Purchasing a home will likely be the largest single purchase you make in your lifetime, so you should consider all the costs and conditions of a mortgage — not just the interest rate.
While mortgage brokers offer interest rates that are often — but not always — lower than the rates offered by conventional financial institutions, the lowest advertised interest rate may not be the best overall deal for you. There are other costs and conditions you need to examine and ask questions about before you commit to a mortgage. These include:
- What additional fees are involved in a brokered mortgage that may affect your mortgage closing costs and your future sale costs?
- In selecting the mortgage company and the type of mortgage for you, is the mortgage broker looking after your specific mortgage needs or the size of his or her commission?
- What conditions are imposed in the brokered mortgage contract for such items as prepayment privileges, if any?
- What restrictions are imposed under the brokered mortgage contract? Do you have the flexibility to refinance the mortgage before the mortgage term expires if you need additional funds to build a garage, rec room or other home improvements? If you can refinance, what are the fees and penalties?
- If you’re dealing with a credit union or a bank, is the mortgage officer paid a commission based on the type or size of your mortgage?
- Does your broker or financial institution offer pre-approved mortgages? If so, what are the additional fees?
As you can see, there are a lot of important questions to ask and things to consider when securing a mortgage that is right for you.