First Time Home Buyer Tips
As a first time buyer, you're likely to have many questions about selecting, financing and buying your first home. How do we start looking for a home? How much money will we require to purchase the home? How much will the mortgage payments be each month and can we afford it? How does the home buying process work and what can we expect along the way? These are just a few of the questions you're bound to have at the beginning of your exciting journey to buying your very first home!
A RE/MAX Sales Associate can provide the answers to your questions and walk you through the entire process, from viewing potential homes to making an offer to setting up mortgage financing. Although buying your first home can be overwhelming, you can be confident that your RE/MAX Sales Associate will be available to help you every step of the way. RE/MAX can make buying your first home simple and straightforward, eliminating any confusion and doubt and allowing you the opportunity to enjoy your first home, worry-free.
Just a 5% Down Payment?
The following is an excerpt from the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation website under the topic of "Mortgage Loan Insurance":
Get into your home sooner. Mortgage Loan Insurance helps you do it. Put as little as 5% down.
When you need a mortgage loan that is more than 75% of the purchase price of your home, mortgage loan insurance is required. It protects the lender and, by law, most Canadian lending institutions require it.
Having mortgage loan insurance means that if you, the borrower; default on your mortgage, the lender is paid back by the insurer - CMHC or a private company1. With the risk of losing their money removed, lenders have the confidence to make mortgage loans of up to 95% of the purchase price of the home (subject to price ceilings).
That means your down payment can be as little as 5% of the house price. With mortgage loan insurance, many Canadians who might be unable to obtain a 25% down payment can still buy a home.
What does mortgage loan insurance cost?
There are two components: an application fee and an insurance premium. The application fee typically ranges from $75.00 to $235.00 and mortgage loan insurance premiums range from 0.5%-3.75% of the amount of your loan (additional charges may apply), depending on the size of the loan and the value of your home. The premium can be added to your mortgage loan and paid off as part of your regular mortgage payments, or paid off in a lump sum at the time of purchase to save interest charges on the premium itself.
Where can mortgage loan insurance be obtained?
See your lender, who can obtain mortgage loan insurance from CMHC or private insurer.
CMHC will insure mortgages of up to 95% of the home's purchase price or the market value of the property, whichever is less. (Restrictions may apply. Contact your local lender.)
Both new and resale homes are eligible. Here are some of the criteria that must be met:
The home must be in Canada and must be your principal residence. Housing payments, including principal, interest, property taxes, heating (P.I.T.H.), the annual site lease in the case of leasehold tenure and 50% of applicable condominium fees, can't be more than 32% of your gross household income (GDS ratio).
Your total debt load can't be more than 40% of your gross household income (TDS ratio). Other criteria apply and are subject to change. For details, please contact CMHC or your local lender.
Right now, 3 million Canadians own homes with insured mortgages.
Ruth and Sidney lived in a rented Revelstoke home for seven years. When the landlord decided to sell the home, he offered the couple the first opportunity to buy it. While his price was fair, Ruth and Sidney didn't have a 25% down payment saved, so they couldn't qualify for a conventional mortgage.
While looking for other options, they found they could be eligible for mortgage loan insurance that would allow them to buy with as little as 5% down.
It should be noted that the protection provided to the lender by the insurer does not relieve the borrower(s) of the obligations under his/her mortgage contract.
Information from RE/MAX Western Canada