When it comes to securing a mortgage I prefer to use a mortgage broker. I know a lot of people just walk into their local bank branch and ask for a mortgage, but to me, that makes no sense. I'd never buy a car by walking into my local dealership and buying whatever car they offered me, so why would I buy a mortgage that way? I'd much rather shop around for the best deal.
Not all mortgage brokers are created equal. We had one crappy broker in the past who, although he got us a good rate, forgot to send us some paperwork and we almost lost the mortgage. So, I think hearing a testimonial from someone who had a good broker is helpful.
Our current broker is Rob McLister from www.myvirtualmortgagebroker.com. I really can't say enough good things about him. We have used him for three mortgages now and he has always gotten us a great deal. He works harder than anyone I think I have ever met and his turn around time on requests is usually exceptionally fast. He is based in Vancouver, so I have never actually met him, but in today's Internet enabled world, that doesn't seem to matter. He used to have an office in Toronto, so he is familiar with any Ontario-specific rules or laws and he is great at recommending more sophisticated mortgage arrangements that can save you thousands in interest charges over the life of the mortgage. He has twice arranged mortgages for us to do a Smith Manoeuver. You will never get that service at your local bank. Rob and his wife Melanie also write a blog (www.canadianmortgagetrends.com) which is a great source of information on anything at all to do with mortgages.
I picked Rob because of his blog and because he is a regular contributor to several other financial blogs I follow. In particular, when we first started thinking about arranging a Smith Manoeuver mortgage, I needed to find someone who I felt had sufficient experience in the intricacies of this technique. Rob's frequent blog posts and comments on other blogs gave me that assurance.