The federal government’s First-Time Home Buyer Incentive (FTHBI) came into effect on Sept. 2, but many prospective homebuyers still have questions about how the new program could help them enter the market. The most important details of the program are as follows:

  • To qualify for the incentive, you must be a first-time homebuyer, have the minimum down payment saved for the home you would like to purchase and have a qualifying income that does not exceed $120,000 before taxes
  • Your borrowing limit is four times your qualifying income (e.g., if your qualifying income is $80,000, your borrowing limit for the incentive is $320,000)
  • Through the FTHBI, the Government of Canada will offer five per cent for the purchase of an existing resale home and up to 10 per cent for the purchase of a new-build home
  • You can repay the incentive at any time without prepayment penalty, but you must repay the incentive – based on fair market value – after 25 years or if the property is sold