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First Time Home Buyer

Being a first-time home buyer can be an exciting yet stressful process. There are a lot of questions you may have, especially about your credit and finances. Fortunately, some programs and incentives are specific to first-time home buyers that will answer your questions and get you on the road to owning your own home.

Get approved for special programs and incentives exclusive to First Time Home Buyers.

There are a few things that borrowers would want to know more about this mortgage solution. Contact your local mortgage broker or book a free consultation with one of ours for more details.

First Time Home Buyer Incentives

The government of Canada issues incentives to First-Time Home Buyers such as a shared-equity mortgage, tax credit, and other programs that are part of Canada's Home Buyers' Plan (HBP).

Bruised Credit Not A Problem

Borrowers with bruised credit can qualify for First-Time Home Buyer incentives and programs. There are conventional and alternative lenders who will work with the borrower's financial situation.

Eligibility Criteria

Home buyers are considered First-Time Home Buyers in Canada when they meet the criteria for eligibility as defined by the Canada Revenue Agency.

Trusted Lenders

At Richmond Hill Mortgage Broker, we work with lenders who are reputable and have established outstanding levels of customer service, integrity, and compliance with regulatory authorities.

What To Know as a First-Time Home Buyer in Richmond Hill

Buying your first house can be a fun and exciting experience. But you need to keep in mind that it is a huge commitment. Getting your finances in order is crucial. Also, you may want to give yourself plenty of time when searching for your first home to avoid any emotional bias that could lead to buyer's remorse after you become a homeowner.

What Should You Prepare When Buying Your First Home?

Before you purchase a home, it is essential to save enough money for the down payment and closing costs. This can be difficult, especially with the high prices of homes in Richmond Hill and Ontario in general. However, you can take advantage of down payment assistance programs offered by the government bodies, such as:

There are other incentives and rebates available to first-time home buyers that continually get updated. To ensure that you know all the options available, you can research online resources or speak with a licensed mortgage broker to find out the ones that are applicable to you in Richmond Hill.

Taking the time to get your finances in order can save you a lot of headaches later on. Before you start house hunting, make a list of all your needs and wants and make a budget based on your current income and expenses. A good way to estimate your financial strength is to review the last six months of your monthly bank statements for income and expenses (including rent payments).


To bring the preparation to the next level, make sure you have pre-approval from a mortgage broker. Many lenders will appreciate applicants who have been pre-approved because this shows that they are serious borrowers and have done their due diligence to make sure they can afford the desired mortgage amount.


Your credit score plays an important role in getting pre-approved. But having bruised credit should not stop you from applying altogether. A savvy mortgage broker has access to both conventional and alternative mortgage lenders so you can qualify for a mortgage even if you have bruised credit. At the very least, if you get declined, you know why you were not able to qualify at this time and what you can do to improve your chance for approval the next time you apply.


Once you have a mortgage pre-approved, you should get a home inspection and financing clause as part of your offer to purchase. Not only is this necessary for determining the condition of the home, but it can also help you negotiate repairs if needed. For instance, you can ask the seller for closing credits to pay for repairs.

FAQ on Mortgages as First-Time Home Buyers

What Should You Avoid When Buying Your First Home?

First-time home buyers often make a number of mistakes. By taking the time to research the process and avoid these common pitfalls, they can set themselves up for success when they finally do purchase their first home.


The first caution for any borrowers, not just first-time home buyers, is to keep their debt-to-income ratio as low as possible. When looking to purchase a house with a mortgage, you need to make sure you don't max out your available credit.

The second caution when you are preparing to buy your first home is to avoid any out-of-town and inexperienced real estate team to help you. Work only with a local real estate agent who knows the neighbourhood well and a local mortgage broker who has access to national lenders, local credit unions, and equity lenders to ensure you have the best options available on the table for you to choose from. 

Additionally, first-time home buyers should avoid buying a house that is more expensive than their pre-approved purchase amount. The mortgage pre-approval has been calculated to determine the maximum purchase price that home buyers can afford based on their current financial situation. Any purchase price amount that is higher than the pre-approved amount must be paid out-of-pocket by the buyers as an additional down payment amount. This could spell trouble for most home buyers who have not accounted for contingency expenses when house hunting.

Last but not least, avoid transferring or receiving large sums of money into the bank account in the past few months prior to the purchase date. Any large transfer in or out of the bank account will be scrutinized by the mortgage underwriter to ensure these transfers are not connected to any fraudulent transactions or money laundering activities as required by the government-run Financial Transactions and Reports Analysis Centre of Canada (FINTRAC).

Who Qualifies as a First-Time Home Buyer in Ontario?

By definition, you are a first-time home buyer in Ontario if, in the four-year period, you did not occupy a home you owned or one your current spouse or common-law partner owned. In other words, your residential occupancy status beyond the past four-year period does not affect whether you can qualify as a first-time home buyer in Ontario. 


Further to that, the definition of a four-year period refers to the four years prior to a home purchase.

What Is the Minimum Down Payment for First-Time Homebuyers in Canada?

The minimum down payment for any buyers in Canada, including first-time home buyers, is 5% for properties with a purchase price of $500,000 or less.


The minimum down payment increases for any portion of the purchase price above $500,000 following a tiered structure based on the purchase price of the property.


For properties with a purchase price of $500,000 or less, the minimum down payment is 5% of the purchase price.

For properties with a purchase price of $500,000  to $999,999, the minimum down payment is:

  • 5% of the first $500,000 of the purchase price

  • 10% for the portion of the purchase price above $500,000

For properties with a purchase price of $1 million or more, the minimum down payment is 20% of the purchase price. 

Smiling Man

Justin W, Richmond Hill

As a first time home buyer I was very nervous about buying a home. The professional staff at Matrix Mortgage Global took the time to answer my questions even after hours. I was very pleased with the service and how I was treated.

Man with Glasses

Jignesh S, Toronto

I'm a self-employed cab driver. I was devastated when my bank, with whom I've been banking with for years turned me down for a mortgage. My business is mainly cash, and I didn't meet the bank's criteria for proving my income. I found Matrix Mortgage Global online and decided to give them a call. I was surprised that I got approved. I thought that if my bank turned me down everyone would. Thanks!


Andrea C, Markham

I had 2 yrs left on my consumer proposal, with the 2nd mortgage offer by Matrix Mortgage Global I was able to pay off the proposal and re-establish my credit

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