• One of the joys of writing these articles, is that I, Robert Floris can be myself and share my own thoughts on the mortgage industry not only in Canada but the Hamilton area as well.

    We have been fortunate that we have been in the mortgage industry for the last 25 years.  We have seen continued house prices since 1997.  Hey, I love what I do but being in the mortgage market since 1997 means I was in the right area at the right time.  Why do I bring this up?  Well sometimes I take a deep breath and I try to be aware of what is happening in the present.  My thought process is telling me we are reaching a saturation point with mortgage agents.  It has almost become comical when I look around.  Hair stylists are also selling mortgages, lawyers, jewellery dealers, policemen and I even have seen teachers get involved in the mortgage game.  Lately most of my inquiries have been from real estate agents who would like to perform with both hats.  If this is happening in Hamilton, I am sure this is happening all over our financial community in Canada.

    Luckily (due to my age), I have seen this before.  When real estate was strong in the 80’s, everybody wanted to be a real estate agent.  Did they really? NO.  They saw a hot market and all of a sudden we get many part-time agents.  When real estate turned down in the late 80’s and early 90’s, we witnessed who the true professionals were.  These were the realtors who cared for the clients and their profession.  The numbers of agents dwindled by approximately 30% (I tried to verify but could not get the exact numbers).

    Being a mortgage advisor is a privilege.  People share their most intimate financial details.  There is pressure since we cannot screw up their lives.  Meeting with potential mortgage clients takes understanding, compassion, mortgage knowledge and patience to help guide people’s dream home to an affordable level.  When we meet with clients we discuss affordability, their dreams, and life.  We actually make them do a budget so that they understand how their net income will change with a home.  I recently met with a couple whose mortgage rate is over 6%.  I asked what happened?  They indicated their mortgage broker had placed them there.  When I inquired who the mortgage broker was, they said he was no longer in the business.

    My instincts are telling me we are either at the top of the real estate market or many Hamiltonians will be receiving lousy mortgage advice.

    Robert Floris is an independent mortgage broker with Mortgage Architects in Hamilton Ontario.

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