Canadian Mortgage Broker?
August 13, 2012 11:40 AM   Subscribe

I live in Vancouver Canada. I'm starting to research buying my first place. Does anyone have any suggestions or recommendations in terms of a mortgage broker?

Basically I would like to get an idea of what kind/amount of mortgage I would qualify for (with real estate the way it is here, this really affects my options). I'm not planning to buy right away but I'd still like to get an idea of what my options are now.

I'm also going to talk to a couple banks, but I've heard that brokers can sometimes get a bit of a better deal..(?)

As you can tell this isn't something I've had a lot of experience with so if anyone can give me any recommendations for someone to approach that knows about this and doesn't mind a bunch of noob questions, I'd be incredibly grateful.
posted by concreteforest to Work & Money (3 answers total) 4 users marked this as a favorite
My friend swears by Lawrie Thom, who helped her through a mortgage and a refinance. She says he spent a long time (1.5 hours?) just answering questions and helped her change her mortgage to a longer term after her separation (with the advice that she bank the money for use as a balloon payment or emergency fun). His website is She says the service from him was really good and not pressured.
posted by Chaussette and the Pussy Cats at 12:35 PM on August 13, 2012

The Red Flag Deals mortgage thread is about to become your new best friend. A bunch of well vetted brokers are on there, and they'll all give you great rates if you're part of the community. Sub-3% rates should be somewhat easy to come by these days...
posted by evadery at 12:38 PM on August 13, 2012

Most banks have an on-line calculator for how much mortgage you can secure, given CMHC and OSFI reg's. For instance, here's the Royal Bank's How much home can I afford calculator?.

Basically, it takes your income, your liabilities, your downpayment, and calculates the largest payment consistent with CMHC regs. The two relevant measures are 1) that your total monthly cost (mortgage payment + property taxes + heating + maintenance / condo fees) is less than 32% of your gross income and 2) your total debt servicing and housing outlays (the above, plus payments on cars, credit lines, credit cards) are less than 40% of your gross income.

A popular approach is to get a pre-approval from a major bank or credit union (say, the one you already bank at), use that for house hunting purposes and then, when you've an offer accepted, hit up a mortgage broker and either find another originator or use their offer to negotiate with your bank.
posted by bumpkin at 2:17 PM on August 13, 2012

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