- What a mortgage is and how it works
- Mortgage terms and payment options
- Mortgage pre-approvals
- Getting a mortgage
- First time homebuyer incentives
What is a mortgage and how does it work? Expand/Collapse
A mortgage is a type of loan taken out by a borrower to assist with the purchase of a home. The lender (usually a financial institution), gives the borrower access to funds, under the promise that the borrower will pay it back as per specified repayment arrangements and terms. There is a cost to a a mortgage - the lender will charge the borrower interest or service charges depending on the agreement. How much interest you pay depends on three factors:
- How much you borrow (the principal)
- The interest rate on the loan
- How long you take to pay it back (the amortization period)
Mortgage term and payment options Expand/Collapse
There are a number of different mortgage options to choose from, depending on what works best for you financially. These options include term types and payment options.
- Open mortgage - An open mortgage gives you the option to re-pay any amount of the balance owing at any tiem, without taking a penalty. With open mortages, interest rates are usually higher.
- Fixed/closed mortgage - A closed mortgage can provide peace-of-mind because your mortgage is 'locked' in to a specific interest rate for a chosen term and immune to fluctuations in the market. With a closed mortgage, you don't have the re-payment flexibility of an open mortgage, but you are often allowed a few penalty-free re-payment periods that are built into your agreement.
- Variable - A variable mortgage has the potential to save you interest and gives you the freedom of added flexibility. With this type of mortgage, you can take advantage of low interest rates without having to lock into a specific rate. By not locking in, your interest rate can vary from month-to-month.
No matter what type of mortgage you commit to, you have a number of different payment options available to you. You can choose to pay weekly, bi-weekly or monthly, depending on your financial circumstances. In order to pay off your mortgage faster, paying on a weekly basis can cut several years off your overall mortgage timeline.
Mortgage pre-approval Expand/Collapse
Getting a mortgage Expand/Collapse
The first step to get a mortgage is to talk to a G&F Mortgage Relationship Manager (MRM) about what you're looking for an start exploring financial requirements. The conversation you'll have with the MRM will be a discussion about your mortgage availability, current interest rates and the mortgage options that are available to you.
The next step in the process is the mortgage application form. You can fill this out before you begin house hunting in order to receive a pre-approval for a certain price range, or you can take this step after you have made an offer on a property. This form requires details about your current financial situation, including your household income, assets and debts.
To be prepared for the mortgage application form, and to save yourself time, you should bring the following items with you when you fill it out:
- Picture ID
- T-4 slip, or proof of salaried employment (or three years of financial statements, if you are self-employed)
- Social Insurance Number (SIN)
- Information and details on all bank accounts, loans, credit cards and other debts
- Confirmation of down payment and closing costs (if you are applying for a mortgage after you put an offer on a home)
- Offer to purchase, with real estate listing and picture of the house (if you are applying for a mortgage after you put an offer on a home)