Categories for Real Estate Law

What should I do before starting a land development project?

On Behalf of Porter Ramsay LLP | Jul, 11, 2022 | Real Estate Law

As a land developer in British Columbia, you probably already know that you can take no steps forward with your project before you have a plan. In fact, since there are numerous aspects of land development, you will likely create multiple plans. Of course, before beginning the planning of your project, you must first consider the many laws and regulations that govern the process of development.  Land development is not as easy as purchasing property and constructing buildings on it. There are zoning laws, land use regulations and environmental impacts to consider. You might also face resistance from members of... View Article

B.C. financial regulator recommends home purchase wait periods

On Behalf of Porter Ramsay LLP | Jul, 08, 2022 | Real Estate Law

Many regulators and officials have been proposing different means of cooling the housing market in British Columbia. Recently, the B.C. Financial Services Authority shared its recommendations for tempering the market for consumers. Their recommendations included measures to implement a required pre-offer period as well as a cooling-off period following an accepted offer. Here are the details of these two suggestions.  Recommendation #1: Pre-offer period The pre-offer period recommended by the Financial Services Authority is five days. If the recommendation were adopted, it would require listings to be on the market for at least five days prior to an offer being... View Article

Federal government proposes measures to cool real estate market

On Behalf of Porter Ramsay LLP | Apr, 11, 2022 | Real Estate Law

When Canada’s federal budget was announced in early April, it included several measures aimed at cooling the housing market. These moves are a response to increasing concerns about the affordability of housing across the country. If the measures are passed, they will have a significant impact on real estate transactions in British Columbia.  One of the changes garnering a great deal of attention is a measure to ensure house flipping profits are taxed as business income. Many individuals across Canada invest in residential real estate in order to make improvements and sell at a profit. This change, if passed, would... View Article

Understanding Canada’s mortgage stress test

On Behalf of Porter Ramsay LLP | Mar, 18, 2022 | Real Estate Law

Prospective homebuyers in British Columbia have many things to consider, from housing wish-lists to preferred locations to how to navigate an increasingly competitive market. Chief among these considerations is budget. While the budget you’re comfortable with is a largely personal matter, there are also external factors that impact the mortgage amount an individual may access. This is determined by banks, but is also governed by federal legislation through the mortgage stress test.  What is the mortgage stress test? The mortgage stress test is a tool that lenders are mandated to use to qualify applicants for mortgages. As of 2022, the... View Article

The legal risks of a home selling far below its market value

On Behalf of Porter Ramsay LLP | Feb, 23, 2022 | Real Estate Law

The real estate market continues to grow in British Columbia, with houses selling for higher rates than ever before. But what happens when a house sells for below market value? While in most cases this just means a buyer got a good deal, one Vancouver property owner took legal action against her real estate agent for a property she says sold below market value.  Background The situation in question occurred in 2017 when a woman sold a house in Vancouver’s Dunbar area. The woman, who is now 94 years old, hired a realtor to sell the property, which was one... View Article

New laws may favor homebuyers

On Behalf of Porter Ramsay LLP | Jan, 07, 2022 | Real Estate Law

If buying a home is on your list of resolutions for the new year, you probably already know what a difficult road you have ahead. Housing prices in British Columbia continue to climb, and the low number of homes on the market seems to put all the bargaining power on the side of the sellers. Additionally, you may end up dealing with a blind bidding situation, which increases your risk, not to mention your stress level.  Besides high prices and low inventory, one of the most common complaints about the homebuying process is the pressure to make a quick decision. Moving too slowly... View Article

Home buying still a priority for many in Generation Z

On Behalf of Porter Ramsay LLP | Oct, 01, 2021 | Real Estate Law

Affordability is a major hurdle to home ownership for young people today. However, despite this challenge, three quarters of adults in Generation Z cite buying a home as a goal for them, and over half of these people say they are very likely to reach this goal. In fact, 15% in the study already owned homes. While younger adults are clearly eager and focused on purchasing homes, there is no doubt they face some challenges. These include: Rising prices: The cost of homes continues to rise, and young people who have yet to enter the market are contending with a... View Article

Common types of real estate investments

On Behalf of Porter Ramsay LLP | Jul, 22, 2021 | Real Estate Law

Real estate investment is a large topic, covering everything from fixer-uppers to ownership of large complexes. For British Columbia investors looking to get into the real estate market, it can help to know the different investment options available to them. While there are many “types” of real estate investment that can be pursued, here are some of the most common: Rental units inside a primary residence: This is one of the more common ways of maximizing the value of a primary residence. It involves renting out part of the home, such as a basement or a bedroom. Short-term rentals may... View Article

3 things to scrutinize when buying a home

On Behalf of Porter Ramsay LLP | Jun, 24, 2021 | Real Estate Law

When buying a property, everyone hopes they are dealing with an honest seller. While there are British Columbia laws designed to protect buyers from shady sellers, it is still a good idea to be on the lookout for certain things that can be designed to “cover up” issues with a home. Here are three things buyers should scrutinize when checking out a house: Boxes, rugs, and other things that could be covering defects: Buyers should not shy away from moving things away from the walls or off the floor to see what lurks behind. Keep a close eye out for... View Article

How do lenders determine mortgage amounts?

On Behalf of Porter Ramsay LLP | Apr, 30, 2021 | Real Estate Law

When applying for a mortgage, the lender approves a certain amount based on what the underwriter thinks the applicant can afford. This is true whether one is applying for his or her first mortgage, getting an additional mortgage, or looking to add to the balance through refinancing. British Columbia borrowers can benefit from knowing what lenders are looking for when looking over their application. Some of the numbers lenders look at when approving a mortgage are: Debt to income ratio (DTI) Gross income (pre-tax earnings) Mortgage-to-income ratio (how much gross income is allocated to for housing costs on a monthly... View Article