Cost saving programs for home/property buyers and owners

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Shared on August 8th, 2017

Wise real estate decisions are made when you have a clear understanding of your personal financial circumstances. When assessing your situation, it is important to know there is a broad range of cost-saving programs available to help you. (Updated: January 2017)

Top Grants and Rebates (updated January 2017) – PDF

Home Buyers’ Plan: Registered Retirement Savings for down payments
Canada Revenue Agency’s Home Buyers’ Plan lets qualifying home buyers use up to $25,000 of their RRSPs to buy a home. Couples can use up to $50,000. The home must be the principal residence, the home buyers must not have owned a home within the past five years and the loan must be repaid within 15 years.

Home buyers who have repaid their RRSP may be eligible to use the plan a second time.

Disabled home buyers upgrading to a more accessible home also qualify as do relatives helping disabled home buyers.

Canada Revenue Agency
For information:
Home Buyers’ Plan


First-Time Home Buyers’ Tax Credit
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 is $750, which is calculated by muliplying the home buyers’ amount of $5,000 by the federal non-refundable tax credit rate of 15% (equal to the lowest personal income tax rate for the year.) Canada Revenue Agency
For information:
GST Rebate on new homes
New home buyers can apply for a rebate of the 5% GST if the purchase price is $350,000 or less. The rebate is equal 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. There is no rebate for homes priced at $450,000 and above. Canada Revenue Agency
For information:
GST- New housing rebate
BC Property Transfer Tax (PTT)
Home buyers in BC pay a provincial Property Transfer Tax (PPT) when they buy a home. The tax is charged at a rate of 1% on the first $200,000 of the purchase price and 2% on the remainder, up to a maximuim of $475,000.

First-time home buyers may be exempt from paying the PTT. There is a proportional exemption for homes priced between $475,000 and $500,000. At $500,000 and above the rebate is nil.

Qualified 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 exepmption on newly built homes priced $750,000 to $800,000. Learn more

BC Ministry of Finance
For information:
Property Transfer Tax
BC property tax deferment programs
Qualifying low income home owners aged 55+ can defer property taxes.

Financial hardship
Qualifying low-income home owners can defer property taxes.

Families with children
Qualifying home owners who financially support children under age 18 can defer property taxes.

BC Ministry of Finance
For information:
Property tax deferment programs
and enter ‘Property tax deferment’ in the search box or contact your municipal tax office.
BC Home Owner Grant
Reduces property taxes for home owners with an assessed value of up to $1,600,000. Is reduced $5 for each $1,000 and eliminated on homes assessed at $1,714,000 or $1,754,000 in northern/rural areas.

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
• an additional grant of $275 to seniors aged 65+, those who are permanently disabled, and verterans of certain wars

For information:
Home Owner Grant
Or contact your local municipal tax office.
Home Adaptations for Independence (HAFI)
program jointly funded by federal and provincial governments provides up to $20,000 to help eligible low-income seniors and disabled home owners and landlords finance modifications to their homes to make them accessible and safer. For information:
BC Housing
BC Home Owner Mortgage and Equity (HOME) Partnership program
Offers qualifying first-time buyers with a down payment loan of 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. For information:


BC Seniors’ Home Renovation Tax Credit
Assists eligible seniors 65+ with the cost of certain permanent home renovations to a principal residence to improve accessibility or help a senior be more mobile at home. The maximum refundable credit is $1,000 per tax year and is calculated as 10% of the qualifying renovation expense (maximum $10,000). For information:
BC Government
Canada Revenue Agency
Rain barrel subsidy programs
Many Metro Vancouver municipalities offer rain barrels for saleat a discount for residents:
Burnaby – $70
Coquitlam – $72
Richmond – $30
West Vancouver – $55

Other municipalities may have similar offers.

For information:

West Vancouver

Local government water conservation incentives
Your municipality may provide grants and incentives to residents to help save water.

ToiletsRichmond offers a $100 utility rebate.


For information:
Visit your municipality’s website and enter ‘toilet rebate’ to see if there is a program.
Local government water meter programs
Your municipality may offer water metering so you pay only for the amount of water you use. Burnaby(scroll down), DeltaRichmond and West Vancouver have programs and other municipalities may soon follow. For information:
Visit your municipality’s website and enter ‘water meter’ to see if there is a program.
Vancouver Thermal Imaging program
A new program to help detached homeowners identify heat loss and connect them with energy saving incentives. Neighbourhoods piloting the program include Strathcona, Hastings Sunrise, Dunbar-Southlands, Riley Park, and Victoria Fraserview. For information:
Thermal imaging
Water saving kits
Many Metro Vancouver municipalities offer water saving kits and other tools for reducing home water consumption including Burnaby, Coquitlam, and Delta. For information:
Leaders in Energy Management Program
Partners BC Hydro with BC’s largest commercial, government and institutional customers (who spend $200,000 or more/year on hydro). Customers gain access to energy management programs, tools and incentives. For information:
BC Hydro
Business Energy Saving Incentives
Provides financial incentives to organizations that replace inefficient technologies with energy efficient technologies. For information:
BC Hydro
FortisBC rebate program for homes
Rebates for home owners include:
• $300 rebate for buying an EnerChoice fireplace
• up to $1,800 off an ENERGY STAR water heater
• $1,000 rebate for switching to natural gas (from oil or propane) and installing an ENERGY STAR heating system

Total value of available rebates: $5,300 per household.

For information:
Fortis BC
FortisBC rebate for rental apartment buildings
The Rental Apartment Efficiency Program for owners and managers of rental apartment buildings of 9 or more units includes a water-efficient shower head, a kitchen and bathroom faucet aerator, an energy assessment, and ongoing professional assistance. Program info 
FortisBC rebate program for businesses
For commercial buildings, provides:
• up to $45,000 for the purchase of an energy efficient boiler
• up to $15,000 for the purchase of a high-efficiency water heater
• funding towards a new construction energy study
For information:
Fortis BC
1 800-663-8400
Energy Conservaton and Assistance Program
BC Hydro and FortisBC offer free energy assessments and energy saving products to income-qualifying households for upgrades ranging from $300 to $5,000. For information:
BC Hydro
Energy savings kits
BC Hydro and FortisBC offer income-qualifying customers a free energy saving kit containing products to help save energy and money. For information:
BC Hydro
Home energy rebate offer
BC Hydro and FortisBC offer home owners rebates for upgrades and improvements, including insulation, draftproofing, space and water heating systems and ventilation to reduce your energy bill. Includes a bonus offer for completing 3+ upgrades. Total value of available rebates: $5,300 per household. For information:
BC Hydro
Join the Power Smart Team
Become a member of Team Power Smart and start a challenge to reduce your electricity use by 10% over the next year. If you’re successful you’ll earn a $50 reward. For information:
BC Hydro
Financial institutions – energy-related savings
RBC’s Energy Saver Mortgage
Home owners who have a home energy audit within 90 days of receiving a RBC Energy Saver Mortgage may qualify for a rebate of $300 to their RBC account.

RBC’s Energy Saver Loan
Offers a 1% interest rate discount or a $100 rebate on a home energy audit with a qualifying purchase through a fixed rate loan over $5,000.

BMO Eco Smart Mortgage
Offers home buyers a special rate on qualifying green properties.

Vancity Home Energy Loan
Offers home owners up to $50,000 at prime + 1% for up to 15 years for energy efficient renovations.

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 home or make energy savings renovations.

For information visit your financial institution or
RBC- mortgage 1-800-769-2511
RBC- loan
CMHC  1-800-668-2642
or 604-731-5733

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