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CMHC announces new rules making it easier to purchase homes with secondary rental suites

Finally! A rule change by CMHC that actually puts less resistance on the borrower. Effective September 28, borrowers aiming to purchase properties with legal, secondary suites, will have a bit of a boost qualifying for their purchase.


A release from CMHC said, “Many municipalities across the country now formally recognize secondary rental suites as a source of affordable housing. Rents in secondary rental suites are often lower than those for apartments in purpose-built rental buildings.”


These changes will allow homeowners to count more of the income from a property’s secondary unit when qualifying for a loan. Previously, 50% of a secondary unit’s rental income would be eligible to use for qualification. Canada’s largest mortgage insurer has now indicated that they will consider up to 100 percent of the gross rental income from (the subject property of a loan application) two-unit, owner-occupied properties.


CMHC has suggested this would target two unit owner-occupied homes and would likely include basement rental units, in-law apartments and garden suites known as laneway homes. They generally classify secondary units as “self-contained with separate kitchen, sleeping and bathroom facilities.”


The legality of the secondary suite is a key component. CMHC only recognizes units that are legal or conform to local municipal standards. The Crown Corporation says that it’s up to lenders to exercise judgment, when it comes to borrowers proving the units are legal.


Homeowners with less than a 20 per cent down payment and borrowing from a regulated financial institution must get government backed mortgage default insurance. Even financial institutions not regulated by Ottawa, like credit unions, must abide by CMHC rules to be covered by the government backing.


Questions? Call me at 306-341-3539. I’ll be happy to help.


Tawny Bley OneSt Mortgage (Assoc #316137)

Norm Fisher, Author of the TeamFisher Saskatoon Real Estate Blog

About Norm

As a collaborating partner on 'The Value-Driven Approach To Sell Real Estate' project, Norm shows Saskatoon homeowners how to find hidden, tax-free profits in their home sale.Less...

As a collaborating partner on 'The Value-Driven Approach To Sell Real Estate' project, Norm shows Saskatoon homeowners how to find hidden, tax-free profits in their home sale. Known locally as an impact leader he supports many organizations that serve our community’s most vulnerable people like the Saskatoon Interval House, the YWCA Crisis Shelter, the Lighthouse, the Friendship Inn and others. He has participated in several physically daunting charitable challenges and helped raise over one million dollars for women's shelters across Canada. Additionally, he’s a charter member of 100 Men Who Give a Damn in Saskatoon, a group of local philanthropists who are driven to bring positive change to those in need within our community. Fisher is a licensed real estate broker and owner of Royal LePage Vidorra, a boutique brokerage known for technology and innovation.

Note: We are in the process of bringing this blog home to the TeamFisher.com domain and we have a lot of stuff to move! Another 700 posts can be found at normfisher.com where they'll remain until we can get them moved here.

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