Getting a mortgage is much more than simply finding the best rate. There are plenty of other considerations that, when carefully taken into account, can help you become mortgage-free faster. MCAP, one of Canada’s largest independent mortgage lenders, has put together a list of seven questions that you should ask yourself when considering a mortgage:
1. Broker or no broker?
Your first decision is arguably your most important: Should you select a broker to help you navigate the ins and outs and dos and don’ts of getting a mortgage? A broker will help you find the best mortgage deal and rate, and advise you on other important mortgage decisions.
2. Who can give me the best rate?
Brokers have a wide range of lenders they can tap to find you the most competitive rate. A recent survey  by the Canadian Association of Accredited Mortgage Professionals revealed that those who renewed, or renegotiated with a mortgage broker reported an average rate decrease of 1.4%.
3. Should I lock in or go variable?
A fixed rate mortgage provides a set principal and interest payment that is guaranteed to not change for the entire length of the term selected. If you think the market will provide an even better rate at a later date, then you may want to opt for a variable rate mortgage.
4. which mortgage term should i choose? A mortgage term is the number of years you commit to your lender at the agreed-to interest rate and conditions. You renew at the end of each term. You may want to go short-term if rates are set to fall, long-term if they’re trending up.
5. Which amortization length is best for me?The amortization period represents the number of years it takes to repay a mortgage loan in full. The shorter the amortization period, the faster you’ll pay off your mortgage, but the higher the regular payment. Choose an amortization period that allows you to make payments that you’re comfortable with and can afford.
6. Do I pay monthly, bi-weekly or weekly? Making payments more frequently will reduce your amortization period and overall interest paid. However, it’s all about cash flow. A good tip is to arrange for the smaller, accelerated payment frequencies to coincide with work pay periods.
7. Should I take advantage of lump sum payments?MCAP lets you pay up to 20% of the original principal amount of your mortgage any time during each anniversary year of your mortgage, without penalty or administration fee. The entire amount of these payments is applied directly against your principal balance.
PLUS, 1 more decision: Do I need
insurance? Your broker can advise on the benefits of mortgage insurance. MCAP’s Home Mortgage Protection takes the worry away should anything happen to you. It’s insurance that pays off your mortgage balance up to $500,000 in case of death.