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  • Writer's pictureNatalia Werhun-Popowicz

Am I am First-Time Home Buyer?

Seems simple enough, right? …Yet, it is a question we get asked often and is unclear to many buyers. In order to qualify for the Ontario first-time homebuyer Land Transfer Tax rebate, among other requirements, you cannot have ever owned or had an interest in a qualifying home ANYWHERE in the world - not just in Canada. Further, if you are a first-time homebuyer but your spouse has owned or had an interest in a qualifying home while you were married, you do not qualify for your portion of the rebate either unless your spouse sold the home before you got married. Additionally, you must occupy the property as your principal place of residence within 9 months of closing, so if you are planning on renting out the property and will not be living in it, you will not qualify either.

If you are a real estate agent who helps buyer clients budget their closing costs when beginning the house-hunting process, make sure you familiarize yourself with the requirements and that your clients know the criteria from the outset. We have had instances were buyers are told that they would qualify for the rebate only to learn when they retain us that they do not actually qualify, and needless to say, no one is happy to hear that they have to pay more tax than they expected.

Werhun Law is a law firm located in Etobicoke serving the Greater Toronto Area. Werhun Law provides services primarily in residential and commercial real estate, mortgages, and wills and estates. If you have any questions or are in need of legal services you can contact us at

The information in this post is for general informational purposes only. It does not constitute legal advice and does not create a solicitor-client relationship.


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