The most important thing to know as a buyer is that you can trust the Bill Mohan Team to help you with your journey. Finding the right agent such as ourselves gives you experience and a trustworthy reputation that will make the process as easy and as pleasant as possible. We only want the best for you and are realistic with the expectations of what is available. We guide you all the way and make sure you are informed with no question ever being silly. “Feel free to ask away” is our motto. You will learn quickly and feel confident that you are in good hands. Call us today to just have a coffee and a chat to see what we can do for you.
1. DETERMINE WHAT YOU CAN AFFORD
The first step in home ownership is twofold. You need to prepare yourself for the reality and financial responsibility that comes with home ownership and you need to make sure that you are in a position to handle those responsibilities and to get pre-approved for a mortgage.
Purchasing a home involves one-time costs and monthly expenses, so you’ll need to determine just how much home you can afford and if you’re financially ready for home ownership. You’ll want to determine:
Your monthly income
- Your monthly debts and expenses
- How much you have set aside for your down payment
- Have questions about what you can afford?
The Government of Canada has provided a handy tool to help with mortgage calculations, please click on the button below:
2. KNOW YOUR EXPENSES
The purchase price of your new home is just one of the costs associated with home ownership. Experts recommend that you budget 1.5% of the purchase price of your home to cover these costs.
Home Inspection – A home inspector’s job is to examine a home’s condition. Typical issues involve normal wear and tear, but can sometimes include serious material defects. Getting a home inspection before purchasing a property is one of the best decisions you can make.
Appraisal and/or Survey – In order to provide financing your lender will sometimes require an appraisal or survey of the property, to make sure that the value of the home matches its purchase price.
Land Transfer Tax – A provincial tax based on the purchase price of your new home.
Mortgage Insurance – If your down payment is less than 20% of your purchase price, you’ll have to pay mortgage default insurance. The cost of this insurance varies depending on the amount of your down payment and will be rolled into the cost of your monthly mortgage payment.
Legal Fees – There are a number of legal fees involved in the purchase of a home, such as paying your attorney for the title search, deed preparation and registration.
Title Insurance – Protects you from situations such as title fraud or flawed surveys.
Home Insurance – Making sure that your home is insured is a condition of your mortgage. Your lender will require you to have home insurance before they release your mortgage to you.
Adjustments – Adjustments are made for things that the seller has paid for, but which you now owe part of because the home is now yours. This could include things like property taxes or rental fees for hot water heaters.
Utility Hookups and Moving – You will be responsible for any utility transfers and costs associated with moving into your new home, such as hiring a moving company.
3. GET PRE-APPROVED
After you’ve figured out what you can afford, it’s a great idea to sit down with a mortgage agent or broker and get pre-approved for a mortgage. This will make your home search easier by narrowing your focus and will prevent you from falling in love with a home that is outside of your price range.
4. FIRST TIME HOME BUYER INCENTIVES
CMHC’s FIRST-TIME HOME BUYER INCENTIVE
The First-Time Home Buyer Incentive, offered by the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC), helps first-time buyers increase their down payment. It has two objectives:
- Make home ownership more accessible for first-time buyers
- Encourage developers to build homes to ensure that housing stock can meet the increased demand that the incentive will create
How much is the First-Time Home Buyer Incentive?
The incentive amounts to 5% of the property’s value for an existing home and 5% or 10% for a new home. The incentive is an interest-free loan. It must be reimbursed when the property is sold or within 25 years of purchase. The amount repaid will be based on the value of the property at that time.
A clear example:
A couple wants to buy a new condo for $400,000. They saved $20,000 for a 5% down payment and received a $40,000 incentive (10% of the condo’s value). Their mortgage therefore equals $340,000, to be paid in monthly installments of $1,745. Without this incentive, they would have paid $1,973, or an extra $228 per month. When they decide to repay the incentive, the couple will have to pay 10% of the condo’s market value.
Good to know:
Are you eligible for the First-Time Home Buyer Incentive? To be eligible for this incentive, your qualifying annual income must be $120,000 or less.
Please click on the button below:
FIRST TIME HOME BUYERS TAX CREDIT
Introduced in Canada’s 2009 Economic Action Plan, this tax credit is to help first time home buyers pay for costs such as legal fees, disbursements, and land transfer taxes. It is a non-refundable tax credit based on an amount of $5,000. It is calculated by multiplying the lowest personal income tax rate for the year by $5,000. For an eligible individual, the credit will provide up to $750 in federal tax relief. For the 2022 and subsequent taxation years, the Budget proposes to increase the amount used to calculate the HBTC to $10,000, which would provide a tax credit of up to $1,500 to eligible home buyers.
For information on the First-Time Home Buyers’ Tax Credit (HBTC), please click on the button below:
LAND TRANSFER TAX REFUND
If you qualify as a first-time home buyer in Ontario, you could be eligible for the provincial land transfer tax refund. The rebate can go up to $4,000 for homes priced over $368,000. The land transfer tax is not applicable for homes priced below this value. It’s a nice chunk of change that can make quite the difference when budgeting for your new home.
Here are the maximum rebates for the four rebates:
- City of Toronto: $4,475
- Ontario: $4,000
- British Columbia: $8,000
- Prince Edward Island: $2,000
To qualify for the refund, you must:
- Be at least 18 years old
- Be a Canadian citizen or permanent resident of Canada
- Live in the home you’re purchasing within nine months
- Apply within 18 months of registration
- If you’re married, you’ll also need to take into account your partner’s property history because it could affect your ability to claim the refund. If your partner acquired a home individually while you’ve been married, then neither of you would be eligible for the tax refund. But, if your partner’s property was purchased or inherited before you got married, you could still be able to claim some of the refund.
For more information on the Ontario Land Transfer Tax Refund for First Time Home Buyers, please click on the button below:
The RRSP HOME BUYERS’ PLAN (HBP)
You can use the Home Buyers’ Plan (HBP), if you are eligible, to make a tax-free withdrawal from your registered retirement savings account (RRSP) to buy or build a home. Ideal for first-time buyers, the HBP allows each borrower to withdraw up to $35,000 ($70,000 for a couple). You then have 15 years to repay what you’ve borrowed, interest-free, starting two years after you make your withdrawal.
Who is eligible for the HBP?
Though the HBP is aimed at first-time home buyers, the program is also open to people who have not occupied a home that they or their spouse owned during the past four years. As of January 2020, eligible people who are divorced or separated can also take advantage of the program, even if they don’t meet the first-time home buyer requirement.
This means that they can use the HBP a second time to buy a new property or to buy out their ex’s share of their home, provided that their first HBP withdrawal has been repaid in full.
Note that you are also eligible for the HBP if you buy or build a qualifying home for someone related to you with a disability, or if you help someone related to you with a disability to buy or build a qualifying home. However, you must intend that the person with a disability who is related to you occupy the qualifying home as their principal place of residence.
please click on the button below for more details.
FIRST HOME SAVINGS ACCOUNT
The First Home Savings Account is a new savings vehicle that was announced in the 2022 federal budget, and became available as of April 1, 2023. It combines features from both TFSAs (Tax Free Savings Accounts) and RRSPs (Registered Retirement Savings Plans), but has advantages over both. Your contributions to your First Home Savings Account (FHSA) are tax-free, and you don’t have to pay yourself back when you take out money from your first home account to purchase your first home.
Account holders can contribute up to $8,000 annually to the account, with room rolling forward if they don’t use it all during the calendar year, up to a lifetime maximum of $40,000. Partners who are saving for a first home together can each have an FHSA, with a combined total room of $80,000. As well, savers can combine the funds saved in the FHSA with those saved in the Home Buyers’ Plan when it comes time to purchase their home.
In order to access the First Home Savings Account, account holders must have entered into an agreement to purchase a home. Alternatively, the funds can be transferred into an RRSP at any time, without tax penalty. Overall, the account can be kept open for 15 years, or until you purchase your first home (it must be closed within the year of entering into an agreement of purchase and sale).
Though the First Home Savings Account came into effect as of April 1, 2023, it is not yet widely available from all of Canada’s financial institutions.
please click on the button below for more details.
5. OTHER TAX INCENTIVES FOR CANADIAN HOMEOWNERS
Homeownership in Canada can be financially challenging; to help offset some of these costs, the federal government offers a number of tax incentives for homeowners. While some are specifically for first-time home buyers – such as the First Time Home Buyers’ Tax Credit and Land Transfer Tax Rebate – others can be utilized by anyone who owns their home. These include:
Multigenerational Home Renovation Tax Credit (MHRTC)
The newest tax credit to be offered to homeowners, the MHRTC is designed to make it more affordable for multiple members of the same family to live together in one dwelling. This credit offers a refund for eligible expenses for renovations that create self-contained secondary units, such as “in-law suites”. Up to $50,000 can be claimed for each completed qualifying renovation, with a credit of 15% of costs, up to a maximum of $7,500 for each claim.
Click the button below for more details.
Home Accessibility Tax Credit
The HATC is a non-refundable tax credit for renovations that make the home accessible for those with disabilities. The alterations must be created to allow an individual to be mobile or functional within the dwelling, gain access to the building, or reduce their risk of harm within it. The HATC has an annual expense limit of $20,000, and can be claimed by eligible or qualifying individuals.
Click the button below for more details.
6. KNOW WHAT YOU WANT AND GET ORGANIZED
At this point you’ll want to sit down and figure out exactly what type of home you’re looking for. A simple way to do this is by making 2 different lists: a list of what you need from a home, and a list of things that you want from your home. The list of things that you need will include all the features that are necessary for you and your family to function comfortably during your daily life. Things such as the number of bedrooms you need for the size of your family, or a one storey home if accessibility is a factor. The list of things that you need will include features that you would like to have but that aren’t necessary, such as a pool or a den.
It’s also a good idea to make sure you are organized for your home search by doing some research on what area you’d like to live in. Look at all of the aspects of the location you are considering and the surrounding area: is it attractive based on your proximity to work, schools and amenities such as grocery stores, parks, commuter routes, etc.? Keep a detailed map on hand and highlight your areas of interest. Knowing what you need and what you want from a home, as well as what area will suit your lifestyle best will make searching for your new home easier and less stressful.
7. GET A PROFESSIONAL ON YOUR SIDE
The purchase of your first home is one of the biggest and most exciting investments that you will make. This purchase will affect your family, your finances, and your lifestyle. For a decision this important you want to make sure that you have an experienced professional on your side who can guide you through the process and protect your best interests along the way.
Best of all, as a home buyer the professional services of your Buyer’s agent are completely free to you! As is the industry standard, your buyer’s agents fees are paid by the home seller. A licensed agent will protect your interests by making sure that you are fully informed about your purchase and by handling the legalities and negotiations.
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