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?)

What are the 7 risks of buying a Pre-Sale Condo?

A pre-sale condominium is a townhouse or apartment that is available for purchase prior to it’s construction or before it is move-in ready. Buying a Pre-Sale has many benefits: Pre-sale homes come with extensive warranty protection; you don’t start paying the mortgage until completion of the building, thereby getting the chance to potentially save for the balance of the down payment; and if prices rise over time (which they have done… Read More »What are the 7 risks of buying a Pre-Sale Condo?

Title Insurance Re-visited

In light of the December 18, 2015 decision of the B.C. Court of Appeal in Lin v. CIBC Mortgages Inc., 2015 BCCA 518, it’s worth mentioning again that one of the best values in Canadian real estate is title insurance. In 2013 Lin re-mortgaged his home with CIBC to pay out an existing Bank of Nova Scotia (“BNS”) mortgage and to have some left over funds for other purposes. While… Read More »Title Insurance Re-visited

cooling blue glacier


In our real estate law practice we have seen houses steadily rise over the past seven or eight years and jump drastically since January of this year. For example, homes in Vancouver on Connaught Drive which were selling for $3-4,000,000 a few years ago are now on the block for $10-15,000,000 (a client of mine recently turned down an offer on her home in this area at $15.8M.  The home… Read More »COOLING OFF THE BC REAL ESTATE MARKET FROM THE TOP DOWN