Getting a Mortgage on Your Presale Condominium in Vancouver

Pre Sale residential condos are a popular option for many home buyers and investors in Vancouver. (Here is a quick explanation of how presale condos work).

I recently had the pleasure of interviewing Jessi Johnson, a Mortgage Broker in Vancouver about mortgages and presales.

Most people buying pre sales get mortgages on these properties when they complete several months or years later. Getting a mortgage is a fairly straightforward process and for most buyers occurs with very few issues.

That said, very few buyers of presales realise that there is no guarantee that when they buy a presale condo there is a chance they may not be able to get a mortgage in a few years time when the property completes.

Can’t get a mortgage on a presale?

Yes! A bank or lender will pre-qualify a Buyer based on the prevailing interest rates, lending rules, and borrowers financial situation at the time Buyer purchases the presale. BUT, they will not guarantee to give a mortgage at some time in the future and here’s why:

No Guarantee of getting a Mortgage on a Presale?

A bank or a lender cannot predict what will happen a few years from now in terms of:

  • Mortgage Lending Rules – The Federal Department of Finance controls the regulations on lending money in Canada and has in the past and will absolutely continue to change,

    How New Mortgage Rules Affe… by on Scribd

  • Interest RatesThe Bank of Canada and the bond market to a lesser extent control interest rates in Canada and again it is next to impossible to predict where interest rates will be in the future. With mortgage interest at historic lows payments are widely affordable. If and when rates go up, the level of affordability may go down, which may affect pre sale Buyers ability to get a mortgage.
  • The Buyers Individual Financial Situation – The Buyers personal financial situation may change and (Job loss, Investment Reversals, Taxes owing, etc) can have a major effect on the Buyers ability to get a mortgage.
  • Real Estate Market Volatility – The property may not be worth as much as was expected. Lenders will only loan money on properties based on the LENDERS conservative calculations of market value and market value is constantly fluctuating. Upon completion, if a presale condo is worth less than what a buyer paid for it, the buyer may not be able to get the mortgage amount they need to complete on the property.

So therefore Banks and Lenders cannot guarantee a mortgage on a pre sale condominium completing a few years down the road.

How can I Maximize your Chance of Getting a Mortgage on a Pre Sale?

Here are some great ways to keep the chances of getting a mortgage on your presale condo as high as possible

  • Get Pre-Qualified! Speaking to a mortgage broker before you buy a presale will give you a clear idea what you can and cannot afford.
  • Keep in Touch with Your Mortgage Broker – Keeping in touch with your lender and keeping them posted on your financial situation, ESPECIALLY if you’re having financial difficulties!
  • Buy Only What You Can Afford – Only buy a pre sale condo that you know you can afford to complete on if it was built now. There is no guarantee a pre sale condo will be worth more in the future.

Looking for Pre Sales in Vancouver? Check out the Latest Pre Sale Condos in Vancouver With Video!

Looking for a Advice on Selling? Check out these great videos on How to Sell a Vancouver Condo!


  1. Hi Mike, I was wondering what would happen if you do ending up not being able to obtain a mortgage. Will the developer keep your deposit? Thank you in advance!

    1. Hi Colin,

      Good to hear from you.

      if you are concerned about losing a deposit, the first person you should consult with aside from your Realtor is your lawyer.

      Again, confirm with a lawyer, but there is a very good chance you can lose your deposit if you cannot get a mortgage or financing on a presale.

      Worse things could happen, but again check in with your lawyer.

      There also is the option to assign your presale and if that is of interest, feel free to give me a call at 604-763-3136.

      Whatever you decide to do, make sure you check in with your Realtor & your lawyer.

      What are your thoughts?


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