By: Dharmendra Dholakiya

First-Time Home Buyer Incentive

Tags: First-Time Home Buyer Incentive


The First-Time Home Buyer Incentive (the Incentive) helps qualified first-time homebuyers reduce their monthly mortgage carrying costs without adding to their financial burdens.

You need to have the minimum down payment to be eligible. You can then apply for a 5% or 10% shared equity mortgage with the Government of Canada. Your maximum qualifying income is no more than $120,000 and your total borrowing is limited to 4 times the qualifying income.

The Incentive has an equity-like payout, where the government would share in the upside and downside of the property value.

* Barring any unforeseen circumstances the program will launch on September 2, 2019. The first closing will take effect on November 1, 2019.

Let’s look at a specific situation

Anita wants to buy a new home for $400,000.

Under the First-Time Home Buyer Incentive, Anita can apply to receive $40,000 in a shared equity mortgage (10% of the cost of a new home) through the program. This is on top of the minimum required down payment of $20,000 (5% of the purchase price) from her savings.

This lowers the amount she needs to borrow and reduces her monthly expenses.

As a result, Anita’s mortgage is $228 less a month or $2,736 a year.

This example is for illustrative purposes only. Anita will need to repay the incentive at 10% of the fair market value when she sells the property or after 25 years, whichever is earliest.

Here’s another situation

John has an annual qualifying income of $83,125.

To be eligible for Canada’s First-Time Home Buyer Incentive, he can purchase a home up to $350,000. John still has the required minimum down payment of 5% of the purchase price, $17,500 from his savings. He can receive $35,000 in a shared equity mortage — 10% of a newly constructed home.

This would reduce John’s mortgage payments by $200 a month or $2,401 a year.

This example is for illustrative purposes only. John will need to repay the incentive at 10% of the fair market value when he sells the property or after 25 years, whichever is earliest.

source: Government of Canada- National Housing Strategy

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