5 Tips for First Time Home Buyers in BC

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When you make the exciting decision to buy a house, it is important to know what to expect from the time you start the house hunt until you hold the keys. Buying your first home can be daunting, but here are a few tips to help get you started. Build Your Team: The key is…


Land Use Contracts – Why Owners, Lenders and Buyers Should Be Concerned

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Article By: Andrew P. Prior and Courtney MacRae Proposed amendments to the Local Government Act being considered by the legislature will change the law relating to Land Use Contracts. The Miscellaneous Statutes Amendment Act 2014 (Bill 17) proposes amendments to various Acts, but amendments to the Local Government Act will bring to an end all…


Why Even Small Home Renovations Should Maintain a Builders Lien Act Holdback

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A lot of small and medium (and, surprisingly, sometimes even large) sized residential renovations neglect to follow the requirements imposed by the Builders Lien Act – most notably the need to maintain a 10% holdback on funds paid by the owner to the general contractor (or contractors if there is no general contractor).  This holdback…


Good Bylaws Make Good Neighbours?

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Although it is preferable to have truly good neighbours, most of the time we can at least rely on the old saying that good fences make good neighbours. What can be done, however, for those times when a sturdy cedar fence is not going to be enough?  Even the best fence can’t help you with…


What Does Your Real Estate Lawyer Do?

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A lawyer’s role in a real estate deal is to complete the transaction and to make it as simple and straightforward for the client as possible. This is done by understanding the law and being familiar with the items and issues particular to an area or municipality.  Investigating the Deal Your real estate lawyer will…


Ending a Shared Recreational Property Arrangement

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In an earlier article I discussed the importance of a written co-owners’ agreement when jointly purchasing recreational property.  One of the most important sections of a co-owners’ agreement will cover how the parties can terminate the arrangement.  Many people fail to enter into a formal agreement, however, and this can lead to a great deal…


Property Lines and Swimming Pools

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If you are a homeowner, you likely assume that you know where your property begins and ends. But how certain are you? Are you relying on the position of a fence? Where your neighbor stops mowing his lawn? Or are you relying on where the Realtor or the previous owner told you the property line…


Share Property the Right Way

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Many people turn to co-ownership arrangements due to the allure of owning recreational property in the interior of British Columbia.  Typically the co-owners are family or close personal friends.  Although there are many benefits to sharing property, most notably reducing the cost of owning property that is used sporadically, too many people enter into these…


First Time Home Buyers: Property Transfer Tax Declarations

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When the province announced the new First Time New Home Buyers Rebate associated with the HST rebates, they tightened the definition of “First Time Home Buyer” (see my post here for more information on the rebates). This tighter definition indicates that the government is looking more closely at (ie; auditing) who is a “first time” […]


Understanding a Developer’s Disclosure Statement

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When Homes Buyers enter a show suite for the first time, it can look very impressive and they are often shown marketing materials which can include the layout of some of the units and the amenities which will be present once the development is built. Often a contract is signed and a deposit is made […]