Grants & rebates for your next real estate purchase
Buying real estate often seems like a big financial commitment, and any help, no matter how big or small, makes a difference. The following grants, plans, and rebates can ease your burden not just while buying your dream home or business, but also in maintaining it and getting electrical appliances. Read on and see which ones you might be eligible for!
Home Buyers’ Plan
Potential home buyers that qualify can withdraw up to $25,000, $50,000 if they are a couple, 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 www.cra.gc.ca and search for “Home Buyer’s Plan.”
GST Rebate on New Homes
New home buyers can apply for a rebate for the 5 per cent 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.
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.
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. The calculation: multiply the lowest personal income tax rate for the year (15 per cent in 2012) x $5,000. For the 2013 tax year, the maximum credit is $750. For more information go to Canada Revenue Agency at www.cra-arc.gc.ca or call 1.800.959.8281.
B.C. Home Owner Grant
Reduces property taxes for home owners with an assessed value of up to $1,100,000. 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.
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.
For more information go to www.sbr.gov.bc.ca.
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.
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 604.646.7055 or toll-free 1.800.407.7757 extension 7055.
CMHC Mortgage Loan InsurancePremium 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.
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. For more information go to www.rbcroyalbank.com/products/mortgages or call 1.800.769.2511.
Low Interest Renovation Loans
Financial institutions offer ‘green’ loans for home owners making energy efficient upgrades. VanCity’s Bright Ideas personal loan offers home owners up to $20,000 at prime + 1 per cent for up to 10 years for ‘green’ renovations. 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.
B.C. Hydro Appliance Rebates
Mail-in rebates for purchasers of ENERGY STAR clothes washers, refrigerators or freezers. For more information go to www.bchydro.com/powersmart or call 1.800.224.9376.
B.C. Hydro Fridge Buy-Back Program
This ongoing program rebates BC Hydro customers $30 to turn in spare fridges in working condition. For more information go to www.bchydro.com/powersmart or call 604.881.4357.
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.
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/NaturalGas/Business/Offers/Pages/default.aspx or call 1.866.884.8833.
LiveSmartBC Small Business Program
Business Energy Advisors (BEAs) delivers free energy assessments. Help business owners tap into available product incentives and cash rebates for lighting, hot water, heating and ventilation improvements. Help business owners coordinate product installation. NOTE: this program expires March 31, 2014. For more information go to www.livesmartbc.ca/incentives/small-business/index.html or call 1-866-430-8765.
City of Vancouver Rain Barrel Subsidy Program
The City of Vancouver provides a subsidy of 50 per cent of the cost of a rain barrel for Vancouver residents. With the subsidy, the rain barrel costs $75. Buy your rain barrel at the Transfer Station at 377 W. North Kent Ave., Vancouver, BC. Limit of two per resident. Bring proof of residency. There is also a limited time offer for short rain barrels for small yards. Cost $50. For more information go to http://vancouver.ca/engsvcs/watersewers/water/conservation/programs/rainbarrel.htm or call 604.736.2250. Other municipalities have similar offers.
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.
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.
Source: Real Estate Board of Greater Vancouver