US citizens saving for Canadian real estate down payment – best account?

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  • #92808 Reply

      My husband and I are considering buying land/real estate in a small town in Canada (we’re American) to possibly retire to but want to buy the property in the next 2 years (we are both in mid 30s). I know there aren’t any restrictions on us owning land there, just that we have to have a 35% down payment for most banks to get a mortgage.

      Which type of easily accessible account should we have to start saving for the down payment?

      Currently we both have HYSA from Ally, but I was also looking into money market accounts or funds. Or should we just open a taxable brokerage account, put everything in VTSAX and then pay taxes on the gains when we need it?

      Thanks for all the help!

      #92809 Reply

        For money to be used in two years it needs to be liquid and low risk. Your options are Hysa, CDs, money market fund, maybe treasuries.

        #92810 Reply

          A stock fund only if you’re fine delaying this purchase for several years due to a down market. I’d consider some way to hedge about half of the savings against the CAD. Maybe a currency hedged short term investment grade/government bond fund or see if you can open a Canadian bank or brokerage account. You can buy CAD in a US account, however it wouldn’t earn interest.

          That way whatever happens with currencies, you’ve roughly locked in current values.

          I’m doing something similar to this on a small scale with savings for future trip to Japan.

          Probably good to bear in mind that restrictions against foreign ownership of land could become more strict in two years.

          Have you seen: How easy would it be to become a real estate agent?

          #92811 Reply

            I live in Canada and am a real estate agent. We current have a foreign home buyers ban on. Effective Jan 1 2023 and was supposed to end Jan 2024. It was just extended by the government another year.

            If you want to buy land you have to be a Canadian citizen or permanent resident right now — Google it and that can hopefully give you some more details!

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