Non-Residents Buying Whistler Real Estate
Non-residents are permitted to buy real estate in Whistler. Whistler was excluded from the Federal Government’s two-year ban (2023 and 2024) on foreign real estate investment. It is a simple process for a non-resident of Canada to purchase Whistler real estate through a Buyer’s real estate agent. From the realtor’s perspective, it is the same buying process for a non-resident as it is for a resident of Canada. The biggest challenge for the non-resident is accepting Canadian Banking Laws and transferring money well in advance of it being needed. Therefore professional accounting advice is essential prior to purchase so you understand your obligations.
Buying. Owning. Selling.
If you are a non-resident Buyer, do yourself a favor and read the following pages that were written especially for you.
- Buying Process
- Non-resident: Buying
- Non-resident: Finance and Funds
- Non-resident: Owning
- Non-resident: Selling
Table of contents
- Non-Residents Buying Whistler Real Estate
- Buying. Owning. Selling.
- Buying Process for Non-Residents
- Types of Zoning in Whistler
- Four Types of Investment Property
- Mortgage Financing
- Transferring Funds to Canada
- Completion of the Sale
- Buying from a Non-resident
- Next Steps
Yes. Non-residents can buy any type of real estate in Whistler. Whistler was excluded from the 2023 and 2024 ban on foreign investment.
In Whistler, there are no restrictions. However, in Vancouver and many other metropolitan centers, there are restrictions. These restrictions were scheduled for 2 years starting January 1, 2023.
No. It does not have an Empty Homes Tax.
No. There is no BC Speculation Tax in Whistler.
No. There is no Vacancy tax in Whistler as there is in Vancouver, but there is an Underused Housing Tax (UHT) for non-residents effective Jan 2023.
There are only two taxes: Property Transfer Tax (PTT) and Goods and Services Tax (GST) if the property is non-exempt. In addition, you may have to pay Provincial Sales Tax on the furniture that comes with the property.
No for Canadian Citizens, and No for non-residents who use their residential property more than 28 days a year. Thinking of buying Whistler real estate, read my UHT blog.
Buying Process for Non-Residents
The process of buying a property is basically the same for residents and non-residents alike. Best to read the Buying Process that is outlined in detail on a separate page.
Types of Zoning in Whistler
There are several types of zoning in Whistler each of which has restrictions. Read all about Phase 1, Phase 2, and Tourist Accommodation zoning in my blog post.
Paying tax and filing tax documents in Canada is related to the type of zoning you are considering. This is a huge topic for a Whistler accountant. For an overview by a Whistler realtor read, Non-resident: Owning
Four Types of Investment Property
There are 4 types of investment and therefore 4 types of tax considerations for non-resident individuals investing in BC Real Estate. It is important to know how often you want to use your property for personal use before you start looking at real estate in Whistler. Your personal usage will guide your realtor as to what will work for you and your family.
1. Rented Nightly
Whistler has restrictions on each property and development, so not all properties can be rented out nightly. The appropriate zoning needs to be in place. The zoning for properties with the legal right to rent nightly is referred to as Phase 1 and Tourist Accommodation Zoning. There are options to rent through an experienced rental management company or self-manage your property. Some properties have a mandatory management company bylaw and others have mandatory terms regarding their rental pool. There are a lot of options with this type of zoning. In addition, you will pay a premium for a property with nightly rental zoning.
2. Business Income
The Phase 2 properties can be identified by the hotel name attached to the property: Westin, Hilton, Delta, and The Four Seasons Hotel (not Private Residences). This type of income is treated as business income rather than rental income. In order for the income to be treated as business income, the property manager must apply for approval from CRA for the entire “hotel”. That is, the decision to apply for business treatment is not up to each individual owner. Generally, this approval will only be given to properties that are operated as hotels.
Another difference is that business losses can be carried back 3 years and forward 20 years. That is different from rental losses which cannot be carried back or forward by a non-resident.
Note: This type of property is not featured on this website. However, if interested contact Marion Anderson PREC at email@example.com for more information. There had to be a limit on content for this website.
3. Rented Monthly
All properties in Whistler, except Phase 2 properties have the zoning to rent out their property on a month-to-month basis. Month-to-month rentals should involve a written tenancy agreement. The Landlord and Tenancy Act has legislation on tenancy. This is a serious relationship and must be treated as such. Understand the pitfalls of having a tenanted property before you consider this type of property. There are property management companies that are licensed to work with tenanted property, which is an alternative to managing this type of property yourself.
4. Never Rented
The best way to describe this property is to state that regardless of the zoning, the property will never be been rented out from the day you buy it.
It is important to decide early in the buying process if you require financing. This is not the sort of process that you want to attend to under pressure. The financial institutions will not rush the process to suit your deadlines. Best to read my post on Non-resident: Finance and Funds for excellent information.
Transferring Funds to Canada
For non-residents who are buying, the main difference is the transfer of funds from your country into Canada. The Canadian Government has procedures in place which, if followed are simple and should cause little stress. Best read my blog, Non-resident: Finance and Funds for loads of information. Please read this so that you can get your ducks in a row. There is no grey area with this.
Buying real estate in Canada is a legal process at every turn. The Deposit is due upon a firm offer, meaning no more conditions have to be met. Once the subject conditions have been met, or if there are no subject conditions, and you have a non-conditional offer…the deposit is now due. Best to read my blog post on Deposits which are serious business.
Property Transfer Tax (PTT)
Property Transfer Tax (PTT) is charged at the time of closing and the transfer of title from the Seller to the Buyer. Financial institutions will not include PTT as part of your mortgage. The Buyer pays the PTT and here is How to calculate the PTT. Please note, Canadian Banks will not include the PTT as part of your mortgage financing.
This is a complex topic as it depends on what kind of the four types of property listed above, that you are going to buy. Again, this should be discussed with your Whistler realtor and BC accountant. In the meantime, best to read my blog post on GST Buyer Information. Please note, Canadian Banks will not include the GST as part of your mortgage financing.
Provincial Sales Tax
When you buy a property and some or all of the furniture is included, you will be required to pay a Provincial Sales Tax of 7% on the value of the furniture. Best read the Provincial Sales Tax blog for more details.
Completion of the Sale
It is vital that the completion date on the Contract of Purchase and Sale is adhered to by the Buyer. Should the Buyer be at fault and the transaction not complete as scheduled, the Seller has the option of voiding the contract. In addition, the Seller is legally allowed to keep the full amount of your deposit and may sue for breach of contract. Should the completion date be in jeopardy and delayed by even a day, the Seller may agree to extend the date of completion. However, count on the Seller charging you a hefty financial penalty for this extension.
Buying from a Non-resident
On the Contract of Purchase and Sale, there is a section for the Seller to acknowledge that each Seller is either a Canadian Citizen or not. To understand the selling process from a non-resident perspective, best to read Non-resident: Selling.
The steps above are a guideline as to what you can expect. With an experienced Whistler realtor and a local accountant and lawyer on your team, this will not be a difficult process. If you are a non-resident who is considering buying or selling a property in Whistler, contact Marion Anderson, author of this site. If you have read the non-resident pages, you already know what kind of realtor, and person Marion Anderson is.
If you think I would be a good fit to work with you and your family, and you are not working with a Whistler realtor, please contact me. I look forward to hearing from you.
It’s a Good Life in Whistler!
Marion Anderson Personal Real Estate Corporation
firstname.lastname@example.org (604) 938-3885