First-time homebuyer grants in BC

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Buying your first home is a significant milestone, but it can also be a daunting financial challenge. Fortunately, for first-time homebuyers in British Columbia, there are government programs and grants designed to ease the financial burden and make homeownership more accessible. In this blog post, we’ll explore the various first-time homebuyer grants and incentives available in BC.

1. First-Time Home Buyer Incentive (FTHBI):

The First-Time Home Buyer Incentive is a federal program that assists first-time buyers in British Columbia. Under this initiative, the government provides a shared equity mortgage with eligible homebuyers, reducing the amount needed for a down payment. This program aims to make homeownership more affordable and accessible for those who meet the eligibility criteria.

2. Home Owner Grant:

The Home Owner Grant is a provincial program that helps reduce property taxes for eligible homeowners in British Columbia. While it’s not exclusive to first-time buyers, it offers significant financial relief. This grant can be especially beneficial if you purchase a home with a higher assessed value. To qualify for the Home Owner Grant, you must meet specific criteria, including residency requirements.

3. Property Transfer Tax (PTT) Exemption:

The Property Transfer Tax is a one-time tax payable when you purchase a property in BC. First-time homebuyers may be eligible for a full or partial exemption from this tax, depending on the property’s value. As of my last update in September 2021, properties valued up to $500,000 may qualify for a full exemption, while those valued between $500,000 and $525,000 may receive a partial exemption. Be sure to check for the most recent exemption limits, as they may change over time.

4. Newly Built Homes Exemption:

British Columbia offers an additional property transfer tax exemption for newly built homes. If you are a first-time homebuyer and you purchase a newly constructed property with a fair market value of up to $750,000, you may be eligible for this exemption. Like the standard PTT exemption, these thresholds may change, so check for updates when you’re ready to buy.

5. GST/HST New Housing Rebate:

When buying a new or substantially renovated home in BC, you may be eligible for a GST/HST New Housing Rebate. This rebate helps offset the federal Goods and Services Tax (GST) or the Harmonized Sales Tax (HST) on the purchase. Eligibility criteria and the amount of the rebate can vary, so consult with your real estate agent or tax professional to ensure you receive the maximum benefit.

6. Home Buyers’ Plan (HBP):

While not a grant, the Home Buyers’ Plan allows first-time buyers to withdraw up to $35,000 from their Registered Retirement Savings Plan (RRSP) to put towards a down payment, tax-free. Participants must repay the funds to their RRSP within a 15-year period. The HBP can be a valuable resource for those looking to boost their down payment savings.

Before applying for any of these grants or incentives, it’s essential to understand the eligibility requirements, application procedures, and any changes in program details that may have occurred since my last update in September 2021. Additionally, consulting with a qualified real estate agent or financial advisor can provide invaluable guidance on navigating these programs to make your first home purchase in British Columbia more affordable and achievable.

You can click here to view more home owners grants that you may be eligible to apply for.


It is so important to us that you feel empowered and educated throughout the buying and selling process – if you want to achieve your real estate goals or are thinking about purchasing a home soon, give us a call, text, or email with any questions you have! We can answer all of your questions, and give you specific tips related to the strata, buildings, and more. We’re here to help.