Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Have you heard of the four gift rule?

The holidays are known to play havoc on your finances. In an effort to reign in your
spending, why not consider the "4 gift rule"?
The rule applies to kids - but you could probably adapt it to fit other people in your life as well. Simply put, limit your purchases to four gifts per child/person:
- One gift they want.
- One gift they need.
- One gift they wear.
- One gift they read.
This can be a difficult feat - especially since consumerism has become such a huge part of the season. The thing is, in the long run, a family that lives within its means and isn't overburdened with financial strains will be much happier than a family with a lot of material things.
If you have other financial strains - particularly in the area of high interest debt -- feel free to give me a call. I may be able to help.


Wednesday, December 4, 2013

The Bank of Canada is boring.

Unsurprisingly, the Bank of Canada has announced that it will keep interest rates steady for the remainder of 2013 – with the target for the overnight rate sitting at 1%. This is, yet again, great news for variable rate mortgage holders.The prime lending rate hasn't changed for over three years.
The reasoning behind the Bank’s decision was pretty straight forward:
- Global economic growth is expanding as predicted – at a relatively modest rate. While some emerging economies have somewhat slowed down, growth in the U.S. made up for this by being stronger than expected. 
- In Canada, real GDP growth in the third quarter outperformed the Bank’s predictions by growing at a rate of 2.7%. The composition of this growth, however, was weighted more towards the housing sector and less towards exports and investments, which indicates we have a ways to go before it’s properly balanced.
While the Bank mentioned that the “downside risks to inflation seem to be greater”, it remains in the appropriate zone, hence the decision to keep rates the same. The next announcement will be on January 22, 2014.
As always, if you have any questions about this announcement, your variable rate mortgage or any mortgage product, please feel free to drop me a line.

Thursday, November 21, 2013

A little reassurance from Stephen Poloz

There has been so much industry chatter going on lately on whether or not there is or isn't a housing bubble in Canada, my head is spinning. Now the Governor of the Bank of Canada has weighed in on the issue stating that "our judgment is (the housing market) is a situation that is improving, this is not a bubble that exists here that would have to be corrected".
Whether it is, or isn't remains to be seen. But, I'm going to go with Steve on this. He runs the show!

Thursday, November 14, 2013

Buying a home: 1950s vs today

Ever wonder what it was like to buy a home in the 1950s? Sure, houses were much cheaper back then, but credit wasn't as readily available. Mortgage default insurance, which today allows homebuyers to put less than 20% down, was just getting rolled out - and chartered banks were just invited into the mortgage lending industry.
Despite all the differences, a lot of things remain the same - as is evident in this 1959 article in Better Homes & Gardens entitled "The Smart Way to Buy a House". 
While today it's easy to forget these basic home buying principles, most of them can still be applied to today's house hunt.
For example, the whole idea of being systematic - analyzing "your family's needs and desires, knowing what you can afford and setting your sights on the best house your money can buy" - is solid advice. It's always helpful to establish a comfortable monthly budget and then working backwards to find out how much house that can get you. That being said, the article's advice to take that monthly number and multiply it by 100 to establish your ideal mortgage amount, isn't always realistic - especially in some of Canada's hotter markets.
With housing markets across the country maintaining their hot streaks, homebuyers have to pick and choose which features are deal breakers - and which aren't. While this seemed to be the same in the 1950s, the definition of a "deal breaker" may have changed a little. For example, I think most homeowners today would be willing to overlook a laundry area that isn't "a pleasant, well-lighted place in which to work". But we could be wrong there.
Have you ever talked to your parents/grandparents about their first home buying experience? What differences stood out most to you?


Wednesday, October 23, 2013

No news here.

It's status quo over at the Bank of Canada. As expected, the bank left it's key interest rate unchanged in their rate announcement earlier this morning. If you have a variable rate mortgage or  home equity line of credit mortgage your rate will remain unchanged.

The next interested rate announcement is scheduled for December 4th 2013.

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Self-employed? Prepare for a long conversation with your mortgage broker

If you are self employed and are thinking of purchasing a home in the near future, you need to read this article!  I'd highly recommend following the advice offered in this article to increase the likelihood of getting approved...
If you have any questions about mortgage financing for self employed individuals please contact me anytime.

Friday, September 20, 2013

How landlords can steer clear of bad tenants

In my years as a Mortgage Broker, I have heard many unsavoury stories about renting a property to the wrong tenant. I also know quite a few property investors that have used rental properties to fund a comfortable retirement and swear by it. I often ask them what they watch out for and they often say that they try to visit the tenant at their current home to see the way they live. I think the above would probably tell you everything you want to know about your possible tenant.

Here's a really good article about how to avoid the wrong tenant!

Article: How landlords can steer clear of bad tenants

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Life in Edmonton, Alberta

I just perused this city guide about Edmonton and it made me realize a few things. Growing up I never really thought about Edmonton as a unique or even great place. It just was what it was; the place I grew up. But, the older I get, the more I appreciate this wonderful, vibrant city and how much it has changed and advanced over the last 10 years. I don't think I'm alone. I have a lot of friends who are youngish professionals, starting their careers and families, that feel the same.
Edmonton has become a place we choose to live, for a variety of reasons. My reasons are that it has been a fantastic place to have a meaningful and demanding career (with all the opportunities anyone could ever want); it has a vibrant arts community, great shopping and a wicked local restaurant scene. It's home to a bunch of hardworking people that are dedicated to their families and working hard. Edmonton is full of people with awesome ideas, doing incredible things. It has a great entrepreneurial spirit, a place where independent small businesses can thrive. Edmonton also has a relatively low cost of living. Wages are high; house prices are still pretty fair. It's a place where you can have the white picket fence if you want it, or a swanky downtown condo. It's a place that experiences and embraces all four seasons in all their glory. I actually get a little excited during the first snowfall because I know it means I'll soon be lacing up my skates, tobogganing with friends or enjoying a crunchy walk in the snow.
But, the Pièce de résistance for me? The amazing river valley. What a treasure; a vast wilderness within an expansive urban core. I spend as much time as I possibly can under its treed canopy, spring, summer, fall or winter! How many cities can boast a ribbon of green as expansive as ours?
Yes, Edmonton has changed from the place I lived just because my family moved here. It's become a place I truly love, and appreciate and I want to be here to contribute to its betterment.

Friday, August 30, 2013

It's okay to splurge once in a while!

We've heard so much in the news lately about how Canadians need to put the brakes on their personal spending and the government has been cautioning us to slow down for quite some time. But, this article is a breath of fresh air! It's a good reminder that saving is important (very important), but that it's also okay to enjoy the fruits of our labour and splurge once in a while. A $270 dinner is a bit steep but sounds like it was a once in a lifetime experience. Life is all about striking a balance and when finances are involved; my motto is to save responsibly but to also allow myself to enjoy the good things in life.
Article: My $270 dinner in a summer of financial restraint

Have a safe and happy long weekend!

Friday, August 16, 2013

Alberta government to shy away from mandatory flood warning on land titles

The Alberta government is backing away from a plan to put warnings on land titles for properties in flood-risk zones. I am curious to see if any banks/mortgage lenders will entertain future mortgage loans on homes in the flood zones considering the title will still have a notice explaining that the homeowners received government assistance for disaster relief. In my experience, as soon as mortgage lender finds out anything potentially detrimental to a property they usually shy away from lending on it. This could make it very difficult for homeowners in the flood zones to sell their properties. Read the full story here.

Thursday, August 8, 2013

Thursday, August 1, 2013

Canada's homes are getting smaller, in everywhere but Alberta

Sounds like houses are actually getting smaller these days, in everywhere but Alberta! In Alberta we have a plethora of choice when it comes to housing. We have great condos if you're one for living smaller as well as fairly reasonably priced single family dwellings if space is your thing.

I, personally, prefer a smaller space for myself. Living in a small space affords me more time to do things I want to do (like hanging out in our amazing river valley) instead of spending too much time cleaning and maintaining my home. But, if you have a family I can definitely understand the need for more space. The great thing about living in Edmonton is you really can have whatever lifestyle you want in the type of home you choose! Small, big...urban or suburban. It's all here.

Thursday, July 18, 2013

Prime rate stays the same...

The new Governor of the Bank of Canada, Stephen Poloz, maintained the status quo set by his predecessor, Mark Carney, by leaving the prime lending rate unchanged in the interest rate announcement yesterday. Poloz also inferred that he doesn't see the prime lending rate moving anytime soon as Canada's economy is still "choppy in the near term".
This latest announcement by Canada's central bank is good news for borrowers looking for a low cost alternative to the 5 year fixed mortgage since rates rose a few weeks ago. With variable rate mortgages at prime less 0.40% it is a low cost option when compared to the current five year fixed mortgage. However, variable rate mortgages are more difficult to qualify for than the five year fixed mortgage so it's best to ask your mortgage broker if this particular product would work for your individual situation.

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Tony Soprano's money tips

The Soprano's is right up there in terms of the best shows ever on TV. While the show was wise in so many ways, I never thought I'd be writing a post on my mortgage blog about money tips from Tony Soprano. But, in honour of James Gandolfini's death, here are 6 money lessons from the big boss!

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Buying a house without taking on more than you can afford...

The housing market has been buzzing in Edmonton over the last month of so. I've been so busy trying to keep my head above water I haven't had time to write a blog entry. But, I wanted to take a moment to talk about the current interest rate environment and how mortgage holders can use this time to their advantage.

Five year fixed mortgage rates that hover around 3% are extremely low when you look at interest rates over the last 25 years. It's basically unheard of.

In one sense, it's wonderful that borrowers can qualify for a mortgage at these historically low rates, allowing them to qualify for a higher mortgage than if rates were, say 5%. What worries me a little is what will happen to my clients in 5 years when their mortgage renews and interest rates are 5%, as an example?  

Let's crunch some numbers! Let's say you're a typical urban couple in Edmonton starting out. You've finished school and worked hard to put your down payment together. You and your new spouse have purchased a house today for $400,000 and have a 5% down payment:

Purchase price
Less: down payment
= Mortgage amount
Add: default insurance
(2.75% of mortgage)
Total Mortgage
Monthly payment at 3.00% over a 25 year amortization

Great! So you've bought your house and been approved for the financing. Your monthly payment is $1,847.49 and you're comfortable with that. But, have you taken a moment to consider what happens in five years when your mortgage is up for renewal? You'll be offered whatever rates are on the table at that time. What if rates have risen substantially during the last 60 months? I know no one really wants to think about that. Five years seems so far away and surely everything will be just as economically wonderful in Alberta as it is now. Right?
Let's take a moment to consider how your mortgage would stack up if rates have risen to 5%. If you've made monthly payments for the first five years of your mortgage, using the example above, you'll owe $333,735.60 on maturity. You've paid $56,714.40 down on your mortgage. Your mortgage lender has offered you a renewal at 5% (the best going rate at the time). If your new mortgage rate is 5% what does this do to your monthly payment?

$333,735.60 at 5% over a 20 year amortization = $2,193.06/month.

That's right. Even though you have a lower mortgage balance, because interest rates have risen, your monthly payment has now gone up by $345.57.

Reading this you might think I'm a bit out to lunch. Of course you'll be making more money in 5 years, and of course your house will be worth more money than what you paid for it and surely you could sell it if things went bad. Is this true? Not necessarily so. Even if your income has increased, your expenses likely will have increased as well. Maybe you've decided to start a family ($$$...diapers aren't cheap!), perhaps you've bought a swanky new vehicle to drive your new family around. SUV? Minivan? Again, not cheap and I'm guessing you'll have a vehicle payment between $600-$800 a month). And, if you've started a family, one of you has probably taken some time off work to care for your children, creating a bit of a financial strain.

As for the value of your family home? Anyone that purchased a property after 2008 will surely tell you that house values don't always go up in the short term. Other things can happen too...illness, job loss? I'm not trying to be a downer but life does have a way of throwing some curve balls as the years go by.
My point is, things don't always go the way you've planned and, as consumers, the onus is on you to keep your spending in check and make sure you can handle the bumps life will surely offer up.

My advice is this: If you are thinking of purchasing a home and taking advantage of these rock bottom interest rates, do so. It's a great time to buy! But, I urge you, make sure you can comfortably afford the mortgage payment at 5% instead of 3%.
Would you be able to cope if you're mortgage payment increased by almost $350 a month? If the answer is no, I would caution you to reconsider home ownership or, perhaps, lower the purchase price of your new home to accommodate a higher interest rate.  

If you are jumping into the home ownership game, I urge you to take advantage of your mortgage lender's pre-payment privileges and pay your mortgage as if you are borrowing the money at 5%, instead of 3%. Not only will you know you can weather the storm should rates be higher in 5 years, you'll make a huge dent in your mortgage balance (at the end of your 5 year term you'll owe $311,425.28 instead of $333,735.60).

I read a stat today that said only 18% of Canadians pay extra on their mortgage every year. I find that pretty disappointing considering that this is an amazing opportunity to use these low rates to create more wealth for your family.
If you would like some information or ideas on how to pay your mortgage off faster or take advantage of the low rates being offered feel free to contact me anytime!

Natalie Wellings, Edmonton Mortgage Broker

Thursday, May 23, 2013

Why it’s harder for the self-employed to get a mortgage

Here is a fantastic article from theStar.com that explains the ins and outs of getting a mortgage if you're self employed.

Alberta has a large number of entrepreneurs and, consequently, I get a fair amount of inquiries from self employed people trying to obtain a mortgage. Here are some tips to improve your odds of getting the mortgage you've applied for:

1. Be organized: You'll need to provide your full tax returns (T1 Generals) along with the corresponding Notice of Assessment for the last two years that detail your expenses and write offs  (called the Statement of Business Activities). I often talk to applicants who can't locate their tax returns or Notice of Assessment because they have been misplaced. This will delay your file unnecessarily. It's best to locate them before you apply for a mortgage.
2. Pay your taxes: It is important to not show any tax arrears. Not only will you not get the mortgage without bringing your taxes up-to-date, it just generally doesn't look very good to a lender when you owe money to Revenue Canada. If you do happen to have a balance owing, ensure that you have the funds to pay the amount owing in full as this will be a requirement of funding your mortgage. Better yet, pay the balance owing before you apply for the mortgage.
3. Down payment: I have had several inquiries from self employed people who do not have a down payment. If you are self employed you need a down payment. You'll need a MINIMUM of 5% down if you can prove your income via your tax returns for the last two years and a 10% MINIMUM down payment if you cannot prove your income.
4. Credit: If you are self employed and are buying a house with only 5 or 10% down you need to have good credit.
5. Length of time in business: Generally speaking, most lenders and mortgage insurers want to see that you have been in business for a minimum of 2 years to show you have a track record of steady earnings. If you just started a business a month ago, you probably will not be able to buy a home for a little while unless you have a much larger down payment (15% or more).
Buying a house and qualifying for a mortgage when you're in business for yourself requires a bit more patience and pre-planning than it does for the average home buyer but it is certainly not impossible. If you have any questions regarding obtaining a mortgage when you're self employed please contact me.

Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Loyalty and mortgage renewals don't mix!

When it comes to renewing your mortgage with your current financial institution, those loyal customers that simply sign on the dotted line often don't get the best deal according to a paper published by the Bank of Canada. A recent article in the star.com personal finance section states that "you’d think that loyalty would work in your favour — the more services you have with a bank, the better the deal. But, that’s not true".

The article goes on to say the "study also found that mortgage brokers find the best rates. Mortgage brokers are paid by the lender, not the customer, but aren’t confined to one lender’s products. Their business is very competitive, so the pressure to find the very best rates is high. The study noted that brokers “are a significant factor driving discounts,” reducing the cost of a mortgage on average by 17.5 basis points."

For me, this is nothing new; Mortgage Brokers do have excellent rates and help many consumers to negotiate a lower rate with their current lending institution.  I've seen this go on for years. It never fails: a customer calls me explaining that they are up for renewal at their current bank and then they proceed to read off the rates they've been offered. They are almost ALWAYS higher than what I can quote them. It's pretty amazing what happens next! The customer then contacts their bank and tells them they've spoken with a Mortgage Broker that has excellent mortgage rates. The bank then usually lowers their rate to accommodate the customer.
The problem with this is twofold. One, a loyal customer should not have to work that hard to get a competitive rate at their bank. Second, if customers continue to use Mortgage Brokers simply to negotiate a better rate at their bank the mortgage broker channel will become unsustainable. Why should you, the consumer, care about that?

If we become unsustainable and go out of business then consumers will go back to paying much higher mortgage rates at the banks due to decreased competition.

Mortgage brokers work very hard to provide consumers with competitive mortgage rates and independent choices.  So, the next time you're up for renewal and a Mortgage Broker offers you an excellent rate, give that broker your mortgage business instead of running back to your bank and rewarding their poor customer service with your loyalty!

Monday, April 29, 2013

The low interest rate trap

I can't say it enough; this is an excellent opportunity to use today's low interest rates to your advantage by paying extra on your mortgage. I truly feel that if you cannot afford to do this, then you may be in way over your head. A five year fixed rate of 2.89% is not "normal" and is artificially low. My advice would be to pay your mortgage as if rates were at least 4%. Not only will you be setting yourself up for less shock when rates eventually rise, you'll make a big dent in your outstanding mortgage balance. As the article says "If you owe lots of money, it’s a good time to pay it down. You can make a big dent in what you owe with just a little discipline."  

Why Canadians are stuck in a low interest rate trap

It started with NASDAQ plunge in 2000: Cheap credit is blessing and curse. Bank of Canada’s challenge is how to let interest rates rise safely.
By:Adam MayersPersonal Finance Editor, Published on Sat Apr 27 2013

Western economies are caught in a low interest rate trap that is proving a difficult problem to fix.
Rates have been so low for so long, that the trick is how to wean the patient off the cheap-money drug without causing an economic collapse. Nobody knows how to do it safely, which is why rates are bound to stay low for a while yet.

My first mortgage in the early 90s was a one-year term at 14.25 per cent. It kept me awake at night, wondering how I’d cope if rates kept rising. This week you can get a five-year, fixed term under three per cent.

Back then, there wasn’t much borrowing slack either. A home-secured line of credit was a decade away. Businesses had credit lines, but everyone else had loans with fixed terms which meant you had to pay them off.

Now you can get a line of credit with a 3.5 per cent rate, secured against your house, with an option to pay only the interest every month. The banks use that as a selling feature. You can spend $10,000 on a holiday, or a renovation, or new furniture, anything you want and only pay $29.16 a month. Of course, you still owe the $10,000.
Savers, meanwhile, are being punished by pitiful rates of return that are less than inflation. It takes one dollar 37.9 years to double at a rate of 1.9 per cent, which is the best rate I could find for a one-year Guaranteed Investment Certificate (GIC) last week.

These artificially low rates have created the situation where, as of mid-March, according to Statistics Canada, we owed $165 for every $100 of disposable income. This isn’t far off where Americans were just as their housing market collapsed.
This great borrowing spree has deep roots, which is why it’s such an intractable problem. Bank of Canada Governor Mark Carney and Finance Minister Jim Flaherty go on about it, but they’ve caused it, moving in lockstep with central bankers elsewhere.

This all began on March 11, 2000 when the U.S. Nasdaq technology stock index peaked and the ‘dotcom’ bust began. Two years later, the Nasdaq had lost nearly 80 per cent of its value as internet stocks with high hopes, but no businesses disappeared. In the middle of that, on Sept. 11, 2001, came the attacks on the twin towers in New York
The George Bush administration wanted to cushion the economic impact and to keep consumers borrowing, so the U.S. Federal Reserve pushed rates down. The policy worked so well it created a super-heated housing boom. This disaster in the making galloped along until 2008, when at its last gasp, mortgages were being secured by people without jobs.

The housing collapse threatened to create a new Depression. The Fed pushed rates down again, as low as they could go. Not much more than a year later in 2009 came the European debt crisis. Countries, rather than people, had been living beyond their means for decades. With banking systems teetering, the answer was to lower rates. Even so, Portugal, Ireland, Spain, Italy, Greece and more recently Cyprus are all on life support.
The big surprise is that all the cheap money hasn’t fixed a thing. It can’t because consumers everywhere are tapped out. If not, we should have long since seen a wave of inflation leading to rising rates. That expectation saw gold, an inflation hedge, gradually rise to $1,900 (U.S.) an ounce by September, 2011. With no inflation in sight, gold is down 24 per cent from its peak.

Not much inflation is on the horizon either. In its recent quarterly report, the Bank of Canada downgraded economic growth to a meagre 1.5 per cent this year. Better times return in 2015, the bank says.
In the meantime, if you have a mortgage, you may want to lock in for five years and enjoy the security. A recent Bank of Montreal survey found that about half of first time buyers are doing that. If you owe lots of money, it’s a good time to pay it down. You can make a big dent in what you owe with just a little discipline.

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Secrets of Buying a Great Condo

In the past year I have heard of many newer condos in Edmonton with some major building deficiencies. A Realtor that I work with often, Derek Hulewicz, has written a great article about the issue...

Wednesday, March 7, 2012
Secrets of Buying a Great Condo...

Wow! Can you find a condo building in Edmonton that hasn’t had special levies? And I don’t mean the ones just recently built that shouldn’t. Too soon? Too soon? (I had to quote Jeff Rose). What happened to quality of craftsmanship? Can we still build well and build to last? You would think that with present engineering and technologies we should be building better that those who constructed all the Pyramids, ancient cities, castles and churches that are still standing till now. You may say; we live in the age where quantity has replaced quality, I guess the latter costs too much, or does it?

It’s almost impossible to protect yourself from future special assessments or levies as a condo buyer or an owner. For some it has been a nightmare, for others who have been luckier a pleasant experience. In Downtown and surrounding neighbourhoods like Oliver, Rossdale, Riverdale, Westmount and Queen Marry Park, a disturbing number of the condominiums built after 2000 have had or are having deficiencies that are past developer’s warranties and have to be fixed with extra funding from the current owners. Here just some of them: Grandin Court, Terrace Court, Parkside Court, Omega, Imperial, the View, Rossdale Court, Glenora Gates, and St. Lawrence Court. Some of them were built by TESCO, we’ve all heard that name. I haven’t heard anything bad about Alta Vista or River Vista built by Christenson Development, so far so good. What about the Icons? Great location and design, not too fond of either of their lobbies constructed by Langham Properties from Edmonton.

The amount of special assessments can vary from $1000 to $30,000 and even higher. In some cases, the board will rather increase the condo fees than call for special levy. I suppose I wouldn’t be upset about couple of grand over say 5 years but $10,000 or $20,000 would definitely spike the blood pressure in my veins. It seems like the magical timeline of some of these major and expensive deficiencies appearing would be between 5 to 10 years down the road, when warranties are out, convenient for developer. I say, let’s implore the builders to give 10 year warranties on major items like structural, exterior, windows, roof, elevators, heating and cooling systems, main electrical and plumbing. Would that be nice?! It’s going to cost you!

So what is the secret to buying well? Older than 10 year? Like wine, condos get better with age? LOL! I would say yes to some and no to others, anything newer than 2002, give or take couple of years, and you are taking a chance. Anything older than 1990 and you are looking at possible levies to put new windows, roofs, upgrading the elevators, boilers, etc. (Keep in mind some of the older high-rises, lofts and walk-ups had the majority or some work already done). The funny thing is that there aren’t many condos in Downtown area that were built between 1980 and 2000, most are from 1960’s, 1970’s, and 2000 plus.

Conclusion: All this info does sound confusing and trying to generalize and find a definite answer to this puzzle maybe impossible. However, all things being equal, the secret is to take every building under the microscope and examine separately. Then, after doing your homework take a plunge and hope for the best, you are not alone. There are definitely great condo buildings out there and there are those that I would stay away from and would not recommend to my clients, but we are not here in business of bashing but just trying to provoke a discussion and find more information on this subject. By the way, I would be happy to hear what you have to say, just comment to this post or give me a call.


Derek H.

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

When you look for a mortgage, shop local...call a Mortgage Broker!

By now you've probably all heard the news story about how RBC is laying off 45 Canadian workers to outsource their jobs to an offshore company, and, what's even harder to stomach, is that they are having their current workers train the individuals who will be taking over their jobs. I applaud these workers for going public on this matter. 

Here's an article on how this latest move by RBC is creating backlash from the public and furthering support for Mortgage Brokers who are local, small business people who make money in our community and then spend money back in our community. Using a Mortgage Broker versus one of the Big 5 Banks to get your mortgage is "shopping" at a local business. According to the 3/50 Project, for every $100 spent in a local business, $68 returns to the community. However, if the same amount is spent at a large corporation, only $43 returns to the community. 

Because you don't actually have to pay your Mortgage Broker to arrange your mortgage you may not see your choice to use the services of a Mortgage Broker as shopping locally. But, it is! We are paid to set up your mortgage, and while the money doesn't come from your pocket (we are paid by the lending institution), your choice to use a Mortgage Broker supports your local community by helping to foster small business. 

I am a small business. I shop in my community and I try to also support locally owned businesses. Do your community a favour, when you look for a mortgage, shop local...call a Mortgage Broker! 

If you're curious how you can further support other small, independent business in Alberta, check the Live Local website!