Top 20 Grants and Rebates for Home Buyers and Property Owners

There are ways that property owners and home buyers can save money. On February 25th, 2011 the Vancouver Sun created a list of the Top 25 Grants and Rebates which I have adapted to only include those available in the Kamloops area.


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. For more information click here. Enter ‘Home Buyers’ Plan’ in the search box.


New home buyers can apply for a rebate of the federal portion of the HST (the 5% GST) if the purchase price is less than $350,000. The rebate is up 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. For more information click here.  Enter ‘RC4028’ in the search box.


Buyers of new or substantially renovated homes priced up to $525,000 are eligible for a rebate of 71.43% of the provincial portion (7%) of the 12% HST paid to a maximum rebate of $26,250. Homes priced at $525,000+ are eligible for a flat rebate of $26,250. For more information click here.


Landlords buying new or substantially renovated homes are eligible for a rebate of 71.43% of the provincial portion of the HST, up to $26,250 per unit. Click here for more info.


Qualifying first-time 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 home priced up to $425,000. There is a proportional exemption for homes priced up to $450,000. For more information click here.


This federal non-refundable income tax credit is for qualifying buyers of detached, attached, apartment condominiums, mobile homes or shares in a cooperative housing corporation. The calculation: multiply the lowest personal income tax rate for the year (15% in 2010) x $5,000. For the 2010 tax year, the maximum credit is $750. For more information click here.


Reduces school property taxes by up to $570 on properties with an assessed value up to $1,150,000. For 2011, the basic grant is reduced by $5 for each $1,000 of value over $1,150,000, and eliminated on homes assessed at $1,264,000. An additional grant reduces property tax by a further $275 for a total of $845 for seniors, veterans and the disabled. This is reduced by $5 for each $1,000 of assessed value over $1,150,000 and eliminated on homes assessed at $1,319,000+. For more information click here.


Property Tax Deferment Program for Seniors. Qualifying home owners aged 55+ may be eligible to defer property taxes. Financial Hardship Property Tax Deferment Program. Qualifying low-income home owners may be eligible to defer property taxes. Property Tax Deferment Program for Families with Children. Qualifying low income home owners who financially support children under age 18 may be eligible to defer property taxes. For more information click here and enter ‘Property tax deferment’ in the search box or contact your municipal tax office.


This federal program provides financial aid to qualifying low-income home owners to repair substandard housing. Eligible repairs include heating, structural, electrical, plumbing and fire safety. Grants are available for seniors, persons with disabilities, owners of rental properties and owners creating secondary and garden suites. For more information click here.


Provides home buyers with CMHC mortgage insurance, a 10% premium refund and possible extended amortization without surcharge when buyers purchase an energy efficient mortgage or make energy saving renovations. For more information click here.


Financial institutions offer a range of mortgages to home buyers and owners who make their homes more energy efficient. For example, home owners who have a home energy audit within 90 days of receiving an RBC Energy SaverT Mortgage, may qualify for a rebate of $300 to their RBC account. For more information click here.


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 rate for a fixed rate installment loan over $5,000 or a $100 renovation on a home energy audit on a fixed rate installment loan over $5,000. For information visit your financial institution.


Home owners improving the energy efficiency of their homes may qualify for cash incentives through this provincial program provided in partnership with Terasen Gas, BC Hydro, and FortisBC. Rebates are for energy efficient products which replace gas and oil furnaces, pumps, water heaters, wood stoves, insulation, windows, doors, skylights and more. The LiveSmart BC program also covers $150 of the cost of a home energy assessment, directly to the service provider. For more information click here.


Home owners and residential landlords buying heating fuel receive a BC government point-of-sale rebate on utility bills equal to the provincial component of the HST.


Mail-in rebates of $25 – $50 for purchasers of ENERGY STAR clothes washers, refrigerators, dishwashers, or freezers until March 31, 2011, or when funding for the program is exhausted. For more information click here.


This ongoing program rebates BC Hydro customers $30 to turn in spare fridges in working condition. For more information click here.


Pay no HST when you buy ENERGY STAR high-performance windows and doors. This offer is available until March 31, 2011.


To save energy, BC Hydro offers rebates including 10% off an ENERGY STAR cordless phone. Check for new offers and for deadlines. For more information click here.


A range of rebates for home owners include a $50 rebate for upgrading a water heater, $150 rebate on an Ener-Choice fireplace (both good to March 31, 2011) and a $1,000 rebate for switching to natural gas (from oil or propane) and installing an ENERGY STAR heating system (good to Feb. 29, 2012). For more information click here and in the search box enter ‘rebates’.


For commercial buildings, provides a cash rebate of up to 75% of the purchase price of an energy efficient boiler, for new construction or retrofits. For more information click here and in the search box enter ‘gas efficient boiler program.

Link (Story removed)

Featured Property: 867 Lolo Street, Brocklehurst, Kamloops, B.C. $359,900

 Brocklehurst Kamloops BC Real Estate 867 Lolo StreetBeautifully updated modern Santa Fe style Brock home in a cul-de-sac. 1 bedroom inlaw suite, basement could be a 2 bedroom. Recent updates include kitchen, all appliances, bathrooms, flooring, all windows, roof 5 years old, furnace, hot water tank, electrical, plumbing, paint inside & out, internal & external doors, soffits, gutters, landscaping – new patios (3), pond with waterfall & so much more. The master bedroom has a huge 6×12 walk-in closet & large jetted tub. There is a private deck off of the master. All tile flooring throughout. Basement suite all done as well. Shared laundry. Seller currently runs a dog grooming business. Shed in yard & drive through access for a potential shop. Huge lot! There isn’t anything left to update!

Click here to view more pictures of this home.

To view all homes for sale in Kamloops click here.

Open House Weekend: Saturday, February 26 and Sunday, February 27, 2011: Aberdeen, Batchelor Heights and Pineview Valley

On Saturday, February 26th and Sunday, February 27th, 2011 open houses will be held in Aberdeen, Batchelor Heights and Pineview Valley.

Pineview Valley Kamloops Real Estate 1927 Englemann Crt Saturday, February 26th, 2011: 11:00-12:30 1927 Englemann Court, Pineview Valley, $439,900

Beautiful two-storey home located in a quite cul-de-sac in Pineveiw Valley. The main floor features Acadian Walnut hardwood floors, vaulted ceilings, slate fire place, and a bright dining room. more

Batchelor Heights Open House 5-930 Stagecoach Drive Saturday, February 26th, 2011: 1:00-3:00: 5-930 Stagecoach Drive, Batchelor Heights $339,900

Stunning three bedroom and den townhome with TONS of custom upgrades. Located in the desirable Ridge at Saddleback development and perfect for first time home buyer or retiree. Many of the upgrades include.. more

west highlands kamloops aberdeen real estate 2249 linfield  Sunday, February 27th, 2011: 1:00-3:00: 2249 Linfield Drive, Aberdeen, $429,900

This brand new view home is located in Aberdeen’s newest subdivision Aberdeen Highlands. It is located right beside a golf course and elementary school. more

Click here to view more pictures of this home.

To view all homes for sale in Kamloops click here.

B.C. Home Sales Climb Eight Per Cent in the First Quarter of 2011

This report was released by the British Columbia Real Estate Association on February 23rd, 2011.

Vancouver, BC – February 23, 2011. The British Columbia Real Estate Association (BCREA) released its Housing Forecast for the first quarter of 2011 today.

BC Multiple Listing Service® (MLS®) residential sales are forecast to increase 8 per cent from 74,640 units in 2010 to 80,900 units this year, and increase another 4 per cent to 83,950 units in 2012.

“British Columbia housing markets are returning to  normalcy after two years of volatility,” said Cameron Muir, BCREA Chief Economist. “Employment and population growth will fuel consumer demand over the next two years. However, higher mortgage interest rates and tighter credit conditions for low equity home buyers will limit home sales to below the ten-year average of 87,600 units.”

“Total active residential listings in the province declined 14 per cent since last spring. However, the inventory of homes for sale is expected to edge higher as the number of new listings to the market advances during the first two quarters of 2011,” added Muir. “Regional market differences continue in the province, with Vancouver trending into a seller’s market, while the Okanagan, Kootenay and Kamloops markets trend from a buyer’s market toward balanced conditions.”

The average MLS® residential price is forecast to increase 2 per cent to $517,000 this year and remain relatively unchanged in 2012, albeit declining by 0.4 per cent to $515,400.

Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC) Sees Home Starts Stabilizing in 2011 and 2012

This article appeared on The Daily Commercial News and Construction Record on February 21st, 2011.

Canada’s national housing agency says the pace of new-home construction will stabilize in 2011 and 2012 after trending lower at the end of last year.

Canada Mortgage and Housing Corp. predicts between 157,000 and 192,000 new housing units will be built this year, with the number remaining virtually the same in 2012. In its first quarter housing market outlook, released Feb. 17 it said economic growth and lower unemployment will prop up the need for new homes.

“This, in conjunction with relatively low mortgage rates, will continue to support demand for new homes. Housing starts will remain in line with long-term demographic fundamentals over the course of 2011 and 2012,’’ Bob Dugan, chief economist for CMHC said.

Dugan said listing prices are expected to keep pace with increases in inflation.

The corporation said sales of existing homes should be in the range of 398,000 and 485,000 this year.

In its January figures, CMHC said Canada was on track to build 170,400 units of housing this year, about 10 per cent less than in 2010.

The housing market was unusually active in late 2009 and early 2010 due to a catch-up from the recessionary levels in late 2008 and early 2009 and historically low interest rates that kept the cost of borrowing low.

The real estate market kicked off last year on a tear as buyers rushed into the market in advance of higher interest rates, new mortgage rules and a new harmonized tax regime in two provinces.


Open House Weekend: Saturday, February 19, 2011, Aberdeen and North Kamloops, B.C.

On Saturday, February 19th, 2011 the open houses will be held in Aberdeen and North Kamloops.

North Kamloops House For Sale 451 Alexander Ave

Saturday, February 19th, 2011: 12:00-1:30: 451 Alexander Avenue, North Kamloops, $259,900

Cute North Kamloops home close to shopping, park & transportation. Some updates done such as flooring & bathroom sink. Pool has new liner & pump in 2010. 70 amp service. Room for a detached workshop. more

Kamloops BC Real Estate 1189 Howe Rd Aberdeen

Saturday, February 19th, 2011: 2:00-3:30: 1189 Howe Road, Aberdeen, $309,900

This Aberdeen doll house has had numerous updates over the past couple years. All the flooring (porcelain tile and laminate) and windows were recently replaced, new hot water tank and it has a fresh coat of paint throughout. more

Click here to view more pictures of these homes.

To view all homes for sale in Kamloops click here.

B.C. Resale Housing Prices: Metro Vancouver Shows Increase While Other Regions Remain Flat or Decline

This article appeared in the Vancouver Sun on February 15th, 2011 and was written by Brian Morton.

B.C.’s real estate market appears to be morphing into two categories: Metro Vancouver and the rest of the province.

While Metro Vancouver saw a strong increase in the average home price over the past year – up 19.6 per cent in January compared to January 2010, from $638,000 to $763,000 — that’s not the case for most other regions of B.C., according to a survey released Monday by the B.C. Real Estate Association, which represents 11 real estate board across the province and 18,000 realtors.

Except for Metro Vancouver, the Fraser Valley and – for this month, at least – the Kootenays, the province has seen average prices fall, in some cases substantially, in every region in January compared to the same month last year.

“There’s certainly a divergence in the market [between] the south coast and the rest of the province,” BCREA chief economist Cameron Muir said in an interview Monday. “There’s very strong market activity in parts of Vancouver. And that’s skewing the average price higher.”

Despite the difference between Metro Vancouver and the rest of the province, Muir said the numbers can be misleading because the huge increase in Metro Vancouver’s average price was largely because of a surge in purchases of luxury, executive homes in Richmond and the west side of Vancouver.

He said the “benchmark” price — the price of a typical home in Vancouver — actually rose just a bit more than two per cent over the year. He did not have information on benchmark prices for elsewhere in the province.

According to the BCREA survey, the average price of a home in B.C. rose 11.5 per cent, to $548,183, in January compared to January, 2010.

The BCREA also said that Multiple Listing Service sales climbed seven per cent in January from December 2010, on a seasonally adjusted basis.

Compared to January of last year, home sales were down 10 per cent, to 4,137 units.

The survey noted that the inventory of homes for sale remained below 47,000 units for the third consecutive month in January, down 14 per cent from the spring of last year.

While the south Okanagan saw prices drop 8.9 per cent, from $310,000 to $283,000, the Okanagan Mainline (from Kelowna north) saw prices drop 2.9 per cent, from $387,000 to $376,000.

Vancouver Island prices dropped 5.7 per cent, from $328,000 to $309,000, while Victoria prices fell 4.5 per cent, from $510,000 to $486,000.

B.C. Northern prices fell 4.6 per cent, from $215,000 to $205,000, Chilliwack dropped five per cent, from $289,000 to $275,000, and Kamloops prices dropped 1.5 per cent from $314,000 to $309,000.

Powell River saw the steepest drop in the province, 29.6 per cent, from $301,000 to $212,000, while Kootenay bucked the trend in January with a 4.7-per-cent increase, from $264,000 to $276,000.

Muir said Vancouver is doing better because its economy is more diversified that the rest of B.C. and also has the advantage of significantly more immigrants, many of whom are in the investor class and typically buy a house upon arrival.

Muir noted that the Okanagan is in buyers’ market conditions, with 22 months of housing supply, meaning that it would normally take 22 months to use up the existing inventory.

“In Vancouver, it’s 6.1 months of supply. A balanced market is typically five to seven months.”

As well, he noted, one of the Okanagan’s main source of buyers – Alberta investors – has dried up, with many looking south of the border for cheaper recreational properties.

Carol Frketich, B.C. regional economist for Canada Mortgage and Housing Corp., said in an interview that while a one-month snapshot doesn’t tell the whole story, Metro Vancouver has generally done better than the rest of the province. “And Vancouver’s employment has been stronger than the provincial average. That provides a solid basis for the housing demand.”

Frketich noted that housing starts in the Vancouver CMA (census metropolitan area) saw a 57-per-cent hike in January to 1,436 from 917 in January 2010, with the Abbotsford and Kamloops CMAs also saw increases.

On average, urban centres saw a 15-per-cent rise over that period, although Frketich cautioned that one month doesn’t indicate a trend.

Meanwhile, Muir said he expects home sales to moderate this year as higher interest rates push mortgages up, impacting affordability.

He said there should be a “moderate improvement” in interior home prices in 2011.

Featured Property: 2665 Qu’appelle Boulevard, Juniper Heights, Kamloops, B.C. $369,900

Juniper Heights Kamloops BC House 2665 Qu'appelle Blvd,

This solid Juniper Ridge home has 4 bedrooms and 3 bathrooms. There is over 2,000 square feet of living space and numerous updates which include, kitchen, bathrooms, flooring, paint, baseboards and more. This home sits on a lot over 10,000 square feet. There is drive through access to the back yard, two gas fire places, built in vacuum, central A/C, under ground sprinklers, RV parking and single car garage.

Click here to view more pictures of this home.

To view all homes for sale in Kamloops click here.

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