Ohio Realtors

First Home FAQs

FAQs on the First-Time Homebuyer Savings Accounts (FHSA) ...

Q: What kinds of accounts can be FHSAs?
A: Savings account at an Ohio financial institution can be designated as a FHSA.

Q: How does the FHSA work?
A: Ohio residents can contribute as much as they want into a FHSA, but they can only deduct a cumulative maximum of $50,000 as a single tax filer, or $100,000 as a joint tax filer over a 15-year period. Annually, there is an annual deductible cap of $5,000 for an account holder who files as a single taxpayer and $10,000 for those who file a joint tax return.

Q: What if the money isn’t used to purchase a first-time home? Can I use the funds for the purchase of something besides a home?
A: If the account funds are not used toward the purchase of a first-time home within the 15 year period of opening up the FHSA, you would be responsible for paying the taxes owed and a 10% penalty. 

Q: Who can open an account?
A: Anyone! We anticipate Ohioans of all ages will open an FHSA. Any potential first-time homebuyer interested, as well as parents, grandparents and other family members, can open and contribute to an account for their children and grandchildren and receive a tax deduction on Ohio income state taxes.

Q: What can the money be used for?
A: A FHSA account can be used to pay for any costs related to the home's closing, including: down payment, closing costs, lender fees, etc.

Q: Can I afford a home?
A: Talk to a trusted advisor, like a local REALTOR to help you understand the costs involved in buying a home and what you can afford. Don't forget the tax benefits associated with homeownership.