The Greenhouse
by Pine

What a first-time home buyer in Saskatchewan should know

Saskatchewan presents a wide array of incentives and perks specifically designed for first-time home buyers.

The province has some perks.

If you're considering taking the leap into homeownership, Saskatchewan is an excellent place to start. Known for its welcoming communities and breathtaking landscapes, this province also has a real estate market that's truly geared towards first-time buyers.

But the benefits don't end there. Saskatchewan presents a wide array of incentives and perks specifically designed for first-time home buyers. These can make the home buying process not only more affordable but also more accessible.

So if you’re looking to get your foot in the real estate door, here are some things to consider as a first-time home buyer in Saskatchewan.

First-time home buyer incentives in Saskatchewan

Saskatchewan’s First-Time Home Buyer Tax Credit

First-time home buyers in Saskatchewan, there's good news for you! You could be eligible for a First-Time Home Buyer Tax Credit when you make your first home purchase. Here's what you need to know:

Who's eligible? You might be if you:

  • Are a first-time home buyer.
  • Purchase a new or existing/resale home.
  • Move into the home within one year of purchase.

Quick Facts:

  • Receive a non-refundable provincial tax credit of up to $1,050. Calculated as 10.5% of the home purchase price, up to $10,000.
  • Benefit from a federal tax credit of up to $750. Calculated as 15% of up to $5,000 of the home purchase price.
  • Both portions enhance your savings on your first home.

Saskatchewan First Home Plan

If you're a graduate in Saskatchewan, exciting incentives await you! The province's unique Saskatchewan's First Home Plan could make your transition from academic life to homeownership smoother and more affordable.

Saskatchewan Graduate Retention Program

Who's eligible? You might be if you:

  • Have graduated from an approved post-secondary institution.
  • Currently live in Saskatchewan.
  • Have applied for the Graduate Retention Program.

Quick Facts:

  • Receive rebates up to $20,000 on your tuition fees.
  • Gain significant financial relief on your educational expenses.

Saskatchewan First Home Plan

Who's eligible? You might be if you:

  • Are eligible for the Graduate Retention Program.
  • Are purchasing your first home in Saskatchewan.

Quick Facts:

  • Use up to $10,000 of your Graduate Retention Program tax credits towards your first home's down payment.
  • Turn your dream of homeownership into a reality with financial support.

Canada’s First-Time Home Buyer Incentive

The First-Time Home Buyer Incentive is a federal program that can give you a shared-equity mortgage of 5% or 10% of the purchase price of your home. This will help lower your monthly mortgage payments and make it easier for you to qualify for a mortgage.

To be eligible, you need to:

  • Be a Canadian citizen, permanent resident, or non-permanent resident authorized to work in Canada
  • Have a total household income of $120,000 or less  (or  a total household income of $150,000 if the home you’re buying is in Toronto, Vancouver, or Victoria)
  • Be a first-time home buyer (or the person you’re buying with is)
  • Have a minimum down payment of 5% of the purchase price
  • Purchase a home that will be your primary residence
  • Have a maximum mortgage amount that does not exceed four times your total household income

The Home Buyers' Plan (HBP)

The Home Buyers' Plan stands as an instrumental program for those aspiring to own a home, providing the opportunity to tap into RRSP savings. This plan allows individuals to withdraw up to $35,000 tax-free, earmarked for the purpose of buying or building their first home.

For couples venturing into this significant investment, this facility effectively means a substantial combined sum of $70,000 could be available. It's imperative to understand that contributions withdrawn under this scheme are required to be replenished within a 15-year timeframe. Furthermore, the commitment is to finalize the purchase or construction of the new home by October 1st of the year succeeding the RRSP withdrawal.

Eligibility for the Home Buyers' Plan requires adherence to the following criteria:

  • Entry into Homeownership: You should be navigating the realm of home buying for the first time.
  • Residency in Canada: You must uphold your residential status in Canada from the time of withdrawal until the real estate transaction concludes.
  • Intended Property Use: The property in question should be designated as your principal place of residence within one year following its purchase or construction completion.

GST/HST New Housing Rebate

The GST/HST New Housing Rebate can give you a rebate on the GST/HST paid on a new home purchase. The amount of the rebate depends on the purchase price of your home, and it can be up to $6,300.

To be eligible, you need to:

  • Purchase a new or substantially renovated home
  • Use the home as your primary residence
  • Have a total purchase price of $450,000 or less
  • Have paid the GST/HST on the purchase of the home

Other things to think about as a first-time home buyer in Saskatchewan

The amount of a down payment you’ll need in Saskatchewan

When buying a house in Saskatchewan, the size of your down payment can vary based on the total price of the home. Here's a simple breakdown:

  • For homes costing up to $500,000, the minimum down payment is 5%.
  • For homes costing between $500,000 and $999,999, the minimum down payment is 5% of the first $500,000, plus 10% of any amount over $500,000.
  • For homes costing $1 million or more, the minimum down payment is 20%.

Remember, these are the minimum requirements. If you can afford to make a larger down payment, you'll reduce the amount you need to borrow, which could save you a significant amount in interest over the life of your mortgage. 

Of course, there are a number of ways to save the minimum payment needed, like sticking to a monthly budget or taking advantage of Canada’s Tax-Free First Home Savings Account (TFHSA). 

Don't forget about closing costs 

When budgeting for your new home, remember to account for closing costs. These are fees that must be paid at the end of the real estate transaction, and they can include things like legal fees, land transfer taxes, and home inspection fees. Generally, you should budget between 1.5% and 4% of the purchase price of your home for closing costs.

Factor in property taxes

In Saskatchewan, property taxes are all about location, location, location! Each municipality is in charge of assessing and collecting taxes for properties within their borders. The amount you'll need to cough up depends on two things: the assessed value of your home (basically, how much it's worth according to the city) and the tax rate that your local municipality sets. It's super important to get a handle on how these property taxes will fit into your monthly budget. So, don't forget to factor this in when you're working out your overall game plan for buying your first home.

The bottom line

From understanding the importance of a down payment and property taxes to taking advantage of the plethora of incentives available, you're now armed with the knowledge to make your first home buying experience a great one. Remember, buying a home is a journey, not a sprint. Take your time, do your research, and soon enough, you'll be turning the key in the door of a place you can call your own.

But if you’re already ready to get your home buying journey started, connect with one of Pine’s experienced mortgage agents to help you find the financing that makes the most sense for you and your future. 

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