What Does a Mortgage Broker Do?

What Does a Mortgage Broker Do

Ever wonder what the difference is between a mortgage broker and the representative is at your bank? When dealing with a bank, you deal with only that one lender. Bank employees work on a salary and are paid to represent the best interests of their bank/ and their employer and only offer services provided by their institution. In fact, they can be paid annual bonuses bases on products they sold and how profitable those products were to the bank (looking out for the bank rather than their customer).


As independent mortgage brokers, we offer services and the lowest rates from over 40 lenders, which in turn allows us to design a mortgage which best suits your needs and saves you money. These options will take into account rate, features and benefits and also the cost of any prepayment penalty. Even though you may plan on staying with your current mortgage for the next 5 years, studies show us that 38% of people do end up refinancing within 5 years.


We will do all the paperwork and research necessary to get your application approved, saving you the time and complication of shopping for a mortgage on your own. Since Dominion Lending Centres brings millions of dollars in mortgage volumes to many different financial institutions, we can at times get extra benefits, such as lower interest rates and faster approvals. These benefits are passed onto you, the client. You would likely not access these perks as an individual borrower.




Some Not Well Known Mortgage Features To Look For


When it comes time to shop around for a mortgage, we know it’s about more than just finding the best mortgage rate. Every mortgage is a little different, depending on what’s written into the terms and conditions of your agreement, and there really is no one size fits all.


At first glance, it may be hard to digest everything that’s included in the fine print of your mortgage contract. However, this is something you’re agreeing to for any number of years, so it’s extremely important to do your due diligence and find out exactly what you’re signing up for.


If this is your first mortgage, especially, there are likely also some features you may not even know about yet. Before you sign on the dotted line, here are some optional features you should consider having included in (or excluded from) your mortgage.


Collateral / Non-Collateral Charge


If you think there’s a chance you’ll refinance your mortgage sometime during your mortgage term, you’ll want to get a non- collateral mortgage. Some lenders try to pass off their opposite – the collateral mortgage – as a good financial tool, because it’s a readvanceable mortgage product that allows your lender to lend you more money as your property value increases, without having to refinance your mortgage. However, the downside to that is a collateral mortgage cannot be transferred to another lender – not even at the end of your term. If you want to get out of it, you’ll have to pay a real estate lawyer to help you. Note that most banks offer both options, but TD Bank and Tangerine only offer collateral mortgages; there is no way to opt-in or opt-out – you’re just in.


Discounted Mortgage Penalty


You may or may not know by now that if you break your mortgage contract before your term is up, you’ll be subject to a mortgage penalty. If you have a variable rate mortgage, it’s just three months’ interest. If you have a fixed rate mortgage, however, it’s the greater of three months’ interest or the interest rate differential (IRD) – and the IRD can become expensive fast. If there’s any chance you’ll break your mortgage contract before your term is up for renewal, you should try to find a lender who uses a discounted mortgage penalty. Only 13 or so lenders offer it in Canada – mostly credit unions and wholesale lenders – but rather than using the posted rate penalty calculation most of the big banks use, the discounted penalty option gives you what approximates as a “fair” penalty – just enough to compensate the lender for you breaking your contract early.


Extended Ports


If you have a portable mortgage – one that can be transferred from your current home to a new home you buy – and you plan to take advantage of that option one day, you should also consider getting a mortgage that offers an extended number of days to port your mortgage. Typically, you only get 30 days to port your mortgage. If that’s what was in your agreement and your port happened to take 31 days, you’d be subject to the mortgage penalty outlined in the feature above (and probably not the discounted type, unless you find a mortgage with both options). Fortunately, extended ports can go up to 60, 90 and even 120 days. By finding a mortgage product that offers this feature, you can confirm your lender is willing to offer some flexibility when porting its mortgages.


Semi-Annual Compounding


Most fixed rate mortgage products compound the interest on a semi-annual basis, however, some variable rate mortgage products do it monthly. The more frequently your interest is compounded, the more interest you’ll end up paying. Fortunately, you can pick and choose until you find a mortgage with semi- annual compounding – you just needed to know you could (and should) ask for it!


Double-Up Payments


This feature is exactly what it sounds like. Let’s say your mortgage payment was $1,000/month. If your mortgage came with a double-up payments feature, you could pay $2,000/month instead, without penalty. It’s essentially just another lump sum prepayment option, but it’s a specific amount (double your regular payment amount) versus the regular lump sum prepayment option, which is quoted as a much smaller percentage of your existing payment amount (e.g. up to 15%). Very few lenders offer this feature, but if you think you’re going to have extra money coming in, it’s a great way to pay down your mortgage sooner and without penalty.


Online Access


Finally, this one may seem obvious, but you’ll probably want to get a mortgage you have online access to – a place where you can login and see your balance, amortization schedule, make prepayments, etc. The big banks all offer this, of course, but some of the smaller lenders and wholesale lenders don’t. If having this type of access is important to you and how you conduct your daily finances, confirm it’s an option with your lender!


Maui, Hawaii

Maui may just be the best place in this entire planet to call home. Constantly voted as the number one island in the world, (for over twenty consecutive years by the readers of Conde Nast Traveler magazine), Maui features a way of life that is hard to replicate. With some places on the island seeing over 330 days of sunshine each year, while others are literally the second wettest place on earth, the true diversity of Maui is remarkable. Actually, this island is one of the most diverse places in all of earth, as essentially every microclimate is represented here.


From the beaches, to the mountains, and the valleys, to the ocean, we have an environment unlike any other around. Maui is also highlighted by world-class dining, shopping, golfing, water sports, hiking, fishing, and sailing—there is always something new and exciting going on. We also have the distinct characteristic of being a somewhat smaller island, so getting places can’t take longer than a day.



One of the best examples of the islands diversity and beauty is the road to Hana—one of the finest drives anywhere! As you weave in and out of the coastal tropical rainforest and pass by numerous waterfalls and indigenous wildlife, the road transports you into a town that represents what Hawaii was like not so long ago. Along the way you’ll also pass black, white, and even red sand beaches as well as some of the freshest natural pools anywhere.


The island’s dining scene is truly one of a kind, with many of the finest Hawaiian Regional chefs calling here home. Both Bev Gannon and Peter Merriman are stars in their field, pioneering flavors that mesh Asian, Pacific, American, and Latino flavors all together. The range of options is so diverse that you could experience fine oceanfront dining, casual food trucks, local eateries, and a fresh farm stand fruit all in one day!


The beaches are also some of the best in the world, with miles and miles of pristine coastline waiting to be explored and conquered. Waves during the winter months can reach dizzying heights, and the worlds best windsurfers and big wave surfers conquer the mammoth surges with supreme confidence and ability. The North Shore of Maui is actually considered the “windsurf capital of the world” as it has consistent trade winds and open ocean swells to keep even the most extreme sportsman on their toes.


Hiking on Maui is also a very special thing, as there are hundreds of trails spanning many miles, from ocean to mountain peak. You might find massive cliff jumps, dense bamboo forests, beautifully smelling Eucalyptus trees, and daunting rock walls all along the same hike!



in all, there is probably no better place to raise a family than Maui. The island’s track record of low crime and high quality of life make it an obvious destination of those wishing to escape from the masses of large cities or suburbs. We invite you to reach out to us for more information on this spectacular island in the middle of the Pacific.