Potential buyers interested in Crown land can no longer purchase directly from the Canadian Ministry of Natural Resources. Instead, buyers must seek out Crown land at market value through local sellers. Crown land, like any other plot for purchase, is often advertised through standard channels such as print ads or online listings. Much of the Crown land for sale is held by leaseholders and is typically rented out for determined periods of time. There are also, however, auctions throughout Canada that allow the highest bidder to claim rights to Crown land of their choice.
Potential buyers can scope out the plots of land in person, as well as browse online photo galleries, descriptions and reports on the natural resources and other details to best gauge the land’s value. When a piece of land has been selected, buyers can contact the seller to determine how a purchase can be made based on owner preferences.
Process For Investing in Crown Land Real Estate
When applying to buy Crown land, consumers must obtain applications from the local government and research the respective province’s Crown land policies regarding the transfer of land ownership and associated fees. There are many resources available to buyers to aid in their decision-making and application processes such as the Integrated Cadastral Information Society, which offers spatial data for interested consumers. The Land Title Survey Authority is another helpful tool for registering land titles, or searching for titles, conservation covenants, riparian rights and other ownership information.
After paperwork has been completed, buyers must submit a one-time 5 percent Goods and Services Tax on the full purchase price of the Crown land. In British Columbia, however, there is also a 12 percent Harmonized Sales Tax, a 13 percent Harmonized Sales Tax in New Brunswick, Newfoundland and Ontario, and a 15 percent tax in Nova Scotia. Many Crown land sellers can help buyers submit these taxes at the point of purchase without charging additional fees.
There are also policies in place to protect potential buyers from maintaining land they do not want. Within two years of the date of original purchase, a buyer can exchange his or her property for another of equal or lesser value. If the property swap is a downgrade in Crown land value, the difference in price will be credited to the new purchase in the form of less interest and taxes. The only cost will be a $390 fee for administrative costs at the time of transfer.
Good luck investing in Canadian real estate!