Moving from Alberta to British Columbia: Advice from your Real Estate Lawyer

Moving to Alberta From British Columbia: Advice From Your Real Estate Lawyer | One80Law Group

Here at One80 Law, we operate in both Alberta and British Columbia for real estate clients who are buying and selling property. Recently, we’ve noticed an increase in clients moving from one province to the other. A lot of the time, clients aren’t aware of the process when moving between provinces so we’ve created this blog post to help you understand the process.

Pre-Purchase Considerations When Moving Across Provinces in Canada

There will be a difference in your approach as to whether you’re buying a home as a resident or non-resident to your new province, including your financing options and additional tax you may have to pay.

If you’re moving permanently to another province, your purchase and mortgage options will also vary depending on whether you’re moving with your current job or hoping to find work once you move. If you’re keeping your current job, you may qualify to put as little as 5% down. Will you be working remotely? If so, you will need a letter from your employer saying they’re happy for you to work remotely from another province. 

If you’re starting a new job in the new province, unless you are paying cash, you will need to be off your probationary period, among other financing criteria, to be able to apply for a mortgage. 
All of these situations can vary depending on the individual, so please contact us and we can guide you through the process.

Once You’ve Found A Property You Want To Buy

There are some important differences to be aware of when moving between provinces. Alberta, for example, has no land transfer fee, whereas British Columbia does. If you’re unfamiliar with the B.C. Property Transfer Tax, One80 Law Group is happy to navigate these steps as seamlessly and as stress-free as possible for you. 

There are also differences between the buying process. Check our blog post about buying a property in Calgary or Kelowna. As a real estate lawyer on your side, we can help you gain a competitive edge in a challenging market for buyers. 
If you’re selling a home in Alberta or British Columbia, we’ve also written a step by step guide for how to sell your home.

Will You Need A Lawyer In Each Province?

Yes. You will need a lawyer who practices in the province for your sale and for your purchase. One80 Law operates remotely across both Alberta and British Columbia, making us an ideal choice for your move between provinces as you’ll be dealing with just one experienced law firm.

Will You Have To Pay Speculation Tax?

In British Columbia, a speculation tax was introduced in 2017. The province saw the high number of empty properties owned by people out-of-province, and out of the country, non-resident to B.C. The speculation tax was introduced to further help the local housing stability.  

Non-residents are required to pay an additional tax to contribute to British Columbia’s tax system. This rate depends on your tax residency and can be 0.5% for Canadian citizens or permanent residents from other provinces, or 2% for foreign owners and satellite families. 

You might come across the terminology “satellite family” or “untaxed worldwide earner” which is a person whose unreported Canadian income is higher than their reported Canadian income.

Other Legal Considerations For Your Across-Province Move

Once you’ve moved to another province, you’ll need to update your address with a wide-range of different businesses and government departments. You’ll want to think about your utilities, passport, the CRA, friends and family contacts, and schools, clubs and other associations. 

Important address changes to remember in a timely manner are: 

  • Driver’s Licence – You have to do this within 90 days of your move and will need to take documentation such as your current licence, birth certificate and/or passport.
  • Healthcare – Applying for healthcare will depend on the province, but is a crucial part of the moving process. 

You might also need to report the sale of your principal residence to the Canada Revenue Agency. Read our blog post to find out more about those requirements.

In addition, we recommend speaking to your lawyer to have documentation such as your Wills reviewed. Laws around Wills and Estate planning are different from one province to the next, so it’s important to be aware of any changes that might need to be made.

Need Expert Legal Help With Your Move?

Whether you’re considering moving from Alberta to British Columbia, or vice versa, we’d love to help you with the move. Contact us today for a free initial consultation so we can help you on your way!