Many strategies are available to you regarding your first purchase. The key is to take the time to educate yourself on where you are situated in the current market with a trusted and experienced real estate agent. You need go get out there and see properties, and learn how they sell and where you money can take you.
On the practical side, first-time buyers should be aware of the closing costs, land transfer taxes, lawyers fees and potential home repairs that just can’t wait. Owning a home for the first time can feel like haemorrhaging money without a Band-Aid in site. There is some good news though! First-time buyers, however, are offered some amazing breaks. Here are some options that should be considered.
This program can be very useful for first time buyers who need to a lot of money up front. It allows you to withdraw up to $35,000 from your registered retirement savings plan (RRSPs) to buy a home, provided you meet the criteria, like simply being a first time buyer. In terms of paying the loan back, you have 15 years. Best part: You don’t pay any interest at all. For more info and to see if you qualify, visit the Canada Revenue Agency web site.
Land transfer taxes was once the sole domain of Ontario, but now Toronto wants a piece of the land transfer tax pie. So a buyer pays a whole lot more in land transfer taxes today than before 2008. The silver lining? First time buyers get a decent break on both the Ontario and Toronto land transfer taxes. How much you pay all depends on the purchase price of your home. For example, the Ontario land transfer tax on a $600,000 home will cost you $8475. Similarly in Toronto, the amount of land transfer tax you will pay also depends on the purchase price of your home as well. So, for a $600,000 home, you will also pay $8475 in land transfer taxes. Combining the Ontario and Toronto land transfer tax, you would pay a total of $16,950 in combined land transfer taxes on $600,000. If you are a first time buyer, and qualify for a rebate, you’re land tax burden will be significantly reduced. Wit the first time buyer rebate, you will pay total of $8475 for both Ontario and Toronto land transfer taxes. Visit TRREB’S land transfer calculator determine your land transfer tax.
If you purchase your home with between 5% and 20% down on a conventional mortgage, you’ll need CHMC mortgage loan insurance. It insures the bank so they will not lose money on what they consider a high ratio mortgage. The cost is ultimately passed on to you, the buyer. Many lenders will add this amount into the mortgage so you won’t have to pay for it all at once. The less you put down on your new home, the more you will pay in CHMC insurance.
On another note: As of 2019, CHMC allows first-time homebuyers to participate in a shared-equity mortgage program, called the First-Time Homebuyers’ Incentive. The program permits households with qualified annual incomes under $120,000 to receive between 5 and 10 per cent of the cost of their home’s value in down-payment assistance, in exchange for a corresponding equity stake.
Many first time buyers may qualify for this tax credit when filing your taxes. The claim cannot exceed $5000. And keep in mind that if you have a spouse or common-law partner, only one of you may claim this credit. For more details on qualifying, visit the Canada Revenue Agency website.
The First-Time Home Buyer Incentive helps people across Canada purchase their first home. The program offers 5 or 10% of the home’s purchase price to put toward a down payment. This addition to your down payment lowers your mortgage carrying costs, making homeownership more affordable. If you live in Toronto, you will have even a better qualifying structure because things cost more here. Find out more here.
The Tax Free First Home Savings Account is geared toward saving for your first home. It is like a TFSA to help you save up to purchase your first home. Find out more about how this works here.