Regardless of how low mortgage rates remain, buying a home is still a large financial responsibility. Between the expense of home loans and closing costs, not to mention renovation and maintenance, it’s important to make sure you’re taking advantage of every opportunity to save. Fortunately there are a number of programs geared toward helping Canadian home buyers find an affordable deal.These are not the only programs available to home buyers looking to save money, but they are some of the most popular. For Canadians looking to make the home buying process more affordable, the smart move would be to research all your options when it comes to qualifying for special programs and rebates. Finding one that suits your needs can result in significant savings.
Home Buyers’ Plan
The Home Buyers’ Plan allows Canadians buying their first home, people with disabilities, or people buying on behalf of someone with disabilities, to take money out of their registered retirement savings plans in order to buy or build a qualifying home. The amount that can be withdrawn goes up to $25,000 per calendar year. This program allows borrowers to take out the money without having to pay tax at the time. Typically, the money must be repaid over the course of no more than 15 years, with a certain amount repaid into the savings plan each year until the balance is zero.
First Time Home Buyers’ Tax Credit
First time home buyers who have or are planning to purchase a qualifying home after January 27, 2009 are eligible for a non-refundable tax credit of up to $750. For people with disabilities, or people buying on behalf of a related person with disabilities, this tax credit is available even if it’s not for a first home. Qualifying homes may include single-family homes, semi-detached homes, townhouses, mobile homes, condominiums and apartment buildings as long as they are located in Canada and are acquired after January 27, 2009.
GST/HST new housing rebate
The GST/HST new housing rebate is available to Canadians who buy a new or majorly renovated house, build or hire someone to build a a new house on their land, convert a non-residential property into a house or majorly renovate or hire someone to renovate an existing house. This rebate can return part of the GST or HST a buyer paid on a purchasing price or cost of building a new home. The rebates available vary depending on where a buyer lives, so it’s important to find out how each area differs.
Home Renovation Tax Credit
As its name implies, the Home Renovation Tax Credit is a non-refundable tax credit of up to $1,350 for expenses from renovating an eligible property. However, this credit is only good for renovation expenses incurred between January 28, 2009 and January 31, 2010. The expenses must also be due to renovations that are necessary and enduring to a property. In addition, the expenses must have totaled more than $1,000 but remained less than $10,000.
Medical Expense Tax Credit
As opposed to the Home Renovation Tax Credit, the Medical Expense Tax Credit is only available to Canadians who incurred expenses due to renovations geared toward helping those with mobility impairment. In addition to being available for renovations done to existing properties, this non-refundable tax credit can also be used for the building of a new property.