Unlock Your Dream Home Faster: Guide to Gifted Down Payments

The journey towards homeownership is an exciting path filled with significant milestones, one of which is accumulating the down payment. In Canada, a unique aspect of this process is the possibility of receiving a gifted down payment, a generous contribution that can make the dream of owning property a reality much sooner. In this blog post, we will explore the ins and outs of gifted down payments in Canada, providing essential insights for homebuyers.

Understanding Gifted Down Payments

A gifted down payment is a sum of money given by a relative or, occasionally, a close friend to assist with the purchase of a home. It's not a loan and doesn't need to be repaid, which distinguishes it from other forms of financial help. In the realm of Canadian real estate, gifted down payments are particularly common amongst first-time homebuyers, often supported by their families to help them enter the housing market.

Who Can Give a Gifted Down Payment?

Typically, the donor of a gifted down payment must be an immediate family member, such as a parent, grandparent, or sibling. Some lenders might also accept gifts from extended family or friends if there is a long-standing relationship. It's important to check with your lender for their specific requirements and limitations.

Requirements and Documentation

For a gifted down payment to be accepted by lenders and satisfy the requirements of the Canadian Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC), it must be verified through documentation. This often includes a letter from the donor stating that the gift is non-repayable and the proof of transfer of funds into the recipient's account.

Impact on Mortgage Approval

When it comes to mortgage approval, your income is the primary factor that determines the maximum amount for which you can qualify. The down payment is considered in addition to this amount. Naturally, the more substantial your down payment, the less you'll need to finance, which can be advantageous. If your borrowing capacity is limited, a gifted down payment can be a game-changer, enabling you to afford a more expensive property than you could on your own.

Receiving a large down payment as a gift can shift a mortgage from being insured to conventional. With under 20% down, you face a 25-year amortization limit and strict debt-to-income ratios because of mortgage insurance. But a 20% or higher down payment may qualify you for up to a 30-year amortization and more lenient ratios, potentially allowing for a larger mortgage.

Tax Implications

In Canada, there's good news for recipients of gifted down payments: there are no tax implications for receiving a gift. However, the donor should be aware that if they give a significant amount of money, they might need to consider the impact on their own financial situation, particularly regarding their estate or retirement planning.


Gifted down payments offer a powerful boost to many Canadians looking to purchase a home. By addressing the documentation and requirements upfront, you can ensure a smoother transaction with your lender. If you are fortunate to receive such a gift, take the time to express your gratitude for this substantial contribution towards your future.

For further assistance with your home purchase or to explore listings in the charming city of St. John's, with its captivating blend of big-city luxe and traditional charm, reach out to our team for personalized guidance.

Remember, while this post provides general advice, always consult with a professional financial advisor or mortgage broker for information tailored to your unique circumstances. May your journey to homeownership be as vibrant and welcoming as the colorful streets of St. John's!

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