Coming up with a down payment for a home can seem overwhelming, but you may have more money than you think if you have been contributing to your Registered Retirement Savings Plan (RRSP). In Canada, first-time homebuyers can access up to $35,000 per person from their plan and their issuer will not withhold tax. That means a couple withdrawing the maximum amount each can access $70,000. If you are not a first-time homebuyer, you may still qualify if you meet other criteria.
Before withdrawing the funds, there are a few important things to know about the plan. You must pay it back within 15 years and you must meet the eligibility and participation requirements. You may even meet the first-time homebuyer requirements if you previously owned a home but experienced a breakdown of your marriage or common-law partnership or if you have not lived in a property that you owned in the past four years. If you live as a couple, this applies to both of you. The property must also meet requirements, but if it is your primary residence, located in Canada, and gives you ownership as opposed to tenancy rights, it likely qualifies.
Whether you can participate is also determined by how your RRSP funds are invested. Some locked-in or group RRSP plans will not allow you to withdraw funds. If you are just starting to invest now and home ownership is a few years away, you may want to consider how you invest today if you want to access the Home Buyers’ Plan in the future.
To find more details on eligibility and participation requirements, please visit the Government of Canada’s official page to learn more about the Home Buyers’ Plan (HBP).
You can also contact me for more information on the HBP.