“Ivana currently listed and sold our townhouse in Burnaby. She was a great agent. Ivana was well informed and had good insight on the current housing market. She was very patient and willing to answer all of our questions, and always was available for us. I would gladly recommend Ivana to anyone looking to sell or buy a home. –Ana“
Considering buying a strata property? Where do you start?
Buying a strata property is (in many of the cases) more complex that purchasing a detached home. When you purchase a strata unit, you are purchasing a strata unit for individual ownership together with common property.
Before you put in an offer, we, both you as the purchaser and I as the agent read though the strata document.
I read a lot of strata minutes, so it is easy for me to go through and I know what to look for. It is very important that you as the buyer know what you are purchasing.
So what is a strata?
Strata titling property is a way of subdividing portions of land and buildings so that individual owners may purchase and own parts of that land or building.
A strata corporation is created by registering the strata plan at Land Titles. The strata plan plan depicts the subdivided land/building with the BC Land Titles and Survey Authority.
Like most people and other legal entities, a strata corporation not only has legal rights, it also has obligations. These obligations include repair, maintenance and insurance.
Questions you should know the answers to…
It is so important for any purchaser to know how the strata is run.
Are they doing regular maintenance?
Have they been following the maintenance schedule set out from the depreciation report?
Have there been any lawsuits?
Have there been any insurance claims?
Have there been any major leaks…on going leaks?
Is the strata run by the owners or by a property manager?
What is common property (CP) and what is limited common property (LCP)?
Is my parking CP or LCP?
When was the last depreciation report?
Have there been any separate engineering reports?
Have there been any special general called meetings?
Have there been assessments in the past?
Are they talking about assessments in the future?
What are the bylaws? Have they been amended?
What are the rules?
What is in the contingency fund?
Are you still covered under the 2-5-10 year new home warranty?
Are any of these unfamiliar to you?
This is where my services come into play. We go over all of these…and more!
Buying and selling a home is the larges transaction most people will have in a lifetime. Do not go in it alone, there are a lot of risks and a lot or rewards.
Be prepared and make sure you have all the facts.
Real Estate – What happened over 2018
12 DAYS OF CHRISTMAS MY REALTOR SAID TO ME….
HOW TO BUY A HOME
1. GET PRE APPROVED
On of the most important aspects of buying a home. When I initially talk to a client, I ask them, “have you been pre-approved”? If the answer is NO – I send them 3 brokers that I typically work with. From there they can make a decision as to whom to use. I don’t get a kick back for any referrals, I know all 3 brokers can get the job done.
In the beginning of 2017 I had clients were trying to buy in a bidding war market…They were pre approved, had a bank draft on hand and were able to make an offer with a 12 hour subject to finance approval… how?
Because they were prepared…they did their homework and got pre approved.
2. MEET FOR A BUYER CONSULTATION
Why you ask? Going on a blind date is hard, you see the person but you don’t know what you like until you meet. Buying a home is the same. Meeting in person sets up a good rapport and gets the initial stress of starting to look for a home a little down.
We sit down and go over questions such as why are you considering buying? If you are selling and buying… why?
What is your timeline? Are you waiting for the kids to start school? Are you having a baby and want to be in before baby is born?
Areas? Do you want to be close to transit, live in a quieter neighbourhood away from the main centre….
3. IT’S TIME TO GO SHOPPING
Now that we know what you are looking for… we can start to shop. Those homes that you have been looking online for let’s check them out. In addition to those… As I have market insight and know how long properties have been on the market, there might be a good deal sitting there that you didn’t’ know about.
You have been shopping in your price range, but what if I told you a property that is more expensive is in your price range, we just have to negotiate it
4. WE FOUND IT LET’S MAKE AN OFFER!
Now that we’ve looked at a few properties, there is one that you keep comparing all the other homes to… THAT’S THE ONE!
Once you start to compare that home with others, it’s a no brainer, you can see yourself living there…see raising your family there… playing ball hockey in the cul-de-sac…
5. ACCEPTED OFFER / TIME TO GET AN INSPECTION / LET THE BROKER KNOW
Why do I need an inspection? Unless we have done a pre inspection, I always suggest a home inspection. The inspector will go through the home and point out some areas that might need a bit of TLC. Like any home you might have to change a faucet, do some painting or fix a few holes. Prior to the inspection if we are looking at a strata building, we will have gone through the minutes, bylaws, engineering report and any depreciation reports to see if there are any red flags coming up.
It is so important to keep in mind that any home needs maintenance, and a home inspection will make those know to you. If there are any HUGE no no’s or issues that inspector will point those out.
In addition to an inspection the moment we get an accepted offer, I call the mortage broker ASAP and let her/him know that we are ready to go!
I send all the documentation necessary and they go to work to get you the best mortgage that fits with you.
6. ACCEPTED OFFER! TIME TO GET THAT BANK DRAFT!
Now that your financing has been approved by the lender, and the boxes are all checked it’s time to remove subjects and get that bank draft.
Depending on the buyer, we sometimes suggest that you have the bank draft on hand – it is an important negotiating tool. It can be the difference between a great deal, or an accepted offer on a very desirable product. This is where our buyer consultation comes into play
7. CALL A LAWYER TO HELP WITH THE CLOSING
If S**t hits the fan…the lawyer has your back. If the closing is simple you can use a notary. I always suggest a lawyer as they will deal with any legal issues that come up. There have been cases where s**t does hit the fan and now you’re paying double when you could have just paid once.
Links to preferred lawyers…. Ask family and friends who they use
8. BE CAREFUL WHAT YOU DO BETWEEN NOW AND CLOSING
It is SOOOOO important to talk to your broker and myself before making any drastic changes. Don’t quit your job or change your job. It’s best to “freeze time”. How you go into the mortgage process is how you want to come out of it.
9. START MAKING A LIST…
Start making a list of what you will be taking with you and what you need to sell or give away. Time flies, and before you know it you can get stressed out if you have lot of furniture you were not anticipating to take with you.
10. INTERVIEW MOVING COMPANIES – OR ASK SOME FRIENDS FOR HELP
Unless you have amazing friends, you will need to hire a moving company. They can either do it all and help pack or just come in and move the boxes on the day of. Ask for references from your agent and friends. The best referrals are from family and friends. You know if they liked them you will too.
11. START TO DECLUTTER \ ORDER BOXES AND START PACKING
Don’t wait to declutter… start as soon as you consider buying a home. This will be less of a burden on you when you actually go to pack.
12 CLOSING DAY!!! CONGRATULATIONS YOU DID IT!!!
Congratulations, you are now the proud owner of your new home.
OUR RELATIONSHIP DOES NOT STOP AFTER CLOSING. I CONTINUE TO MAKE SURE YOU LOVE YOUR HOME AND THERE ARE NO MAJOR ISSUES.
In the lower mainland we only have so much land to develop on. The solution so far has been to build up towards the sky. Smaller living spaces, less of a footprint is what a lot of people are choosing.
Whether it is for personal choices or financial reasons, condo living is becoming the future.
What is Strata Living? Freehold vs Leasehold?
There are two varieties of Strata Ownership
Fee Simple interest in real property. This is the greatest degree of control over property that the law of private ownership permits.
- The most common type of ownership.
The developer subdivides the property into strata lots and common property. This is done by depositing the strata plan with the Land Title and Survey Authority.
- The registrar registers the developer as the registered owner of each of the newly created strata lots.
- The developer may then sell the developer’s fee simple title to the buyer of each of the newly crated strata lots.
If you are buying a presale this is how it is done until you “close” on the property and title is transferred. Known as the CLOSING.
An interest in real property held under a rental agreement by which the owner gives the tenant exclusive possession to the land for the term of the rental agreement.
- The developer initially leases the land from the federal,provincial or municipal government or some other public authority.
- The developer leases the land under a document called a “ground lease” which sets out the terms and conditions under which the developer has leased the property.
- The buyer is buying the right to exclusive possession of the strata lot for the balance of the term remaining under the lease.
- With each passing year the term remaining diminishes.
The City of Coquitlam Housing Choices Review
What is happening in the city of Coquitlam?
The City of Coquitlam adopted a Housing Choices Program in 2011. The goal was to provide new small-scale housing options for varying household types, and income levels to areas of South Coquitlam.
Possible expansion of ‘backyard suites’ across RS-1 and RS-3 “One-Family Residential” zones in Southwest Coquitlam.
Part of the review was the completion of the Large Home review in 2015. With the pop up of GIANT homes, the city found that builders were putting in additional illegal suites as mortgage helpers. From their investigation they went on the Phase 2 to see how new homes sizes could be managed
Phase 2 – CURRENT
Refinement of the proposal and review of potential options to manage the size of new single-family homes in Southwest Coquitlam.
The primary goal is to encourage more Housing Choices projects through updates to the Housing Choices zones (RT-1 “Two-Family Residential” and RT-3 “Triplex and Quadruplex Residential”) and by streamlining regulations, application processing, the approvals process, and Development Permit Guidelines.
HOUSING CHOICES ZONING SUMMARY GUIDE
Thinking of Rezoning?
To read about the reviews and what is happening here are some links to follow.
- July 16, 2018: Housing Choices Review – Round 1 Consultation Summary
- May 28, 2018: Housing Choices Review – Senior Government Advocacy Positions on Housing
- May 3, 2018 – Phase 2 Community Information Session Boards: Values and Objectives
- April 16, 2018 Report to Council: Housing Choices Review – Revised Scope, Process and Consultation Strategy
There are a lot of changes happening in the City of Coquitlam. If you have any questions about your neighbourhood and how it affects you, I am a phone call away.
CONSIDER HELPING IN THE 2018 BLANKET DRIVE PUT ON BY THE REAL ESTATE BOARD OF GREATER VANCOUVER.
Real estate market trends for October 2018.