It’s getting difficult to remember a time pre-internet, before app stores offered hundreds of thousands of tools and digital life hacks. Apps that make it easier to shop and make payments have grown in popularity and are commonplace. Now, the ability to pay online is extending to perhaps the largest purchase of your life: your home down payment.
Mortgage apps are a growing sphere. According to the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation 2014 Mortgage Consumer Survey, 78 per cent of mortgage consumers researched the home purchase online. Further to that 73 per cent used mortgage calculators and of the 15 per cent who looked into mortgages using their mobile device, 23 per cent used a mortgage app.
To make your homebuying process easier, here’s a roundup of the best mortgage apps.
Canadian Mortgage App
The Canadian Mortgage App by Bendigi Technologies stole our attention with its cleanly designed interface and functionality. In addition to showing all the payments you need to make in real time with amortization charts, the app includes a toggle switch for first time home buyers to calculate your rebate based on the city and province you’re in. With an algorithm tracking the different mortgage rules and calculating the provincial and municipal land transfer taxes, the Canadian Mortgage App gives you a sophisticated breakdown of what you will owe. Oh, and it uses location services to find your nearest realtor. Handy right?
Centum Pre-Qualifyer Tool
If you’ve bought a home before, chances are you’ve encountered the mad scramble to get qualified before the competition does. While mortgage brokerage firm Centum has a suite of handy tools like the Mortgage Calculator or Rent or Buy Analyzer, the real standout is their 15 Minute Mortgage qualifying tool. The online qualifier appears as a widget on brokers’ websites and allows mortgage seekers to answer a quick series of questions. The system collects the smallest amount of information for pre-qualification and shoots the potential homebuyer back confirmation. The data allows the broker to do a full credit check and prepare a few options for the client. While the system doesn’t issue declines, those who do not qualify for loans from “A” lenders will be asked for more information to help them see if a “B” lender is a better fit.
Ready Set Home by the CMHC
This tool is a well-packaged app that first-time homebuyers may find especially useful as they schlep through the process. With both mortgage affordability and payment calculators as well as a newsfeed of articles related to homebuying, planning and managing mortgages, the app is a catch-all for taking those first few steps and working through the process. Its profile feature lets you keep track of the properties you’re looking at and there’s an A to Z glossary of mortgage-related terms. There’s also a bonus homeowner household budget calculator that compares your current income with planned expenses and debt payments on a monthly basis.
While there’s no shortage of mobile payment technology out there, it’s only recently that realtors have started to embrace the future. ExactDeposit’s online solution for brokers, realtors and homebuyers helps bring the mad dash of certified cheques and in-hand payments surrounding the homebuying process into the digital sphere. Realtors or broekrs create a deposit invoice and send it to buyers via email. Buyers can then follow the secure deposit info in the email to pay the deposit on their credit card directly to the realtor or broker’s account. If the deal falls through, the money and the 2.9 per cent transaction fee gets returned. The platform may seem simple but when you’re in the midst of mortgage approvals and inspections any minute saved from not having to run to the bank is a plus, right?