Non-Resident: Mortgage

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Financing a Mortgage as a Non-Resident

For a non-resident Buyer, it is a big decision to either finance the purchase of a Whistler property through a bank in their home country, pay cash, or get a Canadian mortgage. These must be informed decisions. The top five Canadian banks are collectively referred to as the “Big Five” due to their dominant position and significant influence within the country’s banking and financial industry. They are, in no particular order:

  • TD Toronto Dominion (TD)
  • Royal Bank of Canada (RBC)
  • Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce (CIBC)
  • Bank of Montreal (BMO)
  • Scotiabank (Scotia)

It is worthwhile noting that the decision for your mortgage application might be made in Toronto, Ontario rather than in the Whistler branch. The Toronto banker may be unfamiliar with Whistler’s zoning for nightly rentals and suites. It is vital to have a mortgage broker who can easily explain the nuances of Whistler. Working with a Whistler mortgage broker rather than the Vancouver mortgage broker may be your best option.

For more information on the ins and outs of buying property in Whistler as a non-resident, please read the, Non-Resident: Finance and Funds page on this site.

Signing the Mortgage Documents

It seems that there are continuous changes to the financing process of the Big 5, and here are the most current points to be aware of:

TD Toronto Dominion Bank put the condition in the approval document that all borrowers must be at TD Bank in Canada to sign their mortgage documents at the closing date. This also applies to anyone assigned to the contract between the acceptance date on the contract and the completion date of the transaction. This is something to be considered when adding a family member to the title, are they going to be able to be in Canada at the time of closing?

Scotiabank doesn’t make it a requirement to be in Canada to sign the mortgage documents, provided the Buyer’s lawyer is fine with these buyers signing outside of Canada. However, the lawyer may only be fine with this if the lawyer has actually met and verified the buyers against their passports.

When the BC or Whistler lawyer has met the non-resident Buyer and verified them against their passport, the mortgage documents can typically be emailed to the Buyer. The Buyer then takes the mortgage documents to a nearby lawyer or notary who will witness the buyer signing the documents. The documents are then emailed back to the Whistler lawyer. However, some banks insist that original mortgage documents and not emailed copies are signed. This is important information when working with an international buyer who has not been verified by the BC lawyer. The mortgage documents may need to be the original documents not emailed copies.

When the lawyer has not verified the Buyer, the Whistler lawyer will set up an appointment with a lawyer in a location close to where the Buyer is going to be prior to closing. The Whistler lawyer will mail or courier the documents to the lawyer. The Buyer will go along to the lawyer’s office and the Buyer’s verification against their passport will be done at that time. All of this can go smoothly, or not.


Currently, Scotia Bank will not finance a US borrower if the house or suite is rented at the time of occupancy. If the house or suite is rented before or after the closing date, that does not seem to matter. Fickle.


Some non-resident buyers pay cash for their Whistler property with the view of obtaining financing when they have more time. This currently is not an option for the non-resident buyer. For more information on this topic, Best to read my post, Re-financing is not an option for Non-residents.

In summary, it is essential to explore your financing options at the start of your search for a Whistler property. By doing this, you will then understand your options and can make your buying decision accordingly.

Marion Anderson Personal Real Estate Corporation (604) 938-3885