FAQ Whistler Real Estate
FAQ Whistler real estate now answered on this page. I have given you the most frequently asked questions. In addition, the Resort Municipality of Whistler (RMOW) has an informative website, which is worth checking out. Local lawyers, Race and Company have prepared a real estate Buyer’s Guide which is also worth referencing.
Please contact me with any buyer FAQ for Whistler real estate you may have. I am here to help you before, during and after the transaction.
Please note, the FAQ Whistler ski-in ski-out real estate topics list may link to information on other pages, or to blog posts. Therefore, refer to the topics list below rather than scan this page.
Buying Whistler real estate
- A step by step guide – Buying Process
- Guide – Race and Company Lawyers
- Buying an Investment Property
- Non-resident Individual buying in Whistler
- Managing your Whistler investment from afar
- Ski-in ski-out listings
- Whistler real estate listings
- Map showing location of ski-in ski-out luxury detached houses
- Map showing location of ski-in ski-out luxury townhomes within walking distances to Whistler Village
- When is the best time to buy ski-in ski-out real estate in Whistler?
- Dual agency banned in Whistler
- Disclosure of Representation in Trading Services
- Unauthorized accommodation
- Bed units and future development of Whistler
Strata or HOA
- Foreign Buyer’s Tax (FBT) – not in Whistler
- GST on Whistler Real Estate
- Property Transfer Tax (PTT)
- Speculation Tax – not in Whistler
- Tourism Whistler (TW) fee
- Vancouver Vacancy Tax – not in Whistler
- Phase 1 zoning
- Phase 2 zoning
- Tourist accommodation zoning
- Whistler map showing zoning
- All zoning bylaws
FAQ Whistler ski-in ski-out real estate answers
Currently, the Foreign Buyer’s Tax (FBT) is not applicable to properties in Whistler, BC. Metro Vancouver had a 15 per cent tax on foreign home purchasers since 2016. The Province announced in February, 2018 that it would hike the levy to 20 per cent and impose it in the Victoria and Nanaimo areas, as well as the Fraser Valley and central Okanagan. More great news is that the 20% FBT is in addition to the Property Transfer Tax. Topics.
Another topic which generates a lot of buyer FAQ Whistler ski-in ski-out real estate questions is the one on GST. The following information has been taken from local lawyers, Race and Company’s website.
“GST is a consumer tax. It is payable on most goods, including real estate. Purchasers will have to pay it unless the real estate is GST exempt, or the purchaser’s use of the property and their GST registration will entitle them to self-assess.
Whether or not a property is exempt from GST depends on the vendor’s use of the property. If the vendor uses it for residential purposes, then it will be exempt.
Property that the vendor uses commercially will attract GST. “Commercially” includes being rented or available for rent for periods of less than 28 days. This applies to all phase 2 properties.
GST on Whistler Real Estate Determined by Vendor
The important point to understand is that the GST status is determined by the vendor, so the purchaser should obtain a warranty concerning the property’s GST status in the contract of purchase and sale.
If a property is subject to GST, the purchaser may self-assess the tax if they register for GST and continue a commercial use of the property. This means obtaining a GST number in advance of the closing date of the transaction. However, if such a property is taken out of the rental pool and kept for personal use, GST will be payable at that time on the market value. More complex GST rules apply when the owner is renting it out and using it whenever they want to. It really is important to take professional accounting advice on the property you have chosen before you buy it.”
GST Collection in the Sale
When GST is payable on a transaction, it is the buyer’s obligation to pay the tax and the seller’s obligation to collect the tax and remit it to the government. If GST does apply, the agreement should indicate if GST is included in the purchase price or is in addition to the purchase price.
PTT is charged at the time of closing and the transfer of title. Click this link to the BC Government Property transfer tax page. The following is taken from that page:
You are charged property transfer tax when you make changes to a property’s title, including:
- acquiring a registered interest in the property
- gaining an additional registered interest in the property
- becoming the registered holder of a lease, life estate, or right to purchase for the property
The property transfer tax rate is:
- 1% on the first $200,000,
- 2% on the portion of the fair market value greater than $200,000 and up to and including $2,000,000,
- 3% on the portion of the fair market value greater than $2,000,000, and
- if the property is residential, a further 2% on the portion of the fair market value greater than $3,000,000 (effective February 21, 2018).
How to Calculate PTT
Here is an example taken from the BC Government Page: If the fair market value of a property classified entirely as residential is $4,500,000, the tax paid is $143,000.
- 1% on the first $200,000 = $2,000
- 2% on portion greater than $200,000 and up to and including $2,000,000 = (($2,000,000 – $200,000) = $1,800,000 x 2%) = $36,000
- 3% on portion greater than $2,000,000 = (($4,500,000 – $2,000,000) = $2,500,000 x 3%)= $75,000
- If the property is residential, a further 2% on the portion greater than $3,000,000 = (($4,500,000 – $3,000,000) = $1,500,000 X 2%) = $30,000
- $2,000 + $36,000 + $75,000 + $30,000 = $143,000
Great news! Currently the Speculation Tax does not apply to owners of property in Whistler. Basically, this tax relates to individuals who do not pay income tax in BC. Click the following link, for more information on the BC speculation tax. Topics.
Tourism Whistler has provided a detailed document which answers the question, click on the link What are TW fees? for more information. These fees are paid by each owner of a property located on Resort Land. The document also provides an overview on the purpose of Tourism Whistler. Make sure you refer to the page entitled: Resort Land Properties Subject to Restrictive Covenants for a list of properties in Whistler which have a rental restriction. Pertaining to this website, it means that for the owners in the Aspens, Le Chamois, Telemark and Woodrun, even if you live in the property, you still have to pay a commercial TW fee. For all other ski-in ski-out properties on this site, you would get a break on the commercial fees, as the other properties on this site are not subject to the restrictive covenant with rental pool requirements. Topics.
The Vancouver Vacancy Tax does not apply in Whistler. This tax is essentially an additional form of annual property tax that applies to certain residential properties in Vancouver. Tax is based on the use, or non-use, made of the property by the owner in the previous year. Taxable homes are generally those that are unoccupied or under-utilized for at least six months of the year. The tax rate is 1% of the assessed value of the home.
There are two excellent resources through the RMOW newsletter and the Pique News Magazine, our weekly newspaper.
RMOW Newsletter: The RMOW offers a weekly newsletter which is emailed to you after you subscribe. This newsletter will keep you in touch with what is happening in the resort, even though you haven’t visited for months! I suggest that you subscribe to the RMOW newsletter.
The PiqueNewsMagazine.com is how Whistler locals keep up-to-date with what is happening in our community. When you are in Whistler you can pick up a free copy every Thursday. When you are away from Whistler you can read it on-line. There is no excuse for not knowing what is happening in Whistler. Topics.
One of the most buyer FAQ Whistler ski-in ski-out real estate questions I am asked is on the clarification of zoning. For more information on zoning, check out the Resort Municipality of Whistler website, www.whistler.ca
In Whistler, Phase 1 rental pool covenants are less restrictive than Phase 2 rental pool covenants. The phase one covenants are in place to maximize occupancy of properties for use by owners and visitors. Some, but not all phase 1 properties have a covenant that require the condo or townhouse is in a rental pool. Topics.
Think of an hotel with a big brand name when you think of phase 2 zoning, it will help you understand the zoning. Now, no hotel brand is going to put you, the owner ahead of their own needs. A phase 2 rental pool covenant requires that all units must be available for commercial rental to the public at all times, except for limited owner use. Owners have a basic allotment for personal use of their unit, limited to 28 days for a defined summer period and 28 days for a defined winter period. Terms specifying how and when owners may use their basic allotment are detailed in the covenants. Phase 2 units must also be placed in a rental pool as selected by strata owners, through which all the units will be made available for rental to the public. This system provides the orderly and assured management of reservations. Topics.
In Whistler, Tourist Accommodation means the business of marketing or providing accommodation or lodging to paying guests and includes vacation rentals. Furthermore, it is found on house zoning, for example, the houses in Kadenwood. Topics.
There is an interactive map on the RMOW site at Whistler.ca which when you type in the address will show you the zoning, plus other good features. It shows an image with the footprint of the house or building. This is well worth looking at. Topics.
This is a harder page to find on the RMOW website, as it is called Zoning and Parking Bylaw 303 which usually throws people off. This is how the RMOW site describes the bylaw: Zoning and Parking Bylaw 303 is a bylaw that regulates the use of land, buildings, structures and parking within Whistler. Furthermore, it governs what may or may not be built on a property, and should be consulted during the design phase of a project to ensure that the proposed works adhere to the bylaw. Topics.
FAQ Whistler ski-in ski-out real estate is a page which will either enlighten you, or confuse you further. However, if you need more explanation on any topic, and you are not working with a realtor please contact me. In essence, I am here to help you before, during and after the transaction.
Marion Anderson, *PREC
*Personal Real Estate Corporation
Sutton Group – West Coast Realty
203-1080 Millar Creek Road, Whistler, BC, V8E 0S7 CANADA