Reasons to buy a home today

Kitchen counter with two bar stools

Moving from renting to owning has its benefits. You can build equity, save money for big purchases and even design your dream home.

Bedroom with bed, carpet and chair

Rent out part or all of your home. Rental income can help you pay down your mortgage faster. You can determine how much rent to charge or who the tenants are.

What you need to buy a home

Dining room with table, chairs and cabinet

Start with your down payment

This is the amount of money you put towards buying a home. The minimum amount you pay varies depending on the purchase price.

The minimum down payment required for a mortgage ranges from 5% for homes that cost less than $500,000. For homes that cost $500,000 to $999,999, the minimum down payment is 5% of the first $500,000 plus 10% of the remaining balance. The minimum down payment for homes that cost $1,000,000 or more is 20%.


Make your down payment at least 20% of the property value to lower your monthly mortgage costs and amount of interest you'll pay over the term.

If you put less than 20% down, you'll need mortgage default insuranceOpens a new window in your browser..

You've got options to collect funds and reduce the amount of mortgage you need.

Home buyer incentives and rebates

Get money back when you participate in Government of Canada programs Opens in a new window. like the Home Buyers’ Plan, which allows you to withdraw $35,000 from your RRSP to help you buy a home.

Savings accounts

Save your dollars and add them to a high interest or tax-free savings account.

Other sources

Put monetary gifts from family, tax refunds and work bonuses towards buying your dream home.

The FTHBI is a Government of Canada program designed to make homeownership more affordable for first-time home buyers. If you qualify for the program, the government will contribute 5% or 10% of the price of the home to your down payment. This contribution will have to be paid back within 25 years or when you sell the home, but in the meantime your monthly mortgage payment will be lower because your down payment was larger.

Find out if you’re eligible for the FTHBI and the incentive amount you qualify for in just 3 steps:

Figure out if you or your partner is a first-time homebuyer. A first-time homebuyer satisfies at least one of the following criteria:

  • You’ve never purchased a home before, and you haven’t occupied a home that you or your current spouse or common-law partner owned in the last 4 years
  • You’ve recently experienced the breakdown of a marriage or common-law partnership

Make sure that you and your partner meet the following program specific criteria:

  • Your total annual qualifying income doesn’t exceed $120,000 or $150,000 if the home you’re purchasing is in Toronto, Vancouver or Victoria
  • Your total borrowing is no more than 4 times your qualifying income or 4.5 times if the home you’re purchasing is in Toronto, Vancouver or Victoria
  • You’re a Canadian citizen, permanent resident or non-permanent resident authorized to work in Canada
  • You meet the minimum down payment requirements with traditional funds, including savings, a Registered Retirement Savings Plan (RRSP) withdrawal, or a non-repayable financial gift from a family member

The amount of money you’ll receive will depend on the type of property you’re buying. Review the table to figure out the different incentive amounts.


Property type Incentive amount
New construction 5% or 10% 
Existing home 5%
New and existing manufactured home 5%

Apply for the First-Time Home Buyer Incentive in 5 easy steps:

Get pre-approved for a mortgage.

Find the home of your dreams.

Make sure you’re eligible to apply for the program.

Fill out the FTHBI – SEM Information Package and the SEM Attestation and Consent Form, and give them to your lender. Both of these forms can be found on the National Housing Strategy website Opens in a new window..

Become a homeowner.

The money must be paid back in full after 25 years or when the house is sold. You can’t pay it back in installments. Also, the amount you must pay back is likely not the same amount that was borrowed. The down payment contribution received from the government isn’t a standard loan, it’s a shared equity mortgage. The value of this type of mortgage moves with the value of the house. So if you received 5% of the original value of the house for your down payment, you have to pay back 5% of the current value of the house when you sell it or the 25 year term is up. 

For more information about the First-Time Home Buyers Incentive, visit the National Housing Strategy website Opens in a new window..

Couple get the keys to their new home

Budget for closing and other costs

These are legal and administrative fees you pay when your purchase closes. Typically, closing costs are 2 to 4% of the home purchase price. There are many types of costs to keep in mind:

  • Legal fees
  • Home inspections
  • Home appraisal fees
Show all closing and other costs

We're here for you

Our mortgage specialists will take the time to understand your financial situation and give you the best options. Whether you want to chat about rates or ask for advice, they’re always available to help.

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Calculate how much mortgage you can afford

Tell us a bit about your finances and we'll tell you how much you may qualify to borrow. The results are based on the posted rate. This helps you stay on budget if interest rates change. Your actual rate could be less.

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"My mission is to help first-time home buyers get a dream home they can afford."
Freshta T., Mortgage Specialist