Homewise is an excellent way for potential homebuyers to get an idea of the mortgage options available to them. A single, simple online application gets you access to competitive rates from more than 30 lenders, whether you’re looking for pre-approval, approval or refinancing. Plus, the experience mortgage specialists are available to help every step of the way — at no cost to the applicant.
- Getting the most out of a single mortgage application
- Value for your money
- Customer service from mortgage experts
Homewise is an online mortgage platform that allows you to go through the pre-approval, approval or refinancing process from the comfort of your own home. Online mortgage brokers are becoming increasingly popular in Canada, as they offer a quick, convenient way to see rates from multiple lenders based on a single application.
The company uses a combination of tech and customer service to deliver the best rates to applicants. The AI pairs borrowers with the best rates from more than 30 partners while a human mortgage advisor provides guidance at every stage of the process. Since Homewise doesn’t work for one single lender, the applicant gets to survey the best rates from the online brokerage’s partners, and choose the best one for their specific situation. One of the biggest benefits of using this platform is that you only have to submit a single application, and only have one credit check to get access to these rates. If you comparison shop for rates with traditional banks, you’d have to do an application and credit check for each one, which can cost you time and negatively impact your credit score.
This online-only service is available in Ontario, although it does co-broker with its partners across Canada, including Quebec.
- Mortgage Pre-Approval: A short five-minute application take stock of your personal financial situation so that you can get pre-approved for the amount of money you’ll need for your eventual mortgage. It takes into account the details of your downpayment, any co-signers or applicants and your employment situation, among others.
- Mortgage Approval: Once you’ve found a home you’d like to buy, your mortgage advisor will guide you through the process of gathering all your documentation to get the final approval on your mortgage.
- Refinancing: If you’re thinking about renegotiating your current mortgage to get a lower rate, Homewise can show you competitive rates from its partners. You can also rely on the expert advice of your mortgage advisor throughout this process.
- Calculators: Homewise provides three handy online calculators to do some research as you get started in your home search. Using the Mortgage, Closing Costs and Affordability calculators you can get an idea of how much you can expect to pay and what your budget is for home prices.
- Multiple options for prospective homeowners: Homewise has options for people with low credit as well as new Canadians, such as private mortgages. No matter the situation, the mortgage advisor helps to determine the best mortgage for each individual.
Why use Homewise?
If you’re shopping around for mortgage rates and you want to get a quick, clear picture of what is available to you, Homewise is an excellent platform to work with. One of the biggest benefits of Homewise is that you can see rates from multiple lenders tailored to your specific financials, with a single application and credit check. This saves you a lot of time and energy running around and checking out your options one by one, and your credit won’t be checked multiple times by multiple lenders.
Since everything is online, you can do everything at your own pace, from your own home. This is great if you’re comfortable with navigating digital platforms, however, if you prefer in-person Homewise may not be for you. Also, if you have a particular lender in mind, and they aren’t among Homewise’s more than 30 partners, you’ll have to work with that lender directly. Also, while Homewise is available all over Canada, it co-brokers with its partners everywhere except Ontario, where it is available directly.
Pros and Cons
- Free — Your mortgage expert gets a commission from the lender, so the whole process is free for the applicant.
- One application for multiple rates — One application and one credit check gets you access to rates from more than 30 lenders.
- Easy-to-use, simple interface — Each step is outlined clearly and the helpful prompts give you more info at every stage.
- Free resources — The website is packed with useful articles that can help you understand the whole mortgage process and inform you about every aspect of this major purchase.
- Works on your schedule — Instead of visiting a brick-and-mortar bank during work hours, you can start your application online and then schedule your call/appointments at a time that works for you.
- You have to be comfortable with online platforms — If you're not comfortable working purely online and you prefer a face-to-face experience, this service may not be for you.
- You won't get access to your rates immediately — You may have to wait up to 72 hours to see the rates you can get based on your application.
- It isn't available in all of Canada yet — Right now Homewise only provides direct service to Ontario. If you're in another part of Canada, you can still use the service, but in those provinces Homewise co-brokers with its partners.
How does Homewise work?
Homewise makes it easy to navigate the mortgage process. Your initial online application will only take about five minutes from start to finish.
First, indicate what stage you’re at in your homeownership journey: Are you looking to get approved, pre-approved, or refinance an existing mortgage?
Then, you’ll indicate your time frame for your home search.
Next, type in the region/city/address that you’re considering, getting as specific as possible.
Is this property going to be your main residence, a second home, rental property, or some combination of these?
Your type of employment factors into which lender you may ultimately choose, and how you’ll make your payments.
Indicate whether you’re the mortgage holder, whether you have a co-applicant or whether you’ll be co-signing with an immediate family member.
Let your mortgage advisor know if you have any comments, such as payment preferences in the last step.
And you’re signed up! Your mortgage advisor will reach out to you with more information within 24-48 hours.
How does it Compare?
The type of free online service that Homewise offers is a relatively new option for Canadians. There are only a few other platforms that provide the same kind of rate-comparison and mortgage advice, such as Breezeful. Depending on your location, and which bank you’d like to go with, you may want to consider one service over another. While both platforms have more than 30 partner lenders to their names, and the application process is very similar, the partners themselves vary. So, it’s important to take a careful look at the list of lenders if you have one in mind before you start.
The Verdict: Is Homewise Worth It?
Homewise offers a quick, efficient way to see rates from various lenders all at once. If you’re looking to get a tailored mortgage that works for your specific situation, this is a great way to see what multiple lenders have to offer.
If you’re comfortable with online-and telephone-only service, then using a service like Homewise can be a great way to get the best rate for your mortgage or refinancing. It’s a big benefit to you as the customer to have a mortgage expert negotiating on your behalf, as they are aware of your options and can help you find rates you may have not otherwise have had access to.
If you’re someone who wants the experience of working through the mortgage face-to-face with your lender, or if you have a specific lender in mind who may not be in Homewise’s list of partners, then you might be better off going to that lender directly.