You’re Better Off With Local Financing

Rural properties have special challenges when applying for a mortgage so you're better off with local financing.

If you’re looking to buy property in Prince Edward County and you’re come from another area such as the GTA, you may be tempted to turn to your banker or mortgage broker there to get financing for your County property. In fact, as a general rule, you’re better off with local financing: your chances of getting financing are better and you’re likely to get a better rate.

Recently I spoke to Picton mortgage agent Darlene Eldridge of Dominion Lending to learn more about the benefits of local borrowing.

Treat: Darlene, before we discuss the advantages getting local finance, what exactly does a mortgage broker do?

Darlene: A mortgage agent or broker has a fiduciary duty to each client to go out and find the best mortgage for them. When you go to a bank, they have a duty of care both to you and to their shareholders.

Treat: Where do you go to find mortgages?

Darlene: Banks are an option, but when you go to a bank, they have just one type of mortgage available, while a mortgage agent will go out and looks at all the options available.

Treat: When you say you’ll look at all the options, how many lenders do you deal with?

Darlene: Last year the mortgage brokerage I work with had 52 different lenders we dealt with.

Treat: If I’m a buyer from the GTA, why would it be important to use a local broker, rather than someone back home in Toronto?

Darlene: The lenders I deal with are familiar with the County and the Bay or Quinte, and regularly lend here. If you’re a mortgage broker in Toronto, you’ve likely developed relationships with lenders who service that area. That’s not to say a Toronto lender won’t come to eastern Ontario or visa versa. But you’ve got more chance that a local lender will understand our market.

Treat: What are some of the issues or differences about lending in a rural market like the County?

Darlene: Things likes wells and septic systems – are the well or septic on the property or do they encroach on a neighbor?  A rural property may not be as readily marketable if a borrower defaults. We typically deal with larger acreage than you’d find in the GTA environment, so there may be issues with what’s happening on the acreage: is there any farming going on? We have a lot of different elements on a rural property that you won’t find in the GTA.

Treat: What type of buyer gets the most benefit from dealing with a mortgage broker?

Darlene: I think any buyer can get a benefit. Mortgage brokerages are not focused on people who have trouble getting money elsewhere. A very strong buyer with good credit, good net worth and good borrowing history will typically be offered a lower rate than they might get at a bank. Specialized lenders have limited funds to give out and they’re going to want to attract strong buyers if they’re going to give out their money.

To learn more about why you’re better off with local financing, you can reach Darlene at or at 613-503-0774.

Full disclosure: Darlene does not offer and neither do I accept referral fees.