It's (mostly) business as usual with mortgages

Still can get a mortgage

Trying to buy a home has changed a little over the last month. Depending on who you are working with, arranging your mortgage financing has changed very little.

Our process is virtually paper free. We made a deliberate decision about five years ago to change our business model to better support our clients’ busy schedules, so we do the bulk of our mortgage applications either online or over the phone. 

About a year and a half ago our regulatory body finally gave us the go-ahead to use electronic signatures for our documents. What this means is that for many mortgage brokers our routines have not changed much, if at all.

What has changed for clients, however, is the fun part of the home-buying journey. Some sellers have pulled their houses off the market as they are not wanting too many people in and out of their homes.

Other sellers are requiring confirmation that potential buyers are serious and have their financing in order before booking appointments.

I have had a few clients who have decided to hold off purchasing until our world settles a bit. For others, they are moving forward as they need a place to live. 

Appraisers are not going into homes, for the protection of both themselves and the homeowners. Lenders are now accepting modified appraisals, meaning that the appraisers are doing their reports based on available information and adding interior photographs (time stamped) provided by the owners of the home.

Another significant change is that legal representatives are able to do virtual signings for the final mortgage documents. Some are still offering in-person signings and have implemented strict protocols to help ensure everyone stays safe and healthy. 

Interest rates have bounced around a bit. My expectation is that they will continue to trend down for the next few months. I do not have a crystal ball, but my thinking is that the government will be wanting to stimulate the housing market over the next two years to help our economy recover.

I noted that one of the chartered banks has posted a very low two-year interest rate, which makes me wonder if rates will start to climb at about that point?

I saw statistics this week that show sales in our market are down compared to this time last year. However, I do know that people are still looking and still buying.

If you are currently looking to buy a home or are already part way through the process, my recommendation is that you touch base with your home-buying team (realtor, mortgage professional, home inspector, and legal representative) to see if any of your timelines have changed.

On our end, we are making sure mortgage instructions are out to our legal partners as quickly as possible to ensure things flow smoothly and that we have extra time to address any potential issues.

One significant change we are seeing is how lenders are looking at refinance applications. I have had several approved over the last few weeks, but did notice more questions about the exact type of work clients do and the likelihood of them continuing to work as we deal with issues relating to COVID-19.

We are also having many conversations with our clients about contingency plans and mortgage deferrals. What we have seen is that most lenders have been overwhelmed with requests. They are working to deal with these requests based on mortgage payment due dates.

If you have requested a payment deferral and have not had confirmation back, it’s a good idea to reach out to your mortgage broker or lender to confirm that your request has been processed. 

We are here to help if you are needing support with mortgage deferral requests. It's business as (mostly) usual on our end. 

Hope you and your loved ones are taking care of each other. Stay safe and well. 


Comments are pre-moderated to ensure they meet our guidelines. Approval times will vary. Keep it civil, and stay on topic. If you see an inappropriate comment, please use the ‘flag’ feature. Comments are the opinions of the comment writer, not of Castanet. Comments remain open for one day after a story is published and are closed on weekends. Visit Castanet’s Forums to start or join a discussion about this story.

More The Mortgage Gal articles

About the Author

Tracy Head and Laurie Baird help busy families find mortgage solutions. Together they have more than 45 years of experience in the mortgage industry.

With today’s increasingly complicated mortgage rules, Tracy and Laurie spend time getting to know the people they work with and help them to better understand the mortgage process. They support their clients before, during, and after their mortgage is in place.

Tracy and Laurie work closely with their clients, offering advice and options. With access to more than 40 different lenders, Tracy and Laurie are able to assist with residential, commercial, and reverse mortgages in order to match the needs of their clients with the right mortgage package.

They work closely with their clients to find the right fit, and are around to provide support for years down the road!

Contact them at 250-862-1806 or visit http://www.okanaganmortgages.com

Visit their blog at https://www.okanaganmortgages.com/blog


The views expressed are strictly those of the author and not necessarily those of Castanet. Castanet does not warrant the contents.

Previous Stories