Purchasing in the North Vancouver, West Vancouver or anywhere in Greater Vancouver is costly so any savings you can search out can be on great benefit. The Real Estate Board of Greater Vancouver recently released a list of twenty-one sources for potential savings for buyers and/or owners. Not all of these will apply to you but it is definitely worth a quick read to see if you are missing out on any rebates or refunds. For further clarification or explanation contact Dale and I today.
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.
www.cra.gc.ca Enter ‘Home Buyers’ Plan’ in the search box.
2. GST Rebate on New Homes: New home buyers can apply for a rebate for 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. At $450,000 and above the rebate is nil.
www.cra.gc.ca Enter ‘RC4028’ in the search box.
3. BC Property Transfer Tax (PTT) First-Time Home Buyers’ Program: Qualifying first-time buyers maybe 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 and above the rebate is nil.
4. 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 2012) x $5,000. For the 2013 tax year, the maximum credit is $750.
5. 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. www.rev.gov.bc.ca/ Contact your municipal tax office.
6. BC Property Tax Deferment Programs:
a. Property Tax Deferment Program for Seniors: Qualifying home owners aged 55+ may be eligible to defer property taxes.
b. Financial Hardship Property Tax Deferment Program: Qualifying low-income home owners may be eligible to defer property taxes.
c. 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.
7. 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.
8. 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 saving renovations.
9. 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.
10. 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 rebate on a home energy audit on a fixed rate installment loan over $5,000. For information visit your financial institution. www.vancity.com/Loans/TypesOfLoans/BrightIdeas and www.rbcroyalbank.com/products/personalloans/energy-saver-loan.html
11. Energy Conservation and Assistance Program (ECAP): BC Hydro and FortisBC offer free energy assessments and energy saving products to low-income customers. Qualified contractors will install upgrades ranging in value from $300 to $5,000 depending on the need of the home.
12. Energy Savings Kit Program: BC Hydro and FortisBC offer low-income customers a free energy saving kit containing products to help save energy and money. www.bchydro.com/powersmart/residential/ps_low_income/energy_saving_kits.html and www.fortisbc.com/NaturalGas/Homes/Offers/EnergySavingKit/Pages/default.aspx
13. Home Energy Rebate Offer: BC Hydro and FortisBC offer home owners rebates for various upgrades and improvements, including insulation, draftproofing, space heating systems, water heating systems and ventilation. These improvements can reduce the average residential customer’s energy bill by 30%. There is a bonus offer for completing three or more of certain upgrades. Total value of available rebates is almost $6,000 per household. http://www.bchydro.com/powersmart/residential/rebates_savings/home-energy-rebate-offer.html and http://www.fortisbc.com/Rebates/HomeRebates/Pages/default.aspx
14. 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/powersmart/residential/rebates_savings/fridge_buy_back.html
15. BC Hydro Power Smart Partner Program for Businesses: The Power Smart Partner 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 a wide range of energy management programs, tools and incentives. www.bchydro.com/powersmart/business/commercial/power_smart_partners.html
16. BC Hydro Power Smart Express (PSX) for Businesses: Launching June 2, 2014, the PSX program partners BC Hydro with BC’s largest commercial, government and institutional customers (who spend $200,000 or more/year on Hydro). The program provides incentives for various technologies, including lighting, cooking and refrigeration appliances. www.bchydro.com/powersmart/business/commercial/power_smart_partners/psp_express.html?WT.mc_id=F15_PSExpress_search
17. FortisBC Rebate Program for Homes: A range of rebates for home owners including a $300 rebate for purchasing an EnerChoice® fireplace, or up to $1,000 off an ENERGY STAR® water heater, or a $1,000 rebate for switching to natural gas (from oil or propane) and installing an ENERGY STAR® heating system. www.fortisbc.com/NaturalGas/Homes/Offers/Pages/default.aspx
18. FortisBC Rebate Program for Businesses: For commercial buildings, provides a rebate of 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 and receive funding towards a new construction energy study. www.fortisbc.com/NaturalGas/Business/Offers/Pages/default.aspx
19. Rain Barrel: Many Metro Vancouver municipalities offer rain barrels for sale, often at a discount for their residents. Richmond sells them for $30. Coquitlam sells them for $72. Burnaby sells them for $70. Other municipalities have similar offers.
20. 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.
21. 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.