Money matters.

Ten months of procrastination suit me well, but since it seems like the condo is finally nearing completion, the time has come for me to start talking about mortgages. The first thing on the list: make an appointment with a mortgage broker.

In theory, mortgage brokers are a great idea. Go to one source, they do all the checking, find the best value. But when I turned to the yellow page listings, I found three pages of brokers. Am I supposed to go to a bunch of brokers, to ensure I find the one who can offer me the best deal? I suppose I could, but that seems to me like I'm missing the whole point of these things.

Instead, I shall rely on my tried-and-true selection method: Editing for poor language and design skills. Here we go!

What's that, Centum Mortgage Direct? You say in your listing, "Each office is independantly owned and operated?" Sorry, I don't know what that word means. Next!

Thanks for serving my Medicine Hat area needs, All Source Mortgages! Too bad you're in Red Deer. Next!

Ah, Premiere Mortgage, also known as mortgagescanada.net, previously known as Intel Financial. How's that brand restructuring going for you? Never mind, the animated .gifs and 8-bit colour on your website reminded me that I don't care. Next!

Now here's an interesting case. The broker's name is Janice Hehr. Her website is at JaniceHehr.com. Her E-mail is janhehr@telus.net. And she works for MortgageBrokers.com. I ask you, friends: Is this who you'd turn to for clarity? Sorry, Jan. Next!

Hello there, EXSO Mortgages! Goodbye, company name with an ostensibly dynamic acronym! Next!

Speaking of acronyms, one e-mail address contains TMACC.com, which leads to Mortgage Alliance (who apparently love to trademark generic sentences). Is "Mortgage Alliance" what the "MA" stands for? Perhaps, but you'll notice the fine print in the lower right -- the "T" stands for "Terms and conditions"! RUN AWAAAAAAAAAAAY!!!

And so it goes. I finally found a broker without any noticeable flaws in their marketing presentation, and I make my appointment. Actually, it's in 30 minutes. And now, I go back to their website, to double-check the address --

--and it's completely unreadable in Safari. All of a sudden, misspelling "independent" doesn't seem like too great a crime. It's almost as if fate is trying to tell me that trying to win the mortgage game is a fool's errand.

As if I didn't already know.

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Canadian explorer. Chemist by training, biologist by nature. Long-time supporter and participant in National Novel Writing Month. Known as "Aquadeo" in most Internet circles. Also known as "that guy with the pants" to people who have seen me in certain pants.