Information for Non-Residents who want to buy Real Estate in Canada
Non-residents are permitted to stay in Canada 180 days each year. Non-residents are generally not restricted from buying properties in British Columbia.
As a non-resident, mortgage financing is generally available at 65% so you'll need 35% as a down payment. Some lenders may require 40% or more depending on your circumstances and the property. Qualifying for mortgage financing in Vancouver is similar to other countries and can usually be accomplished via fax and e-mail. The mortgage approval may take a few days and the mortgage broker will advise you what information they need. The borrower will require the services of a Canadian lawyer or notary public to prepare the mortgage documents and registration at the Land Titles office. Documents can be couriered outside Canada for signing - this can be arranged with the lawyer and lender well in advance of the completion date.
Costs to purchase real estate in Vancouver, BC are the more or less the same for residents and non-residents. They are listed on my Buying: Costs page for your perusal.
In the Vancouver real estate market Realtors commissions are paid by the Seller so as a Buyer you generally do not pay any commissions. The Seller typically pays one commission which is then split between the Buyer's and Seller's Realtors. See my Selling: Costs section for more on commissions.
Given the potential complexity of offshore real estate transactions we recommend that as a non-resident purchaser you retain a lawyer to facilitate your transaction.
Renting your property to tenants
For details on purchasing real estate for the purposes of renting, visit our Buying: Tenancy Issues section.