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Alberta First-Time Homebuyer Incentives: 6 Programs to Look Into

Posted by Justin Havre on Tuesday, May 7th, 2024 at 4:00pm.

Edmonton and Calgary First Time Homebuyer Incentives

If you're considering buying your first home in Alberta, incentive programs for first-time buyers can be a game-changer. From the First Place Program in Edmonton with its innovative land cost deferral to the federal First-Time Home Buyers' Tax Credit, a range of options are designed to make your dream of owning a home more achievable. These programs go beyond mere financial aid, aiming to support you in your journey toward securing a place to call your own home.

For informational purposes only. Always consult with a licensed real estate professional before proceeding with any real estate transaction.

4 Quick Tips

  • The First Place Program in Edmonton provides a five-year deferral on land costs for eligible properties.
  • Attainable Homes Calgary offers $2,000 in down payment assistance for qualifying individuals.
  • First Home Savings Accounts allow tax-deductible contributions of up to $8,000 annually to help Canadians save for a home.
  • The Federal First-Time Home Buyers' Tax Credit provides $1,500 to qualifying individuals to ease financial burdens.

Alberta First-Time Home Buyer Incentives

The two biggest homebuying incentives in Alberta are The First Place Program in Edmonton and The Attainable Homes Calgary (AHC) program. These initiatives offer unique opportunities for assistance with down payments and land costs tailored to support new home buyers in Alberta. Understanding each program's eligibility criteria and benefits can help you make informed decisions as you navigate the home-buying process.

The First Place Program in Edmonton

The First Place Program in Edmonton offers first-time home buyers a five-year deferral on land costs for select properties to facilitate homeownership. Eligible developments for 2024, such as Michael's Park, provide opportunities for aspiring homeowners.

To qualify, you need a net worth of $25,000 or less and a household income under $130,000. Partnered with financial institutions like ATB Financial, Servus Credit Union, and BMO, the program assists with mortgage pre-approval. At the same time, owners pay the unit cost, condominium and utility fees, and taxes. After purchasing a home with this program, the buyers must commit to living there for at least five years.

The Attainable Homes Calgary (AHC) program

The Attainable Homes Calgary (AHC) program offers first-time home buyers a unique opportunity to secure their dream home with a minimal down payment of only $2,000. This program allows home buyers to share in their home's appreciation—up to 75% over the initial five years of ownership.

To be eligible for AHC, your household income should be less than $131,424, and your assets should total $50,000 or less. AHC provides move-in-ready homes at promotional prices to support first-time home buyers in Calgary, and there is no minimum residency requirement for the purchased home.

Federal First-Time Home Buyer Incentives

If you want to save for a down payment as fast as possible, you might want to explore programs like the FHSA, the First-Time Home Buyers' Tax Credit, and The Home Buyers' Plan (HBP). These initiatives can offer benefits such as tax credits, financial assistance, and withdrawal options for down payments. Understanding how these programs work could significantly impact your home-buying journey.


With the First Home Savings Account (FHSA), there's an opportunity to benefit from tax-deductible contributions toward your first home purchase. Eligible individuals can contribute up to $8,000 per year, with a lifetime maximum of $40,000 in their FHSA.

This program is tailored for Canadian residents and first-time home buyers. It offers tax-deductible contributions that incentivize saving for a home. By utilizing the FHSA, you can build tax-free savings, making the dream of homeownership more achievable. Take advantage of this initiative to set aside funds specifically designated for your future home, providing a financial boost toward purchasing your first property.

While it offers similar tax benefits, this program is different from opening a tax-free savings account (TFSA).

First-Time Home Buyers' Tax Credit

The First-Time Home Buyers' Tax Credit, a federal incentive designed to provide financial relief for eligible first-time home buyers in Canada, is another option worth considering. This non-refundable tax credit offers up to $1,500 to qualifying individuals, helping offset expenses like legal fees and land transfer taxes during the home purchase.

To be eligible, you must not have owned a home in the past four years and meet specific criteria. If applicable, you simply need to claim the tax credit on your annual income tax return to reduce your tax liability. Taking advantage of this incentive can ease the financial burden associated with buying your first home, making the process more affordable and accessible for new homeowners in Canada.

The Home Buyers' Plan (HBP)

The Home Buyers' Plan offers first-time home buyers a tax-free option to withdraw up to $35,000—or $70,000 for couples—from their registered retirement savings plans for a home purchase. Under the plan, participants have 15 years to repay the borrowed amount interest-free. To qualify, individuals must be first-time buyers or not have owned a home in the past four years.

Better yet, proposed changes to the Home Buyers' Plan would allow Canadians to withdraw up to $60,000 from their RRSP, while couples would be able to withdraw up to $120,000.

GST/HST New Housing Rebate

The GST/HST New Housing Rebate is a financial incentive available to Canadian homebuyers who purchase a new home or undertake significant renovations on an existing property, or those who rebuild a home destroyed by fire.

Eligible participants can receive a rebate for a portion of the federal Goods and Services Tax (GST) or the Harmonized Sales Tax (HST) that they paid on the purchase price or cost of the building work. This rebate helps to lessen the financial burden associated with the added taxes on new homes, making it slightly more affordable for buyers or renovators to cover these costs.

To qualify for this rebate, the property in question must be the primary place of residence for the buyer or a relation upon completion. The rebate applies not only to houses but also to mobile and modular homes, and substantial home renovations. The amount of the rebate varies, and the limits depend on the value of the home or renovation cost.

The application process for this rebate requires detailed documentation, including proof of all relevant taxes paid and evidence that the property will be used as the buyer's primary residence.

For informational purposes only. Always consult with a licensed real estate professional before proceeding with any real estate transaction.

Achieve Your Dream of Homeownership

First-time home buyers in Alberta have access to several incentive programs that can help make homeownership more attainable. Whether it's assistance with savings, down payments, or land costs, explore all of your options and move closer to reaching your ultimate goal. One of the best things about living in Alberta is that the home prices are much lower than in other provinces. When paired with these incentives, you may own your first home sooner than you think.

If you're looking for a home in Alberta, contact Justin Havre with eXp Realty with Calgary Homes at (403) 217-0003 to reach a local Alberta real estate agent and discover your dream home.

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