House Hacking for Canada

3 Replies

I'm sure many of you have come to this community from books like Craig Curelop's House Hacking, or similar sources. I am a Canadian Citizen, living in Canada and I hope to start house hacking in my home city of Calgary.

The problem is sources such as the book above refer to loans, mortgages, taxes and laws originating in america.

I am looking to have a place where the Bigger Pockets community can, for lack of a better word "translate" this kind of information to Canadian systems.

In particular I am wondering, 

- what are some realistic mortgage options regarding minimum down payments?

- where can I find resources regarding rental laws in each province?

- are there subsidies or tax benefits that I should consider?

If anyone has Canada specific knowledge to share with the community I invite you to comment below.

Originally posted by @Jordan Deschamps :

In particular I am wondering, 

- what are some realistic mortgage options regarding minimum down payments?

If the property is to be owner-occupied, than you may qualify for a high-ratio, insured mortgage though CMHC (or one of the private insurers: Genworth or Canada Guaranty). Such a mortgage allows for an LTV of 95% (for SFH or duplex) or 90% (triplex or quadriplex). There will be an insurance premium which is generally added to the principal of the financing (ie. you pay interest on it), though, once upon a time, you were able to pay the premium up-front. See the CMHC website for more information. 

- where can I find resources regarding rental laws in each province?

Each province has their own Tenancy Law and oversight body.  They can easily be found on-line by searching for "Tenancy Law <province>".   For Alberta, you can start here.

- are there subsidies or tax benefits that I should consider?

Not really.  Some provinces' social development agencies have programs where they will provide various forms of support in exchange for a portion of a building being dedicated to affordable housing.   CMHC also has mortgage insurance programs for (larger buildings) dedicated to affordable housing.

@Jordan Deschamps your task will be finding a good house suitable to your objective which is likely to add a suite, add a garage, fix up the part of the house you will live in, then managing the rehab. I’d suggest financing it as much as you can like the other poster suggested to 90% plus, finance the mortgage insurance and conserve your cash for the rehab work. If you buy a house in rough condition you can possibly refinance later and pull out your own money while cash flowing.

A friend of mine is doing this in northeast calgary, not my choicest hood but it works for him. I know of someone who built a triple garage and those have a great roi vs any other type of construction.

If you want to get good rental forms join the calgary residential rental association. They can give you a good lease and the docs you need to rent your suite and or even do it by room for a while and see how that goes.

@Jordan Deschamps

Look into the newly gifted to you by the Federal Liberals through brutal spending and increases in taxes first time home buyer program. Essentially an interest free "loan" if your house doesn't appreciate in value designed to decrease your monthly payments. You'll qualify for 5% down from the sounds of it. Buy a 3 up, 2 down, double detached and live in the basement (possibly with a room mate), rent the main and the garage separately. You'll be able to live at zero housing cost quite easily in Calgary if you do it like this. Yes, it sucks to swallow your pride and love in the basement but it'll be "free".

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