Tips for 1st Time Home-Buyers

(November 21, 2011 )

Here are a few tips and government programs designed to help first time home-buyers in BC.

  • The government's First Time Home Buyers' Program is designed to help reduce the tax British Columbians have to pay when purchasing their first home. Under the program, eligible purchasers can claim an exemption from Property Transfer Tax if the price of the home is less than $425,000. A proportional exemption is available up to $450,000.
  • The Home Buyers' Plan (HBP) is a program that allows you to withdraw up to $25,000 from your registered retirement savings plan (RRSPs) to buy or build a home.  Usually, when you withdraw funds from your RRSP, that amount will be taxed as that years income.  However, under the HBP program, you will not be taxed, provided you contributed back to your RRSP account the $25,000 within a period of no more than 15 years.
  • Get a pre-approved mortgage from a Bank or lender.  It is free, and will let you know how much you can borrow, what the current interest rate is, and how much your monthly payments will be.  Most Banks or lenders will also help you hold a mortgage rate for 90 days while you look for a home, so that you will not have to worry about the rates going up in the short term.