Investment Property Mortgage Qualification

Investment Property Mortgage Qualifications Don't Make Sense!

Investment Property MortgageThere have been many changes with respect to mortgage qualifications in Canada. Above and beyond the 4 major changes announced by the Minister of Finance over 4 years, there have been changes on the backend on how lenders qualify applicants.  The most recent one is mind boggling!

Investment Property Mortgage Qualification

For an applicant reporting a surplus on their T1 general (line 126), the surplus (line 126)  is added to their income.

Example: Applicant's income is $100,000 and line 126 is showing $5,000, total applicant's income is $105,000. If the applicant owns other investment properties, here is the part that makes no sense: The principal portion off the annual mortgage statement is deducted from applicant's income!

Example: Applicant has paid down $10,000 of mortgage principal in the previous year, total income: $100,000 plus $5,000 less $10,000 = $95,000.  This rule effectively penalizes real estate investors who build equity in their investment properties.  Last time I checked statements made by Minister of Finance, Bank of Canada, Bankers..... they all advocate paying down debt and building equity now while interest rates are low (Canadians are at record high debt to income ratio).

This rule effectively encourages not paying down mortgage principal. Had the applicant paid more interest than principal in the previous year, the mortgage principal deduction would have been less and therefore their net income higher!

If you are thinking of showing a loss on line 126, it's even worse: Income less loss on line 126 less mortgage principal.

Are you confused and frustrated with all these guidelines? Rest assured this is what I do on a daily basis and I am here to help you navigate through the mortgage qualification  land mines to build your real estate investment portfolio. It's all in the setup.....Happy Investing!

Want to Invest In Real Estate But Not Sure Where To Start? - Nawar Naji Toronto Mortgage Broker

How To Qualify For Investment Property Mortgage

Investment Property Mortgage Qualification - Toronto Mortgage Broker Nawar NajiThe mortgage lending landscape has changed considerably in the last few years and investment properties qualification is more stringent nowadays.  A few years ago, one can qualify for an investment property mortgage with less than 20% downpayment. Nowadays, 20% is the minimum downpayment not to mention the amortization has been reduced to 30 years (Note 35 years amortization is available but at a rate premium). Understanding how investment properties are qualified with various lenders can sometimes be complex, however here is an explanation to help the first time real estate investor what they are up against.  The examples below are based on the following:

  • Purchase price: $625,000 (duplex)
  • Mortgage: $500,000 (80% LTV)
  • Monthly mortgage payment: $2,127 (based on 3.09% amortized over 30 years)
  • Monthly rental income: $3800
  • Monthly property tax: $275

50% Rule

This is the most penalizing rule used by lenders where it only accounts for 50% of the rental income. Based on the above numbers, the net monthly result is a shortfall of $502 (50% * $3800 - $2127 - $275 = -$502). This figure is added to the liability section of the mortgage application hence reducing applicant's qualification amount.

70% Rule

This is more favourable method, where 70% of the rental income is accounted for.  The above example would net in a surplus of $258 which is added to the applicant's income which strengths the mortgage application. At the time of writing this blog post, this method will be scrapped in a few days.

T1 General Line 126

Some lenders allow the applicant to use line 126 in the T1 general for existing investment properties when qualifying for a new property.  Typically, real estate investors maximize capital cost allowance (CCA) depreciation and expense deduction to show a loss.  This might be advantageous from a taxation perspective, however the negative figure on line 126 would be added to the liability section of the mortgage application. Having a positive line 126 figure would strengthen the application since it is added as income (Disclaimer: Please consult a professional accountant to provide tax advice as I am licensed a mortgage broker only).

Rental Surplus/Shortfall

A calculator is used with set figures for vacancy, repairs & maintenance, insurance and management. This is the most favourable method as it nets $638 monthly which is added to the applicant's income.

If a real estate investor is buying a home to for personal occupancy, the above methods are used by lenders in assessing the the applicant's qualification. Qualifying for a mortgage when one owns an investment property can be a daunting task and stressful.  It is important to work with a mortgage professional who is well versed in investment property qualification guidelines to avoid future disappointments. How would one feel if they can't buy their dream family home because they own one or two investment properties?

To avoid disappointment in buying your family home or investment property, please contact Nawar.

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