To determine ‘affordability’ you need to know your taxable income, the amount of debt outstanding and the monthly payments you make. Assuming it is a principal residence you are purchasing, calculate 32% of your income for use toward a mortgage payment, property taxes and heating costs. If applicable, half of the estimated monthly condominium maintenance fees will also be included in this calculation.
Now calculate 40% of your taxable income and deduct all of your monthly debt payments, including car loans, credit cards, lines of credit payments. The lesser of the first or second calculations will be used to determine how much of your income may be used towards housing-related payments, including your mortgage payment. These calculations are based on lenders’ (typical) guidelines.
In addition to considering what the ratios say you can afford, make sure you calculate how much you think you can afford. If the payment amount you are comfortable with is less than 32% of your income, you may want to settle for the lower amount rather than stretch yourself financially. Make sure you don’t leave yourself 'house poor'. Structure your payments so you can still afford simple luxuries.
A home inspection is a visual examination of the property to determine the overall condition of the home. In the process, the inspector should be checking all major components (roofs, ceilings, walls, floors, foundations, crawl spaces, attics, retaining walls, etc.) and systems (electrical, heating, plumbing, drainage, exterior weather proofing, etc.). The results of the inspection should be provided to the purchaser in written form, in detail, generally within 24 hours of the inspection.
A pre-purchase home inspection can add peace of mind and make a difficult decision much easier. It may indicate that the home needs major structural repairs which can be factored into your buying decision. A home inspection helps remove a number of unknowns and increases the likelihood of a successful purchase.
A minimum down payment of 5% is required to purchase a home, subject to certain restrictions. In addition to the down payment, you must also be able to show that you can cover the applicable closing costs (i.e. legal fees and disbursements, appraisal fees and a survey certificate, where applicable).
Regardless of the amount of your down payment, at least 5% of it must be from your own cash resources or a gift from a family member. It cannot be borrowed.
Lenders will generally accept a gift from a family member as an acceptable down payment provided a letter stating it is a true gift, not a loan, is signed by the donor. Where the mortgage loan insurance is provided by Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC), the gift money must be in your possession before the application is sent in to CMHC for approval.
Mortgages with less than 20% down must have mortgage loan insurance provided by CMHC, Genworth Financial Canada or Canada Guaranty.
Mortgage loan insurance is insurance provided by Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC), a crown corporation, Genworth Financial Canada or Canada Guaranty, approved private corporations. This insurance is required by law to insure lenders against default on mortgages with a loan to value ratio greater than 80%. The insurance premiums, ranging from 0.50% to 3.75%, are paid by the borrower and can be added directly onto the mortgage amount. This is not the same as mortgage life insurance.
A conventional mortgage is usually one where the down payment is equal to 20% or more of the purchase price, a loan to value of or less than 80%, and does not normally require mortgage loan insurance. If your down payment is less than 20% of the purchase price, you will generally require a high-ratio mortgage with mortgage loan insurance.
Depending on the circumstances surrounding your bankruptcy, generally some lenders would consider providing mortgage financing
Where child support and alimony are paid by you to another person, generally the amount paid out is deducted from your total income before determining the size of mortgage you will qualify for.
Where child support and alimony are received by you from another person, generally the amount paid may be added to your total income before determining the size of mortgage you will qualify for, provided proof of regular receipt is available for a period of time determined by the lender.
Subject to qualification, yes. In fact, even purchasers with 5% down may qualify to buy a home and make improvements to it. For high-ratio financing, CMHC, Genworth Financial and Canada Guaranty insured mortgages are available to cover the purchase price of a home as well as an amount to pay for immediate major renovations or improvements that the purchaser may wish to make to the property. This option eliminates the need to finance the renovations or improvements separately. Some conditions apply.
Where the improvements are cosmetic, the mortgage loan insurance premium is unchanged from the standard schedule. Where the improvements are deemed to be structural, the mortgage loan insurance premium is increased by 0.50% over the standard schedule. For more information on mortgage loan insurance premiums, see 'What is mortgage loan insurance?'.
A pre-approved mortgage provides an interest rate guarantee from a lender for a specified period of time (usually 60 to 90 days) and for a set amount of money. The pre-approval is calculated based on information provided by you and is generally subject to certain conditions being met before the mortgage is finalized. Conditions would usually be things like ‘written employment and income confirmation’ and ‘down payment from your own resources’, for example.
Most real estate professionals will want to ensure you have a pre-approved mortgage in place before they take you out looking for a home. This is to ensure that they are showing you property within your affordable price range.
In summary, a pre-approved mortgage is one of the first steps a home buyer should take before beginning the buying process.
Lenders will often guarantee an interest rate to you as much as 90 days before your mortgage matures. And, as long as you are not increasing your mortgage, they will cover the costs of transferring your mortgage too. This means you have a rate promised well in advance of your maturity date, thus eliminating any worries of higher rates. And if rates drop before the actual maturity rate, the new lender will usually adjust your interest to the lower rate as well.
Most lenders send out their mortgage renewal notices offering existing clients their posted interest rates. The rate you are being offered may not be the best one. Always investigate the possibility of a lower interest rate with the lender or another lender. If you don’t you may end up paying a much higher interest rate on your renewing mortgage than you need to.
There are ways to reduce the number of years to pay down your mortgage. You’ll enjoy significant savings by:
Fixed Rate Mortgage: The interest rate on a fixed-rate mortgage is set for a pre-determined term, usually between 6 months to 25 years. This offers the security of knowing what you will be paying for the term selected.
Variable Rate Mortgage: A mortgage in which payments are fixed for a period of one to two years although interest rates may fluctuate from month to month depending on market conditions. If interest rates go down, more of the payment goes towards reducing the principal; if rates go up, a larger portion of the monthly payment goes towards covering the interest. Most open variable rate mortgages allow prepayment of any amount (with certain minimums) on any payment date, up to a maximum total amount per year.
Should you go with a short or long-term mortgage? A longer-term mortgage is worth considering if you have a busy life and don’t have time to watch mortgage rates. Our 4, 5 and 7-year mortgages let you take advantage of today’s rates, while enjoying long-term security knowing the rate you sign up for is a sure thing.
If you want to keep your mortgage flexible right now, you can explore a shorter-term mortgage that usually allows you to take advantage of lower rates and save.