Many people mistakenly believe that home ownership isn’t an option for them but the fact is that there are multiple ways to acquire a down payment. Pair that with record low interest rates and it would be foolish not to buy in 2012.
Right now the minimum down payment required in Canada is just 5% of the homes purchase price. However, as a general rule, you should put as much money down as possible. That amount will determine which home you purchase, the size of your mortgage payments along with just how much insurance you have to pay.
Here are some ways in which you can obtain a down payment:
January 1st, 2012 introduced the First-Time Homebuyers’ Tax Credit. It will provide a provincial non-refundable income tax credit of up to $1,100 for eligible taxpayers. While the details of the program are still being developed it is known that the personal income tax credit applies to qualifying homes purchased after December 31st, 2011.
Interim financing (bridge financing) is used when a buyer needs to sell their current home in order to purchase another but the sale of the first home can’t be completed before the purchase of the second. Even though this situation would have the buyer paying more interest, it’s usually nominal and only for a short time.
When you rent-to-own a portion of the rent you’re paying actually becomes your equity once you purchase that property. In order for this to work though the purchase agreement:
- Must acknowledge that a portion of the rent includes a pre-payment of equity on a monthly basis.
- Must show that the monthly rent payment is an amount in excess of the current market rent for the property.
- Must contain at least a partial refund in the event that the purchaser doesn’t exercise their right to buy the property.
In the chance that the property’s value decreases the surplus rent may not be accepted as equity when eventually applying for a mortgage.
Gift from an Immediate Relative
In the instance where a home buyer is unable to come up with a down payment they can seek assistance from an immediate family member if the funds are clear of any repayment obligation. You simply need a mortgage gift letter from them stating that this is the case. Also note that gift money must be in the buyer’s possession at least 15 days prior to closing.
Borrowed Against a Proven Asset
The Canadian Mortgage Housing Corporation (CMHC) permits down payments that have been borrowed against proven assets so long as those assets are “financial in nature, unencumbered by debt, and readily convertible to cash.”
Home Buyers’ Plan (HBP)
First-time home buyers are able to withdraw up to $25,000 from Registered Retirement Savings Plans (RRSPs) like the Home Buyers’ Plan (HBP) to be used toward a home purchase, tax-free. Just be sure that your RRSP contributions sit for at least 90 days prior to being withdrawn in order to be deductible. They also need to be repaid within 15 years.
Affinity Equity Building Program
The Affinity Equity Building Program is a partnership between the city of Saskatoon and Affinity Credit Union. In order to be eligible for the program the applicant must:
- Purchase property that they will reside in within the corporate boundaries of Saskatoon therefore causing a rental unit within the city to become available.
- Have a household income that ranges between $44,500 to $70,000.
- Repay the funds over a five year period.
Now that we have reviewed down payment options you can contact me to get pre-approved for your mortgage and begin looking for your new home right away!