Are there any special programs or incentives for first-time home buyers in Niagara?

As a first-time home buyer in the Niagara Region, you may wonder if any special programs or incentives are available to help make the purchase process easier and more affordable. Fortunately, several programs and incentives can assist you in achieving your dream of homeownership.   

These incentives fall into two broad categories. To begin, there are programs offered by the federal or provincial governments. These include the First-Time Home Buyers’ Tax Credit, the Home Buyer’s Plan, Ontario’s Land Transfer Tax Rebate and the First-Time Home Buyer Incentive (FTHBI). Furthermore, there may be municipal or regional programs to consider depending on where you are looking in the Niagara Region.

What is the First-Time Home Buyers’ Tax Credit (HBTC)?

The HBTC is a non-refundable federal tax credit that helps first-time home buyers with the costs of purchasing a home. First-time home buyers who acquire a qualifying home can claim a non-refundable tax credit of up to $750. The value of the HBTC is calculated by multiplying $5,000 by the lowest personal income tax rate (15% in 2022). This credit can help offset some of the costs associated with buying a home, such as legal fees and land transfer taxes.  

What is the Home Buyer’s Plan (HBP)?

The HBP program allows you to withdraw up to $35,000 from your registered retirement savings plan (RRSP) to put towards the down payment on your first home. The best part is that the funds you withdraw are not subject to tax as long as you repay the total amount within 15 years.

Does Ontario have a Land Transfer Tax Rebate?

In Ontario, first-time home buyers may be eligible for a land transfer tax rebate of up to $4,000. The rebate is available to qualified first-time home buyers purchasing a qualifying home in Ontario.

What is the First-Time Home Buyer Incentive (FTHBI)?

The First-Time Home Buyer Incentive (FTHBI) program enables qualified first-time home buyers to apply for a shared equity mortgage with the Canadian government. This implies that the government will provide a maximum contribution of 5% (or 10% for a newly built home) of the home’s purchase price, which can aid in reducing monthly mortgage payments. The FTHBI is considered a second mortgage on the property’s title but does not require regular principal payments. The loan is interest-free and can be repaid without incurring any penalties at any time.

What is the Niagara Regional Housing Homeownership Program?

The Niagara Regional Housing Homeownership Program offers down payment assistance to eligible first-time home buyers purchasing a home in Niagara Falls, St. Catharines, or other participating municipalities in the Niagara region. The program provides a forgivable loan of up to 10% of the home’s purchase price, up to a maximum of $20,000.

How do you determine which programs apply to you? 

Navigating which program(s) you qualify for as a first-time home buyer can be overwhelming, so it’s essential to seek guidance from a professional with experience in the industry. A Boldt Realty real estate professional can assist in identifying the programs you may qualify for and help you navigate the application process. They can also guide you through the home-buying process and answer any questions you may have along the way.