British Columbia Farm and Ranch Real Estate and Brief History

Farming and ranching have a long history in British Columbia beginning in the early periods with indigenous people who lived off the land growing various crops. The arrival of Europeans in North America brought with them various new crops that adapted well to the new land. Today British Columbia Farmers grow a variety of berries, field vegetables, grains, grapes, mushrooms, and a variety of tree fruits. Many areas in British Columbia also have large vineyards producing wine grapes. There are over 900 vineyards and 350 wineries spread across British Columbia. In the early 1900s, irrigation found its way to British Columbia and opened up a whole new type of farming for the province. This led to a boom in the production of fruit and vegetable crops.

Ranching in British Columbia had its beginnings similar to Alaska and the Western part of the United States due to the Gold Rush. Ranchers were responsible for supplying much of the beef that was consumed by the miners and the towns that sprung up around mines. British Columbia remains a sparsely populated province with large ranches still being found throughout.

British Columbia farms and ranches not only raise beef but also raise a variety of poultry such as ducks, chickens, geese, and turkeys as well as pigs, bison, sheep, and elk. In British Columbia, there are numerous breeds of cattle that are preferred, with Angus being one of the more prominent as well as Charolais and Hereford cattle.

In recent years with the growth and popularity of big game hunting, many ranchers have turned to hunting to supplement their income. The province of British Columbia has some of the largest hunting territories in North America; some covering thousands of square miles. Ranches provide various types of big game to hunt including stone sheep, mountain goat, bighorn sheep, dall sheep, grizzly bears, mountain lions, elk, and moose. Often ranches that sell include big game guiding territories. Something to be aware of when considering purchasing a ranch that includes an outfitting business or guide territory is the guide outfitting business license must be held by a Canadian citizen.

Another aspect that has impacted real estate in British Columbia is the increasing popularity of recreational sports. British Columbia has tremendous sporting opportunities such as:

  1. Snow skiing
  2. Whitewater rafting
  3. Backpacking and camping
  4. Fly fishing
  5. Big game hunting

Considering purchasing that dream farm, ranch, or sporting property in British Columbia? The following provides information on subjects to be aware of when you begin your search.

While foreigners are able to purchase farms and ranches in British Columbia, there are rules and regulations they should be aware of. Buyers of property maybe subject to an additional 20% transfer tax on the fair market value. The tax is applicable to foreign corporations as well as foreign nationals and taxable trustees.

There are several laws that govern the buying, selling, and leasing of real estate in British Columbia.

  1. Real Estate Services Act (RESA): This act governs the real estate industry in British Columbia and outlines the requirements for licensing of real estate agents, brokers, and brokerages.
    Property Law: British Columbia has specific laws that govern the ownership, use, and transfer of property. These laws cover issues such as title registration, land use planning, zoning, and property tax.
  2. Strata Property Act: This act governs the ownership and management of strata-titled properties such as condominiums, townhouses, and duplexes. It outlines the rights and responsibilities of strata owners, strata corporations, and strata councils.
  3. Residential Tenancy Act: This act outlines the rights and responsibilities of landlords and tenants in British Columbia. It covers issues such as rent increases, evictions, and maintenance of rental properties.
  4. Real Estate Development Marketing Act (REDMA): This act governs the marketing and sale of pre-construction properties in British Columbia. It outlines the requirements for developers to disclose information to buyers and sets out rules for deposits and cancellations.
  5. Foreign Buyers Tax: In 2016, British Columbia implemented a 15% (now 20%) foreign buyers tax on residential properties purchased by foreign nationals or entities. The tax was designed to cool the housing market and make it more affordable for local residents.

When considering purchasing a farm, ranch or hunting property in British Columbia, engaging a qualified farm and ranch broker can save you time and prevent costly mistakes. Some of the benefits of engaging with a farm and ranch broker include:

Expertise and knowledge: Ranch brokers have specialized knowledge and expertise in the rural and agricultural real estate market. They understand the unique needs and challenges of buying or selling a ranch property, and can provide valuable advice and guidance throughout the process.

  1. Local market knowledge: Ranch brokers have extensive knowledge of the local market, including property values, zoning regulations, and market trends. This allows them to provide accurate and up-to-date information to clients, and help them make informed decisions.
  2. Access to resources: Ranch brokers have access to a network of industry professionals, including appraisers, surveyors, and lawyers, which can be helpful in the buying or selling process.
  3. Negotiation skills: Ranch brokers have strong negotiation skills, which can be especially important in a competitive market. They can help clients get the best possible deal on a property, and ensure that all parties involved are satisfied with the transaction.
  4. Time-saving: Buying or selling a ranch property can be a time-consuming process, and can require a lot of research and paperwork. By using a ranch broker, clients can save time and reduce stress, as the broker can handle many of the details and logistics involved in the transaction.

Ranch Marketers can assist with buying and selling of farms, ranch, and recreational property in British Columbia through our network of brokers as well as our affiliation with Sports Afield Trophy Properties. Contact Ranch Marketers for more information.

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