First-Time Home Buyer Incentives In Canada: What You Need To Know
By Gin Aguilar
You’ve worked hard. You’ve saved harder. And now you are wondering whether your dream of buying a house is not far from reality. This information might be the deciding factor whether you should start looking for that safe haven now – the Government of Canada’s First-Time Home Buyer Incentive (FTHBI) came into effect last September 2nd, 2019, perfect timing for people like you. The Incentive is mainly aimed at helping young Canadians (or the so-called “millennials”) and young families to buy their first home in a fiscally responsible and more affordable way by lowering new buyers’ monthly mortgage payments.
HOW DOES THE INCENTIVE WORK?
Interested first-time homebuyers must put down at least 5% of the home’s purchase price with their own money, while the Government of Canada will fund 5% of the down payment if the purchase is of an existing/re-sale home, or 5-10% if the residential property is newly constructed. The Government will share in the upside and downside (shared equity) of the property value upon repayment.
Types of residential properties eligible:
- Single family homes
- semi-detached homes
- duplex, triplex, fourplex
- town houses
- condominium units
It is important to take note though that the property MUST be located in Canada and MUST be suitable and available for full-time, year-round occupancy. There should be an intent to occupy the property and should not be rent out since investment properties are not eligible. Mobile or manufactured homes will also be eligible for the Incentive.
HOW DO YOU QUALIFY?
- You must be either a: (1) Canadian citizen, (2) Permanent resident, or (3) Non-permanent resident legally authorized to work in Canada
- Borrowers’ combined household income should be under CAD$ 120,000 – whether you are applying by yourself, with spouse or friend, you must total your qualifying income and make sure it is less than CAD$120,000.
- At least one borrower must be a first-time homebuyer
- The insured mortgage amount plus incentive cannot be more than four times the participants’ combined annual household income
HOW MUCH DO I HAVE TO PAY BACK?
The homeowner may repay the Incentive at any time in full without a pre-payment penalty. After 25 years or when the property is sold (whichever comes first), homeowner repays 5 or 10% of the home’s fair market value (value at that time) instead of the amount received from the Government.
If you are interested to learn more about the First-Time Home Buyer Incentive (FTHBI), you may visit: https://www.placetocallhome.ca/fthbi/first-time-homebuyer-incentive
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