REFRESHER: British Columbia Home Owner Mortgage and Equity Partnership Program (BC HOME Partnership – BCHP)
The BC Home Owner Mortgage and Equity Partnership is a program that offers financial support to first-time homebuyers in British Columbia for entry into the housing market. The program provides repayable loans that have been granted to help first time homebuyers achieve their minimum down payment required by their primary lender.
- The loan is for a 25-year term; up to $37,500 or 5% of the purchase price excluding GST. For new builds, net GST is included when calculating the HOME loan as long as the base purchase price is less than $750,000, subject to the maximum loan value of $37,500.
- The loan is interest and payment free for the first five years.
- The loan is then repaid over the remaining 20 years via monthly payments at current interest rates (Royal Bank of Canada prime rate plus 0.5% at the time of loan approval and re-calculated every five years). The loan must be repaid in full when the home is sold or transferred to another owner.
- Buyers must be preapproved for an insured high-ratio first mortgage (ie. a mortgage in which the down payment is less than 20% of the purchase price excluding GST).
On completion of the purchase, program funds will be advanced and the HOME/BCHP loan will be registered on title to the property as a second mortgage (behind the first mortgage) on the closing date of the purchase of the home.
Because these mortgages are registered alongside a first mortgage, the refinancing process becomes more complex. Thus, it is very important that buyers bring this mortgage to the attention of the lawyer and mortgage lenders involved as soon as possible. The account for the lawyer processing the BCHP mortgage is deducted from the mortgage proceeds. Due to this, the buyer should be aware of higher transactional costs; for both their lawyer reviewing and registering the second mortgage and the BCHP lawyer for their fees to prepare the mortgage.
To determine whether or not you qualify for the program, the BC HOME Partnership Calculator is a great online tool that can help you determine if you meet the program eligibility criteria and the potential amount you could receive. See this tool at:
Please do not hesitate to contact us if you are thinking about buying a home. Speaking to a lawyer early in the process will set you up to successfully navigate today’s changing and exciting market and make the best use of resources available to you.
Author: Kelly Newby
This information is general in nature only. You should consult a lawyer before acting on any of this information. This information should not be considered as legal advice. To learn more about your legal needs, please contact our office at (250)448-2637 or any of our lawyers practicing in the area of business law, real estate law, and wills and estates law at the following: