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What is the difference between a mortgage broker and a lending institution?

A mortgage broker is an independent certified mortgage specialist.

Compared to a bank, a mortgage broker has access to a number of products offered by all financial institutions.

A bank simply offers their products. A mortgage broker can shop around and find the best product which suits your personal financial situation.

All in all, a mortgage broker works for you rather than a specific financial institution.

Why should I use a mortgage broker?

With the option of a wide variety of products, the services a mortgage brokers offers are flexible rather than the few a bank specialist can provide you with.

We have access to unadvertised rates.

We offer unbiased knowledgeable financial advice.

How much can I afford to pay for a home?

Follow the link below to our calculator page to determine how much you can afford to pay for your home:


What is the minimum down payment that is needed when purchasing a home?

In most cases, you need a minimum of 5% of the total loan amount for a down payment.

In addition to the down payment, you must also be able to show you have the funds to cover other closing costs of the mortgage (legal fees, disbursements, and appraisal fees).

For any down payment that is less than 20% of the total value, loan insurance is required (see loan insurance below for further information).

What is the difference between a variable rate mortgage and fixed rate mortgage?

A fixed rate mortgage has a pre-determined interest rate at the beginning of the loan term. The advantage of this type of mortgage is that the rate stays the same throughout your full mortgage term which in turn lets you plan accordingly for your monthly payments.

A variable rate mortgages has a fluctuating interest rate (which depends on the market conditions) throughout the loan term. If the rate drops, more of the payment goes towards reducing the principal. If the rate goes up, a larger portion of your monthly payments funds the interest.

What documentation is required to obtain a mortgage?

Along with our credit application, the following documents are usually required for the lender:

  • Signed Landmark Financial Group Credit Application / Consent Form
  • Two pieces of personal identification (driver license, medicare, etc.)
  • Employment information including confirmation and proof of income
  • Proof of financial assets
  • Information and details of all bank accounts, loans, and any other debts
  • Source and amount of down payment
  • Proof of source of funds for the closing costs (is usually 2.5% of purchase price)

* Please note other documentation may be required.

What is a mortgage pre-approval?

A mortgage pre-approval provides you with a guaranteed interest rate from the lender for a specific amount of time. This amount of time is usually 120 days and qualifies you for a pre-set amount of money.

The amount a client is usually qualified for on a mortgage pre-approval is based on information provided by the client and must be verified once more if the mortgage is followed through on. Conditions which would need to be verified would include employment information, proof of down payment, property information, etc.

Can I use funds which were given as a gift for the down payment?

Funds given to a client as a gift from family members are acceptable as a down payment from most lenders. A gift lender signed by the donor and receiver of the funds is always required to confirm the funds are actually a gift and not a loan.

When should I renew my mortgage?

Most lenders send out their mortgage renewal notices 90 days in advance. These renewals usually offer their clients the posted mortgage rates. These rates offered by lenders are never their best rates, so it is always worthwhile to shop around for the best rate from various lenders.

How can I pay off a mortgage sooner?

There are many options when it comes to paying off a mortgage sooner.

  • Select an accelerated bi-weekly or weekly payment schedule.
    Select a shorter amortization length at renewal
    Make a payment of up to double the amount

Can I use an RRSP for a down payment on my first home?

As a first time buyer, you can use up to $25,000 of your existing RRSP’s to help you make the down payment.

What is mortgage loan insurance?

Mortgage loan insurance is provided by Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CHMC), Genworth Financial, and Canada Guaranty.

This insurance is required by law to insure lenders against defaults on mortgages with a loan to value ratio which is greater than 80%.

The insurance premiums can range from .50% to 6.00% and are paid by the borrower. They are usually added directly to the mortgage amount.

Is it possible to qualify for a mortgage if I have been declared bankrupt?

Some lenders still consider you eligible for a mortgage although you have faced bankruptcy. This decision varies from lender to lender and ultimately depends on the circumstances surrounding the bankruptcy. If you believe this will be a problem, please consult us for more information.

What is a Home Inspection?

A home inspection is a visual examination of a property by a professional to determine the overall conditions and value of a property. The inspector gives the results of the inspection in writing to the home owner within 24 hours.

Is it important to have a home inspection done?

It is recommended to have a home inspection done before finalizing a purchase decision.

Be sure to check out our ABC’s of Financing!