Avoiding Common Mortgage Mistakes

The mortgage application process can be complex or difficult for many people, and that’s why a trusted mortgage broker like Altius Mortgage is so important. We’ve seen every situation possible in this industry, and our team is here to guide you through every step.

This means pointing you in the right direction in many areas, but it also means steering you away from the wrong direction. With that in mind, let’s look at a few of the most common mistakes we see people make before or during the mortgage approval process. Once you’ve finished here, you should have a good idea of a few of the biggest pitfalls to avoid.

Down Payment

In the majority of loan situations, your lender will require a 20 percent down payment. If you aren’t able to get this, though, you’ll be required to pay what’s called mortgage insurance: A protection for the lender against the possibility of you defaulting on payments. You pay these monthly insurance premiums, and they can often be very pricy – more pricy than the original down payment over the life of the loan, in many cases. Coming up with the lump sum up front can be difficult, but it’s worth the effort to avoid additional expenses.


You hear about APR on television commercials, but few people actually know what it means. APR refers to the final cost you’ll pay on a mortgage, including taxes and any lender fees. Some lenders will show you a pretty-looking number for your mortgage rates, but then hit you with a bunch of big fees in the paperwork fees. This is avoided if you’re demanding the APR cost.

Additional Costs

Besides these kinds of fees, there are other costs you have to plan for. Things like maintenance, potential emergencies and general bits of upkeep will cost money, and we recommend that you keep at least 1 or 2 percent of your yearly budget set aside for these realities.

Credit Score

Credit score goes a long way to determining several major factors, including your interest rate. You should be checking this score well in advance of shopping for a loan – there are many free services online to do so.

Want to learn more about any part of the home loan process, or interested in scheduling a consultation? Speak to one of our brokers at Altius Mortgage today.

Advice for First Time Homebuyers

We offer a wide range of home loan services at Altius Mortgage, and some of our most common customers are first time homebuyers. The process of applying for loans can be confusing to many, especially if you’ve never done it before, and we’re known for the way we keep things simple and straightforward to help you and your family get the loan you need.

Many of our services won’t come into play until we review your specific situation, but there are also several bits of broad knowledge we try to impart on our clients before they ever get started. Here’s a sneak peek: A few pieces of advice for entering your first mortgage situation with your ducks in a row.

Assets and Liabilities

More people know about credit score (more on this in a moment), but lenders are also very interested in your general financial profile. They want to know your general monthly expenses, and how those compare to your income. They want to know if either of these elements is going to change anytime soon, especially the expenses side which might impact how quickly you can pay back a loan. A solid understanding of your own situation here, plus the ability to explain any potential discrepancies, can go a long way.

Credit Score

Credit score is the other vital financial factor. Lenders look closely at this, both for whether or not you’ll be approved and for smaller details within the individual loan. Your mortgage rate can be heavily impacted by credit score, for instance.

Luckily, staying on top of this is easy. There are a number of free services out there to tell you where your score stands – just make sure you get on top of this process well in advance, as much as six months or a year in most cases. This will give you time to correct any issues you may find.


Throughout the process, staying organized and level-headed is very important. There are several little details which can torpedo the whole thing if you lose track of them, so keep a good list of things like important documents and various due dates.


Credit score isn’t the only area of this process you should be well out ahead of. A home loan might be the most important purchase you make in your life, and getting the details wrong on your very first one doesn’t set a good baseline. You should begin your search months in advance of potential move-in dates, and be prepared for it to take a while. Shop around for the best deals – ask questions and be as specific as you can. Leave no stone unturned in this process, and more importantly, leave yourself the time to make that happen.

To learn more about first time homebuyer tips, or any other element of our mortgage services, contact one of our expert brokers today.