"As first time buyers, embarking on the journey of purchasing a home seemed very overwhelming. This was the case until we began to work with Julie Schmidt. Julie immediately put us at ease and allowed us to explore what was most important to us when searching for a property. Before we even began looking at properties Julie explained to us, in detail, the step-by-step process of purchasing a home. Julie was extremely patient with us and explained things thoroughly and in a way that we could understand. When we did find a property that we were interested in, it came with a number of obstacles. Julie helped us research options for overcoming these obstacles and contacted the city, discovering a way we could make our dream home a reality. She was also pivotal during the negotiation period as we were not the only interested buyers. Julie used her skills and knowledge to land us our first home! We truly believe that without her dedication and perseverance we would not be in the home we are in today."
- Amy and Derrick
Benefits for a First-Time Home Buyer
The more you know about why you should buy a home, the less intimidating the whole process is.. so here are some very good reasons to purchase your first home:
- Pride of ownership: Home ownership gives you and your family a sense of stability and security. It's making an investment in your future.
- Appreciation: Although real estate moves in cycles, sometimes up, sometimes down, over the years, real estate has consistently appreciated. Many people view their home investment as a hedge against inflation.
- Mortgage reduction builds equity: Each month, part of your monthly payment is applied to the principal balance of your loan, which reduces your obligation.
- Mortgage interest and property tax deductions: Home ownership is a superb tax shelter and our tax rates favor homeowners.
So what are you next steps?
The Canada and Mortgage Housing Corporation has an excellent online guide, which includes examples and worksheets, that takes you through the steps to buying your first home. Click on the link below:
howrealtorshelp.ca also has an excellent step-by-step online guide:
1. Make sure you are ready to buy
2. Figure out how much you can afford
3. Decide what you want to buy
4. Find a REALTOR who is right for you
5. See what's out there
6. Sell your current home (if you have one)
7. Add a lawyer to your team
8. Make an offer
9. Arrange a mortgage
10. Find a home inspector
11. Close the deal
12. Move in!
Finding a good real estate agent / broker is essential to enjoying a painless real estate transaction. The best agent for you is an experienced professional who will listen to you, conduct herself in an ethical manner and knows your market.
All Realtors® are licensed to sell real estate as an agent or a broker but not all real estate agents are Realtors®. Only Realtors® can display the Realtor® logo. Realtors® belong to the National Association of Realtors and pledge to follow the Code of Ethics
, a comprehensive list containing 17 articles and underlying standards of practice, which establish levels of conduct that are higher than ordinary business practices or those required by law. Less than half of all licensees are Realtors®.
The Government of Canada and the Ontario government have established two popular programs to help first time home buyers. The programs are the Land Transfer Tax rebate and the RRSP Home Buyer's Plan.
LAND TRANSFER TAX REBATE
- Allows first time home buyers to get a GST rebate on new and resale homes.
- The amount of the refund claimed will offset the land transfer tax payable. The maximum amount refundable is $2,000 Cdn.
- Examples: Cost of Home $300,000 Tax Payable $2,975 Tax Refund $2,000 Net Tax Payable $975
- The refund will be reduced if one or more of the purchasers are not a first-time home purchaser. The refund will be proportionate to the interest acquired by the individuals who qualify for the refund.
- For more information visit the Ontario Ministry of Revenue or see the overview.
- UPDATE: To help Ontarians buy their first home, the Province is proposing to double the maximum refund for first-time homebuyers from $2,000 to $4,000, effective January 1, 2017. http://www.fin.gov.on.ca/en/budget/fallstatement/2016/chapter5b.html
RRSP HOME BUYER'S PLAN (HBP)
- Allows first time home buyers to withdraw amounts from a Registered Retirement Savings Plan (RRSP) to purchase or build a home without having to pay tax on the withdrawal
- The amount was previously up to $20,000 until the Budget 2009 proposed to increase the HBP withdrawal limit to $25,000
- Money can be withdrawn from your RRSP provided it has been in your RRSP for at least 90 days
- Money withdrawn must be paid back to your RRSP within 15 years and the repayment period starts the second year following the year the first withdrawals were made
- If you do not pay the full amount back to your RRSP within 15 years, the amount outstanding will be subject to tax when you file your income tax
- For example, in October 2009 a first time buyer withdraws $24,000 from his or her RRSP to finance the purchase of a home. Their first annual repayment of $1,600 ($24,000 divided by 15 years) is due by December 31, 2011.
- For more information visit Canada Revenue Agency.
BUYERS GET A TAX CREDIT
- For 2009 and subsequent years, the budget also introduced a new non-refundable tax credit to help first time home buyers with some of their closing costs. This Home Buyer Tax Credit (HBTC) will provide up to $750 in tax relief on the purchase of a first home that closed after January 27th, 2009. The HBTC is calculated by multiplying the lowest personal income tax rate for the year (15% in 2009) by $5,000.