It may sound too good to be true, but it isn’t. There are ways you can legitimately receive money back if you are renovating your home or building a new house, based on the type of work you do, the location of the property, and whether you meet the program’s qualifications.
Investing thousands of dollars into your property is the norm with Canadians putting more money into their homes. This year, it’s expected that the average Canadian homeowner will spend $19,754 on renovations, which is $4,454 more than last year’s renovations spending, according to a poll by CIBC. All in all, the cost of beautifying your home is going up, but there are ways you can get more value for fewer dollars.
With the high cost of housing in some real estate markets, such as Toronto and Vancouver, renovating your home could be a much more inexpensive option, especially if you enjoy living in your neighbourhood.
While the renovations you do could add to your home’s value, it won’t be a while until you can access that benefit. You won’t have to wait as long to benefit from these rebates and savings, which means you can do a home renovation and still keep that new TV on your shopping list.
Research these programs carefully to ensure you qualify before starting your renovations.
HST housing rebate
This program isn’t widely advertised, but it’s been in place for years. Homeowners could be eligible to claim some of their HST costs back from the CRA if they have purchased a newly built property (such as a condo or townhouse that were recently completed), built a new house, or done major renovations on their house (such as adding a new addition to double the property’s space or gutting 90 per cent of it). This includes property for investment or used as a principal residence.
With a maximum rebate of between $16,000 to $30,000 on the line, based on the type of claim made, it’s a program that you’ll want to qualify for. There are various scenarios that could make you eligible, but the CRA requires a great deal of documentation that can be time consuming to acquire.
Save yourself the time and ensure it gets done right by using an HST housing rebate service. “We’ve had clients who’ve filed incorrect claims with the CRA, which takes about a year to appeal the decision,” says Idan Mizrahi, co-founder of Rebate4U. “You only have two years to make a claim and mistakes can cost you a lot of money.”
Tanya Platt, a property investor who used Rebate4U to file two HST rebate claims, just barely made the deadline for a rebate on her investment property. If she waited a few more weeks, she would have missed out on $23,000. Her and her husband had been investing in property for years when they noticed a price bump of about $30,000 on their closing costs in 2011. The real estate lawyer they were working with knew about the HST housing rebate, but didn’t know how to help them claim their money back.
Donal Ward-McCarthy was in a similar position as Platt, when he and his wife barely made the deadline to claim a portion of their HST for extensive renovations to their fixer upper. The couple put in about $250,000 for home renovations and planned for about two years to transform the home into an energy-efficient home, along with a ten-foot new addition, which they plan to retire in. Despite working in the real estate industry with Right at Home Realty Inc., Ward-McCarthy, hadn’t heard about the HST housing rebate, until he saw a flyer from Rebate4U. They were lucky enough to claim back $9,000 from their renovations, which will be reinvested back into the house, and Ward-McCarthy plans to notify any past and current clients about the program.
With baby boomers aging and debating their future living options, more Canadians may be renovating their homes for accessibility, such as adding wider hallways or entrances or installing a walk-in tub. The Ontario government realizes these renovations will provide a safe living option for seniors and you can claim up to $10,000 of expenses on your income taxes with the Healthy Homes Renovation Tax Credit. If you qualify, you’ll receive 15 per cent of the expenses for a maximum amount of $1,500, which applies to seniors renovating their homes or in a multigenerational home, where you live with a senior family member.
The upfront cost of energy efficient changes can make you cringe, but you need to take a long-term investment mindset when considering these renovations. Natural Resources Canada offers a comprehensive list of incentives you could qualify for based on your location. For example, if you’re an Ontario homeowner, Enbridge gas offers a Winterproofing program that helps homeowners make more energy efficient renovations and reduce their energy usage.
Renovate your property using local professionals found through our eieihome directory of general contractors to transform your house into the home of your dreams and access rebates from the government or energy companies to do so.
Rebate4U is an expert in filing HST housing rebates and they are the biggest Ontario company that offers this service. They also file HST rebate claims from homeowners in other provinces and they offer a breadth of experience. Since January 2013, they’ve helped clients claim $14.5 million in rebates and offered free consultations.