The Vancouver Sun published an article summarizing the various government programs and incentives that real estate salespeople keep current about.  Dated February 24, 2012, I thought this summary a handy reference guide for my clients and thought best to make it available for easy access by people when needed.  


Look for the handy reference guide on the Top 25 grants and rebates for home buyers and owners here.


I get more than my share of emails from friends and clients and a few of them are truly priceless.  This is a delightful one that makes fun of those moments when we forget what was in our thoughts just a second ago.


I hope you enjoy this as much as I did.  It's a video of a matured gentleman singing to a group of fellow mature ladies and gentlemen. 


Senior Moments


Thanks Ron 



There have been a number of recent articles on a seller's obligation to make full and complete disclosure of all issues respecting property offered for sale. What about a buyer's obligation when purchasing property?

Most real estate professionals are familiar with the doctrine of caveat emptor or 'buyer beware.' That maxim holds that a seller has no obligation to disclose patent defects: those discoverable upon a reasonable inspection. However, a seller does have an obligation to disclose latent defects – those not discoverable upon a reasonable inspection – which make the premises dangerous or unfit for habitation. Courts have balanced a seller's duty to disclose certain facts and to avoid misrepresentation with the buyer's duty to protect their own interests.

Characterizing a defect as patent or latent is a question of fact requiring consideration of the defect's nature, its importance to the buyer, and the extent of the inspection and inquiry that would be reasonable in the circumstances to reveal the defect. In determining the applicable standard of care, the court will consider the investigative actions that a reasonably prudent buyer would take in the circumstances. The buyer's level of sophistication is relevant in determining the standard.


Our courts consider that buyers have the primary responsibility for investigating a property they propose to purchase, and a duty to carefully review all information provided to them regarding the property.

Consider the facts in Creswell Investments Inc. v. Pavone1: a sophisticated commercial buyer purchased a commercial strata unit that had a removable mezzanine installed without the necessary building permit. The buyer's offer was non-subject and specified that the mezzanine was included. While the seller had completed a Property Disclosure Statement (PDS), which indicated the seller was aware of alterations or additions done without a required permit and referred to the mezzanine, the buyer did not ask for the PDS and thus it was not provided.

Prior to completion, and at his request, the buyer received authorization from the seller to review the property's city file and received the contact information for the mezzanine manufacturer. The buyer did not follow up in reviewing the file or contacting the manufacturer.

After the sale completed, the buyer discovered the mezzanine did not comply with the building code. The buyer sued the seller for failing to disclose the mezzanine's status. After dismissing the claims for misrepresentation against the seller, the ultimate issue for the court was whether the mezzanine's status constituted a latent defect, which the seller was obliged to disclose, or a patent defect.

The court found that the mezzanine did not comply with the fire safety provisions of the building code and this was a latent defect as the premises were potentially dangerous. However, the court concluded that, as the mezzanine's status could have been discovered by a reasonable investigation by the buyer, the defect was patent.

The court held that a reasonably prudent buyer in the buyer's position would have made enquiries about the property at the time of his offer and made the agreement subject to being satisfied with the results of those enquiries. The court held that at the very least, the buyer should have requested a copy of the PDS. Had those steps been taken, the buyer would have discovered the mezzanine's status.

The decision serves as a reminder that while sellers are obliged to make full and complete disclosure of defects not readily discoverable, making the property dangerous or unfit for habitation, buyers are equally obliged to exercise due diligence in investigating properties they propose to purchase. The standard of inquiry will be that of a reasonably prudent buyer in the circumstances.

Jennifer A. Clee
B.A., LL.B.


1. Creswell Investments Inc. v. Pavone, 2011 B.C.S.C. 1069 (S.C.).













Legally Speaking is published eight times a year by email and quarterly in print by the British Columbia Real Estate Association, and funded in part by The Real Estate Foundation of British Columbia. Real estate boards, real estate associations and REALTORS® may reprint this content, provided that credit is given to BCREA by including the following statement: "Copyright British Columbia Real Estate Association. Reprinted with permission."


Strata-Properties (Townhomes and Condo's)


"What many owners of new homes may not realize is that failure to perform regular maintenance or improperly performed maintenance could limit their home warranty insurance coverage,"


Following good maintenance practices is one of the best ways that homebuyers can protect their investment. Visit and check out the HPO's Maintenance Matters bulletin series. 


Non-Strata Properties (Houses)


Homeowners can use the Residential Construction Performance Guide to determine whether a possible construction defect might be covered by home warranty insurance and to better understand how warranty providers may evaluate claims in new homes.


This very cool piece of film  sat in an attic in Australia for over 100 years, and was discovered just a few years ago and restored. It's a film of everyday Vancouver life in 1907, filmed from a trolley car by a filmmaker who died five years later as he filmed the maiden voyage of the Titanic.


The film starts at Georgia Street looking north down Granville, then follows Granville,turns right on Hastings and follows along Hastings.  It skips a bit but turns left to go up Main St.   Hope you enjoy the film.


See the link below.


The government today announced the HST/PST transitional rules on new homes.


As the province transitions back to the PST, which will replace the HST effective April 1, 2013, measures to ease the HST burden on new home buyers include:

•The BC New Housing Rebate threshold will increase to $850,000 from $525,000, so that more than 90% of newly built homes will now be eligible for a provincial HST rebate effective April 1, 2012.

•The maximum rebate will increase to $42,500 from $26,250 effective April 1, 2012.

•Buyers of new secondary vacation or recreational homes outside the Greater Vancouver and Capital Regional Districts priced up to $850,000 will now be eligible to claim a provincial grant of up to $42,500 effective April 1, 2012.

For newly built homes where construction begins before April 1, 2013, but ownership and possession occur after, purchasers will not pay the 7% provincial portion of the HST. Instead, purchasers will pay a temporary, transitional provincial tax of 2% on the full house price.


HST/PST transition rules will help ensure that whenever purchasers buy a new home they will all pay a consistent and equitable amount of tax, whether the home is built:

•entirely under the HST;
•entirely under the PST; or
•partly under HST and partly under the PST.


The temporary housing transition measures will be in place until March 31, 2015. The tax only applies to homes where construction begins before the transition date and ownership and possession occur after.


February 15 report from the Canadian Real Estate Association.


Click on the line above for the full report about real estate across Canada, but in a nutshell...



  • Home sales were down 4.5% from December to January.
  • Actual (not seasonally adjusted) activity came in 4.0% above levels in January 2011, and stood even with the 5 and 10 year averages for January sales.
  • The number of newly listed homes edged down 1.4% from December to January.
  • With sales down by more than new listings, the national market shifted further into balanced territory.
  • The national average home price was up less than 2% year-over-year in January, ranking it among the smallest increases of the past year. 

A number of financial institutions have recently dropped their five-year lending rates to a record low of 2.99 per cent. This is down considerably from the advertised five-year rate of 5.29 per cent when the Bank last met on December 6th, 2011.


Yesterday involved some final touches to the kitchen of 214-5500 Andrews Road in Steveston. Under the guidance of home stager, Joanne MacKay of Ocean Breeze Staging with Mark Herbert of Brothers Cabinetry Design Inc., new cupboard doors and drawer fronts were installed with new hardware, some new ceiling lights were installed, the hood fan was replaced, the ceilings and walls in the living, dining, and den were painted, and the carpets cleaned. Today, Joanne spends the a few hours waving her magic want to stage the home for this weekend's open house. 


Spoke to T after he and his parents had spoke to Michael Friedman about various financing methods towards T buying a home for him and S, who is expecting their second child in a few months, and their two large dogs. 


Emailed copies of the contract of purchase and sale to the buyers I met with last Friday.  They and the sellers wanted me to merely prepare the contract under their direction and not act as real estate agent for either party.  When I asked the sellers why not go to a lawyer, they said we don't trust anyone else but (me).  Flattering but still, for legal advice, a lawyer is worth the investment. 


My office is going under the knife.  The renovations will hopefully be finished this week and the facelift will be complete. 


My connection with the Real Estate Group (a Linkedin group) displayed a new set of listings in Cedar Cottage.  3 New Towhomes reclaimed from an original heritage house called 'La Tessa'.  I plan to do a drive by today. 1260 East 19th Avenue, 1262 E 19th Ave., 1268 E 19th Avenue. 


Do you sometimes review the real estate ads in your local paper?  Do you drive by an open house sign and feel the urge to stop and check it out?  Those are common indications that, at least on some level, you're thinking about the possibility of making a move.

But how do you decide if you should actually move?

The first step is to consider whether there are any practical reasons to consider buying a new home. What's pushing you in that direction?
• Is your current home too small for your needs?
• Is the commute to work, for you or your spouse, too long? (Perhaps longer than you expected when you purchased the home?)
• Are there property features you would now like to have, such as a larger backyard or a more spacious kitchen?
• Has the neighborhood changed in an undesirable way?
• Do you have personal reasons for wanting to move, such as a desire to be closer to relatives in another area?

Carefully consider those things that can't change unless you move. For example, if a major highway was recently built near you, the ongoing sound of traffic isn't going to go away. It's now part of the neighborhood.

If there are no practical reasons for moving, there may still be other reasons for wanting a new home. You may want to move your family to a better neighborhood, with better schools or you may simply want a bigger home, with a larger backyard, more rooms, and a wider driveway.

There's absolutely nothing wrong with simply wanting a better place than the one you have now. In fact, that is a common reason why many people make a move. The point is, if you've been thinking about a new home for
awhile, perhaps now is the time to take the next step. A good REALTOR® can help you understand your options.

Looking for a good REALTOR®? Call me today.




The Informed Home Buyer/Seller

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