What to Expect

Buying your first home can be both exciting and stressful at the same time. It’s also very expensive. You’ll need to start saving for a down payment and the costs that go along with purchasing a home.


If you don’t think you’ll be able to afford a home, the Canadian government offers a variety of incentives for first-time homebuyers. First-time home buyers in Ontario, BC, and Prince Edward Island, for example, can qualify for a land-transfer tax rebate. Read the pages below to find out more about the first-time home buyer tax credits and rebates, grants, and programs available in Canada.

First Time Home Buyer Tax Credit

RRSP Home Buyers Plan

Land Transfer Tax Rebate

CMHC Insurance

GST/HST New Housing Rebate

Down Payment Rules

Overcoming The Challenge

Buying your first home is no easy task. You have to save enough money for a down payment and closing costs. You have to find out how mortgages work and how to get one. You have to research neighbourhoods and homes, and find a realtor. And once your offer is accepted you have to navigate home inspections, lawyers, and moving.


To add to the challenge, first-time homebuyers in Toronto and Vancouver are up against two of the toughest real estate markets in the world. Buyers in Canada’s largest cities contend with bidding wars, often have to make unconditional offers, and are watching house prices go up faster than they can save for a down payment.


Despite these challenges, thousands of first-time homebuyers find a way to buy their first home every year. We’ve spoken to a few first-time homebuyers to learn their stories, and pass on their advice to you.


Start by finding out your approval amount with us, including incentives and programs available for you.

House Hunting

The search for the perfect home begins with the right realtor that can work with your best interest in mind.


We co-ordinate with the bank and lawyer to get your mortgage funds issue in order to buy the home!


Your Lawyer works with sellers, lawyers, banks & many others to legally finalize your purchase.

Programs at a Glance

First Time Home Buyer Tax Credit

The First-time Home Buyers' Tax Credit was introduced as part of 'Canada's Economic Action Plan' to assist Canadians in purchasing their first home. It is designed to help recover closing costs such as legal expenses, inspections, and land transfer taxes.

The Home Buyers' Tax Credit, at current taxation rates, works out to a rebate of $750 for all first-time buyers. After you buy your first home, the credit must be claimed within the year of purchase and it is non-refundable. In addition, the home you purchase must be a 'qualified' home, described in more detail below. If you are purchasing a home with a spouse, partner or friend, the combined claim cannot exceed $750.1

To receive your $750 claim, you must include it with your personal tax return under line 369.

CMHC Insurance

Mortgage default insurance—often known as CMHC Insurance—may seem like a strange concept, but it’s relatively straightforward. If you have a down payment of less than 20% of the home’s value, you must purchase mortgage default insurance. But this doesn’t act as insurance for you. Rather, it protects your lender in case you don’t make your mortgage payments. It’s designed to make financial institutions comfortable with lending to individuals who don’t have a large down payment.

GST/HST New Housing Rebate

This rebate helps Canadians who paid GST or HST by either buying a new home, renovating an existing one, or rebuilding one that was lost to fire. To qualify for this rebate, the home must be your primary residence. It’s also available to people who have purchased a mobile, floating, or modular home.

All Canadians who qualify are eligible to receive the GST portion of the new housing rebate. This reflects the fact that the GST is collected by the federal government. In addition, Ontario offer rebates on the provincial portion of the HST paid by individuals who have either renovated a home or purchased a new one.

RRSP Home Buyers Plan

One great source of funding for your mortgage down payment is a Registered Retirement Savings Plan (RRSP). The Canadian government's Home Buyers' Plan (HBP) allows first time home buyers to borrow up to $25,000 from your RRSP for a down payment, tax-free. If you're purchasing with someone who is also a first time homebuyer, you can both access $25,000 from your RRSP for a combined total of $50,000. However, since the HBP is considered a loan, it must be repaid within 15 years.

Land Transfer Tax Rebate

In some provinces and cities, there is a rebate available to help first-time homebuyers offset the cost of their land transfer tax. If you qualify, land transfer tax rebates are available to first-time homebuyers in the provinces of Ontario, British Columbia, and Prince Edward Island. There is also a land transfer tax rebate available for first-time homebuyers in the city of Toronto. Here’s how each province and city’s rebate works:

Maximum Rebate in Ontario: $4,000
Rebate will cover LTT to a maximum home value of $368,333
Partial refund available? 50% refund if spouse does not qualify

Maximum Rebate in Toronto: $4,475
Rebate will cover LTT to a maximum home value of $400,000
Partial refund available? 50% refund if spouse does not qualify

Down Payment Rules

In Canada there are rules about how much someone much have as a down payment. The percentage you must put down depends on the purchase price of the home:

For homes less than $500,000, the minimum down payment is 5%
For homes selling for between $500,000 and $1 million, the minimum down payment is 5% of the first $500,000 of the purchase price and then 10% of the purchase price between $500,000 and $1 million
For homes with a purchase price of greater than $1 million, the minimum down payment is 20%

The size of your down payment affects the size of your mortgage and whether or not you need CMHC insurance.

Hey there, are you a First Time Home Buyer?

Looking for more information on these topics? Check our Resources Section!