Down Payment on a House in Ottawa


One of the biggest challenges facing buyers looking to buy a home or investment property, is saving for the down payment.  Learn more here about the down payment on a house in Ottawa.


Down Payment on a House in Ottawa


Your down payment can come from savings, a gift from a family member, RRSP if you're a first time home buyer, or from the proceeds of selling your current home. Regardless of where your down payment comes from, a major condition of each mortgage approval is to verify where your down-payment is coming from. This is to abide by fraud guidelines, as well as to ensure that you are not borrowing your down payment which would affect your debt to service ratios.

Learn more: How Much Down Payment do I Need to Buy a House?


Types of Down Payment Verification

Your own savings/investments

For a down payment on a house in Ottawa, lenders will want to see a minimum of 90 days of history from the account the down payment is from, whether from your TFSA, checking, savings, or RRSPs. Please note, your statement must show your name, bank name and have a minimum of 90 day history of the funds. Any large deposits, i.e. transfers from another account must show the funds coming out of that account to the final account. In this case, both accounts would need to show 90 day history.

The idea is that you must have a paper trail of where the money came from in order to verify that it was from your own resources. This aligns with the Government of Canada regulations surrounding money-laundering and fraud.

Gifted down payment

For gifted down-payment, you will need a signed gift letter, which is often provided by the lender, and confirmation that the funds have been deposited into your account. Note that the gift must come from an immediate family member.

Proceeds of selling your existing home

If your down payment on a house in Ottawa is coming from the proceeds of selling your current home then you will need to show the lender a fully executed purchase and sale agreement between you and the buyer of your home.
Aside from the down-payment, it is important to note that lenders will also want to see that you have 1.5% of the purchase price in savings to cover your closing costs.

Learn more: Closing Costs to Consider When Purchasing a Home


RRSP For a Down Payment on a House in Ottawa

First time home buyers are able to use up to $35,000 now from their RRSP for a down payment on a house in Ottawa without having to pay taxes on the withdrawal. They changed the amount of $35,000 spring of 2019 and before that, it was a mxmimim of $25,000.

You must pay back the funds into your RRSP which is important to note.

This program is for those looking to buy their first house however you can be considered a first time home buyer again if you have not lived in a house for the last 4 years that you or your spouse or common law has owned.

Some of the conditions of using your RRSP for a down payment on a house are:

  • you have to be a Canadian resident at the time of the withdrawal
  • the funds have you have been in your RRSP for at least 90 days before the withdrawal
  • the maximum amount of the withdrawal is $35,000
  • you have to do all of the withdrawals within the same calendar year

For the repayment, you typically have up to 15 years to put the funds back into your RRSP. You can repay as little as 1/15 of the amount you borrowed per year and can repay the full amount at anytime.

Learn more: Government of Canada Registered Retirement Savings Plan (RRSP)


Five Reasons to Put 20% or More as a Down Payment on a House in Ottawa

You can get a mortgage in Canada today with as little as 5% down or no savings for a down payment through a flex down mortgage.  However, if thinking of putting more down, it is important to know the reasons to put 20% or more as a down payment.

Learn more: No Down Payment Mortgage Ottawa

Saving for a down payment can be tough. Especially when wanting to have a down payment of 20% or more. However if you’re looking to do a larger down payment, here are the top five reasons why you should have a 20% down.

Immediate equity in your home

By having a 20% down payment you now automatically have equity built into your home. This can protect you against a downturn in the real estate market. Also, if you need to sell quickly, if financial or health challenges arose and you didn’t have a back up plan, you would be more protected. 

Paying less interest

By putting down 20% the result will be smaller mortgage needed.  This will save you interest when compared to putting down less than 20%.

Save the insurer premium

One of the most exciting reasons to put down 20% is to save on the mortgage insurer (i.e. CMHC) premium. In Canada when you have less than 20% then mortgage insurance is required. The premium for this insurance is as high as 4% of your mortgage balance plus tax paid on closing, which can certainly add up.

A smaller payment

By having a smaller mortgage as well as not having the mortgage insurer premium added to your mortgage, your payment will be smaller when compared to putting less than 20% down.

To improve your debt to income ratio

As just mentioned, by putting 20% versus a smaller down payment, your payment is then smaller. This improves your debt to income ratio which can help you qualify for a mortgage or potentially qualify for a bigger mortgage and therefore a bigger home.


Learn more: Types of Down Payment on YouTube

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About Andrew Thake

Andrew Thake is a seasoned mortgage broker with over 15 years of industry experience. He’s assisted more than 2,200 clients in finding their ideal mortgage solutions. Recognized for his excellence, Andrew has received high honours and awards, including the National Rookie of the Year from TD Canada Trust and recognition as a Top 10 Ottawa Mortgage Broker in 2023. He has also been inducted into the Hall of Fame at Dominion Lending Centres and has consistently received their Platinum Award during his tenure as a mortgage broker.

Andrew’s dedication lies in serving his clients and prioritizing their needs with an empathetic approach. Throughout the application process, he provides tailored, informed, and efficient services to ensure the best mortgage solutions for his client’s unique circumstances. The best part of Andrew’s job is when he gets to see the joy on his clients’ faces following their mortgage approval.

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