What a first-time home buyer in Sasktachewan should know
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
Have you heard about the First-Time Homebuyers’ Tax Credit in Saskatchewan? It's a non-refundable tax credit of up to $1,050. Essentially, the provincial income portion of the tax credit is 10.5% of the home purchase price, up to $10,000, which equals a provincial tax credit of up to $1,050. Then the federal income portion offers a tax credit of 15% of up to $5,000 of the home purchase price, giving you a federal tax credit of up to $750.
Here's the best part: both new and existing/resale homes qualify! But, there's a catch: you need to move in within a year of purchasing the home to be eligible.
Saskatchewan First Home Plan – Graduation Retention Program
If you're a graduate who lives in Saskatchewan, you might not know this but you might be eligible for rebates of up to $20,000 on your tuition fees.
But, it gets even better. On top of that, with Saskatchewan's First Home Plan, graduates can use up to $10,000 of their Graduate Retention Program tax credits as a down payment towards their first home. So not only can you get some financial relief on your education expenses, but you can also use those credits to help make your dream of homeownership a reality.
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
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.