Government Incentives

There are actually 20 grants and rebates for Vancouver property buyers and sellers.

1. Home Buyers' Plan

Home buyers can withdraw up to $25,000 (for couples it's $50,000) from their RRSP's for a downpayment. Homebuyers who have repaid their RRSP may be eligible to use the program a second time. View the Government's website and enter "home buyers plan' in the search box

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 the new homes costing between $350,000 and $450,000. There is no rebate for homes priced at $450,000 and above. View the Government's website and enter 'RC4028' in the search box.

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. View the Government's website

4. BC New Housing Rebate (HST) for Secondary Vacation or Recreational Homes

Buyers of new or substantially renovated secondary or recreational homes outside the Greater Vancouver and Capital Regional 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% in 2011) x $5,000. For the 2011 tax year, the maximum credit is $750. Canada Revenue Agency website.
1.800.959.8281

5. 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 $42,500.
www.hstinbc.ca
1.800.959.8287

6. BC First-Time New Home Buyers’ Bonus

First-time new home buyers may be eligible a one-time grant equal to 5% of the purchase price of the home, or if you are building a home, 5% of the land and constriction costs, up to $10,000. The bonus is based on the net income of the home buyer. This program ends March 31, 2013.
www.sbr.gov.bc.ca/documents_library/notices/FTHB_Bonus.pdf
1.877.387.3332

7. 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 $475,000. There is a proportional exemption for homes priced between $475,000 and $500,000. At $500,000 the rebate is nil. BC Ministry of Small Business and Revenue website
250.387.0604

8. 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% in 2014) x $5,000. For the 2015 tax year, the maximum credit is $750.
Canada Revenue Agency website
1.800.959.8281

9. BC 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. BC Ministry of Small Business and Revenue website or contact your municipal tax office.

10. BC Property Tax Deferment Programs 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.
BC Ministry of Small Business and Revenue website

11. 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.
www.cmhc-schl.gc.ca/en/co/prfinas/prfinas_001.cfm
1.800.668.2642 | 604.873.7408

12. Home Adaptations for Independence (HAFI)

A new 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 then accessible and safer.
BC Housing website

604.433.2218 or toll-free
1.800.257.7756

13. 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.
www.cmhc.ca/en/co/moloin/moloin_008.cfm#reno
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.
www.rbcroyalbank.com/products/mortgages/energy-saver-mortgage.html
1.800.769.2511

15. Low Interest Renovation Loans

Financial institutions offer ‘green’ loans for home owners making energy efficient upgrades. 'Vancity Home Energy Loan' personal loan offers home owners up to $50,000 at prime + 1% for up to 15 years for energy efficient ‘green’ renovations. RBC’s Energy Saver loan offers 1% off the interest rate for a fixed rate installment loan over $5,000 or a $100 renovation on a home energy audit on a fixed rate installment loan over $5,000. For information visit your financial institution.
www.vancity.com/Loans/BrightIdeas and www.rbcroyalbank.com/products/personalloans/energy-saver-loan.html

16. LiveSmart BC: Efficiency Incentive Program

Home owners improving the energy efficiency of their homes may qualify for cash incentives through this provincial program provided in partnership with FortisBC, BC Hydro, and FortisBC. Rebates are for energy efficient products which replace gas and oil furnaces, pumps, water heaters, wood stoves, insulation, windows, doors, skylights and more. The LiveSmart BC program also covers $150 of the cost of a home energy assessment, directly to the service provider.
www.livesmartbc.ca/rebates
1.866.430.8765

17. BC Residential Energy Credit

Home owners and residential landlords buying heating fuel receive a BC government point-of-sale rebate on utility bills equal to the provincial component of the HST.
www.sbr.gov.bc.ca/business/consumer_taxes/residential_energy/residential_energy.htm
1.877.388.4440

18. ENERGY STAR Appliance Rebates

BC Hydro Powe Smart and various municipalities are offering $100 mail-in rebates to home owners buying ENERGY STAR clothes dryers and refridgerators. Learn more at:
www.bchydro.com/rebates_savings/appliance_rebates.html
1.800.224.9376

19. BC Hydro Fridge Buy-Back Program

This ongoing program rebates BC Hydro customers $30 to turn in spare fridges in working condition.
www.bchydro.com/rebates_savings/fridge_buy_back.html
604.881.4357

20. BC Hydro Windows Rebate Program

Pay no HST when you buy ENERGY STAR high performance windows and doors.
www.bchydro.com/rebates_savings/windows_offers/current_offers.htm
604.759.2759 for a free in-home estimate.

21. BC Hydro Mail-in Rebates/Savings Coupons

To save energy, BC Hydro offers rebates including 10% off an ENERGY STAR cordless phone. Check for new offers and for deadlines.
www.bchydro.com/rebates_savings/coupons.html
1.800.224.9376

22. FortisBC Rebate Program for Homes

A range of rebates for home owners include a $300 rebate for purchasing an EnerChoice fireplace, or up to $1,800 off an ENERGY STAR water heater, or a $1000 rebate for switching to natural gas (from oil or propane) and installing and ENERGY STAR heating system. Total value of available rebates: $5,300 per household. Learn more.
www.fortisbc.com/NaturalGas/Homes/Offers/Pages/default.aspx
1.800.663.8400

23. FortisBC Efficient Boiler Program

For commercial buildings, provides a cash rebate of up to 75% of the purchase price of an energy efficient boiler, for new construction or retrofits.
www.fortisbc.com/NaturalGas/Business/Offers/Pages/default.aspx
1.888.477.0777

24. Rain Barrel Subsidy Program

Many Metro Vancouver municipalities offer rain barrels for sale, often at a discount for residents. Richmond sells them for $30. Burnaby sells them for $70. Coquitlam sells them for $72. West Vancouver sells them for $55. Other municipalities have similar offers.

25. Home Energy Rebate Offer

BC Hydro and FortisBC offer home owners rebates for upgrades and improvements, including insulation, space and water heating systems and ventilation to reduce the average consumer's energy bill by 30%. There is a bonus offer for completing three or more of certain upgrades. Total value of available rebates: $5,300 per household.
604.374.0507

26. Vancity Green Building Grant

In partnership with the Real Estate Foundation of BC, Vancity provides grants up to $50,000 each to qualifying charities, not-for-profit organizations and co-operatives for projects which focus on building renovations/ retrofits, regulatory changes that advance green building development, and education to increase the use of practical green building strategies. The deadline for applications was January 23, 2012. If you are still interested in this grant open the link, and consider contacting Vancity to express your interest.
www.vancity.com/MyCommunity/NotForProfit/Grants/ActingOnClimateChange/GreenBuildingGrant
604.877.7000

27. Local Government Water Conservation Incentives

Your municipality may provide grants and incentives to residents to help save water. For example, the City of North Vancouver City, North Vancouver District, and the District of West Vancouver offer a $50 rebate when residents install a low-flush toilet. Richmond offers a $100 utility rebate. Visit your municipality's website and enter 'toilet rebate' to see if there is a program. Also, replace your old clothes washer with a new, high efficiency ENERGY STAR clothes washer and receive a $100 or $200 rebate from Richmond. 

28. 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. Burnaby, 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.

Using RRSP Savings for Down Payments

Canada Revenue Agency’s Home Buyers Plan lets qualifying home buyers use up to $25,000 of their Registered Retirement Savings Plan to buy a home. The home must be a principal residence, the home buyers must not have owned a home within the past five years and the loan must be repaid with 15 years. Home buyers who have already used the plan and have fully repaid their RRSP may be eligible to use the plan a second time. Talk to your lender for more information.

Mortgage Brokers notes:
The most efficient way to pay the RRSPs back is to pay off the recommended minimum payments and not exceed them.

This recommended re-payment plan is to repay at a rate of 1/15th/yr

Ex: $25,000 ÷ 15yrs = $1,666.66/yr annual payment.

Do to the new FINTRAC regulations the funds used must be in your RRSP account for a minimum of 90 days.

Property Transfer Tax Exemption

To qualify for a FULL exemption to the Property Transfer Tax as a First Time Home Buyer, the following criteria must be met:

  • You have never owned an interest in a principal residence anywhere in the world at any time.
  • Purchaser must be a citizen of or a resident of Canada and have resided in B.C for at least one year prior to the purchase.
  • To obtain a full exemption, the purchase price must not exceed $475,000. There are partial exemptions between $475,000 & $500,000.
  • Purchaser of the property must reside and utilize the property as their principal residence for at least one year.

For more information on Property Transfer Tax please visit this link

**B.C lenders recognise this as meaning (Purchaser must have not owned any interest in a principal residence anywhere in Canada at any time in the past 5 years)

Basic Home Owners Grant

The basic grant can reduce your property tax by as much as $570 on properties assessed up to $1,050,000 & continues on a sliding scale up to $1,164,000. The tax ensures that all homeowners contribute towards the funding of local services such as road maintenance and police protection.
For further information please call the Government (small business & revenue Dep) toll-free direct at 1-888-355-2700.

To be eligible for the grant, you must meet the following criteria:

  • You are a Canadian citizen or landed immigrant and ordinarily reside in British Columbia
  • You are the registered owner or eligible occupant of the home. The home must be located within the province.
  • The home is your primary residence – where you live and conduct your daily activities. The grant does not apply to summer cottages, second homes or rental properties.
  • Spouses who live together, including those who are married or who live together in a marriage-like relationship, including same-gender partners, can qualify for a grant on only one residence in the province in a calendar year.
  • Spouses who live apart can each claim a grant on their principal residence if they have a written separation agreement or a court order recognizing the separation.

For more information on the home owners grant please visit this link

HST New Housing Rebate

BC will provide a rebate for new housing purchased as a primary residence to ensure that, on average, purchasers of new homes up to $525,000 do not pay any additional tax due to harmonization. That is, they will pay no more in provincial HST than is currently embedded as PST in the price of a new home.

The rebate is available whether the new housing is to be owner occupied or rented. The HST only applies to “new” residential housing; used (i.e., resale) residential housing is not subject to HST.

For more information and FAQ's, visit this link

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