urge you to give me a call and have those concerns put to rest.

As a final word on the subject, remember that mortgage brokers exist solely to make the mortgage process less painful for consumers. If we made things more difficult, or if we had a net negative result on your mortgage, we wouldn’t have our jobs.

Just something to think about as you’re checking out the Spring Housing Market!

Lori Lalonde, Your Northern BC Mortgage Broker

Worried About Mortgage Debt? Don’t Be! I’m Here to Help!

Hey everyone! Happy St. Patrick’s Day! I know most of you are probably looking to party tonight, so before you do, I want to try my best to ease some lingering worries you might have about your mortgages – just in case. Then it’s off to the races! Sound fair?

I bring this up now because, to be blunt, our economy has been hit pretty hard lately. Debt is a huge concern for a lot of people I talk to, and I’ve already assisted quite a few home owners with debt consolidation. That means mortgage refinancing, and if you’re at all worried about your ability to make payments on your current mortgage then it’s an option I strongly urge you to talk to me about. My team and I have already helped several families refinance their homes this year, and in consolidating their high interest debt they’ve been able to lower their overall monthly payments.

The good news is that interest rates in Canada are still ridiculously low, which means that now is the best possible time to be looking at new mortgages (or refinancing existing ones). Here are the specifics: if you have over 20% equity in your home, I strongly urge you to call me and see if this is the right course of action for your current situation. I’m here to help! Even if you’re just looking for a little knowledge or clarification, feel free to call me anytime. My number is (250) 782-9665, and I’m more than happy to help with any and all mortgage questions you might have. All I ask is that if you’re concerned about debt, please call me BEFORE you fall behind on your mortgage, credit card, or other payments. At the very least, let’s review your options. I’ve been able to help a lot of people consolidate their debt, and I would love to be able to help you too.

That number again is (250) 782-9665, and if you’re reading this on your phone, all you have to do is tap the link. It’s that easy!

I have to hope that between that sentence and this one, you picked up the phone and we sorted out any worries you had about your mortgages. After all, those St. Patrick’s Day parties are only a few hours away! Have fun everyone!

Lori Lalonde, Your Northern BC Mortgage Broker