Buying Your Own House

Government of Canada Programs Avaliable for Home Buyers

Programs for First Time Home Buyers

If you are a first time home buyer, there are ways and government programs available for first time home buyers to help you save money for your down payment faster and to assist you with the costs associated with the purchase of your first home.

The First Time Home Buyers Tax Credit — You can receive up to $750 back from the federal government by applying for the home buyer tax credit in the year the home was purchased.

You will qualify for the Home Buyers Tax Credit (HBTC) if:

  • You or your spouse or common-law partner acquired a qualifying home; and
  • You did not live in another home owned by you or your spouse or common-law partner in the year of acquisition or in any of the four preceding years.
  • If you are a person with a disability or are buying a house for a related person with a disability, you do not have to be a first-time home buyer. However, the home must be acquired to enable the person with the disability to live in a more accessible dwelling or in an environment better suited to the personal needs and care of that person.

Note: If you buy a house, with a spouse or common-law partner, either one of you can claim the credit or you can share the credit. However, the total of your combined claims cannot exceed $750. You must occupy the home as your principle residence no later than one year after the home was purchased. For more information see Home Buyer Tax Credit or HBTC.

The Home Buyers' Plan (HBP) - To provide first-time homebuyers with greater access to their RRSP savings to purchase or build a home, the Government of Canada has increased the Home Buyers' Plan withdrawal limit to $25,000 per person. Learn more about using RRSP related plans. If you want to obtain more information on the First-Time Home Buyers’ Tax Credit and the Home Buyers’ Plan, call 1-800-O-Canada or click on the link to or visit the Canada Revenue Agency web site to learn more about First Time Home Buyers RRSP Plan.

Ontario Land Transfer Tax Refunds for First-Time Homebuyers - First-time homebuyers of an eligible home may be eligible for a refund of all or part of the tax.

To claim a refund, you must be at least 18 years of age, you cannot have owned a home or an interest in a home anywhere in the world, and your spouse cannot have owned a home or interest in a home, anywhere in the world while he or she was your spouse. Previous ownership in a home means you do not qualify for the land transfer tax first-time homebuyers refund. The method of acquiring the home (e.g., purchase, gift or through an inheritance) is not relevant.

For conveyances or dispositions that occur before January 1, 2017, the maximum amount of the refund is $2,000. Beginning January 1, 2017, the maximum amount of the refund is $4,000. The increased limit of $4,000 applies only to conveyances or dispositions that occur on or after January 1, 2017, regardless of the date the agreement of purchase and sale was signed.

Beginning January 1, 2017, no land transfer tax would be payable by qualifying first time purchasers on the first $368,000 of the value of the consideration for eligible homes. First time purchasers of homes greater than $368,000 would receive a maximum refund of $4,000.

If you want to find out more about this plan visit Land Transfer Tax Refunds for First-Time Homebuyers government finance page or contact:
Ministry of Finance Land Taxes Section, 33 King Street West, 3rd Floor, Oshawa ON L1H 8H9
Phone: 1-866-ONT-TAXS (1-866-668-8297)


GST/HST New Housing Rebate - The GST/HST new housing rebate allows an individual to recover some of the goods and services tax (GST) or the federal part of the harmonized sales tax (HST) paid for a new or substantially renovated house that is for use as the individual's, or their relation's, primary place of residence, when all of the other conditions are met. Additionally, other provincial new housing rebates may be available for the provincial part of the HST whether the GST/HST new housing rebate for the federal part of the HST is available or not.

In certain circumstances, a transitional new housing rebate may be available in addition to any GST/HST new housing rebate and provincial new housing rebate for which you may be eligible, even if the house is not your primary place of residence. The new housing rebate is not available to a corporation or a partnership. Visit Canada Revenue Agency page to find out more about GST/HST new housing rebate.

CMHC or GE five per cent down

Another option to achieve the dream of home ownership without a large down payment is a high ratio mortgage. Basically there are two types of mortgage options: conventional mortgages which require a minimum 20% down payment and high ratio mortgages which are designed for people who do not have the 20% down payment. A high ratio mortgage requires a smaller down payment than a conventional mortgage because it is insured by the CMHC (Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation) or GE Capital Mortgage Insurance Company (the only private sector source of mortgage insurance to lenders in Canada). Mortgage Default Insurance is a great way for homebuyers.

While high ratio mortgage insurance program does not help you save for the down payment, it sure eases your way to home ownership. High ratio mortgages must be insured through CMHC (Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation) or GE (GE Capital Mortgage Insurance Canada).

With as little as five per cent down, all home owners now have access to high ratio mortgage insurance. This means CMHC or GE may insure the mortgage on your home (against default in payments) for up to 95 per cent of the lending value of the home. This helps make home ownership a reality for many Canadians who can afford monthly mortgage payments but would have trouble saving for a larger down payment.

Previously available only to first-time home buyers, the program was expanded to include all home buyers. Eligible borrowers include anyone who buys a home in Canada and occupies it as a principle residence. The mortgage insurance premium is based on percentage of the mortgage loan and can be added to the mortgage or paid on a monthly basis. Find out more about mortgage default insurance

B-HOME (Brantford Home Ownership Made Easier) - In partnership with the Government of Canada, the Province of Ontario, the City of Brantford and the County of Brant, the B-Home Program has been developed to assist low to moderate income earners realize the dream of owning their own home. Find out more about B-Home Program


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Buying a home is beginning of an exciting adventure and for most buyers it is the biggest financial investment of their lives. Yet a great number of people follow emotional impulses to the exclusion of sound thinking when they make an offer on a property they want to buy. Read more...


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Your credit, income and down payment are 3 main factors that will be considered before you get approved for a mortgage.
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Don’t make any big purchases before getting approved for a mortgage.

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