Military - Canadian Forces- IRP Frequently Asked Questions

Welcome Military personnel !!

You've been posted and you need to find a home in the Halifax metro area. This military buyers and sellers section should help. It includes some basic information about your relocation package as well as common questions that the many military buyers that we have dealt with over the years have asked.
Servicing military personnel that are moving in and out of the Halifax area is a major part of our real estate business. Every year we deal with members moving into and out of the area. Hopefully the information below will help you understand the process better.


Question: I have my posting message but I haven't met with my Brookfield rep yet. Can I list or buy a property?

Answer: Yes. In the busiest posting season you may have a long wait before you have your meeting. You may not want to lose that time in selling your home. There is no problem listing or even selling your property before you meet with your Brookfield rep. We can advise you what to do.


Question: I haven't sold my house here. Can I go on my HHT trip before it sells?

Answer: Probably not. There are situations where you can get permission but in most cases you will have to sell your home first. It is really not a good idea to go on a HHT until you are in a position to buy a house in your new location. We have had members come on their HHT before their house sold and ended up having to take a second HHT and pay for it themselves.


Question: I have been told that I'm being posted but don't have the message yet. I want to put my house on the market now. Can I ?

Answer: Yes. You can list your property but if you get an offer before you have your message then you will have to make the offer conditional on you getting your message. Most buyers will not agree to this condition or agree only for a few days. What we recommend is that we meet and do the measurements, take the photos and get information packages prepared but not actually start the listing until you get your message.


Question: What is a usual closing date in the Halifax area?

Answer: 6 weeks to two months but it varies depending on the time of year. In January until June we see a lot of sellers who would like to close the end of June so closing dates could be a little longer.


Question: How far ahead of my COS date should I plan my house hunting trip?

Answer: 8-9 weeks would be a good time given the fact that the average closing date is 6 weeks to two months here.


Question: The policy states that I will only be reimbursed on my expenses if I buy a property under 1.25 acres ( 54,450 sq ft). Many properties in HRM are over this size. What can I do?

Answer: There is absolutely no problem with you buying a property here that is over 1.25 acres or 54,450 sq ft. However if you buy a property that is larger than 1.25 acres then you will have to provide written proof that the size is required by the municipality. What you will require will depend on your IRP rep. Most will accept a letter from us stating that the lot size is normal for the area and is required to be that size because it has a septic system. Some will require a letter from the municipality stating that the property conforms with zoning by laws. If you require this letter from the municipality there is a cost of between $60 and $100 to you and this cost will not be reimbursed. If you are considering buying in the outskirts of HRM you should ask your IRP rep what they will require from you.


Question: If I take a 5 year mortgage and am posted before the end of the term I will have a prepayment penalty. These used to be covered by DND but are not now. How do I handle this?

Answer: Several banks and other lenders have decided to waive the prepayment penalties for military buyers. You should use a mortgage broker who can advise you which lenders waive the penalty. You should only take a mortgage out from one of the lenders that waive the penalty.

Question: Should I do a house inspection and does Brookfield cover it?

Answer: Yes. There may certain circumstances where the inspection is not covered but in all sales when I have been involved the inspection was covered. You must use an approved inspector. The inspector bills Brookfield directly so you don't need to pay up front. We are very aware of the approved inspectors and can help you choose. You will need to provide the inspector with the name and phone number of your Brookfield rep.


Question: Are there any other inspections I should do?

Answer: Yes If the property is on a well and has a septic you will need to test these as well. You will test the well to make sure that the levels of bacteria, arsenic and uranium are within allowable limits. This is a requirement for your mortgage. You should also do a Flow Test on the well to determine how much water the well is currently producing. Finally you should do a septic inspection. All these inspections will be covered by IRP but you must ask the house inspector to recommend these tests in the inspection report and then you will give this report to your IRP rep. You will have to pay for these up front and submit your receipts to Brookfield for repayment.


Question: My house hunting trip is a week. How many days should I spend actually looking for a house?

Answer: It takes about a day to negotiate a deal. The inspection could be a couple of days to set up. You should leave a day or so in case something goes wrong. If you've done some research ahead of time a couple of good days usually will be enough to reach the offer stage.


Question: If I find a house on the internet and want more information can you email me more details?

Answer: Yes. We  have the ability to email listings with more details than is available on the net. I can also set you up so you will be emailed all new MLS® listings that fit your requirements as soon as they are posted on MLS®. This may be up to a  day ahead of  the public MLS site at


Question: What do you do for me when I come to town?

Answer: We will try to clear our schedule from when you arrive until you leave. Our goal is to find you a good house in the time you are here. We totally understand the time crunch you are under and will work hard with you to find you a home as quickly as possible. We will recommend inspectors and lawyers that are on your IRP approved list. We will setup all necessary inspections that you will require. We've done this many times so we know what you need.


Question: How do I request information from you?

Answer: If you would like for me to send you a Home Buyer's Package go to the Request Homebuyer's Package Section of the Buyers section of this website and fill out the request form.

Brookfield IRP Frequently Asked Question: - Taken from Brookfield IRP website

When can I speak to someone from Brookfield GRS?

Answer: Brookfield GRS can offer our services once official authorization from your employer has been received.

Answers to specific questions regarding benefits and entitlements are based on the information contained

in that authorization. Until such time, we invite you to review the information contained in this website,

particularly, the CFIRP Directive as well as the Welcome Booklet.


Question:When can I speak to someone from Brookfield GRS?

Answer: Brookfield GRS can offer our services once official authorization from your employer has been received.

Answers to specific questions regarding benefits and entitlements are based on the information contained

in that authorization. Until such time, we invite you to review the information contained in this website,

particularly, the CFIRP Directive as well as the Welcome Booklet.

Question:When do I pre-register?

Answer: On receipt of your posting message, proceed to and pre-register, keeping in mind it may

take up to 5 days for your employer to download your file to Brookfield GRS.

Question:What do I need in order to pre-register?

Answer: You will need a computer with an internet connection and a copy of your posting message to pre-register

at The system will request that you fill in the information according to your posting

message, entering your last name and service number (with no spaces) identical to the data on the

posting message.

Question:Is pre-registration the same as the registration?

Answer: Once your file has been authorized by your employer the system will match the information from your

employer with your pre-registration and send your password and User ID via email. You will then be able

to complete the registration process.

If you have not received your password and/or User ID, please check your spam or junk mail folder.

- Please note that it may take up to five (5) business days to authorize your file after receipt of your

posting message.

- If you are a release member please note that you are required to contact the release section in

order to commence the process of establishing your final relocation prior to contacting Brookfield



Question:What do I do when I get my User ID and password?

Answer: Once you’ve received your User ID and password, complete the registration process by filling in the information required on your secure website, accessible at On successful registration, a

confirmation email will be sent to you and will contain a list of required documents that need to be

provided to Brookfield GRS prior to your 1st Planning Session.


Question:How do I make contact with Brookfield GRS to book my 1st Planning Session?

Answer: On successful registration, a Brookfield GRS Advisor will be assigned and contact you within two (2) business days to discuss your relocation intentions and book your 1st Planning Session.


Question:What are participating suppliers and do I have to use them?

Answer: Participating Third Party Service Providers (TPSP) are suppliers who provide specialized services in accordance with the CFIRP program. TPSP’s are real estate appraisers, home inspectors, rental search agents, realtors and lawyers/notaries. The “Open Broker” policy of the IRP gives you the freedom to select any TPSP regardless if they are on the directory or not, however, all suppliers must be at ‘arm’s length’ from you. TPSP fee reimbursement is subject to capped ceiling rates.


Question:What is an ‘Arm’s Length’ transaction?

Answer: An arm’s length transaction is one that is consummated between two or more non-related parties as per Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) interpretation. Related individuals include direct-line descendants as well as spouse or common law partners, brothers, sisters and in-laws. It also includes non-immediate family members such as cousins, aunts, uncles, nephew and nieces. Should a supplier be used that is not ‘arm’s length’, reimbursement of their services is not eligible.


Question:How are my Third Party Service Providers (TPSP) going to get paid?

Answer: Brookfield GRS will pay any participating suppliers on your behalf. If you choose a non-participating supplier, you will be responsible to pay the supplier and seek reimbursement with Brookfield GRS. Brookfield GRS can advance the funds to you. Once an itemized paid receipt from the supplier is

obtained, a claim can be processed up to the capped ceiling rate to offset the advance previously



Question:Do I need permission from Brookfield GRS to list my home?

Answer:We strongly recommend that you consult with Brookfield GRS first as well as review your employer’s relocation policy prior to making any financial commitments. There are specific capped ceiling rates and eligibility requirements that apply to home sale benefits.


Question:Can I go on a House Hunting Trip if I haven’t disposed of my current residence?

Answer:Members are responsible to coordinate a door-to-door move. Without a known dispossession date at origin, this may prove difficult. Brookfield GRS will normally recommend that your home be disposed of prior to taking an HHT; however, the authority to take an HHT rests with your employer, who will sign an HHT/DIT application, granting you approval for the trip. The HHT/DIT application can be obtained from your Advisor once he/she has provided comments and signed the form.


Question:What if I can’t sell my residence?

Answer:There are relocation benefits in place to assist with the financial burden of dual residency. Your Advisor will discuss the temporary dual residence assistance benefits with you and review your options so you can decide which option is best for you and your family.


Question:Once I dispose of my current residence what is my next step?

Answer:Notify your Advisor that you have disposed of your residence and inform if you require a House Hunting Trip and/or Destination Inspection Trip to find a replacement residence.


Question:Can I drive to my destination on HHT or DIT, even though it would be faster if I flew?

Answer:There may be options available in your employer’s relocation policy which allow flexibility with HHT or DIT mode of travel, please discuss with your Advisor.


Question:What if I go on a House Hunting Trip and don’t find a place to live?

Answer:If your HHT is unsuccessful you should begin formulating a ‘Plan B’, knowing that eventually your employer expects you to relocate. Discuss your options with your Advisor so you can determine the best course of action for you and your family.


Question:What if my plan was to buy but I end up renting? Do I get penalized for that?

Answer:The goal is in securing a residence. Your employer and Brookfield GRS realize that intentions may change throughout the course of relocating. If you change your intentions, you are encouraged to refer to your employer’s policy and discuss these changes with your Advisor to minimize any financial impact.


Question:What if I choose a rental search agent but find my own rental unit?

Answer:If you’ve requested the services of a rental search agent you are responsible to show-up for the

scheduled appointment with the agent as cancellation fees will be your responsibility and are not

reimbursable from any funding component.


Question:What if I’ve secured a new residence but have not yet disposed of my old one?

Answer:There are relocation benefits in place to assist with the financial burden of dual residency. Your Advisor will discuss the temporary dual residence assistance benefits with you and review your options so you can decide which option is best for you and your family.


Question:How can I get an advance and how long does it take?

Answer:Advance requests are submitted through your secure website. Brookfield GRS will process the request within 3-5 business days. Please note your employer will not authorize the release of travel type

advances more than 21 days prior to the first travel day.


Question:What if I buy a new vehicle or dispose of a vehicle before I move?

Answer:If you acquire a vehicle before you actually relocate please provide Brookfield GRS with the new license plate number to update your profile and set aside funds for relocating it to destination. Similarly, if you

dispose of a vehicle as your advisor will no longer need to set aside funds for relocating that vehicle.


Question:How is my mileage for travel calculated?

Answer:The authorized mileage for travel is calculated based on the postal codes of the old and new place of duty, utilizing the Treasury Board approved ProMiles Software.


Question:While travelling to my new location, can I stay with family members along the way instead of

staying in a hotel?

Answer:Yes, and you may claim the non-commercial accommodation allowance when you stay with friends or family during your relocation.


Question:Do I have to stay in a different location each night of authorized travel days?

Answer: CF members are authorized one calendar day:

- for trips of 500 km or less

--or each 500 km travelled
-  when travel on the last day is in excess of 500 km but less than 600 km

There is no requirement to stay in a different location each night; however, the maximum authorized

travel days shall not be exceeded.


Question:Can I take vacation during travel to my new work location?

Answer:While some people do take vacation during a relocation it would be best to refer to your employer’s policy and discuss your intentions with your Advisor as your decision may impact the benefits if certain relocation criteria are not met.


Question:What if I’m waiting for my home to be built? Where will my furniture and effects go?

Answer:Your furniture and effects will likely be placed in storage while you are waiting for your home to be built. The cost of the storage may not be covered through your employer’s relocation program. Please notify your Advisor of your specific scenario to determine if storage costs are covered.


Question:What if my furniture arrives before I do?

Answer:If your furniture arrives before you, it may go into short-term storage until you arrive, or it may stay on the moving truck, depending on what the moving company decides. You should discuss this potential with base traffic personnel. Please note that the intent is to have your furniture delivered on your arrival to ensure a door-to-door move.


Question:How do I get reimbursed for my relocation expenses?

Answer:Please complete an on-line Itemized Expenditure Summary (expense report) for the expenses you wish to claim. Print and submit it with original receipts to your Advisor for processing. The Expense Claim will then be forwarded to you for signature and funds deposited into your bank account 3 – 5 business days

after receipt of your signed claim form.


Question:Can I submit more receipts even though I’ve done my final move claim?

Answer:You can submit another claim for your eligible relocation expenses within your employer’s policy time limitation.


Question:What if I get promoted during my relocation?

Answer:Should you be promoted prior to your Change of Strength (COS) date, it is important for you to provide Brookfield GRS with an updated pay guide, Posting Allowance Verification Form and a copy of your promotion message. In turn, we will update your posting allowance and increase the Personalized funds available for your relocation. Promotions effective after COS do not affect the posting allowance.


Question:Is there someone outside of Brookfield GRS that I can talk to if I experience problems with mymove?

Answer:The CF Relocation Coordinator is a military member responsible to act as a liaison between you,

Brookfield GRS and Director Compensation Benefits Administration (DCBA). Please contact your CF

Relocation Coordinator if you are experiencing problems that you feel need attention outside of Brookfield



Question:When is my move completed?

Answer:If you have nothing further to claim, have used all eligible relocation benefits and received payment of any funds remaining in your personalized envelope your move would be considered complete and your file would be ready for reconciliation.

If you’re planning to purchase a home within your employer’s policy time limitation, your move will be

considered complete; however, your file would remain available for future benefit administration. Your

Advisor will provide further assistance when you are ready to purchase.


Question:I've uploaded documents but I cannot see them on my file.

Answer:Uploaded documents need to be reviewed and accepted by your Advisor in order to be viewed on the Secure Website. As documents are uploaded, your Advisor will be notified that documents are waiting for their action.

Request a Military Home Buyers Package by clicking here :

© Copyright Sandy and Judy Hines. 2015