It’s January and the start of a new year. How will this year turn out? Perhaps a little different given the circumstances of the world in the past 10 months but I’ll bet it will go the same way as every year since I started as a mortgage broker in Calgary in 2005.
The beginning of the year starts with the people who made New Year’s resolutions to buy a home in the new year. Calls generally start within a few days. Some people are ready with a down payment and want to get a pre-approval before talking to a realtor , others have done nothing and need to improve their credit . Around the third week in January, the credit card bills have arrived and some people are surprised at how much they spent on gifts and meals in the holiday season. They are already homeowners and they want to use the equity in their homes to pay off the holiday bills and leave some room for their annual winter vacation in the Sunny South. We usually arrange for a mortgage refinance or a line of credit . It’s a lot cheaper than the 25% interest rate on a credit card and allows people peace of mind.
People have been out hunting for homes and now have their eye set on one in particular. They want to make an offer. As we now know what they want it’s easier to qualify them. Possession days arrive and people start to move.
July starts with Canada Day and is followed by the Calgary Stampede. Most people are busy with parties and Stampede events but there are some who are not . As a mortgage broker , i am licensed to provide mortgages for the whole province so this is when the people from Edmonton, Lethbridge, Milk River and other Alberta towns and cities make up the majority of calls. August tends to be quiet and is the only time mortgage brokers can take a vacation.
September – December
With school back, there are still some home sales going on but now I get mortgage renewals for people who took 6 month mortgages years ago. There are more refinances and people pulling money out to buy a revenue property. Some people are more pro-active. Their mortgages are coming up for renewal in winter and early spring. They want to know if they can lock in at the low rates we often see in the fall. Yes, we can provide up to a 120 day interest rate hold . That’s 4 months of security .
As Calgary is a city that generally experiences growth from people moving into the city from elsewhere, we get busy with mortgages called “New to Canada” as they are for people who have just moved here in the past 3 years. Some people arrive with money in their pocket from the sale of a home in another country but no job yet. We can provide them with a mortgage under certain circumstances that gets them into a home before they have found a job and completed the standard 3 month probation period.
Finally we get to the end of the year. As usual, we have helped a lot of people to get into homes, to renew their home financing to save money and to pay off debts. And before you know it, another successful year has passed.