Can New Immigrants Buy a House in Canada?
Are you a newcomer wondering, Can a new immigrant buy a house in Canada? We have the answers to your query.
Moving to Canada with your family is a big step, and buying a new home there can be challenging. That is why many banks and lenders offer mortgage options for new immigrants to help them get settled. According to reports, the rate of immigrant homeowners has surpassed Canadian-born counterparts. Therefore, buying your own home as an immigrant in Canada is achievable.
Nothing beats the feeling of getting the keys to your first home in Canada as a new immigrant. But empowering yourself to make the best decision about your new home is very important.
What is an Immigrant Mortgage?
An immigrant mortgage is a special newcomer mortgage program offered by banks for new immigrants in Canada. These programs help them get a mortgage even when they do not meet the requirements for a regular mortgage. New immigrants in Canada are allowed to buy a home, even if they have just immigrated to the country.
They also qualify for a mortgage as long as they meet the standard financial requirements. As a new immigrant, navigating the rules and regulations can get overwhelming. So, we have put together a detailed guide to everything you need to know about buying a house in Canada.
Why it's difficult for New Immigrants to get Mortgage approved?
Things are not that easy as they seem to be! As a new immigrant to Canada, it's difficult to get your mortgage approved. Let's see why so.
1. Lack of Canadian Employment History
One of the requirements for eligibility for a regular mortgage in Canada is Canadian employment history. Many banks want to ensure you’ve been working in the country for at least two years. These show that you have a stable level of income.
2. Canadian Credit History
An established credit history shows how consistent and responsible you are with your finances. Banks need a credit report to see how you handle your debt. They want to know if you have missed any payments or made late payments. So, new immigrants with no credit history can face challenges.
Eligibility for a Mortgage as a New Immigrant in Canada
Let's see how new immigrants are eligible to get mortgage approval.
1. Migrated to Canada within the last 5 years
You must have immigrated to Canada within five years to be considered a new immigrant. Have you been staying in Canada for more than five years? If yes, you are no longer considered a new immigrant.
2. Established Legal Status in Canada
New immigrants with a temporary or permanent residence are eligible. Those with a non-permanent resident with a work permit are also eligible.
3. Working full time for 3 months
New immigrants do not need to have two years of employment history to get a mortgage. However, they must have at least three-month full-time employment history. You will need at least three months of full-time employment history. These laws exclude those that are relocated to Canada by their current employer.
4. Have a 5% Down Payment
A 5% down payment is mandatory for a new immigrant to get a house in Canada. These down payments also vary from one agent to another. For example, some lenders may require a higher down payment if the house price is over $500,000.
5. Meet Qualification Ratios
Your debt service ratio shows the percentage of your income that pays your debt. The higher this ratio, the more difficult it is to get a mortgage. This is because you are spending more of your income on service debt.
How to Buy Your First House in Canada?
Are you wishing to buy your first house in Canada? Here are few things to guide you.
1. Have a Budget
According to reports, the average house prices have sky-rocketed in Canada in the past few years. This price is due to the astronomical cost of houses in places like Vancouver and Toronto. However, the price of houses are cooling down a bit due to high benchmark interest rates and other regulations.
Keeping this in mind, new immigrants must have a budget when opting to get a house mortgage. They should know the down payment and monthly housing payment they can afford. Therefore, having a solid budget helps you understand how much house you can afford.
2. Mortgage Approval Process
Mortgage approval helps estimate your potential mortgage payments. The process of getting a mortgage approval varies from state to state. It also depends on your eligibility. Most banks and mortgage lenders approve the maximum loan you can qualify for. So it is important to understand the requirements at your stage.
New immigrants must provide their income, assets, debts, and current employment information to get approval. After submitting this information, the bank or lender will evaluate the application. The application will be approved if they are qualified and rejected if they are not.
3. Search for a Perfect House
It is time to search for your dream home. Your mortgage approval often determines the kind of house you will search for. As a newcomer, it is advisable to partner with an experienced real estate agent. Ask your neighbours and friends if they know any trustworthy realtor that can help you through the home buying process.
4. Get Home Inspection Done
Home inspections help protect the buyer from any potentially serious and dangerous problems in the building. Therefore, it is paramount. But you will need to pay a fee to inspect the house. Your realtors or mortgage lenders can help you find a qualified home inspector if you don't have any. And yes, home inspection is very crucial part of the buying process. So, don't think of missing it out to save some money!
5. Make an Offer
After inspecting the house, it is time to make an offer on the property. Making an offer in Canada requires putting down a deposit. However, this deposit is different from your down payment. The deposit shows the seller you are serious about buying the property. Your deposit will be added to your down payment when you close on the house. But it is non-refundable if you walk away.
6. Sign the Papers
Buying and finalizing your house mortgage requires a lot of paperwork. You must first finalize your financing options and get your mortgage formally approved. These can be completed within a few weeks. Ask your realtor for help when navigating through the paperwork to ensure transparency. And here you are ready for getting the possession of your dream house on closing day!
Buying Home as a Newcomer to Canada
Canadian banks keep on updating their eligibility requirements with the newcomer mortgage program. So, you must be aware of the latest changes applicable. But, you will need to meet the basic criteria of home buying in Canada before fulfilling your housing dream.