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

THINK TWICE before “just adding a name” to your title

1. What does it legally mean to add someone’s name to your title? In BC you have to file an electronic FORM A land transfer at the Land Titles Office to add someone’s name to your property title. However by doing so, you are doing more than just adding a name. You (“the transferor”) are legally transferring an interest in the property to the other person (“the transferee”). He or she… Read More »THINK TWICE before “just adding a name” to your title

Whose city is it anyway?

Vancouver rejects Keefer St. proposal in Chinatown http://vancouversun.com/news/local-news/chinatown-decision-vancouver-council-decides-on-controversial-condo-development This recent Vancouver Sun article describes one small victory for community residents over a large property developer (in this instance the Beedie group). This is a perfect example of community involvement working to resist ever-increasing population density, which is the mantra of both municipal governments and the provincial government. in this province. The government’s rationale goes something like this. There is too… Read More »Whose city is it anyway?

Is our FOOD SECURITY for sale?

Farm land is EXEMPT from the 15% foreign buyer’s tax in British Columbia. B.C. government’s decision to exempt farmland from the 15-per-cent foreign buyers tax is fuelling runaway speculation on property in the Agricultural Land Reserve. Comment: Is our FOOD SECURITY for sale? The Sun’s article illustrates that one result of the farm land exemption is that foreign buyers are snapping up acreages and building mega homes on them, thus… Read More »Is our FOOD SECURITY for sale?

Foreclosure disclosure [podcast]

Last week, I had the pleasure of speaking with the Vancouver Real Estate Podcast team about the foreclosure process in British Columbia. Listen here: VREP Episode #70 The Podacast is titled THE FORECLOSURE DISCLOSURE. Here, we delve into questions like: What is a foreclosure? How does it happen? How can one buy a property under a court-ordered sale? Is this an opportunity for buyers? What are the advantages of making… Read More »Foreclosure disclosure [podcast]

The BIG SIX: How to draft a good BC Real Estate Purchase Contract (Six Mistakes to Avoid)

Writing a good contract of purchase and sale: The contract of purchase and sale governs the transaction between the buyer and the seller. As you are representing the buyer or seller, you must ensure that the agreement properly reflects the intentions of your clients and fully protects their interests. Most real estate contracts for residential transactions use the CREA/CBA standard “Contract of Purchase and Sale.” Note that paragraph 18 of the… Read More »The BIG SIX: How to draft a good BC Real Estate Purchase Contract (Six Mistakes to Avoid)

$600,000 Mistake made in purchasing from Non-Resident

Beware when you are buying real estate in Canada from a NON-RESIDENT! S.116 of the Income Tax Act requires a buyer to “make reasonable inquiries” to ascertain the residency status of any seller of real property. That generally starts with the seller checking the “resident or non-resident” box contained on the first or last page of the standard BC real estate contract (depending on which version you are using). Realtors… Read More »$600,000 Mistake made in purchasing from Non-Resident

Home Inspection Reports (are they worth the paper they are written on?)

1. What is an “exculpatory clause?” An exculpatory clause is a clause in a contract or other agreement which purports to eradicate or limit the liability of one of the parties (usually the party who drafted the contract). Standard contracts often contain such clauses in an effort to limit the liability of companies and big organizations who deal with large numbers of customers. You will find exculpatory clauses in airline… Read More »Home Inspection Reports (are they worth the paper they are written on?)