Blog by Chloe Cartwright, BSW, RSW, ABR

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Applying for a Mortgage

   Obtaining a mortgage in Alberta is not as complicated nor as difficult as you may believe and it certainly does not require a 35% down payment or a 1 year residency period as some people mistakenly assert. While the process does require good preparation and attention to detail, I am able to lead my clients through the steps in a relatively stress free manner. We do this through initiating and maintaining continuing email dialogues up to the time of arrival in Alberta. My goal is to have the majority of items settled before you arrive, so that you can concentrate on the all-important purchasing steps that Chloe Cartwright will lead you through after you arrive.

   At Westcor Mortgage, we deal with over 40 mortgage lenders with a variety of products that will meet almost any mortgage request or circumstance. However, there are some   general matters to consider . . . Mortgages can be obtained for up to 95% of Purchase Price.  These “high ratio” mortgages (anything above 80% of value), are insured through Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC) or Genworth, and a fee relative to amortization and the percentage required will apply, and be added to the mortgage amount. Of course, having a down payment of at least 20% will make the application process smoother and help you avoid these extra fees.

   Amortizations in Canada can be as long as 30 years, and there are various fixed term and Variable Rate options. Unlike the UK amortization periods, in Canada, they are not tied to your 65th birthday nor your retirement but are arranged to suit your comfort level.  My experience is that most of my UK clients are familiar with the various products and mortgage situations, but some of the wordings are different. In summary, there is likely a mortgage product and term option that will fit your family’s particular circumstances and preference.

   There are also Foreign Investor mortgages available; however, you should consider that you will require a down payment of at least 40% for these products, and each Application is viewed on an individual basis. As lenders more rigorously review these mortgages, it is wise to explore your situation with me well in advance of any commitment you are considering.

   Residency is very important in the Mortgage Application process. You can make an application with a Temporary Work Visa, but you are well advised to move quickly toward obtaining your Permanent     Residency.  If you have a Temporary Work Visa you must provide evidence you have your Permanent Residency Application underway, although with a significant down-payment this may not be such an issue. I would be pleased to discuss individual circumstances with you in this regard, as I may have suggestions as to how you can provide information that will be satisfactory for your particular application.

   For more information you can view the Mortgage Preparation List posted here or to start our dialogue please contact me John Ablett at  or call me at (001) 403 270 1574.


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