Reverse Mortgages Ottawa

Canada’s capital is home to nearly a million people, 61.2% of whom own their own home, and 26.7% of whom are over the age of 55. This means there are many thousands of Ottawa homeowners who are eligible for a reverse mortgage as a way to access affordable cash.

But what exactly is a reverse mortgage, and how do they work? Let’s find out! On this page you will find the top reverse mortgage providers in London and all about how they work. Let’s begin! 

Frequently Asked Questions About Reverse Mortgages in Ottawa

  1. What Is a Reverse Mortgage?
  2. Who Can Get a Reverse Mortgage in Ottawa?
  3. Where Can I Get a Reverse Mortgage in Ottawa?
  4. How Do Reverse Mortgages Work in Ottawa?
  5. How Much Does a Reverse Mortgage Cost in Ottawa?
  6. Pros and Cons of Reverse Mortgages
  7. Ottawa’s Property Market
  8. Frequently Asked Questions About Reverse Mortgages in Ottawa 

What Is a Reverse Mortgage?

A reverse mortgage is a form of loan that in effect ‘releases’ the equity you have built up in your home. As with normal mortgages, the loan is secured against the property in question, but that’s where the similarities end.

As opposed to a normal loan term, a reverse mortgage lasts the duration of your life, and there are no repayments, for principal or interest, at all during the loan’s life. You do not pay anything for the loan until it terminates. Because of this, it acts exactly reverse to a standard mortgage – accruing value over time, instead of growing smaller. The loan closes out when the homeowner dies, sells the property, or pays the loan back.

Who Can Get a Reverse Mortgage in Ottawa?

Eligibility for a reverse mortgage is simple:

  • You must be aged 55 or over (if another person is listed on the property title, they must also meet this age requirement) AND
  • You must own your own home in Ottawa
  • This home must be your primary residence

If you meet these basic requirements, you are technically eligible for a reverse mortgage. However, as with other types of mortgage, financial factors will be taken into account to see whether your chosen lender wishes to lend to you.

Where Can I Get a Reverse Mortgage in Ottawa?

At the moment, there are only three reverse mortgage providers across all of Canada:

1. Bloom Finance Company

  • Modern finance company with a mission to provide the simplest way for 55+ Canadians to unlock the wealth they’ve built
  • Operates in Ontario
  • Easy online application and process
  • Find out how much you are eligible for here

2. HomeEquity Bank (CHIP)

  • Available throughout Canada
  • Most widely used reverse mortgage provider
  • Private corporation active since 1986
  • Requires the home in question to be valued at more than $150,000

3. Equitable Bank

  • One of Canada’s ten largest banks
  • Reverse mortgages only available in select major urban areas
  • Requires the home in question to be worth more than $250,000
  • Minimum borrowing amount of $25,000

Ottawa’s average property price sits at $629,112, and it is one of Ontario’s most important urban centres, so many of the homes in the city will meet the requirements for a reverse mortgage from both lenders.

How Do Reverse Mortgages Work in Ottawa?

Getting a Reverse Mortgage

Getting a reverse mortgage is fairly easy:

  • Check you are eligible for one (see above)
  • Pay off any outstanding debts against the home (including HELOCs and other mortgages)
  • Pick a lender, and apply for your reverse mortgage
  • Complete all of the required paperwork (which includes documentation regarding the property you are mortgaging and your personal finances)
  • If you are approved, you can choose to take your mortgage funds either as a single lump sum, or split between a small upfront payment and monthly payments.

Keeping a Reverse Mortgage

Once you have a reverse mortgage on your home, there are some basic rules you must follow to stay in line with the loan’s stipulations. These are:

  • Live the house as your primary residence
  • Pay all applicable property taxes
  • Maintain insurance on the home
  • Keep the home in a good state of repair
  • Avoid using the funds from the reverse mortgage for illegal activities

If you fail to meet any of these conditions, you will default on the loan.

Closing a Reverse Mortgage

There are a couple of ways to close a reverse mortgage:

  • When the homeowner(s) die
  • When the homeowner(s) sell the home
  • When the homeowner(s) choose to repay the loan, but remain in the home
  • When the homeowner(s) vacate the property (e.g. to go into long term care)

The amount of time you, or your estate, have to repay the loan varies by lender and circumstance.

How Much Does a Reverse Mortgage Cost in Ottawa?

The lack of reverse mortgage providers does mean that there is less competition than in the traditional mortgage market, and so interest rates are higher than you might expect. Rates can vary depending on your circumstances and your chosen mortgage term, but they start from around 3.5% (fixed rate). Variable rates are also available.

And, as with any mortgage, there are fees when taking out a reverse mortgage. These should be included in your financial calculations, and if necessary added to the loan amount. Typical fees include:

  •  Legal fees
  • Appraisal fees
  • Administrative fees
  • Early prepayment fees

It’s recommended that you budget around $2,500 to cover these costs.

Pros and Cons of Reverse Mortgages


  • No monthly payments
  • Tax free cash
  • No transfer of home ownership
  • Stay in your own home
  • No income requirements
  • Does not affect benefits (like OAS)
  • Usually come with a negative equity guarantee


  • Interest rates are higher than for other loan types
  • Interest accrues quickly
  • Limited choice of providers
  • Some fees apply, increasing the cost of the loan
  • Impacts your estate’s beneficiaries if the loan is repaid after your death

Ottawa’s Property Market

Given the specifics of reverse mortgages, it’s worth knowing a little about Ottawa’s property market and its typical homeowner:

  • The average property price in Ottawa is $629,112; this is higher for detached homes ($764,424), and lower for condos ($433,269)
  • 61.2% of Ottawa’s population own their own home; this is lower than the provincial average of 70.1%
  • Ottawa’s home ownership rate has increased by 8.3% in the last 15 years
    26.7% of Ottawa’s population is ages 55 years or older
  • The average age of new mortgage applicants in Ottawa is 37, and new mortgages average a borrowing
  • amount of $195,000

Frequently Asked Questions About Reverse Mortgages in Ottawa

 Where can I get a reverse mortgage in Ottawa?

There are only two reverse mortgage providers in Ottawa: HomeEquity Bank and Equitable Bank.

Who can get a reverse mortgage in Ottawa?

Anyone in Ottawa who is 55 years or older and owns their own primary residence can get a reverse mortgage. If you co-own your home, both owners must be 55 or older.

How much can I borrow with a reverse mortgage in Ottawa?

You can borrow up to 55% of your home’s value with a reverse mortgage (which averages $346,012 in Ottawa).

What kind of home can I get a reverse mortgage on in Ottawa?

Reverse mortgages can be taken out on any privately owned home, as long as it meets the lender’s criteria and is the borrower’s primary residence. If the property has multiple owners, then all of the owners must meet the lender’s requirements.

If my spouse dies, what happens to our reverse mortgage?

If you own your home with your spouse, the reverse mortgage is maintained after they pass away. For the reverse mortgage to close, both spouses need to pass away or vacate the home.

How can I save money on my Ottawa reverse mortgage?

Interest accrues on your loan as it is received – so opting for monthly payments means less interest over the life of the loan. This is one way you can make your reverse mortgage a little cheaper; another is by repaying the loan in partial payments over time.

What’s the effect of changing property prices on my reverse mortgage?

Changing property prices will only affect your reverse mortgage when you come to close it. There are two scenarios. If your property value increases, your reverse mortgage is not affected. If your property value decreases, then repaying your loan becomes harder.

However, reverse mortgages usually come with a negative equity guarantee, which means that if, when the mortgage is closed, you owe more back than the home is worth, you (or your beneficiaries) are protected from this shortfall. You will never have to repay more than the fair market value of your home.

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