Ontario First Time Home Buyer? What You Should Know About Your Down Payment on a House in Ontario

As you start out on the road to purchasing your first home, you will quickly realize that there are several different things that need to be considered and done before you make an offer on the perfect house. As an Ontario first time home buyer, one of the things that you should be thinking about beforehand is your down payment on a house.

What is a down payment on a house? A down payment on a house is the total amount of money you are required to pay upfront when you purchase a home. The minimum down payment required in Canada is 5% of the total purchase price. So, for example, if you are purchasing a home for $300 000, the down payment on a house, at the 5% minimum, would be $15 000. However, 5% is just a minimum, and you are able to put down any percentage you would like after that.

What is a down payment on a house for? The main purpose of a down payment on a house is to protect the lender in case the borrower defaults on the loan. It reduces the lender’s risk as the down payment is used as collateral and if defaulted, the lender is able to recover at least partial funds from the loan.

As an Ontario first time home buyer, the purpose of a down payment on a house for you is to pay some of the mortgage up front. Whatever the amount of your down payment is, that amount is taken off of the total mortgage price, meaning that you are required to pay less over time.

So what are the benefits of a bigger down payment on a house? There are a few. The first, and most obvious, is that a bigger down payment means a lower monthly payment. If you are an Ontario first time home buyer this can be crucial because it decreases your overall monthly carrying costs – which can mean a higher chance of mortgage approval and less financial strain in the future. It also means that, since you are borrowing less, you are not paying as much interest. A further benefit of a bigger down payment on a house is that your CMHC insurance premium, calculated as a percent of your mortgage amount, decreases as your down payment increases.

So where can the money for your down payment on a house come from? As an Ontario first time home buyer you have many different options as far as putting together a down payment on a house. Obviously saving a certain amount from every paycheque is a valid option – but it is not the only one. One of the ones that is quite appealing for Ontario first time home buyers is to take advantage of the RRSP Home Buyers’ Plan, which allows Ontario first time home buyers to use up to $25 000 from their Registered Retirement Savings Plan, tax free. Another source is a gift from a family member – but it has to be a gift, it cannot be a loan.

As an Ontario first time home buyer, getting ready to purchase a house is an exciting time. Being prepared is crucial if you want the process to run smoothly. Knowing how much of a down payment on a house you will need and where it will come from is just one of the many things that you will need to consider.

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