Do-It-Yourself (DIY) investing has been a passion of mine for some time now. It’s one of the reasons I started this site, to share what I know, what I’ve learned, to help others while having some fun in the process. While interesting and exciting, DIY investing can be daunting – there is a huge body of knowledge out there to wrap your head around. The basics are easy for everyone to understand yet often difficult to execute consistently. This is where professional help usually comes in, and for many reasons more.
Canadians often seek professional help to secure their mortgage as well – but times are changing. Over the years millions of Canadians have secured their own online brokerage accounts to choose and hold their investments. The premise of that is simple, you do the work yourself and you save time and money in the end. Why couldn’t you apply the same premise to your mortgage? Now you can.
A new DIY mortgage service called intelliMortgage is here and it has (and I believe it will continue to) simplify the mortgage lending process. My mortgage term is up for renewal next year, so today’s post will highlight how intelliMortgage works, what I’m thinking about when it comes to my mortgage and why I’m already using this cool tool to save more money going-forward.
intelliMortgage Fast Facts
- Co-founded by Rob McLister, mortgage entrepreneur, founder of Canadian Mortgage Trends, mortgage rate comparison tool RateSpy and frequent Globe and Mail contributor.
How It Works:
- Select your desired mortgage term.
- Find the lowest rate.
- Apply for the mortgage.
IntelliMortgage works by using your inputs and checking for the best mortgage rate among banks, credit unions and wholesale lenders. If you decide to apply for a mortgage, you download the application documents, complete them, and return the signed documents electronically. There is a surcharge if you back out of the application. The approval period for the mortgage application is about 24-48 hours. It’s that simple.
Benefits and other features:
- The mortgage application process is fast.
- If or when you want some “human touch” you can contact a member of Rob’s team via phone or live chat.
- intelliMortgage will work to beat any existing quote.
- intelliMortgage guarantees its rates will rival the best rates available.
- Once the mortgage is approved, intelliMortgage watches lower rates for you until it closes.
- If another lender beats your rate by a material amount (i.e., 0.10% or more for an equivalent mortgage), and your lender won’t match that rate, you can change lenders at no cost.
- If you’re refinancing, intelliMortgage will close your mortgage in no more than 18 days otherwise they’ll pay the legal fees (a few conditions apply).
- The company is paid by lenders, not you, there’s no individual selling.
intelliMortgage is another great online tool for Canadian consumers. I’ve already started using the tool, here’s why:
- My wife and I are considering a 3-year variable term when our mortgage is up for renewal, with the best rate available at the time, which this site guarantees. More on that below.
- I want to take advantage of the “human touch” if and when I have questions.
- I don’t need to worry about following mortgage rates closely (these folks do that for me).
On the topic of fixed vs. variable rate mortgages
5-year fixed rate mortgages are popular with homeowners since they provide insurance against mortgage rate increases over that term. You’re basically paying a small insurance premium over variable rate mortgages of the same length. Most fixed rate mortgages have a penalty associated with breaking the mortgage term, whichever is greater: the Interest Rate Differential (IRD) or three months mortgage interest payments. The IRD is usually the penalty that applies to most homeowners breaking their 5-year mortgage agreement. My wife and I are leaning towards a 3-year variable rate term. Most variable rate mortgages do not have IRD penalties. We figure a 3-year variable term will provide us with the most flexibility. With our next mortgage term we’ll be looking at 20/20 prepayment privileges, that is, we can increase our mortgage payments up to 20% over the existing payment and we can prepay up to 20% of the mortgage principal annually without fees or penalties charged.
Mortgage rates are critical when it comes to securing a mortgage but not everything. Length of term, prepayment privileges and help when you need it also counts. For Canadians already versed in managing their own investments, using intelliMortgage (affiliate) would be another natural step. For all home buyers and home owners, this new online tool is another weapon that guarantees some savings and is designed to save you time during the mortgage process.