What Is The Smallest Mortgage You Can Get?

For many Canadians, the journey into the housing market begins with a crucial question: “What is the smallest mortgage I can get?”

Understanding the mortgage market can feel like it’s a bit too much, especially when you’re just starting out.

Maybe you’re not aiming for that grandiose mansion; perhaps you’re seeking a cozy Edmonton home within your means.

Looking into minimum mortgage amounts can be the perfect place to begin. In this guide, we’ll talk about mortgage minimums set by lenders.

We’ll make sure you have the foundational knowledge needed to navigate the mortgage world with confidence.

Typical Mortgage Minimums by Lenders

The answer to the question is that there isn’t a nationwide and legally established minimum. Many mortgage lenders in Edmonton typically set a base level, often between CAD $60,000 to $100,000.

The Range for Common Minimums

This range, between CAD $60,000 to $100,000, is a benchmark set by a majority of lenders in the mortgage market. However, it’s crucial to understand that this isn’t a one-size-fits-all answer.

The exact amount can vary based on several factors. Among these factors are the lender’s specific policies, your credit scores, and the current state of the housing market in Edmonton.

Reasons for Set Minimums

There are various reasons for set minimums. Administrative costs are one of them. Every mortgage application, irrespective of its size, incurs certain fixed administrative costs.

For a mortgage lender, processing a mortgage of CAD $30,000 incurs almost the same amount of paperwork and due diligence as a mortgage of CAD $300,000.

Given these, many lenders determine that offering very small mortgage loans isn’t cost-effective.

Profitability concerns are also one of those reasons. Lenders, like all businesses, operate with an eye on profitability. Smaller mortgages yield lower monthly mortgage payments.

This translates to lesser profit over the shorter term. This makes larger mortgages more appealing to most Edmonton lenders.

Variance by Institution

Different institutions have varied stances on the minimum mortgage amounts.

For instance, we have credit unions. These community-focused institutions might offer more flexibility compared to larger banks. Especially if you have an existing relationship with the credit union, there might be room for negotiation.

Community banks, as opposed to a nationwide chain, might have a better grasp of the local housing market nuances in Edmonton. They may be more willing to offer Small-Dollar Mortgages, especially if they support local property owners.

Meanwhile, larger banks and institutions are different.

Often, the more substantial the bank, the more rigid its policies. While they might offer competitive mortgage rates, their minimum mortgage loan amounts might be on the higher side.

This is due to the volume of applications they handle and their focus on more expensive homes.

Alternative Financing Options for Smaller Amounts

It’s essential to be aware that traditional mortgage loans aren’t the only way to finance a home. This is especially true if the purchase price is on the lower end or you’re looking at a non-traditional property.

There are other financial tools at your disposal that might be more suited to your needs.

Personal Loans

Personal loans offer a unique set of advantages for individuals in need of financial assistance. A personal loan is an unsecured type of financing that doesn’t necessitate any form of collateral, such as your home.

As a result, they are often processed faster than standard mortgages. This provides a rapid solution for immediate financing needs. One of the standout benefits of personal loans is the flexibility they offer.

Unlike certain loans, the use of a personal loan isn’t strictly limited to home purchasing. This means that if you see a property that falls within the price range associated with personal loans, it could be a workable financial option.

Additionally, personal loans steer clear of some common fees found in mortgages. For instance, you won’t be burdened with Private Mortgage Insurance (PMI). You also won’t be burdened by penalties for early repayment.

However, it’s crucial to understand when it’s suitable to consider personal loans. For instance, when eyeing houses in more affordable regions, you might find personal loans to be more appropriate.

Also, a personal loan could be your favoured choice if you want to sidestep the process of mortgage pre-approval.

This is especially true when you have a stable job and a commendable credit report. Yes, even if your credit history might be on the shorter side.

Home Equity Line of Credit (HELOC)

A Home Equity Line of Credit, often abbreviated as HELOC, serves as a revolving credit line that hinges on your home’s equity as collateral. Its operation mirrors that of credit cards.

With a HELOC, you’re granted a set credit limit, allowing you to withdraw funds as and when required. You only need to pay interest on the specific amount you’ve borrowed. 

A key advantage of a HELOC lies in its inherent flexibility. You have the liberty to withdraw funds, repay the amount, and then access the funds once again.

Remember, the mortgage rates associated with HELOCs might differ from traditional mortgages. These rates usually fluctuate, being variable in nature.

When juxtaposed with traditional mortgages, several distinctions arise.

In a conventional mortgage setup, you are given a one-time lump sum and are immediately put on a schedule of monthly repayments.

In contrast, HELOCs introduce something called a “draw period,” which can span several years. During this time, you can tap into the available funds. The monthly dues in this phase might merely cover the interest.

However, once this draw period concludes, you then embark on repaying the principal sum and the accrued interest. Traditional mortgages offer stable monthly payments, which you may prefer.

However, HELOCs provide flexibility. This may be better for homeowners expecting changes in their finances or the housing market in Edmonton.

Advice for Potential Borrowers

With various loan options, terms, and institutions vying for your attention, how do you ensure you’re making the best decisions? Here are some guidelines to steer you in the right direction.

Importance of Shopping Around

When looking for a mortgage, you have to understand that just as homes come in various shapes and sizes, so do mortgage lenders.

Major banks often provide a wide range of mortgage program options. If you’re already a customer, they might offer you additional discounts. However, it’s worth noting that due to their more extensive operations, their minimum mortgage loan amounts could be higher.

On the other hand, credit unions are known for their community-centric approach.

Thus, they can provide more tailored solutions, especially for those with unique credit profiles. Each credit union in Edmonton operates differently. So it’s best for you to explore your options.

In today’s age, many borrowers are turning to online lenders for their mortgage needs. These might offer competitive mortgage rates and a more streamlined mortgage application process.

However, it’s crucial to ensure that you’re dealing with a reputable online lender.

Consulting with Experts

It’s beneficial to consult with experts who can guide you through the process. This is especially true if you’re just starting out and you want to succeed in Edmonton real estate investing

Mortgage brokers are professionals who act as intermediaries between borrowers and lenders.

With an understanding of the mortgage market, they can recommend the best type of mortgage for your financial situation.

Moreover, they often have access to a broader range of mortgage products. This expertise becomes valuable if your credit check reveals some blemishes.

On the other hand, financial advisors offer a different kind of expertise. While mortgage brokers focus on loan products, financial advisors take a holistic view of your financial health.

They can provide insights into how taking on a mortgage integrates with your overall financial strategy. This ensures that your monthly payments align with your budget, setting you on a path to future financial success.

The Path Forward

The journey through the mortgage landscape is one of discovery, challenges, and opportunities. With the housing market and financial regulations ever evolving, you have to stay informed.

Whether you’re eyeing lower-priced homes or juggling loan options in Edmonton, being proactive and informed is key.

As Edmonton’s favourite REALTOR® – Amrit Hunjan, I’m here to guide you every step of the way. Get in touch! Together, we’ll turn your housing dreams into reality.

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Amrit Hunjan

Founder/Realtor® Team Lead/CIR REALTY Edmonton Owner

Hi there! I’m Amrit Hunjan, formerly a house builder, now a real estate agent. Whether you’re buying, selling, or investing in real estate, I’m here to assist you.

With a passion for helping others and a knack for problem-solving, I thoroughly enjoy working with people. Seeing the excitement in my clients’ eyes when they achieve their real estate goals is incredibly rewarding.

My background in construction, coupled with my civil engineering tech diploma, provides me with valuable insights into the real estate industry. I’ve been recognized for my achievements, including the Rookie of the Year Award in 2018 and the 2019-2020 Platinum Award.

If you need assistance with property inspections or want my expert opinion, I’m here to help. Let me know your specific requirements, and together, we’ll find your dream home, whether it’s in Edmonton or anywhere else in the world.

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