There's an opportunity to use up to $25,000 as a loan from your RRSP to purchase a principal residence. The government's definition of a "first-time buyer" is a person who has NOT owned and lived in a home as a principal residence at any time during the five calendar years up to and including the current year. If your spouse has owned and lived in a home during that period, and you have inhabited that home, you also do not qualify. Spouse includes a common law spouse.
You can either buy or build the home with your RRSP loan, without counting the withdrawal as income. You must repay the loan, without interest, over 15 years starting in the second year after the withdrawal. If both you and your partner have RRSP's you can access $50,000. The qualifying home must be acquired before October 1st of the year following the withdrawal. You must also be using the home as a principal residence within the year.
If you don't make the repayments as required, you must include the shortfall as income for tax purposes. If you become a non- resident you must repay the outstanding balance to your RRSP within 60 days of leaving Canada. Otherwise, the balance will be included in your income for the year you became non-resident.
If you make a contribution in one year and want to withdraw the funds that year, you need to make that annual contribution at least 90 days before the withdrawal.
There are a couple of things to consider before embarking on the process. You do lose the tax-free compounding but you will have the reduced mortgage amount. You also need to be able to budget the repayment while sustaining your costs of ownership. I do think that in Whistler the benefit of becoming a homeowner as opposed to being a tenant is overwhelmingly positive. You do have strong revenue opportunities here as well in renting out a room.
Homeownership seems a big step to take but when you consider the rent you pay, it's a very rewarding and worthwhile step. Give me a call to set up a conversation about what you can do to become a homeowner in the Sea to Sky corridor!