When you apply for a mortgage, you and/or your spouse or partner will need to provide your mortgage provider, broker or agent with personal information about your finances. It is a good idea to have the following documentation ready:
confirmation of your income and/or employment earnings
a mortgage preapproval certificate, if one was issued earnings
your current banking information
contact information for your lawyer or notary
evidence of your down payment
a copy of the agreement of purchase and sale
a list of your assets and liabilities
estimates of your monthly housing costs (e.g., property taxes, utilities, etc.)
the full address of the property
a copy of the real estate listing, if applicable
contract and building plans, if applicable
When the time comes to get a mortgage it is important to shop around and see what mortgage products and features different mortgage providers are offering. The easiest way to shop for most mortgage products is by enlisting the services of a Mortgage Broker. The more mortgages you compare, the greater your chance at getting one that best suits your needs.
To make the most of comparison shopping, you need to know what options are most important to you and have questions prepared to clarify what different options are available. You may wish to ask potential mortgage providers, brokers or agents the following questions:
What type of mortgage is best for my needs? In particular:
a fixed, variable or adjustable rate mortgage
an open, closed or convertible mortgage
What mortgage features and options are best for my needs? For example:
a short or long mortgage term
a short or long amortization period
frequent or less frequent mortgage payments (e.g., monthly versus biweekly payments)
the ability to make prepayments or lump sum payments (e.g., to pay an extra $200 each month or an extra $2000 per year)
the option to transfer my mortgage to another home if I sell my home
How will different factors (e.g., frequency of payments, amortization, etc.) influence the total cost of my mortgage?
What are my options if I cannot make a payment? For example, can I skip one payment per year or apply any prepayments I have made to a current payment that is due?
What penalty charges may apply if I want to break my mortgage contract or renegotiate a new one? How are they calculated?
Will I have to pay an additional fee if a payment is late?
How can I change the size of my mortgage payments?
What fees are involved in setting up, discharging or renewing my mortgage? How are they calculated?
How can I save on interest charges?
You should also come up with additional questions, based on your individual needs and preferences.
Download a printable version of the Mortgage Checklist