British Columbia real estate market moves into recession

On Behalf of Porter Ramsay LLP | Dec, 31, 2018 | Real Estate Law

After a volatile decade or so, the real estate market in British Columbia is expected to remain rather sedate over the next few years. In fact, according the latest figures, the real estate market in the province is experiencing a mild recession. It doesn’t look as though that is going to change anytime soon. In what has been a seller’s market in the lower mainland, declining sales and lower prices have turned the climate into one which favours buyers. There was a 17 per cent drop in the number of residential real estate transactions in the province in 2018. The median... View Article

First drop in years in real estate prices on West Coast

On Behalf of Porter Ramsay LLP | Dec, 19, 2018 | Real Estate Law

Property prices have finally dropped in Vancouver — for the first time in many years. Prices in British Columbia’s largest West Coast city have been climbing, until now, since 2013. The Real Estate Board of Greater Vancouver said the numbers do not come as a shock, considering additional inventory and a decrease in sales. Still, Vancouver and the surrounding region is one of the most expensive in the country for real estate, with the average home priced at more than $1 million.  There were more than 1,600 in sales in Vancouver in November — a decrease of more than 18... View Article

Real estate law: Only 4 areas in British Columbia are affordable

On Behalf of Porter Ramsay LLP | Dec, 04, 2018 | Real Estate Law

Homeownership is becoming more difficult for many British Columbians. In fact, there are apparently only four areas in British Columbia that are affordable when calculated against total household income. Many residents won’t be able to afford to buy a home in the province, especially with the federal real estate law that governs the financial stress test. The City of Vancouver has always been known as being one of the most expensive places to purchase real estate, but most all places have now earned that distinction. A recent study compared the minimum income needed to buy a home in major areas... View Article

British Columbia family law: Divorce and a mortgage

On Behalf of Porter Ramsay LLP | Nov, 21, 2018 | Family Law

Love and marriage. Divorce and mortgage. The rules that govern the marital playing field are fuelled by family law in British Columbia. Homeowners who have decided to divorce may be wondering what happens with their mortgage if they’re carrying one. In most provinces, assets acquired during the marriage are divided equally between the partners, and that holds true for a matrimonial home. A bank or mortgage company doesn’t care that you’re getting divorced, who’s going to live in the house or who has the right to live there. All it cares about is that the mortgage will continue to get... View Article

Property and debt division at the end of a relationship

On Behalf of Porter Ramsay LLP | Nov, 19, 2018 | Uncategorized

When a marriage or long-term relationship comes to an end in British Columbia, dividing property and debt fairly is critical to ensuring both partners maintain a stable quality of life after the separation. The rules for property division are fairly straightforward, but there are always exceptions and exemptions to consider. Despite laws requiring an equal division of family assets, it is not always as easy as splitting things 50/50. If you and your spouse did not have a legal agreement stipulating how you would divide your assets in this situation, you would be wise to seek professional advice on the... View Article

Family law: Do protection orders do what they’re supposed to do?

On Behalf of Porter Ramsay LLP | Nov, 07, 2018 | Family Law

Domestic violence can rip families apart. Family law in British Columbia has rules in place to safeguard individuals against violence, such as protection or restraining orders. But, do they really work? This directive orders the alleged violent person to stay away from his or her intended target who is named in the order. Perpetrators are not to have any interaction or communication with their victims, nor are they allowed to frequent areas where they are known to frequent like places of employment, schools, etc They also must turn in all weapons they own to the authorities. But if the alleged abusive person has no... View Article

Wills and estates: The problem with an executor living abroad

On Behalf of Porter Ramsay LLP | Oct, 23, 2018 | Wills And Estates

Having an up-to-date comprehensive estate plan is always prudent. When it comes to wills and estates in British Columbia, having the right executor also means a great deal. But, what if that person isn’t living in the same province or even the same country? This may cause some problems. If an executor of a Canadian estate is living in the United States, he or she may have trouble getting access to a Canadian bank account. There may be issues regarding taxes in each country as well as the need for the executor to file federal and state tax returns in... View Article

Wills and estates: What to do when left out of a will

On Behalf of Porter Ramsay LLP | Oct, 09, 2018 | Wills And Estates

There is nothing that can cause more hurt and anxiety than being left out of a loved one’s will. A lot of feelings can be enmeshed in wills and estates. When a British Columbia resident finds that he or she has been left out of a will, there are things that can be done even though it may take some time. Contesting a will is becoming more common these days. The rationale behind increased litigation is because more people are amassing more wealth and there is more at stake in being left out of a loved one’s will. People are... View Article

Family law: Difficult to split illegal proceeds in divorce case

On Behalf of Porter Ramsay LLP | Sep, 25, 2018 | Family Law

A couple who made a living growing marijuana illegally for 20 years has split up. British Columbia has definitive family law rules, but how does dividing the profits from an illegal grow-op figure into a divorce situation? The two, who were married for 30 years, tried to share the assets, but since most of the transactions were completed using cash and scant records were kept, the court deemed their evidence of income was thin, often contradictory and lacking in credibility. The pair ran grow ops in British Columbia, California and Mexico. They started their first grow-op in 1987. Both agreed to... View Article

Family law: Being invested in kids 100 per cent after divorce

On Behalf of Porter Ramsay LLP | Sep, 10, 2018 | Family Law

Divorcing a spouse doesn’t mean divorcing the children, too. Family law in British Columbia takes into consideration what is in the best interests of the children and that usually means have a healthy, well-rounded relationship with each parent if possible. Divorce is in no way the fault of any children involved and although parents may relinquish the personal parts they play in a former spouse’s life, they should continue to be there to support their children 100 per cent. When parents share joint custody, it may mean they have their kids half the time, but it doesn’t mean they give... View Article