This is a busy time of year but it is also a good time to review your finances by knowing what resources, grants and rebates are available for new and current home owners.
Here’s a list of 10 of these programs but there are probably close to 30 currently available.
1. BC Property Transfer Tax (PPT) First-Time Home Buyer’s Program: Qualifying 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 resale home priced up to $500,000.
2. Home Buyers’ Plan: Qualifying home buyers can withdraw up to $35,000 (couples can withdraw up to $70,000) from their RRSP’s to assist with the purchase of a home. The funds are not required to be used only for the down payment but for other purposes to assist in the purchase of a home such as paying off debts or to pay closing costs.
3. First-Time Home Buyers’ Tax Credit (HBTC): Eligible individuals who bought a qualifying home in 2020 can claim the home buyers’ amount of $5,000 when filing their 2021 income tax return. For 2021 the maximum tax credit is $750.
4. BC Seniors’ Home Renovation Tax Credit: Assists eligible seniors 65+ with the cost of some permanent home renovations to a principal residence to improve accessibility. The maximum refundable credit is $1000 per tax year.
5. CMHC Green Home: If you buy, build, or renovate for energy efficiency using CMHC-insured financing, you could receive a 15% rebate for building a home to ENERGY STAR® standards or up to 25% for building a home to R-2000 building standards.
6. 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.
7. BC Rebate for Accessible Home Adaptations: Provides financial assistance to eligible low- and moderate-income households to complete home adaptations for accessibility. The program provides up to $17,500 in rebates towards adaptations that directly address an individual's permanent disability or loss of ability and improve their ability to perform the basic activities of daily living. Home adaptations could include exterior and interior ramps and door widening to accommodate a wheelchair, and bathroom modifications, such as grab bars, shower seats and handheld showerheads.
8. BC Home Owner Grant: Reduces property taxes for home owners with an assessed value up to $1,625,000. The basic grant is $570 and an additional grant of $200 to rural home owners. There is also an additional grant of $275 to seniors aged 65+ and veterans of certain wars.
9. BC Property Tax Deferment Programs: Qualifying home owners aged 55+ can defer some or all of your property taxes. Qualifying low-income home owners can defer property taxes and qualifying home owners who financially support children under the age of 18 can defer property taxes or a person with disabilities.
10. Heritage Grants Program: Maintaining older homes can be costly, but preserving our heritage is important, so Kelowna provides grants to owners of buildings with a Heritage Designation a maximum of $12,500 per 3-year period and buildings listed on the Kelowna Heritage Register a maximum of $7,500 per 3-year period to help with the costs incurred in exterior conservation work.
There are also other cost savings program available such as the Home Renovation Rebate Program through Fortis BC and BC Hydro with rebates available for insulation and energy-efficiency improvements.
If you would like further information on any of these programs or other programs that might be available in your area, please let me know.
This article is written by or on behalf of an outsourced columnist and does not necessarily reflect the views of Castanet.