Frequently Asked Questions
WHAT IS OPTIONS FOR HOMES?
We’re a non-profit condo developer, helping people become home owners through down payment support and the lowest prices for condos in the GTA. We have 23 years of experience, and we’ve won 9 industry awards. Our 13th development is currently under construction.
ARE YOU SOCIAL HOUSING?
We are not social housing. We are developers of high quality condos and town homes with a social purpose. We believe that everyone who can afford the carrying costs of a mortgage should be given the opportunity to own a home sooner than later. The security of home ownership and the financial returns often associated with it are a social benefit and we’re proud of the way our developments have transformed lives and communities all over the city of Toronto.
WHO CAN BUY WITH OPTIONS?
Anyone. You just need 5% down payment and the ability to secure a mortgage with a primary lender by closing.
CAN I BUY AS AN INVESTOR WITH THE INTENTION OF RENTING OUT MY UNIT?
We strongly discourage investors as our mission is to help people who need a home to live in themselves. In all future developments you will need to sign an affidavit stating that you (or someone else on title) will occupy the unit.
HOW ARE YOU DIFFERENT FROM OTHER CONDO DEVELOPERS?
We are not motivated by profit, but rather a mission-based goal to help more people become home owners. We take what would normally be a developer’s profit and offer it to purchasers as a down payment boost. We call this the Options Down Payment Loan.
WHY CAN OPTIONS OFFER BETTER PRICES THAN OTHER DEVELOPERS?
We reduce traditional developer costs, such as marketing expenses, and pricey show rooms and model suites, that can normally add up to $15,000 per unit.
We build high quality developments without frills, like pools and gyms, thus lowering condo maintenance fees and carrying costs.
WHO CAN GET THE OPTIONS DOWN PAYMENT LOAN?
The Options Down Payment Loan is available to anyone that wants it, regardless of income or whether they have previously owned a home. The only requirement is that you qualify for a mortgage from a primary lender (bank, credit union), and that you make a down payment of at least 5% at the time you sign the Purchase Agreement.
HOW DOES THE OPTIONS DOWN PAYMENT LOAN WORK?
You can choose to take a loan worth 10%-15% of the purchase price of the home. When you sell or rent your home (or anytime before that if you choose), you repay 10%-15% of current market value of your home. This is why it's called a shared appreciation loan. It is repayable with an "interest" rate equivalent to the change in value of your home or 8% compounding, whichever is lowest. The repaid loans go into a “pay-it-forward” fund, which is used to provide a down payment boost for the next family. The Options Down Payment Loan is a second mortgage issued through our funding partner, Home Ownership Alternatives (HOA).
WHEN DO I MAKE MY 5% DOWN PAYMENT?
At the time you sign your Purchase Agreement.
WHEN DO I NEED TO SECURE A MORTGAGE?
At closing. However you may need to provide proof of a mortgage commitment by a financial institution sooner.
CAN I PUT DOWN MORE THAN 5%?
Yes. The more money you put down, the better it is for you, as it will lower your mortgage payment amount. We will still give you an Options Down Payment Loan of up to 10%-15% on top of your down payment. Our contribution amount is not tied to the amount of your down payment. It’s tied to the value of the home.
DOES OPTIONS BUILD HOMES IN OTHER CITIES?
Yes, we do! Options has built developments across the GTA. Our latest condominium is in Milton, ON, and we have developments in surrounding areas in our pipeline. Sign up for our newsletter by clicking here to recieve updates as new condos launch!
HOW CAN I PURCHASE A UNIT AT ONE OF YOUR PAST DEVELOPMENTS?
After we sell a home, it is resold like any other home on the market. To purchase a home at a past Options development, you must purchase it directly from the owner, and unfortunatley there is no down payment boost.
WHEN DOES THE CARLTON STREET CONDOS LAUNCH AND WHY IS IT TAKING SO LONG?
We know you’re as excited about Carlton as we are. Please be assured we are working diligently on this project. We are trying to secure the highest possible density, and working with the City and heritage groups to get all the necessary approvals before launch. As with all developments in the pre-construction phase, it takes time and negotiation - a lot of back-and-forth to be honest. (We feel it's important to announce new developments early to give our purchasers the most time to save possible). We hope to announce a launch date by the end of 2017.
WHAT IS PRIORITY ACCESS?
When you pay a $150 deposit to sign up for Priority Access you are guaranteed to receive an invitation to reserve a suite at any of our future developments before we launch them to the general public.
If a development you are interested in has already launched and we still have suites available for sale, the $150 Priority Access deposit will allow you to meet with a Purchase Consultant and reserve one of our remaining suites for 10 days.
This deposit is returned to you when you purchase your home. Should you decide you no longer want Priority Access, your deposit is transferrable to anyone you choose.
I PAID FOR PRIORITY ACCESS, CAN I MAKE AN APPOINTMENT TO MEET WITH A PURCHASE CONSULTANT (PC) RIGHT AWAY?
All of our current developments are now waiting list only. If you chose a current development, we’ll add you to the waiting list and will call you if and when a suite becomes available. If you chose a future development, we’ll email you as soon as a new development launches. We encourage you to attend a Condos 101 session to be prepared and get the most out of your meeting with a Purchase Consultant.
I ALREADY PAID THE $150 DEPOSIT. DO I NEED TO PAY AGAIN FOR PRIORITY ACCESS?
No. Your $150 deposit is what grants you Priority Access. It's good forever, until we place you in your home at any future development.
DO YOU COOPERATE WITH REAL ESTATE AGENTS?
Yes, we pay a flat fee. While we greatly appreciate the efforts of your Real Estate Agent, our unique non-profit model does not support commission-based compensation. The prices of our suites are non-negotiable and all purchase agreements are standard. We also have a client support team that follows up with purchasers during the 10-day Cooling Off Period and provides ongoing support through Closing.
CAN YOU GET ME A MORTGAGE?
Options doesn’t issue mortgage loans. We offer you the opportunity to take a down payment loan, through our partnership with Home Ownership alternatives (HOA) to help you qualify for a first mortgage with a lender, and borrow less. The lenders who recognize our Down Payment Loan are TD, BMO and Meridian. If you’re not taking the Down Payment Loan, you can secure your mortgage from a lender of your choice.
CAN I STILL PURCHASE EVEN THOUGH MY CREDIT SCORE IS NOT VERY GOOD?
Options for Homes is not a mortgage lender, therefore, we don’t evaluate your credit or income. You must consult a mortgage lender or credit counsellor to know exactly where you stand, and how you can improve your score. We recommend Meridian, BMO, or TD for mortgages and Credit Canada for credit counselling. We do however recommend that you become a Priority Access member as soon as possible as we invite people to purchase in the order they register with us.
DO YOU THINK I WOULD QUALIFY FOR A MORTGAGE EVEN THOUGH I HAVE NOT BEEN DISCHARGED FROM BANKRUPTCY?
This isn’t something Options can determine. We recommend contacting our partners Credit Canada for the answer.
HOW MANY PEOPLE WORK AT OPTIONS?
We currently have a small but mighty staff of 15 people.
DO YOU PROVIDE THE DOWN PAYMENT LOAN FOR OTHER DEVELOPMENTS BESIDES YOUR OWN?
DOES OPTIONS HAVE ANY DETACHED HOUSES OR TOWNHOUSES COMING IN THE FUTURE?
We may build townhomes in the future, but right now, all of our current developments are condominium apartments.
WHO IS YOUR BUILDER?
WHERE CAN I GET PRICES AND FLOOR PLANS?
Prices and floor plans are available in the “Now Selling” section of this website. You can also get them by attending our free Condos 101 information sessions, held bi-weekly. Register to attend here.
I REGISTERED FOR CONDOS 101 AND I’VE ASKED TO RECEIVE MY INVITATION AND DIRECTIONS BY MAIL. WHEN CAN I EXPECT THEM TO ARRIVE?
Your invitation and map will arrive by mail a few days before the session.
I REGISTERED FOR CONDOS 101. CAN I BRING A GUEST TO HELP ME DECIDE?