Helping Newcomers to Canada Become Homeowners
Becoming a homeowner is one of life’s biggest milestones, whether we’re discussing newcomers to Canada or life-long residents. It doesn’t matter if we’re talking about buying that first home, downsizing, or moving to a new city – it takes a lot of work to own a home.
It often takes double that effort for newcomers. Every year, thousands upon thousands of new immigrants make a new home in Canada. A very welcoming country, Canada is known as the most culturally diverse locale in the world. Most newcomers to Canada come for the opportunities that the country has to offer, and they work hard to succeed. Whether buying a family home or looking to invest, the Canadian real estate market is a great place to be.
However, when faced with skyrocketing housing prices and navigating Canada’s mortgage process, the concept of owning a home may seem daunting to newcomers unfamiliar with Canada’s real estate market or financial institutions.
Most questions from newcomers interested in buying houses are about the procedure of getting a mortgage, along with the rules and regulations related to homeownership. So, how can real estate sales professionals help?
All real estate professionals spend time helping to educate their clients, but that need is much greater for newcomers. That means being able to provide even more data, especially as it relates to the neighbourhoods within which they want to live.
Real estate professionals can provide more detailed neighbourhood demographics for different areas that a long-time resident may be familiar with, but a newcomer likely isn’t. Knowing about schools in a certain area, access to amenities, and typical family make-up are common points of interest that newcomers may want to know about when deciding where to buy.
You can go above and beyond providing real estate advice. You can help by showing newcomers where to get the best information possible to help them become Canadian homeowners.
One starting point for people moving to Canada is the federal government’s online resource for people moving here. From enrolling in school and improving in English and French languages, to finding a place to live and planning finances, there are a number of resources for newcomers that can be found on the federal government’s immigration and citizenship website: http://www.cic.gc.ca/english/newcomers/live/index.asp.
Another way you can help newcomers to Canada is by helping them navigate the world of mortgages. You can provide a handy reference sheet that helps explain the different mortgages, and connect them with trusted mortgage brokers or lenders to help them finance their new home.
However, there are a number of steps newcomers must tackle before they can become qualified for financing. To start off, often newcomers need to become permanent residents before many institutional lenders will consider them. Another hurdle, according to a recent Globe and Mail article, is providing a credit history. Some private lenders and non-bank lenders will consider them, but only with a massive down payment, something not all newcomers have at their disposal: https://www.theglobeandmail.com/report-on-business/what-new-canadians-face-when-buying-a-home/article35156673/.
Even after qualifying for financing and buying a house, many newcomers to Canada still face a period of adjustment as they acclimatize to their new community. As someone with vast knowledge of the local neighbourhoods, you can help newcomers by adding a page to your website dedicated to newcomers, including links to immigration resources, a list of neighbourhood facts, and other sites of interest to help them settle into their new home.
These are just a few ways you can help newcomers become homeowners in Canada – from finding the right neighbourhood with the right amenities nearby, to helping them learn more about real estate and mortgages in Canada.
GeoWarehouse is a great tool to perform preliminary searches and compile neighbourhood demographics you can share to help educate your clients who are newcomers to Canada. Not a GeoWarehouse subscriber already?
Visit www.geowarehouse.ca today to learn more about this incredible tool.