Practical tips for buying in Canada
1. Are you able to buy property in Canada, legally?
Canada welcomes foreign property investment from all countries, and there are no restrictions. The main thing you will need to remember is that in some areas you may now need to pay an additional Non-Resident Speculation Tax if you are purchasing property and are not a Canadian citizen or permanent resident.
2. Why do you want to buy a property?
There are a number of reasons why you might be considering buying a property in Canada. Are you looking for a holiday home? Thinking about making a property investment? Retiring to a safe country with stunning scenery? This reason will be a huge part of your decision to purchase and will affect the kind of preparation you need to do; for example, for an investment property, you will need to assess how the property markets have performed in recent years and what could affect the demand for property in your chosen area or areas. For a holiday home, you will want to make sure you have looked at the climate and how popular the area is with tourists – both in the peak and off-peak seasons. If you are migrating to Canada, you will need to ensure your new property fits the bill in terms of all your home comforts, as well as being conveniently located for work, amenities, schools, or other important deciding factors to make it the right property and area for you.
3. Can you stay in Canada long-term?
Canada has always been a popular country with overseas property hunters from a variety of countries. You will need a visa to spend a significant amount of time in the country. When considering a permanent move to Canada, it will be a good idea to consult with an immigration solicitor to assess the right visa for you and guide you through the emigration process.
4. Have you thought about where in Canada you want to live?
One of the best ways for you to assess where in Canada you want to live is to make a trip to the areas you are considering for a fact-finding mission. Of course, the internet is a valuable tool, but it’s essential to visit the area prior to purchase so that you can see what the neighbourhood is actually like and all the region has to offer, as well as viewing the property carefully. You can check out the local amenities and find out if the areas are as good as they seem online!
5. Have you allowed for the total spend needed for your purchase, from beginning to end?
It’s really important to make sure you have a good idea of everything you will need spend on your property in advance, and how you will organise your different payments to Canada. Having a clear budget in your mind will enable you to set specific goals and can make the most of the money for your purchase, planning the various payments in plenty of time.
What is important to remember, however, is that this budget must include more than just the approximate price of your property. You will also need to consider the additional costs that are part of the journey to owning a home in or migrating to Canada, and budget for these as far ahead as is feasible.
There are also additional costs that will crop up during the buying process, and you will need to ensure you have accounted for all costs – expected and unexpected. A ballpark figure in the budget will help your planning. The additional costs you will most likely need to pay as part of your Canadian property purchase include a survey, legal fees, property tax, insurance and more once you have bought the property, such as utilities, property maintenance, and so on. We recommend budgeting another 10% on top of the price of the property to make sure you have everything under control.
Currency costs – beware!
One additional cost you will need to consider is the price of transferring your currency into Canadian Dollars. You will need to keep an eye on the currency markets, as any fluctuation in the currency exchange rate thanks to political and economic events could lead to significant losses. Consulting a currency expert will help you stay on top of these currency market movements and save time, money and worry with each international payment you need to make.
Halo Handy Hint
As exchange rates move quickly, it’s important to understand the effect this can have on the price of your property and to protect any exchanges you make while currency markets are in flux. With this in mind, it is a good idea to consult currency specialists, such as Halo Financial, rather than automatically turning to the bank to make international transfers. Specialist currency firms can offer more detailed guidance, ongoing support, and more competitive exchange rates.