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Federal Budget to help Home Buyers and Home Owners

The federal budget introduced by federal Finance Minister James Flaherty in the House of Commons on Tuesday, January 27 proposes initiatives that, if passed, could benefit both home buyers and owners.
Here are some of the highlights:
•    Home Buyer’s Plan: The RRSP withdrawal limits under the popular program would be raised by $5,000. That means individuals would be able to withdraw up to $25,000 each and married or common-law couples would be able to withdrawal up to $50,000 for the purchase of a home. REALTORS® lobbying federal MPs have been asking for this change.
•    First-Time Home Buyer’s Tax Credit: A new non-refundable tax credit based on an amount of $5,000 is proposed for first-time home buyers who acquire a qualifying home after January 27, 2009.
•    Home Renovation Tax Credit: A temporary 15% tax credit would be made available for eligible renovations and enduring alterations made to a dwelling after January 27, 2009 and before February 1, 2010. Eligible renovations are those valued at over $1,000 but not more than $10,000. Click here for a brochure.
•    ecoENERGY Retrofit program: The program offers home owners grants of up to $5,000 to offset the costs of making energy-efficient improvements. Building on the success of the program, Budget 2009 would provide an additional $300 million over two years for the program to support an estimated 200,000 additional home retrofits.

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