02.12.2024 / Buying a House

How much down payment for first time home buyer in Ontario?

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How much down payment for first time home buyer in Ontario?

Embarking on the journey of purchasing your first home in Ontario is both an exhilarating and complex process. A critical step in this journey is understanding and preparing for the down payment, a significant factor influencing your home buying experience. This guide is designed to demystify down payments for first-time home buyers in Ontario, highlighting how much you need, the impact on your mortgage, and the support available to make homeownership more attainable.

Understanding Down Payments in Ontario

What is a Down Payment?

A down payment is your initial investment in your future home, deducted from the purchase price, with the remaining amount covered by your mortgage. It’s not just an upfront cost but a foundational component of your home financing.

Minimum Down Payment Requirements

The amount required for a down payment varies based on the home’s purchase price:

  • Homes Priced $500,000 or Less: A minimum of 5% of the purchase price.
  • Homes Priced Between $500,000 and $999,999: 5% of the first $500,000 plus 10% of any amount over $500,000.
  • Homes Priced at $1 Million or More: A minimum of 20% of the purchase price.

For instance, buying a $600,000 home means a down payment of $35,000, calculated as 5% on the first $500,000 ($25,000) and 10% on the remaining $100,000 ($10,000).

The Role of Mortgage Loan Insurance

If your down payment is less than 20% of the home’s purchase price, you’ll generally need mortgage loan insurance. This insurance protects the lender if you’re unable to make mortgage payments but doesn’t cover the borrower. The cost, or premium, of this insurance ranges from 0.6% to 4.5% of your mortgage amount, influenced by your down payment size. A larger down payment not only reduces your insurance premium but also diminishes the total interest paid over the life of your mortgage, potentially saving you thousands.

Programs to Support First-Time Home Buyers

First-Time Home Buyer Incentive: This federal program offers a shared equity mortgage, providing 5% towards a resale home or 10% for a new construction, thereby reducing the required down payment and overall mortgage.

Home Buyers’ Plan (HBP): Allows you to withdraw up to $35,000 from your RRSPs tax-free to fund your down payment. Eligibility hinges on being a first-time buyer or not having owned a home in the last four years.

Affordable Housing Programs: Ontario provides various programs offering financial assistance, down payment aid, and forgivable loans to low- to moderate-income families aiming for homeownership.

Tips for Accumulating Your Down Payment

  • Craft a Detailed Budget: Understanding your spending enables you to identify savings opportunities.
  • Set a Clear Savings Goal: Knowing your target down payment keeps you focused and motivated.
  • Automate Savings: Automatically transferring a portion of your income to a savings account ensures consistent savings growth.
  • Reduce Expenses: Cutting back on non-essential spending can accelerate your savings.
  • Boost Your Income: Additional income streams can be directly allocated to your down payment fund.


The path to homeownership for first-time buyers in Ontario is paved with strategic planning and informed decision-making. By understanding the nuances of down payments, leveraging available programs, and diligently saving, you can transform the dream of owning a home into reality. With a focus on “how much down payment for the first time home buyer in Ontario,” this guide aims to equip you with the knowledge and tools needed for a successful home-buying experience.

Ready to Take Your First Step Towards Homeownership?

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