Shelley Gossett PREC

Re/Max Little Oak Realty Ltd.
, British Columbia,
Tel: 604 308 1455
Fax: 604-850-2325
Direct: 1-800-668-8661
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July 2009

Leaky Condos - Questions & Answers

This is a British Columbia problem, which I believe, is unknown in the rest of Canada. 

The problem is that new building techniques  were used where the building walls were sealed so well that no air was allowed into the walls.  However water was sucked into the walls, did not evaporated, and started to rot the wood frame construction.  In order to repair the problem the walls have to be opened up, the rotten wood replaced and the building reclad.

It is not uncommon for each condo owner to have to pay $30,000 for repairs.  This does not end the problem however because the building is now known to the public as a "LEAKY CONDO"!  Prospective purchasers will not consider buying the condo or will demand a very a large discount!

1. Can I sue the Builder?

Yes!  Seek legal advice and make sure you know at least the following:

    •  Is he at fault?
    •  How difficult and costly will it be to prove he is at fault?
    •  Did he follow the building code?
    •  Did the municipality properly inspect the work?
    •  Does the builder have any money or assets?

2. Can I sue the Municipality?
Maybe, but only with the greatest of difficulty and after a huge legal bill.  Must be done within 6 months after problem becomes known.  Seek legal advice for the answer to this question.

3. Should I pay the Assessment?
That is a question only you can answer, since only you know your finances and the extent of the repairs involved.

4. What if I can't afford to pay the Assessment?
A Condo Act Charge can be placed on your condo for the value of the Assessment.  This Charge will usually rank ahead of other charges, including the mortgage.

5. What if I chose not to make my mortgage payments?  (This question assumes the mortgage is CMHC approved.)

After a period (usually 90 days) of default, the bank holding the mortgage will demand payment of the entire mortgage balance and foreclose, and seek Conduct of Sale (permission from the Court to list the property for sale).

  • When Conduct of Sale is received, the property will be listed for sale with a real estate agent for a period of 90 days.
  • If the property has not sold after 90 days, CMHC will usually offer to purchase the property for the most recent appraisal price.
  • After the Court approves the sale, CMHC will pay the bank holding the mortgage the sale price.
  • The bank holding the mortgage will apply to CMHC for payment of their mortgage shortfall.
  • CMHC will be assigned the judgement the bank obtained in the foreclosure and will seek payment of the deficiency from the property owner.

6. What if I just "Walk Away"?

See answer #5.

7. Will CMHC accept a settlement from me of less than the full amount owed?
I don't think so, but why don't you ask them.

8. How do I contact CMHC?
Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation

British Columbia and Yukon Regional Business Centre
#400 - 2600 Granville Street
Vancouver, B.C.
V6H 3V7
              (604) 731-5733       

9. I have heard about a "Quit Claim".  Can I do this?
A "Quit Claim" is the signing over of your property to the bank holding the mortgage. The bank will not accept your Quit Claim because that would violate the terms of the CMHC Mortgage Insurance and void the coverage.
10. How can I get more information?
We have listed a number of web sites below which will give you more information:

June 6th, 2009

Homeowners in line for reno rebate

OTTAWA - Canadians who want to sod their lawns or renovate their bathrooms will get a tax break worth up to $1,350 as a key plank of the government's effort to inspire spending.

For a certain sector of consumers, 2009 could become the year of the reno, following the announcement Tuesday of a Home Renovation Tax Credit that lets taxpayers claim 15 per cent of their fixups until Feb. 1, 2010.

The government said the incentive will provide about $3 billion in tax relief to some 4.6 million families.

The credit, which is available for homes and cottages effective immediately, is designed to boost construction, forestry and other industries.

Taxpayers can claim renovations on their 2009 tax returns on costs over $1,000, but not exceeding $10,000.

The list of eligible expenses includes renovating kitchens, bathrooms or basements; new carpeting or flooring; building additions, decks, or retaining walls; installing furnaces or water heaters; interior and exterior painting; or driveway resurfacing.

Routine maintenance does not qualify. Such things as new furniture, appliances, tools, carpet cleaning and snow removal are excluded.

Also on the home front, the government will put an extra $300 million over two years into energy retrofits, raise to $25,000 the amount first-time homebuyers can borrow from RRSPs, and provide up to $750 in tax relief to help with their purchases.



Risks Buying Pre-sale

There are a lot information buyers are not aware about when purchasing pre-sale residential units such as strata-tittled apartments and townhouses, such as the risks involved.

Here are some risks associated when buying pre-sale:

1.  A proposed development may be delayed, or may not proceed at all, for a variety of reasons including: inadequate sales; delays in obtaining financing or building permits; higher than expected costs for construction materials; and an inability to hire skilled construction workers.  

2. If a proposed development is delayed beyond the completion date set out in the presale contract, the contract may provide that it is terminated unless both the purchaser and developer have agreed to an extension.

3. If market prices have increased during a delay in construction, a purchaser may be asked to pay a higher purchase price in order to extend the original contract or obtain a new contract.

4. There is also a risk during a delay that the developer may not agree to an extension or new contract and instead sell the unit to another purchaser.

5. Delays in development may require prospective purchasers to arrange temporary accommodation or delay moving from their existing homes.

6. There is also a risk that real estate prices may decline in the future. If the developer completes a pre-sale contract within the time set out in the contract, the purchaser may be obligated to complete the purchase at the agreed price, even though the real estate may have declined in value.

7. A purchaser may wish to assign their contract to another purchaser prior to the completion date. Depending on the specific terms of the pre-sale contract, assignments may not be permissible, or may require a substantial assignment fee to be paid to the developer.

8. Depending on the specific terms of an assignment, the new purchaser may not recover any payments made to the initial purchaser and developer to allow the assignment.

9. A pre-sale contract may allow the developer to substitute equivalent materials or make adjustments to the layout of the unit or the development.

It is important for all prospective purchasers to appreciate those risks in order to better understand any existing pre-sale contract and make a more informed decision about whether or not to enter into a pre-sale contract.

 Source: Financial Institutions Commissions Of BC;


There are bargains out there ready to fetch bids

Ritchie Bros. lowers gavel on condos, lakeside properties

Derrick Penner


Tuesday, April, 28, 2009

Looking for a deal on a Vancouver Island condo, or an Interior lakeside retreat?

Buying property through an auction is one way to go.

Ritchie Bros. Auctioneers -- which has sold everything from an entire residential subdivision in Quesnel, Vancouver Island condos and recreational lots on the Sunshine Coast -- has more sales slated for the coming month.

"There is a good chance you're going to get a good deal," Ritchie Bros. spokeswoman Kim Schulz said in an interview, but quickly added that what makes a good deal is in the eye of the buyer and the seller.

Property auctions in the United States are more closely associated with distressed real estate as banks unload homes in foreclosure.

In B.C., the tactic has been used more as an inventory clearance method. Schulz said that in Ritchie Bros.' case, the firm's real estate sellers tend to be customers from its equipment auctions who just happen to have property they want to sell. They're also comfortable with the company's unreserved sales method.

"If you're going to a real estate auction, you really need to understand, is it reserved or is it unreserved," Schulz said.

Reserved means the seller has set a minimum price that must be met in order for the property to be sold. Unreserved means the seller commits to selling to the highest bidder with no conditions.

Ritchie Bros. may soon have company in the property auction field, though in a different way.

Maynard's Auctioneers, a big player in estate-sale auctions, is actively shopping an auction concept to real estate marketing firms, Barry Scott, president of Maynard's Auctioneers, said in an interview.

Scott said it is unlikely unreserved auctions will gain wider traction because there isn't much distress in the marketplace.

"If you had a lot of 'must sells,' it would be more applicable," Scott said. "But you probably won't see downtown real estate sold at unreserved auction."

However, he does see a role for auctions to bring a different kind of attention to real estate sales in cases where developers sell the majority of a project through traditional means, but want to quickly clear out remaining units.

"After people see what things have sold for, they are more capable of arriving at what they think the fair value is," Scott said.


Auctions can move along quickly so here are a few tips.

- Do your homework on location and price. Take advantage of any open houses the auctioneer might have to inspect the property and neighbourhood.

- Understand that the auction is a final sale, not an open house, so don't go thinking you're going to bid on a whim.

- Arrange financing beforehand. The auctioneer will want to see proof you can close on the purchase.

- Don't get caught up in the frenzy. Set your budget and stick to it.

Copyright (c) The Vancouver Sun



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April 2009

10 Reasons To Stage Your Home  

If you're selling your home or investment house, take advantage of home staging trends. Here are ten key points about staged homes.


 1. Staged Homes Sell in Less Time

Surveys on the effects of home staging show staged homes can sell 30 to 50 percent faster.  Last year, during the hot seller's market, it was found that staged homes sold in 13.9 days as opposed to 31 for non-staged homes. Imagine what the effect will be during a buyer's market.

2. Staged Homes Sell for More Money

Homes that sit on the market usually get lower offers because home shoppers think that there's something wrong with the house and that the desperate home seller is an easy mark for a low offer. Research proves that staged homes sell for more. Statistics have indicated that Staged homes sold for an average of 6.9 to 10% over listing price.

3. Staged Exteriors Entice Viewing

When homes shoppers first pull up in front of a home for sale, they make up their minds in SECONDS whether to get out of their comfortable vehicle or drive on. A manicured front yard with staging additions like flowers in colourful pots near the front door and a bench to sit makes buyers want to see what's inside. Entice your buyers to come in, not drive on.

4. Staged Homes Affect Buyer's Decision

Once they cross the threshold, home buyers know within 15 seconds whether they like the home or not. You must captivate your buyers right away with a setting staged for your target buyer. Entice your buyers to take a good look, not hurry through.

5. Staged Kitchens Sell Houses

Because the kitchen ranks paramount in home shoppers list of requirements, spend extra time staging the space. Remove all appliances on the counter and dress the space with flowers and bowls of fruit. Buyers pay a premium for kitchens that are ready to move in and not ready to work on.

6. Staged Homes Tell Buyers that Your Home Is Loved

Buyers desire a well-maintained home. Homes that show well speak to the buyers that you care enough to keep on routine maintenance.

7. Staged Homes Attract Realtors

It's a fact that real estate agents love staged homes, too. Get your home on the top of their "must show" list. Realtors show staged homes even when they fall short or exceed the buyers wish list because savvy realtors know buyers choose homes based on their emotions and not their "must have" lists.

8. Staged Homes Get More Advertising

Your realtor and even other realtors will want to show your home and they will advertise it more than an ordinary home just to get the phone ringing. Benefit from all the extra exposure at no extra cost to you.

9. Staged Homes Appraise for Top Dollar

Once you sell your home, you need the appraisal to come in high enough to cover your buyer's mortgage. Make sure you keep your home staged for the all important date--Appraisal Day. Too many home sales fall through just because the appraised value didn't meet the sales price.

10. Staged Homes Help Home Sellers Move

Besides selling your home, the act of staging helps you get rid of clutter, pare down your furnishings to the best--those worth moving, and gets you organized to move on to your next home, hopefully your "dream home!"




March 2009 

The Foreclosure Process in British Columbia

In British Columbia, it is the judicial sale process that involves licensees most frequently. The petitioner or any of the respondents (i.e. 1st, 2nd or 3rd Mortgagee) can apply for a judicial sale, also known as a court-ordered sale, which will be carried out under the supervision of the court.

The judicial sale begins with a Demand Letter to the borrower, giving the borrower a short amount of time to pay out their mortgage. Then a petition is filed in the BC Supreme Court registry, which starts an action: The Order Nisi, which fixes the time for redemption. The redemption period, usually six months, is the time period given to the borrower to redeem the mortgage, as well as the amount required. Where a lender (respondent) applies for such an order, he or she may satisfy the court that the value of the property is high enough to satisfy the costs of the sale and the claim of the petitioner. If the property is sold by judicial sale, the petitioner is entitled to recover the difference between the sale proceeds and the mortgage debt from the borrower.

Once a petitioner or respondent has been granted a conduct of sale, they act in the role of the vendor pursuant to the Court Order, only for purposes of disposition of the asset, and can now list the property for sale with a realtor.

When a party has expressed an interest in making an offer, their realtor or the selling agent will draft an offer, directed at the Vendor (usually one of the Mortgagees.) At this point their realtor should confirm that the purchaser understands that although they will be negotiating with the vendor and a deal may be agreed on, there is still a possibility that, when the offer is presented to the courts, the offer may be subject to a sealed bid process by other purchasers.

Once the offer is made and the terms are agreed to, the Purchaser commences their Subject Period. If the purchaser removes its subjects, the offer will be presented to court.

In the courtroom, the process works as follows:

  1. The vendor's lawyer presents the purchasers' offer to the Judge, (in foreclosure proceedings they are referred to as Masters.)
  2. The Master asks if there are any other parties in the courtroom who would also like to submit an offer. If there is not, and the appropriate marketing has taken place and the price of the offer is market value, the Master will approve the sale. If there are competing offers in court the Master will instruct all parties, including the original purchaser to leave the courtroom and resubmit their final offer in a sealed envelope to the vendor's lawyer.
  3. After these offers have been submitted, the Master reviews the offers and approves the best deal.


The following chart has been reproduced with the permission of the UBC Commerce Real Estate Division.

Steps in a Foreclosure Proceeding for BC

(UBC Manual )

Demand Letter

A letter accelerating the loan and giving the borrower a short period of time to pay out the mortgage or else face foreclosure.



Filed in B.C. Supreme Court registry. The lender is the petitioner, while the borrower and all other charge holders whose interests rank in priority behind the lender, are the respondents.


Order Nisi

The first order of the court. It establishes, amongst other things, the amount required to redeem the mortgage and the time period given to the borrower to redeem.


Judicial Sale

The petitioner may choose to have the property listed for sale by the court. Unless special circumstances exist, the petitioner only seeks this order at the expiry of the Redemption Period (Traditionally 6 months).


Order Approving Sale

The court approves the sale of the property. If the sale proceeds do not pay the petitioner in full, the petitioner will seek the deficiency from the respondent borrower under a court action.

Order Absolute of Foreclosure

If the redemption period has expired and if:

  1. the property is worth the same amount as the mortgage debt or more;
  2. the respondent borrower is judgment-proof (i.e., no assets or money to apply towards a deficiency); or
  3. there are no offers under a judicial sale; the petitioner can seek an absolute order of foreclosure, under which the petitioner becomes the new registered owner and all respondents are wiped off title. No further action can be taken against the respondent borrower after the court has granted the order absolute.




Tuesday, February 24th, 2009


RE/MAX Agents Raise Hands and Reach Deep for the

Children's Miracle Network

Kelowna, BC (February 25, 2009) - RE/MAX associates once again showed their generosity and compassion, raising $51,800 with the silent and live auctions at the annual Breakfast of Champions" in support of the Children's Miracle Network and its affiliated hospitals. The event was held on February 7th during the RE/MAX of Western Canada 26th Annual Conference in Victoria, BC, February 5-7, 2009.

RE/MAX agents feel a responsibility to encourage community enhancing initiatives", said Marie Sheppy,

Senior Coordinator, Corporate Affairs (Children's Miracle Network liaison). This is especially evident when we gather to celebrate our successes as an organization and as individuals". Stories of children recovering and receiving successful treatment were shared with the over 600 RE/MAX delegates inattendance at the breakfast fundraiser. I feel blessed to belong to an organization of individuals who truly believe in giving back. RE/MAX agents contribute substantially towards helping meet the needs of sick and injured children in our communities."

Many items were purchased or donated by RE/MAX affiliates themselves, including a hand made RE/MAX-Children's Miracle Network dual balloon stained glass piece, vacation packages, gold and diamond jewelry, sports memorabilia and a myriad of other valuable items.

RE/MAX sales associates have helped raise close to $4 million for the Children's Miracle Network 14 member hospitals and foundations across Canada in 2008, helping the 2.6 million children who are treated each year. Since 1992, Canadian RE/MAX associates have raised over $32 million towards this worthy cause.

The Children's Miracle Network is an international non-profit organization dedicated to raising funds and awareness programs for the benefit of children served by its associated hospitals, health centres, and foundations.

RE/MAX is Canada's leading real estate organization with over 18,000 Sales Associates in 670 independently owned and operated offices. The RE/MAX franchise network is a global real estate system operating in over 68countries. More than 6,900 independently-owned offices engage nearly 100,000 Sales Associates who lead the industry in professional designations, experience and production while providing real estate services in residential, commercial, referral and asset management.


Tuesday, January 27, 2009


With the meltdown in global financial markets last fall and the Canadian economy forecasted to shrink by 0.8 per cent over the next year Finance Minister Jim Flaherty presented Budget 2009 as Canada's Economic Action Plan".


The Conservative government's fourth budget is set to deliver a fiscal stimulus that will fulfill Canada's commitments at the recent G20 .


To view the detailed budget, go to:

For a quick index of the budget by topic, such as "Housing," go to:

For the current GST new housing rebate, go to:

For substantially renovated homes GST rebate, go to:

For all the info regarding the property transfer tax, go to:

The data included on this website is deemed to be reliable, but is not guaranteed to be accurate by the Fraser Valley Real Estate Board. The trademarks REALTOR®, REALTORS® and the REALTOR® logo are controlled by The Canadian Real Estate Association (CREA) and identify real estate professionals who are members of CREA. Used under license.