Calling the Ottawa Area Home
Canada’s capital region is a beautiful place to live in. It has something to tempt every interest, from
outdoor pursuits to indoor sports to arts and culture. Before you are settled here, however,
you’ll be busy. You have a house to sell, a house-hunting trip and home purchase to make and
the move itself to undertake. Luckily, the Canadian Forces helps ease your way through its
partnership with Brookfield Group Relocation Services (https://www.irp-
pri.com/start/cf_members/). In addition, we at the Wilson Team (www.wilsonteam.ca) of
mortgage brokers are experienced in assisting members of the Canadian Forces who are
relocating to our “neighborhood.” We will be happy to connect you with the services you need
and the people you want to query about topics such as school districts, home values, and
Making the Move:
You will be reimbursed for a door-to-door move of more than 40 kilometers. The formula for calculating
the distance is as follows:
1. Distance in kilometers between current residence and new place of duty = (number of km)
2. Distance in kilometers between new residence and new place of duty = (number of km)
3. Line 1 minus line 2 = (number of km)
In addition, you will be advanced funds through Brookfield to allow you to handle personal expenses
you incur during the relocation for things such as a house hunting trip or destination inspection trip, your
travel to the new home location and interim lodgings, meals and miscellaneous expenses.
Home Purchase Reimbursement Eligibility:
You will be eligible for home purchase benefits if you are posted within Canada for a period of one year,
or more or if you are subsequently posted within the same geographical boundaries for a year or more.
To take advantage of the reimbursement opportunities offered by the Canadian Forces, you must
purchase a new home within one year of your Change of Strength (COS) date or the date that your
household goods are shipped, whichever comes later. You must live in the home for at least a year,
unless service reasons make that impossible; otherwise, you will be required to reimburse the
government for benefits paid.
House Hunting Trips:
The opportunity to move to a new home can be exciting, even though it can be a bit scary, too. Starting
over in a new location means making new friends and connecting to new service providers. Do your
homework on the geographic area in advance because your trip to find a home will be a quick one.
A standard house hunting trip (HHT) includes up to five days and five nights at the new location for you
and/or your spouse. The total duration of the trip, including travel, generally should not exceed seven
days and six nights. Members of the regular forces should take the HHT after you’ve received the official
notification of posting and before your change-of-service date. If you have obtained accommodations in
your new location prior to the official notification, you are entitled only to a destination inspection trip
Reservists should take the HHT once an employment message has been issued, but prior to the start
date for your new position. If you have arranged for accommodation prior to receiving your
employment message, you, too, are only entitled to a DIT.
The Commanding Officer of the unit you are leaving must authorize your absence from work in order to
conduct the HHT or DIT.
Selecting a realtor:
When you purchase a new home, you are allowed to choose any third-party supplier (realtors, lawyers,
etc.) provided that they won’t charge more than the military’s pre-negotiated rates and that they are
arm’s-length suppliers. In other words, no family members – aunts, cousins, daughters-in-law – can be
Choosing a home:
When you’re looking for a home, remember that you won’t be reimbursed for expenses above a lot size
of 1.25 acres (1/2 hectare) or, if the zoning and city bylaws require it, up to four acres (2.47 hectares). If
you buy or sell additional land, you’ll only be reimbursed for the portion of the costs that apply to the
approved lot sizes.
You must also purchase a home within the geographical boundaries of the area, unless you receive
specific authorization to live elsewhere.
Building a home:
If you decide to build a home, rather than purchase an existing one, you are entitled to the same
benefits for buying the land and doing the construction that you would have received upon purchasing
an existing structure. However, all costs identified in the building agreement are considered part of the
purchase price and won’t be reimbursed separately.
If you must take possession of your new home prior to your COS date (or commencement of
employment date for reservists) and those dates aren’t flexible, you will be reimbursed for the following
expenses for up to one month:
Interest charges on a first mortgage (or on a second mortgage if there are no charges on a first
Taxes (i.e. property, school);
Utilities (i.e. electricity, heating);
Property maintenance (such as lawn cutting, snow removal, and minor maintenance);
Insurance (house insurance including additional insurance costs for empty residence); and/or
Rental of a mobile home pad.
Ensuring clear title:
You will be reimbursed for the following legal fees associated with obtaining clear title to your new
Land Transfer Tax/Welcome Tax;
Name change fee when transferring ownership from builder to purchaser;
Deed transfer charges;
Survey costs or Title Insurance Premium (both cannot be claimed unless they are deemed
necessary to obtain clear title);
Certificate of execution;
Appraisal and water test fees incurred at the request of the lender to obtain a first or second
Legal fees incurred as a result of deed transfer to Land Titles System.
Conducting a home inspection:
Before you sign on the dotted line, it is wise to have your new property inspected by a trained
professional. The Canadian Forces will reimburse you for the following structural inspection costs:
First structural inspection on each residence where an offer to purchase is made (including
occupied new homes under warranty);
Well, water potability, and septic system inspection (including the pumping when required for
the inspection); and
Follow-up termite and pyrite inspections, when recommended in writing by the building
If you are transferred to an area that is more expensive than your previous location or you upgrade your
home, your new mortgage will be pricier than your old one. The Canadian Forces is prepared to assist
you with the interest differential, up to a maximum of $5,000, for the remaining term of the mortgage
on your previous residence, up to five years. The Canadian Forces will pay the difference between the
interest rates on your old and new mortgages, based on the lesser of the outstanding mortgage at your
former place of duty or the new mortgage principal.
Mortgage default insurance:
If you are required to pay a mortgage default insurance premium when you purchase your new home,
you’ll receive assistance in the form of an amount equal to the assessed insurance premium and will be
reimbursed for any administrative fees incurred in relation to the policy of insurance when:
you sell your principal residence for the move to your current posting and use 100 per cent of
the equity from the sale for the purchase of your new residence.
you sell your their principal residence before a posting to a new place of duty where you were
prohibited from purchasing a residence, and in relation to the current posting, you use 100 per
cent of the equity from that sale for the purchase of their new residence, if this posting
immediately follows the posting in respect of which they were prohibited from purchasing a
As you navigate the ins and outs of mortgages, don’t hesitate to call on the Wilson Team. We’re
mortgage specialists and are intimately familiar with the options available to you.
If you are unable to immediately transfer the proceeds from the sale of your home to enable purchase
of a replacement property, you are eligible for reimbursement for the interest you pay on a bridge loan
or line of credit, as well as the associated administration fees charged by the financial institution, given
interest on the bridge loan does not normally exceed 14 days; and
the amount of loan does not exceed the amount of money that is frozen.
You are eligible for reimbursement of the interest charged on a short-term loan or line of credit that is
used solely for the minimum deposit required to buy a residence at your new place of duty or to
construct home there.
The amount of the required minimum deposit must be in accordance with the written purchase contract
and can’t exceed the minimum amount required by the local market. You are not entitled to
reimbursement when the building agreement for a new home describes a payment schedule or advance
Yes, there’s lots to remember; moves are complicated, but they’re also exciting. And, you’re not
alone. Don’t hesitate to call on the Wilson Team for assistance in navigating all of the move