Strata Properties: “To Insure or Not to Insure?” That is the question

That should never be the question; every strata owner should always insure. You may be thinking “Why? My strata property already has property insurance!” That is correct. The strata corporation’s insurance is mandated by statute and paid for by the owners through their monthly strata fees. Under the BC Strata Property Act (s.149 and s.150), the strata corporation is required to obtain insurance for common property, common assets, buildings as… Read More »Strata Properties: “To Insure or Not to Insure?” That is the question

Vancouver’s Empty Homes Tax – Is it working?

As the first of its kind, the Vancouver Empty Homes Tax (“EHT”) is now into its third year. The rationale for this draconian tax by the city of Vancouver was that there were close to 25,000 empty homes in the city with a rental vacancy rate next to nil.

Quick Tips: Should I buy or rent my home?

EVERYONE should buy a home as soon as they are able to.  Long term, the property value goes up, the mortgage gets paid off and the gain is tax free. For most people, the paid off value of their home is most if not all of their retirement security (and ultimately their estate, to leave to the kids).  For the vast majority of people, their after-tax income is used up… Read More »Quick Tips: Should I buy or rent my home?

BC’s New Property Registry 2019: A good idea?

* this is a brief commentary on the topic of BC’s newly proposed property registry. For more information, contact our office. How does owning a condo in the name of my company raise the risk that the owner is committing fraud, laundering money or evading taxes? As usual these unsubstantiated assumptions are made by the government and then blindly repeated by the reporter without question. Rather than creating a whole… Read More »BC’s New Property Registry 2019: A good idea?

The Speculation and Vacancy Tax – What the government isn’t saying

On November 27, 2018, the speculation tax was passed in B.C. to, in the government’s words “target speculators who own residences in B.C. but don’t pay taxes here, turn empty homes into good housing for people, and raise revenue that will directly support affordable housing.” The pitch to the public was that this tax would aid in tackling the housing crises in major urban centers in British Columbia and make… Read More »The Speculation and Vacancy Tax – What the government isn’t saying

Canada’s first pre-sale register to crack down on flipping

The BC government is announcing the creation what appears to be yet another make work project to create needless government jobs (doubtless for NDP supporters). It’s called “The Condo and Strata Assignment Integrity Register.” Even the name is odd.  It implies that there is a difference between condos and stratas. However, in common parlance, a condo is a strata and vice versa. Furthermore the BC Condominium Property Act (which used… Read More »Canada’s first pre-sale register to crack down on flipping

5 Ways the Government could Help with Housing Affordability in Vancouver BC

This article suggests 5 things that the government could do to help housing affordability. 1.     Longer amortizations are a good idea.  They help buyers get into the market.  All mortgages have prepayment options so if the buyer’s fortunes improve he or she can shorten the amortization down the road. 2.     Scrap the mortgage stress test. Historical mortgage default rates in Canada for the last 50 years are about .3% and… Read More »5 Ways the Government could Help with Housing Affordability in Vancouver BC

Do Listing Agents Owe a Duty of Care to Prospective Buyers?

The short answer: YES! It has long been established that even where there is no contractual relationship, a real estate agent owes a duty to exercise care when providing information to those who may be reasonably expected to rely on it. For example, an MLS Listing contains information about the property type, its age, size, number of rooms, zoning, municipal taxes and many other things. It is reasonable to assume… Read More »Do Listing Agents Owe a Duty of Care to Prospective Buyers?

Why are Metro Vancouver housing prices falling? When will this trend end?

Those are the $64,000 questions which occupy the top of the charts these days. For the past 10 years foreign money has poured in to Canada, particularly Vancouver and the Lower Mainland destabilizing real estate prices and uncoupling them from local incomes. Both the BC and federal governments turned a blind eye to this phenomenon for the better part of the decade and in fact, encouraged it as “foreign investment.”… Read More »Why are Metro Vancouver housing prices falling? When will this trend end?