Mortgage brokers negotiate the best mortgage rates and deals on behalf of the borrowers. Mortgage brokers have access to mortgage products from multiple lenders that helps them compare different rates available in the market. In fact, many banks offer special low rates only through the broker channel, while some lenders offer their rates only through brokers. A good mortgage broker can potentially save you thousands of dollars in mortgage interest. Listed below are some of the top brokerages operating in Kitchener-Waterloo.
Headquartered in Toronto, Butler Mortgage is a brokerage with over two decades of mortgage brokering experience. The brokerage does not have an office in Kichener-Waterloo, but residents of the area can easily apply online or contact the brokerage over the phone. Those who wish to meet a broker in person can do so at their Toronto or Oakville offices, which are less than two hours away.
Butler Mortgage suggests that it tracks over 350 lenders to offer the best mortgage rates. Their lending partners range from banks and credit unions to private lenders. Butler’s mortgages come with features such as prepayment options, portability, assumability, and convertibility.
The brokerage offers several rate guarantees to back the low rates it offers. Butler Mortgage’s up-front rate guarantee suggests that they will match or beat a lower rate offered to clients by another brokerage. On failing to do so, the brokerage pays $500 to the client at the time of mortgage closing. Meanwhile, the brokerage also offers an after-approval rate guarantee. This guarantee suggests that the brokerage keeps scanning the market for a lower rate for you even after a lender has approved you. If they come across a rate that is at least 0.1% lower than the rate you are approved for, they request your lender to adjust your rate. If the lender refuses to do so, you can switch the lender.
Additionally, Butler Mortgage’s RateGuard Approval ensures that your rate is locked-in for 120 days, which means the rate does not increase if the rates in the market go up. However, if the rates in the market go down during this time, you will get a new lower rate.
Some of the mortgage services offered by the brokerage are:
Pine was introduced in the Canadian mortgage market in 2021. The digital lending platform was built with the intention of making the mortgage process faster and easier with the help of technology. The online application offered by Pine takes less than 10 minutes to complete, and all the supporting documentation is also submitted online through a secure portal. This means that you can conveniently get a mortgage without having to visit an office at any time, saving you a lot of time and hassle. However, if you need to speak to an advisor, you may do so over the phone, through email, or over an online chat.
With Pine, you can get a mortgage pre-approval within 24 hours. Pine’s mortgage rates are always among the best rates available in Canada, as can be seen from WOWA’s mortgage rates table, which shows rates from over 50 lenders and brokers. Meanwhile, the brokerage also offers incentives such as cashback from time to time, which can save you additional money.
Established in 2018, Citadel Mortgage has grown into a leading brokerage in Canada with seven offices in seven different provinces. The brokerage has won several awards since its inception, including the Excellence Award for Digital Innovation at the 2023 Canadian Mortgage Awards. The brokerage’s digital application allows you to apply from anywhere within minutes. Borrowers from Kitchener-Waterloo who would rather apply in person may visit the office located in Toronto.
The brokerage also offers a 60-second prequalification tool on its website that can be helpful for those looking to get prequalified quickly. Citadel Mortgages offer mortgage services such as:
Another interesting product offered by Citadel is the all-in-one mortgage solution. This solution combines debt and savings into a single account, helping borrowers pay off their mortgages faster and become debt free sooner.
Citadel Mortgage works with a range of lending institutions, including banks, credit unions, and private lenders. The brokerage specializes in assisting borrowers with bad credit. Citadel Mortgage offers borrowers limited-time incentives, such as cashback, complimentary hotel stays, and AIR MILES.
The Montreal-based online mortgage platform nesto was launched in 2018 with the vision of digitizing the mortgage process to simplify the mortgage experience. The platform has now become a well-known name in the Canadian digital lending space. nesto’s simple application can be completed through its website from anywhere, and the required documents are also submitted online, eliminating the need for branch visits. Those who wish to consult an agent may do so over a phone call or through email.
The brokerage compensates its agents with a fixed salary instead of a commission. nesto believed that doing so ensures that the agents remain unbiased while offering advice to clients.
Nesto also suggests that it offers the absolute minimum rates provided by banks, also known as ‘floor rates’ from the get-go. They back this claim with a low-rate guarantee and compensate their clients $500 for failing to deliver on their lowest-rate promise.
Some special products offered by nesto are also worth a mention. The brokerage offers a mortgage rate with a 150-day lock-in period, exceeding the traditional 120-day lock-in period, allowing more time to find a property or make a decision. Meanwhile, with the brokerage’s cash-back mortgage, borrowers can get 1% cash back on the mortgage amount, up to a maximum of $9,250 for a 5-year term. This may be particularly beneficial for borrowers who might require cash for renovations, repairs, or buying furniture.
There are currently three financing options available offered by nesto:
It should also be noted that nesto has strict lending guidelines, and borrowers need to meet their minimum credit criteria to get approved.
Neo Mortgage is an up-and-coming digital mortgage platform launched by Neo Financial, which provides a quick and easy mortgage experience. The entire process can be completed online, thus requiring no branch visits. The application can be completed within minutes, and the supporting documents can be submitted through a secure customer portal.
The brokerage suggests that the low rates offered by it can save thousands of dollars for its clients. Neo Mortgage’s 5-year fixed and 5-year variable mortgage rates are usually among the best five year rates on WOWA’s mortgage rates table. This suggests that the brokerage indeed offers some of the lowest rates in Canada.
The brokerage’s website shows five lending partners at present, and the brokerage is working towards expanding that list. Neo Mortgage is willing to work with borrowers with low credit scores; however, the brokerage does not guarantee their approval.
One of the largest brokerages in the Kitchener-Waterloo region, Valco Financial Ltd. has a team of over 45 mortgage agents servicing Ontario. The brokerage also has an office in Surrey. Apart from the agents, the brokerage also has a team of executives and coaches, along with a team of underwriters. Apart from residential mortgages, the brokerage also offers services such as credit coaching, mortgage insurance, commercial mortgages, and leasing. Borrowers can choose to apply online or meet an agent in person. Alternatively, they can call the brokerage or send an online inquiry to get started.
The Waterloo mortgage broker, Ardent Mortgages Inc, has a team of 13 mortgage brokers and agents offering residential mortgage services across Ontario. The brokerage’s website provides a link to an online prequalification tool that can help you get prequalified within minutes. The brokerage has access to over 50 Canadian lenders and has worked with over 2,600 clients in the past. To get started, borrowers can contact the brokerage through phone, email, or using their online inquiry form.
Bennett Capital Group is a brokerage based in Kitchener that is a part of the Mortgage Architects broker network. Being a part of the network, the brokerage has access to rates from over 50 lending institutions. The brokerage offers all kinds of mortgage solutions, along with services such as credit consulting, leasing, home insurance, and life insurance. Borrowers can get started by applying online or booking a consultation with one of the agents.
Many independently operating brokerages are a part of mortgage broker networks. These brokerages operate as franchisees of the network. Broker networks comprise hundreds and even thousands of brokers and agents who have access to the network’s rates, along with other tools and resources provided by them. Some broker networks are also part of larger financial groups. For example, Mortgage Intelligence, Invis, and Verico are all part of the M3 Financial Group.
Dominion Lending Centres is a broker network that has over 400 offices across Canada. The network has a team of over 3,000 mortgage experts and more than 90 lending partners. Their brokers have access to numerous tools and resources, along with training programs to stay up-to-date with industry standards. The network also has its own mobile application called ‘My Mortgage Toolbox.’
The Mortgage Centre (MCC) is a Mississauga-based broker network with over 250 office locations across Canada. The network has a strong presence within Ontario, with over 1,400 brokers and over 150 offices. Of those, four offices are located in Kitchener-Waterloo.
In addition to new purchases, refinancing, and renewing of residential mortgages, the network offers several mortgage products ranging from mortgages for cottage and vacation homes to investment properties, land, and commercial mortgages. Along with mortgage solutions, The Mortgage Centre offers equipment leasing through EasyLease and mortgage insurance through Manulife Mortgage Protection Plan.
As mortgage brokering is a licensed profession in Canada, individuals are required to obtain a broker license from the regulatory body in their province to work as a mortgage broker. The Financial Services Regulatory Authority of Ontario (FSRA) is the regulatory body that is responsible for issuing mortgage broker licenses in Ontario. To become a mortgage broker in Ontario, an individual must complete an FSRA-approved course and its examination.
This is called Ontario Mortgage Broker Education Program (OMBEP) and is offered by Mortgage Professionals Canada (MPC). There are two phases of the course, the first of which is online and the second one is in-person. Another prerequisite to applying for a mortgage broker license is that the applicant must hold a mortgage agent license for at least 24 months in the immediate 36-month period before application.