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If you have considered the financing options for buying US real estate and you have decided that obtaining a Canadian mortgage for your US real estate is the best course of action, we will outline the next steps and resources that can help you.

Options for Canadians Financing US Real Estate

You need to think about the following:

  • Existing Mortgage Refinancing:  One option is to refinance your existing home and top it up to its appraised value.  The benefit of this is that you already have real estate under your name, you have been making payments, and the value is already established.  The first place to start is to contact your existing Canadian mortgage lender.  Tell them you need to refinance your property because you need the cash.  You can tell them about your US purchase plans but this may hurt you in your ability to refinance the property as they may get scared or re-assess your risk.  If you simply say you need the cash because you want to extend payments or you think rates are low, this is less likely to cause refinancing risk. However, you should be upfront with your lender if you are serious about buying US real estate.


  • Canadian Banks in the US.   Some of the major banks now have a focus and presence in the US market. These banks include RBC (owns Centura but recently are getting out of the US but have a lot of clients, TD Bank (has branches in the USA), and BMO (owns Harris Bank).
    • RBC, call 1-800-Royal53
    • TD, call 1-877-700-2913
    • BMO, call 1-877-225-5266


  • Line of Credit: Many Canadians banks are now eager to offer you a line of credit in Canada.  This can be based on your total assets, job income, home value, and other asset value such as stocks, bonds, etc.  Mortgages will offer cheaper interest rates than a line of credit, but a line of credit may be easier to get in some situations, especially if you are already tapped out due to having an existing Canadian mortgage.  The benefit of a line of credit compared to a mortgage is that a line of credit in Canada is cheaper to pay off and close rather than a mortgage which can have prepayment fees.  A typical mortgage will allow you to get 80% of your homes appraised value, whereas a line of credit will only allow you about 60% and also depends on your other assets, etc.


US sellers of real estate want to know that you can obtain financing before you close your property.  Sometimes, they will ask you to see proof of funds in Canadian or most likely US dollars when you start the process to buy.  Essentially, this means you need to obtain your funds from a Canadian mortgage or line of credit about 30 to 90 days in advance, convert it to US dollars, and then show them proof you have those funds in your bank account.

Tip: It is important you keep a paper trail of how you obtained the funds and from where and what date.  This is important for money laundering requirements from the Patriot Act in the USA.