Realtor Team Specializing in South Winnipeg

The new First Time Home Buyer’s Incentive (FTHBI) came into effect in September 2019. The program is aimed at making it easier for young people/eligible Canadians to buy their first home by lowering the monthly mortgage payments. The federal government agreed to a $1.25 billion CMHC First-Time Homebuyer Incentive over three years. It will provide 5% of the cost of an existing home up to a maximum of $500,000 and 10% of the price of a new home. While it sounds like the federal government is providing an interest-free loan, know that they also secure shared equity in your home as it goes through gains and losses. This means the amount paid back to the government will fluctuate based on how much your home increases or decreases in value.

There are a few notable conditions to watch out for;

  • Applicants must have a down payment of at least 5% and no more than 20%. (CMHC insurance must apply)
  • Household income must be less than $120,000
  • The mortgage cannot be more than four times the homebuyers' household income.

Buying Your First Home in WinnipegFor example, if you buy a $400,000 home with a minimum down payment of 5% ($20,000) you would be eligible to receive $40,000 for a newly constructed home through CMHC. As a result, instead of taking out a $380,000 mortgage, you will borrow $340,000. On a mortgage at 3.5% the monthly savings over the 25-year amortization period is more than $200.

  • Applicants must not have owned a house in the last four years – exceptions will be made for those in a "breakdown of marriage or common-law partnership."
  • The loan must also be paid back under two circumstances:
    • if you sell your home;
    • or at the end of 25 years

The current mortgage stress tests for both insured and conventional mortgages remain intact, however, as CREA states in their federal budget bulletin, “The government will continue to monitor the effects of its mortgage finance policies and adjust them if economic conditions warrant.”


In addition to the FTHBI the Liberal government also increased the amount first time buyers are allow to withdraw from their RRSP for a down payment. A $10,000 increase in the federal Home Buyers' Plan to allow a maximum withdrawal of $35,000 from one's RRSPs to put towards a down payment on a home. This allowable withdrawal for first-time buyers has also been extended to apply to Canadians after experiencing a marital breakdown in marriage or common-law partnership. The same repayment schedule applies with home buyers required to pay back their RRSPs over 15 years. 

First Time Home Buyers Incentive

Frequently asked questions about the new incentive:

What properties are eligible?

The new incentive is to help first-time homebuyers/eligible Canadians purchase their first home. Eligible properties include: new construction, re-sale home and mobile/manufactured homes. The residential properties can include up to 4 units. The types of properties include: single family, semi-detached (i.e. side by side), duplex, triplex, fourplex, town houses, and condominium units. The property must be located in Canada and must be suitable and available for full-time, year-round occupancy.

Can I buy a house using the program and rent it out?

No. The incentive is to help first-time homebuyers/eligible Canadians purchase their first home with the intent to live the property. Investment properties are not eligible for the incentive.

What are the terms of repayment?

The homebuyer will be required to pay back the Incentive amount after 25 years or when the property is sold, whichever comes first. The homebuyer can also repay in full at any time, without a penalty. Refinancing of the first mortgage will not trigger repayment.

How is repayment calculated?

  • If a buyer receives a 5%, the homebuyer will repay 5% of the home’s value at repayment.
  • If a buyer receives a 10%, the homebuyer will repay 10% of the home’s value at repayment.

Repayment is based on the property’s fair market value at the point in time where repayment is required.

Are there other costs involved with the First-Time Homebuyer Incentive?

There may be some additional cost associated with the Incentive:

  • Legal fees: Your lawyer is closing two mortgages so you may be charged higher fees.
  • Appraisal fees: You may need to have an appraisal done to value determine the fair market value of your home when thinking about repaying the incentive.
  • Other fees: Additional fees may be incurred throughout the life cycle of the incentive, like switching your first mortgage to a new lender or refinancing your first mortgage.

What are the mortgage details?

  • The maximum threshold for debt service ratios are GDS 39% and TDS 44%. This is only applied on the first mortgage and is subject to requirements by lenders and mortgage loan insurers.
  • Total borrowing is limited to 4 times the qualifying income. The combined mortgage and Incentive amount cannot exceed four times the total qualifying income.  The amount for the mortgage loan insurance premium is excluded from this calculation. 
  • The Incentive is a second mortgage on the title of the property. There are no regular principal payments. It isn’t interest bearing and has a maximum term of 25 years.  
  • The Government of Canada will share in the upside and downside of the property value upon repayment. 

 Is Mortgage Loan Insurance required?

  • The mortgage must be eligible for mortgage loan insurance through either CMHC, Genworth, or Canada Guaranty. The first mortgage must be greater than 80% of the value of the property and is subject to a mortgage loan insurance premium.
  • The premium is based on the loan-to-value ratio of the first mortgage only. That is, the first mortgage amount divided by the purchase price. The Incentive amount is included with the total down payment.
  • Mortgage loan insurance premiums may vary depending on the mortgage loan insurer and may be subject to provincial taxes. 

Can I switch my first mortgage to a different financial institution?

Yes, your first mortgage may be switched to a different financial institution without having to repay the incentive. The terms of the first mortgage may not be altered in this case.

If I decide to purchase a new property, can I port (moving the mortgage to a new property) the Incentive along with my first mortgage?

A Port is considered to be a sale which will trigger repayment of the Incentive.



Do you have a question regarding the new home buyer’s incentive? Feel free to contact me, I’d be glad to answer any of your real estate questions.




Top Realtor Amy McDermid REMAX

#AgentAmy


Amy McDermid

Sales Associate

Phone: (204) 470-5356
Email: Amy@JenniferQueen.com

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Your Home is Sold… Now What!?

Congratulations!  You’ve made it from listing to SOLD!  But now what?  I’m going to cover some points that I often go through with my clients once their home sale firms up. 


In my opinion, the hardest part is over.  You have triumphed through showing-after-showing, multiple open houses, some harsh feedback, along with all of the other stresses that come with the sale. Or perhaps you consider the physical packing and moving of your items to be the most stressful.  Either way, things are moving forward and it is best to be mentally prepared!


All of the paperwork that you need to sign with me is now complete.  That's right, you no longer have to see my face.  Unless of course you want to.  Then the feeling is mutual!  But I will not be needing any more signatures on anything at this point, unless you and the buyers agree to amend something in the contract, for instance a possession date.

What you will still need to sign are the land transfer and mortgage discharge documents, etc. usually done with your lawyer a few days prior to possession.  I will have already forwarded all of the paperwork on to your lawyer, so they should have everything they need for your file, apart from your signing hands (and survey certificates if you have them and keys)!  The lawyers will usually get in touch with you about a week prior to possession. So do not be alarmed if you don’t hear from them immediately after the sale.  You only need to give your lawyer one set of keys.  The remainder of the keys can be in the home for the new owners.  The purchasers just need to be able access the home on the date of possession.


Moving Checklist WinnipegThe lawyer will also ask for final meter readings, particularly the water meter reading.  This should be done the day prior to possession.  The lawyer will usually give you instruction on this.  If you do not provide the water meter reading, sometimes the lawyers will do a holdback of funds (usually around $1000), until they receive confirmation from the City that your usage has been confirmed and paid. So it is important to get this reading done prior to possession.  You should also read the hydro and gas meters as well.  For any meter reading, I encourage you to take pictures of the meters, especially with something that shows a date. The purchasers are instructed to take their own meter readings upon possession as well, and then Hydro tends to take the average of your reading and their reading to arrive at a number they feel is fair for final billing.  So far, I have only encountered honest buyers and sellers, but I'm sure there are some that lack scruples and may report inaccurately (hence the picture recommendation).


Other items to keep in mind: It is time now to cancel your insurance.  BUT I would cancel it effective a few days AFTER possession.  Just to be safe.  I've heard horror stories of people showing up for possession and the house having burned down and there being some dispute over when the fire started.  So better safe than sorry.  The extra cost for a few extra days is worth the peace of mind, in my opinion.  


Make sure to change your address on everything (Credit Cards, Schools, Bank Institutions, etc). You may want to look into mail forwarding with Canada Post.  They have options for mail forwarding for several months up until a year.  I have found that there is always some mail that may slip through the cracks (Costco rebate cheques that only Celebrating your home sale in Winnipegcome once a year!).  So if you are feeling paranoid that there is something you may miss, I recommend setting yourself up for mail forwarding.  The Canada Post Website can be found here: https://www.canadapost.ca/cpc/en/personal/receiving/manage-mail/mail-forwarding.page


And my last instructions are to go celebrate.  This one was tough on you guys, but you championed through and you deserve some time to celebrate! CONGRATS!





Jennifer Queen Team - Top Winnipeg Realtors

#AgentJen


Jennifer Queen

Phone: (204) 797-7945
Email: Jennifer@JenniferQueen.com

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