There is so much misinformation out there in the market place to day around the down payment requirements when you purchase a new home so let’s have a virtual discussion around the topic.
No, I cannot magically create or make it look like you have a down payment when you don’t, that is called mortgage fraud and I could lose my license if I did such a thing.
No, you do not require 10% down if this is your second or third or forth home purchase.
No, banks will not provide you with a cash back incentive and allow you to use it as the down payment, that program died a while ago when new rules were brought down by the federal government.
No, the seller of the house can not gift you or lend you the down payment however if the seller is immediate family they may be able to gift you 5% equity.
No, you can not borrow the money from a friend.
So what can you use for a down payment and how much do you need?
If you are looking to buy an owner occupied home that is 1 or 2 units then you only need 5% down unless the lender feels the deal is too weak and more of a down payment could mitigate the weakness in the application. That 5% down can come from various places such as your personal savings, your Registered Retirement Plan, the sale of an asset, a non repayable gift from an immediate family member or you could borrow it from your line of credit, or credit card. Lenders are under very strict guidelines when it comes to providing a paper trail of this money and this is due to the Anti Money Laundering and Terrorist Financing Act so be prepared to answer a lot of questions and provide a lot of paper.
When you are getting a gift from immediate family that person or persons will be required to sign a gift letter stating that the gift is non repayable and who do lenders deem to be immediate family? Well it can be parents, grandparents, and siblings, that is it. Aunts, uncles, girlfriends, in laws, cousins, spouse, these people do not fall under the immediate family guidelines and while some lenders will grant an exception it is not a guarantee that they will allow these people to gift you the down payment.
So when it comes to the strength of the down payment lenders give more points to the application if the source of funds is coming from your savings, RRSP or sale of an existing asset, fewer points are given if it is a gift and not many points given at all if you are looking to borrow your down payments. If you are starting a new job, have weak credit and are currently carrying quite a bit of debt the likely of you getting approved for a mortgage with a borrowed down payment is slim to nil. Lenders really like to see that your savings habits have been established and that you have the discipline to budget, manage your revolving credit well and save money. Please call me if you would like to discuss your individual situation because everybody has a different story and there are exceptions to every rule.