|First Time Home Buyers|
To participate you have to withdraw the amount from your RRSP using form T1036 Applying To Withdraw An Amount Under The Home Buyers Plan. Give the completed form to the RRSP issuer along with the certification that you meet or intend to meet certain conditions as follows:
A qualifying home is a housing unit located in Canada. Existing homes and homes under construction are both qualifying homes and can be either:
First Time Home Buyer
You are considered a first time home buyer if you have not owned a home while you occupied it as your principal place of residence for five years. At any time in the fifth calendar year since you last owned a home you can qualify.
Should You Take Money Out of Your RRSP For A Home Purchase?
Most financial advisors will counsel you to borrow to invest in your RRSP because the "overall" rate of return from your RRSP is greater than the cost of borrowing the money. The cost of borrowing $20,000 in a catch up loan over 15 years is usually in the neighborhood of Prime, plus or minus a percentage point, depending on the risk of the RRSP investment. Assume a cost of 7.5% over the 15 year amortization of the loan. The interest paid to borrow $20,000 would be $13,372. If we also assume a 35% tax rate, you would have to earn $20,572 of gross income in order to net out these interest costs.
We can now compare the before tax cost of borrowing - around $20,572 - with the before tax return this $20,000 would earn in your RRSP - around $43,443. Clearly it makes sense to borrow to invest in your RRSP. Conversely, it should also make sense to leave the money in your RRSP and borrow your down payment, one being the same as the other.
In reality, no mortgage lender will finance 100% of your purchase price. In addition, your lender will qualify you for a larger mortgage, based on gross income, if your debts are lower and don't include a large personal loan for the down payment. A personal loan or second mortgage is a debt that squeezes the maximum mortgage amount you will qualify for if it puts you above the lenders target debt service ratios.
In addition withdrawal under the Home Buyers Plan may be more cost effective than borrowing if this borrowing cost also includes a CMHC fee. This fee can dramatically push up your effective interest rate. If you're just shy of a conventional down payment of 25% it may be wise to withdraw the remainder from your RRSP to avoid paying mortgage insurance fees.
The best approach is to withdraw from your RRSP under the Home Buyers Plan, get all the financing you qualify for, and then once the mortgage is funded borrow to replenish the RRSP if you can afford the payments. Remember you'll also have to pay back your RRSP 1/15th each year.
Pay back the minimum 1/15th required each year if you borrow through the home buyers plan. Repayments do not trigger another tax savings. All savings above the minimum 1/15th repayment should be designated 'contributions ', and invested into your RRSP. You'll receive the tax savings on these amounts each year.
Always invest as much as you can in your RRSP, even if you have to borrow, but be sure you can afford to carry the loan.
Saving Your Down Payment Using your RRSP
To accumulate $20,000 in a non RRSP savings plan, assuming an 8% return and a marginal tax rate of 35%, you would have to invest $3,605 each year for the next five years. This would mean earning $5,546 in gross income each year in order to net out this $3,600 in after tax savings.
Rather than spending this $5,546 in gross income each year on a non RRSP investment, you could invest this same amount into your RRSP. With yearly RRSP contributions of $5,546, you will accumulate about $32,536 in five years. You will also receive tax savings each year in the amount of $1,941. Another way to look at it is that you could accumulate the required $20,000 down payment in about 3 1/3 years by choosing the RRSP savings approach. IT ALWAYS MAKES SENSE to save through an RRSP, whether the savings will be for a house or retirement.
The 1998 budget now allows Canadians to use the homebuyers plan again. The applicant must have no outstanding balance on any previous Home Buyer Plan loans and must requalify for the program again. This means the home owner must requalify as a first time home buyer by renting for the prescribed period. The effective date of the changes is 1999.
Tax-Free RRSP Withdrawals for Lifelong Learning
Canadians will be eligible to make tax-free withdrawals from their RRSPs to support lifelong learning. Individuals will be able to withdraw tax free up to $10,000 per year from their RRSPs, with a maximum of $20,000 over a four-year period. To preserve retirement incomes, these withdrawals will be repayable over 10 years.
What if I want to sell my home before I have paid off the RRSP loan?
You do not have to repay the remaining balance if you sell your home before your scheduled payments are complete. And you are not required to continue to own the home until the amount borrowed is repaid.
If a taxpayer ceases to be a resident of Canada, "the balance of withdrawals made under the plan and not yet repaid must be repaid within 60 days of ceasing residency, or must be included in the individual's income for that year.
When an individual dies with an outstanding Home Buyer's Plan repayment balance, "the outstanding amount must be included in the deceased's income for the year. There is an election that may be made in certain circumstances to allow a spouse of the deceased to effectively take over the deceased's obligations with respect to repayment installments.
When your RRSP matures
If you have an outstanding Home Buyer's Plan repayment balance at the end of the year in which you turn 69 - the deadline for collapsing an RRSP - this outstanding amount must be repaid before year end or be reported as income on your tax return.
If you're a first time home buyer and would like more information please complete the form below.