25 Useful Resources
Here are 25 useful resources to consider if you own a home or are looking for one.
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. Canada Revenue Agency.
GST Rebate on New Home
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 $250,000 and $450,000
BC New Housing Rebate (HST)
Buyers of new or substantially renovated homes prices 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.
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.
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. BC Ministry of Small Business and Revenue.
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 2010) x $5,000. For the 2010 tax year, the maximum credit is $750. Canada Revenue Agency.
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 S1,150,000, 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 $1319,000+BC Ministry of Small Business and Revenue
or contact your municipal tax office.
BC Property Tax Deferment Programs:
Property Tax Deferment Program for Seniors. Qualifying homeowners aged 55+ may be eligible to defer property taxes.
Financial Hardship Property Tax Deferment Program. Qualifying low-income homeowners may be eligible to defer property taxes.
Property Tax Deferment Program for Families with Children. Qualifying low income homeowners who financially support children under age 18 may be eligible to defer property taxes.
BC Ministry of Small Business and Revenue
and enter Property tax deferment in the search box or contact your municipal tax office.
Canada Mortgage and Housing (CMHC) Residential
Rehabilitation Assistance Program (RRAP) Grants
This federal program provides financial aid to qualifying low-income homeowners 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.
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.
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.
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% for up to 10 years for “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.
Go to Vancity or Royal Bank of Canada and search “energy saver loan”.
LiveSmart BC: Efficiency Incentive Program
Home owners improving the efficiency of their homes may qualify for cash incentives through this provincial program provided in partnership with Terasen Gas, 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 program cost of a home energy assessment, directly to the service provider.
BC Residential Energy Credit
Home owners and residential landlords buying heating fuel receive a BC government point-of-sale rebate utility bills equal to on the provincial component of the HST.
or Google Search Residential Energy Credit rebate program: It's the first result.
BC Hydro Appliance Rebates
Mail-in rebates of $25-$50 for purchasers of ENERGY STAR clothes washers, refrigerator, dishwashers or freezers until March 31, 2011, or when funding for the program is exhausted.
BC Hydro Fridge Buy-Back Program
This ongoing program rebates BC Hydro customers $30 to turn in spare fridges in working condition.
BC Hydro Windows Rebate Program
Pay no HST when you buy ENERGY STAR high-performance windows and doors. This offer is available until March 31, 2011.
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.
Fortis BC (formerly Terasen Gas) Rebate Program
A range of rebates for home owners include a $50 rebate for upgrading a water heater, $150 rebate on an Ener-Choice fireplace (both good until March 31, 2011) and a $1,000 rebate for switching to natural gas (from oil or propane) and installing an ENERGY STAR heating system (good until February 29, 2012).
Fortis BC 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.
City of Vancouver Solar Homes Pilot
This rebate of $3,000 (about 50% of the cost) is for a Vancouver home owner upgrading to a solar hot water system from a gas system. Offered by the City of Vancouver, SolarBC, Terasen Gas and Offsetters on a first come, first served basis until March 2011 or until the City reaches its target of 30 solar homes.
City of Vancouver Rain Barrel Subsidy Program
The City of Vancouver provides a subsidy of 50% 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.
Search ‘rain barrel ‘program’
Other municipalities have similar offers.
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 cooperatives 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.
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.