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Old 06-06-2016, 09:41 PM   #6476
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Guys... What should I look for when buying a roughly 10yr old townhouse? Agent sent over a bunch of docs already. How should I analyse them?
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Old 06-06-2016, 09:55 PM   #6477
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Guys... What should I look for when buying a roughly 10yr old townhouse? Agent sent over a bunch of docs already. How should I analyse them?
The first thing you should look at is the depreciation report (if there's one available). The report will tell you the general condition of the property and how and when repairs and maintenance need to be done. You can compare what's recommended in the report in terms of funding those repairs to the strata's annual budget. If the strata hasn't been topping up the contingency reserve fund beyond the legislated 10%, then you'll have to figure out how much to budget for the inevitable repairs, such as a roof replacement, on your own.

Second, you should have 2 years of strata minutes and budgets. You should go over these carefully to get a feel for how the complex is managed and where the weak points are.

The third thing you should look at is the survey documents. What part of the townhouse is part of your strata lot? (i.e. the part that you maintain)? What part is limited common property? (i.e. the part that the strata maintains) Do you have a garage? Is it part of the strata lot, or is it limited common property? This is important if it's the latter as there are likely rules governing how you can use your garage. Do you have yard space? Where does it begin and where does it end?

Fourth, you should look over the bylaws and the rules. For example, are you looking into a stacked townhouse? It's probably a good idea to look for a bylaw that pertains to hardwood flooring installations. How many pets are you allowed? Are rentals allowed? Etc.
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Old 06-06-2016, 10:40 PM   #6478
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Guys... What should I look for when buying a roughly 10yr old townhouse? Agent sent over a bunch of docs already. How should I analyse them?
Isn't that what you're paying your agent for? To advise you about things to look for...
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Old 06-06-2016, 10:53 PM   #6479
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Guys... What should I look for when buying a roughly 10yr old townhouse? Agent sent over a bunch of docs already. How should I analyse them?
Where's your realtor to advise you with the process?
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Old 06-06-2016, 10:55 PM   #6480
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Isn't that what you're paying your agent for? To advise you about things to look for...
If you want a job done properly, you should do it yourself.

You can't really rely on an agent to look out for your interests. They won't advise beyond the superficial because they don't want to be held liable. They prepare the paperwork and that's pretty much it.
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Old 06-06-2016, 11:20 PM   #6481
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If you want a job done properly, you should do it yourself.

You can't really rely on an agent to look out for your interests. They won't advise beyond the superficial because they don't want to be held liable. They prepare the paperwork and that's pretty much it.
That's the norm now because there are so many shitty agents, but historically their job is to advise.

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Old 06-06-2016, 11:28 PM   #6482
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Especially on the important stuff about the building and surrounding area themselves, I wouldn't rely on the agent exclusively.

I know of a case where an owner has just purchased a unit with a view of the waters, only to find out a week later that a developer has been trying to get approval from the city to build a low rise complex that would completely block his view of the waters. The application process has already been in place with the city for almost a good 1/2 year prior to the purchase, so it was impossible for anyone to not know if they tried looking. He was contemplating suing the real estate agent for negligence at one point, and I don't know whether he has actually proceeded to do so or not.
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Old 06-07-2016, 12:08 AM   #6483
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I think people underestimate the buying power locals have even at these prices.
buying power based on what? shitty incomes? the bank's willingness to lend stupid amounts based on asset prices (that if/when they come down, they won't renew). Let's not forget that savings rates in BC are negative - where is the long term local buying power coming from? Even greater debt? Is this sustainable (the answer is no) - the only local buying power is from those that have sold, but this is not real wealth when sales proceeds are used on another home (unless you downsize and take the differential as cash/cash equivalent)

people have asked what will cause a crash, something small will do it, it's just a case of when it will happen:

If one of the following happens:
China slightly cracks down
The Canadian/BC government actually does something to represent and support its locals (in the long term view) - this looks like the least likely event
A group gets spooked for some unknown reason and that pocket of selling gathers traction
Rates rise to the point where affordability

As soon as market prices go down, people get into the issue of not being able to renew mortgages as banks cannot lend above a certain LTV - I'm not an expert on the rules anymore, but this is what will cause a spiraling issue.

Yes, we can say 'there are plenty of buyers on the sideline" - but smart investors don't catch a falling knife, they wait until the bottom / after the bleeding has stopped.

Just food for thought rather than blindly saying "locals have so much buying power" or "the chinese will buy up everything if prices crash" - this is what the real estate board and crusty want you to believe, but if you have to live in vancouver, do you honestly think this is sustainable and will continue? no where else in the world has a bubble like this ever sustained
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Old 06-07-2016, 12:37 AM   #6484
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I thought banks will renew your mortgage with them as long as you remain with the same bank (they don't want you to default on your mortgage because it will end up costing them more), if you try another institution then you'd be screwed.
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Old 06-07-2016, 12:44 AM   #6485
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It was pretty bad in the late 70's, early 80's in terms of the economic health of Canada and other western societies. I'm sure you could ask your parents what it was like to own a home at that time. A lot of my parents' friends went bankrupt as they couldn't pay their mortgages, especially young couples.
My parents arrived on a boat during that time with $0 in there pocket so couldn't even afford a home. Guess they were lucky?
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Old 06-07-2016, 01:05 AM   #6486
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Where ultra-rich buying homes - Business Insider
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Old 06-07-2016, 03:08 AM   #6487
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I thought banks will renew your mortgage with them as long as you remain with the same bank (they don't want you to default on your mortgage because it will end up costing them more), if you try another institution then you'd be screwed.
I think we need someone in the mortgage industry or in the know to inform us, i thought there were rules about maximum mortgages - government body rules, not bank rules. something about max mortgage based on a certain interest rate... i can't recall
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Old 06-07-2016, 09:12 AM   #6488
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That's the norm now because there are so many shitty agents, but historically their job is to advise.

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I remain ambivalent about the role that realtors play, but let's think about this for a moment.

Real estate agents are not engineers, they are not urban planners, nor are they lawyers. They do not have a fiduciary relationship with their clients, so why they should put their asses on the line and tell their client what to do?

I'm sure there are realtors out there who rely on the old ways of doing business in terms of providing non-expert advice. But, think about how many people are out there who are willing to own up to their own decisions and instead are willing to blame others and taking others to court for their own decisions? I can't really blame the real estate board for wanting to protect its members from frivolous lawsuits.
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Old 06-07-2016, 10:02 AM   #6489
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buying power based on what? shitty incomes? the bank's willingness to lend stupid amounts based on asset prices (that if/when they come down, they won't renew).
I tend to agree with what you're saying, but this struck me the other day and got me thinking.

Quote:
Baby boomers will inherit $750 billion over the next decade: CIBC

TORONTO – One of Canada’s big banks estimates that $750 billion will be inherited by members of the Boomer generation over the next decade.

CIBC says there are currently about 2.5 million Canadians over the age of 75 with a total net worth of $900 billion or more.

The bank adds that the beneficiaries will be mainly Canadians currently aged between 50 and 75 years.

READ MORE: Retiring boomers could cost economy $11,500 a head in lost growth

CIBC says that it’s difficult to estimate how much of the money will be passed on to the Boomer generation in the future, so it has focused on what Canadians have actually received through inheritance.

It says the average inheritance received by the 50-75 age cohort over the past decade was $180,000.

CIBC forecasts the average inheritance will be higher than that, due to the increased value of assets – particularly homes.

Baby boomers will inherit $750 billion over the next decade: CIBC - National | Globalnews.ca
That's quite the influx of stagnant cash that is going to be passed down to the next generation. This could mean higher sales for Porsches, but it could also mean a good opportunity for families to help each other get into the housing market. Let's face it, if we're going the route that Europe has gone, chances are homes in the top markets are going to be kept in the family.

There was another article that says there is $180 billion worth of real estate that is clear title, so no mortgage. That is a lot of money that could be leveraged.

Am I selfish to want the market to cool?


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Who the hell is buying luxury real estate in South Africa?
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Old 06-07-2016, 10:10 AM   #6490
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Inheritance, taking on equity built by family members, buying the family house below market value.

As well, imo for every 10 people who work 7.5 hour Monday-Friday jobs whining about how they can't afford anything, there are a handful busting their ass working 10-12 hour days mon-sat because they've come to the realization that's the only way they're going to make it.

Not to mention the thousands of small/medium size business owners, partners in those businesses, etc

It's not like every house is for sale all the time. Look at the inventory in the Hastings corridor/east Van. On MLS there are only like 20 listings in a 30 block radius. How is that not easily sustainable?
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Old 06-07-2016, 10:31 AM   #6491
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I think it's messed up that Canadian banks will allow new immigrants to take out mortgages on new housing purchases without a job in Canada.. My aunt is moving back to Canada after living in China for the last 15 years, she and her husband purchased a 500k apartment for herself and was able to get a 300k mortgage without employment since her husband was considered a new immigrant. She'll eventually pay it off once she sells her china property but this is what's jacking up the housing market so much to a point where locals can't afford to live in Vancouver anymore. I know at least a dozen people that paid 2 million cash and took out a 3 million mortgage at 2-3% to purchase a 5 million dollar Vancouver house, then took the 3 million and put it in a Chinese bank's term deposit to get back 5% interest. Free money, great for banks and the person with enough funds to do this but it really fucks over the working class in Vancouver... But what can you do, when a game gets popular, better and more skilled players will come. Either learn to play with them or move on to another game...
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Old 06-07-2016, 10:36 AM   #6492
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^ sure that works until the China economy collapses. Anyone owning property or term deposits in China will be........
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Old 06-07-2016, 10:52 AM   #6493
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^ sure that works until the China economy collapses. Anyone owning property or term deposits in China will be........
yes but that's unlikely to happen in the next 5 years. Investors in china are all about short term mindset, they'll do this for a year then take the money elsewhere. Nothing in China is about long term, all about making a quick buck and getting out.
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yes but that's unlikely to happen in the next 5 years. Investors in china are all about short term mindset, they'll do this for a year then take the money elsewhere. Nothing in China is about long term, all about making a quick buck and getting out.


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Old 06-07-2016, 11:44 AM   #6495
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Guys... What should I look for when buying a roughly 10yr old townhouse? Agent sent over a bunch of docs already. How should I analyse them?
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Originally Posted by Tapioca View Post
The first thing you should look at is the depreciation report (if there's one available). The report will tell you the general condition of the property and how and when repairs and maintenance need to be done. You can compare what's recommended in the report in terms of funding those repairs to the strata's annual budget. If the strata hasn't been topping up the contingency reserve fund beyond the legislated 10%, then you'll have to figure out how much to budget for the inevitable repairs, such as a roof replacement, on your own.

Second, you should have 2 years of strata minutes and budgets. You should go over these carefully to get a feel for how the complex is managed and where the weak points are.

The third thing you should look at is the survey documents. What part of the townhouse is part of your strata lot? (i.e. the part that you maintain)? What part is limited common property? (i.e. the part that the strata maintains) Do you have a garage? Is it part of the strata lot, or is it limited common property? This is important if it's the latter as there are likely rules governing how you can use your garage. Do you have yard space? Where does it begin and where does it end?

Fourth, you should look over the bylaws and the rules. For example, are you looking into a stacked townhouse? It's probably a good idea to look for a bylaw that pertains to hardwood flooring installations. How many pets are you allowed? Are rentals allowed? Etc.
@imp>dom You mean your agent did not do their own analysis and present them to you ? (E.g. if the townhome is a good value based on the attributes of the property).

You have lazy ass agent. Drop that agent. That agent probably just sends you daily listings that fall under some simple filter criteria.
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Old 06-07-2016, 12:31 PM   #6496
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@imp>dom You mean your agent did not do their own analysis and present them to you ? (E.g. if the townhome is a good value based on the attributes of the property).

You have lazy ass agent. Drop that agent. That agent probably just sends you daily listings that fall under some simple filter criteria.
Yeah, most definitely. I have a team I work with that's quite good, very attentive, and never really had any of these issues.
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Old 06-07-2016, 12:47 PM   #6497
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I've only worked with a few different real estate agents, but for the most part I kind of doubt they have the adequate knowledge to look at a depreciation report and interpret what type of condition things like building envelope etc are in/in need of.
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Old 06-07-2016, 01:15 PM   #6498
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I've only worked with a few different real estate agents, but for the most part I kind of doubt they have the adequate knowledge to look at a depreciation report and interpret what type of condition things like building envelope etc are in/in need of.
A young guy I work with was looking at finally moving away from home and buying a condo, he made an offer. His realtor was useless, he already had a mortgage broker but the realtor kept pushing that they use his broker (we all know why). They were being difficult about giving his broker the info needed to check the minutes, issues with the building ect...... After a few days and phone calls they finally get the info and find out that this condo he's looking at purchasing has a bunch of red flags, some serious issues and repairs that they've been putting off and the contingency was no where near where it should have been he should probably walk away.

He goes back to his realtor, the same one who failed to point out the red flags and there response is don't worry about it we'll get you approved with our broker. No concern about the problems, potential money he's going to have to pay down the road for repairs that are long past due nothing. There only concern was getting the sale done and screwing the kid I work with in the process on his first purchase.

He backs out of the deal, that realtor never called him back after that which is for the better. There might be some quality realtors out there but there is some garbage ones as well, cover your own ass. He's young and not really educated about what to look for, he's lucky his broker was looking out for him because his realtor wasn't.
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Old 06-07-2016, 01:32 PM   #6499
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I'm gonna be looking into buying a new townhouse after the new year. It would be my first time owning a place, would a realtor be a good idea when it comes to new builds or is it a waste of money if I know the area I want to be in?
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Old 06-07-2016, 01:47 PM   #6500
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I'm gonna be looking into buying a new townhouse after the new year. It would be my first time owning a place, would a realtor be a good idea when it comes to new builds or is it a waste of money if I know the area I want to be in?
Must be realtor.
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