Education & Mortgage FAQs

When it comes to mortgages, there are a lot of terms that get tossed around. Get the lingo down with our handy guide to some of the most common ones.

Mortgage Amortization Period

The amortization period is the length of time that you will spend paying off your mortgage. This time frame affects how much interest you pay over the length of your mortgage.

The standard amortization period is typically 25 years. With this option, you will need a down payment of at least 20 percent of your home’s purchase price. Depending on your down payment, shorter or longer options may also be available to you.

There are pros and cons with different amortization periods and it’s important to understand why. With a shorter amortization each mortgage payment sees more money going toward your principal balance meaning that you’ll end up owning your home out right faster and will pay less interest over the life of your mortgage. However, that also means that your regular mortgage payments are higher than with a longer amortization period.

There are a variety of reasons why lower mortgage payments may be appealing but keep in mind that lower regular payments also mean that you’ll pay more interest in the long run and build equity at a slower pace.

Annual Property Taxes

Your local municipality typically provides your community with a variety of services, such as water, garbage collection, snow removal, policing and fire protection.

Property taxes are one of the major ways that local governments pay for these types of services. How much you pay to your local government in the form of property tax varies depending on where you live.

How often you pay those taxes can also vary. For example, in some cases you may pay a lump sum each year, a quarterly sum or even monthly or biweekly amounts that coincide with your mortgage payments.

Appraised Value

An appraisal is done to determine the market value of your home. The amount can differ from the actual purchase price. Mortgage lenders consider the appraisal value when determining the amount of loan they are willing to provide.

Closing Costs

There are a lot of extra expenses that go into buying a home and it’s important to factor these costs in. Closing costs are associated with the final stage of a home purchase. Standard closing costs include (but aren’t limited to) things like tax prepayment adjustments, utilities, property land transfer taxes, property insurance, legal fees and more.

Closed Versus Open Mortgages

There are different types of mortgages. With a closed mortgage, a borrower must repay the principal according to the mortgage agreement. In other words, it cannot be repaid fully without having to pay a penalty. An open mortgage, on the other hand, can be repaid without penalty before a term expires. You can typically expect to pay a higher interest rate with an open mortgage than a closed one.

Interest Rate

When you have a mortgage it means that you have borrowed money from a lender to buy your home. The interest rate indicates the rate of return that a mortgage lender receives for making those funds available to you for a specified term.


The amount that is owed to the lender is called the principal. This amount does not include interest.


A mortgage agreement between a lender and a borrower exists over a specific length of time known as a term. At the end of a term, the remainder of the principal must be paid back in full or a new mortgage agreement must be negotiated under current market rates and conditions.

Frequently Asked Questions

Buying a home is a huge step! We know that you have plenty of questions—and some of them are specific to health care professionals. Here are some of the most common ones. Have a question you don’t see answered here? Feel free to call or email us. We’re here to help!

  • I work two part-time jobs; will I qualify for a mortgage?
  • I’m an office administrator/custodian/gift shop employee within the healthcare industry.Will mortgagesforhealthcareworkers work with me
  • Why should I work with mortgagesforhealthcareworkers?
  • Why should I work with a mortgage broker?
  • What sort of information do I need to provide?
  • Don’t all mortgage brokers say they offer the best rates? How are you different?
  • How much do your services cost?
  • Won’t having so many mortgage lenders consider my application damage my credit rating?

These days, it’s not uncommon for nurses and other medical professionals to work part-time hours at more than one hospital or other health care facility. Financial lenders look at a number of factors when considering mortgage applications, including employment history and income.

No scrubs? No worries! Along with working with a variety of occupations within the health care industry, we also help those who simply work in health care environments such as support staff.

Mortgages For Healthcare Workers specializes in the unique needs of today’s health care professional. We know that you’re busy and that your available hours may fall outside normal work hours. At Mortgages For Healthcare Workers, that’s not a problem; we’re available evenings and weekends and we’ll even come to you! Let us help make your home buying experience convenient and worry-free.

After deciding to explore home ownership, many people simply head to their bank and speak to a mortgage specialist there. But how do you know you’ll get the best rate? And how do you ensure the mortgage that best suits your needs will be found there? Licensed mortgage brokers are knowledgeable professionals who work on your behalf. They shop your mortgage to a variety of mortgage lenders, including banks, trusts and other financial institutions to get you the best mortgage rates.

These days, getting a pre-approved mortgage is usually the first step in the home buying process. To determine whether you qualify, we will need a completed application that includes key information such as your current employer and work status, earnings, investments or any additional income you may have and the amount of down payment that you have.

Mortgage brokers receive a commission from the lender. In a nutshell, that’s how we get paid. At Mortgages For Healthcare Workers, we choose to take a lower commission rate so that we can give you the best rate possible.

Zip, zero, zilch! Mortgage brokers are paid a commission rate from the lender so our services to the borrower are almost always free.* And unlike a mortgage specialist who is tied to one specific lender, we work independently with many different financial institutions, saving you time and helping you find the best mortgage rate and options.

No—that’s one of the benefits of working with us! It’s important to understand that there are two types of credit report checks—one, known as a hard check, impacts your credit score while the other, a soft check, has no effect.

Hard checks are the kind done by prospective lenders. Typically, when a hard check is done it negatively impacts your credit rating by lowering your credit score. Imagine the impact that applying individually to a bunch of lenders could have on your rating!

All other credit inquiries are known as soft checks. These are the kind done by individuals who want to see what’s on their credit reports. They are also done by businesses that you already have credit with (such as a bank) or ones that are looking to offer you goods and services (such as insurance). Mortgage brokers fall into the soft check category and that means that using our services won’t damage your credit rating.

*Services provided by Mortgages For Healthcare Workers are typically free but it’s important to note that very occasionally our services are fee-based. For example, fees may be incurred for an applicant with significant financial challenges that impact lending. We believe in transparency and, if for whatever reason, we can’t provide our services for free we will outline this to you ahead of time and before any work is done.