Mortgage Lender Options

Mortgages matter to the professional appraisal industry because an expert valuation is critical for proving to your lender the price is a legally-recognized expert opinion of the value of a property.  It protects the purchaser, as well, ensuring they aren’t over-paying for a property. so who are the lenders who require a valuation from a licensed provider? Let’s have a look.


Banks are often the first choice people think of when they are considering a mortgage lender. Banks offer convenience, as long as you fit their rigid acceptance profile. Although they offer many similar lending products, often at the same rates, they differ in subtle ways.

PRO TIP: When comparing banking products, ensure to include any fees, such as early payment charges and closing costs beyond just the interest charged.

Trust Companies

Trust companies are often the first choice of accessing a mortgage if your income, employment or other life situation doesn’t fit large bank criteria. There may be extra footwork involved in this option and the rates will be likely be higher than the bank rates to reflect a perceived increase in risk.

PRO TIP: Although possibly more expensive, the trust company option provides flexibility for situations where bank financing is a bad fit such as for short term financing for investment property.

Credit Unions

Credit Unions are a terrific option for individuals as they are like a cross between the previous options, providing more flexibility than banks with rates often more competitive than trust companies. An added feature of credit unions is they are member owned so any money made by the institution isn’t given to shareholders but back to their members clients. They are also not as bound by banking rules and can bend them to help worthy candidates.

PRO TIP: The more banking, borrowing and investment you do with a credit union increases your annual dividend. When is the last time your bank paid dividends!?

Private Lenders

Private lenders are sometimes mom and pop operations or wealthy individuals who lend money to people to get a better return than banks pay. Such lenders may even be a generous friend or relative. (Thanks, Mom and Pop!) This option is generally the most flexible but are not as easy to find as banks are.

PRO TIP: Although a professional property appraisal is not always required by private lenders, particularly if they are wealthy relations, it is still essential to get one for insurance purposes.

Mortgage Brokers

Mortgage brokers don’t actually lend people money. They earn their commissions by using their vast knowledge of a region’s lending landscape and advising clients on the lender which best fits their needs, budget and limitations.

PRO TIP: Though a broker does add a small fee to the equation, the savings they can deliver with the right product may save you significantly over time.

Appraising the situation

Whichever lending source you decide is right for you, remember there is no “hack” around getting an expert valuation from a licensed and industry-designated residential property appraisal provider such as Aura Appraisals Inc.


service area

  • Edmonton
  • Sherwood Park
  • St. Albert
  • Fort Saskatchewan
  • Spruce Grove
  • Stony Plain
  • Leduc
  • Beaumont
  • Devon
  • Calmar
  • Rural Properties within 50 miles of Edmonton


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