The Government of Alberta offers the Public Essential and Key (PEAK) Program, which helps low-income earners with a down payment on their first home. The PEAK Program achieves this by providing applicants with a second mortgage for the down payment of their home, up to a maximum of 5% of the purchase price. This second mortgage is interest free for the first five years. Interest will start to accrue after the initial five year period. Repayment is not needed until the home is sold. After three years, PEAK participants retain all of the equity in their home.
To qualify for the PEAK program, you must have a household income less than $80,000 per year, or $90,000 if you have children living at home. You must have the ability to be pre-approved for a five-year fixed mortgage, and you must not be able to afford a 5% down payment. Since 2009, the PEAK Program has helped 111 individuals and families. The PEAK Housing Initiative depends on housing inventory provided by Trico Homes. Currently, there are no more homes available in the program for new first time homebuyers.
The City of Edmonton's First Place Program provides a five-year deferral on land costs for first-time home buyers on select properties. These properties are town homes on redeveloped vacant school sites by select builders. Current developments eligible for the First Place Program include Belle Rive, Kirkness, and Michaels Park. Applicants must also have a combined household income less than $117,000.
Homeowners participating in the First Place Program will need to pay back 5-years worth of land costs after five years have passed. That's because the program only defers land costs, not refund them or exempt them. Partnered financial institutions include ATB Financial, Servus Credit Union, and BMO. However, any financial institution can be used for the program.
To be eligible for the First Place Program, the requirements include:
Attainable Homes Calgary helps home buyers purchase a home with a down payment of only $2,000. The program then loans you the rest of the down payment, with no interest on the loan. In exchange, the AHC program takes a portion of your home's appreciation. This starts from 100% of the home's appreciation in the first year of ownership, to 25% after five years of home ownership.
There is no minimum number of years that you will need to live in the home. You can live in the home for as short or as long as you want, with no risk to your down payment loan. This makes it a great way for first-time home buyers in Alberta that don’t have a large down payment saved up to buy a home. When owners decide to sell their home, they will need to pay the following costs:
To be eligible for the Attainable Homes Calgary program, you will need:
Attainable Homes Calgary also offers a variety of move-in ready homes with promotional prices to help home buyers. For example, a 3-bedroom 1,460 sq. ft townhome was offered in September 2021 for $286,000. Buyers can own this home for as little as $1,164 per month. How will the price appreciation sharing work?
|Years of Ownership||Your Share of the Home's Appreciation|
|0 - 1 Years||0%|
|1 - 3 Years||25%|
|3 - 5 Years||50%|
Let’s look at Calgary’s housing market to see how the overall market has performed. From August 2020 to August 2021, the average price of a home in Calgary increased by 4%. Let’s say that your home will grow in value (appreciate) by 4% every year for a $300,000 home.
|Year||Home Price||Your Share of the Home’s Appreciation|
If you sell in the first year, you will keep 0% of the home’s price appreciation. If the home went up in value by $10,000 and you sold in the first year, you will not keep that $10,000.
After one year, you get to keep 25% of the home’s appreciation. If the price went up $12,000, you get to keep $3,000.
After three years, you get to keep 50% of the home’s appreciation. If the price went up $37,459, you get to keep $18,729.
After five years, you get to keep 75% of the home’s appreciation. If the price went up $64,995, you get to keep $48,746.
The longer you stay in the home, the more of the home’s price growth that you get to keep. Best of all for first-time home buyers, you get to participate in Calgary’s housing market for a down payment of just $2,000.