Real Estate Terms for Canada – Canadians

Want to include Canadian real estate to your portfolio? Here’s some Canadian real estate investing terms, ay!

Wondering what the acronyms CREA, MLS, or CMHC stand for? Decode the jargon and brush up on your real estate investing vocabulary with these key terms:

  • Adjusted cost base (ACB): The value of the real property established for tax purposes. It is the original cost plus any allowable capital improvements, plus certain acquisition costs, plus any mortgage interest costs, less any depreciation.
  • Amortization: The reduction of a loan through periodic payments in which interest is charged only on the unpaid balance.
  • Amortization period: The actual number of years it will take to repay a mortgage loan in full. This can be well in excess of the loan’s term. For example, mortgages often have five-year terms but 25-year amortization periods.
  • Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC): The federal Crown corporation that administers the National Housing Act. CMHC services include providing housing information and assistance, financing, and insuring home-purchase loans for lenders.
  • Canadian Real Estate Association (CREA): An association of members of the real estate industry, principally real estate agents and brokers.
  • Capital budget: An estimate of costs to cover replacements and improvements, and the corresponding revenues needed to balance them, usually for a 12-month period.
  • Capitalization rate (CAP): The percentage of return on an investment when purchased on a free-and-clear or all-cash basis.
  • Deed: This document conveys the title of the property to the purchaser. Different terminology may be used in different provincial jurisdictions.
  • Equity: The difference between the price for which a property could be sold and the total debts registered against it.
  • Equity return: The percentage ratio between an owner’s equity in the property and the total of cash flow plus mortgage principal reduction.
  • Multiple Listing Service (MLS): A service licensed to member real estate boards by the Canadian Real Estate Association. Used to compile and disseminate information by publication and computer concerning a given property to a large number of agents and brokers.
  • Operating budget: An estimate of costs to operate a building or condominium complex and corresponding revenues needed to balance them, usually for a 12-month period.
  • Pyramiding: The process of building real estate wealth by allowing appreciation and mortgage principal reduction to increase the investors’ equity in a series of ever larger properties.
  • Title insurance: This insurance covers the purchaser or vendor, in case of any defects in the property or title, that existed at the time of sale but were not known until after the sale.
  • Vendor take-back: A procedure wherein the seller (vendor) of a property provides some or all of the mortgage financing in order to sell the property. Also referred to as vendor financing.




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