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Purchaser Protection

Building Inspections

Residential real estate is sold “as is” so a professional building inspection is always a good idea and highly recommended.  There is no such thing as a perfect house.  Many components of a house wear out over time such as roofs, furnaces, hot water tanks etc.  To avoid surprises after the fact, an inspection is worth the cost.

 

Town Hall

Town Hall can be a valuable resource, however, they do charge a fee to view individual property files.  The property file contains copies of any correspondence with previous owners, inspections and house plans.

 

Woodstoves

Like any appliance, woodstoves wear out.  Only C.S.A. certified model, installed properly will pass the Fire Marshall’s inspection.  A woodstove inspection is only valid for one (1) year, even then, it may not pass today’s requirements as the installation regulations change from time to time.  Some defects may not be apparent to the untrained eye.

 

Flues

Masonry or metal flues should be inspected.  Masonry flues can crack with heavy or improper use.  Not all metal flues are approved, only the newer C.S.A. approved ones are.  Remote camera devices are used to inspect the inside of flues.

 

Appliances

Used appliances do not come with a warranty, however, they should be in working order on possession day.

Bugs

Every house has them.  Some are harmless, others are not.  If the previous owner had animals you could end up with fleas or dander.  Damp wood or wood burried in soil can attract termites, other insects and rot.

Boundaries

Property lines can be verified by locating the white corner posts indicating where the metal peg should be.  Over the years they go missing and/or moved by children.  A site survey or legal map can assist in locating them.  A fence, hedge or grass line does not necessarily indicate the property line. 

Some areas are in a designated flood plain.  It is prudent to know if your new property is.

Site Surveys

          If bank financing is involved, they generally request the purchaser supply the site survey as part of their financing requirements.  Not all sellers have these on their property.  If it is very old, unreadable or changes/additions have been made, it may be necessary to get a new one done.

Oil

          Your furnace oil is a chattel and not included in a sale unless specifically indicated so on YOUR agreement.  The previous owner can request that you pay for the remaining oil on possession day or have it pumped out.

Tanks

          Many propane tanks are leased.  The new owner may be required to sign a new lease agreement with the company that owns it.  Above ground oil tanks can be easily dealt with and removed.  However, those that are burried underground will present a problem on the purchase of a property.  They represent possible contamination sites that are expensive and complicated to remove and clean up.  Environmental reports and oil tank removals are expensive.

Tenants

          Unless a lease is in place most tenants are on a month to month tenancy.  A would-be landlord should be familiar with the Residential Tenancy Act of B.C.  This changes from time to time as legislation changes.  Proper notice and procedures must be followed to terminate a tenancy.  Because of the human element there are no guarantees.

Cleanliness

Everyone’s standard of cleanliness is different.  There are no guarantees that a property will be left clean to your standards.  On viewing a property you can get an idea of how it might be left.  To be safe, count on cleaning it yourself or hiring someone to do this. 

Garbage

          Unfortunately, the odd occasion of a seller not removing all their garbage on possession date does occur.  Garbage removal does involve time, effort and money.  In some situations this can be handled right in the offer if a large ammount of garbage is noticed when the property is viewed.

Keys

          One or some keys will be turned over to the new homeowner on possession day.  As realtors we cannot authorize you to have the key any sooner than what has been agreed upon in writing.  Because homeowners misplace keys, loose, loan or lend them, you may wish to rekey the home you have purchased. 

Utilities

          Every new owner must apply to receive service.  The Hydro Plus program requires that a separate service agreement be signed.

Insurance

          As a requirement of bank financing, proof of adequate building fire insurance must be provided.