- Real Estate: Purchase and Sales Agreements, Deeds and Conveyances, Financing and Title Issues.
- Property Rights: Easements, Covenants, Agreements, Adverse Rights and Disputes.
- Land Use: Permits and Approvals, Property Development and Environmental Compliance.
Canadian Non-U.S. Residents Buying Real Estate in Washington State
- Buying Real Estate in Washington is different from B.C.
- Plan before and consider alternatives to hold title of your Washington Real Estate. Joint Tenancy with Rights of Survivorship is often not recommended.
- “Closing” or completion documents are usually prepared by an escrow agent (who is normally affiliated with a Title Insurance Company), and not by an attorney as in B.C.
- South of the Border, Title Insurance Companies insure the ”title” but many matters are not covered. Beware that it is possible for a property owner to lose property rights by adverse claims or prescriptive uses over time. So there are often risks in any real estate transaction.
- In order to reduce the risks, it is recommended that a buyer obtain a survey and perform other due diligence before completing the purchase of Real Estate in Washington.
Canadian Non-U.S. Residents Selling or Gifting Real Estate in Washington State
- A sale of U.S. real estate requires the buyer to withhold 15% of the sales price by the foreign seller on most transactions unless exempted.
- A sale of U.S. real estate may result in U.S. tax liability to the foreign seller although the tax rate may be reduced by capital gains treatment and the US-Canada Tax Treaty. Tax paid in the U.S. may be a credit against taxes owed in Canada.
- A gift of U.S. real estate is generally not favorable and may result in U.S. tax liability. Non-U.S. residents are generally limited to gifting $15,000 USD per year of U.S. based assets tax free.