When looking to purchase a home in Whistler, there are a number of important factors to consider. The Whistler market is unique and does not follow the patterns of other markets. My years of Whistler real estate experience will streamline the buying process and allow you to focus on making the most informed buying decision. Let me help you every step of the way.
The Whistler real estate market allows opportunity for all kinds of people looking to be a part of this amazing community. I am familiar with the current homes on the market, and I know neighborhood values well, so I can help you determine which properties are fairly-priced and in good condition before you start your search.
Our wide range of property types are Condos, Townhomes, Chalet, Vacant Lot, Shared Ownership and they fall into the following categories depending on the property.
Properties zoned for residential use are meant to be used for residential purposes and are not to be rented on a short-term basis. They may be rented on a long-term basis or enjoyed full or part time by the owner and guests.
Properties with this zoning allow rentals on a short-term basis, either through a professional rental management firm or through the owner themselves. They also allow owner use, which adds a lifestyle component to the investment. Within the tourist accommodation areas there are two distinct property types.
- Phase One Units Also known as “unrestricted units.” These properties allow the owner to use the property as much and as often as they like. When the owner is not using the property, short-term (nightly) rental is permitted. There are many options for rental management throughout Whistler and it is important to know which manager to use for the property in question.
- Phase Two Units Also known as “restricted units” these are condo apartments within an ongoing hotel operation. The owners’ number of days of personal usage is restricted to 28 days in the summer season and 28 days in the winter season. The owners’ days must be booked in advance and through the operator within their management structure. Benefits include revenue, potential tax shelter and various hotel services and facilities. There are many different management structures to understand within each of these units.
Condominiums and Townhomes
Whistler condos and townhomes can be managed through Strata Corporation, where each owner shares in the cost of the maintenance and upkeep of the common areas of the buildings and land associated with the properties, while enjoying all the benefits of full ownership. The zoning of each Whistler condo or townhome can be important to
understanding the value of the property.
Whistler homes can be found in many different sizes and layouts, from your original A-Frame to a brand-new contemporary home. Location, view, size and age all determine the value of a home as well as neighbourhood and access to the ski hill.
Vacant land is available in Whistler with fewer options each year. Municipal and provincial regulations as well as the natural environment limit development in the valley. Whistler is fortunate to have some talented local architects, general contractors and professionals. Things to keep in mind include size of building allowed on a specific plot, the grade of the property, zoning, design guidelines and access to amenities and recreation. Generally, speaking, you can build up to 35% of your lot size up to a maximum of 5000 square feet. Estate Lots allow larger homes however these are rare and can only be found in a few select neighbourhoods.
These units allow each owner to use 1 week per month and can have up to four owners on title. If you don’t use your unit for your allocated week, it is rented out through the contracted property management service. This can be an affordable way to own larger unit in Whistler for a much lesser price.
There are costs associated with buying any home and buying a home in Whistler is no exception. Here is a brief summary of the costs associated with buying a Whistler home.
These may include the mortgage companies’ lawyer or notary fees, appraisal fee (if applicable) and land title registration fees.
- Property Transfer Tax
This is a Provincial Government Tax that applies to all transfers of real estate and is payable on the completion date. The rate of the tax is 1% on the first $200,000 of the purchase price, 2% on the next $1,800,000 of the purchase price, 3% of the purchase price that exceeds $2,000,0000 and a further 2% tax will be applied to the residential property value greater than $3,000,000. There are some exemptions for first-time home buyers.
- Goods and Services Tax (GST)
This is a 5% tax that applies to the purchase of new construction and on the resale of accommodations that have been rented out for short term or nightly rental. The payment of the GST can be deferred if the new purchaser intends to use the accommodation for short term or nightly rental at least 90% of the time and she/he becomes a GST registrant. See the ‘Finance & Taxation‘ page for more information on the GST.
- Tourism Whistler Assessment Fees
These are quarterly fees payable to Tourism Whistler and are calculated based on the number of bed units (one bedroom equals two bed units) in the accommodation. If you are using the accommodation for personal use only and it is not available for rental more than 14 days a year, you may apply to pay a lower rate of this fee.
Buyers are required to arrange insurance on single family residential accommodations, and liability and contents insurance on strata-titled properties.
- Strata Fees
Of special concern to condominium and townhouse purchasers, there will be monthly maintenance charges, and the Strata Corporation is also entitled to levy special assessments for extraordinary expenses if necessary.
Let me help you every step of the way with my extensive knowledge and superior service.