Cross-border mortgage specialists provide guidance

RALEIGH, N.C. (Feb. 6, 2014)

RBC Bank, the leading provider of banking solutions for Canadians visiting or staying longer-term in the United States, offers  tips to make securing a mortgage in the U.S. easier to navigate. The U.S. real estate market is primed for Canadians purchasing property. However, Canadians must be well informed when securing a mortgage in a different country.

Canadians are the top foreign U.S. homebuyers, accounting for 23 percent of foreign real estate purchases. But as U.S. home prices creep up and the Canadian dollar fluctuates, it is critical that Canadian homebuyers be educated in the U.S. mortgage process. 

Important facts to consider when buying real estate in the U.S. include:

  • Timing – While it only takes a few days to apply for and secure a mortgage in Canada, the process is longer in the U.S. Typically, it takes 45 days to apply for and secure a mortgage. Complex cases such as a self-employed buyer or if your property is located in a state with extended appraisal scheduling timelines, may take 60+ days.
  • Documentation –Securing a U.S. mortgage requires more documentation than in Canada due to the highly regulated environment. For most U.S. mortgages, more than 10 documents are required compared to less than five in Canada.
  • Fees – Canadians buying a home in the U.S. should expect to pay between 3-5 percent in fees due to third-party expenses such as property appraisal, titles and certain insurances.
  • Mortgage Interest – U.S. mortgages are compounded monthly as opposed to bi-annually in Canada.
  • Down payments – A down payment of at least 20 percent of the value of the home is now common in the U.S. This amount fluctuates based on whether the home is a primary residence, second home or an investment property.
  • History – RBC Bank is the only U.S. bank that can use a client’s Canadian credit history and their RBC Royal BankTM history to help secure a mortgage

“Securing a mortgage can be a complicated process and there are special considerations for Canadians purchasing real estate in the U.S.,” said Alain Forget, head of sales and business development at RBC Bank. “At RBC Bank, we are proud of our dedicated team of expert cross-border specialists who walk each client through the process of obtaining a mortgage and, unlike other banks, are able to view your whole RBC relationship in the U.S. and Canada.” 

Canadians seeking homes in the U.S. should also consider selecting a Canadian real estate agent and tax attorney. For every step in the process, it is critical that Canadians have a local partner with cross-border expertise.

To learn more about the U.S. mortgage process, visit RBC Bank’s Advice Center.

About RBC Bank
RBC Bank is a wholly-owned subsidiary of the Royal Bank of Canada that provides U.S. banking solutions to RBC consumer clients with a cross-border lifestyle. RBC Bank pioneered cross border banking and has been serving clients who visit, shop, study or relocate in the U.S., for more than ten years. Today, the Bank provides everyday banking and real estate lending solutions to Canadian clients in all 50 states.  

About RBC Royal Bank 
Royal Bank of Canada (RY on TSX and NYSE) and its subsidiaries operate under the master brand name RBC. We are Canada’s largest bank as measured by assets and market capitalization, and are among the largest banks in the world, based on market capitalization. We are one of North America’s leading diversified financial services companies, and provide personal and commercial banking, wealth management services, insurance, corporate and investment banking and transaction processing services on a global basis. We employ approximately 79,000 full- and part-time employees who serve close to 15 million personal, business, public sector and institutional clients in Canada, the U.S. and 51 other countries. For more information, please visit