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The First-Time Home Buyer Incentive- Is it the Right Fit for you?

By: K Surca, Best Interest Mortgages

There may be welcome news for first time homebuyers when it comes to trying to meet the often strict financial criteria needed to finance a property. If you have been sitting on the sidelines of the house buying frenzy and wondering how you will ever be able to save enough for a downpayment, new Federal Government initiatives may help ease the financial strain and make the idea of homeownership more of a possibility.

While this may be good news for potential first time homeowners, like everything in life, it is still important to read the fine print and know what you are getting into before enrolling in a new Government program. There still may be better options open to you. Let’s look more carefully at what this Government program entails and whether it may be the best option for your needs.


This year’s Federal Government’s budget included a few key additions that are of special interest to the Mortgage and Real Estate sector. A portion of the budget directly targets first time homebuyers. Specifically, 1.25 billion dollars has been set aside to assist in the often daunting financial task of meeting the financial requirements to own one’s own home. The Government initiative is entitled the First-Time Home Buyer Incentive


The program will be available to the public just at the time of the year when families are gearing up for the new school year on September 02, 2019. First applications will be accepted on this day, with the first closing on a property, utilizing Government help, taking effect on November 1, 2019.  Certainly, with a Government rollout of this scale, there will be media hype surrounding the launch of the program. However, being armed with the knowledge of what this represents will help you sort out how or if the First Time Home Buyer Incentive is right for you.

It is no secret that the idea of owning your home is a dream that is held by many. Setting down roots, making payments that go towards a home that will one day be yours to own outright is a cherished goal of many Canadians. It is also no secret that this goal may be simply unattainable for a large number of Canadians, especially with the recent stress test rules set in place that make it more difficult to obtain a reasonable mortgage. It  is becoming increasingly clear that the prospect of owning one’s own home can represent a huge financial burden. Potential first time home buyers are feeling the squeeze and fear they may be left behind.

The average house prices in large urban centers across the country are continually rising and in centers such as Ottawa, home owners in some areas have seen a doubling in the value of their property. While good news for current homeowners, this represents a barrier to those yet to get on the property ladder.

How Does the Government Classify a First-Time Home Buyer?


Before you take an active interest in the First-Time Home Buyer Incentive one must be clear on what exactly is a first time home buyer. Based on the criteria set out by the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA), you may be surprised to know that the definition of a first time home buyer has a wider scope than just those individuals who have never purchased a home before. You may qualify for this program if:

  1. This is the first time you have purchased a home
  2. You did not occupy a home that the homeowner or the Homeowner’s common-law partner owned in the last 4 years
  3. You have gone through a breakdown of a marriage or common-law partnership


In other words, if you meet one of the above criteria, you are eligible to take part in this program. Once you have determined that you will be eligible, now be aware that you will be required to sign a consent form in order to show that you are clear on the conditions as outlined in addition to providing an attestation that proves you are a first-time homebuyer ( you must meet only 1 of the above conditions). Email us at to obtain the consent form or continue to learn more at





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Updated: 04/17/19
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