Tool Box
Mortgage and Real Estate for New Immigrants
 
It may be exciting to come to a new country but often it can be frustrating and confusing. There are often new ways of doing things which immigrants are unfamiliar with. The opportunity to buy a home can just become too much and too expensive so many immigrants continue to rent. To make it easier for newcomers to come to Canada and buy a home, here are a few suggestions:
 
TIP #1: Read to become informed.
There is a lot of information on home buying. It is important to get a solid sense of what is involved prior to moving forward with the purchase. A good source of information in easy to understand language is www.cmhc.ca. Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC) is Canada’s national housing agency. Established as a government-owned corporation in 1946 to address Canada’s post-war housing shortage, the agency has grown to become a provider of mortgage loan insurance, mortgage-backed securities, housing policy and programs, and housing research. CMHC is not trying to sell you anything so you can trust the information and approach.
 
TIP #2: Talk to others who have purchased a home.
Often the best advice we can get is from our friends, co-workers and neighbors who have recently gone through the homebuying process. It is advice that can be trusted and is in a language that you can fully understand.
 
TIP #3: Be prepared!
There are a few things you should do to become prepared. This includes doing a budget to see what you can afford in monthly mortgage payments. Do not forget the additional costs you will incur when buying a home (i.e. property taxes, home maintenance, utilities). Secondly, define what you are looking for (i.e. property type – condominium, detached home, townhouse – number of bedrooms and bathrooms – neighborhood and location within neighborhood – close to transit – other needs such as a garage).
 
TIP #4: Contact professionals.
You are now in a position to contact a mortgage broker or lender. The mortgage broker or lender will qualify you for a mortgage. This will give you and your realtor a sense of the size and cost of property you should be looking at.
 
TIP #4: Consider co-buying with another person or family.
Many properties can be found with more than one suite. Instead of buying a large home with wasted space, consider buying a home jointly with someone else. The cost of the home becomes less expensive as does the monthly mortgage payments and maintenance costs. Additionally, you will likely be able to qualify for a larger mortgage. The other option is to a buy a home with one or two additional suites and rent them out.
 
Get the New Immigrant homebuying guide.
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