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  • Lisa Okun

What matters in a mortgage?

Updated: Jul 25, 2019

What’s important to you in a mortgage?

When I’m working with a new client, one of the questions I ask is “what’s important to you in a mortgage?” While most first time homebuyers won’t have a sense of this early in their home ownership journey, it’s important to know - especially so you can express this to your mortgage agent! What matters to you in your mortgage?

Interest Rate:

Most frequently, people will cite rate at the most important element in their mortgage. Of course, your interest rate is critically important. However, it is not the only thing that matters in a mortgage, and an understanding of different rates can also help when comparing rates with friends and colleagues. Not all rates are created equal. Remember that rates change frequently - your colleague that told you about their awesome rate that they closed on 6 weeks ago? That might be long gone by the time you buy your house. Likewise, it could be that they got an insured mortgage, and your plan is to put 20% down - both of you will have access to different rates because of this. Fixed vs. variable, term length and owner-occupied vs. investment property are all also factors in the kinds of rates available. Make sure you are comparing apples with apples, and at the same time! As your mortgage agent, I’m going to do all that I can to get you the best rate possible at the time that you buy, and that includes access to rate promos.

Mortgage Flexibility:

We’ve probably all heard of a nightmare scenario where someone needed to break their mortgage before the end of their term, and their lender charged them an astronomical penalty. Did you know that a lender will charge you if you try to break your mortgage before the end of the term? They will, and different lenders calculate penalty differently. If flexibility is important to you, this is a discussion to have at the outset of your home buying process. There are options with lenders, as well as different products that can maximize your flexibility. Here is an important caveat: many lenders offer special products with lower rates, but some of those will be very difficult to get out of - some of them may have a sale only clause, some may charge 3% of the balance as penalty. These mortgage are very costly to break! Be wary of rate specials and make sure to ask questions about penalty before you sign on the dotted line.


One of the great things about working with a mortgage agent is that they do the leg work for you. Want to compare all the lenders products in one go? That’s my job. Have you narrowed down the kind of mortgage product you want and are now trying to figure out who is offering the best rate for those specifications? Check, that’s me too. I’m going to package it all up for you and make the process easy. If you are looking for convenience, work with a mortgage agent!


Similar to convenience, my role is to ensure that the financing process runs smoothly. There are a million little behind the scenes issues that I’m going to take care of on your behalf. Wouldn’t it be awesome to have someone that understands the financing process mitigating complications before they become hurdles? That’s my role. If great service is important to you in your mortgage, we should definitely work together.

Now when I ask you about what’s important to you in a mortgage, you’re going to have a solid answer! Reach out to me anytime, my services are free, and awesome!

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