There are some standard one-time costs associated with purchasing a property, some are typical of buying any home in BC, and not specific to Whistler:
Deposit – (5% of the purchase price will form part of your down payment).
Adjustments for prepaid expenses from seller (property taxes, strata fees, Tourism Whistler fees, etc.)
Moving costs, repairs or renovations
Property Transfer Tax
PROPERTY TRANSFER TAX
It is paid to the provincial government: 1% on the first $200,000 and 2% on the remainder of the purchase price. On properties over $2 Million, the tax is 3%
First time purchasers may be exempt from the property transfer tax if the purchase price is under the threshold of $500,000 and the property will be their primary residence. Upon closing your lawyer will apply for the exemption.
GST (GOODS & SERVICES TAX)
The current rate is 5%. GST is applicable on new construction and on the resale of properties that have been used commercially.
GST can be deferred on rental property if the buyer becomes a GST registrant and continues to rent the property nightly. A new owner of a rental property can register for GST with the help of their lawyer or accountant. Your rental management company then remits the GST charged on rentals. You will be required to file an annual GST return. Please consult a Canadian accountant for tax advice.
As well as one-time expenses and taxes, there are some ongoing expenses that should be considered when purchasing:
Each strata lot owner pays a monthly fee to the management company. This covers expenses such as exterior building maintenance, snow and garbage removal, landscaping, common area insurance, management fees, and reserve fund contributions.
TOURISM WHISTLER FEES
These are yearly fees that are charged on properties in designated tourist accommodation areas and are based on your use of the unit (rental, personal or combined). You can contact Tourism Whistler at (604) 932-3928 to set up automatic monthly debits from your bank account or through your property manager on your behalf.
Property taxes are due on July 1st each year. The bill will be mailed to the address shown on the title in June. Make sure you get the tax bill from the previous owner if you purchase a property between March and June to avoid a late penalty if they don’t have you on file. The Municipal tax office can be contacted at (604) 932-5535. You can also request monthly installments rather than paying a lump sum yearly.
Strata Corporations pay for building and common facility insurance. Individual owners should purchase insurance for improvements, liability and contents.
RENTAL MANAGEMENT FEES
Rental management companies charge a fee of approximately 35-45% of your suite’s gross revenue. The benefit is that they handle everything from check in and cleaning to submitting taxes on your behalf. It is basically ‘hands off’ for you. You can also handle rentals yourself if you choose.
Buyers will be responsible for the transition of accounts at BC Hydro, Terasen Gas, cable, phone and internet in most cases (except phase 2 and some phase 1 properties where strata fees are all inclusive).
Make arrangements with an accountant to file your annual Canadian tax returns for the property. Returns for the year ending December 31 are due by April 30. GST Remittance (if applicable)- confirm with your property manager if they are collecting and remitting the GST on your behalf. You will need to file an annual GST return with the CRA.
- The Whistler Real Estate CO. LTD.
- #17 – 4308 Main Street
Whistler, BC, Canada