First Time Home Buyer Program

General Reagan Wright 7 Nov

Consider this scenario:   You are living with family and want to invest in an investment property, and will not occupy property.  Does that mean you forgo your First Time Home Buyer privilege’s when you do purchase your first primary residence in the future?

The short answer: Purchasing an income property will not prevent you from taking advantage of first-time home buyer programs  in the future.

Here is the definition of a first-time home buyer, taken from the CRA website:

“You are considered a first-time home buyer if, in the four-year period (prior to a home purchase), you did not occupy a home that you owned.”

In this scenario, If the buyer will not be living at the income property, it will not be considered their first home.

Co-Signing A Mortgage

General Reagan Wright 1 Nov

Whether you are the borrower who needs a co-signer or someone has asked you to co-sign for them in securing a mortgage approval, you should read this article to fully understand all of the implications. The mortgage landscape has changed a lot over the last couple of years and as a number of new mortgage rules have come into effect, it’s not as easy to qualify for a mortgage as it was 5-years ago.

What is a co-signer?

There are a variety of reasons an applicant may need the assistance of a Co-Signer for a mortgage application. Perhaps a borrower has weak credit, or their income does not support the mortgage amount they have applied for, a co-signer may be requested. A co-signer is an additional borrower put onto the mortgage application in order to add strength to the approval of the mortgage financing. The idea being, the stronger the application, the more appealing it is for a potential lender to approve the financing. You can have more than one co-signer on an application and an example of this is two parents co-signing for their child who is buying their first home. Keep in mind the purpose of a co-signer is to improve the odds of a mortgage approval, so a borrower with poor credit history, or limited / no income, would not

make a good co-signer in this situation. In addition to a co-signer going on the mortgage (the debt) they will also go on the accompanying property land title (the asset).


What is a strong co-signer?

The financial profile of a suitable co-signer will be dependent on why a co-signer is required. If the main borrower’s credit is weak, the lender will be looking for a co-signer who has a strong credit history, though if the primary borrower’s qualifying income is hard to prove, the co-signer will have to have a strong reliable income source with minimal debt. A suitable co-signer has to look good where the main borrower doesn’t.


Difference between a co-signer and guarantor

A few notable mortgage terms to differentiate between are a co-borrower, co-signer, and guarantor.

 A co-borrower is just another applicant, such as the spouse or siblings buying a house together. All borrowers are qualifying together and all will likely occupy the subject property. Whereas a co- signer is usually brought on to add strength to a mortgage application where the main borrower lacks and it’s not unusual for the co-signer to occupy a different property.


A guarantor is not as common as a co-signer as future liabilities and implications for a guarantor can be quite different than that of a co-signer depending on the specific transaction. A guarantor would personally guarantee the mortgage repayment in the event the primary borrower does not pay, however, a notable difference with a guarantor is that a guarantor will only go on the mortgage (the debt) and not on the title of the property (asset).


How the co-signer is affected


As a co-signer on a mortgage, you are now 100% responsible for that debt even if the primary borrower makes all of the payments from their own bank account. In the case of a mortgage loan, this not only applies to the principal and interest payments, but also to the property taxes too and condo fees if applicable. Basically, if the primary borrower doesn’t pay, the lender will be calling you to make the payments. Further to that, the lender often doesn’t notify you, the co-signer, of any delinquent payments until the loan is already significantly behind and has already negatively affected your credit rating which could affect your future borrowing potential. The co-signer also needs to be aware ALL of the costs associated with this new home as mentioned above will now have to be disclosed on any future credit applications you enter into which could impact on how much you can now borrow.


Removing a co-signer

The primary borrower cannot make any changes to the mortgage without the consent of the co-signer and approval from the lender. It is important to confirm the lender’s guidelines and requirements on removing a co-signer at the initial stage of acquiring the home.  ( These will all differ from lender to lender.)