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Community and Q&A

Financing an Off-Grid House

laura12345 | Posted in General Questions on

I have my heart set on an off-grid house in Ontario, Canada. I thought it would be a relatively easy purchase but every mortgage broker that has looked into it has come back saying that the bank will not finance an off grid house. I don’t know if it’s worth it to try again but that means multiple credit checks which is not the best either.

Can anyone recommend anyone in Canada that could help? Time is of the essence! Any advice extremely appreciated!

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  1. GBA Editor
    Martin Holladay | | #1

    I don't know much about banking in Canada. But here in Vermont, my off-grid neighbors had no problems getting a conventional mortgage from a small, local bank.

    You might have better luck with a small bank in a community familiar with off-grid homes than with a big urban bank.

    All of that said, you told us that credit checks by banks reveal that your credit history is "not the best." That may be the reason for your problems.

    1. Trevor_Lambert | | #6


      I think you misinterpreted her statement. I don't believe she was implying her credit rating is poor, rather that having repeated credit checks done can lower your credit rating. I believe this is a genuine concern.

  2. Expert Member


    As Martin said, it may be worth looking at a credit union. it might also be worth seeing what programmes the CMHC has for financing off-grid and energy efficient housing.

    1. GoingOffGridNWO | | #4

      I know this is an old post, but forget about CMHC, despite what they might say they are not interested in off-grid homes. It's about the marketability they don't care about sustainability or any green initiatives. We just found that out trying to get pre-approved to buy an off grid post and beam straw bale home. It's ALWAYS about the money, don't fool yourself.

  3. jberks | | #3


    I caught what you meant by not doing many credits checks. I'm no mortgage broker, but I don't think it's all that bad, just a minor blip.

    Are you going to banks or an independent mortgage broker? I find bank mortgage people are kind of limited in their scope (standard homes) where mortgage brokers (at least mine who has saved my ass in the past) I call more of a "lending broker" and has a lot more resources to play with in terms of lenders.

  4. walta100 | | #5

    Bankers see off grid as so far from town that you will not be able to work a job. If you can’t work how are you going to make the payments? I am not asking you for your answer but they will need one.

    In general banks want to lend money to people that don’t need to borrow money, a big down payment will go a long way toward yes.


  5. Expert Member
    DCcontrarian | | #9

    Would it be possible to lock threads older than a certain age? The old threads just seem to be spam magnets.

    1. Expert Member
      Michael Maines | | #10

      Old threads are often useful for others, though. I ping Kiley when I see spam, and just let her know about the three on this thread.

  6. Expert Member
    Akos | | #7

    Spam is getting pretty good.

    Almost as good as Spam, bacon, sausage and spam but not quite as good as Lobster thermidor aux crevettes with a mornay sauce garnished with truffle paté, brandy and a fried egg on top and spam.

  7. Expert Member

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