Buyers’ bonus for first-time new home buyers

,

By JOHN BECKER

This article was first published in the TIMES:

We’re seeing some beautiful new real estate developments in Pitt Meadows, and many are at a variety of prices to suit a wide range of purchasers.  Whatever you choose, purchasing a home is expensive so it’s nice to save on government-offered programs whenever you can.

Some buyers will qualify for the First time Home Buyer’s Exemption from Property Transfer Tax, but now there is another way to save. The BC First-Time New home Buyers’ Bonus is a new time-limited program that could save you thousands of dollars.

Purchases of new homes made between February 21, 2012 and March 31, 2013 by first-time buyers in BC can receive a one-time bonus payment worth up to $10,000. The bonus is equal to 5% of the purchase price of the home (not including HST) up to a maximum of $10,000.

The bonus is scaled back for higher income earners, but it’s still worthwhile investigating. The savings could help you hire movers, decorate your new home, take care of some mortgage payments or use in other useful ways.

You can apply directly to the BC Ministry of Finance for the bonus any time after you have taken ownership or possession of your home, provided you meet all the eligibility criteria.

How to qualify for the bonus

The criteria for eligibility centres largely on two main factors:  you are a new BC-resident home-owner and that the home is newly constructed or substantially (90%) renovated.   More specifically, you will qualify if:

  • You purchase or build an eligible new home located in B.C.
  • You intend to live in the house as a primary residence.
  • You, or for couples, you and your spouse or common law partner, have never previously owned a primary residence anywhere in the world.
  • In the case of multiple buyers of a home, each buyer must be a first-time home buyer having never owned a primary residence anywhere in the world.
  • You file a BC resident personal income tax return, or if you move to BC after December 31, 2011, you file a 2012 BC resident personal income tax return – Individuals or families who move to BC after December 31, 2012 will not be eligible.
  • You must be eligible for the BC HST New Housing Rebate.
  • No one else has claimed the bonus in respect of the home.

Remember, new and old homes still require conveyancing services to ensure your real estate sale or purchase is legally complete. Contact your lawyer for details.

For more information on this program, visit the Ministry of Finance website at http://www.sbr.gov.bc.ca/individuals/Income_Taxes/Personal_Income_Tax/tax_credits/fthb_bonus.htm or search the Ministry website for “first-time buyers” and choose the first result among the search results.

Enjoy your new home.