LAND TITLES in BRITISH COLUMBIA
In feudal times, land titles transfers were very difficult. To introduce security & simplicity, in 1861 British Columbia adopted the "Torrens" Land Registry system. Believed to be the best; the dual principals of security of title and facility of transfer are embodied. In BC the creation of an indefeasible title to the registered owner is made conclusive by law. The examination of title, for each transfer or transaction affecting the land is not needed, as is common in other forms of land title registration. The BC "Torrens" indefeasible title cannot be defeated, revoked or made void.
The owner of title under the British Columbia "Torrens" system, includes the names of any others who have interests in the property including: mortgages, agreements for sale leases, covenants, easements, right of way, and lis pendens. Therefor the registered owner - subject to certain statutory exceptions - needs no other guarantee or title insurance.
BRITISH COLUMBIA PROPERTY TRANSFER TAX
All transfers on Real Estate in full or partial interests are subject to a Provincial government Tax at 1% on the first $200,000 of value and 2% on the amount over $200,000. This tax is paid upon registration and will be collected from you and paid by your Conveyancer. In 2018 some new legislation was introduced for a higher percentage on the most expensive properties; please consult your financial advisor or lawyer for a update.
BRITISH COLUMBIA SPECULATION TAX - INTRODUCED IN 2018
There has been a lot of talk about the new Speculation Tax, that has been implemented in the LARGE URBAN areas of B.C. This has gotten of a lot of incorrect hype from unknowledgable newspeople & negative public experts. It does NOT affect the East Kootenays & it is most unlikely it ever will. Click on the map link following showing the areas that are affecteds.
On new construction, new developments, subdivisions, most commercial and many revenue properties, where the Seller is a GST Registrant the Buyer is obligated to pay the GST on closing. If you are buying for income producing property or to be used primarily for short term recreational rentals (ie: vacation rentals) you can apply for a GST Registration number and defer it. To obtain information on becoming a GST Registrant - phone: 1-800-959-8287
LEGAL COSTS & CLEARING OF TITLE
It is up to the Buyer to satisfy the Buyer on matters of zoning, building or use restrictions, environmental hazards, encroachments and encumbrances that may stay on title or be removed upon title transfer. The Buyer, is advised to hire a B.C. Licensed & Practicing Lawyer to do a pre-registration search.
Once all funds are accounted for your Lawyer will do a transfer of title; on the completion date. As the title is transferred and indefeasible; and not lodged for registry as in some other areas, the sale is final on closing date and a pre-closing "walk thru" can not serve as a method of withholding funds for deficiencies, as some Buyers are accustomed to.
The Seller is to pay for any costs of clearing title, including mortgages and unwanted encumbrances including the discharge fees.
RECREATIONAL & RESORT AMENITIES
The vast majority of property sales in our beautiful area are to Recreational/Vacation homes Buyers, many of whom, dream about moving or retiring here, which makes Condos appealing.
It is no wonder that the common facility ownership offered in Strata Title Complexes are so popular, where the property is managed and maintained and other owners share in the cost of amenities such as pools,hot tubs, fitness facilities and marinas. Although condo fees always include such things as common area maintenance, exterior upkeep, building insurance and sometimes unit hydro, heating and recreational facilities - there are variables to watch for. Condo's that are integrated with resort or hotel facilities commonly have a extra charge for use of pools and recreation, notable the "Village amenities" fee at Panorama Mountain Villages, in some cases water and/or sewer are a separate fee, boat slip are understandable separate and in most instance go back to the waiting list, instead of transferring with the sale. Each project seems to have it's own rules, and amenities and cost implications will vary with the individual.
When deciding which property would be the best for you, consider whether you are buying for personal use, revenue or property appreciation or a combination of any of these. Vacation/Recreation properties bring a unique package of Owner's responsibilities and rights.
Although it is always wise to do a good visual inspection and study the disclosure,it is still recommended to obtain a written report from a bonded & licensed, professional Building Inspector. Sometimes past practices are no longer allowed and it is wise to keep up-to-date.
The vast majority of our Buyers are second homes or vacation home buyers. Financing is generally innovative and will often be entirely or partially secured from equities in your principle residence, or maybe the down payment will come from your residence and then financing will be secured against your vacation home, combination of both and/or other methods.
It is generally wise to discuss the variables both with your tax consultant and with a knowledgeable mortgage consultant. We recommend a mortgage broker that is independent and is both licensed in B.C. and at your home area.