Are you looking to sell your home in the British Columbian region, or to buy one? The sale or acquisition of a home doesn’t have to be a daunting task, and there are programs and other things available to make both the process and owning of a home more accessible for you. Here are some things to be aware of when buying and selling homes in the region of British Columbia that will put your mind at ease. 

1. Consumer Protection

The B.C. government is committed to protecting citizens who are buying, selling or renting a home. Under the Real Estate Services Act and Real Estate Development Marketing Act, the real estate industry is mandated to protect the public interest and prevent harm to consumers. The Office of the Superintendent of Real Estate (OSRE) is responsible for ensuring that the real estate industry complies with provincial legislation by providing effective regulation and oversight.

2. New Home Warranty Insurance

BC Housing’s Licensing & Consumer Services (formerly the BC Homeowner Protection Office) provides information on the 2-5-10 year home warranty insurance for registered new homes or homes still included under warranty. When buying a previously-owned home, make sure you know when it was built, who built it, and if it has third-party home warranty insurance.

3. First-Time Home Buyers Program

The first time home buyers’ program reduces or eliminates the amount of property transfer tax you pay when you purchase your first home. If you qualify for the program, you may be eligible for either a full or partial exemption from the tax. If one or more of the purchasers don’t qualify, only the percentage of interest that the first time home buyer(s) have in the property is eligible. For example, if you acquired 60% interest in the property and another person acquired 40% interest but only you meet the qualifications, only your 60% would receive the exemption. To qualify for a full exemption, at the time the property is registered you must:

  • Be a Canadian citizen or permanent resident
  • Have either:
    • Lived in B.C. for at least a year immediately before the date you register the property
    • Filed at least 2 income tax returns as a B.C. resident in the last 6 taxation years immediately before the registration date
  • Have never owned a registered interest in a property that was your principal residence anywhere in the world at any time
  • Have never received a first time home buyers’ exemption or refund

And the property must:

  • Only be used as your principal residence
  • Have a fair market value of $500,000 or less
  • Be 0.5 hectares (1.24 acres) or smaller

4. Strata Housing

Strata housing is a popular choice in B.C. for the convenience, security, added amenities and good value. It is important to understand that living in a strata or condo is not the same as renting an apartment or owning a home which is not part of a strata corporation. Strata owners must pay strata fees and follow strata legislation and the strata’s bylaws and rules.

Now that you know a little about the programs and options available to you as a home seller or potential home buyer in the British Columbia, the next step is to start researching the cities and towns that will best suit your needs. One great option is to look at Whistler Homes for Sale. 

About Whistler:

A resort municipality in the southern Pacific Ranges of the Coast Mountains, Whistler is home to one of the largest ski resorts in North America. While their annual tourist population can exceed two million, Whistler has a permanent population of merely 12,000 people. If you’re looking for a home, you’ll find countless options ranging from affordable condos to palatial mountain domains. There’s something in Whistler for everyone. 

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