Wise real estate decisions are made when you have a clear understanding of your personal financial circumstances.


When assessing your situation, it is important to know that there is a broad range of cost-saving programs available to help you. 

Here are a few of the many government programs to help ease financial pressure on homebuyers and owners:

Federal budget programs for home buyers and owners

Home Buyers' Plan (RRSPs for your downpayment)
The federal government's Home Buyers' Plan now lets qualifying home buyers use up to $25,000 (increased from $20,000) of their RRSP to buy a home. Couples can use up to $50,000 (increased from $40,000). The home must be a principal residence, the home buyers must not have owned a home within the past five years, and the loan must be repaid within 15 years. 

We estimate that a couple buying a townhome in Metro Vancouver with a benchmark price of $423,338 will save $7,448 on their mortgage (at 5% rate amortized over 25 years) as a result of this increase.
Learn more »

  • Home Buyers' Plan (HBP) - includes conditions, how to participate, cancel, repay and FAQs
  • The Home Buyers' Plan Guide - a 22 page guide that covers all aspects of the plan
  • Form T1036 Home Buyers' Plan Request to Withdraw Funds from an RRSP in pdf and text formats. There is a phone number for questions: 1-800-959-8281.


First-Time Home Buyers' Tax Credit
This new federal tax credit program provides up to $750 in tax relief to qualifying buyers for costs associated with buying a first home, including legal fees and land transfer taxes. 
Learn more »

Home Renovation Tax Credit
This new provision lets homeowners qualify for an income tax credit of up to $1,350 for home improvement projects.

Note: there are no forms. Beginning with the 2009 personal income tax return, a new line will be incorporated to allow renovators to claim the credit. If you intend to use this tax credit, be sure to save your invoices and receipts.
Learn more »

ecoENERGY Retrofit program
Provides home and property owners grants of up to $5,000 to offset the costs of making energy-efficiency improvements. 
Learn more »


Government and homeowner programs

High ratio mortgages on green properties

CMHC offers a 10% refund on your mortgage loan insurance premium and an extended 35-year amortization period when you buy an energy-efficient home or make energy-efficient renovations. Your new home must be either R2000 certified, have an EnerGuide Rating of 77, or be built by a member of a CMHC-eligible energy-efficient building program. For a Renovation, the pre and post renovation EnerGuide Evaluation must show at least a 5 point improvement, and have a minimum point total of 40. 

For information visit
Green Home

The Home Buyers’ Plan: Retirement Savings for down payments

Canada Revenue Agency’s Home Buyers Plan lets qualifying home buyers use up to $25,000 of their Registered Retirement Savings Plan to buy a home. Couples can use up to $50,000. The home must be a principal residence, the home buyers must not have owned a home within the past five years and the loan must be repaid with 15 years. Disabled home buyers upgrading to a more accessible home also qualify as do relatives helping disabled home buyers. Home buyers who have already used the plan and have fully repaid their RRSP may be eligible to use the plan a second time.  

Canada Revenue Agency
For information visit
Home Buyers' Plan

Property Transfer Tax and exemption

Home buyers in BC pay a provincial Property Transfer Tax when they buy a home. The tax is charged at a rate of 1% on the first $200,000 of the purchase price and 2% on the remainder. First-time home buyers may qualify for a full exemption on a home with a maximum purchase price of $425,000 or a partial exemption on a home priced to $450,000. Buyers can’t have previously owned a home anywhere in the world. 

Government of BC
For information visit
Property Transfer Tax

Goods and Services Tax Rebate

Buyers of new homes with a market value of less than $450,000 may qualify for a Goods and Services Tax (GST) rebate. January 1, 2008, the GST dropped to 5% from 6% on new homes. The maximum rebate for qualifying home buyers is equal to the lesser of 36% of the GST paid or $6,300.

Canada Revenue Agency
For information visit
GST-New housing rebate

Federal ecoENERGY efficiency initiative

ecoENERGY Retrofit for Homes provides home and property owners with grants of up to $5,000 to offset the cost of making energy-efficiency improvements that range from increasing insulation to upgrading a furnace.

Natural Resources Canada
For information visit ecoENERGY Retrofit – homes

BC Home Owner Grant

Reduces property taxes by up to $570 on properties assessed up to $950,000 and continues on a sliding scale up $1,064,000. Provides an additional $275 for a maximum of $845 for seniors, veterans and the disabled on homes assessed up to $950,000 is reduced on a sliding scale on homes valued up to $1,119,000.

BC Ministry of Small Business and Revenue
For information visit
home owner grant

PST Exemptions for energy conservation

Exempts energy efficient materials including double-glazed windows, insulation, draft-reducing materials, furnaces, boilers, heat pumps and related from the PST.

BC Ministry of Energy, Mines and Petroleum Resources.
For information visit
energy tax exemption

RRAP Grants - Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation

Includes the Homeowner Residential Rehabilitation Assistance Program (RRAP) which provides financial assistance to low-income households for repairs; RRAP – Secondary Suite which provides assistance to create affordable self-contained rental units for low-incomes seniors and disabled adults; and RRAP Home Adaptations for Senior’s Independence which provides financial assistance for minor home adaptations to extend the time low-income seniors can live in their own home.

For information visit
CMHC programs

Terasen Gas ENERGY STAR® Qualified Heating System Upgrade

Provides coupons and rebates of up to $300 towards the purchase of a new ENERGY STAR® heating systems as well as gas bill credits.

For information visit
Terasen Gas

BC Hydro

Rebates BC Hydro customers $30 to turn in their old, inefficient, second refrigerator. Fridges must measure between 10 and 24 cubic feet and still work. Will pick up a maximum of two refrigerators.

Rebate for old fridges. For information visit
BC Hydro

 Source: Real Estate Board of Greater Vancouver

First Time Home Buyers Program  http://www.sbr.gov.bc.ca/documents_library/bulletins/ptt_004.pdf