Good mortgage advice critical

Good mortgage advice critical for Canadian homebuyers | Globe and Mail

August 17, 2012
The wide range of mortgage products currently available to Canadian homebuyers means that getting good mortgage advice has never been more important, says Todd Poberznick, assistant vice-president of B2B solutions at Calgary-based Bridgewater Bank.


“Buying a home is usually the biggest financial decision most people make in their lives, so they need to ask a lot of questions before making a final decision on what type of mortgage to take out,” says Mr. Poberznick.Bridgewater offers its mortgage products throughout Canada, except in Quebec, through a network of mortgage brokers, which Mr. Poberznick believes provides customers with ready access to expert advice.


“The brokers we work with are knowledgeable experts, and we confidently advise customers to consult them about their mortgage needs,” he says. “First-time homebuyers in particular need to be comfortable with what they are entering into. And if they are not being provided with the full range of mortgage options and having all their questions answered, they should go somewhere else.”

He adds that Bridgewater – a wholly owned subsidiary of the Alberta Motor Association – is a niche player in the mortgage market; its entrepreneurial approach makes it more versatile than other mortgage lenders. “If there’s a deal to be made, we will make it work,” says Mr. Poberznick.

Colette Delaney, executive vice-president of mortgage, lending, insurance and deposit products at CIBC, agrees that a conversation with someone who can provide good financial advice is the best move that a prospective homebuyer can make in order to decide what type of mortgage suits their needs.

“It’s not a case of fixed or variable-interest rates being a better option for everyone at any particular time, but rather an individual’s needs at the time they take out their mortgage,” says Ms. Delaney.

Canadians seem to be anticipating higher mortgage rates, she notes, so the trend is toward locking in at the current lower rates. This will make it easier to pay off mortgages quicker and is in line with poll results released by CIBC earlier this year, which showed that Canadians identified paying down debt as their number-one financial priority for 2012.