First Time Home Buyers
If you are a first time home buyer, congratulations! A home is generally considered the largest investment most people will make in their life.
The first step is to find out how much you can afford. Our mortgage calculator can help. Before it’s time to go looking for a home be sure to get a pre-approval. This will allow you to secure a great rate as well as establish the confidence that when you do find your home, you will have the financing in place. If you have any questions about buying your first home or would like to obtain a pre-approval, feel free to call, email or submit an application online.
Below is a list of great programs, rebates and tax credits available to help reduce some of the costs of buying your first home.
First Time Home Buyers Programs
- Home Buyer Tax Credit (HBTC)
- RRSP Home Buyers Plan
- Ontario Land Transfer Tax Credit
- Toronto Municipal Land Transfer Tax Credit
- ‘0%’ Down Mortgages (via 5% cash back mortgage)
Home Buyer Tax Credit (up to $750)
You can receive up to $750 back from the federal government by applying for the home buyer tax credit in the year the home was purchased. To obtain the tax credit, complete line 369 on your personal income tax return.
You will qualify for the HBTC if:
• You, your spouse or common-law partner acquired a qualifying home; and
• You did not live in another home owned by you or your spouse or common-law partner in the year of acquisition or in any of the four preceding years.
If you buy a house, with a spouse or common-law partner, either one of you can claim the credit or you can share the credit. However, the total of your combined claims cannot exceed $750. You must occupy the home as your principle residence no later than one year after the home was purchased. For more information see Home Buyer Tax Credit or HBTC.
First Time Home Buyers RRSP Plan (up to $25,000)
The First Time Home Buyers RRSP Plan (HBP) allows first time home buyers to withdraw up to $25,000 from RRSPs to buy or build a home for yourself or for a related person with a disability. The withdrawn amount must be repaid within 15 years, subject to a minimum annual repayment that is 1/15 of the amount withdrawn. If the full $25,000 is withdrawn, the minimum annual repayment is $1,667. If less than the minimum is repaid in any particular year, the balance is added to the taxpayer’s income. To qualify for the Home Buyers Plan, an individual must not have not owned a home during the last 4 full calender years.
Follow the link for more information on the RRSP Home Buyers Plan.
First Time Home Buyers Ontario Land Transfer Tax Credit (up to $2000)
The Land Transfer Tax Credit is a refund of the cost of the provinces land transfer tax up to a maximum of $2,000. This will allow first time home buyers to purchase a home up to $227,500 without having to pay any land transfer fee. Any amount higher than $227,500 is taxed a rate of approximately 1.5%. To qualify the property must be owner occupied. The first time home purchaser may claim the full maximum amount or a proportion of the maximum refund amount. To qualify for the Land Transfer Tax Credit, you cannot have ever owned a home, or an interest in a home, anywhere in the world. The refund can be given instantly at the lawyers office but advise the lawyer prior to the closing date if you qualify for the rebate
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The refund amount is reduced when one or more of the transferees are not a first time home buyer. The reduction will be proportionate to the interest in land acquired by the individuals who are not first time home purchasers. For example, a parent who is not a first time home buyer and child who is a first time home purchaser, purchase a home with equal 50/50 interests, the child may claim 50% of the land transfer tax refund. The child’s claim cannot exceed 50% of the maximum allowable refund, i.e., 50% of $2,000.
Click the link for more information on the Ontario Land Transfer Tax Credit.
Follow the link for more information on the Ontario Land Transfer Tax Rate.
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First Time Home Buyers Toronto Land Transfer Tax Rebate (up to $3725)
First time home buyers of a newly constructed or re-sale residential property qualify for the Toronto Land Transfer Tax Rebate. The maximum allowable rebate is $3,725.00. This allows first time home buyers in Toronto to purchase a home valued as high at $400,000 without having to pay a Toronto land transfer tax. Any additional amount above $400,000 will be taxed at a rate of 2%. The property must be owner occupied.
If you are eligible for a rebate of all or a portion of the MLTT you owe, your lawyer will be able to claim the rebate electronically through Teraview version 6.0 software when he/she registers your transfer/deed.
More information on the Toronto Land Transfer Tax Rebate and the Toronto land transfer tax rate can be found on the City of Toronto website.
‘0%’ Down Payment
Although a no money down mortgage (0% down payment) is no longer available directly through CMHC, there are still ways to obtain a CMHC insured mortgage with no money down. Here are some of the options available.
- 5% down mortgage with a 5% cash back component
- CMHC permits down payments to come from borrowed sources (credit cards, line of credit, family) provided that this is disclosed to the lender.
Used in conjunction, a home buyer can borrow their down payment and obtain a 5% cash back mortgage. Once the home closes the buyer can pay off the borrowed money with the cash back. 5% cash back mortgages will usually carry a premium charge of 1.5% or higher over traditional mortgages. The borrowed money must be in your bank account or liquid savings vehicle for 90 days prior to submitting a mortgage approval..
The no money down mortgage option utilizing the above two stratagies are not available to applicants with a poor credit history. A minimum beacon score of 650 or higher will be required to qualify.