“What do you mean, the price went up?” Risks of buying a pre-sale strata

As I mentioned in previous blogs, there are at least 7 major risks associated with buying a pre-sale strata property in BC, summarized as follows: 1. Market Value (can go down by the time the project is completed) 2. Interest Rate (can go up by the time the project is completed) 3. Financing (rate holds can be lost by the time the project is completed, buyer may no longer qualify… Read More »“What do you mean, the price went up?” Risks of buying a pre-sale strata

Real Estate Tip #1: Never Assume Anything

I often advise my clients and their agents to never assume that anything in an MLS Listing is accurate. There is a disclaimer on the bottom of every listing to the effect that the information contained therein is believed to be accurate but not guaranteed. In many cases, the information is not accurate and as much of it (i.e. size, condition, age, views, GST status etc.) is NOT replicated in… Read More »Real Estate Tip #1: Never Assume Anything

Writing an Offer to Purchase to comply with the Vancouver Empty Homes Tax

The Vancouver Empty Homes Tax was signed by Mayor Robertson on November 16, 2016 for Class 1 Residential properties* located within the city of Vancouver pursuant to the Vacancy Tax By-Law no. 11674. Thus far no other municipality in BC has enacted similar legislation. Accordingly, by February 1, 2018 all owners of said residential properties must have submitted an Empty Homes Tax declaration (by phone or online), failing which they… Read More »Writing an Offer to Purchase to comply with the Vancouver Empty Homes Tax

7 Migration Scams revealed in recent BC Supreme Court judgment (Fu v. Zhu BCSC 9)(2018)

I wanted to share a story with you from Vancouver Sun: Douglas Todd: Explosive B.C. court case details seven migration scams It took the court system to shed some light on the subterfuge which is routinely being practiced by foreign buyers in Vancouver. For the past ten years the BC liberals denied that such shenanigans were being pulled and in fact lauded such purchases as “foreign investment” in this province.… Read More »7 Migration Scams revealed in recent BC Supreme Court judgment (Fu v. Zhu BCSC 9)(2018)

Vancouver’s newest proposed Development Cost Charges; is there a democratic deficit in the city’s densification policies?

Yet another tax, in this instance called a “DCC” ( development cost charge ) is to be added to all new developments. This has been approved by the Translink Mayors’ Council to pay for future transit expansion and road infrastructure. It will vary from $2,100 for a house to $1,200 for a condo (but unlike the Foreign Buyers Tax it will also apply to retail ($1.00/sq.ft.), office ($0.50/sq.ft.) and industrial… Read More »Vancouver’s newest proposed Development Cost Charges; is there a democratic deficit in the city’s densification policies?

The (Unexpected) BC Foreign Buyers Tax: Can it relieve a purchaser of her obligation to complete?

In the case of Wilke v. Jeong, (BCSC 2017 2131) released two days ago, Madame Justice Warren of the BC Supreme Court ruled that the enactment of the Foreign Buyers Tax did NOT did not provide a lawful excuse for the buyer, Kyeonga Jeong to fail to complete her purchase last year. In this case the buyer entered into a contract of purchase and sale on June 16, 2016 to… Read More »The (Unexpected) BC Foreign Buyers Tax: Can it relieve a purchaser of her obligation to complete?

Should Canada follow New Zealand’s lead and ban home sales to foreigners?

New Zealand’s new, 37 year old Prime Minister elect, Jacinda Ardern has just introduced legislation to ban home sales to foreigners. “Foreign ownership and a housing shortage in New Zealand’s larger cities were prominent issues in the lead-up to the September 23 election, which brought an end to nine years of rule by the conservative National Party.” Sound familiar? Partnering with the NZF (New Zealand First) party to form a… Read More »Should Canada follow New Zealand’s lead and ban home sales to foreigners?

Another Useless Tax

Pursuant to the “Empty Homes Tax,” Vancouver homeowners are now required to declare whether or not their properties are rented. This new vacancy tax is just another unwarranted by government on private property owners’ rights. The supposed “justification” for the tax according to the city of Vancouver’s website, is to: Return empty or under-utilized properties to use as long-term rental homes for people who live and work in Vancouver Help… Read More »Another Useless Tax

Enough is enough! Pre-sale condo buyers seek justice

Fed up with the one-sided nature of pre-sale contracts, a group of disgruntled Langara West pre-sale buyers are challenging the status quo. This is yet another cautionary tale about the risks involved in buying a pre-sale condo. In this instance the developer did not complete the project and sought to return the buyers’ deposits (plus 50%) in lieu of damages. The case involves a novel legal argument put forth by the… Read More »Enough is enough! Pre-sale condo buyers seek justice

Walking away from a real estate purchase just cost the buyer $360,340.35

Most people who buy real estate assume that only their deposit is at risk if they fail to complete the purchase. For sure their deposit is at risk. This has been unequivocally established by the British Columbia Court of Appeal in Tang v. Zhang 2013 BCAA 52 which states that the defaulting buyer’s deposit is forfeited whether the seller suffers a loss or not (i.e. re-sells the property to someone… Read More »Walking away from a real estate purchase just cost the buyer $360,340.35