Purchasing Property in Canada

Purchasing Property in Canada

7 April 2015

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Issues  To  Consider When Purchasing Property in Canada       

Over the years, our firm has had many clients who otherwise have no connection to Canada ask us to transfer or sell their Canadian property. While Canada is a very desirable country to live in and own property,  one must be aware  that there are many things to consider in association with the purchasing or transferring  of property. For instance to  transfer property from a deceased person to his or her heirs, it is typically necessary to open probate in Canada, which is a costly process. Canada, of course, will only accept the Canadian method of land transfer, meaning that a German notarial transfer will not be sufficient. Many of our clients have been dismayed when they are advised of the high cost of carrying out these transfer and subsequent property sales.

Through these clients, we have become aware of various problematic issues which have arisen in association with purchasing property in Canada. Often, either they or their parents have purchased property in Canada based on false beliefs. On this basis, we  can provide you with a few  questions to consider before deciding to purchase property in Canada.

1)      Does buying property in Canada help you immigrate to Canada? This is simply not the case. Owning property in Canada provides no advantage during the immigration process.

2)      You think a very low-value property will turn out to be a good investment? Canada has many properties available for purchase at a very low price, sometimes under CAD $5000, and this has proved tempting to some. However, please be aware that many of these properties are being sold for a low price for good reason: they are often difficult to access, nowhere near any city or town, and sometimes are not even properly zoned for residential use. A significant increase in value for a property like this is not very likely, even over the course of many years. Clients often find when it comes time to transfer the property that the cost of doing so is more than what the property is worth.

3)      Do you want a vacation home someday  in Canada? Only purchase property in Canada if you want a vacation home there now, and do take the time to visit first. If the property is being sold for next to nothing, be suspicious and do your research. Canadian properties that are  genuinely suitable for vacation homes, that is, zoned properly and in an accessible location, typically command a high price. You should also keep in mind that someone without legal status in Canada may not reside there for more than three months per year, and of course may not work there.