B.C. Government Offers 0% Interest Down-Payment Loans to 1st-Time Homebuyers
The program will provide a government-backed loan of up to $37,500, or five per cent, of the purchase price of a home for qualified buyers, starting Jan. 16.
The goal is to match part of a person’s down payment to help them afford to buy their first home, as long as they already qualify for a mortgage under federal rules and the home is worth less than $750,000.
To be eligible, a homeowner must:
• Have saved a down payment amount at least equal to the loan amount for which they are applying from
• Have been a Canadian citizen or permanent resident for at least five years.
• Have lived in B.C. for at least one year prior to the sale.
• Be a first-time buyer who has not owned an interest in any residential property anywhere in the world at anytime.
• The home must have a purchase price of less than $750,000.
• The buyer must already be able to qualify for an insured high-ratio first mortgage for at least 80 per cent of
• The combined gross household income of all people on title must not be more than $150,000.
“So we want to be there to help first-time home buyers get over that hump.”
Clark said the move is a way for government to “be a partner in your home” and move renters into home ownership where possible.
The 25-year loan is interest-free for the first five years, and does not require the homeowner to even pay down the principal during those first five years, as long as they keep the home as their principal residence. It will be recorded as a second mortgage on the title of the property.
After the first five years, the province expects monthly payments at the current interest rate, with the loan repaid over the remaining 20 years. Extra payments or full repayment at any time will be allowed, according to the government.
Provincial officials provided a few examples Thursday of how the program would work.
On a home worth $600,000, federal mortgage rules dictate a person must have a down payment of at least $35,000. If the person has saved only $30,000, the government would provide a matching $30,000 loan, giving the buyer $60,000 for the down payment.
On a home worth $750,000 (the program maximum), the minimum down payment would be $50,000. If a person had saved a $52,500 down payment, government would provide five per cent of the $750,000, adding $37,500 to the down payment and allowing the buyer to pay almost $90,000 as the down payment. That could save $5,200 on interest payments on the mortgage over five years, say government officials.
Applications for the program will start on Jan. 16, 2017, for purchases that close on or after Feb. 15, 2017. The province said it will be a three-year program.
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