It’ll probably be a while before Brian and I start looking into buying our next place, but I can’t help but start thinking about what we might do next. In our area, there are quite a few cute city townhomes that are 2-3 stories high with 2 bedrooms. They’re quite spacious compared to condo living, but no where near as large as a house. We don’t need a lot of space, but I do drool a bit at the thought of having multiple levels to live in. And I kind of want to have a steampunk office space to geek out in.
In the past, we’ve gone to traditional banks to get our mortgages. Currently, both of our mortgages were done through TD mortgage specialist who has worked with my family in the past. On our first condo, he was able to refinance our mortgage at a rate of 2.15%. The current condo has a rate of 2.99%. This is probably equivalent to working with Bank of America or Citigroup in the US and Commonwealth Bank or National Australia Bank in (duh) Australia.
I actually dislike TD’s regular banking quite a bit. They are fairly expensive and I don’t have a personal relationship with any of the branches, unlike BMO, who I’ve banked with for the last 15+ years. But money is money and TD offered us the best rates at the time. Plus, our mortgage guy is quite personable and he’s always willing to travel to us, even on the weekends, to get something done. But that doesn’t mean that we’ll always get our mortgages with TD.
Prior to refinancing with TD, Brian and I actually had our mortgage with Vancity, a local financial co-operative and Canada’s largest community credit union. This would be similar to getting a Heritage home loan in Australia or banking with one of the many credit unions in the United States. Vancity is local to the greater Vancouver area and the institution supports many community events. For the most part, I liked their customer service and the rates were competitive. I would definitely consider using a credit union again.
Of course, Brian and I are still a few years away from buying a new home. We’ve only just moved into this one after all! But it’s nice to speculate…
In the end, we’ll probably just go with the place that gives us the best balance between service and good interest rates.
Did you get your mortgage through a tradition bank or did you look elsewhere? How did you find the experience?