I always strive to leave the impression with my customers that the mortgage business is a service business first. You don't make a profit on one mortgage; you make it on the lasting relationships you establish. It's all about building partnerships.
The relationships I build with my customers are based on the same values I share with my family. Reliability, honesty and commitment are traits that have always impressed me. It seems natural to extend those same values to my customers
Your Banker's 6 Dirty Secrets...
There is a fine line between telling a lie and avoiding telling the truth. It comes back to intentions you can be hurt by a clever omission as easily as you can by an outright lie. It wont come as a surprise, but there are some things your bank would rather not tell you. Well look at six dirty secrets your banker has been keeping.
1. You probably dont need the insurance
Banks offer insurance, sometimes marketed as balance protection, on every debt instrument they offer. You can get insurance on a credit card, line of credit, plain vanilla loan and so on. In return, your payments are covered in certain cases and a death benefit is paid if you die with the debt.
Going through the contract can be interesting and enlightening for consumers. Often many conditions have to be met to receive the hardship qualifications to cover payments and the death benefit is capped at a maximum that may be much less than the value of the loan.
Your banker isnt to blame for that, the bank is. Where the bankers omission comes in is in not advising clients that their life insurance policy may already be enough to cover the new debt already and if not, adding coverage for the amount of the debt will be much cheaper in the long run than paying an extra percentage of your balance on top of the interest.
2. Even if I like you, the system decides
Many banks market the fact that you can go into any branch and have a productive conversation with their representatives the human touch. If you are looking for a loan or mortgage however, theres little human element to the decision process.
Large banks use a computer model that takes inputs such as income, current debt levels and assets, and decides whether you qualify for a loan and, if so, how much. For most people, this process is flexible enough that they dont notice. For farmers, entrepreneurs and business owners, though, this process can be enraging because it discounts elements of their business and often paints them as credit risks.
3. Im a salesman
There are many different terms for it complete banking, one-stop banking, holistic service but when it comes down to it, your banker is there to cross-sell you other products from the bank. Have a chequing account? How about a savings account, credit card, savings bond and a retirement account? Banks want to lock in a customer as much as possible.
4. We offer a complete package to get complete fees
Once a customer opens an account, the pressure is on to open three more. Holding more of a customers financial life at the same bank gives banks the ability to encourage the customer into more fee-bearing accounts without having to worry about the customer shopping around for a better deal. Your banker will never tell you that the bank down the road charges less in service fees and offers the same interest. Instead they emphasize the ease of transferring funds between your accounts within the branch, the transfer fees they wave and the deal they have on balance protection insurance.
5. We make more money from fees than banking
Banks have been pulling an ever-larger slice of their revenues from fees. The tipping point came in the late 90s, when fee income climbed to over half of revenue for the largest banks. Most people, your banker included, will tell you a bank makes its money off the interest it earns from loans to customers. And given how important fees are to revenue, take three guesses at which direction they will be heading in the future.
6. Use a mortgage broker
The biggest secret your banker is keeping is that mortgage brokers have access to the best rates in the business and represent ONLY the clients BEST interest. Instead, your banker will focus on the convenience of having lots of friendly staff wanting to serve you. All those people and buildings cost a lot to keep going. This cost is one of the reasons banks need to tighten their lending models and up their fees. By contrast, a mortgage brokers service doesnt cost you a penny.
The bottom line
Your banker is there to protect the banks interest, not necessarily yours. Its time to look into a Mortgage Broker. Just dont ask your banker for a recommendation, thats another of those things he just wont say.
Mark Fidgett is a Vancouver mortgage broker and the driver behind www.AdvancedEquity.ca
Your Vancouver Mortgage Broker For Life
Similar Housing Demand Conditions in Canada and US
Housing markets in Canada and the US are sizzling. Recent headlines have used superlatives to describe housing market conditions in both countries and the data do back this up. Still, a closer look reveals some interesting distinctions as well. Home price and sales metrics show that while the US market is hot, Canadas is hotter. For example, existing home sales, which make up the majority of overall sales in both countries, is well above historical averages, but Canadian home sales have outperformed. As of March 2021, home sales in Canada were 75% higher than the average over 2018 and 2019, while it was 13% above in the US. Likewise, home prices also spiked. In Canada, the average home sold was 32% more expensive than what it was a year ago, and it was 17% higher stateside.
From a high level, the list of commonalties across markets during the pandemic is longer than the areas of difference, particularly on the demand side. Perhaps the most influential demand-side driver has been historically low mortgage rates. Responding to the impacts of the pandemic, the Bank of Canada and the Federal Reserve slashed rates and enacted large quantitative easing programs early last year, resulting in a sharp drop in borrowing costs. Given that the US conventional mortgage rate is a 30-year rate compared to Canadas 5-year benchmark, borrowing costs fell faster in America as flight to safety flows lowered longer term yields at the onset of the pandemic.
CANADA HOUSING MARKET and new stress test
Canadian home sales took a turn in April 2021, declining by 12.5% (sa m/m) from the highest level on record in March 2021. Listings followed suit, falling by 5.4% (sa m/m). While both sales and listings decreased in April, the smaller decline in listings further eased the national-level sales-to-new listings to 75.2% from record high readings earlier this year (the highest being 91% in January). While this is a move in the right direction towards a better supply-demand balance, the ratio is still significantly higher than its long-term average of 54.5%. As a result of this persistent tightness in the housing market, the composite MLS Home Price Index (HPI) rose by 2.4% (sa m/m). This is a deceleration in price gains from paces observed over the last two months, owing in the most part to a slowing in prices for single-family homes and townhouses. Apartments, which had remained relatively close to pre-pandemic levels before accelerating earlier this year have maintained momentum in April.
Movements in the housing market this month continued to be broad-based rather than market-specific, as declines in sales were spread out across much of the country.
The Office of the Superintendent of Financial Institutions (OSFI) also announced that, effective June 1, the minimum qualifying rate for uninsured mortgages (i.e., residential mortgages with a down payment of 20 percent or more) will be the greater of the mortgage contract rate plus 2 percent or 5.25 percent.