The Calgary real estate market has been in a slump these past two years, with consistent drop in sales volume and average price year over year. This makes it the perfect opportunity for renters and basement dwelling millennials to get a taste of home ownership. Here are some cost saving programs for first-time homebuyers.
As a first-time homebuyer, you have the opportunity of of using your RRSP contribution towards a down payment. Thanks to the Canadian Revenue Agency's Homebuyer's Plan, you can withdraw up to a maximum of $25,000 from an RRSP account so long as the contribution was made more than 90 days prior. This means that if you have a significant other, you can withdraw a total of $50,000 combined from your RRSP accounts, which can make a huge contribution towards a down payment.
FIRST-TIME HOMEBUYER'S TAX CREDIT
If you have not owned a home within the last four years, you are eligible for the first-time homebuyers tax credit through the Government of Canada's Economic Action Plan. The amount of credit you can received is calculated by multiplying the lowest personal income tax for the year by $5,000. For example, for 2016 the lowest income rate is 15%, so 15% of $5,000 is $750, that's $750 more in your pockets. You can learn more about this program by going here.
ENERGY EFFICIENT HOUSING
We live in one of the most beautiful country in the world, filled with flowing rivers, flourishing wildlife, and vast landscapes, which is why we fight so hard to protect our environment. There are many programs that benefit homeowners who buy, build, or renovate energy efficient homes. If you are a first-time homebuyer, assuming you did not have the full 20% downpayment, you are required to pay CMHC mortgage insurance premium on top of your existing mortgage. Depending on the Energuide Rating of your home, you may receive a premium refund of up to 25%. You can learn more about this program here.
If you have received a Genworth insured mortgage, you also receive access to a number of Homebuyer Privileges when shopping at select retailers for moving and home-related products and services. In the past, privileges have included 15% off credit reports from Equifax, a $55 gift card to Rona, 10% off car rentals from Hertz, half price home inspections, and much more. This program is in place to ease the financial burden of smaller or less obvious home buying costs like moving, decorating and renovating. You can see the full list of participating vendors here.
TALK TO GEORGE
Here's a bit of shameless self-advertisement to finish off the list. Being an active realtor in Calgary, i have come across many companies and vendors that provided quality services to my clients. I've compiled a list of the best and went around asking each one of them to provide some sort of discount for my future customers. So, whether you need a small paint job done or want to put in some hardwood floors, or you need to change out your windows and add a security system for you home, give me a call and i will set you up with one of my trusted vendor who will be more than happy to do the job for cheap!