This is a bit of a loaded question as there are several steps to the process and most of them require the gathering of information.
First and foremost is the actual process of gathering the qualifying information, this usually means contacting your employer and asking for a letter of employment and current pay stub, if you are using over time then you need to have your 2 years of NOA’s from revenue Canada. If you don’t have them they can mail them to you and that can take ten days. That is the first step in being prequalified for a mortgage.
Second step is finding a property that you want to buy, the average home owner looks at 30 houses before they make a decision, so if you only have time to see 4 or 5 a week then it could take some time.
Once you’ve found the property then your realtor will send the offer to purchase and the MLS sheet to me to be input into the system. It’s at this time that we will also gather your down payment information to present to the lender, any deposits over 2000 dollars that are not pay roll will need to be explained to the lender which may require your other accounts to also be shown.
The deal is then submitted to the lender via our computer system and they begin the review process and submit it to CMHC if it is an insured mortgage or they will require an appraisal of the property which can take several days. If it is insured and CMHC auto approves it back to the lender then usually within 24 hours we can have a mortgage commitment returned to us for you to review.
We then set up a meeting to go over what has been offered and to sign that you are accepting the commitment.
Once everything is back to the lender and signed off then the lender will send full documents to the lawyers office on your behalf, these are the final documents and binding on you to purchase the house. This is in all about a ten day process in itself and you can expect to take some time from work to meet with all these people involved with the process.
So the question of how long does it take to get a mortgage can’t really be answered unless you have all of the proper documents and the property, lender and CMHC all come together to make the deal work. It is a process that when you do as much as possible in advance can go very quickly and if you’re not prepared then you can add weeks.