It’s no secret that property prices in many urban areas of Canada are on fire. And it’s not limited to just the core of Toronto and Vancouver. Houses for sale in Hamilton, for example, have doubled in price in the last decade and houses in Mississauga are almost $750,000. It’s increasingly hard for the average Canadian to get a foothold on the property ladder. Even the most affordable market segments, like condos and townhouses, feel out of reach. And if you do own your home, it’s likely to require updating at some point, which can really suck up cash fast.
The government knows this, and they want to help. That’s why both federal and provincial levels have initiated various rebates and tax credits to help ease the cost of home ownership.
Check out the rebates below to see if you’re eligible for any of the following:
$30,000 Federal HST Rebate on new homes and condos
Canadians must pay a tax on any new product or service they purchase, and it’s no different for a house. Canadians who buy a new home, either one they build themselves or from a developer, are charged 13 to 15 per cent HST: 5 per cent federally and an additional 7 to 10 per cent provincially (except Albertans).
Luckily, each branch of government is willing to return a portion of the tax it charges, depending property price, up to about a total $30,000. The only caveat is for flippers: you must keep the property for at least a year.
$750 First-time home-buyer tax credit
The federal government will deduct $750 from income taxes owed for first-time home buyers owe to ease the expense of closing costs and legal fees. Note that “first-time home buyer” doesn’t mean that this is your first time ever buying a home, but rather that you, your spouse, or your common-law partner, did not live in a home you owned in the four preceding years. So, you would still be eligible if you bought a home at 25, sold it to travel the world, and returned at 32 and bought a condo.
$750 Person with disability home-buyer tax credit
The tax credit is the same as above, except that a person with a disability does not need to be a first-time home buyer. Instead, the home purchase must be made to better accommodate the person with a disability.
$20,000 Energy-efficient retrofit rebates
Most provinces and municipalities in Canada offer a wide-variety of rebates for homeowners to encourage them retrofit their older homes to make them more energy efficient. Ontario, in particular, has a pot of money available because it recently started using part of the proceeds from its carbon cap-and-trade market to to help combat climate change. You can get a smart thermostat, and thousands for insulation, new windows and a geothermal system, among others. Another notable example is Alberta, who offers each homeowners up to $10,000 towards the cost of installing solar panels.
The government announces new rebates and credits yearly, so if you’re not eligible for any of the above, perhaps one right for you will crop up in the near future. Any little bit helps, right?
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