If you are considering buying your first-home in Whistler, the timing has never been better. In December, the BC Government announced the BC Government Home Owner Mortgage and Equity Partnership Program, offering loans of up to 5 percent of the purchase price to eligible first-time buyers. These loans are interest and payment free for the first five years, and will match a buyer’s down-payment. Although there is some controversy surrounding this loan scheme, with some experts saying it will push prices up in the lower end of the market and make housing even more unaffordable, it is great news for first-time home buyers who have been wanting to break into the real estate market. So what does the new program entail?
As of January 16th 2017, first-time buyers can apply online for the government assisted loan. The program will be available until March 30th 2020, and there is no cap on the loans. The government expects this scheme will help up to 40,000 first-time buyers in the next three years. The loan which will match a buyers down-payment up to 5 percent of the purchase price or $37,500 is interest and payment free for the first five years. On the sixth year, interest will begin accruing on the loan at market rates, and payments will begin.
Of course there are some eligibility requirements. Applicants must be Canadian Citizens or Permanent Residents for the last 5 years, they must have resided in BC for an entire year before application submission and they must intend to use the property as the primary place of residence. Properties must be under $750,000, buyers must be pre-approved for a loan, and buyer’s must not have owned property anywhere else in the world before. Once a loan has been granted buyers must take possession within 30 days of closing, and move in day must be within 6 months.
Those living in Whistler who have been subject to the housing shortage and on the cusp of home ownership may now have a shot at owning property in Whistler. Those from outside of the resort destination who have always wanted to live here may now have the chance. There are plenty of properties available under $750,000 in both condos and townhomes near the mountain and in the out-lying suburbs.
If you are looking to buy property in 2017 as a first-time buyer and have questions about the new BC Government Home Partnership Program please contact me. There are other first-time buyer’s programs you also may be eligible for including The First Time Buyers Program, First-Time Home Buyers Tax Credit, and if you’re buying a newly constructed or substantially renovated property, The GST Rebate on New Homes. If you haven’t received a mortgage pre-approval I can recommend some highly skilled mortgage brokers in the local community. Specialising in representing buyers in both Whistler and Pemberton I’d be happy to help you buy you first home in the local area.