Homewise

Homewise Review

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Last updated on June 8, 2022

Are you planning to buy your first home? Unless you can afford to pay for it entirely in cash, you’ll need to apply for a mortgage. Instead of heading straight to your bank, consider other options, like Homewise, for applying for a mortgage that can be done anywhere you have an internet connection.

What is Homewise?

Homewise is a modern digital mortgage solution that allows you to apply and get approved entirely online. With Homewise, you can save time and money by automating the mortgage process, making it faster and more convenient.

What Does Homewise Offer?

Homewise was launched in late 2018. Originally, it targeted first-time home buyers but has since expanded its product and service offering. Not only does Homewise offer mortgages to first-time home buyers, but it also offers mortgages for those looking to move up in the market and those looking to refinance or switch their mortgage. Whether you’re ready to buy now or you’re looking to buy in the coming months, Homewise offers both approvals and pre-approvals.

Homewise is a great service that can help you save money. When you first sign up for a mortgage, lenders like to fight for your business. However, once your mortgage comes up for renewal, lenders aren’t as motivated to offer you as competitive of an offer. With Homewise you’re able to do your due diligence and shop around to ensure you’re receiving a fair offer.

Homewise also offers different kinds of mortgages (with fixed and variable rates) and different mortgage term lengths (with one to five year terms).

Homewise Canada Partners

Homewise has partnered with more than 30 of the top lenders in Canada, including:

  • Scotiabank
  • Desjardins
  • MCAP
  • TD Bank
  • First National
  • DUCA

  • B2B Bank
  • Equitable Bank
  • Alterna Savings
  • Haventree Bank
  • CMLS Financial
  • Effort Trust

  • Canadian Western Bank
  • Home Trust
  • ICICI Bank
  • And more!

Pros & Cons

Here are some of the pros and cons of using Homewise to take out your next mortgage.

Pros

  • It’s completely free to use
  • Saves time by applying online instead of having to visit a bank during operating hours
  • Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, applying for a mortgage online is safer than visiting a bank branch in person
  • Save money by shopping around at over 30 of the top mortgage lenders in Canada
  • Homewise rewards you for referring family and friends. If you refer a friend through your custom link and they take out a mortgage, your friend and you will both receive gift cards. Not bad!

Cons

  • Not all lenders work with Homewise. If you’re looking for a mortgage at a particular lender who doesn’t work with Homewise, you’re out of luck
  • Homewise doesn’t show you its mortgage options and rates upfront, you need to complete the application form

Features

Homewise has some unique features that make it simple to use.

Dashboard

Homewise dashboard features

Manage the mortgage application process from start to finish by using Homewise’s handy dashboard. It guides you through the approval process step by step.

Quick Application Process

All it takes is five minutes to apply for a mortgage with Homewise. When you answer a few simple questions, your unique profile is created. Based on this, you’re presented with the best mortgage options for you. You’ll save time and money and best of all, you won’t need to deal with pushy bank salespeople.

Personal Help from Experts

While Homewise’s AI technology helps make shopping around for a mortgage easier, you’re not on your own. Your very own personal Homewise Advisor is there to guide you along every step of the way, providing you with the advice and help you need.

Free Service and Education

Homewise question section

It doesn’t cost you anything to use Homewise services. Homewise is paid directly by the lender for introducing you as a new client, so there’s no direct cost for you.

Homewise also has a great section where you can find detailed answers to some of the most common questions from home buyers.

Do You Qualify?

Similar to applying for a mortgage at the bank or through a mortgage broker, there are standard qualification criteria when you take out a mortgage through Homewise. You need to have a source of income, you must have money to use as a down payment, you must meet the lenders’ debt ratios, and you’ll need a decent credit score.

Homewise works with both prime lenders, such as Scotiabank and TD Bank, as well as alternative lenders like Haventree bank to provide its customers with more flexible qualification criteria.

Unlike banks, you don’t need to fill out mounds of paperwork when applying for a mortgage with Homewise. But, you will need to provide a few basic documents, such as a letter of employment and most recent payslip. All of those documents are uploaded online, making the process even easier.

Compare Mortgage Rates with Homewise

How to Apply

Applying for a mortgage with Homewise is free, requires no credit check and only takes about five minutes. Here what it looks like, step-by-step, to apply for a mortgage.

  1. On the home page click “Get your mortgage” at the top right corner or the “Get started now” button further down.Homewise How to Apply 1
  2. You’re greeted by another page that goes over the process of applying for a mortgage. Click the “Let’s Get Started” button to continue.Homewise How to Apply 2
  3. Choose the home financing option you’re looking for. There are different options available depending on if you’re looking for a home, you already found one, or you want to refinance.Homewise How to Apply 3
  4. Let’s say you’re looking at homes. Homewise then wants to know how soon you’re looking to buy. This will help Homewise determine if there’s a rush or limitation to consider. Homewise How to Apply 4Once you’re done each step, click “Continue.” If you make a mistake, you can choose “Go Back” to redo a step. A bar at the top of the screen will indicate how far you are along in the application process.
  5. You’ll then indicate if you’re a first time home buyer and eligible for the land transfer tax rebate.Homewise How to Apply 5
  6. Next you’ll select where you’re looking to buy. You could put an exact address or the name of a town or city. The more specific the location that you input, the better.Homewise How to Apply 6
  7. Next, choose your anticipated purchase price. You don’t have to get exact if you don’t want to. A ballpark figure is fine. You’ll also need to enter how much you anticipate putting down, either as a dollar figure or percentage of purchase price.Homewise How to Apply 7
  8. After this, you’ll indicate how you plan to use the home. This is important because depending on the use of the home, you may qualify for a larger mortgage or a lower rate. For example, if you plan to live there as your primary residence, you’ll typically qualify for a better mortgage rate than if you’re planning to fully rent out the home to tenants.Homewise How to Apply 8
  9. You’ll then choose the type of property. You can choose from a condo, duplex or multi-unit, single-family home or townhouse.Homewise How to Apply 9
  10. Next you’ll fill in your basic personal information and contact details.Homewise How to Apply 10
  11. You’ll then be prompted to sign up and save your progress.Homewise How to Apply 11
  12. Homewise will ask you if you already own or are renting and you’ll need to fill out the relevant information depending on your selection.Homewise How to Apply 12
  13. Add in information about your current employment situation. You’ll need to indicate if you’re an employee, self-employed, or on maternity leave and if you’re a salaried or hourly employee.Homewise How to Apply 13
  14. You can then answer some optional questions about your future plans. You don’t have to answer these questions, but by answering them, Homewise will present you with mortgage options that are more relevant to you.Homewise How to Apply 14
  15. Indicate whether you’re buying alone, with a co-applicant, or a co-signer.Homewise How to Apply 15
  16. Homewise will ask you for a snapshot your net worth. This includes your personal savings, RRSP, and any gifts from family members that you’ll count towards the down payment.Homewise How to Apply 16
  17. Last, but not least, Homewise will ask you to share any other requests, thoughts or considerations, so they can help you the best way possible.Homewise How to Apply 17

And voila, that’s it! After filling out the application, someone from Homewise will get in touch with you to discuss mortgage options. Usually, you’ll get a response about your approval or pre-approval within 48-72 hours.

Compare Mortgage Rates with Homewise

How It Compares

 HomewiseBreezefulMogo
Eligible ProvincesAll provinces except QCAll provinces and territoriesAll provinces except QC and SK
Number of lendersOver 30Over 304 +
Special FeaturesGet approved in 48-72 hoursGet approved 24/7Get approved in 24 hours
Get personal service and unbiased adviceFlexible qualification criteriaOne-stop shop for other financial products like loans and crypto
Apply online from the comfort of home at any timeOnly one credit check neededUp to $3100 cashback in bitcoin on your funded mortgage
Get a gift for referring a friend or family memberImpartial mortgage adviceGet help from a qualified MogoMortgage specialist
A slew of mortgage optionsMany different mortgage optionsIdeal for high-ratio mortgages
Free to useFree to useFree to use

Both Homewise and and Breezeful are pretty similar. They’re both online mortgage solutions, they’re both partnered with over 30 lenders, and the application process for each is relatively similar. However, Homewise seems to have more positive user reviews than Breezeful. I suggest you try out both platforms to decide which you like better and use that one.

Mogo also offers a similar online application for mortgage approval. The online application form is quick and simple, and you can compare competitive rates between different lenders. However, unlike Homewise and Breezful, Mogo also offers other financial services such as loans, free credit checks and monthly credit score monitoring, free ID fraud protection, and you can also use its other products to invest in Bitcoin (Mogo will even give you a few dollars for free just to get you started).

Final Word

Why not give Homewise a shot? You have nothing to lose. Save time, save money, and best of all, apply for a mortgage from the comfort of home in your PJs if you want to.

If you’re in the beginning stages of shopping around for a mortgage for a new home or considering switching providers, then it pays to use Homewise just to see what’s out there. Since it’s partnered with over 30 lenders in Canada, you’ll see a lot of options at once and you’ll be better informed when it comes time to make a decision and choose one provider.

Compare Mortgage Rates with Homewise

FAQs

Yes, Homewise is certainly legit. Homewise proudly Canadian and is fully licensed to offer mortgages to Canadians living in Ontario, B.C., Manitoba and Alberta. Homewise is also able to pursue mortgage brokering activities in Saskatchewan, Newfoundland and Labrador, Nova Scotia and New Brunswick.
Homewise is a modern digital mortgage solution with lots of five star Google reviews to prove it. They offer the perfect blend of online and over the phone support. Once you fill out the initial mortgage application online, you get free personal human support along each step of the way. Your advisor will take care of the pesky paperwork and will speak in language you understand.
Homewise makes money similarly to mortgage brokers. When Homewise introduces you to a lender as a new client, it’s paid a finder’s fee. Since Homewise is paid directly by the lender, it doesn’t have to charge you a fee for its services. Homewise’s services are completely free to you.
The mortgage with the lowest rate isn’t always the best mortgage, but that’s how many of us shop online for mortgages. Mortgages with the lowest rate often come with gotchas, such as high penalties, limited prepayments or limitations on breaking your mortgage before the end of its term. If you don’t know the right questions to ask, you might end up signing up for a mortgage that’s not a good personal fit. You might get a great mortgage rate, but it can end up costing you a lot more later on.

Author Bio

Sean Cooper
Sean Cooper bought his first house when he was just 27 and paid off his mortgage in only three years. An in-demand personal finance journalist, money coach and speaker, his articles have been featured in publications such as the Toronto Star, Globe and Mail, MoneySense and Tangerine’s Forward Thinking blog. He makes regular appearances on national radio and television shows to discuss personal finance, real estate and mortgages, and is also the bestselling author of the book, Burn Your Mortgage. Follow him on Twitter @BurnYrMortgage and request his services on his website.

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