Mortgage Brokers & Professional Advisors in Ontario
In this post, we’ll take you through the benefits of hiring a mortgage broker or agent in Ontario. Ontario’s real estate landscape is one of the most competitive and fast-paced in Canada, if not the world right now. Consequently, finding a mortgage advisor can help take some of the stress out of buying a home in today’s market, and you won’t have to pay a fee for their services.
- Ontario mortgage brokers are licensed professionals who help consumers find the best mortgage solutions and rates available, through their network and lender connections.
- Mortgage brokers in Ontario are paid for by the lender, so you don’t have to pay them any fees to use their services.
- In Ontario, mortgage brokers are licensed and governed by the Financial Services Regulatory Authority of Ontario (FSRAO).
- We have over 40 mortgage brokers in Canada and within Ontario to help you find the best mortgage solution to suit your goals.
Finding a Mortgage Broker in Ontario
In Ontario, mortgage brokers use their connections with lenders to help you get the best deal possible on your mortgage rates. Often, brokers and mortgage agents have special relationships with lenders that allow them to offer rates not ordinarily advertised to the general public. In Ontario, as with the rest of Canada, brokers will not charge you a fee for their services, since they’re paid by lenders after you sign your loan documents.
All mortgage brokers in Ontario are licensed by the Financial Services Regulatory Authority of Ontario (FSRA), after successfully finishing one of the FSRA’s approved courses for new mortgage brokers and meeting all other eligibility requirements.
At nesto, we have 40+ brokers on standby to help you find the best rate possible for your mortgage. If you’d like to connect with a mortgage broker in Ontario, simply send us an enquiry and one of our team will get in touch.
How Mortgage Brokers Help Canadians Find Mortgages
All mortgage brokers in Ontario must be properly licensed, and they are governed by a strict set of practice ethics and regulatory guidelines.
In Ontario, mortgage brokers are uniquely positioned to help you find mortgages in the following ways:
- Mortgage brokers in Ontario undergo the same initial training to get their license. To become a mortgage broker in Ontario, you must pass one of these three courses approved by the FSRAO, and within three years apply for your license:
- The Ontario Mortgage Agent Course, provided by Mortgage Professionals Canada.
- The CMBA Mortgage Agent Course, provided by the Canadian Mortgage Brokers Association—Ontario.
- The REMIC Mortgage Agent Course, provided by the Real Estate and Mortgage Institute of Canada Inc.
- Mortgage brokers in Ontario must meet the minimum eligibility guidelines, as well as successfully completing the education requirements needed to get a license. The minimum eligibility requirements to be a broker in Ontario are:
- Be 18 years of age or older.
- Be a resident of Canada.
- Have already been licensed as a mortgage agent for at least 24 months during the 36-month period prior to your mortgage broker application.
- Have an Ontario mailing address that can receive registered mail (not a post office box).
- Complete the approved mortgage broker education program within three years before you apply for the mortgage broker licence.
- Complete an approved mortgage agent course if you have not already done so. For more information, review the mortgage agent licence requirements.
Ultimately, a mortgage broker’s job is to help use their network and understanding of multiple solutions and lenders to help guide Canadians towards the best possible mortgage for their situation – hence the strict approval criteria.
Benefits of Using a Mortgage Broker
- No fee for services: Mortgage brokers in Canada are paid by the lender once a borrower signs their mortgage contract. As a prospective home buyer, you don’t pay a mortgage broker a fee.
- Save time: Mortgage brokers are already connected to several lenders, and will know what options are likely available to you based on your finances. Brokers can help save you time on research, and can provide expert advice to keep you from signing unfavorable mortgage contracts.
- Get a better rate: Lenders work with some brokers exclusively to help them pre-select their clients. As a result, many brokers have access to solutions and mortgage rates not usually available to retail customers.
- Peace of mind: A good mortgage broker will act in your best interests and try to get the best possible rate available for you. They’ll also understand the mortgage world better than most people, and can help guide you in the right direction.
- You could save money: Besides saving you money on your mortgage rate, mortgages also come with a range of up-front fees, from appraisals to application fees. In some instances, your mortgage broker may be able to work with a lender to waive some of these fees, potentially saving you thousands in up-front costs.
Home Loan Options in Ontario
Ontario has one of the fastest growing property markets in the world since the beginning of the pandemic, with Toronto real estate rivaling Vancouver for the most expensive place to live in Canada. Depending on where you are on the property ladder, there are a number of things to keep in mind when looking for a home loan in Ontario. In addition, there are a few federal, provincial, and some municipal home buyer plans available to help offset the cost of homeownership in the province.
Buying a Home
Buying a home in Ontario is a major investment, whether you’re in the GTA or not. Since the start of the pandemic, even smaller cities in the province have experienced record price growth. For instance, buying a home in Hamilton will cost you over a million dollars, on average, as of June 2022. Similarly, Brampton saw record price climbs throughout the last two years, with the average Brampton house price easily topping 1 million dollars this year. However, if you’re looking to buy a home in Ontario, there are still a number of more affordable markets left, like Ottawa, London, and Thunder Bay. At nesto, we can help you find the best rate available, and we also lend directly. If you’re looking for more information about the home buying process, check out our guide to buying a home in 2022.
Renewing Your Mortgage
All mortgage contracts have what’s known as a term. Usually, a term is 5 years long. When your mortgage’s term matures, it’s time to renew your mortgage. The renewal process gives you an opportunity to reflect on your finances, your mortgage needs, and current interest rates. To learn more, explore our detailed guide on How to Renew Your Mortgage.
Refinancing Your Mortgage
Refinancing is different from mortgage renewal. Renewal is an ongoing process that occurs when a mortgage’s term expires. Many people typically renew their mortgage with the same lender after 5 years on similar terms, and without too much hassle. Refinancing, on the other hand, involves paying off your current mortgage by breaking it early and using another mortgage loan to cover it. People can refinance to take advantage of a lower interest rate, or access equity for things like debt consolidation and renovations. Depending on your current mortgage, refinancing your mortgage will probably incur a prepayment penalty for breaking your term early.
First-Time Home Buyer Plans
Home prices in Ontario have only just started to cool off, after several consecutive months of record price increases. With that being said, Ontario does provide a decent number of first-time home buyer incentives and plans to help Canadians get their foot in the door. There are a number of federal, provincial, and some municipal programs available for people looking to buy a first home in Ontario. These include a provincial land transfer tax refund, plus a land transfer tax rebate for the City of Toronto specifically. There are also municipal home buyer plans available, including:
- Waterloo’s Affordable Home Ownership Program, a 5% loan for Waterloo residents with a household income below $101,300, for a down payment on properties under $506,000.
- Simcoe’s Affordable Homeownership Program, a down payment loan of 10% (to a maximum of $50,000) on properties in Simcoe County, for homes valued at $494,600 or less, and applicants with no more than $99,700 in gross household income. The loan is completely forgivable if you live in the property for 20 years.
- Kingston Frontenac’s Home Ownership Program, and Kingston Frontenac Renovates, a home improvement assistance program.
Check your municipality or city website for additional home buyer plans and programs.
Mortgage Brokers Association of Ontario
Mortgage brokers in Ontario are governed by the Financial Services Regulatory Authority of Ontario (FSRAO), but they can be members of the Canadian Mortgage Brokers Association of Ontario (CMBA). Ultimately, it is the FSRAO who ensure proper conduct in real estate and mortgage brokerage in Ontario, and make sure mortgage brokers’ comply with appropriate legislation through their governance framework.
Canadian Mortgage broker licensing in Ontario
Under the Mortgage Brokerages, Lenders and Administrators Act, 2006, all individuals and businesses in Ontario who carry out regulated mortgage brokering activities must be licensed with the FSRAO unless otherwise exempted by the Act. In Ontario, mortgage brokers are officially licensed by the FSRAO after they have successfully completed one of the FSRAO’s approved courses for new mortgage brokers and meet all other eligibility requirements.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)
Here are some of the most commonly asked questions on mortgage brokers and professional mortgage advisors in Toronto.
Is it worth going through a mortgage broker in Ontario?
Mortgage brokers are becoming increasingly popular in Ontario, especially given the already competitive nature of the marketplace. You won’t pay a fee for their services and most mortgage professionals in Ontario are well regulated to protect consumers. Mortgage brokers must be licensed correctly in Ontario and are expected to comply by the same set of practices and rules across the board. For a full list of brokers, agents, brokerages and administrators in Ontario, visit FSRAO’s Ontario Licensing Link.
Is it better to use a bank or mortgage broker?
While many people in Ontario go directly to lenders, the use of mortgage brokers is becoming more popular recently. Particularly among first-time buyers, who are already trying to navigate a complex and overwhelming housing market, using a mortgage broker provides further peace of mind that they are getting the best rate possible. Mortgage brokers have access to multiple lenders, including large banks and alternative lenders, so can provide a more broad view of the mortgage market.
How much do most mortgage brokers charge?
Mortgage broker commissions vary, and are always paid by the lender. A reasonable range for a broker’s commission is between 0.5% to 1.25% of your full mortgage amount. The exact percentage will also depend on the term and type of your mortgage.
Do you have to pay mortgage brokers?
No. Mortgage brokers in Ontario are paid on the back end by the lender. Lenders are incentivised to find borrowers who will pay back their loan on time and in full, so it makes sense for them to work with a broker to find good candidates. As such, as a borrower you won’t pay for a mortgage broker’s services in Ontario.
Ontario mortgage brokers and agents could help you find the best rate available, and save you a lot of stress, money, and time in the process! At nesto, we have over 40 mortgage brokers across Canada ready to help. If you’re looking to get a mortgage in Ontario, get in touch today, and one of our mortgage advisors will be happy to help you find the best deal possible.
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