Over the past few years, housing affordability has become a forgotten dream for some. The advent of the COVID-19 pandemic, the fluctuations of the economy linked to this same pandemic – but also dependent on geopolitical conflicts – may have slowed down your enthusiasm as to the possibility of buying a property. But did you know that there is a wide range of subsidy programs that can make it easier? In this article, we provide you a brief overview of these programs so that you may realize your dream!
Government support programs
First off, the governmental aid available to you. These are divided between our two levels of government: federal programs and those sponsored by the Government of Quebec. This government support is divided into four distinct categories: tax incentives (Home Buyers’ Plan, tax credit, etc.), financial assistance aimed at reducing the purchase price of a property, reimbursement of a portion of the CMHC insurance premium and a specific program for the purchase of an energy-efficient home.
- The First-Time Homebuyer Incentive:
The buyer must have the required down payment equivalent to 5% of the sale price of the house. The buyers qualifying income must not exceed $120,000. The total loan is limited to four times the qualifying income. If all these criteria are met, the Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC) will offer you 5 or 10% of the home’s purchase price to put toward a down payment.
Find out more: https://www.placetocallhome.ca/FTHBI/first-time-homebuyer-incentive
- The Home Buyers’ Plan (HBP):
The Home Buyers’ Plan, commonly known as the HBP, allows each taxpayer to withdraw up to $35,000 from their Retirement Savings Plan (RRSP) for the purpose of purchasing a first home. The money withdrawn must be used exclusively for the down payment. The taxpayer then has fifteen years to reinvest all the funds withdrawn into their RRSP, without interest.
Find out more: https://www.canada.ca/en/revenue-agency/services/tax/individuals/topics/rrsps-related-plans/what-home-buyers-plan.html
- CMHC Green Home:
Did you know that the CMHC offers a 15% rebate on its insurance premium on the purchase of a property, whether it is a first-time home buyer or not? Energy-efficient homes that were not built to prescribed standards may also qualify but must first be evaluated by a Natural Resources Canada certified energy advisor.
Find out more: https://www.cmhc-schl.gc.ca/en/consumers/home-buying/mortgage-loan-insurance-for-consumers/cmhc-green-home
- The federal non-refundable tax credit:
On line 31270 of your federal tax return, formerly line 569, you can claim $5,000 if this is your first residence as a homeowner. The Canada Revenue Agency considers you to be a first-time homeowner if you did not live in the property in the year of purchase or in the four preceding years. Most properties qualify.
Find out more: https://www.canada.ca/en/revenue-agency/services/tax/individuals/topics/about-your-tax-return/tax-return/completing-a-tax-return/deductions-credits-expenses/line-31270-home-buyers-amount.html
- Novoclimat program:
Financial assistance of $2,000 is offered by Energy Transition Quebec (ETQ) for the purchase of a first home registered under the Novoclimat certification. For a first-time homeowner, an additional $2,000 in assistance is granted, bringing the total assistance to $4,000. Another advantage? The CMHC offers a 15% rebate on the insurance premium for the purchase of a Novoclimat home, whether you are a first-time homeowner or not.
Find out more: https://transitionenergetique.gouv.qc.ca/en/residential/programs/novoclimat
- Provincial Home Buyer’s Tax Credit:
The Government of Quebec also grants a tax credit of up to 750$ for the purchase of a first property.
Find out more: https://www.revenuquebec.ca/en/citizens/tax-credits/home-buyers-tax-credit/
- FHSA (Tax-Free First Home Savings Account)
Source : Budget 2022: “Budget 2022 proposes to introduce the Tax-Free First Home Savings Account that would give prospective first-time home buyers the ability to save up to $40,000. Like an RRSP, contributions would be tax-deductible, and withdrawals to purchase a first home—including investment income— would be non-taxable, like a TFSA. Tax-free in, tax-free out.
The government intends to work with financial institutions to ensure that a Tax- Free First Home Savings Account could be opened and contributed to in 2023.”
Municipal programs :
There is also a wide selection of assistance programs provided by Quebec municipalities. In 2018, the Montreal administration of Valérie Plante introduced a program to encourage families to move downtown. Also in Montreal, the Société d’habitation et de développement de Montréal (SHDM) offers a program called Accès Condo. In Quebec City, the Accès Famille program offers financial assistance to qualifying families.
By visiting the different websites of Quebec municipalities, you can discover many other programs, but also possibilities to obtain property tax credits.
As you can see, despite the fluctuations of the economy and, similarly, the real estate market, it is still possible to make your dream come true by properly leveraging these programs. Incentives and assistance that could help you out… especially in this economic climate.
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