SOURCE: Scotiabank

Scotiabank

April 15, 2015 06:00 ET

Few Canadian Mortgage Holders Have Fully Read & Understood Their Mortgage Agreement -- Scotiabank Poll

Scotiabank Offers 5 Tips to Make Home Buying Stress Free

TORONTO, ON--(Marketwired - April 15, 2015) - Just one-in-three (33%) Canadian homeowners with a mortgage have read their entire mortgage agreement according to the 2015 Scotiabank Mortgage Poll. Of those who have read at least some of their mortgage agreement, only 27% understood all of the details in the agreement. 

The poll also indicates that more than eight-in-ten Canadian homeowners and prospective owners (84%) consider competitive interest rates as the most important factor to selecting a mortgage. The next most important factors indicated were flexibility to repay the mortgage at any time without penalty (63%) and prepayment privileges without penalty (60%).

"Buying a home is both exhilarating and stressful, which is why a meeting with a financial advisor to understand all of the terms and conditions of a mortgage agreement will ensure customers get the mortgage that is right for them," says Scotiabank's David Stafford, Managing Director of Real Estate Secured Lending. "Flexible features like prepayment privileges, bi-weekly payments and the ability to port your mortgage can save customers thousands in interest and fees over the long term."

Stafford offers five tips to help Canadians get into the mortgage that is tailored to their home financing needs:

  1. Know how much home you can afford. Working with a financial advisor to develop an overall plan ensures you're making a fully informed decision about your home purchase, and eliminates some of the anxiety. Scotiabank's What can I afford? tool is designed to answer the question of affordability.
  1. Understand your options. Just as important as rate are mortgage features and flexibility. Many homebuyers focus on the rate and payment schedule, but it's crucial they also consider other important options, such as prepayment schedules. Are you going to be able to make an extra payment or two during the year? With certain products, that's not allowed - and prepayment can shave years off your mortgage.
  1. Is the mortgage portable? Some homebuyers, like first-timers, have plans to make a change after two or three years, maybe upsizing, downsizing, or moving. Being able to move the mortgage with you to your next home is an essential point of discussion.
  1. Get pre-approved before you make that offer. While it's helpful to have a rough idea of what you might qualify for in a mortgage, we encourage homebuyers to get a pre-approval before starting their home search, so they're aware of what the parameters are around affordability.
  1. Build your team. A home is the biggest purchase most of us will make in our lifetime, so you want to make sure that you're making good decisions, supported by qualified and knowledgeable people. It starts with your financial advisor, so you know what you can afford and how to structure the mortgage agreement. You'll also want a really solid real estate agent, someone that understands your needs followed by a lawyer or notary to close that deal. You'll also need a home inspector and an insurance broker to make sure that you're getting insurance on the property.

About Scotiabank
Scotiabank is Canada's international bank and a leading financial services provider in North America, Latin America, the Caribbean and Central America, and parts of Asia. We are dedicated to helping our 21 million customers become better off through a broad range of advice, products and services, including personal and commercial banking, wealth management and private banking, corporate and investment banking. With a team of more than 86,000 employees and assets of $852 billion (as at January 31, 2015), Scotiabank trades on the Toronto (TSX: BNS) and New York Exchanges (NYSE: BNS). Scotiabank distributes the Bank's media releases using Marketwired. For more information, please visit www.scotiabank.com and follow us on Twitter @ScotiabankNews.

About the polling data
Scotiabank calculations are based on an online survey conducted by Nielsen for Scotiabank among 1,008 Nielsen panel members who either own a home or plan to purchase in the next 2 years. Data was collected from January 28 through February 6, 2015.

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