Whistler Home Owner Grant
Half Price home-ownership in Whistler-BC, Canada
“You can own a house in Whistler at half price provided that you are employed in Whistler, This is a unique program run by the Whistler Housing Authority. They range in size from studio condos to duplexes and single family homes” say Navtaj Chandhoke, founder of Professional Real Estate Investors Group (PREIG) Canada.
“Would-be owners have to be employed in Whistler to buy one. Prices are allowed to increase only a certain amount per year, with the price of most units are tied the consumer price index.”
What are the qualifications for purchasing through the Whistler Housing Authority?
All applicants must be of legal age, Canadian citizens or landed immigrants, must be qualified employees or retirees, and must be pre-approved for a mortgage. Employees must work a minimum average of 20 hours per week within Whistler. A retiree is someone who was employed in Whistler for five of the six years prior to ceasing employment. Applicants or their spouse must not own, either personally, jointly or indirectly through a trust or business assets, any non-restricted real estate in Whistler at the time of the application.
Half-price home-ownership in Whistler-BC,Canada
The bottom line: the two-bedroom townhouse that could be worth about $500,000 is sold for half that. It's a strategy that's allowed local employees with moderate incomes to buy in, but they also don’t get cash in by capitalizing on real market values when it comes to selling their homes.
The program, launched 15 years ago, has been funded by contributions from commercial developers. There are tradeoffs, such as foregoing the chance of striking it rich in real estate. But they make other investments and still get a home in Whistler, surrounded by families who live and work there.
More info at http://www.whistlerhousing.ca/about_wha_ownership.html
What do I need to do to get on the Whistler Housing Authority Purchase Wait list?
If you qualify under the Wait list Guidelines and you have been pre-approved for a mortgage, you can fill out an Purchase Application. This Application is a legal statutory declaration and therefore you need to have it notarized (can be done free of charge at Municipal Hall). As well, we need proof of citizenship or landed immigrant status and proof of employment in Whistler.
How do I find out which resident restricted units are for sale?
Once you are on our Purchase Wait list, we will contact you when a unit comes available for purchase. Applicants are prioritized on a first-come-first-serve basis. You can view the Calendar of Open Houses under the Purchase section to see when open houses are scheduled for available units.
How do I find out what price to offer for a unit?
The Whistler Housing Authority calculates the maximum resale price using the covenant formula, and advises vendors and the purchaser of this price. You can also view the Historical Resale’s under the Purchase section to see what other units have recently sold for.
What type of restrictions may apply to the resident restricted units available for purchase?
There are some units that are only occupancy restricted, which are required to be occupied by either a Whistler employee or retiree. There are also units that are both resale and occupancy restricted, which must be occupied by a Whistler employee or retiree and the resale price of the unit is controlled by the Whistler Housing Authority.
Once I buy a resident restricted unit, can I stay on the Purchase Wait list?
Yes, but your name will be moved to the bottom of the wait list when you purchase a unit.
Why is there a resale cap on the resident restricted units?
In order to maintain a stock of more affordable housing in perpetuity for Whistler resident employees and retirees. The object is to start it lower and keep it low. The Whistler Housing Authority calculates a maximum resale value for every resale restricted unit. Depending on the unit, the resale appreciation is either tied to the Royal Bank of Canada prime lending rate, the Greater Vancouver Housing Price Index or the Canadian Core Consumer Price Index. All resale’s and future developments maximum resale value will be tied to Core Consumer Price Index. If the units did not have resale restrictions, they would eventually become the same price as housing in the private market due to demand.
How many resident restricted units exist in Whistler?
As of 2012, there are 862 price restricted ownership units and 232 Whistler Housing Authority managed rental units. In total there are 1,875 units (5662 beds) including owned and rented units, that form Resident Restricted Inventory in Whistler.
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