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As a first-time home buyer, you probably have many questions.

There's a lot to know when it comes to buying and owning a home. We’d like to be your partner each step of the way, from helping you understand your options, to mortgage pre-approval, to the final stages of closing your mortgage.

Our Member Service Advisors are highly skilled and knowledgeable about the competitive mortgage marketplace, the features and benefits of the home financing products we offer, and will listen to your unique needs.

Let’s get started by helping you learn more about the biggest financial commitment in your life so you can make informed decisions on your home-buying journey.

Canada’s mortgage rules

Whether you’re a buying a home or refinancing, here are the basics of what you need to know about Canada’s mortgage rules:

New home buyers

All new home buyers with a down payment of 20% or more are now subject to stricter qualifying criteria implemented by the Government of Canada in 2018 (also known as a "stress test") that determines whether a homebuyer is able to afford their principal and interest payments should interest rates increase. We think a better name for the test is ‘affordability assurance’ as it helps minimize any worries about the future affordability of your home. This test uses either the 5-year benchmark rate published by the Bank of Canada or the member’s mortgage rate plus 2% - whichever is higher.

Renewing your current Tandia mortgage

The new rules don’t apply if you’re renewing your current Tandia mortgage. The new rules only apply to new mortgage loan agreements.

Choose the type of mortgage that best fits your means.

We can help make sure you are prepared with the knowledge you need to make your mortgage product choice most compatible with these rules.

What's a High-Ratio Mortgage?

A High-Ratio Mortgage is available for members who have less than a 20% down payment, often first time home buyers.
With a High-Ratio mortgage:

Tandia down payment
Down payment

You can buy a home with as low as a
5% down payment.

Tandia Terms
Terms to suit your style

Enjoy the same features as a Low Rate Mortgage or an Advantage Mortgage but with an added default insurance requirement

Tandia Amortization

The maximum amortization period is 25 years.

​Funding your down payment

It can be a challenge to come up with the down payment you need to purchase a home. 20% of the purchase price is ideal but not always possible for many. The CMHC Purchase program allows you to use various traditional and non-traditional sources for your minimum 5% down payment, including any one or combination of the following:

  • A personal loan or line-of-credit
  • A low-rate credit card advance
  • A gift from someone
  • The Home Buyers’ Plan (HBP)
  • An FHSA - First Home Savings Account

Our Member Service Advisors are happy to meet with you for advice and putting together a plan to pull your first down payment together. You can apply for a mortgage pre-approval at the same time and start shopping for your first home with confidence.

What is an FHSA - First Home Savings Account?

Unlock your path to owning your first home. The tax-free FHSA - First Home Savings Account is coming to Tandia this Fall.  An FHSA is a tax-free savings product designed to assist individuals in saving for the purchase of their first home. It’s a great way to grow your savings.

Your contributions reduce your taxable income (up to a lifetime maximum of $40,000), and you can withdraw the money - tax-free - for any qualifying home purchase.

More about the Home Buyers’ Plan (HBP)

The HBP offered by the CRA allows you to withdraw up to $35,000 (as of March 20, 2019) from your registered retirement savings plans (RRSPs) to help buy or build a qualifying home. Withdrawals that meet all conditions do not have to be included in your income and there is no withholding tax.

Repayment of RRSP funds

Repayment of the funds back to your RRSP must be made within a period of no more than 15 years. Generally, in each year of your repayment period, you have to repay 1/15 of the total amount you withdrew until the full amount is repaid.

Your repayment period starts the second year following the year in which you made your withdrawals. If the required amount is not repaid in a year, that year's repayment amount will be added to your income and taxed accordingly. Repayment can occur earlier if you wish.

  • You have entered into a written agreement to buy or build a qualifying home and you intend to occupy the home as your principal residence.
  • You or your spouse or common law partner have to be considered a first-time home buyer i.e. have never owned or have not owned in the last 4 calendar years and 31 days before the withdrawal.
    • Your HBP balance on January 1 of the year of the withdrawal has to be zero i.e. nothing is outstanding from a previous purchase
    • Neither you, nor your spouse or common-law partner can own the home more than 30 days before a withdrawal is made
    • You must be a resident of Canada
    • You must complete Form T1036
    • You have to receive all withdrawals in the same year
    • You have to buy or build the home before October 1 of the year after the year of the withdrawal
    • When an RRSP contribution is made, you must wait 90 days before withdrawing funds under the HBP or you may be denied the right to use that contribution as an RRSP deduction for that year
    • The home can be for yourself or it can be for a related disabled person if it is more accessible to that person than his or her current home, or it is better suited to that person’s needs. You can acquire the home for the disabled person or you can provide the withdrawn funds to the disabled person to acquire the home.

Tandia's Mortgage Special

There's no shame in loving
your mortgage!

Fall in love with your mortgage when you finance with Tandia! Our 5-year fixed high ratio mortgage at 4.89%* is your perfect mortgage match. Whether shopping for a new home or looking to renew your current mortgage, you’re in great hands with Tandia. With the right connection – you too can love your mortgage.

*O.A.C. 4.89% is the regulatory Annual Percentage Rate if there is no cost of borrowing other than interest and is based on blended payments of principal and interest. Legal and appraisal fees may apply. Interest is calculated half-yearly, not in advance. A high ratio mortgage is applicable where a borrower places a down payment of less than 20% of the purchase price of a home. Additional premiums may apply in cases of a refinance, extended amortizations, non-owner occupied, or other instances where application details may warrant it. Some restrictions apply. Rate is subject to change without notice.

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Let's get started

Our Member Service Advisors are happy to meet with you.  We can help you put together a plan to pull your first down payment together. You can apply for a mortgage pre-approval at the same time and start shopping for your first home with confidence.

Balancing financing and expenses is a constant challenge. Use our Mortgage Calculator to figure out what the costs are. It's quick, accurate and easy to use.  Let us do the math.

MeritLine home equity line of credit

Using the equity in your home to secure this pre-approved line of credit (minimum $50,000) guarantees you one of the lowest rates available for credit. A companion MeritLine Account is your key to convenient access.

Great Mortgages

Welcome to an easy-going life with a Tandia Mortgage.

Here at Tandia, we’re proud to offer a comfortable mortgage experience and at a pleasantly low rate. We will work with you to ensure that your home financing suits your unique needs, while allowing the flexibility you want for the future.


The tools you need to
build the future you want.

Whether you’re saving for the future, preparing to buy your first home, or planning and protecting your estate, our suite of Wealth Services can help you build an investment portfolio that’s tailored to your unique financial goals. Let us help you build a secure and strong financial future.

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