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Jamie David, Business Director Mortgages
Getting a mortgage is a big financial commitment, and finding a great mortgage rate is one of the best things you can do to make your mortgage more manageable. Luckily, how to get a lower mortgage rate isn’t a secret - all you need to do is plan ahead.
Our mission at Ratehub.ca is to make it easy to compare rates from Canada's big banks, small lenders, and mortgage brokers, to make it simple for you to choose better. Read on to learn how to get a lower mortgage rate in Nova Scotia.
Best mortgage rates in Nova Scotia +
What is the best mortgage rate in Nova Scotia?
The best mortgage for you is the one that best suits your needs, and offers a great rate. It's important to remember that the best mortgage is not always the mortgage with the lowest rate. While a low rate is important and can save you thousands of dollars, you also need to make sure that the term, conditions, and features of your mortgage suit your needs.
What factors affect the mortgage rate I get?
While comparing mortgage products is an important part of getting the best possible mortgage rate, you’ll still need to personally qualify for your final offer. There are several factors that will affect the rate you’re able to qualify for. Here are some of the major ones:
- Down Payment: In Canada, property purchases require a minimum down payment of between 5% and 20%, depending on the purchase price. However, if your down payment is less than 20%, you’ll have to pay for mortgage default insurance. This will cost you more, but it will make your mortgage less risky, from your lender’s perspective. This generally results in a lower mortgage rate. Note that even with a lower mortgage rate, it's still worth avoiding the cost of mortgage default insurance, so you should always aim to have a down payment of at least 20%.
- Amortization period: Mortgages with amortization periods of more than 25 years generally have higher interest rates. This is because this type of mortgage can't be insured with mortgage default insurance. Despite this, mortgages with longer amortization periods can be more financially manageable, because they have lower monthly payments.
- The purpose of the property: You’ll generally be offered a higher rate on a mortgage for a property that you don’t plan to personally live in.
- Mortgage type: A refinanced mortgage, or a mortgage with features like a HELOC, will typically come with a higher rate than a mortgage for a renewal or new purchase.
- Credit score: A low credit score may mean you cannot get approved by an ‘A lender’, like a big bank or credit union. If you’re forced to take a mortgage from a ‘B lender’, you’ll probably be charged a higher rate.
Nova Scotia mortgages rates: Historical trends
Nova Scotia mortgage rates rise and fall, as do rates across Canada. Here’s a quick snapshot of the lowest mortgage rates in Canada over the past few years, to give you an idea of where we are today.
Source: Ratehub Historical Rate Chart
Land Transfer Tax Nova Scotia
Nova Scotia, like most Canadian provinces, charges a land transfer tax on every property purchase. However, unlike most provinces, the government of Nova Scotia allows municipalities to set their own land transfer tax rate. Additionally, land transfer taxes in Nova Scotia use flat tax rates, rather than marginal tax rates.
Land transfer tax rates range from 0.5% to 1.5%*, which is due in cash, upfront. That means you'll need to factor land transfer taxes into your closing costs.
Below are the land transfer tax rates for the ten largest municipalities in Nova Scotia.
Municipal land transfer tax in Nova Scotia
|Municipality||Land transfer tax rate|
Source: Government of Nova Scotia
*Two municipalities have zero land transfer tax rates: the Municipality of the County of Kings and the Town of Kentville.
Nova Scotia first-time homebuyers
Unlike some provinces, Nova Scotia doesn't offer a rebate of the land transfer tax for first-time homebuyers. However, Nova Scotia's first home buyers are still eligible for first-time homebuyer programs at the federal level. These can still result in thousands of dollars of savings, so it's well worth checking them out.
Jamie David is the Business Director of Mortgages at Ratehub.ca. A graduate of the Systems Design Engineering program at the University of Waterloo, she has over 15 years of business, marketing, and engineering experience in the financial technology, banking, education, energy and retail industries. She has worked in top organizations like TD Bank, Trading Pursuits, Petro-Canada, and the TTC. Her passion for personal finance, investing, education and business strategy brought her to Ratehub.ca where she heads a very talented, cross-functional team that is dedicated to providing Canadians with the best mortgage experience all the way through from online search to (keys-in-your-hand) funded mortgage.read linkedin bio