It is a great time to be a first-time home buyer. The BC Government has recently announced a BC Home Partnership Program offering loans to eligible first-time home buyers plus there is a handful of other first-time home buyer programs available. There are many first-time home buyers who are turning to Whistler as a place to settle down and purchase property. Due to the current rental housing shortage some people are deciding to take the plunge and purchase property instead of battle for limited rental inventory. If you have been thinking of settling down in Whistler and are a first-time buyer, here are some programs you may be eligible for:
BC Home Partnership Program
The newly introduced BC Home Partnership Program will offer loans of up to 5 percent or $37,500 to eligible first-time buyers. These loans, which will match a buyer’s down-payment, will be interest and payment free for the first five years at which time will interest will start accruing at market rate and payments will begin. The program starts on January 16th 2017, applications can be submitted online and the program will run for three years.
To be eligible applicants must:
- Be a Canadian Citizen or Permanent Resident (for the last five years)
- Have been living in BC for at least one year before application submission
- Be a first-time home buyer who has never owned property before anywhere in the world
- Use the property as a primary residence (for at least five years)
- Obtain a mortgage on the property of at least 80 percent of the purchase price
- Have a combined gross household income not greater than $150K
- Have saved a down-payment at least equal to the loan amount for which the buyer applied
If you have questions about this loan scheme or need help applying, contact us today.
First-time Home Buyer’s Program
This program reduces or eliminates property transfer tax paid on a new home. On a $400,000 property, property transfer tax would be $6000 (it is calculated by one percent on the first $100K, two percent on the balance between $200K and $2M, and 3 percent on balance over $2M). There are applicant and property requirements that must be met in order to be eligible and they include:
The property must…
- Be in BC
- Be the principle residence, not an investment property
- Be less than $475K
- Be under 1.24 acres
- There may be partial exemptions for properties up to $500K, on lots larger than 1.24 acres, and properties which have a building on the property other than a principle residence.
The applicant must…
- Be Canadian citizen or permanent resident
- Have lived in BC for 12 consecutive months (or filed two income tax returns in the last six years)
- Have never owned a home before anywhere in the world
- Have never received a first-time home buyers’ exemption or refund
First-time Home Buyers Tax Credit
When filling out a Federal tax return, first-time buyers can apply for a tax credit on their property purchase of up to $5000 per property. This tax credit is available for first-time buyers who have bought a qualifying home (single-family home, semi-detached home, townhouse, mobile home, condo, and duplex/triplex/fourplex) within the financial year.
GST Rebate on New Homes
This rebate is available for all buyers of new and substantially renovated properties. The rebate is available in full for properties under $350,000 and proportionally for properties $350,000 to $450,000. To be eligible properties must be used as the principle place of residence and not as an investment.
If you are a first-time buyer in Whistler make sure to contact the LEADING EDGE Real Estate Team the minute you decide to buy. We can guide you through the process of applying for grants and rebates, connect you with professionals in the community to assist with the transaction, and work for you to ensure you receive the best deal possible. Under most circumstances our service is free of charge to buyers. Let us guide you through the process of buying your first home in Whistler.