Have you ever considered buying a house that needs work, but don’t know where you’ll get the funds? There’s a solution!
I’m sharing our personal experience with the ‘Purchase Plus Improvement’ mortgage that we used to do our home upgrades. I can be a great option for those looking for purchase an older home in need of renovations.
What is a ‘Purchase Plus Improvements’ mortgage?
A Purchase Plus Improvements mortgage allows qualified purchasers to borrow additional funds from their lender for improvements on a home. Buyers can typically borrow up to 10% or 20% of the value of a home, depending on whether they have an insured or non-insured mortgage. This program is great for buyers who do not have the cash in hand to complete signifiant renovations or for those struggling to find the perfect home in busy market conditions.
Why did we choose ‘Purchase Plus’?
In the Spring, Renée and I purchased a 1990’s two storey home with partially finished basement. We were looking to find a house with a basement in-law suite to allow her parents from out of province to live with us for a few months of the year. With such low inventory, turn-key homes with suites were difficult to find, so we considered a ‘Purchase Plus Improvements’ mortgage. With the help of our Mortgage Broker Ryan W. Smith at House & Home Mortgage Co., we were able to fund the renovation of a home with suite potential.
The very beginning following purchase.
What does the process look like?
To qualify for a Purchase Plus mortgage, the first step is to obtain a quote and general scope of work to be completed. These are submitted to your lender at the time of making an offer or during the subject removal process but must be approved before your subjects are removed.
Once you get your new house (hurray!) you can start with the renovations, either with the help of a qualified contractor or on your own. Your monthly mortgage payments will reflect the purchase value of your home, plus the additional loan for the renovations.
A very important note: The cost of the renovations and building materials must be paid out of pocket by the buyer. Once the scope of work is completed and inspected, the lender releases funds, reimbursing you for expenses.
Buyers typically cover the cost of building materials or contractors on a short term basis through the use of lines of credit, savings, money gifted/loaned or credit cards. Receipts of all purchases and contractor invoices should be kept in the event of a dispute of work completed.
Once the renovations are completed, the lender sends an appraiser to ensure that the scope of work has been completed to the value borrowed. They submit a report to the lender who then releases funds to you, usually within days.
Midway through the renovation.
Do we recommend Purchase Plus?
Life is all about new experiences, learning something new and adding skills to your imaginary tool belt. Renée and I both had very little experience with home renovations before this purchase, but through the process of Purchase Plus, we have both learned a lot and will be even more comfortable the next go around!
We hired a contractor to do the vast majority of the work but we pitched in anywhere we could to save some money and also gain hands on experience. I highly recommend this under utilized program to any home buyer or investor looking to renovate an older home, while enjoying the benefits of amortizing the costs over the length of their mortgage.
If you are interested in learning more about ‘Purchase Plus Improvements’ mortgages, I’d be happy to answer your questions or reach out to your broker/lender directly!
The finished product – time to relax!