Frequent questions when buying a home in Canada

– Where do I start?

Non-Canadian residents can stay in Canada for up to 6 months or less each year, depending on the country. Coming here for a short amount of time will offer you a chance to open a bank account and to vist/buy property. This is the easiest way to get started. 

– What are the general steps to buying property in Canada?

Visiting the country is a must. It is not required by law to do so, but it is highly advised. Once you have chosen a property, you are required to open a bank account to apply for a loan. Only after being accepted for a mortgage will you be able to make the deposit for your property.

– Do I need a vistor Visa?

As of March 15, 2016, some countries that don’t require Visas are expect to have an Electronic Travel Authorization (eTA). U.S. citizens and travelers with a Visa are exempted. Visit this part of the Canadian immigration website if you are unsure wether you need a visitor visa or not.

– Will buying a house help my immigration to Canada?

Buying a house does not increase chances of entry, but nor does it hurt.  The purchase of a home certainly shows a connection to Canada and the home is ultimately treated as a part of the overall net worth of the individual, but simply owning a house and living here as a visitor will not affect the selection process. If a second home is purchased, one can bring in a reasonable amount of furniture as a “seasonal resident” without paying any duty.

Buying a business, however, could result in a faster entry into Canada based on a temporary work permit.  Buying a business must be part of a comprehensive immigration strategy. The purchase must be strategized with other qualifying factors which must be approved by the provincial government and/or the federal immigration department before any business is purchased.  It is best to seek professional taxation and legal advice prior to purchasing a business.

– I want to stay longer, how do I extend my stay?

If you wish to extend your stay once your Visa expires, you must submit an application online. It is advised to submit the application a minimum of 30 days prior to the expiration of your Visa. Click here for more information on extending your stay in Canada as a visitor.

– Can I buy multiple properties?

Some provinces, such as British Columbia, Ontario, Quebec, Nova Scotia, Newfoundland and New Brunswick, hold no restrictions on the quantity of land owned. Other provinces have laws and specific restrictions for non-residents. Please check with your local Immigration office.

– How much do houses and condos cost in Canada?

Prices vary depending on provinces and cities. Currently, living in the province of British Colombia is the most expensive with an average price of $779,419 as of February 2016. Quebec and Manitoba hold the lowest average price, both under $300,000 range. Click here to view the national average price map.

– What are the other costs when buying new?

There are many others fees to take into consideration. The most basic, common fees are:

    1. Lawyer’s fees go from $500-$1500 are paid as the lawyer must review the offer, search the title, find mortgage documents and tend to the closing details. This amount varies highly based on the property and the province in which you’re buying.

    1. Home insurance fees, which vary depending on what you chose.

  1. Condominium fees vary by projects. These are charged monthly and cover building insurance and maintenance and go from $200 to $2000 monthly.

– Can I have access to financing?

Yes, most major Canadian banks can give you access to financing. Applying for a mortgage is similar in most countries, it all depends your current financial situation. For more information, contact a major Canadian bank or a licensed mortgage broker.

– How long does it take for notice of approval?

Mortgage approval generally takes between 24 and 48 hours after the application has been submitted. They must do verifications of multiple things such as your income, your bank report, your IDs and the real estate appraisal after you send your application.

– How much money down do I need to get a mortgage?

For Canadian residents, financing is offered at 75% of the purchase when signing a 25-year contract. For non-residents, the ratio is usually 35% down payment and 65% mortgage but please note that theses conditions can change.

– What about selling property?

When a non-resident desires to sell real estate, they must pay taxes on any gains. Regular Canada tax rate will be applied to 50% of the gain received when selling their property. Non-residents must also pay 25% of the gain in tax before the sale is made. This percentage will he held by a lawyer until the property is sold. When a Canadian property is sold by a non-resident, they must file a Canadian income tax return for the upcoming year.  

– Am I eligible to work and live permanently in Canada?

While many questions are asked, such as: your nationality, your age, your language ability, you education, and etc, the decision is not solely based on those. Your application will be considered by the Immigration and Refugee Protection act without any regard to your personal answers. Click here to submit an eligibility form to find out if you can move/work to Canada.

– I have no experience in Canada, how will I find work?

Although it’s highly recommended to secure employment before your arrival, sometimes that can be quite hard. Ultimately, applying for a job in which you posses the required skills will permit you to find work quickly. There are many centers available in Canada to help you find work. The Service Canada website holds a very useful section on employment.

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