Q: I want to buy a house with money from my RRSP but I used my Home Buyers’ Plan 17 years ago. How can I find out if I qualify before I withdraw money from my RRSP?—Wannie Guy
A: Sometimes you can have a second “first time.” Even if you previously participated in the Home Buyers’ Plan (HBP), you may be eligible to do so again, if your balance is zero and you meet all the other HBP conditions. There are exceptions, but you may re-qualify as a first-time home buyer as long as neither you nor your current spouse have owned a home that you occupied as your principal place of residence during the four-year period before the RRSP withdrawal.
The eligibility criteria are quite specific so I recommend you search online for the CRA pamphlet numbered “RC4135” and review the questionnaire on page 7 or contact them at 1-800-959-8281. If you decide to give them a call, have an accountant joke ready to go. They love that.