Monday, August 15, 2011

City of Montreal Offers Cash Incentives to New Buyers. Some Strings Attached

Did you know that Montreal offers financial incentives to encourage tenants to become home buyers?  The incentives are even better for households with at least one child under the age of 18. You don't have to be a first-time buyer to be eligible, but you must prove that you have not owned a property for at least five years.
As with most government programs, this one is more than a little complicated.  Still, it might be something worth investigating  if you are looking at buyung either a single unit or a revenue property where you will reside.
 Single Units, How Much?If you buy a newly built unit and are the first owner of that property, you can collect a rebate of $4,500, $10,000 or $12,500 depending on if you are a childless single buyer, two buyers, or a household with at least one child.
For a single buyer, the rebate is good for the purchase of a new unit costing not more than $200,000, taxes and extras like kitchen upgrades or a parking space included. (if my math is correct, that means a condo or house priced at not more than $175,554. Ce n'est pas beaucoup ça!)
For two-buyer households, the limit is $235,000.
For a household with at least one kid, the limit is $265,000 or $310,000 if the unit has three bedrooms.
The city will also refund 40 per cent of your property transfer tax (the hated welcome tax that you will be hit with about 30 days after you take possession.)
The welccome tax refund is 100 per cent for households with at least one kid.
This program has the twin aim of encouraging developers to build family-affordable housing in the city and encouraging young families to stay on the island instead of fleeing to the suburbs.
Revenue Properties, How Much?
 If you buy a duplex and live in one unit while renting the other, the city will refund 40 per cent of your property transfer tax, as long as your duplex does not cost more than $400,000 (There's no sales tax of resale duplexes, so that $400,000 is a real market price.) If you buy a triplex, the maximum is $450,000.
For households with children, the maximum purchase price remains $400,000 for a duplex and $450,000 for a triplex but the city will refund the entire amount of your property transfer tax.
This program was designed to encourage owner occupancy. It has been proven that revenue properties where the owner lives on site are better maintained than those with absentee landlords.
As with any government program,there's a lot of fine print. For example, you have to commit to owning the property for three years or else you have to pay the money back.
You have to pay your property transfer tax up front and then apply to for the rebate.
This is a program partially funded by the Quebec government, so it lasts as long as there's money in the kitty. When the envelope is empty, as they say in French, ze program she ends. I can't see anything on the city website to indicate that the program has run out of funds.
You can find out more by visiting the City of Montreal's housing site and download the application form. You have six months after the purchase of your property to apply for the rebate. You can also visit your local borough office to find out more.

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