As a first-time home buyer, you’ll want to be familiar with various programs that apply to your situation. Whether it’s a rebate you may qualify for, a tax-efficient way of funding your down payment, or the minimum you must put down for your home purchase, there’s information you need to know to navigate the buying process and potentially save yourself some money along the way.
Here are some of the key things you’ll want to be aware of:
Mortgage default insurance—often known as CMHC Insurance—may seem like a strange concept, but it’s relatively straightforward. If you have a down payment of less than 20% of the home’s value, you must purchase mortgage default insurance. But this doesn’t act as insurance for you. Rather, it protects your lender in case you don’t make your mortgage payments. It’s designed to make financial institutions comfortable with lending to individuals who don’t have a large down payment.
Mortgage insurance is calculated as a percentage of the value of the mortgage amount.
In Canada, you must put down a minimum of 5% as a down payment on your home. However, this only applies to homes with a purchase price of less than $500,000. It’s important to note that if you’re buying a home costing between $500,000 and $1 million, the federal government recently increased how much you must place as a down payment. With the new rules, you have to put down 5% for the first $500,000 but 10% on the amount between $500,000 and $1 million.
First-Time Home Buyers’ (FTHB) Tax Credit. The FTHB Tax Credit offers a $5,000non–refundable income tax credit amount on a qualifying home acquired after January 27, 2009. For an eligible individual, the credit will provide up to $750 infederal tax relief. First-Time Home Buyers’ (FTHB) Tax Credit. The FTHB Tax Credit offers a $5,000non–refundable income tax credit amount on a qualifying home acquired after January 27, 2009. For an eligible individual, the credit will provide up to $750 infederal tax relief.
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The Home Buyers’ Plan (HBP) is a program that allows you to withdraw up to $25,000 in a calendar year from your registered retirement savings plans (RRSPs) to buy or build a qualifying home for yourself or for a related person with a disability.
GST/HST New Housing Rebate. You may qualify for a rebate of part of the GST or HST that you paid on the purchase price or cost of building your new house, on the cost of substantially renovating or building a major addition onto your existing house, or on converting a non-residential property into a house.
Land Transfer Tax Refunds for First-Time Home Buyers. When you buy land or an interest in land in Ontario, you pay land transfer tax. First-time homebuyers of an eligible home may be eligible for a refund of all or part of the tax.