Government Sponsored First Time Home Buyer Programs

If you are considering to buy your first home in Canada then it might be a good idea to consider the government sponsored programs for first-time home buyers. There are many federal, provincial and local government grants for first-time home buyers which could be considered based on your particular situation and surroundings.

Federal Government First Time Home Buyer Programs

1. RRSP HOME BUYERS’ PLAN
This program allows you to withdraw up to $25,000 from your RRSP to buy or build a new home. You can also use it to buy or build a home for yourself or someone you know with a disability.

2. HOME BUYERS’ TAX CREDIT
The First Time Home Buyer Tax Credit is a non-refundable tax credit that helps homeowners recover closing costs such as legal expenses and inspections. First-time buyers can claim up to $5,000 for the purchase of a qualifying home on their personal tax return on the year of purchase. However, you cannot have lived in another home you or your partner owned in the previous 4 years. If you have a disability (i.e., you are eligible for the disability tax credit) or if you bought the house to improve accessibility for someone who is disabled, you do not have to be a first-time home buyer.

3. GST/HST NEW HOUSING REBATEM
The GST/HST new housing rebate gives back some of the GST or the federal part of the HST you paid—up to $1,500—for a new or substantially renovated house that is your primary place of residence provided you meet all the eligibility requirements.

4. CMHC GREEN HOME
If you buy, build, or renovate for energy efficiency using CMHC-insured financing, you could receive a 15% rebate for building a home to ENERGY STAR® standards or up to 25% for building a home to R-2000 building standards.

5. GENWORTH CANADA ENERGY-EFFICIENT HOUSING PROGRAM
Receive a 25% rebate when you build a home through one of Genworth Canada’s qualifying energy-efficient building programs or meet the prescribed minimum Natural Resources Canada EnerGuide requirements and fund it through a Genworth Canada insured mortgage.

Ontario Government First Time Home Buyer Programs

Provincial government also provides special programs and incentives for first time home buyers.

6. LAND TRANSFER TAX REFUNDS FOR FIRST-TIME HOME BUYERS
Under this program, if you’ve never owned a home anywhere before—ever—you could qualify to receive a refund of the land transfer tax for the first $368,000 of the value of the home. The maximum amount of the refund is $4,000. The biggest hurdle in qualifying for the maximum amount of this program is that all purchasers of the home must be first-time homebuyers. If one or more purchasers has owned a home anywhere in the world previously, the amount will be reduced.

7. ONTARIO ENERGY AND PROPERTY TAX CREDIT
Non-seniors can receive up to $1,043 while seniors can receive up to $1,187. Even students can receive a credit of $25 if any of their costs were related to energy costs, and if you live on a reserve or in a public long-term care home, you can receive up to $232.

8. NORTHERN LOCATIONS ENERGY CREDIT
Those living in a qualifying location can take advantage of the Northern Ontario Energy Credit. This tax credit allows single people to receive a credit on their taxes of up to $151 and allows families (including single parents) to receive up to $232. The purpose of this program is to help Northern Ontario residents with the higher energy costs they face living in the north.

Toronto First Time Home Buyer Programs

City of Toronto also provides certain programs and incentives for first time home buyers.

9. OPTIONS FOR HOMES
If you are looking to purchase a new condominium, this is a non-profit group that offers different ways of paying for a condominium, including loans and discounts, and offers down payment support. They also offer a Condo 101 class that explains what someone should look for when they purchase a new condominium.

10. HABITAT FOR HUMANITY You can be a homeowner! Get out of the rent rut with Habitat for Humanity. This group helps low-income families build and buy simple, decent quality, affordable homes through a no-interest mortgage with payments set at less than 30% of gross income. Instead of a down payment, families contribute their sweat equity.

11. DANIELS FIRSTHOME BOOST PROGRAM
Daniels FirstHome has an innovative payment plan that is much more flexible and achievable in the midst of today’s fluctuating new mortgage rules. With locations throughout the Toronto area, this builder offers condos and townhomes in attractive neighbourhood’s aimed at first-time home buyers.
The program offers an interest-free, 20-year forgivable loan for 10% of the down payment that, when added to the 5% that you need to put down, “boosts” your down payment to 15%. On top of that, you could also qualify for an additional $25,000 in financing. And wait, I’m not done yet. You don’t even have to have the whole 5% up front. All you need to get started is $3,500 when you sign the Agreement to Purchase and Sale, and then you can pay $1,000 a month after that until you reach the required 5%!
Look for one of their seminars to learn more, or visit their website to register.

12. MUNICIPAL LAND TRANSFER TAX REBATE PROGRAM
If you are a Canadian citizen or permanent resident living in Toronto and you’re ready to buy your first home, don’t forget to register for the land transfer tax rebate. In conjunction with the provincial tax credit, you can get up to $4,475.00 back from the land transfer tax you pay when you buy your home.
Both new and existing homes qualify, but neither you and/nor your spouse can ever have owned a home before at any time anywhere in the world. Don’t delay, because to receive the entire rebate, your application has to be received by the City of Toronto before the 10-day deadline is up!

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Manoj Karatha

Realtor, Entrepreneur

Successful realtor with over 18 years of experience in helping people to find their dream homes.

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