34 ways home buyers, sellers and owners can save money

Friday Jan 29th, 2021


1. BC Property Transfer Tax (PTT) First-Time Home Buyers’ Program

Qualifying first-time buyers may be exempt from paying the PTT (1% on the first $200,000 and 2% on the remainder of the purchase price of a resale home priced up to $500,000. Proportional exemption for homes priced $500,000 - $525,000. At $525,000+ no exemption. Foreign entities, taxable trustee ineligible.

Learn more. 1-888-355-2700.

2. BC 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 and a partial exemption on newly built homes priced $750,000 to $800,000.

Learn more. 1-888-355-2700.

3. BC Home Owner Grant

Reduces property taxes for home owners with an assessed or partitioned value up to $1.65 million. Grant reduced by $5 for each $1,000 above the threshold; eliminated at $1.764 million (basic grant) and $1.819 million (additional grant). Basic grant:

  • up to $570 for principal residences in the Capital, Greater Vancouver, and Fraser Valley regional districts;
  • an additional grant of $200 to rural home owners elsewhere in BC; and
  • an additional grant of $275 to seniors aged 65 and older, those who are permanently disabled, and veterans (or surviving spouse) of certain wars.

Learn more.   hogadmin@gov.bc.ca. 1-888-355-2700.

4. BC Property Tax Deferment Programs

  • Property Tax Deferment Program for Seniors: qualifying home owners aged 55 and oldercan 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.

Learn more. Vancouver: 604-660-2421. Elsewhere in BC:1-800-663-7867.

5. CMHC First-time Home Buyers’ Incentive

CMHC offers qualifying first-time home buyers with household incomes less than $120,000 a year and a 5% down payment, a 10% shared equity mortgage for a newly constructed home, or a 5% shared equity mortgage for an existing home. The buyer repays the incentive later or at re-sale. The incentive reduces the amount of monthly mortgage payments. 

Learn more.

6. Home Buyers’ Plan

Qualifying home buyers can withdraw up to $35,000 (couples can withdraw up to $70,000) from their RRSPs for a down payment. Home buyers who have experienced a breakdown in their marriage or common-law partnership even if they are not first-time buyers and those  who have repaid their RRSP may be eligible to use the program a second time.

Learn more

7. GST/HST New Housing Rebate

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's a proportional GST rebate for new homes that cost between $350,000 and $450,000. There’s no rebate for homes priced at $450,000 and above.

Canada Revenue Agency. 1-800-959-8287.

8. First-Time Home Buyers’ Tax Credit (HBTC)

Eligible persons who bought a qualifying home can claim the home buyers’ amount of $5,000 on Line 369 of Schedule 1 when filing their 2020 income tax and benefit returns. For 2019, the maximum home buyers’ tax credit (HBTC) 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. 1-800-959-8281.

9. COVID-19 Mortgage Payment Deferral (CMHC)

Homeowners left without a job or with reduced hours may be eligible for a temporary mortgage payment deferral up to six months. Mortgage payments must be repaid and have to resume according to the regular payment schedule.

Learn more.

10. CMHC Mortgage Loan Insurance Premium Refund

This program 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. 604-731-5733.

11. Canada Emergency Rent Subsidy

Businesses, charities, and non-profits with declining revenue can access up to 65% for eligible expenses, including rent and interest on commercial mortgages. Support to tenants and property owners until June 2021. Claims can be retroactive to Sept. 27, 2020.

Learn more.

12. Municipal rent bank programs

Provides one-time interest-free loans to eligible families/individuals in temporary financial crisis at risk of eviction or utility disconnection due to a temporary shortage of funds, for example, the Vancouver Rent Bank. Check your local municipality.

13. 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 finance modifications to their homes to make them accessible and safer.

Learn More. 604-433-2218 or 1-800-257-7756.

14. BC Seniors’ Home Renovation Tax Credit

This credit assists eligible seniors 65 and older with the cost of eligible 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% of the qualifying renovation expense (maximum $10,000). Forms are available online. 

Learn more. 1-800-959-8281.

15. Energy saving mortgages

Some financial institutions offer special mortgages to home buyers/owners making homes energy efficient. For example, home owners may qualify for a BMO Eco Smart Mortgage™ or a TD Canada Trust rural property mortgage. Visit your financial institution.

16. Low interest green renovation rebates and loans

Financial institutions offer loans to home owners making energy efficient upgrades, for example, Vancity Home Energy rebate up to $2,000 and RBC’s Energy Saver loan which 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. Visit your financial institution.

17. Clean BC Plan

This plan is a new $679 million program of the BC Government that provides a range of incentives including up to $6,000 for buyers of electric vehicles, and $2,000 to replace a fossil fuel heating system.

Learn more.

18. Energy Efficient Buildings

There are incentives offered to households and businesses for installing high-efficiency heating equipment and building envelope improvements. A partnership of BC Hydro, Fortis BC, and BC Housing.

Learn more.

19. BC Hydro and FortisBC rebates to improve a home’s efficiency

BC Hydro and FortisBC offer a wide range of rebates for heat pumps, insulation, draft-proofing, hot water heaters, and a $300 bonus offer for making two eligible upgrades within 18 months.

Learn more.

20. FortisBC new home energy rebate offer

FortisBC and BC Hydro customers can receive rebates when building ENERGY STAR new homes or installing high-efficiency natural gas fireplaces.

Learn more.

21. 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 your energy bill. They also include a bonus offer for completing three or more upgrades. Total value of available rebates: up to $10,000.

Learn more. 1-877-740-0055.

22. Energy savings kits

BC Hydro and FortisBC offer income-qualifying customers a free energy saving kit containing products to help save energy and money.

23. 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.

24. 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.

Learn more.

25. ENERGY STAR appliance rebates

BC Hydro Power Smart and participating municipalities offer $100 mail-in rebates to home owners buying ENERGY STAR clothes dryers and refrigerators.

Learn more.

26. BC Hydro rate decrease and one-time bill credit

Customers receive a 0.61% rate decrease retroactive to April 1, 2020 and a one-time bill credit early in 2021. 604-928-6468. 

Learn more.

27. Leaders in Energy Management Program

Partners BC Hydro with large commercial, government, and institutional customers spending $200,000 or more a year. Customers gain access to energy management programs, tools, and incentives.

Learn more. 1-800-522-4713.

28. Business energy saving incentives

Provides financial incentives to organizations that replace inefficient technologies with energy efficient technologies.

Learn more. 1-800-474-6886.

29. FortisBC rebate program for businesses

For commercial buildings, save up to $500,000 for constructing high-performance, energy efficient commercial, multi-unit residential or industrial buildings and up to $1 million for industrial building energy-efficient upgrades.

Learn more.

30. City of Vancouver Building Energy Retrofit Fund

Program includes $1 million to support and expand programs that result in energy efficiency upgrades for buildings. Includes a Green Landlord Program to help non-market apartment building owners and operators reinvest in buildings and reduce energy costs. 

Learn more.

31. Rebates for home, workplace EV charging

Province offers homeowners a rebate up to 50% of purchase/ installation costs of an EV charger to a max of $700. Workplaces/residents of condos/apartments rebate up to 50% of costs to a max of $4,000 per charger. Up to 5 hours free support services from an EV charging station advisor for condos/apartments/workplaces. 

Visit: https://goelectricbc.gov.bc.ca | https://cleanbc.gov.bc.ca

32. Rain barrel subsidy programs

Metro Vancouver municipalities offer rain barrels for sale at a discount for residents: Richmond-$30; Burnaby-$100. Other municipalities may have similar offers.

33. Water saving kits

Metro Vancouver municipalities offer water saving kits to reduce water use including Burnaby and Delta.

34. Local government water meter programs

Municipalities may offer water metering so you pay only for the amount of water you use. Burnaby (scroll down), DeltaRichmond, and West Vancouver have programs. Visit your municipality’s website and search 'water meter'.

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