Buying a Home
Savings Plans & Assistance
A number of programs are available to help people with the cost of purchasing a home in Ontario. Two examples are:
- The Home Buyers' Plan (HBP) allows individuals to use some of their retirement savings to buy or build a home.
- The First-Time Home Buyers' Tax Credit (HBTC) assists first-time home buyers with an income tax refund.
Information about programs that assist home buyers is available from the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC), financial institutions and some real estate companies.
Most people who buy a home must borrow money from a bank or other financial institution. The loan is called a mortgage and is repaid over a lengthy period of time (usually 15 to 35 years). Mortgage payments are generally made once or twice a month. The financial institution that loaned the money charges interest on the overall sum and adds it to the mortgage payments.
A home buyer who is unable to pay at least 20 per cent of the purchase price is usually required to purchase mortgage loan insurance. The insurance can be obtained from the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC) (see For More Information links below) or a private company.
A new home buyer may also need mortgage life insurance. This type of insurance ensures that any outstanding mortgage will be reduced or paid off if the borrower dies suddenly.
Kingston home owners pay property taxes twice a year to the city. The first payment is due at the end of February and the second at the end of June. Property taxes help pay for the cost of police and fire services, garbage pickup, elementary and high school education, and many other municipal programs and services.
It is against the law in Ontario to use chemical pesticides on lawns, gardens, school yards and parks. Property owners can maintain healthy lawns and gardens without chemicals through other means. See For More Information links below.
Homeowners are encouraged to keep driveways, laneways and sidewalks beside and in front of their homes clear of ice and snow within 24 hours of a major storm.
To assist snow removal crews, parking on city streets is banned from 1 a.m. to 7 a.m. between December 1 and March 31. Residents who continue to park their vehicles on the street during the restricted times will be ticketed and fined.
For More Information
How to pay parking tickets online, by phone and in person.
Parking is not permitted on any city street from December 1 to March 31 between 1 a.m. and 7 a.m. Winter parking regulations are among a number of parking rules listed.
A general overview of Kingston neighbourhoods and some comparative housing prices. Includes a set of useful resources on Where to Start.
Website of the Canadian government housing agency. Includes information on buying, renting, renovating, mortgage loan insurance and other topics.
Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation guide specifically for newcomers. Explains the ins and outs of renting, buying, renovating, etc. Also available in French, Chinese, Punjabi, Tagalog, Urdu, Spanish, and Arabic.
A general description of property taxes, billing dates, property assessment rolls and where to get more information. Includes an Assessment & Tax Levy Lookup Tool.
A number of programs are available to help certain property owners pay their taxes.
The Ontario government banned cosmetic pesticides on Earth Day 2009. Includes information about the legislation, pesticides and healthy lawn and garden tips.
Tips on how to have a pesticide-free lawn and garden without the use of chemicals.
Information on using retirement savings to purchase a home through the federal Home Buyers’ Plan (HBP).
A detailed guide to forgivable loans and non-repayable contributions that can be used by seniors, persons with disabilities and low-income families for renovations, repairs, and other housing initiatives. Includes online tools to calculate eligibility. Produced by Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMCH).
Information about a federal program to assist first-time home buyers and people who have disabilities or a relative with disabilities.
Information about a federal plan that allows individuals to use savings to build a home for themselves or a relative with a disability.
Building permits regulate construction in the community and ensure building standards are met. Includes application forms to construct or demolish a variety of buildings — including decks, pools, and green buildings — and information about heritage permits.
How to create healthy lawns, manage pests and encourage beneficial insects. Includes tips for natural solutions to common problems.
How to manage pests in gardens and encourage beneficial insects. Includes tips for natural solutions to common problems.
Guides for newcomers about renting and buying a home in Canada provided by the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation. Also available in Arabic, Chinese (simplified), Filipino (Tagalog), Punjabi, Spanish, and Urdu.
A large resource of general legal information for Ontarians, compiled from hundreds of organizations across Ontario. While the site itself is only available in English, materials are available in multiple languages, including French. Managed by Community Legal Education Ontario.
Information about a permanent refundable Ontario tax credit to assist with the cost of permanent home modifications that improve accessibility or help a senior be more functional or mobile at home. It can also be claimed by senior homeowners and tenants, and people who share a home with a senior relative.