British Columbia’s Top 25 Grants and Rebates for Property Buyers and Owners
As an real estate investor the bottom line is always important. Improve the bottom line can come in the form of increasing rental income, additional income but also decreasing operating expenses. In any case property improvements are necessary and they can amount to large expenses depending on what improvements you are making.
I found the following grants and rebates for property buyers and owners in a recent Realtor publication and think it would be beneficial for those who are contemplating or are making property improvements. Many of these grants and rebates are available to investors and homeowners alike in British Columbia and can save you thousands of dollars.
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. Canada Revenue Agency www.cra.gc.ca. Enter ‘Home Buyers’ Plan‘ in the search box | 1.800.959.8287
2. GST Rebate on New Homes
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 $350,000 and $450,000. Canada Revenue Agency www.cra.gc.ca. Enter ‘RC4028‘ in the search box | 1.800.959.8287
3. BC New Housing Rebate (HST)
Buyers of new or substantially renovated homes priced 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. www.hstinbc.ca/making_your_choice/faqs/new_housing_rebate 1.800.959.8287
4. 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. www.hstinbc.ca/making_your_choice/faqs/ new_housing_rebate | 1.800.959.8287
5. 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 www.rev.gov.bc.ca/rpt | 250.387.0604
6. 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 www.cra.gc.ca/hbtc | 1.800.959.8281
7. 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 $1,150,000, 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 $1,319,000+. BC Ministry of Small Business and Revenue www.rev.gov.bc.ca/hog or contact your municipal tax office.
8. BC Property Tax Deferment Programs
Property Tax Deferment Program for Seniors. Qualifying home owners aged 55+ may be eligible to defer property taxes. Financial Hardship Property Tax Deferment Program. Qualifying low-income home owners may be eligible to defer property taxes. 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. BC Ministry of Small Business and Revenue www.sbr.gov.bc.ca and enter ‘Property tax deferment‘ in the search box or contact your municipal tax office.
9. Canada Mortgage and Housing (CMHC) Residential Rehabilitation Assistance Program (RRAP) Grants
This federal program provides financial aid to qualifying low-income home owners 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. www.cmhc-schl.gc.ca/en/ co/prfinas/prfinas_001.cfm | 1.800.668.2642 | 604.873.7408
10. 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. www.cmhc.ca/en/co/moloin/moloin_008.cfm#reno | 604.731.5733
11. 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. www.rbcroyalbank.com/products/mortgages/ energy-saver-mortgage.html | 1.800.769.2511
12. 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. www.vancity.com/Loans/ BrightIdeas and www.rbcroyalbank.com and in the search box enter ‘energy saver loan‘
13. LiveSmart BC: Efficiency Incentive Program
Home owners improving the energy 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 cost of a home energy assessment, directly to the service provider.www.livesmartbc.ca/rebates | 1.866.430.8765
14. BC Residential Energy Credit
Home owners and residential landlords buying heating fuel receive a BC government point-of-sale rebate on utility bills equal to the provincial component of the HST. www.sbr.gov.bc.ca/documents_library/notices/HST_Notice_010.pdf or go to Google and in the search box type in ‘Residential Energy Credit rebate program.’ It is the first item. | 1.877.388.4440
15. BC Hydro Appliance Rebates
Mail-in rebates of $25 -$50 for purchasers of ENERGY STAR clothes washers, refrigerators, dishwashers, or freezers until March 31, 2011, or when funding for the program is exhausted. www.bchydro.com/rebates_savings/appliance_rebates.html | 1.800.224.9376
16. 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/rebates_savings/fridge_buy_back.html | 604.881.4357
17. BC Hydro Windows Rebate Program
Pay no HST when you buy ENERGY STAR high-performance windows and doors. This offer is available until June 30, 2011. www.bchydro.com/rebates_savings/windows_offers/current_offers.html | 604.759.2759 for a free in-home estimate.
18. 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. www.bchydro.com/rebates_savings/coupons.html | 1.800.224.9376
19. 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). http://www.fortisbc.com/NaturalGas/Homes/Offers/Pages/Residential-Water-Heater-Program.aspx| 1.888.224.2710
20. Terasen Gas 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. http://www.fortisbc.com/NaturalGas/Business/Offers/Pages/default.aspx.| 1.888.477.0777
21. 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. www.vancouver.ca/sustainability/SolarHomes.htm | 604.873.7748
22. 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. www.vancouver.ca and in the search box enter ‘rain barrel program.‘ 604.736.2250. Other municipalities have similar offers.
23. 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-forprofit organizations and co-operatives 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. www.vancity.com/MyCommunity/NotForProfit/Grants/ActingOnClimateChange GreenBuildingGrant | 604.877.7000
24. 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.
25. 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.