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Homeownership - Learning about the mortgage end! (1)Sources of information

Many Canadians are or wish to be property owners. Since this is generally the biggest investment of our lives, it is important that we have sufficient information about home financing.

With this in mind, I thought you would like a few highlights about mortgages, the options, the terms, the rates and the process. But before you can get this information you will need to determine what sources of you should rely on. How, you may ask. Well here a few suggestions to get you started.

What sources are there, family, friends, co-workers, books/magazines, the internet, a financial institution, mortgage specialists with individual firms or independent mortgage professionals?

- You will likely trust your family, friends and co-workers not to lead you astray, but do they have sufficient knowledge to be able to give you the right information and advice?
- Books/magazines are usually informative but often is very generalized and they are not able to address your specific needs and questions. 
- The internet, like the books/magazines, is informative but also generalized. It may provide more information and different perspectives, but again, it does not address your specific needs.
- Individual financial institutions can be helpful, particularly as it pertains to their specific products but often their personel receive general training in a broad spectrum of products rather than being specialists in mortgages.
- Mortgage specialists operating for a specific lender have a greater knowledge and understanding of that company's mortgage products plus a broad knowledge of the industry as a whole. However, they are limited to offering you only the products and services of their employer.
- Independent mortgage professionals are required to have a more complete knowledge of the options, terms, rates, and process involved in mortgage financing. In order to deal with the multiple lenders that are available, they need to adapt to each lenders products, requirements and process guidelines. This knowledge and the access to the multiple lenders leads to a more thorough understanding of the mortgage business. The access to multiple lenders also allows for more choices for each individual client. AND, the mortgage professional works for you rather than the lender.

Regardless of where your comfort zone is with talking about your personal finances and mortgage choices, you should always get a second point of view. With the exception of Books/Magazines, there is no direct cost to check these sources for information. It is worth your time to explore your options to help you make the smart decisions regarding the biggest financial obligation you will likely have, your mortgage.

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Stay tuned for Number 2 in this series...
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