Buyer Beware

Caveat Emptor – Buyer Beware

Remember that it is ultimately YOUR responsibility to ensure all of your questions have been answered to your satisfaction.

It costs nothing to ask. The answers to questions not asked often prove expensive!

Is A Property Condition Disclosure Statement Available?

In British Columbia, sellers must complete a Property Disclosure Statement in a prescribed form. This statement provides information about current condition of the property to potential buyers. Be sure to peruse this document carefully. It may provide pertinent information about the condition of a potential home.

What other questions should you ask?

What’s the Zoning and What Does It Mean to You?

Zoning is established by the local government. Zoning determines the types of buildings which may be built on particular properties. It also prescribes how those buildings may be used examples are: single-family residential, duplexes, multi-family residential, commercial, or industrial. Be certain, find out what zoning is applied to surrounding properties. This will give you an indicator of whether a factory or a park might suddenly appear in your neighborhood. Unsure – contact the municipality. In Vancouver the city has a comprehensive description on the web of all zoning and bylaws here. That is where you will find the relevant information.

Are there any restrictive covenants?

A restrictive covenant places a specific limitation on the owners use or occupancy of property. Things such as a prohibited type of exterior finish, the minimum size of the structure, or the maximum height of the structure may be included in the covenant. If you buy the property, you will be governed by these restrictions.

Easements – Are There Any?

An easement is a right or privilege one party has to use the land of another for a special purpose. Examples are: easements given to telephone and electric companies to erect poles and run lines over private property, easements are given to people to drive or walk across someone else’s land and easements given to gas and water companies to run pipelines to serve their customers.

Is a copy of the State of Title available?

A copy of the State of Title will tell you who is registered as the current owner of the property. It will further inform you if there are any registered mortgages, easements, restrictive covenants or right of ways. Any of which may affect your use and the value of the property.

How much are the property taxes?

The amount of property taxes payable will figure in the calculation of how much money you can borrow to finance your purchase. Be sure to ask about about the British Columbia Homeowners Grant.