Non-Resident Buyers

The purchase of Vancouver real estate by non-residents is a well-trodden path, and you will be joining the myriad of international owners who already enjoy their Vancouver lifestyle investment.  

I am very experienced in assisting international buyers and will be delighted to assist you in your search for a Vancouver home.Non-residents are permitted to stay in Canada up to 180 days each year.  Canada enjoys one of the World’s most open and transparent real estate markets, and non-residents are generally not restricted from buying properties in Canada.

Mortgage financing

As a non-resident, mortgage financing is generally available at 65% so you’ll need 35% as a down payment. Some lenders may require 40% or more depending on your circumstances and the property. Qualifying for mortgage financing in Canada is similar to other countries and can usually be accomplished via fax and e-mail. The mortgage approval may take a few days and the mortgage broker will advise you what information they need.  The borrower will require the services of a Canadian lawyer or notary public to prepare the mortgage documents and registration at the Land Titles office. Documents can be couriered outside Canada for signing – this can be arranged with the lawyer and lender well in advance of the completion date.  We can put you in touch with mortgage brokers (their services are generally paid for by the mortgage provider).

Purchase costs

Foreign nationals who buy real estate in Metro Vancouver would pay an additional property transfer tax of 20 per cent under legislation introduced by the British Columbia government.The additional tax took effect Aug. 2 ,2016 and apply to foreign buyers registering the purchase of residential homes in Metro Vancouver, excluding treaty lands in the Tsawwassen First Nation.

“For example, the additional tax on the purchase of a home selling for $2 million to a foreign national will amount to an additional $400,000,” .

All B.C. residents currently pay a one per cent tax on the first $200,000 of their purchase, two per cent on the remaining value up to $2 million and three per cent on the portion above that.

Realtor commissions

In the Vancouver real estate market realtor commissions are paid by the Seller, so as a Buyer you do not pay any commissions. The Seller typically pays one commission which is then split between the Buyer’s and Seller’s realtors.

Legal fees

Given the potential complexity of offshore real estate transactions I recommend that as a non-resident purchaser you retain a lawyer to facilitate your transaction. We are able to recommend lawyers familiar with acting for international buyers on Vancouver real estate transactions.