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Mortgage Basics

1. Down payment:

Every financial institution requires you to make a down payment on a new home purchase. Even “no down payment” mortgages require a down payment, it just means that the financial institution lends you money or gives it to you in some form of “cash back”. These types of mortgages typically involve large fees, higher rates and not everyone can qualify for them. The smallest down payment a purchaser can make is 5% of the purchase price. The money for the down payment can be cash you have saved, RRSPs (see for details) or a gift.

PARAMA offers High Ratio mortgages, which require a minimum of 5% down and are insured by CMHC (see for more details). The costs associated with this type of mortgage are typically higher than a conventional mortgage as the borrower is responsible for covering the insurance premium and HST, which is payable to the mortgage insurer, not to PARAMA. The insurance premium can be added onto your mortgage amount and calculated into your regular payments. Please note that PARAMA does not charge a higher rate for High Ratio mortgages.

If you can make a down payment of 20% or more, your mortgage will be considered a Conventional mortgage, therefore no additional outside premiums are required. You will, however, be responsible for the cost of the appraisal (if required) and legal fees.


2. Appraisal:

Every mortgage lender will require a current appraisal of the property you are looking to purchase or refinance. However, at PARAMA if the loan to value (LTV) is less than 50% this requirement can be waived – a cost savings to you. With conventional mortgages, PARAMA orders the appraisal however you are responsible for the cost. With High Ratio mortgages, the mortgage insurer (CMHC) performs their own valuation/appraisal and the fee in included in your insurance premium fee.


3. Registration:

When first purchasing a property, the Credit Union requires you to choose a lawyer in order to perform title searches to protect our interest in your mortgage loan and to make all necessary registrations on the property. We do not require you to choose a particular lawyer, however if you do not have one we know of a few near our branches and would be happy to direct you to their offices. Lawyers charge their own fees for services rendered in ensuring that your title is property registered. Please contact your lawyer of choice to find out how much they charge for their services.


4. PARAMA Mortgage Application:

As with any loan, we need a completed application for you along with any supplemental documentation, such as confirmation of income and a copy of your Purchase Agreement (“Agreement of Purchase and Sale”)


5. Terms:

Once your mortgage has been approved, you need to decide what terms you would like. PARAMA offers FOUR types of mortgage terms:
  1. Open Variable: flexible repayment with a rate that fluctuates based on the Prime Rate.
  2. Closed Variable: only available for a 5 year term with a rate that fluctuates based on the Prime Rate. The benefit of this term is that the rate is lower than the open variable term.
  3. Open Fixed: “locked in” fixed rate that is only available for a 1 year term but features flexible repayment.
  4. Closed Fixed: “locked in” fixed rate for a specific period of time (1 to 5 years), and repayment is restricted to a fixed amount. You are allowed to increase that amount 15% each calendar year AND/OR make an annual lump-sum principal payment of 15% of your original mortgage amount.

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