BC NOTARIES HOUSING TIPS FOR SENIORS
- Know the strata laws before you buy:
Many active aging boomers are downsizing to free-up funds for retirement or travel, or to make life simpler after their children leave home. If you’re considering a strata property, make sure you read and understand the strata minutes and bylaws; particularly on the topics of noise, pets, smoking and parking, which are the most frequent points of concern in most strata communities. People who’ve owned freehold properties for most of their lives may not be accustomed to some of the expectations of strata living so it’s important to make sure you’re comfortable with the rules that will apply to both you and your neighbours before you make a purchase.
- Consider deferring your property taxes:
If you’re over 55, you might qualify to defer all or part of your current year’s property taxes. You’ll be charged interest and the Province will hold a lien on your property, but this might be a viable option if your home has increased substantially in value, as the deferred costs would be settled as part of your estate – or paid back if you sell your home. More information here.
- Take advantage of homeowner grants for seniors:
If you’re over 65 and your property is your principal residence, you may also be eligible for a homeowner grant of up to $845 ($1045 in northern and rural areas) against your property taxes. More information here.
- Learn more about funding to adapt your home for safety:
Adapting your home in small ways can help you stay in your home longer and more safely. There are a number of programs available that might help fund these improvements including Home Adaptations for Independence and the BC Seniors’ Home Renovation Tax Credit.
- Funding available for renters over 60:
BC residents over 60 with low to moderate incomes who rent their homes may be eligible for the Shelter Aid for Elderly Renters (SAFER) program, which provides monthly cash payment to subsidize rent, including homes in the private rental market.
- Information for those needing more home support:
If you or your parent are looking for supportive housing—typically modified rental homes for low-income seniors and people with disabilities—or assisted living housing facilities that offer a range of care services, BC Housing provides more information here.