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International Home Purchases

Canadian winters can be harsh. From snowstorms to ice storms to windstorms to any and every kind of frigid storm you can think of, it can be quite the bummer to spend every winter month cooped up indoors. Sometimes you just need to get out of town for a few months during the winter to avoid having to dig your car out of a snow bank for the millionth time.

Unfortunately, you can’t just pick up and buy a vacation home in Florida. In order to make an international home purchase, there are many factors involved.

  1. Get To Know The Area

    Before you decide that Costa Rica is the place for your new vacation home, research the area first. Different countries have different mortgage rules and regulations. For example, you may not be able to build a property on certain parts of land. Learn about the area, learn the building laws and tax laws so you know exactly what you can and cannot do when it comes to real estate. Remember that you are not a resident of that country just because you have a vacation home there. You are still a Canadian and will be treated as such in the eyes of the law. Just because Americans get a tax break for building in a certain part of Arizona, doesn’t mean you will too.

  2. Understand The Exchange Rate

    For many Canadians, especially those who enjoy cross-border shopping, you are already familiar with how the Canadian dollar fares in an international market, i.e., not so great. If you plan to purchase a home in a country where the Canadian dollar possesses less value than that country’s currency, ask yourself if it’s worth it. Will you be losing money after your funds are converted to U.S dollars? If you will lose a large chunk of change on the purchase of your international vacation home, you may want to think about buying in Canada instead.

  3. Talk To a Broker

    Not all lenders allow you to take out a mortgage to purchase property in another country. Also, not all Canadian lenders have legal jurisdiction outside of Canada. This means they have no security if you were to default on your loan and will not lend to those looking to make an international purchase. A mortgage broker can help you find the funds to purchase your international property. Brokers work with an array of different lenders and will find the ideal match for you. A mortgage broker knows which lenders will allow you to access the equity in your Canadian home to use to purchase an international home. Your broker will do the legwork for you and compare different mortgage packages. Your mortgage broker will present the best options to you so you can purchase your vacation home with ease.

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Your home is your most valuable asset. It is probably the single largest investment you will make in your lifetime. Your home is more than a place to rest your head and raise a family. Your home contains equity. It is a treasured resource and in some cases, can even be used as an ATM (aka cash back mortgages and HELOCs – don’t worry we’ll get there).

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