Land rights – don’t take them for granted!

By: Janet Barrett

Land rights – don’t take them for granted!


When it comes to Real Estate… we have no idea how good we have it!  As I work through the BC Real Estate Licensing course work, I was struck by how simple and fundamental Canadian land rights are.  


When buying or selling property, the fact is: it’s yours to buy or sell! That may sound obvious but that simply right is not true in many parts of the world!


In Canada, when you buy land, it’s yours, with a few exceptions - such as RARE caveats where the Crown (Canadian government) could expropriate, or changes occur to land zoning regulations. Otherwise, it’s yours to buy and sell, when and how you want.


In Brazil as an example – you may suddenly find that what you thought was yours actually belongs to a wealthy family and you are effectively renting it and paying a feudal rate!  This happens so much that it turns out 50% of Brazil is owned by 1% of the population! Boy, that would upset me!


In Saudi Arabia women can, technically, own property… but as one bold lady real estate investor points out, the reality is way different.  She said: “For me to go to any government agency or to the court to buy or sell property, as a woman I am obligated to bring two men as witnesses to testify to my identity, and four male witnesses to testify that the first two are credible witnesses, and actually know me. Where is any woman going to find six men to go with her to the court?! It's hard for me to get my legal rights...the solution is to use one's connections, pay a bribe or be sharp-tongued”


So, here’s my point… land ownership fulfills a pretty basic Pavlovian need for trusted shelter and many people in the world don’t have that ability.