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First-time home buyer?

Your RRSP may be the down payment you’re looking for

Thinking about buying your first home? Wish you had saved up for a good down payment? 

Maybe you have, but didn’t know it. 

First-time homebuyers can tap into their RRSP to help with a home purchase. You can thank the federal government for this great initiative. Designed to help first-time buyers get into home ownership, the program lets you access tax-free monies for use towards the purchase or even construction of your first home. This program is also available to those who have not owned a home in the last five years.

Why tap into your RRSP? 

The most common reason is to boost the down payment on a home. The bigger your down payment, the smaller your mortgage will be. And you may qualify for better interest rates too, as your healthy down payment shows the lender that you are a low risk candidate for a mortgage loan. Your RRSP can help provide the funds for a down payment that will make a difference to your costs in the long run.

Here’s how it works

 If you’ve been contributing to an RRSP, then you already know that the program is designed to set aside money for retirement, with the money going into the program tax-free, with the plan to pay taxes on the funds when they’re withdrawn later. 

There are some good and valid reasons why you may want to access these funds earlier. A home purchase may be one of them. As a first-time homebuyer, you are allowed to withdraw money, still tax-free, provided you adhere to the easy repayment plan (just make sure, of course, that your RSP is not a locked-in plan). 

You can withdraw up to $25,000.00 from your plan. If your spouse qualifies as a first-time homebuyer, then he or she will also be able to withdraw $25,000.00. Between the two of you, you could have a hefty down payment of $50,000.00. That’s enough to make a substantial difference in the affordability of home ownership.

Ask your mortgage broker for more information about this program, known as the Home Buyer’s Plan (HBP). 

There are some conditions that you should know about

You need to spend the money once it’s withdrawn. 

You must enter a written agreement (offer to purchase) before you can withdraw money. 

You are expected to complete the home purchase no later than October 1 of the year following your withdrawal. Don’t spread out your withdrawals: All HBP-eligible withdrawals must be made in the same calendar year. 

Above all, you must meet certain repayment terms. Repayment to your RSP begins the second year following the year of withdrawal. You have up to fifteen years to repay, and each annual repayment must be at least one-fifteenth of the withdrawn amount.

A common question: So who exactly qualifies as a first-time homebuyer? 

What if one partner has previously owned a home, for example? Well, it often happens that only one partner qualifies as a first-time homebuyer, so only one RRSP can be tapped for funds. But if either of you has not owned a home for the past five years, then you meet the description of a first time homebuyer. Keep that definition in mind, as you plan the timing of any RRSP withdrawals.

The program shouldn’t influence the kind of home you purchase. Any kind of home qualifies for the program – detached, semi-detached, mobile, condominium, etc. – as long as it is located within Canada.

If you’re thinking ahead to use your RRSP for your home, consider meshing your RRSP strategy with your down payment savings. Putting away funds in your RRSP not only saves you the current income tax, but the tax saved translates into more dollars towards your down payment.

A good plan is always a great beginning!

It’s never too soon to begin a conversation with a mortgage specialist about your future plans for home ownership.

If you have any questions regarding the RRSP Home Buyers Plan, give me a call at 250.862.1806 or email me. 



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About the Author

Tracy Head and Laurie Baird help busy families find mortgage solutions. Together they have more than 45 years of experience in the mortgage industry.

With today’s increasingly complicated mortgage rules, Tracy and Laurie spend time getting to know the people they work with and help them to better understand the mortgage process. They support their clients before, during, and after their mortgage is in place.

Tracy and Laurie work closely with their clients, offering advice and options. With access to more than 40 different lenders, Tracy and Laurie are able to assist with residential, commercial, and reverse mortgages in order to match the needs of their clients with the right mortgage package.

They work closely with their clients to find the right fit, and are around to provide support for years down the road!

Contact them at 250-862-1806 or visit http://www.okanaganmortgages.com

Visit their blog at https://www.okanaganmortgages.com/blog

 



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The views expressed are strictly those of the author and not necessarily those of Castanet. Castanet does not warrant the contents.

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