When it comes to owning property in the Greater Vancouver area, any financial help is welcome. The costs of owning a property versus renting can be significant. There's nothing like owning your home though, and there are several grants and rebates available to home owners at a provincial and national level. The Real Estate Board of Greater Vancouver (REBGV) has lots of useful advice and resources for both existing home owners, and people looking to buy a home. They published a very useful document (updated on April 1, 2011) with their top 25 grants and rebates for property buyers and owners. This list of 25 money-saving tips highlights lots of ways that BC homeowners can save money. The REBGV top 10 out of the 25 are expanded below, but you can read the text on all 25 points on this PDF document. There are links at the end of each of the top 10 which point which leads to the relevant website.
1. 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. You can find out more info at the Canada Revenue Agency website.
2. GST Rebate on New Homes New home buyers can apply for a rebate of the federal portion of the HST (the 5% GST) if the purchase price is less than $350,000. The rebate is up to 36% 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. You can read more on this at the Service Canada website.
3. BC New Housing Rebate (HST) Buyers of new or substantially renovated homes priced up to $525,000 are eligible for a rebate of 71.43% of the provincial portion (7%) of the 12% HST paid to a maximum rebate of $26,250. Homes priced at $525,000+ are eligible for a flat rebate of $26,250. You can read more about this on the BC Government website.
4. BC New Rental Housing Rebate (HST) Landlords buying new or substantially renovated homes are eligible for a rebate of 71.43% of the provincial portion of the HST, up to $26,250 per unit. You can read more about this at the Canada Revenue Agency website.
5. BC Property Transfer Tax (PTT) First Time Home Buyers’ Program Qualifying first-time buyers may be exempt from paying the PTT of 1% on the first $200,000 and 2% on the remainder of the purchase price of a home priced up to $425,000. There is a proportional exemption for homes priced up to $450,000. You can find out more about this on the BC Government website.
6. First-Time Home Buyers’ Tax Credit (HBTC) This federal non-refundable income tax credit is for qualifying buyers of detached, attached, apartment condominiums, mobile homes or shares in a cooperative housing corporation. You can find out more info on this at the Canada Revenue Agency website.
7. BC Home Owner Grant Reduces school property taxes by up to $570 on properties with an assessed value up to $1,150,000. For 2011, the basic grant is reduced by $5 for each $1,000 of value over $1,150,000, and eliminated on homes assessed at $1,264,000. An additional grant reduces property tax by a further $275 for a total of $845 for seniors, veterans and the disabled. This is reduced by $5 for each $1,000 of assessed value over $1,150,000 and eliminated on homes assessed at $1,319,000+. You can read more about this on the BC Government website.
8. BC 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 sup- port children under age 18 may be eligible to defer property taxes. You can read more about this on the BC Government website. Kristy has received the Seniors Real Estate Specialist® or SRES® Designation, so she can provide more information on this.
9. 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. You can find out more information on this at the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC) website.
10. CMHC Mortgage Loan Insurance Premium Refund Provides home buyers with CMHC mortgage insurance, a 10% premium refund and possible extended amortization without surcharge when buyers purchase an energy efficient mortgage or make energy saving renovations. You also can read more on this at the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC) website.
11. Energy Saving Mortgages
12. Low Interest Renovation Loans
13. LiveSmart BC: Efficiency Incentive Program
14. BC Residential Energy Credit
15. BC Hydro Appliance Rebates
16. BC Hydro Fridge Buy-Back Program
17. BC Hydro Windows Rebate Program
18. BC Hydro Mail-in Rebates/Savings Coupons
19. FortisBC Rebate Program
20. FortisBC Efficient Boiler Program
21. City of Vancouver Solar Homes Pilot
22. City of Vancouver Rain Barrel Subsidy Program
23. Vancity Green Building Grant
24. Local Government Water Conservation Incentives
25. Local Government Water Meter Programs
You can find out more information on BCHydro rebates at the BCHydro website, and if you live within the City of Vancouver limits you can find out more information on available City of Vancouver grants and rebates at their website - incentives programs for home owners.