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Vendor Take Back Mortgages – More Details…

Tuesday, November 9th, 2010

Transcript of Video Blog:

Hi, everyone, Rowan Smith with the Mortgage Centre. I want to talk today about vendor takeback mortgages. I’m getting a lot more inquiries no them, and there’s a fundamental misunderstanding out there about how they apply and whether or not you can really use them.

A lot of the no-money-down programs, Carlton Sheets and all these other guys that are out there, have been using vendor takeback mortgages. Those programs are predominantly American. Now the technique does work here, but it’s not as simple as people think.

What they’ll often say to me is, “Rowan, I want to buy a $400, 000 house. I don’t have the 5% down, so I want to take a vendor takeback for the 5%.” What that means is that the seller is loaning you the 5% down payment.

Sounds good. The only problem is, it’s not allowed. You can’t do it under Canadian banking systems, because to do 5% down, the person who’s got the first mortgage either has to get CMHC, Genworth, or Canada Guarantee in mortgage insurance, most commonly CMHC.

CMHC is not going to allow you to borrow 5% behind their 95% financing. Part of it’s just simple risk. Knowing that you have absolutely no money in the deal and have nothing to lose if you walk away doesn’t give them a lot of security that you’re going to make your payments.

But secondly, you end up borrowing more than the purchase price. And the reason is, when you pay, put 5% down, you’re going to be looking at a mortgage insurance premium through CMHC for Genworth or Canada Guarantee of anywhere between 2.75% and 3.35%, depending on what program you buy through.

So if you’re looking at 95% financing plus the additional funds for the premium, you’re up at 98% financing. Now you’re going to add your 5% that you’re getting from the vendor. So you’re up over 100% of financing. They’re simply not going to allow that.

And while the math may make good sense, or it may make sense to your realtor or advisor why you can do this, it’s realistically not going to happen in Canadian real estate. I’ve seen too many applications where people have tried to do a vendor takeback, and it’s really considered a dirty word in the industry at this point.

So if you’re thinking of a vendor takeback, the only time you can really do it are on commercial transactions or when you already have a very sizable chunk of money from a percentage standpoint, 20%-plus for example, and are looking to maybe top that up by borrowing a bit back from the vendor.

There are number of ways we can structure this, and I can help you do that. If you have any questions on vendor takebacks, please call me with your situation, let me go through it with you, and we’ll see if we can make it work.

For the Mortgage Centre, I’m Rowan Smith.