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How to avoid buying a leaky condo in Vancouver

October 31, 2016

  1. Use an experienced Realtor that is an expert in the area you’re looking to purchase. This is the single most important thing any Buyer can do! You should always use an experience Real Estate Agent that is an expert in the area you wish to purchase in. This realtor will know most, if not every building and it's history as most likely they will have bought or sold a unit in each complex and been through a home inspection. They will also understand which era of buildings were built in the ‘leaky condo’ era and what to look for in a building that would raise red flags. I.E. walls that are exposed to elements, over hangs, maintenance, type of wall cladding, etc.

  2. Read the strata documents. It is your Realtor's job to read the strata documents to make sure there are not any red flags that would point to a major wall remediation. A Listing Agent will have 2 years of strata documents available as well as any engineers reports and a depreciation report if the building has commissioned one. Any building built between 1980 and 1999, which is the year where most leaky condos were built, that does not have a depreciation report or engineers report is a high risk building that you should avoid!

  3. Have the condo inspected by a Professional Home Inspector. Your Realtor will know of a few experienced Home Inspectors that you can choose from that will give a thorough inspection of not only the condo but the exterior, roof and underground parkade of the building. This is the best money you can spend to give you peace of mind when purchasing.

  4. Purchase newer construction! Building code in Vancouver changed in 1999 so buying a condo built after 1999 will help protect you from buying a leaky condo in Vancouver. That being said, a wall cladding system is only as good as it is maintained. Strata complexes should have a maintenance program for their wall system such has doing yearly visual inspections and having a depreciation report.

  5. Ask questions! Purchasing a home is one of the biggest decisions of your life so ask your Realtor and Home Inspector questions if you have any. That is what they are there for. It is there responsibility to guide you through this process but it never hurts to ask and there are no dumb questions when purchasing a home.

If you have any questions about this topic or Real Estate in Vancouver feel free to contact Peter Raab, Vancouver Real Estate Agent.

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