Home Buying Incentives

Posted by Lisa Mueller on Friday, February 26th, 2021 at 2:58pm.

The Saskatoon real estate market is hot right now. Buyers are searching for homes for sale quicker than they are coming on the market, and homes in certain price ranges are seeing an increase in value. This is making it even tougher to get onto the property ladder as a first time home buyer. These programs from the Government of Canada may be helpful to you if you are ready to start your house hunt:

The First Time Home Buyer Incentive

The First-Time Home Buyer Incentive is just like it sounds—an incentive for first time home buyers to buy their first house.

If you have the minimum down payment for an insured mortgage, you can apply to finance a portion of your home through a shared equity mortgage with the Government of Canada. For a purchase price of $500,000 or less, the minimum down payment is 5%. When the purchase price is above $500,000, the minimum down payment is 5% for the first $500,000 and 10% for the remaining portion.

A shared equity mortgage is where you take a smaller mortgage, in exchange for your lender owning some equity in the home. You’ll essentially become a co-owner of the property alongside your bank lender. You’ll get to live in the house, but only borrow a fraction of the purchase price. When you sell the house, you’ll share the profits and losses from the sale with the lender, in line with your equity share.

The Home Buyer’s Amount

The Home Buyer’s Amount is a non-refundable credit for first-time home buyers and buyers with disabilities. It offers a $5,000 non-refundable income tax credit amount on a qualifying home acquired during the year. For an eligible buyer, the credit will provide up to $750 in federal tax relief.

The Home Buyer’s Plan

The Home Buyers’ Plan is a program through the Canada Revenue Agency that allows eligible first-time home buyers to withdraw up to $35,000 in a calendar year from their RRSP to buy or build a qualifying home. The program states the funds withdrawn must be paid back within 15 years.

GST/HST New Housing Rebate

The GST/HST New Housing Rebate allows an individual to recover some of the GST or the federal part of the HST paid for a new or substantially renovated home that will be used as a primary residence.


To begin buying a house, start by assembling a team of real estate professionals to guide you through the process. Your lender can help you understand exactly what you can afford, and the steps you can take to afford the home you want. They can also give you solid advice on whether the first-time homebuyer incentive is something you should participate in. Your lender can then provide you with a pre-approval which will help your REALTOR® assist you in not only finding a home, but also in making an offer and negotiating the real estate agreement on your behalf!

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