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The BC First-Time New Home Buyers’ Bonus

If you’re thinking about buying a new home in Greater Victoria but have been hesitant to do so because of the HST, the BC government has proposed a solution for first time buyers.   Subject to approval by the legislature, the BC government is planning to implement a temporary BC First-Time New Home Buyers’ Bonus.  This program is meant to stimulate sales of new homes and help first time buyers get into the market.

Are you Eligible for the BC First Time New Home Buyers’ Bonus?

You are if:

  • You buy or build an eligible new home in BC;
  • You, or you and your spouse or common-law partner have never previously owned a primary residence;
  • You file a 2011 BC resident personal income tax return, or, if you move to BC after Dec. 31, 2011, you file a 2012 BC resident personal income tax return
  • You are eligible for the BC HST New Housing Rebate, and
  • You intend to make the home your primary residence.

Eligible New Homes Include:

  • New or substantially renovated homes purchased from a builder or owner-built;
    • Detached houses, semi-detached houses, duplexes and townhouses, residential condominium units, mobile homes, floating homes, and residential units in a cooperative housing corporation, and
    • If you are applying for the bonus with the purchase of a substantially renovated home, it must be one where all or most of the interior of a building has been removed or replaced, generally, 90 per cent or more.

How much is the First Time New Home Buyers’ Bonus?

  • The bonus is equal to 5% of the purchase price or, for owner-built homes, 5% of the land and construction costs subject to HST to a maximum of $10,000.
  • There is a phase out of the bonus for higher income earners based on net family income.  It kicks in at $150,000 and the bonus is erased at $200,000 ($250,000 for couples).

How Do You Apply for the First Time New Home Buyers’ Bonus?

You can apply for the bonus through the BC government; application forms will soon be available on the BC Ministry of Finance website.

It’s important to note that this opportunity to receive a bonus of up to $10,000 dollars is only available when construction of the home is complete, or the home is occupied, before April 1, 2013.  If you have been considering the purchase of a new home and meet these qualifications, it could be the right time for you to buy.  You can get more details from the 2012 First Time Home Buyers’ Fact Sheet.  If you have any other questions about this program or real estate in Victoria BC please feel free to contact us.


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