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Buying a house in Vancouver? Watch out for these red flags

Searching for real estate

Not all properties for sale in Vancouver are created equal. To help you pick out the better buys, we’ve created a list of red flags to watch out for during your property-hunting:

It’s been on the market for too long

Always inquire how long a property has been on the market. If a house remains unsold for more than 90 days, it might have serious underlying problems, or be overpriced.

You have to buy it “as is”

If a property is being sold “as is” or states that maintenance is required, that’s seller speak for the property requiring a lot of expensive repairs. It’s not unusual for repairs to go beyond what the seller originally stated. In some cases, the sellers themselves don’t even have a full grasp of the extent of repairs the house needs.

It’s in a bad neighbourhood

Observe the neighbourhood the property is in. Do you see a lot of empty storefronts or bars and grills on doors and windows? Is it close to airports, major highways, and other sources of noise pollution? If the answer to these questions is yes, then the house is in a bad neighbourhood.

If there aren’t any obvious signs, check local employment rates and schools in the area. You should also look at developments that could affect negatively affect the value of your property in the future. Remember that buying in a bad neighbourhood will make it harder for you to resell your property.

There are questionable inspection clauses

Some home inspection clauses are written with the protection of the buyer in mind. They guarantee the buyer’s right to have an inspection and agree to return your deposit if inspection results are not up to scratch.

Look for questionable inspection clauses that limit your rights as a buyer, ability to order a home inspection, or get your deposit back depending on the result.

There are outdated appliances or fixtures

If a house has outdated water heaters, furnaces, and air-conditioning units, then it’s a sure sign that you should walk away. These features are fire hazards, not energy efficient, and are costly to replace. Even if the house is a newer structure, remain vigilant; malfunctioning HVAC systems are not restricted to older homes.

It has non-compliant work

If you purchase a house has been renovated without a permit, you are liable for any fines it could incur. You could also be forced to remove the non-compliant work done at your own expense. It will also prevent you from making renovations because you won’t be able to get the required permits without alerting the city of your situation.

If a seller fails to show you the permit on a home renovation, consider it a red flag and walk away.

Need more advice on buying property in Vancouver? Don Munro of Don Munro Real Estate has been in the business for over 35 years and gives his clients the best home buying experience possible. Thinking of buying a home in the Lower Mainland, Vancouver, Chilliwack, Abbotsford, or Langley areas? Just give him a call at 6048177338 or send an email to botsoldmunro(at)gmail(dotted)com.

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