Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Mortgage Brokers in Nova Scotia

As you know, we're currently looking at different options regarding buying a farm/home here in the Annapolis Valley. We've done market research for almost 3 years now and regularly stay updated on what's what in the housing market. The one thing we're not abreast of is financing. So, I made an appointment and went to see an independent mortgage broker.

I chose to go see Jennifer Guest in Greenwood. She has a background in finance and understands more than just the loan process. She seems genuinely interested in having you on a good solid financial platform so that you can make an informed choice. She deals exclusively with mortgages at the moment after going out on her own from a career at Scotiabank. And she's super nice and practical.

We very honestly discussed all the options and scenarios for our situation and she's going to help us come up with a long term plan if that's the way we decide to go. No pressure, just advice to help us qualify for the best mortgage rate.

I learned a lot of different ways of looking at mortgage financing and her experience in dealing with the big lenders but I wanted to share the 2 things that I think could benefit the most people.

To build good credit we all know to pay off your bills on time. But did you know that using your credit card only upto 80% of it's limit will give you the best credit faster?

I also learned about ways of paying off your mortgage faster while still having a financial buffer. She said to get a regular term of say 20 years resulting lets say in a payment of $800 instead of a shorter term mortgage at $1200 per month. Pay your $800 and bank the $400 difference. At the end of the year you would have $4800 saved up to apply as a lump sum against the principal, thereby paying your mortgage off faster. But at the same time you've got a little bit of savings for 11 months of the year so that if anything happens like losing your job, the payments are lower ($800) plus you'll have some money in the bank to cover some of the payments too.

It seems like sound advice doesn't it? From what I can tell and the checking up I've done, this lady is the kind of broker who gets the best deal for her client, and doesn't do what makes her the best commission. She's honest, and I think she'll be in business for a long time simply because her clients will come back to her again and again and they'll refer their friends.

So I officially Highly Recommend Jennifer Guest of Centum and if you are looking for a mortgage or just need the advice to get you on track and ready for a mortgage in the future, see her!


  1. Good luck Elizabeth ... I hope everything works out for you and you find that perfect property. We are still trying to figure out if we should visit Nova Scotia first before rushing over there and possibly not liking it. I keep reading on the net about people that have left B.C. and really regret their decision. I know you don't and that's good !

    Have a great day ... Helga

  2. I think a lot of it has to do with your lifestyle in BC and your goals. If you have a fancy lifestyle and like fine dining and arts and culture...then NS isn't for you unless you live in the city (Halifax and Dartmouth) or are willing to drive. If you want a quiet laid back retirement, are willing to make new friends, can accept being away from family in BC or have goals like raising a family on a self-sufficient farm, then NS is great. We do miss the sheer ruggedness and wild beauty of BC and the beaches, and we miss our grandchildren, but weighing all the options we are very happy here. But it would be hard to move here and try to move back a few years later given the huge difference in housing prices and the simple cost of moving. Given our financial situation, we knew this was a one way move for us.

    That being said...we love Canada! My parents moved our family here in 1988 and we'd never dream of moving back to England. Great place to visit but not to live. Yet we know dozens of people who emigrated only to return a year or two later. Adjusting to something so totally new is more of a challenge than some people bargain for.

    If you are the type of people who can be happy anywhere...then you'll see all the positives about NS. If you hate the neighbours you have now and hate your town, you'll likely find things to complain about here too.

    I think that if you have the time and money, a trip to NS would be great. Stay in B&B's so that you get to know some of the local history and flavour and explore!

  3. Your family seems very practical and all your decisions intelligent and well thought out - I am absolutely certain your goal of farming your own land will become reality and I really hope it works out that you can buy the piece of land that you're dreaming of! I am still waiting to hear whether I have been accepted to study at Dalhousie, but I think the east coast is wonderful and there all always opportunities for those who make them - all the best to you and yours,
    Linnaea in Victoria