In March 2011, the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC) conducted a survey of recent mortgage consumers in order to gain a perspective on attitudes and behaviours. One of the most significant findings is that more and more first-time home buyers are looking for the advice, expertise and choice that is available through mortgage brokers, a very strong upward trend when looking at past survey results. In 2011, 48 per cent of first-time buyers completed their transaction with a mortgage broker, up from 45 per cent in 2009 and 35 per cent in 2007. Clearly, today's generation of homebuyers are very savvy about seeking out their options; they understand the value of professional advice, and don’t want to be tied to one particular bank's products.
The survey results also indicate that there is confidence and prudence on the part of homeowners in terms of how they view and manage their mortgage debt:
· 39 per cent of recent buyers set their payments higher than what was required;
· 20 per cent of recent buyers have already made a lump sum payment on their mortgage;
· 39 per cent intend to reduce their amortization at their next mortgage renewal;
· a large majority of recent homebuyers (86 per cent) agree that homeownership is a good long-term investment;
· 84 per cent were confident they got the best mortgage deal for their needs; and,
· 82 per cent indicated that their mortgage professional—either a mortgage lender or mortgage broker—took the time to fully understand their financial situation and mortgage needs
While many home buyers and owners are confident and prudent, the study points out that many Canadians can benefit from more service, education and advice in several areas. The research showed that during their mortgage research:
· only 23 per cent of first-time buyers received advice on budgeting;
· only 18 per cent received advice on managing debt; and,
· 25 per cent of recent buyers are not sure of where to go to receive reliable advice in case they find themselves in financial difficulty.
Independent mortgage brokers – who have access to more than 50 different lenders, including most of the major banks – are increasingly focusing on education and long-term advice. In addition to offering access to a broad range of mortgage options, most brokers provide credit advice, debt management tips and debt restructuring that can help save thousands of dollars.
If you are one of those homebuyers looking for more help with budgeting, managing your debt load, or need someplace to turn when in financial trouble, then a conversation with an experienced mortgage broker is a great place to start. The right broker will make a significant difference in your financial life by partnering with you to help you achieve your financial and homeownership goals.
More savvy first-time buyers are turning to mortgage brokers, perhaps you should too!