B.C. First Time Home Buyer Programs

First Home Savings Account (FHSA)

A first home savings account (FHSA) is a registered plan allowing you, as a prospective first-time home buyer, to save for your first home tax-free (up to certain limits). It's similar to a Tax Free Savings Account (TFSA). To open an FHSA, you must be 18 years or older, a resident of Canada and a first-time home buyer. Find out more.

Government of Canada's First-Time Home Buyer Incentive

The First-Time Home Buyer Incentive helps qualified first-time home buyers reduce their monthly mortgage carrying costs without adding to their financial burdens. This is a new program with fairly limiting parameters. A few qualifiers include having the minimum down payment required. Your maximum qualifying income must be no more than $120,000 and your total borrowing is limited to 4 times the qualifying income. If you meet these criteria, you can then apply for a 5% or 10% shared equity mortgage with the Government of Canada. A shared equity mortgage is where the government shares in the upside and downside of the property value. Find out more.

First-Time Home Buyers' Tax Credit (HBTC)

This credit allows first-time buyers in Canada the opportunity to recover some of the costs associated with their purchase. It helps offset legal fees, inspections, and other similar closing costs. The First-time Home Buyer’s Tax Credit is a non-refundable credit of $10,000, which equates to a maximum tax rebate of $1500 as of 2023 ($750 until the 2022 budget was approved). Here are more details for the First Time Home Buyer’s Tax credit.

Home Buyers' Plan (HBP)

The Home Buyers' Plan (HBP) is a program specifically designed to assist first-time home buyers in purchasing their first property. Under the HBP, you can withdraw up to $35,000 (or up to $70,000 combined, if you’re buying with a partner) in a single calendar year from your Registered Retirement Savings Plan (RRSP) towards the purchase of a qualifying property for yourself or someone with a disability. Check to see if you qualify.

GST New Housing Rebate

You may be eligible for a tax rebate on a portion of the GST you paid as part of the purchase or construction of a new home. You may also be eligible for a rebate of the costs of substantially renovating your property, building an add-on to your existing home, or converting a commercial property into a residential home. This rebate can be claimed on a newly constructed or substantially renovated property only if the fair market value of the house is under $450,000 upon completion. Check to see if you qualify.

First Time Home Buyer

BC First Time Home Buyers’ Program

This program reduces any amount owing for property land transfer tax when buying your first property. You may be eligible for a partial or full tax exemption under the program. For full exemption, the property must have a fair market value of of $500,000 or less.

As of April 1st, 2024, the FTHB exemption will apply to properties in a different way. For properties with a FMV of less than $835,000, PTT is not payable on the first $500,000, but payable on the difference between the FMV and $500,000. For example, if the FMV of the property  is $700,000, PTT paid would be 2% of $200,000 ($700,000 less  $500,000). Not paying PTT on the first $500,000 saves the purchaser a total of $8,000

If the property has a FMV between $835,000 and $860,000, then a partial exemption applies, the details of which are not yet confirmed by the BC government. If the FMV of the property is over $860,000, then there is no FTHB PTT exemption. Check to see if you qualify.

Home Owner Grant

Under the B.C. Home Owner Grant, you may be eligible to lower the amount of property taxes you’re required to pay on an annual basis for your principal residence. The amount of tax relief you’re eligible for depends on where you live. For instance, those under 65 years of age residing in the Capital Regional District, Greater Vancouver Regional District, and the Fraser Valley Regional District may be eligible for a grant of $570. Home owners residing in other parts of British Columbia may be eligible for a grant of $770.

Newly Built Home Exemption

Are you buying a newly built home in B.C.? You may be eligible for the Newly Built Home Exemption. This tax exemption helps lower or eliminate the amount of property transfer tax you’re required to pay when you’re buying a newly built home worth $1,100,000 or under. A partial exemption is also available for properties with a FMV just above the threshold. The phase out range is $50,000 above the threshold, so properties with a FMV of greater than $1,150,000 will not be able to claim the Newly Built Home Exemption. Check to see if you qualify.

Thinking of buying your first home in beautiful BC? Are you looking for a top REALTOR® to help guide you safely toward attaining your real estate goals? If so, reach out to us today to find out how we can help!


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