Buying a house for the first time is a big and important decision in your life. As someone who represents you and looks out for your best interest, I would like to introduce you to programs available to first-time home buyers.

You are considered to be a first-time buyer if neither you and your spouse or common-law partner has owned and lived in another home previously here or anywhere else in the world. Also, if you've received your first home as a gift or inheritance, the Ontario government will not consider you a first-time home buyer.

Purchase price of your home

$500,000 or less 

Minimum amount of down payment

5% of the purchase price

$500,000 to $999,999

5% of the first $500,000 of the purchase price 10% for the portion of the purchase price above $500,000

$1 million or more

20% of the purchase price

As a first-time home buyer, you many qualify for the following government programs (some restrictions apply):
For Ontarians specific:

  • Ontario Land Transfer Tax Refund  (Ontario LTT)- also called the provincial land transfer tax refund with a rebate up to $4,000 for homes over $368,000 
  • First-time home purchase Rebate for Toronto (Toronto LTT)- As a first-time home buyer, you could qualify for a rebate of up to $4,475 if you're purchasing a new-build or a residential resale property in Toronto. All the same requirements for the Ontario Land Transfer Tax apply for this rebate, so hopefully, you can qualify for both.

For Canadians:

  • The Home Buyers’ Plan (HBP) Home Buyers’ Plan (HBP) which allows you to withdraw up to $35,000 from your registered retirement savings plan (RRSP) towards the down payment on your first home. If you and someone else are buying a home together, you can each withdraw from your individual RRSPs to withdraw a combined $70,000. The withdrawal is tax-free as long as it's paid back within 15 years. 
  • First-Time Home Buyer Incentive First-Time Home Buyer Incentive is a shared equity program with the Canadian government and can help you if you're struggling to come up with a down payment. Eligible Canadians can apply for a loan worth either 5% or 10% of a home's purchase price, but there's a catch. When you eventually pay back the loan, you'll be required to pay the equivalent of 5% or 10% of the property's current value. While it's a great tool to help Canadians get into the market, the downside is that you don't know how much your home's value will be in the future, and you're paying the government a percentage back—not a set amount. Let's say you purchased a home for $700,000 and borrowed 5% of the value for the down payment, which would be $35,000. You would owe the government 5% of the final sale price. So, if you held on to the home for eight years and sold it for $900,000, you would have to pay the government back $45,000. 
  • The Home Buyers' Amount was as introduced as part of "Canada's Economic Action Plan" in 2009 to assist Canadians in purchasing their first home. It was created to help recover closing costs like legal expenses, inspections, and land transfer taxes that can add up for first-time home buyers. Until 2022, the Home Buyers' Tax Credit worked out to about $750, but in 2022, the rebate amount was doubled to $1,500. 
  • First-Time Home Buyers' Tax Credit (HBTC) - If you're stepping into the realm of home ownership for the first time, you may be eligible for a non-refundable tax credit of up to $750 when you buy a qualifying home. The calculation for this involves multiplying $5,000 by the lowest personal income tax rate. For instance, in 2022, this rate was 15%, resulting in a tax credit of $10,000. In simpler terms, this can translate to a tax reduction of up to $1,500 for the year you make your home purchase.  Essentially this credit targets those new to home ownership if you nor your spouse or common-law partner have owned a home in the purchase year or the previous four years.
  • GST/HST Housing Rebate is available to Canadians who buy a newly built home, significantly renovate an existing home, or rebuild a home that was destroyed. If you qualify, the rebate allows you to recover some of the goods and services tax (GST) or the federal part of the harmonized sales tax (HST) that you paid toward these purchases. 


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