For people who can afford it, 2009 is probably going to be a good time to buy a new home. Interest rates are likely to be low and home prices continue to become more affordable. However, lenders are making it more difficult for first-time home buyers to enter the market. The days of 40 year amortizations are over and lenders are requiring larger down payments. For people who are purchasing their first home these obstacles can be daunting. First-timers….don’t despair. If you have RRSPs, you may be able to use them to finance the down payment on your property. In order to support home ownership in Canada, the Government of Canada allows home buyers to withdraw up to $20,000 to put towards a down payment of a first home, tax free! And, spouses can also use up to $20,000 in RRSPs to purchase their first home, for a total of $40,000 if both spouses were to take advantage of the Governments Home Buyer’s Plan.
In simple terms, the rules for the Home Buyer’s Plan are:
1. You or your spouse must not have owned a home for the past four years.
2. The withdrawal amount must be paid back no later than 15 years with payments made each year.
3. The property must be your principal residence and you must intend to occupy the residence.
4. The RRSPs that you withdrawal must have been deposited 90 days prior to the withdrawal.
If you are a first-time home buyer and you intend to take advantage of the Governments Home Buyer’s Plan, it is recommended that you speak with a financial advisor prior to purchasing your home. If you wish to find out more information about the Home Buyer’s Plan, visit acfc.gc.ca.
As always, visit my Calgary Real Estate website for further information regarding the Calgary Real Estate market.