1. Buying

First-Time Homebuyer

Buying your first home can be both exciting and stressful at the same time. It’s also very expensive. You’ll need to start saving for a down payment and the costs that go along with purchasing a home.

If you don’t think you’ll be able to afford a home, the Canadian government offers a variety of incentives for first-time homebuyers. First-time home buyers in Ontario, BC, and Prince Edward Island, for example, can qualify for a land-transfer tax rebate. Read the pages below to find out more about the first-time home buyer tax credits and rebates, grants, and programs available in Canada.

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Tax credits for first-time home buyers

If you’re buying your first home you may have access to a number of tax breaks. These include the First-Time Home Buyers' Tax Credit which is claimed on your annual tax return. In most provinces, first-time home buyers can also claim a land transfer tax rebate. First-time home buyers can also take advantage of tax-sheltered savings using the Home Buyer’s Plan, which allows you to withdraw money tax-free from your RRSP to buy a home.

First-time home buyer programs

First-time homebuyers can take advantage of many government programs to help ease the expense of buying a home. The programs offered include tax credits (including the land transfer tax rebate), the Home Buyer’s plan, and the GST/HST new housing rebate. Mortgage insurance is offered by the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC) and other private insurers, and allows all home buyers including first-timers to buy a home with a down payment of as little as 5%. Cash grants are rare, but the programs available can help buyers save thousands of dollars.

Mortgage rates for first-time home buyers

As long as you have good credit, and a sufficient down payment, you will likely be able to qualify for the best mortgage rates in the market even if you’re a first-time home buyer. It’s not necessary to apply for a mortgage from the financial institution you do your everyday banking with. In fact, you may be able to get better rates by shopping around. Many first-time home buyers use mortgage brokers to help facilitate the mortgage application process.

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First-Time Home Buyer Education Topics