The Spring Housing Market is Here

Hey everybody! It’s that time of year again, and it’s finally starting to show! Not only has it been a great Spring Break, but the weather’s giving us all a break too. I don’t want to jinx it, but I think Winter’s gone for good (crosses fingers, knocks on wood, tosses salt over shoulder, etc).

In other words, the Spring Housing Market has arrived. With the gorgeous weather comes a whole slew of gorgeous homes, and now is the perfect time to browse around and buy your dream house. And that means that right now is the perfect time to talk to me, your mortgage professional. It’s a given that I’m gonna get you the lowest rate for your mortgage, but there’s so much more to it than that – and it’s never too early to give me a call. I’m always on top of the latest products and policies, so not only can I answer all the questions you have for me, but I can answer all the questions you might never have thought to ask. I have years of experience brokering mortgages in Northern BC and Alberta, so trust me when I say that if you need help with something – I know how to go about it.

And don’t forget that 99% of the time, my services are completely free! It doesn’t cost you a single cent to ask me for help, but it can end end up saving you thousands of dollars on your mortgage. If that sounds like a good deal to you, then pick up the phone any time: my number’s (250) 782-9665.

So what do you say, neighbours? Northern BC is looking particularly beautiful right now, and so are all those Spring Market houses. If that’s not enough to tempt you, then how about this quote from the Globe and Mail: “…the most notable mortgage trend for 2015 has been lower borrowing costs for home buyers.”

Have a great weekend everybody! My phone will be on the whole time.

Lori Lalonde, Your Northern BC Mortgage Broker

Home Buying Help (My Phone is Always On)

Hey everybody! It’s your friendly neighbourhood mortgage broker here. Today is the first day of Spring and that means the new house you’ve been eyeing is starting to look pretty warm and inviting… so there’s no better time to give me a call! Remember: I keep my phone on me all day, not just during business hours.

And another thing – I may be a mortgage broker, but that doesn’t mean I can’t help you with the other parts of buying and settling into your new home. Don’t know how to get started? Give me a call! Looking for a good real estate agent? I know plenty! Trying to decide on a new paint scheme? Okay, that might be a bit out of my area of expertise… but I’d be more than happy to weigh in!

The point is, my whole career is based on getting you the best mortgage and the best life I can – and it’s a career I’m very passionate about. I don’t want you to think of my services as another box to check when buying your dream home; I want you to think of me as a guide to help you out along the way. I will always go above and beyond for my clients, because we have the same end goal: making you as happy as possible. So no matter where you are in the process, if you need a helping hand… well, again, my phone is always on.

Have a great International Day of Happiness!

Lori Lalonde, Your Northern BC Mortgage Broker

How the Banks Turn a Profit in a Tough Economy (Hint: That Money Has to Come From Somewhere)

A little over a month ago I wrote this post in response to the Bank of Canada lowering the overnight lending rate by 0.25%, and the major banks’ lackluster response – namely, a measly 0.15% cut of their prime lending rate for consumers. As I mentioned, this was a slap in the face to Canadians across the country, who deserve a prime lending rate on par with the BoC’s cut for the banks.

To drive this point home, I thought I’d share this article from Steve Huebl and Robert McLister (who I quoted in that previous post), summarizing the profits of the Big 6 Banks over the first quarter of 2015. In fact, the first sentence is really all you need to know: “Canada’s big banks defied expectations for first-quarter earnings, despite the collapse in oil prices and its spinoff effects on consumer credit.”

Since quarter 4 of 2014:

  • BMO’s residential mortgage portfolio has gone up from $90.0 billion to $90.1 billion.
  • CIBC’s residential mortgage portfolio has gone up from $152 billion to $153 billion.
  • National Bank of Canada’s residential mortgages have gone up to $40 billion (from $37.7 billion the year previous).
  • RBC’s residential mortgage portfolio has gone up from $192 billion to $194 billion.
  • Scotiabank’s residential mortgage portfolio has remained even at $189 billion.
  • And lastly, TD’s residential mortgage portfolio has gone up from $173 billion to $175 billion.

There are plenty more stats in the article worth checking out, but the takeaway is this: the economic hardship in this country isn’t enough to slow the banks’ pursuit of profit. Their earnings have almost all risen in a time when our central bank has practically mandated they cool down. David McKay, President and CEO of RBC, is quoted as saying this about his bank’s decision not to follow the BoC overnight lending rate cut: “We are very happy with our volume growth and our revenue growth and our margins in a difficult operating environment around competition and lower rates. So I think it’s good performance by the business.”

As far as I’m concerned, good business doesn’t start and stop with maximizing profits. Good business means forming good consumer relationships that benefit both parties – and that’s the spirit with which I run Lori Lalonde Mortgages. And if that sounds better to you than getting taken for a ride by the bank, then I encourage you to give me a call at (250) 782-9665. Let’s do good business together.

Lori Lalonde, Your Northern BC Mortgage Broker

How Does a Mortgage Broker Get Paid?

Just recently, I had a potential client that was concerned about the fees I would be charging for my services. Of course this is a valid concern for any discerning new homeowner, but this particular client – like the vast, vast majority of my clients – had absolutely nothing to worry about. Here’s why, and I’m going to put it in bold because it’s probably the most important thing to keep in mind when deciding whether or not to hire a mortgage broker: 99% of the time, I don’t charge a single fee.

That’s right: most people don’t pay me a dime for my services. I know that sounds unbelievable, like maybe I’m tricking you into a bunch of hidden fees later on, but I can assure you that’s not the case (nor is it the case with any reputable mortgage broker in Canada). And that “99%” up there isn’t some exaggeration to get you to give me a call, either – if your credit is good enough to get a mortgage on your own, it’s good enough to get a better mortgage, with me, at no extra cost. Here’s how it works, plain and simple: all my lenders want your business, and all of them are willing to pay to get it. For my clients, this willingness to pay takes the form of drastically reduced interest rates. And for me, it takes the form of a commission paid to me by the bank.

That’s right: not only can I get the banks to offer you a better interest rate, but I can also get them to pay my fee. It’s an absolute win-win situation, or a win-win-win one if you take into account the bank’s new, reliable mortgage.

This is why making use of a mortgage broker is so beneficial, and why I would encourage everybody to use one no matter what (though of course, if you’re in Northern BC or Alberta, I would be thrilled to work with you personally). It’s not necessarily obvious why involving a third party in your new mortgage is a good idea, and I encounter misconceptions about mortgage brokers often (as in the example I described at the top of this post). But for almost everybody reading this, you have nothing to lose in giving me a call and asking for my help, and everything to gain in the form of an ideal mortgage. With no risk, no hassle, and no fees, there’s no reason not to use a broker. And as for me personally, my phone is on almost 24/7 – so you don’t even have to wait until morning to get the best mortgage you possibly can. That number again is (250)-782-9665.

Now, in the interest of removing misconceptions, I’ll explain why only 99% of my clients use my services at no cost. That remaining 1% reflects the small subset of people with bruised or damaged credit who are unable to get a traditional mortgage through the banks, but are still willing and able to get one elsewhere. In that case, it’s almost necessary to go through a mortgage broker to find a private lender, in which case that lender might charge fees that I would have no choice but to pass on to the client. But it’s important to note that those fees would be there even without my services, and that there still isn’t any extra charge that can come from asking for my help. So even if you’re in that 1%, I would still recommend seeking out a mortgage broker to help you get out of it.

The short of it is this: Mortgage brokers aren’t here to squeeze people’s pockets – we’re here to keep the banks from doing that. If I were to charge a fee for saving you money, then I wouldn’t be very good at my job – so I don’t.

From the home page of, here’s a helpful video clearing up some other misconceptions about mortgage brokers:

Lori Lalonde, Your Northern BC Mortgage Broker