Doing anything for the first time can be scary, especially when it’s something as big as buying a house! As a First Time Home Buyer the process can be overwhelming, but don’t worry, we will explain all your First Time Home Buyer Mortgage options and recommend financing solutions to get your mortgage approved at the lowest possible rate and best terms possible for you.
The first step is getting pre-approved before you start shopping for a home. The quickest and easiest way to get pre-approved is to fill out our online mortgage application. One of our brokers will contact you to ask any questions they might have and from there we can tell you exactly how much you can spend on your first home.
How to Qualify for a Mortgage
There are a few things lenders require to approve a client for a mortgage, these are as follows:
- Employment – Income is required to ensure you can make the payments. A full time permanent position with no probation period is required in most cases but if you have worked in a part time position for at least two years we can also use that income to qualify. Income that includes over time, commission, bonuses or self employed earnings must have a minimum 2 year history in order to qualify. Your income level will determine how much you can spend.
- Good Credit – You must be able to show you can manage money. A credit check will show us your score which is determined by how well you manage and pay credit cards, loans, and lines of credit. If you have late payments, collections, or other bad debts this will significantly hurt your chances at being approved. The lenders like to see a minimum 2 year history of credit with good repayment history.
- Down Payment – A down payment is very important when buying a home. If you have very good credit it is still possible to purchase a home with as little as 5% down payment. If you have poor credit a much larger down payment could be required (example: 20%). In most cases with good or average credit a minimum 5% down payment is needed and will allow you to qualify for best interest rates.
If you have solid employment, good credit, and a down payment, there is a good chance you will be approved for mortgage financing. The down payment can come from a number of sources including savings, investments, RRSP’s (HBP), or even a gift from an immediate family member.
RRSP Home Buyers Plan (HBP)
The Home Buyers’ Plan (HBP) is a government program that allows first time home buyers to withdraw up to $25,000 from their registered retirement savings plan (RRSPs) to buy or build a home. The home must be used as a principle residence, and all funds must be withdrawn from the RRSP within 30 days of the property’s closing date.
Your RRSP contributions must remain in the RRSP for at least 90 days before you can withdraw them under the HBP, or they may not be deductible for any year.
Generally, you have to repay all withdrawals to your RRSPs within a period of no more than 15 years. You will have to repay an amount to your RRSPs each year until your HBP balance is zero. If you do not repay the amount due for a year, it will have to be included in your income for that year.
First-Time Home Buyers’ Tax Credit (HBTC)
The HBTC is a new non-refundable tax credit, based on an amount of $5,000, for certain home buyers that acquire a qualifying home after January 27, 2009.
first time home buyer tax credit
The HBTC is calculated by multiplying the lowest personal income tax rate for the year (15% in 2009) by $5,000. For 2009, the credit will be $750. However, if the total of your non-refundable tax credits is more than your federal income tax, you will not receive a refund for the HBTC.
The first step in the home buying process is to obtain a pre-approval from a bank or lender. A pre-approval is simply a rate hold, typically for 120 days. This allows you to shop for a home without the risk of interest rate changes. The pre-approval also provides you with a purchase price for which you can shop. A mortgage broker will help you acquire the pre-approval so you are confident you have the best product. Click APPLY NOW below to get started!