84% of first-time homebuyers went online when gathering information about mortgage options and features, according to a 2015 CMHC first-time homebuyer survey.
Since the majority of Canadians own smartphones, most of whom are within arm’s reach at any given time, it makes sense that much of a buyer’s initial research will be done on their mobile device. Rather than a prospective buyer simply trawling the web for information, the following apps make mortgage information much more attainable. Some of these apps even give buyers the option to undergo the entire mortgage process without encountering another human being face-to-face.
Is this ideal? You be the judge.
Canadian Mortgage App
The Canadian Mortgage App is the #1 ranked mortgage app in Canada.
Spurred by his own frustration with the homebuying process, Canadian Mortgage App creator Ben Salami and his team have created a product that offers a realistic estimate of homeownership costs, as well as an accurate assessment of the fees associated with buying a home. The CMA app also has CMA Pro built in, which allows realtors, mortgage professionals, and real estate lawyers to brand it with their own information and referral partners.
Available for both Android, iOS, and Blackberry, this app is one of the most comprehensive apps out there.
Ready, Set, Home
Ready, Set, Home is the app of the Canadian Housing and Mortgage Corporation (CMHC). This app is particularly geared toward first-time homebuyers, and helps them to make informed choices regarding their home purchase.
The app has articles and features pulled from the CMHC website, such as a glossary of terms. You can personalize the app, like a way to keep track of the properties that you’re interested in, as well as contact information for your mortgage and real estate professionals.
This one’s available for Android, iPhone, and Blackberry.
Hello Home, CIBC mortgage app
CIBC recently released their own mortgage app, Hello Home.
This free app advertises a smooth mortgage application process on your mobile device from start to finish, including choosing and applying for a mortgage, sending supporting documents, submitting photos, communicating with a CIBC mortgage specialist, and tracking your application. While other big banks have online preapprovals, Hello Home is the only app by a big bank.
Unfortunately, it’s only available on iOS.
Genworth HomeOpeners® app
Genworth is the the largest private residential mortgage insurer in Canada. Their web-based app, HomeOpeners®, is geared toward mortgage professionals as a way to help them help clients make informed homebuying decisions, but it also is user-friendly for buyers themselves.
With calculators and product information, all Android, iOS, and Blackerry users can get their home search off on the right foot.
Centum Pre-Qualifier Tool
This isn’t an app so much as a widget, but still deserves a spot on the list. Centum, a network of independently owned mortgage broker firms, provides a tool that encourages buyers to start the mortgage process at their convenience, in a matter of minutes. After going through a short series of screens where you answer questions, that information is sent to a Centum broker.
On the surface it seems like many other pre-qualifier tools that are out there, but the submissions give Centum agents the information and consent needed to pull a full credit report, so the agent can go over options more in detail with the homebuyer.
Mortgage Brokers City
Ottawa-based Mortgage Brokers City released an app to help homebuyers gain easy, on-the-go access to live rates and professional mortgage advice.
Mortgage Brokers City offers buyers insight into closing costs that are often forgotten, such as PST on mortgage default insurance. Each calculator also has a feature that allows users to email results, which can be useful when having a discussion with a partner or a mortgage professional.
Available on Blackberry, Android, and iOS.
Far from being a misspelled version of a friendly ghost, Kasper connects homebuyers to brokers and their banks. Developers refer to the app as a “mortgage search engine” that helps you to compare personalized mortgages, view live rates, and predict premiums.
As long as your device is an Android or iOS, you’ve got all of the information available in your hot little hand.
This article is provided by WhichMortgage, a Canadian mortgage calculator and broker information provider.
Flickr: Lea Latumahina