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First-Time Home Buyer Incentive

The First-Time Home Buyer Incentive helps people across Canada purchase their first home. The program offers 5 or 10% of the home’s purchase price to put toward a down payment. This addition to your down payment lowers your mortgage carrying costs, making homeownership more affordable.

WHAT IS THE INCENTIVE?

The First-Time Home Buyer Incentive makes it easier for you to buy a home and lower your monthly mortgage payments. This program is a shared equity mortgage. This means that the government shares in the upside and downside of the property value. It allows you to borrow 5 or 10% of the purchase price of a home. You pay back the same percentage of the value of your home when you sell it or within a 25-year window.

It works like this:

  • You receive a 5% incentive of the home’s purchase price of $200,000, or $10,000. If your home value increases to $300,000 your payback would be 5% of the current value or $15,000.
  • You receive a 10% incentive of the home’s purchase price of $200,000, or $20,000 and your home value decreases to $150,000, your repayment value will be 10% of the current value or $15,000.

Just as the name implies, this incentive is for first-time homebuyers. You’re considered a first-time homebuyer if:

  • you have never purchased a home before
  • you did not occupy a home that you or your current spouse or common-law partner owned in the last 4 years (the 4-year period begins on January 1 of the fourth year before the Incentive is funded and ends 31 days before the date the Incentive is funded)
  • you have recently experienced the breakdown of a marriage or common-law partnership (even if you don’t meet the other first-time home buyer requirements)

AM I ELIGIBLE FOR THE INCENTIVE?

    Use the calculator to find out if you qualify for the incentive.

These are a few criteria to determine your eligibility for the First-Time Home Buyer Incentive:

  • your total annual qualifying income doesn’t exceed $120,000
  • your total borrowing is no more than 4 times your qualifying income
  • you or your partner are a first-time homebuyer
  • you are a Canadian citizen, permanent resident or non-permanent resident authorized to work in Canada
  • you meet the minimum down payment requirements with traditional funds (savings, withdrawal/collapse of a Registered Retirement Savings Plan (RRSP), or a non-repayable financial gift from a relative/immediate family member)

The Incentive is like a second mortgage on your home. Your first mortgage must be greater than 80% of the value of the property and is subject to a mortgage loan insurance premium. It also must be eligible through Canada Guaranty, CMHC or Genworth.

The insurance 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. You don’t pay mortgage insurance on the incentive – it is included with the total down payment.

The type of home you plan to purchase plays a factor. The table indicates the type of home that qualifies for the incentive and how much of an incentive it may be eligible to receive.

Property Type Incentive Amount(%)
New Construction 5% or 10%
Existing Home 5%
New and existing mobile/manufactured home 5%

Residential properties can have 1 to 4 units and include:

  • single family homes
  • semi-detached homes
  • duplex
  • triplex
  • fourplex
  • town houses
  • condominium units
  • mobile homes

Other details you need to know

The Incentive may be associated with additional costs:

  • Additional legal fees: Your lawyer is closing 2 mortgages so you may be charged higher fees.
  • Appraisal fees: To repay your incentive, you may need to have an appraisal done to determine the fair market value of your home.
  • 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.

Here’s an example:

Anita wants to buy a new home for $400,000 and has saved the minimum required down payment of $20,000 (5% of the purchase price).

Under the First-Time Home Buyer Incentive, Anita can apply to receive $40,000 in a shared equity mortgage (10% of the cost of a new home) through the program.

This lowers the amount Anita needs to borrow and reduces the monthly expenses.

As a result, Anita’s mortgage is $228 less a month or $2,736 a year.

Ten years later, Anita sells the home for $420,000. The Incentive will need to be repaid as a percentage of the home’s current value.

This would result in Anita repaying 10%, or $42,000 at the time of selling the house.

 

Repayment Details

The Incentive must be paid in full – that is no partial payment – after 25 years or when the home is sold. There are a few ways where changes to the Incentive can trigger repayment:

  • You go through a break up and you want to buy out the co-borrower. If this requires additional insured funds, you must pay back the Incentive in full.
  • Porting your mortgage will trigger a repayment of the Incentive.
  • A partial release of security is considered a sale and will trigger repayment of the Incentive.
  • A change in the intended use of the property.

HOW DO I APPLY FOR THE INCENTIVE?

Once you’ve been pre-approved for a mortgage, found the home you’re looking for and determined you’re eligible to apply for the incentive, it’s time to apply. Simply fill out these 2 application forms to apply for the First-Time Home Buyer Incentive:

FTHBI - SEM Information Package (PDF)

SEM Attestation and Consent Form (PDF)

Once complete, give these to your lender. They will submit the application for you.

Give the final signed copy of the shared equity mortgage package to your solicitor to retain on your behalf.

When you receive your acceptance, call First Canadian Title at 1-833-974-0963 to activate your incentive and provide the name of your lawyer/notary. (This must be at least 2 weeks prior to your closing date.)


Find detailed information and marketing materials for the First-Time Home Buyer Incentive

Transcript

00:00:01

The Government of Canada launched The First-Time Home Buyer Incentive,

Visual: A young man looking at his phone while sitting on the floor surrounded by moving boxes. Camera pans right to a split screen with a yellow background on the left and a picture of high-rises on the right.

Text on screen: First-Time Home Buyer Incentive

00:00:04

with the goal of making homeownership more affordable for first-time homebuyers.

Visual: The video cuts to a bright yellow background, with the following text written in purple on it: “more affordable for first-time homebuyers”.

00:00:09

Through a shared equity mortgage,

Visual: Mosaic of housing and family scenes, with purple text on a white background in the bottom left corner.

Text on screen: shared equity mortgage

00:00:11

the government would contribute 5% towards the purchase of an existing home.

Visual: Against the bright yellow full-screen background from before, the words “5% towards the purchase of an existing home” appear in purple in the middle of the screen.

00:00:16

When buying a newly constructed home,

Visual: A picture of a young couple. He is smiling looking at her while she is reviewing documents. A person sits across from them.

00:00:18

the government would contribute 5% or 10%.

Visual: The camera cuts to a picture of a house under construction and then of a couple with a child. The mother is holding the child while the father is holding his hands together as the child is playing with them.

Text on screen: newly constructed home 5% or 10%

00:00:23

The result of these contributions are lower monthly mortgage payments

Visual: Mosaic of housing and family scenes, with purple text on a white background in the bottom left corner.

Text on screen: lower monthly mortgage payments

00:00:26

for qualified first-time buyers.

00:00:29

The incentive needs to be repaid in 25 years,

Visual: Picture of an empty white chair beside a window in an office setting. Purple text on a white background to the right of the picture

Text on screen: repaid in 25 years, or when the property is sold

00:00:32

or when the property is sold.

00:00:36

It can also be repaid at any time without penalty.

Visual: Mosaic of housing and family scenes, with the purple words “repaid at any time without penalty” appearing one at a time.

00:00:39

The repayment amount is based on the fair market value of the home

Visual: The video cuts to a bright yellow background, with the following text written in purple on it: “fair market value of the home at the time of repayment”

00:00:42

at the time of repayment.

00:00:44

This means that the government shares in both the upside,

Visual: Yellow background is quickly replaced by a picture at the bottom of the screen of a woman smiling and then by a white background with the purple words “the government shares in both the upside”

00:00:47

or downside of the property value.

Visual: White background with the purple words “or downside”

00:00:50

For more details, visit placetocallhome.ca.

Visual: Camera pans right and a mosaic of housing and family scenes briefly appear on the screen before being replaced by the yellow background, on which the following text appears in purple, one letter at a time (as if the narrator is typing it): “Visit placetocallhome.ca”

00:00:54

To see if you’re eligible, check out the second video in this four-part series.

 

Visual: Against the yellow background, the following text appears: “Check out the 2nd video in the series”

Below it, there is a white line drawing of a house with bushes and a tree. As the narrator speaks, the following are added to the line drawing in quick succession and to the right of the house: two high-rise apartment buildings and two low-rise apartment buildings, as well as more trees and bushes.

The shot then cuts to a full-screen white background. Against it are the yellow, purple and grey National Housing Strategy logo, on the left, and the Canada Wordmark, on the right.

Transcript

00:00:00

To be eligible for the First-Time Home Buyer Incentive,

Visual: A shot of a man and woman lounging on the couch in their living room. He is holding a smartphone and wearing headphones. Both the man and woman are looking at the phone’s screen, smiling and talking about what they are watching.

Text on screen: First-Time Home Buyer Incentive

00:00:03

you must be a Canadian citizen,

Visual: A man and woman sit on the floor of their living room, smiling as they interact with their infant child, who is playing with wooden blocks in front of them.

Text on screen:

  • Canadian citizen
  • Permanent resident
  • Non-permanent resident

00:00:05

a permanent resident,

00:00:07

or non-permanent resident legally authorized to work in Canada.

00:00:12

Your combined qualifying income must total $120,000 per year,

Visual: The video cuts to a shot of another man and woman sitting together on their bed, with their toddler between them. The child and the father are playing with toys, while the mother looks on.

Text on screen: $120,000 per year, or less

00:00:16

or less.

00:00:18

But, some lenders and mortgage loan insurers

Visual: A shot of a young woman, wearing business casual clothing and glasses, sits at a desk with a laptop, facing a couple to whom she is speaking.

00:00:20

may have different income requirements.

00:00:24

The minimum required down payment

Visual: A shot of a young couple sitting in their living room. The man is on the floor, working on a laptop, his back against a bright yellow couch. The woman, wearing glasses, is lounging on the couch, looking at the screen of a tablet she holds in her hands.

Text on screen:

  • “Minimum down payment: 5%” which then disappears and is replaced by
  • “for a purchase price of $500,000 or less”

00:00:25

is 5% for a purchase price of $500,000 or less.

00:00:30

At least one borrower in your household must be a first-time homebuyer.

Visual: A shot of a young woman sitting at a desk, wearing headphones and looking at the screen of a laptop in front of her. She waves at the screen and smiles as she speaks to someone on a video call.

Text on screen:

  • “At least one borrower in your household” which then disappears and is replaced by
  • “must be a first-time homebuyer”

00:00:35

So, who’s considered a first-time homebuyer?

Visual: The video cuts to a bright yellow background, with the following text written in purple on it: “Who’s considered a first-time homebuyer?”

00:00:38

First and foremost,

Visual: A new full-screen background flips onto the screen: a high, directly overhead view of a residential neighbourhood on a sunny day. We see a curved street lined with large homes that have big lawns, pools and cars parked in the driveways.

00:00:39

those who have never purchased a home.

Text on screen: A bright yellow band cuts across the middle of the overhead shot of the residential neighbourhood. Along this yellow band, the following text appears in purple: “never purchased a home”

The band then extends higher and lower, covering the screen so that we see only the text in purple against the full-screen yellow background.

00:00:43

But others may also be eligible, including those who have gone through a separation,

Visual: A shot of a young couple sitting close together on a blue couch in their brightly lit living room. The woman is holding a smartphone and she and the man are both looking at it, smiling and talking animatedly to each other.

The shot then cuts to the bright yellow background from before, against which the following text appears:

  • separation
  • divorce
  • common-law breakup

00:00:47

divorce, or common-law breakup.

00:00:50

You may also be eligible if,

Visual: A shot of a young couple in their brightly lit white-coloured living room. There are closed boxes on the floor. The women are standing together, facing one wall of the room, and talking animatedly while gesturing at the wall. The idea is that they are discussing what they should hang there.

Text on screen: “last 4 years” which then disappears and is replaced by

“not occupied the home”

00:00:51

for the last four years,

00:00:53

you have not occupied the home which you, or your current partner, owns.

00:00:57

The Incentive needs to be repaid in 25 years,

Visual: Close-up shot of a person’s hand next to an open black leather folder on a desk. The person picks up a pen and signs the bottom of a document inside the folder.

Text on screen:

“repaid in 25 years” which then disappears and is replaced by

“or when the property is sold”

00:01:00

or when the property is sold.

00:01:03

It can also be repaid at any time without penalty.

Visual: A young couple sitting on the ground against a white background. One man holds a tablet; the other man has their small dog in his lap. Both men are looking at the tablet and smiling.

Text on screen: repaid at any time without penalty

00:01:07

For additional details, or to access the eligibility calculator,

Visual: Against the bright yellow full-screen background from before, four small symbols appear in purple in the middle of the screen and in a square-shaped formation.

Top left – a square-shaped plus sign calculator button

Top right – a square-shaped minus sign calculator button

Bottom left – a square-shaped multiplication sign calculator button

Bottom right – a teardrop-shaped symbol with the image of a house inside it

00:01:10

visit placetocallhome.ca.

Visual: The four symbols disappear, and, against the yellow background, the following text appears in purple, one letter at a time (as if the narrator is typing it): “Visit placetocallhome.ca”

00:01:13

To learn how the Incentive works,

00:01:15

check out the third video in this four-part series.

Visual: Against the yellow background, the following text appears: “Check out the 3rd video in the series”

Below it, there is a white line drawing of a house with bushes and a tree. As the narrator speaks, the following are added to the line drawing in quick succession and to the right of the house: two high-rise apartment buildings and two low-rise apartment buildings, as well as more trees and bushes.

The shot then cuts to a full-screen white background. Against it are the yellow, purple and grey National Housing Strategy logo, on the left, and the Canada Wordmark, on the right.

Transcript

00:00:02

Curious how the First-Time Home Buyer Incentive works?

Visual: A shot of a young couple, with the woman seated at a table and the man standing behind her. Both are looking at a laptop on the table. A yellow square appears in the top right corner with the following text written in purple:

“Curious how the First-Time Home Buyer Incentive works?”

00:00:05

Let’s break it down!

Visual: The video cuts to a full yellow background, with the following text written in purple:

“total borrowing = mortgage + incentive amount”

00:00:08

Your total borrowing,

00:00:09

meaning the mortgage and incentive amount combined,

00:00:12

is limited to 4 times your qualifying income.

Visual: A shot of another young couple, with the man and the woman sitting on the floor amid moving boxes. Both are looking at floor plan they have unrolled on one of the boxes. A yellow square appears in the top left corner with the following text written in purple:

“4x qualifying income”

00:00:15

Your mortgage must be eligible for mortgage loan insurance.

Visual: The couple sitting on the floor amid moving boxes are now looking up; the man is pointing, perhaps describing a possible layout for the room, while the woman is smiling. The text in the yellow square in the top left corner is replaced with the following:

“mortgage must be eligible for mortgage loan insurance”

00:00:19

While a mortgage loan insurance premium is applied,

Visual: The video cuts to a shot of another young couple laying back on the floor in a room with records and musical instruments, with both men petting their dog. The text in the yellow square in the top left corner is replaced with the following:

“mortgage loan insurance premium is applied,”

00:00:21

it’s excluded from the total borrowing calculation.

Visual: The text in the yellow square in the top left corner is replaced with the following:

“it’s excluded from the total borrowing calculation”

00:00:25

Your down payment contribution must be a minimum of 5%.

Visual: The video cuts to a shot of another young couple amid moving boxes, with the man and the woman putting together a piece of furniture. The text in the yellow square in the top left corner is replaced with the following:

“down payment contribution must be a min. of 5%”

00:00:29

Meanwhile, your down payment has to be less than 20%

Visual: The text in the yellow square in the top left corner is replaced with the following:

“down payment + incentive = less than 20%”

00:00:32

when combined with the incentive amount.

00:00:34

The Government of Canada is participating in the transaction with you,

Visual: Against the full yellow background, a white outline of the Canadian Parliament appears.

00:00:38

which is why the incentive is registered as a second mortgage on the property.

Visual: The video cuts to a split-screen shot. On the left two thirds, a couple and their young child are sitting close together at a table playing with a game and, on the right third, a vertical yellow band appears with the following text written in purple:

“incentive is registered as a second mortgage on the property”

00:00:43

There are, however,

Visual: The text in the yellow band on the right third on the screen is replaced with the following:

“no regular principal payments

no interest

maximum term of 25 years”

00:00:44

no regular principal payments,

00:00:45

it bears no interest,

00:00:47

and it has a maximum term of 25 years.

00:00:50

Here’s an example.

Visual: Against the yellow background, a white outline of a house with a tree and a bush appears in the lower left part of the screen.

00:00:54

Let’s assume you’re purchasing a $200,000 home

Visual: The following text written in purple appears in the upper right part of the same screen:

“$200,000 home purchase

X 5%

$10,000 incentive”

00:00:56

and you receive a 5% incentive equivalent to $10,000…

00:01:01

…if your home value increases to $300,000 by the time of repayment,

Visual: The text in the upper right part of the same screen is replaced with the following:

“$300,000 home value

X 5%

$15,000 repayment”

00:01:06

your payback amount would be 5% of the current value,

00:01:09

or $15,000.

00:01:12

00:01:12,099 --> 00:01:12,966

On the other hand,

00:01:13

if your home’s value decreases to $150,000,

Visual: The text in the upper right part of the same screen is replaced with the following:

“$150,000 home value

X 5%

$7,500 repayment”

00:01:16

your repayment amount would decrease to $7,500.

00:01:20

You’ll need to repay the incentive after 25 years,

Visual: A shot of a young couple, with both women sitting on a rug amid moving boxes, eating takeout and smiling. A yellow square appears in the top right corner with the following text written in purple:

“repay the incentive after 25 years”

00:01:23

or when you sell the property,

Visual: A shot of another young couple, with the woman and the man sitting at a table across from another woman; they are all talking, and the man is signing a paper. A yellow band appears across the bottom of the screen with the following text written in purple:

“or when you sell the property,

whichever comes first”

00:01:25

whichever comes first.

00:01:27

You can also repay the incentive

The text in the yellow band on the same screen is replaced with the following:

“repay the incentive in full

at any time without penalty”

00:01:28

in full at any time without penalty.

00:01:31

If you refinance the first mortgage,

00:01:33

it won’t trigger a repayment.

00:01:36

For additional details, visit placetocallhome.ca.

Visual: Against the full yellow background, the following text appears in purple, one letter at a time (as if the narrator is typing it):

“Visit placetocallhome.ca”

00:01:40

To learn how to apply,

00:01:41

check out the last video in this four-part series.

Visual: Against the yellow background, the following text appears:

“Check out the last video in the series”

Below it, there is a white line drawing of a house with bushes and a tree. As the narrator speaks, the following are added to the line drawing in quick succession and to the right of the house: two high-rise apartment buildings and two low-rise apartment buildings, as well as more trees and bushes.

The shot then cuts to a full-screen white background. Against it are the yellow, purple and grey National Housing Strategy logo, on the left, and the Canada Wordmark, on the right.

Transcript

00:00:01

Interested in learning how to apply for the First-Time Home Buyer Incentive?

Visual: A house plant is displayed in the foreground. The camera then pans slowly right to a fuzzy shot of a man and a woman in the background, looking at the screen of a laptop.

In the upper left corner of the screen the purple text “How to apply for the First-Time Home Buyer Incentive” appears on a dark yellow background.

00:00:05

To begin,

Visual: The couple is now in focus and in full view. The man and woman are smiling while looking at the laptop. The woman is eating food out of a bowl, while the man is sitting in front of the laptop.

00:00:06

visit the First-Time Home Buyer Incentive page on placetocallhome.ca

Visual: The video cuts to a dark yellow background, and the following text appears in purple, one letter at a time (as if the narrator is typing it): “placetocallhome.ca.”

00:00:10

to review the available information and resources thoroughly.

Visual: The pointer of a mouse appears next to the text “placetocallhome.ca.”

00:00:14

Once you’ve assessed your eligibility

Visual: A woman is sitting at a desk drawing in a sketchbook. She has a laptop to her right and a notebook to her left.

00:00:16

and have made the decision to apply for the Incentive,

00:00:18

you’ll need to read, print and sign two documents.

Visual: In the upper right hand corner of the previously described scene, the purple text “Read, print and sign two documents” appears on a dark yellow background.

00:00:22

The first document is the Shared Equity Mortgage Information Package,

Visual: The scene is replaced by a dark yellow background with the words “1. Shared Equity Mortgage Information Package” in purple on the left of the screen and a picture of the package on the right.

00:00:27

and the second is the Attestation and Consent Form.

Visual: The purple text “2. Attestation and Consent Form” then appears at the left of the screen under “1. Shared Equity Mortgage Information Package” and a picture of the form appears on top of the picture of the package.

00:00:30

Both of these can be found online.

00:00:33

Next, you’ll need to take the two signed documents with you.

Visual: The video cuts to a picture of a couple sitting at a desk across from a woman explaining a document to them. On the left-hand side, the purple text “Take the two signed documents with you to your mortgage lender or broker” appears on a dark yellow background.

00:00:36

to your mortgage lender or broker,

00:00:39

who will then submit the application to the Program Administrator on your behalf.

00:00:46

Once that’s done,

Visual: The scene quickly changes to a man sitting at a desk talking on the phone. He is smiling while carrying on an animated conversation.

00:00:47

your mortgage professional will notify you of the status of your application

00:00:50

for the Incentive.

00:00:52

If your application is accepted,

Visual: The camera cuts to a scene of a man and a woman sitting at a desk in an office across from a female professional. The professional signs a document and then turns it over to the man, who then proceeds to sign it, as the woman next to him smiles and looks on. The purple words “If your application is accepted, you must notify First Canadian Title of the name of the lawyer or notary you have chosen to close your deal” appear in a dark yellow ribbon at the bottom of the screen. The words “you must notify First Canadian Title of the name of the lawyer or notary” are in bold.

00:00:54

you must notify First Canadian Title of the name of the lawyer or notary

00:00:58

you have chosen to close your deal.

00:01:00

This will need to be completed no less than two weeks

Visual: The wording of the ribbon changes to “no less than two weeks prior to the closing date” all written in bold.

00:01:03

prior to the closing date of the purchase.

00:01:06

This will allow the Incentive to be activated

 

Visual: The ribbon containing the text disappears, the female professional gets up and shakes the man’s hand, and then the woman’s.

 

00:01:08

and the required closing documents to be delivered to your lawyer or notary

Visual: A close-up of a man’s hands. The man is reading a document while following the text with a pen he is holding in his right hand.

00:01:12

in time for closing.

00:01:13

Remember: You’ll need to repay the Incentive after 25 years

Visual: The scene then changes to a father turning away from the screen of his tablet to speak to his son standing to his right, while his daughter is leaning onto his left shoulder. The text “You’ll need to repay the Incentive after 25 years or when you sell the property” appears at the right of the screen on a dark yellow background. The words “repay the Incentive after 25 years or when you sell the property” are in bold.

00:01:17

or when you sell the property,

Visual: The text at the right of the screen remains the same, but the image is replaced by a man and a woman having a discussion while the woman is looking at a computer screen or document that is off screen and not visible to the viewer.

00:01:19

whichever comes first.

00:01:21

You can also repay the Incentive in full at any time without penalty.

Visual: A man sitting on a couch holding a pen in his mouth and using a calculator. His computer and notebook are located in front of him on a coffee table. The purple words “You can also repay the Incentive in full at any time without penalty” appears on a dark yellow background in the upper right corner. The words “repay the Incentive in full at any time” are in bold.

00:01:26

The repayment amount is based on the property’s

Visual: A man and woman are standing in their living room. They are embracing and looking at each other happily. The purple words “The repayment amount is based on the property’s fair market value at the time of repayment” appear on a dark yellow background in the upper right corner of the screen. The words “based on the property’s fair market value” are in bold.

00:01:29

fair market value at the time of repayment.

00:01:32

For additional details, visit placetocallhome.ca.

Visual: The shot then cuts to a full-screen yellow background on which the following text appears in purple, one letter at a time (as if the narrator is typing it): “Visit placetocallhome.ca”. This is then replaced by a full-screen white background. Against it are the yellow, purple and grey National Housing Strategy logo, on the left, and the Canada Wordmark, on the right.

  Please send me more details about the incentive when they are available.



Did you miss the live training sessions?
You can now complete the same training at your own pace through our e-learning resources!

Still have questions about the First-Time Home Buyer Incentive?

Call us at

1-877-884-2642.