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.
2. GST Rebate on New Homes: 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 is a proportional GST rebate for new homes costing between $350,000 and $450,000. At $450,000 and above the rebate is nil.
3. PTT First Time Home Buyers Program: Qualifying first time buyers may be exempt from paying the Property Transfer Tax (PH) 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 homes priced between $475,000 and $500,000. At $500,000 and above the rebate is nil.
4. First Time Home Buyers Tax Credit: This federal, non-refundable income tax credit is for qualifying buyers of detached, attached, condominiums, mobile homes or shares in a cooperative housing corporation. The calculation: multiply the lowest personal income tax rate for the yeaer (15% in 2014) x $5,500. For the 2014 tax year, the maximum credit is $750.
5. BC Home Owner Grant: This program 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, and
- an additional grant of $275 to seniors aged 65+, those who are permanently disabled and veterans of certain wars.
6. BC Property Tax Deferment Programs: Qualifying homeowners aged 55 years and above may be eligible to defer property taxes along with qualifying low-income home owners and home owners who financially support children under the age of 18.
7. 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.
8. 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 saving renovations.
9. Energy Saving Mortgages: Financial institutions offer a range of mortgages to home buyers and owners who make their homes more energy efficient. For example, homeowners 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.
10. 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 reate 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.
11. Energy Conservation 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.
12. 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.
13. 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.
14. FortisBC Rebte Program for Homes: A range of rebates for home owners including a $300 rebate for purchasing an EnerChoice fireplace, or up to $1,000 off an Energy Star water heater, or a $1,000 rebate for switching to natural gas (from oil or propane) and installing an Energy Star heating system.
15. Rain Barrel Subsidy Programs: Many Metro Vancouver municipalities offer rain barrels for sale, often at a discount for their residents.
16. Local Government Water Conservation Incentives: Your municipality may provide grants and incentives to help save water. Visit your municipality's website and enter "toilet rebate" to see if there is a program whereby you receive a rebate for installing a low-flush toilet.
17. 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 and Surrey have programs and other municipalities may soon follow.