Transcript of Video Blog:
Hi, everyone. I want to talk today about something — I haven’t done a blog post for quite a while — and that’s vendor take-back mortgages. What is a vendor take-back, and when does it apply?
A vendor take-back is essentially a situation when the vendor agrees to take back a mortgage in lieu of some cash. I’m going to give you a really clear basic example, but then I’m going to show you what everybody always wants and why it rarely works in Canada. It works in the United States quite smashingly, but it doesn’t work so great up here north of the border.
So, a vendor take-back: if you assumed that a guy wanted to buy a piece of property that was $400,000 but he didn’t really have a down payment, what he could do is go to that vendor and say, “Listen, what I’m going to do is I’m going to get $20,000 from someone over here. Will you carry the balance of the mortgage?” meaning, will you loan me the money and take the property as security?
Now not all sellers are going to be willing to do this. First off, they’re going to want an interest rate, probably higher than the bank’s, to make this worth their time. Secondly, they have to not need those dollars to go buy something else because they haven’t received them from you. You borrowed it from them.
That’s a standard vendor take-back situation. I’m dealing with a guy out in the country right now who bought a house with a massive shop on a huge piece of acreage. The banks didn’t want to finance it because the house is old and rundown, and he was buying it purely for an 8,000 or 10,000 square foot shop that was on it that was wired up for his business. For him, it made great sense.
The vendor was an old guy. The vendor agreed to lend him 100% of the purchase price. Great, he can do whatever he wants, but he’s got to pay that guy the interest. Eventually, as he accumulates money from running his business, he’s going to have to get a mortgage from somewhere to pay that guy out, because that guy’s going to eventually want the dollars.
But here’s the situation we run into frequently where people think a vendor take-back would work. They know they need to get 20% to buy a rental property, so what they say is, “Well, why don’t I put 10% that I have down, and then the vendor gives me 10%, and then we get the other 80% from the bank?”
The reality is that banks generally don’t go for this setup. They don’t want to see vendor take-backs, because if they do, they now have to factor in that payment and can the person afford the vendor take-back payment, the mortgage payment, plus any other debt payments.
If they can, great. Then there might be something we can do. But in the 10 years that I’ve been doing mortgages and banking, I’ve never seen that situation once. So you generally need 20% of your own equity before a vendor take-back becomes an option.
Now you say, “Look, I’ve got 20%. What do I need the vendor take-back for?” Still, 80% is still a pretty high amount of financing, and if your property’s unique or your situation’s difficult with credit or income, maybe you’re going to need 35%. So you’ve got 20; you need 35. Where’s the 15 come from?
That’s a circumstance where a vendor take-back might make sense, and it may be a situation where we can use it. But I need to look at the situation as a whole, because the property, the source of your down payment, and your income and credit all form a very integral piece of the puzzle, and we’ve got to look at that together.
From the Mortgage Centre, I’m Rowan Smith.