So you want to buy a home in Canada, eh?

Welcome to Canada! I think it’s the best country in the world. Here are some things you’ll need to know if you are thinking about buying a home.

First, find a great real estate agent. I happen to know one! 😉

Second, find a great mortgage broker. I also know one of them too! You should get pre-approved with your mortgage broker first and then you can begin shopping for your home with your agent. If you need a mortgage you must show at least three months of work history. Lenders would also like to see things like credit scores, bank statements, or a history of rental, utility or credit card payments. You get the idea.

You can usually quality for 95% financing if you’ve got an excellent international credit rating. Non landed immigrants can get 90% after three months of work history. Don’t forget though that new Canadians are considered new for only three years and after that your extra flexibility is over.

If you’ve been working for two years or more and can afford a 20% down payment, you may qualify for a conventional mortgage which means you won’t have to purchase CMHC default insurance, so you’ll pay less.

If you can afford 35% or more you may also qualify for a mortgage even if you don’t have all the usual boxes checked like having worked in Canada for two years. You’ll need six months of mortgage payments in liquid assets too but talk to your mortgage broker about that.

If you do need default insurance you will have to have immigrated to Canada within 5 years with permanent residence status,  a minimum of 3 months employment in Canada and maybe a letter from your previous bank.

A couple of final things to think about. Cities like Vancouver and Toronto might be very expensive compared to where you are coming from. Also, Canadians do pay a lot of tax for the privilege of living here, so while pay cheques may seem large, so will your tax bills. Finally, Canada is a country made up almost entirely of immigrants and we are very proud of our multiculturalism. I think you’re going to love it!

video: CBC