3 Financial Supports For First Time Home Buyers

First Time Home Buyer Land Transfer Tax Rebate

When buying a home in Ontario, you will be subject to land transfer tax to the provincial government at the time of closing. The amount owed is based on your property’s value. In order to further support first time home buyers, the government will refund you up to $4,000 for this tax payment, to a maximum home value of $368,333.

Some key pieces of information to be aware of when applying for this program is that this rebate must be claimed within 18 months of ownership. You must also be aware that if your spouse does not qualify you will only be eligible to receive 50% of the rebate.

Criteria To Be Eligible

  • You must be 18 years of age.
  • You must be a Canadian citizen or permanent resident.
  • You must occupy the property as your principal residence.
  • You cannot have owned a home, or a stake in a home, anywhere in the world, at any time.


First Time Home Buyer Incentive

The Government of Canada has created this incentive to support first time home buyers by reducing your monthly mortgage payments. The program offers 5 – 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 home ownership more affordable. The 5-10% you receive is an interest free loan and must be paid back once you sell your home or within 25 years; whichever comes first. The amount you pay back is determined by the appreciation of your home.

For example: if you purchase a home for 300,000 and receive 5% ($15,000) and then when you sell your home it is worth 400,000 you would pay the government back 5% of the 400,000 ($20,000)

Criteria To Be Eligible

  • you or your partner are a first-time homebuyer
  • your total annual qualifying income doesn’t exceed $120,000
  • your total borrowing is no more than 4 times your qualifying income
  • you meet the minimum down payment requirements
  • you are a Canadian citizen, permanent resident or non-permanent resident authorized to work in Canada


RRSP Home Buyers Plan

First time home buyers are now able to withdraw up to $35,000 tax-free from their registered retirement savings plan (RRSP) to buy or build a home. This withdrawal has no tax taken away from it which allows you to save much more for your down payment than if you were drawing from a chequing account. Keep in mind the amount you choose to withdraw must be paid back within 15 years.

Criteria To Be Eligible

  • You must be a resident of Canada at the time of withdrawal.
  • You must be the owner of the RRSP(s)
  • Your RRSP contributions must have stayed in the RRSP for at least 90 days before withdrawal.
  • Neither you nor your spouse/common-law partner can have owned the relevant home for more than 30 days.
  • Neither you nor your spouse/common-law partner can have owned another home in the last four years.


If you have a disability, the last requirement is waived. Additional requirements may apply in special cases.

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