COST SAVING Programs for Home/Property Buyers & Owners

SAVING dollars & cents add up!!! We're always looking for ways for our clients (and ourselves) to save property expenses. Here is a compiled list of benefits we can all take advantage of. Take a look at these Grants for current Homeowners and Buyers.
Wise real estate decisions are made when you have a clear understanding of your personal financial circumstances. When assessing your situation, it is important to know there is a broad range of cost-saving programs available to help you.
Top Grants and Rebates (updated July 2014) - PDF 
50 Ways to Green Your Home and Save $$$ (updated December 2013) - PDF

Updated: July 2014

Home Buyers’ Plan: Registered Retirement Savings for down payments

Canada Revenue Agency’s Home Buyers' Plan lets qualifying home buyers use up to $25,000 of their Registered Retirement Savings Plan (RRSP) to buy a home. Couples can use up to $50,000. The home must be the principal residence, the home buyers must not have owned a home within the past five years and the loan must be repaid with 15 years.Disabled home buyers upgrading to a more accessible home also qualify as do relatives helping disabled home buyers. Home buyers who have already used the plan and have fully repaid their RRSP may be eligible to use the plan a second time.Canada Revenue Agency

For information:
Home Buyers' Plan

First-Time Home Buyers' Tax Credit
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.It’s calculated by multiplying the lowest personal income tax rate for the year by $5,000.Canada Revenue Agency

For information: 

GST Rebate on new homes
New home buyers can apply for a rebate of the 5% GST if the purchase price is $350,000 or less. 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

For information:
GST-New housing rebate

BC Property Transfer Tax (PTT)
Home buyers in BC pay a provincial Property Transfer Tax (PPT) when they buy a home. The tax is charged at a rate of 1% on the first $200,000 of the purchase price and 2% on the remainder.First-time home 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 $475,000. There is a proportional exemption for between $475,000 and $500,000. At $500,000 and above the rebate is nil. BC Ministry of Finance

For information:
Property Transfer Tax

BC property tax deferment programs
Qualifying home owners aged 55+ may be eligible to defer property taxes.

Financial hardship
Qualifying low-income home owners may be eligible to defer property taxes.

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 Finance

For information:
Property tax deferment programs
and enter ‘Property tax deferment’ in the search box or contact your municipal tax office.

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
• an additional grant of $275 to seniors aged 65+, those who are permanently disabled and verterans of certain warsBC Ministry of Finance

For information: 
Home Owner Grant
Or contact your local municiple tax office.

Home Adaptations for Independence (HAFI)
program jointly funded by federal and provincial 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.

For information: 
BC Housing
1-800-407-7757 ext 7055

Rain barrel subsidy programs
Many Metro Vancouver municipalities offer rain barrels for sale, often at a discount for their residents:
Burnaby - $70
Coquitlam - $72
Richmond - $30Other municipalities have similar offers.For information:Burnaby
RichmondLocal 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 VancouverDistrict of North Vancouver, and District of West Vancouver offer a $50 rebate when residents install a low-flush toilet.

For information: 
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 you use. Delta, Richmond and Surrey have programs and other municipalities may soon follow.

For information: 
Visit your municipality’s website and enter ‘water meter’ to see if there is a program.

BC Hydro rebates/savings for the home
Fridge buy-back: $30 to turn in spare fridges in working condition.
Appliance rebate: save on selected ENERGY STAR clothes washers, refrigerators, and freezers from $25 to $75. Next rebate period is October 2014.
Lighting: switch to ENERGY STAR LEDs, CFLs and lighting fixtures.
Home electronics: televisions and other electronics identified with Power Smart messaging use significantly less energy than standard products.

For information: 
BC Hydro Power Smart Partner program for business
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.

For information:
BC Hydro
1 866-522-4713

BC Hydro Power Smart Express (PSX) for business
Launched 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 refridgeration appliances.

For information:
BC Hydro
1 866-522-4713

FortisBC rebate program for homes
Rebates for home owners include:
• $300 rebate for buying an EnerChoice® fireplace
• up to $1,000 off an ENERGY STAR® water heater
• $1,000 rebate for switching to natural gas (from oil or propane) and installing an ENERGY STAR® heating system

For information: 
Fortis BC
1 888-224-2710

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
• funding towards a new construction energy study

For information: 
Fortis BC
1 866-884-8833

Energy Conservaton and Assistance Program
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.

For information: 
BC Hydro

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.

For information: 
BC Hydro

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.

For information: 
BC Hydro

Financial institutions - energy-related savings
RBC's Energy Saver Mortgage
Home owners who have a home energy audit within 90 days of receiving a RBC Energy Saver Mortgage may qualify for a rebate of $300.

RBC's Energy Saver Loan
Offers a 1% interest rate discount or a $100 rebate on a home energy audit with a qualifying purchase through a fixed rate loan over $5,000

BMO Eco Smart Mortgage
Offers home buyers a special rate on qualifying green properties.

Vancity’s Bright Ideas home renovation loan
Offers home owners up to $20,000 at prime + 1% for up to 10 years for green renovations.

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 savings renovations.

For information visit your financial institution or
CMHC  1-800-668-2642