Q: Does anyone have any recommendations on how best to shop for a home mortgage? We're looking at renewing our mortgage on May 1, and there are some interesting offers floating around. I can't see going to all the banks, and speaking with the Mortgage Officer, but I'm not sure whether they'd respond to a letter?!
A: This works in the US.. I assume Canada is similar but I could be wrong. Whether looking for an initial mortgage or seeking to refinance, the way to do it is with phone calls... lots and lots of phone calls. Those outfits that will not take you seriously on the phone are not worth pursuing in person, in my opinion. Get your ducks in a row so you can compare what is being offered... down payment or percentage of value the loan will represent, your financial information, etc. Look in your local papers for the major players but do not ignore possible brokers on the Net. Push them hard as to every cost involved (points, fees, other nickel and dime charges) and try to avoid escrow accounts for taxes and insurance if you have any financial discipline to handle this stuff on your own. While it is comforting to deal with the bricks and mortar places (local banks and savings & loans), keep in mind independent mortgage brokers do not eat unless they source acceptable deals and close on them. Money is money ... it matters not where it comes from as long as the terms are contractually agreeable.
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