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Q: We’re looking to buy a house. How do we scrape together a down payment?

Black and white photograph of a house on an island no larger than the house itself.Diana says...
To realize your home goal, start by opening up—or dipping into—your Registered Retirement Savings Plan. The Home Buyers’ Plan (HBP) allows a first-time buyer to withdraw up to $20,000 from an RRSP for a home purchase, and you have 15 years to repay the withdrawn amount. The best way to painlessly build up tax-sheltered funds in an RRSP is by setting up automatic monthly contributions with your bank. When you consider that the average homeowner in Canada is worth $140,000, saving for a home is one of the best wealth-building strategies.

Diana Cawfield is an award-winning financial writer with more than 10 years experience. Send her your questions here.