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Real Estate Tips To Save Money


Blog by June Conway | June 7th, 2019


Are you a BC home buyer, seller and or an owner?
Find below some ways you might save money!

1. BC Property Transfer Tax (PTT) First-Time Home Buyers’ Program
Qualifying first-time buyers may be exempt from paying the PTT of one per cent on the first $200,000 and two per cent on the remainder of the purchase price of a resale home priced up to $500,000. There is a proportional exemption for homes priced between $500,000 and $525,000. At $525,000 and above exemption is nil. Foreign entities and taxable trustee are not eligible for the exemption.

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
This grant reduces property taxes for home owners with an assessed or partitioned value up to $1.65 million. The grant is reduced by $5 for each $1,000 above the threshold and eliminated at $1.764 million (basic grant) and $1.819 million (additional grant). The 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 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 five per cent down payment a 10 per cent shared equity mortgage for a newly constructed home or a five per cent 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. Participate in the Home Buyers’ Plan.

7. GST/HST New Housing Rebate
New home buyers can apply for a rebate for the five per cent GST if the purchase price is $350,000 or less. The rebate is equal to 36 per cent of the GST to a maximum rebate of $6,300. There is 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 in 2018 can claim the home buyers’ amount of $5,000 on Line 369 of Schedule 1 when filing their 2018 income tax and benefit returns. For 2018, 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. 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.

10. 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.

11. 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 per cent of the qualifying renovation expense (maximum $10,000). Forms are available online.

Learn more. 1-800-959-8281.

12. 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.

13. Low interest green renovation loans financial institutions offer loans to home owners making energy efficient upgrades. For example, there’s Vancity’s Home Energy Loan which offers up to $50,000 and RBC’s Energy Saver loan which offers one per cent 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.


14. 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.

15. 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.

16. 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.

17. 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.

18. 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. More information.1-877-740-0055.

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

20. 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.

21. Join the Power Smart Team
Become a member of Team Power Smart and start a challenge to reduce your electricity use by 10 per cent over the next year. If you’re successful you’ll earn a $50 reward.

Learn more.

22. 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.

23. BC Hydro Power smart appliance rebates
Clothes washers: $50 rebate; refrigerators − up to $100 rebate; clothes dryers up to $100 rebate.

Learn more. 1-800-224-9376.

24. City of Vancouver Thermal Imaging program
Thermal imaging helps home owners identify heat loss and connect them with energy-saving incentives. Vancouver is piloting a thermal imaging program in Strathcona, Hastings Sunrise, Dunbar-Southlands, Riley Park, and Victoria Fraserview.

Learn more. Contact Chris Higgins at chris.higgins@vancouver.ca.

25. Leaders in Energy Management Program
The 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.

26. Business Energy Saving Incentives
There are financial incentives to organizations that replace inefficient technologies with energy efficient technologies.

Learn more. 1-800-474-6886.

27. FortisBC rebate program for businesses
For commercial buildings, you can 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.

28. City of Vancouver Building Energy Retrofit Fund
Vancouver has a retrofit fund that includes $1 million to support and expand programs that result in energy efficiency upgrades for buildings. This also includes a Green Landlord Program to help non-market apartment building owners and operators reinvest in buildings and reduce energy costs.

Learn more.

29. Rain barrel subsidy programs
Metro Vancouver municipalities offer rain barrels for sale at a discount for residents:Richmond - $30; Burnaby - $100; Coquitlam - $60. Other municipalities may have similar offers.

30. Water saving kits
Metro Vancouver municipalities offer water saving kits to reduce water use including Burnaby, Coquitlam, and Delta.

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

Source: Real Estate Board of Greater Vancouver
31 ways home buyers, sellers and owners can save money.