Canada has always been a country that’s attractive to expats and is equally welcoming in return. With the turbulence created by ‘Brexit Britain’ and President Trump’s election, Canada’s stability, excellent quality of life and tolerant attitude to foreigners has never been more encouraging to expats. If you’re considering immigrating to Canada, you’ll be pleased to discover that buying property in Canada is relatively easy if you are an expat. Here are some tips.
Tips on buying property in Canada
Decide on your area
House and property prices in Canada are a lot more reasonable than you might expect, especially if you are moving from the UK, where property is at a premium. Buying a property will not grant you residency rights however, and you will still need to have the relevant expat visas in place.
As with buying property anywhere in the world, it’s important to decide on an area that suits you. Canada is a large country and the climate differs from region to region. Some areas are more geared for business, with Toronto and Ontario attracting many professionals. While families tend to gravitate towards Vancouver in British Columbia or Montreal in Quebec.
Consider your financing options
If you can’t afford to purchase your residence outright, you will need to have a mortgage. As a non-resident you will need to provide at least 35% of the cost of your new home upfront and you can then raise the rest through a mortgage.
British expats will find the system very similar to back home. Be aware that the standard rates of your mortgage can be adjusted after the first five years and that if you can’t meet the repayments, Canadian lenders have the right to seize your assets as well as your property.
Get your paperwork in order
If you are employed, you will need to provide proof of your employment to your mortgage broker. If you are self-employed, your paperwork will increase substantially and you’ll have to provide personal tax returns for the past three years and could also be asked for other documents like balance sheets, credit reports and lists of any additional assets. You will also have to present proof of residency and any available funds for your deposit.
As a non-resident, you could also be eligible for an international mortgage. To find out, speak to your local mortgage broker – it will involve you opening a Canadian or an international bank account.
Plan for the unexpected
Each province has its own regulations regarding buying property. In Vancouver you will have to pay a 15% property transfer tax. Other provinces may require you to pay a land transfer tax.
It’s also important to bear in mind that as from April 21 2017 any person who is not a Canadian resident or permanent resident of Canada (including corporations and trusts) is subject to a Non-Resident Speculation Tax of 15% of the purchase price (paid at closing) for properties purchased in Toronto, Brant, Dufferin, Durham, Haldimand, Halton, Hamilton, Kawartha Lakes, Niagara, Northumberland, Peel, Peterborough, Simcoe, Toronto, Waterloo, Wellington and York
If you thinking of immigrating to Canada and need any advice about your financial emigration, contact us today and we’ll help you on the path to financial freedom in your new home.
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