International Buyer Guide
Welcome Foreign Purchasers!
The rules around foreigners buying real estate in Canada aren’t actually related to citizenship – even citizens of Canada who don’t reside here for more than half the year are considered non-residents (and thus subject to all the same rules).
Canada welcomes home buyers from all countries, and there are no restrictions on the amount or kind of real estate you can buy. Keep in mind that owning a property in Canada does not give you any immigration privileges and that if you want to live here, you’ll still need to qualify under Canada’s Immigration Laws.
While Canadian lenders do finance the home purchases of non-residents, they usually require significantly larger down payments. Most of our non-resident clients are required to have a 35% cash downpayment.
Lenders will require you to verify your income and credit worthiness and prove that you can pay the mortgage. Also, mortgage interest rates may be higher than what Canadian residents would pay (though in our experience, they are still very attractive rates).
As with any investment, it’s important to contact your accountant to understand fully how the purchase or sale of a property in Canada will affect you from a tax perspective. The following is meant to be a guideline only:
When buying a property in Canada, foreign buyers pay the same land transfer taxes as Canadian residents. First time home buyers who plan to use the purchase as their primary residence may be eligible for.
While there are no additional taxes for non-residents when buying property, there are tax implications for non-residents when selling a property. There are forms, processes and penalties for not complying with Canada Revenue Agency (CRA)’s rules. Full details of the tax implications for non-residents selling property can be found on the CRA website though you should contact your accountant to understand the tax implications of selling a property in Canada as a non-resident.
It’s sometimes difficult (and more expensive) for non-residents to obtain insurance for an investment property. Given that proof of home insurance is required to obtain a mortgage, this is an important factor to consider.
If you’re looking to buy a Canada investment property, make sure to get insurance quotes and information before making an offer.
Making an offer
In this day and age, signing the legal documents to make an offer on a house or condo can be done digitally, and with Skype and Facetime, it’s easy to get the same price advice and information from your REALTOR that you’d get if you were physically in Canada.
Many lenders require a foreign buyer to sign the mortgage paperwork in person (though this can be avoided with an executed Power of Attorney).
Send Luke Mori a message to talk about Nelson, BC properties.