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First Time Home Buyer Grants in Ontario

Katherine Barnett, Broker

Hello and welcome! Thank you so much for exploring these pages of my website...

Hello and welcome! Thank you so much for exploring these pages of my website...

Mar 14 5 minutes read

Buying a home can be expensive. Luckily, there are programs to help ease the strain on your wallet.

To encourage more Canadians to make the leap into home ownership, the government offers a variety of grants and special programs for first time home buyers.


As a first-time home buyer, you are allowed to withdraw up to $25,000 from your RRSPs in order to help with your home’s down payment. It’s the one and only time you can take money out of the account without being taxed on the amount you withdraw.

The money you ‘borrow’ from your RRSPs must be paid back in a minimum of 15 years from the date that they are withdrawn. Although there is no interest applied to the amount you have borrowed, there is a repayment schedule that must be adhered to.

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The First Time Home Buyer Tax Credit is a non-refundable tax credit that helps homeowners recover closing costs such as legal expenses and inspections. First-time buyers can claim up to $5,000 for the purchase of a qualifying home on their personal tax return on the year of purchase. You could net up to $750! 

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The GST/HST new housing rebate gives back some of the GST or the federal part of the HST you paid—up to $1,500—for a new or substantially renovated house that is your primary place of residence provided you meet all the eligibility requirements.

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Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation is funding a program for homeowners called Green Home. The idea is to promote home energy efficiency, and CMHC Green Home is offering up to 25 per cent in premium refunds. To qualify, a borrower must buy, or build, or renovate – and must finance through Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation. While this refund is focused on promoting home energy efficiency, it also makes the process of upgrades far more affordable.

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Under this program, if you’ve never owned a home anywhere before—ever—you could qualify to receive a refund of the land transfer tax for the first $368,000 of the value of the home. The maximum amount of the refund is $4,000.

The biggest hurdle in qualifying for the maximum amount of this program is that all purchasers of the home must be first-time homebuyers. If one or more purchasers has owned a home anywhere in the world previously, the amount will be reduced.

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The Ontario Energy and Property Tax Credit is a personal tax credit funded by the Province of Ontario and implemented to help individuals with low- to moderate-income with the sales tax on energy as well as their property taxes.

You could get a maximum of:

  • $1,065 if you are between 18 and 64 years old
  • $1,213 if you are over 65 years old
  • $237 if you live on a reserve or in a public long-term care home
  • $25 for the time you lived in a designated college, university or private school residence in 2018

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If you are a Canadian citizen or permanent resident living in Toronto and you’re ready to buy your first home, don’t forget to register for the land transfer tax rebate. In conjunction with the provincial tax credit, you can get up to $4,475.00 back from the land transfer tax you pay when you buy your home.

Both new and existing homes qualify, but neither you and/nor your spouse can ever have owned a home before at any time anywhere in the world.

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Hopefully the information and tips in this article encourages or helps you on your path to home ownership. It’s a dream that’s more doable than you think if you go slowly and methodically, stay organized and knowledgeable, and work hard.

Take advantage of every program and opportunity available to you, and keep reminding yourself of why you want to be a homeowner.

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