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RBC Bank U.S. Mortgages Review

Get the financing you need to buy a home in the US and learn the ins and outs of taking on a cross-border mortgage with RBC.

You can apply for pre-approval and speak with a cross-border mortgage specialist in a matter of minutes.

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RBC Bank is committed to helping you navigate the process of buying a house in the US. It offers specialized financing for Canadians looking to purchase a home across the border – even if you don’t have a US credit history. Find out more about how you can use your RBC Bank US account to set up an RBC Bank U.S. Mortgages.

30-second take

  • Consider signing up for an RBC Bank U.S. Mortgages if you want expert guidance and flexible financing to purchase a home in the US.
  • Choose something else if you’d rather work with a private lender or you don’t have enough saved up to cover a 20% down payment and closing costs.

How do RBC Bank U.S. Mortgages work?

RBC Bank U.S. Mortgages are offered by the US banking branch of RBC Royal Bank (which is one of Canada’s Big Five banks). These mortgages work just like any other mortgage you might take out in Canada – except you’ll need to worry about a few extra steps. This can include factoring in currency conversion, finding a cross-border real estate agent and navigating legal and tax implications for your property.

The upside is that RBC Bank U.S. Mortgages are designed to take the stress out of purchasing a home in the US. With specialized programs, such as the HomePlus Advantage program, RBC Bank supports Canadians through every step of the US home-buying process. It also lets you search and apply for mortgages using your Canadian credit score – which is a big selling point for those who don’t have a US credit rating.

What is the RBC Bank US HomePlus Advantage program?

The RBC HomePlus Advantage program supports Canadians through every step of the US home-buying process. It offers the following services:

  • Access to a Canadian-certified cross-border realtor
  • Expert guidance from specialists in cross-border tax, legal and financing requirements.
  • Access to home search tools
  • Potential for cash rewards up to $6,500 when you close on your property

What US mortgage products does RBC Bank offer?

RBC Bank offers three main types of financing to help you purchase a home in the US:

  • RBC Bank U.S. Mortgages. These mortgages are run-of-the-mill mortgages that don’t rely on your US or Canadian assets to be used as collateral.
  • Mortgage refinancing. RBC Bank US mortgage refinancing lets you borrow up to 80% of the equity in your property in US dollars when you use your home as collateral to secure your payments.
  • Home equity line of credit. HELOCs let you borrow up to 80% of the equity in your home to get access to a revolving pool of US dollars that you can use to pay bills or cover other expenses.

How much does a US mortgage with RBC Bank cost?

It’s difficult to say how much a US mortgage with RBC Bank costs since your rates will depend on a number of factors. These include the following:

  • Currency conversion costs. You’ll pay different rates based on the US to Canadian dollar exchange rate when you finalize your purchase.
  • Price of your home. Your monthly payments will depend on how much you owe on your home to begin with (and this will also affect overall interest costs).
  • Canadian credit score. Your interest rates will usually be determined by your Canadian credit score (the higher your score, the lower your rates).
  • US national interest rates. National US interest rates for mortgages will also determine how much you pay for your home loan.
  • Complexity of the purchase. You may need to pay additional legal fees or closing costs for your property – plus a down payment. You could also face tax implications that you may need to factor into your overall expense.

Why would I want to buy a home in the US?

Canadians are one of the largest demographics to purchase homes in the US. This is due in large part to a combination of our close proximity to the US, along with more affordable housing and lower interest rates across the border. These features can make US mortgages an appealing option for Canadians looking to live, work or vacation in the US – especially in their retirement years.

Affordability comparison: Canada vs the US

CityCost per square footMedian price
Toronto$1,108$1.23 million
Vancouver$1,192$1.67 million
Los Angeles$330$593,000

What makes RBC Bank mortgages unique?

  • Easy pre-approval process. You can apply for pre-approval and speak with a cross-border mortgage specialist in a matter of minutes.
  • No penalty prepayment. You can prepay as much of your original mortgage amount as you want each year without having to pay a penalty.
  • No US credit score required. You can rely on your Canadian credit score to get financing.
  • Expert guidance. You’ll be able to navigate the home-buying process step by step with expert guidance from the RBC Bank US HomePlus Advantage program.

What to watch out for with RBC Bank mortgages

  • Significant savings required. Regardless of which lender you use for your US mortgage, you’ll need to have enough money saved up to cover a 20% down deposit and closing costs (in US dollars).
  • Foreign exchange costs. When you buy property in the US with any mortgage provider, some of the funds you have could get eaten up when you convert your Canadian dollars over to US currency.
  • Significant paperwork required. You may have to compile a significant amount of paperwork to get your application approved.
  • Computer-based. You’ll have to be a little bit tech-savvy to navigate the online application and document upload process.

How can I qualify for an RBC Bank US mortgage?

Eligibility requirements

To apply for an RBC Bank US mortgage, you need to meet the following criteria:

  • Be at least 18 years old (and 19 in some provinces)
  • Be a citizen or resident of Canada
  • Be free from bankruptcy or other forms of unmanageable debt

Required documents and information

  • Government-issued ID. You’ll need to show copies of your passport and Social Insurance Number (and/or a work visa and US Social Security Card).
  • Confirmation of income. You’ll be required to show proof of income such as tax documents, pay stubs, T4s, pension statements and account statements.
  • Credit report. You’ll need to allow RBC Bank US to pull your credit report so that it can assess your creditworthiness.
  • Purchase agreement. For purchases under contract, you’ll need to attach a copy of the executed Purchase Contract as well as all addenda.
  • Existing mortgage and property statements. You may have to supply information about your current mortgage if you own a home already (in Canada or the US).
  • Insurance documents. You’ll have to prove that you have home insurance in place before you can qualify for financing in some cases.

How to apply

If you think you meet all the eligibility criteria and you’re ready to get started with your RBC Bank mortgage application, you just need to follow these simple steps.

  1. Use the online application to provide personal information like your name, email address, proof of ID and relevant documents.
  2. Review and submit your application.
  3. Get verified and work with RBC Bank to negotiate the terms of your mortgage if you meet the eligibility requirements.

Bottom line

RBC Bank offers a tailored mortgage service designed to help Canadians get the financing they need to purchase a home in the US. It also offers resources and expert guidance to help homebuyers navigate the US home-buying process from start to finish. Find out more about what types of financing are available with RBC Bank US mortgages and learn more about what you’ll need to qualify.

Frequently asked questions

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