If you’re looking to make a real estate decision, it’s good to know that there are a lot of options available to you for cost saving programs.
1. BC Home Owner Mortgage and Equity (HOME) Partnership Program
Offers qualifying first-time home buyers with a down payment, a matching down payment loan up to 5% of the purchase price to a maximum of $37,500 on a home priced up to $750,000. The loan is interest-free and payment-free for 5 years. Then Buyers can repay their loan or make monthly payments at prevailing interest rates. Loans are due after 25 years. https://www.bchousing.org/housing-assistance/bc-home-partnership
2. Home Buyers’ Plan
Qualifying home buyers can withdraw up to $25,000 (couples can withdraw up to $50,000) from their RRSPs for a down payment. Home buyers who have repaid their RRSP may be eligible to use the program a second time.
For more information go to Canada Revenue Agency at http://www.cra-arc.gc.ca/hbp/ or call 1-800-267-6999
3. BC Property Transfer Tax Newly Built Home Exemption
Qualifying buyers of new homes may be exempt from paying the PTT on a newly built home or newly subdivided unit priced up to $750,000, saving buyers up to $13,000; and a partial exemption on new homes priced $750,000 to $800,000.
http://www2.gov.bc.ca/gov/content/taxes/property-taxes/property-transfer-tax/understand/exemptions/newly-built-home-exemption or call 1-888-355-2700
4. GST Rebate on New Homes
New home buyers can apply for a rebate for the 5% GST if the purchase price is $350,000 or less. The rebate is equal to 36 per cent of the GST to a maximum rebate of $6,300. There is a proportional GST rebate for new homes costing between $350,000 and $450,000. At $450,000 and above the rebate is nil.
For more information call 1.800.959.8287 or go to Canada Revenue Agency www.cra.gc.ca and enter ‘RC4028’ in the search box.
5. BC Property Transfer Tax (PTT) First-Time Home Buyers’ Program
Qualifying first-time buyers may be exempt from paying the PTT of 1 per cent on the first $200,000 and 2 per cent on the remainder of the purchase price of a home priced up to $475,000. There is a proportional exemption for homes priced up to $500,000. At $450,000 and above the rebate is nil.
For more information go to BC Ministry of Small Business and Revenue at www.sbr.gov.bc.ca/business/Property_Taxes/Property_Transfer_Tax/ptt.htm or call 250-387-0604.
6. Newly built home exemption (PTT)
Qualifying first-time buyers may be exempt from paying the PTT of 1 per cent on the first $200,000 and 2 per cent on the remainder of the purchase price of a newly built home priced up to $750,000. There is a proportional exemption for homes priced up to $800,000.
For more information go to http://www2.gov.bc.ca/gov/content/taxes/property-taxes/property-transfer-tax/understand/exemptions/newly-built-home-exemption
7. First-Time Home Buyers’ Tax Credit (HBTC)
Eligible individuals who bought a qualifying home in 2016 can claim the home buyers’ amount of $5,000 on line 369 of Schedule 1 when filing their 2016 income tax and benefit returns. For 2016, the maximum home buyers tax credit (HBTC) is $750, which is calculated by multiplying the home buyers amounts of $5,000 by the federal non-refundable tax credit rate of 15% (equal to the lowest personal income tax rate for the year).
For more information go to Canada Revenue Agency at www.cra-arc.gc.ca or call 1-800-959-8281.
8. B.C. Home Owner Grant
Reduces property taxes for home owners with an assessed value of up to $1,600,000.
The basic grant gives home owners:
- a maximum reduction of $570 in property taxes on principal residences in the Capital, Greater Vancouver and Fraser Valley regional districts;
- an additional grant of $200 to rural homeowners elsewhere in the province; and
- an additional grant of $275 to seniors aged 65+, those who are permanently disabled and war veterans of certain wars.
For more information go to BC Ministry of Small Business and Revenue at www.rev.gov.bc.ca/hog or contact your municipal tax office.
9. B.C. Property Tax Deferment Programs
- Property Tax Deferment Program for Seniors. Qualifying home owners aged 55+ may be eligible to defer property taxes.
- Financial Hardship Property Tax Deferment Program. Qualifying low-income home owners may be eligible to defer property taxes.
- Property Tax Deferment Program for Families with Children. Qualifying low-income home owners who financially support children under age 18 may be eligible to defer property taxes.
10. Canada Mortgage and Housing (CMHC) Residential Rehabilitation Assistance Program (RRAP) Grants
This federal program provides financial aid to qualifying low-income home owners to repair substandard housing. Eligible repairs include heating, structural, electrical, plumbing and fire safety. Grants are available for seniors, persons with disabilities, owners of rental properties and owners creating secondary and garden suites.
For more information go to www.cmhc-schl.gc.ca or call 1-800-668-2642.
11. Home Renovation Tax Credit for Seniors and Persons with Disabilities
Assists eligible seniors 65+, persons with disabilities or persons living with persons with disabilities, with the cost of some permanent home renovations to a principal residence to improve accessibility. The maximum refundable credit is $1,000 per tax year and is calculated at 10% of the qualifying renovation expense (maximum $10,000) Forms are available online or call 1-800-959-8281
12. Home Adaptations for Independence (HAFI)
A program jointly sponsored by the provincial and federal governments provides up to $20,000 to help eligible low-income seniors and disabled home owners and landlords to finance modifications to their homes to make them accessible and safer.
For more information go to BC Housing at www.bchousing.org/Options/Home_Renovations or call 604.433.2218 or toll-free 1-800-257-7756
ENERGY AND WATER REBATES
13. CMHC Mortgage Loan Insurance Premium Refund
Provides home buyers with CMHC mortgage insurance, a 10 per cent premium refund and possible extended amortization without surcharge when buyers purchase an energy efficient home or make energy saving renovations.
For more information go to www.cmhc.ca or call 604-731-5733.
14. Energy Saving Mortgages
Financial institutions offer a range of mortgages to home buyers and owners who make their homes more energy efficient. For example, home owners who have a home energy audit within 90 days of receiving an RBC Energy Saver™ Mortgage, may qualify for a rebate of $300 to their RBC account.
BMO Smart Mortgage™ rewards customers for making energy efficient choices. For more information call your bank.
15. Low Interest Renovation Loans
Financial institutions offer ‘green’ loans for home owners making energy efficient upgrades. VanCity’s Home Energy loan and RBC’s Energy Saver loan offers 1 per cent off the interest rate for a fixed rate installment loan over $5,000 or a $100 rebate on a home energy audit on a fixed rate installment loan over $5,000.
For information visit your financial institution.
16. ENERGY STAR Appliance Rebates
BCHydro power smart and various municipalities are offering $100 mail-in rebates to home owners buying ENERGY STAR clothes dryers and refrigerators. https://www.bchydro.com/powersmart/residential/savings-and-rebates/current-rebates-buy-backs/appliance-rebates.html
17. Energy Conservation and Assistance Program
BCHydro and FortisBC offer free energy assessments and energy saving products to income-qualifying households for upgrades ranging of $300 – $5,000. Visit https://www.fortisbc.com/Rebates/RebatesOffers/EnergyConservationAssistanceProgram/Pages/default.aspx
18. FortisBC Rebate Program
A range of rebates for home owners include a $75 rebate for upgrading to an ENERGY STAR clothes washer, $300 rebate on an Ener-Choice fireplace and a $1,000 rebate for switching to natural gas (from oil or propane) and installing an ENERGY STAR heating system.
For more information go to www.fortisbc.com/NaturalGas/Homes/Offers/Pages/default.aspx or call 1-888-224-2710.
19. FortisBC Rebate Program for Businesses
For commercial buildings, provides a rebate of up to $60,000 for the purchase of an energy efficient boiler, up to $15,000 for the purchase of a high-efficiency water heater and receive funding towards a new construction energy study. For more information go to www.fortisbc.com or call 1-866-884-8833.
20. Rain Barrel Subsidy Program
Many municipalities are offering a subsidy when purchasing a rain barrel. Contact your municipality for more info.
21. Local Government Water Conservation Incentives
Your municipality may provide grants and incentives to residents to help save water. For example, the City of Coquitlam offers residents a $100 rebate and the City of North Vancouver, District of North Vancouver, and District of West Vancouver offer a $50 rebate when residents install a low-flush toilet.
Visit your municipality’s website and enter ‘toilet rebate’ to see if there is a program.
22. Local Government Water Meter Programs
Your municipality may provide a program for voluntary water metering, so that you pay only for the amount of water that you use. Delta, Richmond and Surrey have programs and other municipalities may soon follow. Visit your municipality’s website and enter ‘water meter’ to find out if there is a program.