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Buying Your First Home? Look for These Incentives!


Blog by Doriana Zohil, Broker of Record/Owner | February 4th, 2019


Buying your first home can be both exciting and a bit daunting. The good news is that there are government incentive programs available to help you get into the housing market. Let’s break them down for you.

Land Transfer Tax Refund for First-Time Buyers (Ontario)
First-time homebuyers of an eligible home may be eligible for a refund of all or part of the Land Transfer Tax. To claim a refund, you must be at least 18 years of age, you cannot have owned a home or an interest in a home anywhere in the world, and your spouse cannot have owned a home or interest in a home, anywhere in the world while he or she was your spouse. The method of acquiring the home (ie: purchase, gift or through an inheritance) is not relevant.

First-Time Home Buyers’ (FTHB) Tax Credit
Around for about a decade, the FTHB Tax Credit offers a $5,000 non-refundable income tax credit on a qualifying home purchase. To be eligible, you or your spouse must have acquired a qualifying home and cannot have lived in another home you or your spouse owned in the year of acquisition or in any of the four preceding years. The HBTC can only be claimed by one person, meaning only yourself or your spouse can claim this tax credit.

Home Buyer’s Plan
This plan allows you to borrow from yourself. You can use up to $25,000 in a calendar year from your RRSP (that would be $50,000 for a couple if both parties had never owned a home), to buy or build a qualifying home. Through this plan, you must pay back the withdrawn funds within 15 years, starting the second year after the year you withdrew the funds.

CMHC Mortgage Loan Insurance Programs
There are a few programs available through the CMHC:
  1. Purchase
    Don’t have 20% for a down-payment? If you have at least 5%, CMHC can help.
     
  2. Improvement
    If you can’t afford a turn-key, move-in-ready home, buying a home and renovating it to meet your needs might be your only option. CMHC can help with financing for those improvements.
     
  3. Green Home
    Here is another reason to select a more “green” home, or renovate an older one with more energy-efficient products. Not only will it help you save on your monthly energy costs, but this program provides a partial premium refund of up to 25%. The amount of refund really depends on how much more energy-efficient the home is (an assessment is done).
     
  4. Newcomers
    Individuals that have moved to different countries will understand just how difficult it can be to obtain credit in a new country. CMHC can help newcomers to Canada that didn’t qualify for a mortgage through a standard bank. Permanent residents with a minimum 5% down-payment may apply (or 10% down-payment for non-permanent residents).
     
  5. Self-Employed
    With self-employment on the rise, many of us have heard family or friends speak of the challenges of obtaining credit when one is not an “employee” of a company. CMHC can assist with mortgage loan insurance.
     
HST/GST New Housing Rebate
For brand new homes (ie: new construction), you can apply for a HST/GST rebate. Partial rebates may also be available if you build your own new home, or if extensive renovations are being done on an existing home you purchase.


First time home buyer? Moving to Toronto? Are you part of a Toronto relocation with your employer? We can help you with all steps of the process, from finding a new home, temporary accommodations in the meantime, settling in services, move management, and so much more. So many steps of the move can be handled in advance, so when you arrive we can get you settled much faster. When moving to Toronto, we can help with all aspects of the relocation.

We’d love to hear from you, so call us today to book your complimentary private consultation.