Sometimes all it takes for people to embrace technology is a little push – like a global health pandemic brought on by the arrival of COVID-19. For people making the biggest purchase of their lives in a time of social distancing, that means buying a house and arranging a mortgage online. For older people used to a process that included face to face interaction with bankers, real estate agents, brokers and lawyers, going entirely digital is a big step.
“The older generation is getting pretty astute,” said Danny Alessandrini, mortgage broker with Algoma Mortgage. “Some still prefer the one on one. But many are starting to catch up with technology via kids and grandkids helping mentor them along with technology. It’s paving the way to help them take advantage of technology and the opportunities that brings.”
The obvious advantage of completing the home purchase online is the convenience, especially during a health crisis where people are encouraged to minimize their public interactions. Today’s streamlined process means people can take virtual home tours, make their offer, arrange financing and complete purchase with secure digital signatures. Allessandrini suggests that the process becomes even easier with the help of a professional mortgage broker.
“A good broker has two roles,” said Alessandrini. “One is we shop multiple lenders using technology to find the best rate for the consumer, the borrower. We’re also able to find products for people who don’t qualify yet with conventional lenders. So it’s both rate shopping and the roll-up-your-sleeves stuff where a client may have some loose credit or financial issues, and they need financial help from a different source. We can also do debt consolidation so it’s a multi-faceted role.”
A mortgage brokerage can arrange mortgages with lenders across Canada, giving borrowers a greater variety of options than they would get by going to their local bank to arrange financing. Despite that fact, Alessandrini says there’s a large percentage of people who still don’t recognize the true value of engaging a mortgage broker when buying new a property and arranging to finance.
“In northern communities, many haven’t taken advantage of the huge savings available when you use a mortgage broker,” he said. “The service is typically free and the process is seamless. In Southern Ontario and large urban centres, a high number of borrowers use a broker. In the Sault, the number is much lower.”
To address the concerns of people still tied to the notion that mortgages can only be arranged directly through their local bank, the team at Algoma Mortgage includes mortgage agents with experience with both big bank lending and credit union specialization. Consumers can arrange telephone appointments and complete their mortgage application with an agent right on the call.
“We have a very diverse skill set with our team. We provide funding from both entities so it’s really advantageous for the consumer, especially during times like these.”
For more information, visit Algoma Mortgage/The Real Estate Stop online at algomamortgage.com.