Effective June 1st, 2015, the mortgage loan insurance premium for homebuyers with less than a 10% down payment will increase by approximately 15%.

What are the General Requirements to Qualify for Homeowner Mortgage Loan Insurance?

  • The home is located in Canada.
  • For CMHC-insured mortgage loans, the maximum purchase price or as-improved property value must be below $1,000,000.
  • You will typically have a down payment of at least 5% of the purchase price of the dwelling, depending on the dwelling type.
    • Single-family and two-unit dwellings (5% minimum down payment)
    • Three- or four-unit dwellings (10% minimum down payment)
  • Normally, the minimum down payment comes from your own resources. However, a gift of a down payment from an immediate relative is acceptable for dwellings of 1 to 4 units. For eligible borrowers, additional sources of down payment, such as lender incentives and borrowed funds, are also permitted. Check with your lender for qualifying criteria and availability.
  • Your total monthly housing costs, including Principal, Interest, property Taxes, Heating (P.I.T.H.), the annual site lease in the case of leasehold tenure and 50% of applicable condominium fees, shouldn’t represent more than 32% of your gross household income (Gross Debt Service (GDS) ratio). Use the GDS form to calculate how much you can afford in housing costs to be eligible.
  • Your total debt load shouldn’t be more than 40% of your gross household income. The Total Debt Service (TDS) ratio is your P.I.T.H. + the annual site lease in the case of leasehold tenure and 50% of condominium fees (if applicable) + payments on all other debt / gross annual household income. Add up your costs and determine your Total Debt Service ratio using the TDS form.
  • You also need to think about closing costs (for example, legal and land transfer fees) equivalent to 1.5% to 4% of the purchase price. Many first-time buyers are surprised by these costs. That is why, when qualifying for CMHC’s Mortgage Loan Insurance, our Home Purchase Cost Estimate worksheet form will help you calculate your total homebuying costs.

    Closing costs include but are not limited to one-time items such as lawyer fees, GST and PST as applicable, land transfer tax if applicable, adjustments, etc., to allow you to complete the house purchase.
  • Other requirements may apply and are subject to change. For details, please contact your lender or mortgage broker.


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