The real estate market is at its prime across the country, and there has never been a better time to be a first-time homebuyer in Canada. With both federal and provincial governments offering a number of resources, grants, and rebates to the first-time homebuyer, now may be the time to purchase your dream home. Here are five programs that can help you afford to purchase your own home without breaking the bank.

Homebuyer’s Plan

First-time homebuyers have an opportunity to use their RRSP contribution towards a down payment, thanks to the Canadian Revenue Agency’s Homebuyer’s Plan. First-time homebuyers can withdraw up to $25,000 from an RRSP account so long as the contribution was made more than 90 days prior, and will only have to pay it back over a 15-year period. This means that couples can withdraw a total of $50,000 combined from their RRSP accounts, which can make a huge contribution towards a down payment. To make a Homebuyer’s Plan withdrawal from an RRSP simply follow these steps on the Canadian Revenue Agency’s website.

Cost savings programs for first-time homebuyers
GST/HST New Housing Rebate

First-time homebuyers residing in provinces that have combined provincial and federal sales tax into HST, including Nova Scotia, New Brunswick, Newfoundland, Ontario, and B.C., are eligible for an HST tax rebate through the federal government. While rebates and conditions vary from province to province, the program is designed to help with the federal portion of the HST new homebuyers have to pay. You can find out if you’re eligible for an HST New Housing Rebate, as well as all necessary application forms on Service Canada’s website.

First-Time Homebuyer’s Tax Credit

Homebuyers who have not owned a home within the last four years may be eligible for the first-time homebuyers tax credit through the Government of Canada’s Economic Action plan. The credit is based on $5,000 multiplied by the lowest federal income tax rate for that year. For example, the lowest federal income tax rate for 2014 is 15 per cent, so the value of the credit would be $750. You can learn more about the first time homebuyer’s tax credit on the Economic Action Plan website.

Energy Efficient Housing

Canada is a beautiful country filled with flowing rivers, flourishing wildlife, and vast landscapes, which is why we fight so hard to protect our environment. There are many ways homeowners can benefit from buying or building energy efficient homes. Along with a variety of national energy efficient building programs, there are also a variety of province-specific rebates and cost-saving programs to help build a more sustainable home. Be sure to consult Genworth Canada’s comprehensive list of consumer benefits, loans, refunds, and federal and provincial energy efficient home programs to explore ways you can save by going green, as well as their guide to what to look for when purchasing an energy efficient home.

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