20 Real Estate Terms in Canada - List for Canadian Home Buyers, Sellers & Agents
Are you ready to conquer the Canadian real estate market, but feeling a bit daunted by the abundance of jargon and complexities? Don't worry, you're not alone! The real estate industry can be a minefield to navigate, but with the right knowledge, you'll be able to understand the ins and outs of the market and make informed decisions.
So, whether you're a first-time home buyer, a seasoned seller, or a budding real estate agent don't let the jargon hold you back- let's unlock the secrets of the Canadian real estate market with the ultimate 20 real estate terms that you need to navigate the minefield of the Canadian real estate market and come out victorious.
## 20 Real Estate Terms in Canada - A Comprehensive List
Knowing real estate terms is key to being a pro in the Canadian market. It's not just for first-time buyers or sellers; it's also for sellers and real estate agents who work here but are unaware of these terms. Because understanding the lingo is what sets you up for success here. For this reason, we have words ranging in complexity from simple words to complex terms.
## **20 Basic Real Estate Terms & Concepts to Know**
So buckle up and let's dive in deep into the real estate world.
### **1. Amortization**:
The length of time it will take to pay off a mortgage, calculated by dividing the total mortgage amount by the annual mortgage payments. It is the period over which the loan is planned to be paid off, usually in a range of 15-30 years.
### **2. Appraisal**:
An evaluation of a property's value by a professional appraiser. Appraisals help to determine the fair market value of a property, which is used to help set a fair price for the property.
### **3. Closing Costs**:
The expenses associated with purchasing a property, such as legal fees, land transfer taxes, and home inspection fees. These costs can add up to thousands of dollars and are typically paid at the time of closing.
### **4. Conditional Offer**:
An offer to purchase a property that is contingent upon certain conditions being met, such as the successful completion of a home inspection. It means that the offer is made on the condition that certain things happen, such as financing or home inspection.
### **5. Equity**:
The difference between the market value of a property and the outstanding balance on the mortgage. It is the portion of the property that the owner fully owns, and it increases over time as the mortgage is paid down and the property increases in value.
### **6. Fixed-Rate Mortgage**:
A mortgage with an [interest rate](https://getnewhouse.ca/blog/what-does-higher-interest-mean-for-housing-market-in-canada) that stays the same for the entire term of the loan. It means that the interest rate will not change for the duration of the loan, providing predictability and stability for the borrower.
### **7. Home Inspection**:
A comprehensive examination of a property's condition by a professional home inspector. Home inspection is an important step in the home buying process, as it can help identify any potential issues or defects with the property.
### **8. Interest Rate**:
The percentage at which the lender charges interest on a mortgage. It is the cost of borrowing money, and it can have a significant impact on the overall cost of the mortgage.
### **9. Land Transfer Tax**:
A tax paid by the purchaser when a property is transferred from one owner to another. It is a government tax that is paid on the transfer of property ownership and varies by province.
### **10. Listing Agreement**:
A contract between a property owner and a real estate agent that outlines the terms of the agency relationship. It outlines the services that the agent will provide, the length of the agreement, and the commission that will be paid to the agent.
### **11. Mortgage Broker**:
A professional who acts as an intermediary between borrowers and lenders to help them find the best mortgage product. They can help borrowers find the best mortgage rate and product that suits their needs.
### **12. Mortgage Pre-Approval**:
A conditional commitment from a lender to provide a mortgage for a certain amount, subject to the buyer meeting certain conditions. It is a letter from a lender that states that you are pre-approved for a mortgage up to a certain amount, subject to certain conditions.
### **13. Multiple Listing Service (MLS)**:
[MLS or Multiple Listing Service](https://getnewhouse.ca/article/what-is-mls-in-real-estate-canada) is a database of properties for sale by real estate agents. It is a system used by real estate agents to list properties for sale, and it is a valuable resource for buyers and sellers.
### **14. Power of Sale**:
A legal process that allows a lender to sell a property in order to recover unpaid mortgage debt if the borrower defaults on the mortgage. It is a provision in the mortgage agreement that gives the lender the right to sell the property in case of default.
### **15. Property Condition Disclosure Statement**:
A document that outlines any known issues or defects with a property. It is a statement provided by the seller that discloses any known issues or defects with the property.
### **16. Real Property Report (RPR)**:
A legal document that shows the boundaries, dimensions, and location of a property, as well as any improvements or structures on the property. It is a detailed survey that shows the property's boundaries and any structures or improvements on the property.
### **17. Title Insurance**:
Insurance that protects the buyer and the lender against any issues with the property's title or ownership. It protects against any hidden issues with the property's title, such as outstanding liens or encumbrances.
### **18. Underwriting**:
The process of evaluating a mortgage application to determine whether to approve the loan and what terms to offer. It is the process used by lenders to evaluate a borrower's creditworthiness and ability to repay the loan.
### **19. Zoning**:
Set of regulations established by local governments that determine how land can be used in a particular area, by dividing the municipality into different zones and regulating the development, density and allowed uses of the land.
### **20. Lease**:
A lease is a legal agreement between a landlord and tenant outlining the terms and conditions of renting a property, including the rental amount, length of the lease and responsibilities of both parties.
## **20 Advanced Real Estate Terms & Concepts to Know**
Now, let's get an idea on some of the advance terms used in the real estate industry.
## **1. ‘As Is’ clause**
Let's learn about this real estate concept from both a seller's and a buyer's point of view.
#### **For sellers**
"As-Is" clause means property is sold in current condition, with no promises or guarantees from the seller.
- It can be a quick and cost-effective option for sellers.
- But, it also means that the buyer will have to take on any necessary repairs or renovations.
- Legally required to disclose all issues with the property, including providing a detailed statement of condition, prepared by a professional, and based on an inspection.
#### **For buyers**
"As-Is" properties may come at a lower price, but they can also end up costing more if extensive repairs are needed.
- It's crucial to do a thorough inspection of the property to reveal any potential issues.
- Consider including a "subject to inspection" clause in the contract, which allows the buyer to back out if the inspection reveals more problems than initially disclosed by the seller.
- Important to proceed with caution and have a solid team of professionals, including a real estate agent, home inspector, and attorney, to minimize the risk.
For more details, refer [What does As-is clause mean in real estate?](https://getnewhouse.ca/article/what-does-as-is-where-clause-mean-real-estate-canada)
### **2. POA (Power of Attorney)**
POA is a legal document that allows you to give authority to another trustworthy person(s) to manage your property or money on your behalf.
- The person you appoint is called your attorney, and they do not have to be a lawyer.
- It is required that a person be ‘mentally capable’ at the time of signing a POA for it to be valid.
- Laws, requirements, and definitions of POA vary across provinces and territories in Canada.
- Real Estate and POA
In real estate, your attorney can manage buying or selling of real estate in your name, pay bills on your behalf, and even collect money owed to you, unless restricted to do so.
Your attorney does not become the owner of your property, they can only manage it on your behalf.
### Types of POA
- **General Power of attorney**: Allows your attorney to manage all or part of your finances and property only while you are mentally capable of managing your own affairs. Becomes invalid if you become mentally incapable. Can be limited to a particular task or time period.
- **Continuing power of attorney**: Allows your attorney to continue managing your finances and property even if you become mentally incapable to do so. Can start immediately or come into effect when you become mentally incapable.
### **3. MLS (Multiple Listing Service)**
MLS (Multiple Listing Service) is a database of properties for sale or rent, maintained by real estate agents and brokers.
- It allows agents to share information about properties with other agents in their area, increasing the chances of a sale or lease.
- MLS data is only available to real estate agents and brokers who are members of the service.
- It includes detailed information about properties, including photographs, prices, and descriptions.
- MLS can be a powerful tool for buyers, sellers, and real estate professionals to find and market properties.
### **4. CCIM (Certified commercial investment member)**
CCIM (Certified Commercial Investment Member) is a professional designation for commercial real estate professionals.
- It is awarded by the CCIM Institute after completing education and demonstrating experience.
- Recognized as mark of expertise in commercial and investment real estate.
- Only held by a select group of professionals.
- CCIMs are trained to analyze investment opportunities.
### **5. CPM (Certified Property Manager)**
CPM (Certified Property Manager) is a professional designation for property management professionals.
- It is awarded by the Institute of Real Estate Management (IREM) after individuals complete a rigorous education curriculum and demonstrate their experience in property management.
- The CPM designation is recognized as a mark of expertise in the property management industry.
- Only held by a select group of professionals.
- CPMs are trained to manage and maintain properties effectively and efficiently.
### **6. CMA (Comparative Market Analysis)**
CMA (Comparative Market Analysis) is a report that compares a property to similar properties in the same area.
- It is used to determine a property's estimated value, and to help with pricing decisions when buying or selling a property.
- A CMA includes information about recent sales and current listings of similar properties.
- It also includes information about market trends, such as average days on market and sale-to-list price ratios.
- CMA is a helpful tool for both sellers and buyers to have a better understanding of the market and make informed decisions.
### **7. CRE (Commercial Real Estate)**
CRE (Commercial Real Estate) refers to properties used for business or investment purposes.
- It includes properties such as office buildings, retail centers, industrial warehouses, and multifamily apartments.
- CRE transactions are generally more complex and involve more money compared to residential real estate transactions.
- CRE professionals such as brokers, investors, and property managers have specialized knowledge and skills to navigate the market.
- CRE can also include special purpose properties such as hotels, hospitals, and self-storage facilities.
### **8. CAC (Central Air-Conditioning)**
CAC (Central Air-Conditioning) is a type of air conditioning system that cools a building or home by circulating chilled air through ductwork.
- It typically uses a central unit, such as a furnace, to cool the air and distribute it throughout the building.
- CAC systems are often more efficient and can cool larger areas compared to individual room air conditioners.
- It can also improve air quality by filtering and circulating air throughout the building.
- CAC systems require regular maintenance to ensure they are functioning properly and efficiently.
### **9. COI (Certificate of Insurance)**
A Certificate of Insurance (COI) is a document that verifies that a specific insurance policy is in effect and provides details on the coverage provided.
- COIs are typically issued by insurance companies or their agents and are used to provide proof of insurance to third parties, such as lenders or landlords.
- COI includes: insured name, policy number, coverage type/limits, and insurance company/agent contact information.
- Some COIs may also include additional information, such as endorsements or exclusions to the policy.
- COIs are not the same as the insurance policy itself and do not provide all of the terms, conditions, and exclusions of the policy.
### **10. CMHC (Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation)**
Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC) is a Crown corporation of the Government of Canada.
- Its primary function is to provide mortgage loan insurance to Canadian banks and other lending institutions.
- This insurance helps protect lenders against losses if a borrower defaults on a mortgage loan.
- CMHC also conducts research and provides information on housing markets and trends, as well as housing-related programs and services.
- CMHC is funded by premiums paid by borrowers who take out mortgage loans that are insured by the corporation.
### **11. CMA (Comparative Market Analysis)**
A [Comparative Market Analysis (CMA)](https://getnewhouse.ca/article/what-is-cma-in-real-estate-canada) is a report that compares a property to similar properties that have recently sold or are currently on the market.
- It is used by real estate agents, appraisers, and homeowners to estimate the fair market value of a property.
- A CMA typically includes information such as the property's location, size, condition, and features as well as information on comparable properties, including their sale prices and other relevant details.
- It is based on recent sales data, it helps in determining the current market value of a property
- It is used to set the price for a property that is for sale or to be appraised.
- A CMA can also be used to evaluate the potential return on investment for a rental property or a fix and flip investment.
### **12. ARV (After Repair Value)**
After Repair Value (ARV) is a term used in real estate investing to refer to the estimated market value of a property after any necessary repairs or renovations have been completed
- It is used to determine the potential profitability of a fix-and-flip investment or the maximum purchase price for a property being considered for a rental or rehab project.
- ARV is calculated by taking the estimated market value of a property in its current condition, subtracting the cost of repairs and renovations, and then adding any potential value-adds such as an addition or a finished basement.
- It is an estimate of the potential of the property in the future after the repairs are done
- It helps in determining the maximum amount to be spent on the renovation and property purchase, so it doesn't exceed the potential value of the property after renovation.
### **13. LTV (Loan to Value)**
Loan-to-value (LTV) is a ratio used in the mortgage industry to indicate the size of a loan compared to the value of the property being used as collateral.
- It is calculated by dividing the loan amount by the value of the property.
- It is used by lenders to determine the risk of a loan and the creditworthiness of a borrower.
- A higher LTV ratio indicates a higher risk to the lender, as the borrower has less equity in the property.
- LTV is used to determine the minimum down payment, interest rate, and maximum loan amount
- Lenders usually have different LTV ratios for different types of properties and loans.
- A high LTV ratio may require a higher interest rate or mortgage insurance.
### **14. Cap Rate**
The Capitalization Rate, or Cap Rate, is a measure used in real estate investing to indicate the rate of return on a property based on its income and purchase price.
- It is calculated by dividing the property's net operating income by its current market value or purchase price.
- Cap Rate is a metric used to compare the potential returns of different properties.
- A higher cap rate indicates a higher return on investment, and a lower cap rate indicates a lower return.
- Cap rate is used to evaluate the performance of a property and its potential as an investment.
- Cap rate can be used to compare the yields of different properties and areas, even though it is a ratio, it does not take into account the cost of debt.
### **15. GDS (Gross Debt Service)**
Gross Debt Service (GDS) ratio is a measure used by mortgage lenders to determine a borrower's ability to afford the mortgage payments on a property.
- It is calculated by dividing the total mortgage payments, including principal, interest, property taxes, and heating costs, by the borrower's gross income.
- GDS is one of the two ratios used to qualify borrowers, the other being TDS (Total Debt Service).
- It is used to evaluate the borrower's ability to meet the housing cost, it is usually expressed as a percentage.
- Lenders usually have a maximum GDS ratio, typically between 31% and 39%
- A high GDS ratio may indicate that a borrower is over-extended and may have difficulty making mortgage payments.
- A low GDS ratio may indicate that a borrower has a lower risk of defaulting on the loan.
### **16. TDS (Total Debt Service)**
Total Debt Service (TDS) ratio is a measure used by mortgage lenders to determine a borrower's overall ability to afford the mortgage payments on a property, as well as their other debts and expenses.
- It is calculated by dividing the total monthly debt payments, including mortgage payments, credit card payments, car loans, and any other debts, by the borrower's gross income.
- TDS is one of the two ratios used to qualify borrowers, the other being GDS (Gross Debt Service).
- Lenders usually have a maximum TDS ratio, typically between 42% and 44%
- A high TDS ratio may indicate that a borrower is over-extended and may have difficulty making mortgage payments and other debts.
- A low TDS ratio may indicate that a borrower has a lower risk of defaulting on the loan and other debts.
### **17. JT (Joint Tenancy)**
Joint Tenancy is a type of co-ownership of property where two or more individuals own the property together.
- Each owner holds an equal and undivided interest in the property.
- Joint tenants have the right of survivorship, meaning that if one of the owners passes away, their interest in the property passes automatically to the remaining owners.
- In a joint tenancy, all parties have equal rights and responsibilities on the property
- Each joint tenant has the right to use the entire property.
- All the parties need to agree to sell the property or make any changes to it.
- In case of death, the share of the deceased tenant automatically goes to the surviving tenant/s.
### **18. TIC (Tenancy in Common)**
Tenancy in Common (TIC) is a type of co-ownership of property where two or more individuals own the property together, but each has a distinct and separate share of the property.
- No right of survivorship, meaning if one owner dies, their share does not automatically pass to the remaining owners.
- Allows multiple parties to invest in real estate together or pass assets onto beneficiaries.
- Each tenant owns a specific percentage of the property and can sell or dispose of their share.
- Tenants have right to use entire property, but cannot sell or make changes without agreement of other tenants.
- In case of death, share is passed on according to will or testamentary disposition, not automatically to surviving tenants.
- Different from Joint Tenancy which has equal shares and right of survivorship.
### **19. Lien**
- A lien is a legal claim on a property that gives a lender or other creditor the right to seize the property if the borrower or property owner fails to fulfill their obligation.
- Liens can be placed on property for unpaid debts, taxes, or other financial obligations.
- Liens can be either voluntary, such as a mortgage, or involuntary, such as a judgment lien.
- Liens are recorded in the public records, this means that they are visible to anyone who searches. the records.
- When the property is sold, the lien must be paid off before the sale can be completed.
- If the lien is not paid off the property may be foreclosed or seized by the creditor.
### **20. Ontario Agreement of Purchase and Sale**
The Agreement of Purchase and Sale (APS) is a legally binding contract between a buyer and a seller for the purchase of a property in the province of Ontario, Canada.
- Outlines terms and conditions including purchase price, closing date, and contingencies.
- Prepared by a real estate agent or lawyer, reviewed and signed by both parties, and a copy provided to each.
- Includes schedule of chattels and fixtures, closing date, and contingencies, if any.
- Legally binding contract, both parties have legal obligations and rights related to the sale.
- Buyer typically pays deposit held in trust until closing.
- Starting point for completion of sale transaction and ownership transfer.
## Knowing the Canadian Real Estate Concepts
The understanding of the real estate terms specific to Canada is essential for home buyers, sellers and agents in order to navigate the market and make informed decisions.
Being familiar with terms such as CMHC, ARV, LTV, Cap Rate, GDS, TDS, JT, TIC, CMA, APS, and others, can help you understand the mortgage process, evaluate properties, and negotiate the terms of a sale.
Whether you're a [first-time home buyer](https://getnewhouse.ca/blog/renting-vs-buying-home-canada-better), an experienced investor, or a real estate agent, having a solid understanding of these terms will help you make the most of the Canadian real estate market. Did we miss any important term here? Do you wish to include any other interesting concept on real estate in Canada, do comment and share your views.