First Home Savings Account (FHSA)

By Connie Graham and Briana Hennigan |

Best Mortgage Broker Edmonton

As we approach the end of 2023, I wanted to check in and see how the year has treated you. Whether you've conquered every goal on your list or found some goals left forgotten since January 2nd, I hope you're in good spirits.

If you already own a home, this opportunity might not directly apply to you, but it could greatly benefit someone you know—a friend, family member, or colleague—looking to make their first home purchase. Feel free to share this email with them and help them kickstart 2024 on a positive note.

I'd like to share an exciting opportunity that could make a significant impact on your path to success in the coming year, especially if home buying is a goal on your list. The Government of Canada recently introduced the First Home Savings Account (FHSA), specifically designed to assist first-time home buyers. 

To give you a quick overview:

  • Contributions to the FHSA reduce your annual income, leading to potential tax savings or a larger refund, similar to an RRSP.
  • Income earned in the account is tax-free, resembling the benefits of a TFSA.
  • You can contribute up to $8,000 per year, with a lifetime limit of $40,000. 
  • By opening the account now, you'll have $8,000 in contribution room this year and an additional $8,000 available next year to use, whether or not you have the capacity to use the full contribution amounts at the moment. 

The FHSA offers flexibility, allowing you to withdraw funds for a home purchase without the obligation to repay, unlike the RRSP through the Home Buyers Plan which has a 15-year repayment period. Additionally, any unused amount in your FHSA can be transferred to your RRSP (and vice versa) within the contribution limits.

Remember, you qualify as a first-time home buyer if you have never owned a home before. Or if you or your common-law partner/spouse haven't owned a home in the four years prior to opening the account. For example, if you open an account now, it means that you cannot have owned a home (or lived with a spouse/common-law partner who owns their home) between the years of 2019-2023. 

For more details, you can visit the Government of Canada's website here. Many banking institutions offer the FHSA, which you can conveniently open online. Or if you'd like to speak with a financial planner to get tailored advice to save for your down payment, I would be happy to pass along a recommendation. 

Wishing you a wonderful end to 2023 and a prosperous start to the new year from Connie Graham and the team!