Everything You Need to Know About the First-Time Home Buyer Incentive

Photo by Breno Assis on Unsplash

Yesterday, the federal government launched the new First-Time Home Buyer Incentive (FTHBI). The program aims to make the process of buying a home in Canada’s hottest real estate markets a bit easier for millennials. If approved for this incentive, the purchase transaction must close on or after Nov. 1, 2019.

Announced earlier this year as part of the Trudeau government’s 2019 platform, FTHBI stops first-time homebuyers from feeling the full weight of monthly mortgage payments. With these payments reduced, first-time homebuyers will not see the amount needed for a down payment increased.

How Do I Qualify?

Canadians looking to qualify for this program need to meet a few requirements. In order to receive up to 10 per cent of the cost of a new home, first-time homebuyers must have a household income of less than $120,000. This incentive must be paid back within 25 years or whenever the home is sold.

The government has a total of $1.25 billion dollars in funding available over the next three years. If a property is sold at a value higher than when it was bought, the government will benefit. Similarly, if the property decreases in value, the government will take a hit.

What Kind Of Property Can I Purchase?

Sadly, if you’re looking to purchase property in a city like Vancouver or Toronto, it won’t be a house. Pricing in these markets is competitive and the cost of a home is steep. In July 2019, the average price of a home in Vancouver was $826,165 and in Toronto, $982,427, Bloomberg reports.

READ: First-Time Home Buyers Incentive Limits Torontonians To Buying Condos

The mortgage of a property cannot exceed more than four times the maximum household income of $120,000, which caps out at $480,000. This means the average price of a home available to be purchased through this program will be between $500,000 and $600,000, depending on the size of your down payment.

If you’re looking to purchase a house, consider a more affordable market like Montreal, Ottawa, Calgary or Edmonton.

How Much Will This Program Save Me?

If a family is looking to purchase a $500,000 home with a $25,000 down payment, this program could save them as much as $286 per month or more than $3,430 a year. This statistic will change depending on the type of home purchased and in which market it is bought.

How Do I Apply?

After completing and signing the application documents, take them to your lender. Your lender will submit these documents on your behalf. Once processed and accepted, applicants must call the FTHBI (1-833-974-0963) and provide the name of their lawyer or notary and their information.

Is There Anything Else I Should Know?

Keep in mind that the federal government has increased the RRSP withdrawal amount from $25,000 to $35,000. Additionally, the Shared Equity Mortgage Providers Fund (SEMP) has been created to help Canadians own homes in a more affordable way.

Launched on July 31, 2019, this $100-million program will support existing shared equity mortgage providers. As a five-year program, the fund will encourage additional housing supply, help attract new providers of shared equity mortgages and offer eligible applications the chance to benefit from one of two possible funding opportunities.

Visit the Government of Canada website to read more about the First-Time Home Buyer Incentive.

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