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How to select a Mortgage Expert for your renovation needs!

Money Matters: How to select a Mortgage Expert for your renovation needs!

As seen in Metro Vancouver Home Decor & Renovations.

Although many Mortgage Experts (including banks) offer only basic services, there are others that will analyze your entire financial requirements to develop a strategy to help you qualify for the right mortgage, using all their resources.

Mortgages for construction or renovations.

When you are looking for a construction or renovation renovations_pageloan you need to work with someone that understands the construction process and has extensive real estate experience. It is important they are going to be there to oversee the funding from the start to the end of the project to ensure the draws are paid on a timely manner and they are in constant contact with the lender throughout the project. There are different options to finance a renovation such as mortgage financing, home equity lines of credit, purchase/ refinance plus improvement programs, alternative lending and other non-banking solutions. Sometimes the client thinks that because of their long term relationship with their bank, they will get the best financing options. That’s not the case!

Before you engage the services of a Mortgage Expert.

As Mortgage & Leasing Experts, we know all the information the client provides is personal and confidential and we strongly recommend for the client to always verify the identification of the person they are going to work with. This can be achieved by doing the following:

  • Visit their web site and co101-a-helping-handnfirm the services they offer.
  • Ensure the Mortgage Expert works for a reputable company.
  • Verify that they have an active license and are registered with the government of BC (For verification click here and click under sub-brokers).
  • Confirm that the location of their office where they work.
  • Read testimonials from their clients on their web site.
  • Unless someone referred you to the Mortgage Expert, make an appointment to meet them in person before you give them any confidential information, this will give you peace of mind and you will know how this person will handle your personal information. It is important to meet the Mortgage Expert in person and that they don’t deal with you only via phone. Even though it might be more convenient.

From the initial contact, the client will realize the type of service the Mortgage Expert is going to provide. Remember this person is going to be a guide and support for obtaining the financing to purchase the greatest investments of their life.

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Red Flags for Contractor Fraud

With summer just around the corner, many homeowners are thinking about fixing up or remodelling their homes, it’s always wise to educate yourself on signs of contractor fraud to ensure you don’t end up paying for work that never gets completed.

Following are five red flags that may indicate a contractor is not legitimate:

  1. The company does not list a number in the phone book. This may indicate a fly-by-night operation that will be here today and gone tomorrow. They may seem legitimate in the beginning but, as soon as you make your first payment for the job, they may vanish.
  2. Asks you to pay for the entire job up front. This contractor will be long gone well before your project gets underway. Or, worse yet, the contractor may have started the project, leaving you with a ripped up home and depleted funds.
  3. Only accepts cash. A legitimate business should have the appropriate financial accounts in place to accept a variety of payment options from clients, including personal cheques and credit cards. If a contractor only accepts cash, you probably won’t see them again once they receive a payment.
  4. Solicits door-to-door or telemarketers. Most legitimate contractors find enough work through word-of-mouth referrals and advertising. If they need to drum up business by going door to door, they probably are not an established, local operation. Chances are this contractor is running a fly-by-night business.
  5. Offers exceptionally long guarantees. The contractor may be making promises that can’t be kept solely to sucker you into hiring them for the job. The contractor could be inexperienced or may be running a fly-by-night business.

The best way to protect yourself from contractor fraud is to seek referrals from people you trust who can vouch for the contractor including friends, family, colleagues or your mortgage broker or real estate professional. Also, you could select a contractor that belongs to an association such as the Greater Vancouver Home Builder’s Association.

It’s also important to read and understand every word of a contract before signing it. If you don’t understand something, ask for clarification.

Also keep in mind that you should never sign a contract with a service professional who makes promises that sound too good to be true. Chances are, this contractor needs to create these incentives to attract customers. If that’s the case, the contractor’s record can’t speak for itself.

Be especially wary of contractors who try to scare you into signing for repairs that they say are “urgent”. Before agreeing to any additional costly repairs, seek a second opinion.

If you’re thinking of embarking upon some home improvements, feel free to call to discuss your financing options.