“I Have an Accepted Offer on a Property – Can I Skip the Home Inspection?”

Are you a gambler by nature? Making the choice to not have an inspection done on your next potential home purchase could end up being a very costly mistake. Even newer properties can benefit from a full inspection for peace of mind. There are several reasons why ordering a home inspection makes sense:

  1. The inspection cost (usually between $400-$600) represents only a very small percentage of the purchase price yet can save you thousands or even tens of thousands in future repair costs.
  2. Home inspectors are now regulated and must be licensed in BC and can advise you on the positives and negatives of a particular property.
  3. Home inspectors are a neutral party and can give you unbiased advice on the condition of your potential home purchase.
  4. All reputable home inspectors will generate a full report for your review after completing the inspection.
  5. In certain situations your REALTOR® may be able to negotiate price reductions on your behalf following an inspection.

The inspection itself will usually take between 2-4 hours. I recommend that the buyers meet the inspector at the property as he/she is finishing so that they can do the walk-through with the inspector as he/she points out deficiencies, etc.

I welcome any questions you may have about selling or buying.
Feel free to comment or contact me directly.

Further Information:
Canadian Association of Home & Property Inspectors (BC)
BC Institute of Property Inspectors (BCIPI)

Top 7 Home Inspection Red Flags for Buyers

A home inspection performed by a licensed home inspector (not your uncle’s brother-in law even though he may have worked as a plumber’s helper in Saskatoon in the summer of 1983) should be a part of the due diligence for every property purchase.  All sorts of interesting tidbits may come out of a thorough home inspection. Certain items can be more costly to remedy to others. A red flag list should include:

  • Health and safety concerns: mould, faulty construction, etc.
  • Roof replacement – one of the most costly home maintenance items
  • Heating/Cooling system problems – these systems, especially furnaces can be costly to repair/replace
  • Foundation issues – cracking, settlement, etc.
  • Moisture/drainage issues
  • Electrical/wiring issues
  • Plumbing problemshome-inspection-house

Other problems may show up on a home inspection report that should all be carefully considered when deciding whether or not to proceed with a purchase. Certain problems may necessitate further investigation by other specialists as home inspectors tend to be generalists.

A home inspection in the Lower Mainland usually starts from around $400.00. This cost is infinitesimal relative to property costs in our area and is money well spent.

I’d love to hear in the comments below if anyone has had particularly interesting home inspection results.

7 Biggest Property Seller Mistakes

Pricing your property too high: Just because the house up the block recently sold for a hefty sum does not necessarily mean your home is worth as much. That new roof and furnace are tangible improvements and do add $20K to the market value. Not being realistic about this can cost you time and money. Buyers may place your property on a backup list rather than a ‘hot list’ of homes to view and worse, they may buy one of the initial homes they visit without ever setting foot in yours.

Not having a CMA created: A Comparative Market Assessment is a survey of recently sold and active listings in your area. The CMA report compares your property to these sold and active listings and forms a basis for predicting a realistic asking price for your home. Other useful data contained in the CMA include: days on market, asking price vs. actual selling price, and other important property comparison details.

Not preparing your property: You want your property to be seen in the best possible light from Day 1. Make sure to clear out the clutter, keep things tidy during showings/open houses, make necessary repairs and do the routine maintenance before your home hits the open market. The items you don’t repair will become apparent during the buyer’s home inspection process anyway so why not get them attended to now.

Doing over-the-top renovations: This can often have unintended consequences as many buyers prefer simple styles and are not willing to stray too far outside the lines. Even if they can be convinced to purchase a home with unconventional upgrades, getting them to pay an amount anywhere close to what they cost to have installed is another story entirely. So think twice before installing that sauna and jacuzzi in the spare bedroom.

Making it difficult to view your home: This ties in with overpricing in that buyers may be busy making offers and buying comparable homes instead of buying yours if they can’t make an appointment on reasonable notice to view it. Giving easy access to buyers will go a long way to ensuring a quick sale and will show buyers that you are serious about selling. So yes, you may have to schedule Poker Night elsewhere while your property is being marketed.

Being too emotionally attached to the property: Don’t be offended if the first offer you see is substantially lower than your asking price. There will always be bottom feeders in the market and these initial buyers may ultimately purchase your home. Once you decide to sell, the property is no longer your ‘home’ but instead simply an asset you need to part with. This may be one of the most difficult things for sellers as people have a tendency to get attached especially if they’ve owned a home for a long period of time.

Not using a REALTOR®: For the vast majority of people, marketing their home without a REALTOR® is not a realistic option. The factors working against you include: substantial time investment required, not being able to maintain an arm’s length relationship with potential buyers, having to be available to show the property at all times, and not having access to the MLS® system. Unless you have no job and no life you will likely find this more work than you are willing to undertake.

I welcome any questions you may have about selling or buying.

Feel free to comment or contact me directly.

Three Bedroom Rancher on Large Corner Lot in Ladner – $534,000

SOLD – 14 days on the market!

Cute 3 bedroom rancher offering 1310 sf & situated on an almost 7,000 sf corner lot in a highly desirable tree-lined neighborhood. Bright interior, nice layout with fireplace, new paint, some new flooring & other simple upgrades possible. Large master bedroom & living/dining room. Centrally located within walking distance to parks, schools, recreation center, hospital, city hall, bus stop & city center. Move in now or build your custom dream home in this great location. One of the quietest areas in Ladner. 

HST – How it Will Apply to Real Estate Purchases in BC

Result of the tax grab
The government's effect on your wallet.

The HST is coming to BC and it may end up costing you more on the purchase of a home in Vancouver and all of BC. Currently the GST (5%) minus any applicable New Housing Rebate applies to new and substantially renovated properties. The new HST (12%) replaces the GST and comes into existence on July 1, 2010. You may be eligible for a new housing rebate after this date.

Here’s a breakdown of how the new tax will work:

  • A rebate will apply to properties up to a maximum price of $525,000.
  • The rebate is equal to 71.43% of the provincial portion (7%) of the HST payable up to a maximum rebate of $26,250
  • Homes above $525,000 will receive a flat rebate of $26,250.
  • HST is only applicable to new or substantially renovated (more than 90%) properties – resale properties are exempt.
  • The new housing rebates will be administered by the Canada Revenue Agency.
  • New Rental Housing will be eligible for a rebate
  • Recreational Property not used as a primary residence will not be eligible for any rebate.

There is a vocal lobby challenging the legality of the new tax but it will likely take months or years for the courts to decide if the tax is here to stay in its initial implementation. Don’t hold your breath waiting for an end to the new tax.

Links to further government information:

Please leave any questions and/or comments below and I’ll get back to you with further information.

(information courtesy of the Real Estate Board of Greater Vancouver, Government of British Columbia and Canada Revenue Agency)

JUST SOLD! 1018 East 31st Ave, Vancouver

ANOTHER MULTIPLE OFFER SITUATION! ASKING PRICE $825,000

View of city & mountains in the perfect five bedroom home. Admire the vista from both the main living area & upper balcony. In the south backyard, there is a large cedar deck that you can bask in the sun & BBQ. This is a bright & quiet three level with full bathrooms on each level & a spacious high ceiling two bedroom suite below. Quality finishing throughout, dark hardwood floors, radiant in-floor heat, and built-in vacuum. Corner lot has tastefully fenced yard with double garage. Nice quiet street in a great neighborhood at the intersection of two cycling routes . Greys Park, McBride elementary annex and tennis courts across the street.

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SOLD!!! – 126-1863 Stainsbury Ave (MLS# V810477)

MULTIPLE OFFERS – SOLD OVER ASKING PRICE!

One of the best locations in The Works community. Great south-facing layout opposite quiet residential streets and offering 3 bedrooms, 2 full baths, and 2 decks. Living room has smart custom built-in storage, electric fireplace and larger windows than most units in this development. Kitchen is appointed with KitchenAid Architect Series stainless appliances and granite counters. Deck off kitchen offers natural gas hookup for BBQ [gas included in strata fees]. Master suite is on it’s own floor with ensuite and sunny south-facing deck overlooking tree-lined streets. Great location near Commercial Drive, Trout Lake Community Centre and skytrain. One underground parking and storage locker. Over 1200 square feet and priced at $564,500. Will not last – first showing Thursday Feb. 18 from 5-7PM then Sunday Feb. 21 from 1-3PM.