Frequently Asked Questions

What are the benefits of using us?

We benefits you by providing a transparent application process that gives you – the home buyer – more information, more power and less hassle.

Rather than shopping rates from lender to lender, we handle the entire process on your behalf by assessing your financing options and seeking competitive bids from lenders.

Are there any costs for using us?

No. We are compensated by lenders, not borrowers, and therefore there is no cost to home buyers in this process.

Is there any obligation to accept a home loan sourced by us?

No, buyers are never under any obligation to accept a home loan sourced through us.

When will you need to contact us?

You don’t need to contact us, though you are free to if you have questions. Should we require any further information concerning your application, we will contact you.

How are we different from other home loan brokers?

The difference with using us is that not only do we put more power in the hands of you, the home buyer, but we’re capable of handling the entire home loan process within Canada, which reduces costs and increases convenience.

How will I be able to track my application status?

We will keep you informed throughout the entire process, and are always available to help should you have any questions. Contact us.

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What are closing costs?

While your down payment and mortgage will cover the purchase price of your home, it’s wise to consider the other expenses involved in buying a home.  Closing costs or disbursements are expenses over and above the price of the property in a real estate transaction.

How are closing costs calculated?

Realtor Commissions:
Typically the sellers incorporate this into the purchase price.  The lawyer has to pay the commissions on both sides on your behalf.  In order to complete this, there may be courier or agent fees.

Appraisal Fees: Approximately $250 - $450
If you have a mortgage, your lender will likely require an appraisal of the home.  This value may or may not be the same as the purchase price of the home.

Home Inspection Fees: Approximately $500 (may not apply to a new build)
The home inspector evaluates the structures and systems that make up your home and provides you with a written report.  While not mandatory, many people make a professional home inspection a condition of the Offer to Purchase.

Property Survey:  Approximately $750 - $1,500
A survey indicates the boundaries and measurements of the land and positions of major structures and any registered or visible easements (such as a driveway) or encroachments (such as a neighbour’s fence) of the property.

Land Transfer tax (if applicable) – cost varies based on Province
The tax is payable on the purchase of all real property in BC.  The calculation is based on 1% of the purchase price up to $200,000 and 2% on the remainder up to and including $2 million.

  • Qualifying first-time home buyers may be exempt from paying the PTT (Property Transfer Tax) if the purchase price of their home is priced up to $475,000 and $500,000.
  • Qualifying buyers of New Homes, may be exempt if the purchase price of their home is priced up to $750,000. There is a proportional exemption for homes priced between $780,000 and $800,000.  At $800,000 and above there’s no rebate.

 

Legal Fees and related expenses:  Approximately $1,000 - $2,000
These fees vary and are subject to GST or HST where applicable.  Ensure your lawyer’s quote includes all related expenses and disbursements, not just legal fees.  Make sure your interests are protected by discussing our Offer to Purchase with your lawyer or notary prior to signing.

Goods and Services Tax (GST):  sometimes included in Sale Price
The GST on a new home is 5% of the price. A GST rebate equivalent to 36% of the GST paid is available for new homes priced up to $350,000 and a partial rebate on new home priced up to $450,000. Buyers also pay the GST on fees for services from appraisers, home inspectors, lawyers, Notary Publics and Realtors. Generally, GST or HST where applicable is charged on new homes, but not on resale properties. Always ask before signing an Offer.

Title Insurance:  Approximately - $250
Title insurance is optional and covers problems that may arise due to encroachment issues (for example, a structure on your property is actually part of your neighbour’s property and needs to be removed), existing liens against the property’s title, title fraud, undischarged mortgages and other issues relating to the property’s previous owners.

Insurance costs for high-ratio mortgages
If your down payment is less than 20% of the purchase price of your home, you must pay a one-time insurance premium on your mortgage amount. You can make arrangements to pay the premium to the Lender before closing, or it can be added to the principal amount of your mortgage. If it is added to the principal amount of your mortgage, you will pay interest on it at the same interest rate you pay on the principal amount of your mortgage. For Loan-to-Value ratio up to and including 95% will be to 4%. Loan-to-Value Ratio up to and including 90% will be 3.10% and Loan-to-Value ratio up to and including 85% will be 2.80%.

Interest adjustments:  Approximately $100 - $1,000
You will need to pay interest on any gap between the closing date of the purchase and the first payment date of the mortgage. You can avoid an interest adjustment by arranging to make your first mortgage payment exactly one payment period after your closing date.

Prepaid Property tax and utility adjustments: Varies
You will be required to reimburse the vendor for any prepaid property taxes or utility bills.

Home Insurance:  Approximately $450 / year
Protection for you home and contents

Mortgage life insurance: Varies
Costs vary but can be conveniently included in your regular mortgage payment. Mortgage life insurance is optional and provides peace of mind. It protects your family’s financial security by paying off all or a portion of your mortgage in the event of the premature death of you or your spouse.

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What is a Down Payment?

A down payment is the amount of money that you pay at the time of purchase toward the price of your home. Your mortgage loan covers the rest. The minimum down payment in Canada is 5%. For down payments of less than 20%, home buyers are required to purchase mortgage default insurance, commonly referred to as CMHC insurance. When you are ready to make an offer to buy a home, you will need to provide a deposit. The deposit forms part of your down payment, with the rest to be paid when you ‘close’ the purchase of your new home.

  • Conventional mortgage: your down payment is 20% of the purchase price
  • or more.
  • High-ratio mortgage: your down payment is less than 20% of the purchase price.
  • For homes with a purchase price less than or equal to $500,000 the minimum down payment is 5%
  • For homes with a purchase price greater than $500,000 and less than $1 million, the minimum down payment is 5% of the first $500,000 plus 10% of the remaining balance
  • For homes with a purchase price of $1 million or more, the minimum down payment is 20%

Down Payment Verification

The government and lenders have recently become pickier when it comes to down payment verification.  As well, a source of all large deposits needs to be supplied under the new Anti-Money Laundering regulations.

 

Acceptable types of Down Payment Sources:

1. Savings / Chequing accounts* - 3-month history via bank statements (90days).

If your application date was August 2nd, we would require statements for May, June & July.

 

2. Investments (RRSP, GIC, Stocks, Bonds, Mutual Funds)

The last quarterly statement* and a current account snapshot showing the current balance.  They may also ask for a copy of the RRSP withdraw form (T1036 for first time homebuyers)

 

3. Gift - Must be from an immediate family member (parents, grandparents, siblings)

Gift letter signed (template will be supplied).  Confirmation of the gifted money deposited into your account a minimum of 10 days in advance of the completion date.  For large gifts the lender may require an account snapshot showing where the gift money came from.

 

4. Money from outside the country

The money should be in Canada at least 30days before funding, and provide a 90 day confirmation via bank statements* from the previous account.  Some lenders will ask that the money be in a Canadian bank account for 90 days or more, so make sure you investigate this early if this applies to you

 

5. If your down Payment is coming from the Sale of your existing home

You need to provide a firm Purchase and Sale Agreement and the current mortgage statement.  Sometimes Lenders will also ask to see a copy of your real estate lawyer’s Letter of Disbursements which show how the proceeds of the Sale will be divided.

 

*All down payment statements need to address the following:

  1. Large Deposits other than payroll/direct deposits need to have an explanation and source of where it came from, due to the new Anti-Money Laundering Regulations. So if $5,000 - $10,000 came from a high interest account, we will need a history of that account as well.

 

  1. Statements need both your name and account# on it – to confirm that you are the owner of the account. As most financial institutions do not have your name on the online statements, you will need to print or capture a screenshot of the main page when you login – which will have your name on it.  Please find instructions below on how to take a screenshot of your main page.  Also included is a link for a free program that allows you to turn the printed statements into Pdf format. (http://www.cutepdf.com)

 

 

Instructions to take a screen capture (screenshot) of the entire screen:

Step1: Capture the image:  Assuming the area you want to capture is displayed on your screen, press the Print Screen (PrtScn/Prnt Scrn/Print Scr) button typically located in the upper right-hand corner of your keyboard to capture a screenshot of your entire display. Alternatively, press Alt + Print Screen to merely capture a screenshot of the active window.

Step 2: Open Paint / Word Document: Click the Start menu, navigate to the Accessories folder (in Windows 10, the folder is called Windows Accessories instead) and click Paint from the list of

Microsoft software. The icon depicts a painting palette with a brush on the right-hand side, but it will vary slightly depending on your operating system. Alternatively, search and open the program from the Windows search bar. On Windows 8, press the Windows key to open the start screen. Afterward, click the down arrow in the bottom left, press Ctrl + Tab, or swipe downward from the center of the display to access the Apps View. From there, select Paint.

Step 3: Paste the screenshot: Once open, click the Paste button in the upper left-hand corner of the program, choose Edit then Paste, or press Ctrl + V on the keyboard to paste your screenshot.

Step 4: Save the screenshot: Perform any edits you want, such as cropping the image to a specified area, and click the main File option in the top-left corner. Afterward, select Save as, title the new file, choose a save location, and select your desired file format from the drop-down menu. For most purposes, JPG will do fine, but a variety of other formats are available to choose from

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