To determine ‘affordability’ you will first need to know your taxable income along with the amount of any debt outstanding and the monthly payments. Assuming it is your principal residence you are purchasing, calculate 32% of your income for use toward a mortgage payment, property taxes and heating costs. If applicable, half of the estimated monthly condominium maintenance fees will also be included in this calculation.
Second, calculate 40% of your taxable income and deduct all of your monthly debt payments, including car loans, credit cards, lines of credit payments. The lesser of the first or second calculation will be used to help determine how much of your income may be used towards housing related payments, including your mortgage payment. These calculations are based on lenders’ usual guidelines.
Effective February 15, 2016, the minimum down payment for new mortgages have been modified. The new breakdown is as follows:
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%
In addition to the down payment, you must also be able to show that you can cover the applicable closing costs (i.e. legal fees and disbursements, appraisal fees and a survey certificate, where applicable).
Regardless of the amount of your down payment, it must be from your own cash resources or a gift from a family member. It cannot be borrowed.
Lenders will generally accept a gift from a family member as an acceptable down payment provided a letter stating it is a true gift, not a loan, is signed by the donor. Where the mortgage loan insurance is provided by Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC), the gift money must be in your possession before the application is sent in to CMHC for approval.
Mortgages with less than 20% down payment must have mortgage loan insurance provided by CMHC, Genworth Financial Canada or Canada Guaranty
Mortgage loan insurance is insurance provided by Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC), a crown corporation, Genworth Financial Canada or Canada Guaranty, approved private corporations. This insurance is required by law to insure lenders against default on mortgages with a loan to value ratio greater than 80%. The insurance premiums, ranging from 0.60% to 4.50%, are paid by the borrower and can be added directly onto the mortgage amount. This is not the same as mortgage life insurance.
A conventional mortgage is usually one where the down payment is equal to 20% or more of the purchase price, a loan to value of or less than 80%, and does not normally require mortgage loan insurance.
If your down payment is less than 20% of the purchase price, you will generally require a high-ratio mortgage with mortgage loan insurance.
Subject to qualification, yes. In fact, even purchasers with 5% down may qualify to buy a home and make improvements to it. For high-ratio financing, CMHC, Genworth Financial and Canada Guaranty, insured mortgages are available to cover the purchase price of a home as well as an amount to pay for immediate major renovations or improvements that the purchaser may wish to make to the property. This option eliminates the need to finance the renovations or improvements separately. Some conditions apply.
It’s a very good idea to get a pre-approved mortgage before you start shopping. Many realtors will ask if you’ve been approved. A lender will look at your finances and figure the amount of mortgage you can afford. Then the lender will give you a written confirmation, or certificate, for a fixed interest rate. This confirmation will be good for a specific period of time. A pre-approved mortgage is not a guarantee of being approved for the mortgage loan.
Even if you haven’t found the home you want to buy, having a pre-approved mortgage amount will help keep a good price range in mind.
Bring these with you the first time you meet with a lender:
Your personal information, including identification such as your driver’s license, Details on your job, including confirmation of salary in the form of a letter from your employer, All your sources of income, Information and details on all bank accounts, loans and other debts, Proof of financial assets, Source and amount of down payment and deposit, Proof of source of funds to cover the closing costs.
The down payment is that portion of the purchase price you furnish yourself. The amount of the down payment (which represents your financial stake, or the equity in your new home) should be determined well before you start house hunting.
The larger the down payment, the less your home costs in the long run. With a smaller mortgage, interest costs will be lower and over time this will add up to significant savings.
Most lenders now offer insured mortgages for both new and resale homes with down payment as low as 5% . Low down payment mortgages must be insured to cover potential default of payment, and their carrying costs are therefore higher than a conventional mortgage because they include the insurance premium.
With all low down payment insured mortgages, you are responsible for: Appraisal and legal fees, an application fee for the insurance, the payment of the mortgage default insurance premium (although the amount of the premium may be added to the mortgage amount).
There are ways to reduce the number of years to pay down your mortgage. You’ll enjoy significant savings by:
Selecting a non-monthly or accelerated payment schedule
Increasing your payment frequency schedule
Making principal prepayments
Making Double-Up Payments
Selecting a shorter amortization at renewal
Needless to say, you’ll have financial responsibilities as a home owner. Some of them, like taxes, may not be billed monthly, so do the calculations to break them down into monthly costs. Below you will find a list of these expenses.
The Mortgage Payment
For most home buyers, this is the largest monthly expense. The actual amount of the mortgage payment can vary widely since it is based on a number of variables, such as mortgage term or amortization.
Property tax can be paid in two ways – remitted directly to the municipality by you, in which case you may be required to periodically show proof of payment to your financial institution; or paid as part of your monthly mortgage payment.
In some municipalities, these taxes are integrated into the property taxes. In others, they are collected separately and are payable in a single lump sum, usually due at the end of the current school year.
As a home owner, you’ll be responsible for all utility bills including heating, gas, electricity, water, telephone and cable.
Maintenance and Upkeep
You will also have to cover the cost of painting, roof repairs, electrical and plumbing, walks and driveway, lawn care and snow removal. A well-maintained property helps to preserve your home’s market value, enhances the neighbourhood and, depending on the kind of renovations you make could add to the worth of your property.
The interest rate on a fixed-rate mortgage is set for a pre-determined term – usually between 6 months to 25 years. This offers the security of knowing what you will be paying for the term selected.
A mortgage in which payments are fixed for a period of one to two years although interest rates may fluctuate from month to month depending on market conditions. If interest rates go down, more of the payment goes towards reducing the principal; if rates go up, a larger portion of the monthly payment goes towards covering the interest. Most open variable rate mortgages allow prepayment of any amount (with certain minimums) on any payment date, up to a maximum total amount per year.
Mortgage payment calculator
Our mortgage payment calculator calculates your monthly payment and shows you the corresponding amortization schedule. If you are purchasing a home, our payment calculator allows you to test down payment and amortization scenarios, and compare variable and fixed mortgage rates. We also help you calculate CMHC insurance and land transfer tax.