Expert Interview with Geoff Lee About Mortgages and Borrowing
Geoff Lee of GLM Mortgage Group knows plenty about the mortgage process and borrowing money. He works to ensure that customers do what is best for them. That’s why he is a proponent of responsible borrowing and maintaining financial independence.
Here, he shares some tips for individuals looking for more information about the mortgage process, loans, borrowing, and more.
How is the GLM Mortgage Group different from similar entities?
GLM Mortgage Group, powered by Dominion Lending Centres, is set apart in its ability to deliver customer service. We always return our calls within 90 minutes, and our clients usually have an answer for a preapproval within four hours of submitting their secure, online application. We take every application seriously and take the time to map out plans for our clients to obtain the mortgage they are looking for. Our motto is: “Getting you a fast ‘YES’ at the sharpest rate … guaranteed”.
We believe in educating all our clients on the “personalities” of their mortgage product outside of the rate; because sometimes, their rate my come with restrictions that will handcuff them in achieving their long term goals (porting their mortgage, porting and extending the money they may need for another purchase when upgrading, calculation of penalties and what that looks like, how a mortgage is registered, and so much more). EVERYONE should be asking these questions or having their broker explain to them what these are, but 99% of the brokers out there focus on the rate. We focus on the education; and because of this and our strong relationships with our lenders, we are able to provide rates that others simply can’t offer.
What are some of the biggest misconceptions about mortgages?
Probably the biggest misconception about mortgages is that all the power of negotiation is in the hand of the bank. This is simply not true. As a consumer, you have the power to negotiate and shop around to find the best terms for the mortgage you need.
As a professional Mortgage Broker, GLM Mortgage is able to negotiate on your behalf. Not only that, we have over 50 different lenders that we work with so that you are guaranteed the sharpest rate available. Statistically speaking, if you use a broker you will receive 25-50 basis points lower than the rate your bank will offer you. Banks prey on their relationships with customers, and as a result do their clients a disservice.
What are some of the biggest misconceptions about other types of loans? How does GLM Mortgage Group address these misconceptions?
The biggest misconception about other types of loans is that all loans are alike. This is simply not true. Not only are there different types of loans with different restrictions, but there are also different types of lenders with different restrictions. When shopping for a loan, the consumer needs to know the difference between the various types of lenders and the products they offer.
It’s kind of like looking at different houses. They might be on the same block, but every house has a different design and has different characteristics. And often, they have different challenges, such as needing to replace the roof or the hot water tank. It’s the same with lenders. Every lender has a different design for their loan. The leaky hot water tank could come in the form of the penalty in breaking your loan or the unseen costs that you need to know about. At GLM Mortgage Group, we educate our clients so that they know the terms of their loan, so that there are no surprises along the way!
We also specialize in Alt A and private financing. This is lending that does come with a higher rate and fees, but it enables clients to obtain financing when they are having credit issues, difficulty qualifying for a loan due to the income they are reporting (such as those who are self-employed), or a large number of properties that they own. Most traditional lenders only want you to have up to five properties; and once that limit is reached, then financing becomes challenging. We also specialize in investment property financing and self-employed income.
Some individuals are hesitant about debt and never want to take the plunge into having a mortgage. How does GLM Mortgage Group help these people once they do decide to go for home ownership?
It true. Debt is uncomfortable. We live in a system where debt, unfortunately, is the norm. However, there is a strategy in having debt, such as a mortgage. At GLM Mortgage Group we make sure our clients have the best terms available for their mortgage needs. We interview and try to get to know our clients so that we know what they need and what they want. We take the time to listen. For all of us at GLM Mortgage Group, a happy client is our goal. Our experience in mortgages and real estate lay the foundation for smart choices toward the specific mortgage that our individual clients need.
Credit issues are a major source of anxiety for borrowers and would-be borrowers. What advice can you offer to these individuals?
Healthy credit is very important in not only getting a mortgage, but any type of loan. However, credit is not the only factor a lender considers when offering a mortgage. In fact, you can have bad credit and still obtain a mortgage if all aspects of your financial situation are taken into account (such as existing equity in a property you own). GLM Mortgage Group knows the strategies in obtaining a mortgage because they know the lenders that they work with, and they know who can work with borrowers who have bad credit. Again, this comes down to educating our clients.
If you could get adults to adhere to three financial practices to enhance their own financial health, what would those practices be?
1. Pay your bills on time. Late payments can hurt your credit. Even paying 30 days late can make a significant dent in your credit score.
2. At the very least, make your minimum payment. Usually, this is very affordable. If you don’t make a payment because you are overwhelmed with your debt, just take a deep breath and don’t give up. Not paying anything toward your bills will affect your credit score and limit your options to strategize a way to get out of debt.
3. Keep all your receipts and write all of your spending down. Get yourself a journal and tally your expenditures daily. This takes practice and patience, but getting a good look at your spending habits can encourage you toward spending smartly. There are lots of great apps available to help you account for your spending.
What are some of the best practices that you would recommend to those interested in taking out a loan or paying off an existing loan?
Get expert advice on how to strategize in paying off your loan. Professionals such as GLM Mortgage Group have the “know how” to approach debt consolidation because they deal with these types of scenarios all the time. And the best part of this for you is that this service is absolutely FREE. Why wouldn’t you take advantage of this?
Home improvement loans are another service offered by the GLM Mortgage Group. What can you say about these types of loans and their benefits?
Home equity lines of credit and mortgages that “tack on” extra money for home improvements are available from different lenders. As mentioned before, we work with over 50 different lenders that offer a variety of mortgage products that cater to those that want to make home improvements. Investing extra money into your home can actually significantly increase its value, like upgrades in the kitchen or the bathroom. These are options that GLM Mortgage Group makes sure our clients know about so that they know what options are available to them.
Please share anything additional you would like readers to know about the GLM Mortgage Group.
GLM Mortgage Group is intent on getting the most up-to-date mortgage information to our clients by continuously educating ourselves on the latest mortgage trends and news. We stay with our clients through the life of their mortgage and beyond. We are committed to making sure our clients know what is currently available, and we provide resources for our clients to be empowered to remain in a healthy financial position.
We also believe in giving back. We support Imani Orphan Care, a nonprofit organization that provides financial, medical, and home basic support to needy families and orphans in Kenya. Please visit www.imaniorphancare.com for opportunities on how to get involved in this exciting organization.