What First-Time Home Buyers in Hamilton Need to Know

Buying your first home is an exciting milestone! There’s plenty of work to be done, however, to ensure you’re making the best purchase decision and did the best you could to get the right home at the right price – especially in Hamilton’s super-competitive market.

One of the most important decisions you can make is partnering with the right professionals. Do your research and find Hamilton real estate lawyers, realtors and home inspectors that are experienced and trustworthy as you’ll be relying on their expertise to help you navigate the biggest financial transaction of your life.

Following these other tips can also help guide you on your way to happy home ownership.

Look Into Government Incentives for First-Time Home Buyers

If you haven’t lived in your own home or one owned by your current spouse or common-law partner, in the past four years, you may be eligible for the Home Buyers’ Plan(HBP) and/or the First-Time Home Buyer Incentive (HBI). Some of the details include:

· Under the HBP, up to $35,000 can be transferred from your RRSP account and applied towards a down payment on your first home (up to $70,000 per couple). The funds have to be in your RRSP for at least 90 days prior and you’re required to pay at least 1/15 back every year until the funds have been fully repaid (i.e., the account has to be repaid within 15 years).

· A First-Time Home Buyers Tax Credit of $5,000 can be used on your tax return which works out to about a $750 federal tax break.

· The HBI allows for a 5% or 10% reduction in monthly mortgage payments for first-time homebuyers of newly constructed homes; a 5% reduction for first-time homebuyers on purchases of existing homes; and a 5% reduction for new or existing mobile or manufactured homes. There are a few requirements in order to qualify and the money has to be repaid, visit the site for full details.

Provincial and municipal incentives for first-time home buyers under the HBI also include:

· First-time homebuyers in Ontario may also have a Land Transfer Tax Rebate available to them. It’s a $4,000 refund for first-time home buyers as re-imbursement of the Land Transfer Tax. If you live in Toronto, you may be eligible for a rebate of up to $4,475 of the LTT.

There are always conditions with receiving these incentives so make sure you read and understand the rules well before applying.

Get Pre-Approved for a Mortgage Before You Start Looking for a Home

It’s important to have completed a thorough budget that accounts for all of your closing costs, property taxes, repairs and maintenance, bills, an emergency fund, etc. and to know exactly how much you have and how much you need when applying for a mortgage. That budget will help protect from getting in over your head and buying a home you can’t afford.

Don’t Do Anything that Can Cause Your Mortgage to Fall Through

After you’ve filed your mortgage application, don’t make big purchases like appliances or a car on credit, apply for other loans or credit cards or change jobs before you’ve bought a home. Doing any of these things may no longer make you eligible for the mortgage you applied for.

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