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Help for Home Buyers

Posted by Sherry Rioux on February 17, 2011

Here is a summary of programs designed to help buyers achieve their goal of homeownership.


Land Transfer Tax (LTT) is applicable to all transfers of land in Ontario.  First-time homebuyers may be eligible for a refund of all or part of that tax under this program.

For Agreements of Purchase and Sale entered into after December 13, 2007, the refund applies to all homes, whether newly constructed or resale.

Maximum amount of the refund is $2,000.  If the refund is claimed at the time of registration it may offset the LTT payable; if not, the claim is made direction from the Ministry of Revenue.  Applications for a refund must be made within 18 months following the date of the transfer.

To claim a refund, you must be at least 18 years old; you must occupy the home as your principal residence within 9 months after the date of transfer and you cannot have owned nor had an interest in a home anywhere in the world.  Remember your spouse cannot have had an interest in a home nor had an interest in a home anywhere in the world.

For more detailed information on qualifying or claiming this refund, please visit:  http://www.rev.gov.on.ca/en/refund/newhome/index.html


This program allows you to withdraw funds from your Registered Retirement Savings Plan (RRSP) to buy or to build a qualifying home for yourself or for a related person with a disability.

The maximum withdrawal allowable under the HBP in a calendar year from an RRSP to buy or build a qualifying home without having to pay tax on the withdrawal is $25,000.

You have to intend to occupy the home as your principal residence, no later than one year after buying/building it.

You have to be considered a first time homebuyer (unless you are buying/building for a related person with a disability.)

Your HBP balance on January 1st of the year of withdrawal must be 0.

In most cases, you repay the funds to your RRSP over a period of no more than 15 years.

For more important information about this program, please visit:  http://www.cra-arc.gc.ca/tx/ndvdls/tpcs/rrsp-reer/hbp-rap/menu-eng.html


The HBTC is a non-refundable tax credit, based on an amount of $5,000.  for certain homebuyers who acquire a qualifying home, after January 27, 2009.

To qualify for this tax credit, you or your spouse (or common-law partner) acquired a qualifying home; and; you did not live in another home which you or your spouse (or common-law partner) owned in the year of acquisition or in any of the four preceding years.  The exception to the first time buyer requirement is if you are a person with a disability – or – are buying a house for a related person with a disability.

As of this date, the calculations shown on the government’s website are based on the 2009 rate, so, the $5,000.  amount mentioned above is multiplied by the lowest personal income tax rate for the year (which was 15% in 2009.)  For 2009, the credit was $750.

Most homes qualify for this program and it must be occupied by you or the related person with a disability as a principal residence no later than one year after the home is acquired.

This credit is claimed on your personal income tax return.

For more important information about this program, please visit:  http://www.cra-arc.gc.ca/nwsrm/fctshts/2010/m01/fs100121-eng.html


Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation has now added environmentally friendly features to its Mortgage Loan Insurance.  If you choose to buy an energy-efficient home; purchase a home and make renovations that would save energy, or renovate your existing home to make it more energy efficient, you may qualify for a 10% refund on the Mortgage Loan Premium you pay to CMHC.  You may also qualify for an extended amortization time on the mortgage without being charged a premium surcharge.

For detailed information about qualifying for this refund please visit:  http://www.cmhc-schl.gc.ca/en/co/moloin/moloin_008.cfm and for a list of homes built under qualifying programs, please visit:  http://www.cmhc-schl.gc.ca/en/co/moloin/moloin_011.cfm

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