Having access to first-time home buyer grants when starting out on the property ladder can mean the difference between being able to buy now or waiting to save up for a down payment and all the associated closing costs. These four programs highlighted below will make your life as a first-time home buyer in Canada so much easier.
- Financial assistance is available to first-time home buyers across Canada thanks to four key programs
- Access to first-time home buyer grants empowers you to buy a home quicker
- The RRSP Home Buyer’s Plan allows access to a maximum $35,000 ($70,000 per couple) to put towards buying your first home
Claim up to a $750 rebate through the Home Buyers’ Tax Credit
First-Time Home Buyers’ Tax Credit (HBTC)
The HBTC is offered by the federal government to help offset closing costs associated with buying your first home. As a first-time home buyer in Canada, the HBTC enables you to claim $5,000 on your personal tax return, resulting in up to a $750 rebate. You must apply to receive the credit on the tax return in the same year in which you purchase a home. See: Who Can Benefit From the Home Buyers’ Tax Credit (HBTC)?
Be sure to claim a Land Transfer Tax Rebate if you live in Ontario, BC or PEI
Land Transfer Tax Refund (LTTR)
Land Transfer Tax is paid to the province (and the municipality, in the case of Toronto) by the buyer of a property. In some provinces – Ontario, British Columbia and Prince Edward Island – and the City of Toronto, LTTR rebates are available. See: First-Time Home Buyer Programs in Canada. First-time home buyers in these areas may be eligible for a refund of all or part of the Land Transfer Tax. See: Everything You Need to Know About the Land Transfer Tax
RRSP Home Buyer’s Plan (HBP)
The federal government’s HBP allows first-time home buyers to withdraw up to $35,000 ($70,000 for a couple) from your RRSPs tax- and interest-free to buy or build a qualifying home for yourself or a related person with a disability. The only time you don’t have to be considered a first-time home buyer to take advantage of the HBP is if you have a disability or you’re helping a related person with a disability buy or build a home. The new home must, however, be a better fit for the needs of the disabled person than his/her current home. You’re considered a first-time home buyer if you didn’t occupy a home that you or your current spouse or common-law partner owned in the past four years. See: What is the RRSP Home Buyers’ Plan (HBP)?
The New Housing Rebate provides some financial relief if you’re buying a newly built home from a builder or custom-building your own home
GST/HST New Housing Rebate (NHR)
If you’re purchasing a newly built home from a builder, or are custom-building your own home, you may qualify for a rebate of the provincial GST or federal part of the HST that you paid on the home. Details of the rebate vary by province. The new home rebate application in Ontario, for instance, must be filed within two years of the new home closing date. The maximum Ontario new housing rebate amount for owner-built houses depends on whether you paid the HST on your purchase of the land. The Ontario new housing rebate is limited to a maximum of $24,000 if you paid the HST on the purchase of the land, and $16,080 if you didn’t.
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