Below you may find 29 housing related cost saving programs to help you save money. This article is published in Real Estate Board of Greater Vancouver's 28-page supplement in Vancouver Sun (on Friday, March 16).
1- B.C. PROPERTY TRANSFER TAX (PTT) FIRST-TIME HOME BUYERS’ PROGRAM
Qualifying first-time buyers may be exempt from paying the PTT of one per cent on the first $200,000 and two per cent on the remainder of the purchase price of a resale home priced up to $500,000. There’s a proportional exemption for homes priced between $500,000 and $525,000. At $525,000 and above the exemption is nil.
Learn more by talking to your Realtor or calling 1-250-387-0604
2- B.C. PROPERTY TRANSFER TAX NEWLY BUILT HOME EXEMPTION
Qualifying 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 exemption on newly built homes priced $750,000 to $800,000.
Learn more by talking to your Realtor or calling 1-888-355-2700.
3- B.C. HOME OWNER GRANT
Reduces property taxes for home owners with an assessed value up to $1,650,000. The grant is reduced $5 for each $1,000 and eliminated on homes assessed at $1,764,000 or $1,804,000 in northern or rural areas. Basic grant: up to $570 in property taxes on principal residences in the Capital, Greater Vancouver and Fraser Valley regional districts; an additional grant of $200 to rural home owners elsewhere in the province; and an additional grant of $275 to seniors aged 65 and older, those who are permanently disabled, and veterans of certain wars.
Learn more by contacting your municipal tax office.
4- B.C. PROPERTY TAX DEFERMENT PROGRAMS
Property Tax Deferment Program for Seniors: qualifying home owners aged 55 and older can defer property taxes. Financial Hardship Property Tax Deferment Program: qualifying low-income home owners can defer property taxes. Property Tax Deferment Program for Families with Children: qualifying home owners who financially support children under age 18 can defer property taxes.
If you’re in Vancouver, learn more by calling 604-660-2421. If you live elsewhere in B.C., call 1-800-663-7867.
5- HOME BUYERS’ PLAN
Qualifying home buyers can withdraw up to $25,000 (couples can withdraw up to $50,000) from their RRSP's for a down payment. Home buyers who have repaid their RRSP may be eligible to use the program a second time.
Learn more at the Canada Revenue Agency website by searching “Home Buyers’ Plan”
6- GST/HST NEW HOUSING REBATE
New home buyers can apply for a rebate on the five 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’s a proportional GST rebate for new homes costing between $350,000 and $450,000. There’s no rebate for homes priced at $450,000 and above.
Learn more by contacting the Canada Revenue Agency at 1-800- 959-8287
7- FIRST-TIME HOME BUYERS’ TAX CREDIT
Eligible persons who bought a qualifying home in 2017 can claim the home buyers’ amount of $5,000 on Line 369 of Schedule 1 when filing their 2017 income tax and benefit returns. For 2017, the maximum home buyers’ tax credit is $750, which is calculated by multiplying the home buyers’ amount of $5,000 by the federal non-refundable tax credit rate of 15 per cent (equal to the lowest personal income tax rate for the year).
Learn more by contacting the Canada Revenue Agency at 1-800-959-8281
8- HOME ADAPTATIONS FOR INDEPENDENCE
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 finance modifications to their homes to make them accessible and safer.
Learn more at bchousing.org, or by calling 604-433-2218 or 1-800- 257-7756.
9 B.C. SENIORS ’ HOME RENOVATION TAX CREDIT
Assists eligible seniors 65 and older with the cost of some permanent home renovations to a principal residence to improve accessibility. The maximum refundable credit is $1,000 per tax year and is calculated as 10 per cent of the qualifying renovation expense (maximum $10,000). Forms are available online.
Learn more by calling 1-800-959- 8281.
10- CMHC MORTGAGE LOAN INSURANCE PREMIUM 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.
Learn more by contacting the CMHC at 604-731-5733, or search for “Mortgage Loan Insurance Premium Refund” on cmhc.ca.
11- ENERGY SAVING MORTGAGES
Some financial institutions offer special mortgages to home buyers/owners who are making their homes energy efficient. For example, home owners may qualify for a BMO Eco Smart Mortgage for single family and townhomes if the home has the required energy efficiency features, which are confirmed by an approved energy auditor arranged by the bank.
Learn more by contacting your financial institution.
12- LOW INTEREST GREEN RENOVATION LOANS
Financial institutions offer loans to home owners making energy efficient upgrades, for example, Vancity’ Home Energy Loan up to $50,000 and RBC’s Energy Save loan offers one 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.
Learn more by contacting your financial institution.
13- B.C. HYDRO AND FORTISBC REBATES TO IMPROVE A HOME’S EFFICIENCY
Rebates for insulation, draft-proofing, hot water heaters, EnerChoice fireplaces, and a $750 bonus offer for making three or more eligible upgrades.
Learn more by going to bchydro. com and searching for “rebates”.
14- FORTISBC NEW HOME ENERGY REBATE OFFER
FortisBC and B.C. Hydro customers can receive rebates when building ENERGY STAR new homes or installing high-efficiency natural gas fireplaces.
Learn more by going to fortisbc. com and searching for “rebates”.
15- HOME ENERGY REBATE OFFER
B.C. Hydro and FortisBC offer home owners rebates for upgrades and improvements, including insulation, space and water heating systems and ventilation to reduce your energy bill. The program includes a bonus offer for completing three or more upgrades. Total value of available rebates: up to $6,500.
Learn more b y going to bcenergycoach.ca and clicking on “incentives”, or by calling 1-877- 740-0055.
16- ENERGY SAVINGS KITS
B.C. Hydro and FortisBC offer income-qualifying customers a free energy saving kit containing products to help save energy and dollars.
Learn more by going to bchydro. com or fortisbc.com and searching for “energy saving kit”.
17- FORTISBC REBATES FOR HOMES
Rebates for home owners include a $300 rebate for purchasing an EnerChoice fireplace, or up to $1,000 for installing a tankless, storage, or hybrid hot water heater, or a rebate of up to $2,700 for connecting to natural gas and installing a natural gas heating or hot water system (from oil or propane).
Learn more by going to fortisbc. com and searching for “rebates”, or by calling 1-800-663-8400.
18- FORTISBC REBATE FOR RENTAL APARTMENT BUILDINGS
The Rental Apartment Efficiency Program, for owners and managers of rental apartment buildings of nine or more units, includes a new water-efficient shower head, and kitchen and bathroom faucet aerator for each unit, an energy assessment, and ongoing professional assistance.
Learn more by going to fortisbc.com and searching for “rebates”.
19- JOIN THE POWER SMART TEAM
Become a member of Team Power Smart and start a challenge to reduce your electricity use by 10 per cent over the next year. If you’re successful, you’ll earn a $50 reward.
Learn more by going to bchydro.com and searching for “Power Smart Team”.
20- ENERGY STAR APPLIANCE REBATES
B.C. Hydro Power Smart and participating municipalities offer $100 mail-in rebates to home owners buying ENERGY STAR clothes dryers and refrigerators.
Learn more by going to bchydro. com and searching for “appliance rebate”.
21- B.C. HYDRO POWER SMART APPLIANCE REBATES
B.C. Hydro offers rebates for clothes washers ($50 rebate), refrigerators (up to $100 rebate), and clothes dryers (up to $100 rebate).
Learn more by going to bchydro. com and searching for “appliance rebate”, or by calling 1-800-224- 9376.
22- CITY OF VANCOUVER THERMAL IMAGING PROGRAM
Helps home owners identify heat loss and connect them with energy-saving incentives. Neighbourhoods piloting the program include Strathcona, Hastings Sunrise, Dunbar-Sou thlands, Riley Park and Victoria Fraserview.
Learn more by going to vancouver.ca and searching for “thermal imaging program”, or by contacting Chris Higgins at email@example.com.
23- BUSINESS ENERGY SAVING INCENTIVES
Provides financial incentives to organizations that replace inefficient technologies with energy efficient technologies.
Learn more by going to bchydro. com and searching for “business energy saving”, or by calling 1-800- 474-6886.
24- FORTISBC REBATE PROGRAM FOR BUSINESSES
For commercial buildings, this program provides a rebate of up to $45,000 for the purchase of an energy efficient boiler; up to $15,000 to buy a high-efficiency water heater; up to $60,000 to hire an energy consultant; and up to $1 million to conduct plantwide audits, feasibility studies and energy-efficiency upgrades.
Learn more by going to fortisbc. com and searching for “business rebate”.
25- ENERGY EFFICIENCY UPGRADES FOR BUILDINGS
The city of Vancouver’s $1 million fund includes a $150,000 grant to the Vancouver Heritage Foundation for retrofits to pre-1940 homes, a Home Energy Efficiency Empowerment Program for 675 homeowners, and a $1 million Green Landlord Program to help non-market apartment building owners and operators reinvest in buildings and reduce energy costs.
Learn more by going to Vancouver.ca and searching for “Energy Retrofit Fund”.
26- HERITAGE ENERGY RETROFIT GRANT
Grants of up to $6,000 per household for energy retrofits for pre-1940 Vancouver homes and homes on the Vancouver Heritage Register. Retrofits include insulation, air sealing, window repairs, storm windows and high efficiency heating and hot water.
Learn more by going to vancouverheritagefoundation.org and selecting “get a grant”.
27- RAIN BARREL SUBSIDY PROGRAMS
Metro Vancouver municipalities offer rain barrels for sale at a discount for residents: Richmond $30; Burnaby $100; Coquitlam $72. Other municipalities may have similar offers.
Learn more by contacting your municipality.
28- WATER SAVING KITS
Metro Vancouver municipalities offer water saving kits to reduce water use.
Learn more by contacting your local municipality.
29- LOCAL GOVERNMENT WATER METER PROGRAMS
Municipalities may offer water metering, so you pay only for water you use. Burnaby, Delta, Richmond and West Vancouver have programs.
Learn more by visiting your municipality’s website and searching for “water meter”.
Source: Vancouver Sun, Real Estate Board of Greater Vancouver