Elias Metlej

Incentives help offset cost of making your home greener

As world leaders meet in Copenhagen for the UN Climate Change Conference, we should all be seeking ways to minimize our carbon footprint. As the realities of climate change become more apparent, efforts to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and energy use do not only start at home, but also with our...

Thursday, December 17, 2009, 1:30 PM

Affordable homes will not last much longer

If you are contemplating the purchase of a newly built home, you may want to make your decision soon. Otherwise the purchase could cost you about $7,000 more.As of Dec. 7, the provincial government’s website indicated that 1,309 applicants were eligible for the New Home Construction Rebate. This...

Thursday, December 10, 2009, 2:27 AM

Partnering in real estate is a risky venture

If you can’t afford an investment property on your own, you may want to consider a partner. However, those considering a partnership should appreciate such a venture involves more than a combination of funds and resources.Partnerships always stem from good intentions and common goals. When business...

Thursday, December 3, 2009, 2:28 AM

Misunderstanding allowances can be costly

Construction contracts for new homes incorporate allowances for specific materials and finishes. Each agreement will dictate an amount, which is included in the contract price, to cover the cost of prescribed items. Allowances for flooring, lighting, and cabinets are the most common in the industry...

Thursday, November 26, 2009, 7:29 AM

How to select your home inspector

A home inspector was recently ordered to pay nearly $200,000 in compensation to a Vancouver couple. This followed a B.C. Supreme Court ruling that the inspector had provided a faulty report to his customers. The negligent inspector failed to conduct a proper inspection of the entire home and did...

Thursday, November 19, 2009, 2:58 AM

When sales are all about business

I regularly get calls from people asking how long they have to live in a house before they can sell it without paying taxes. Many people believe that the answer lies solely in the timing of the transaction, that taxes can be avoided if they live in the house for at least one year. However, the...

Thursday, November 12, 2009, 5:05 AM

Leases: The final misudnerstood frontier

Navigating mortgage pre-approvals, open houses, and agreements of purchase and sale can be challenging. However, the largest hurdle that a buyer may face may not have anything to do with financial ability or finding a house. For many buyers, the last obstacle that they must overcome is the lease...

Thursday, November 5, 2009, 5:00 AM

Pre-approval lets you shop with confidence

Purchasing a home can be an overwhelming process. To ensure the transaction is smooth from start to finish, buyers should establish a plan and assemble a team of professionals who will assist with the process. Before meeting with a realtor or a lawyer, purchasers should consult with a mortgage...

Thursday, October 29, 2009, 4:08 AM

Potential lies in ‘highest and best use’

Several weeks ago I focused on the use of comparative market analysis to determine the value of a property. I referenced a client who purchased a property, subdivided it, and was able to resell the land at a significant profit. Identifying such potential requires a determination of a property’s...

Thursday, October 22, 2009, 4:50 AM

Doing the property tax shuffle

Property taxes are due this week. I anticipate receiving many calls next month from people asking why their mortgage payments have increased. The typical answer is the loan payment hasn’t changed but the property tax component has been adjusted. This stems from an inherent flaw in the system used...

Thursday, October 1, 2009, 6:49 AM

Breaking up is hard to do

Unfortunately, many couples have mortgage terms that last longer than their relationships. While breaking up may be an emotional experience, it can also be costly if there is a mortgage to deal with.When a relationship breaks down, legal and financial realities will dictate what will happen to the...

Thursday, September 24, 2009, 8:30 AM

Inspect on the big day

I don’t judge the success of a transaction by the condition of the home on the closing date. If I did, many would fail. Clients regularly discover problems during their final viewing of a property, also known as the “Pre-closing Inspection.” This is the last opportunity to make an objection prior...

Thursday, September 17, 2009, 6:11 AM

Know thy warranty

Whether buying a car or a camera, it’s comforting to know your investment is protected by a warranty. The same should apply to the purchase of a home — likely the biggest single investment one will make.There are several new home warranty programs available locally. The warranties provide coverage...

Thursday, September 10, 2009, 8:51 AM

Exhaust all ideas to maximize profit

Two-for-one deals are not common in the real estate market. Unfortunately, most of the situations I have encountered were unintentional. Misunderstanding a property’s potential can be an expensive mistake for sellers.I represented someone who bought a house on a large lot. Without hesitation, he...

Thursday, September 3, 2009, 9:38 AM

Looking at a fixer-upper? Consider this mortgage

If you are interested in buying an older home, but are not excited about the vintage pink bathroom fixtures or the fake wood panelling on the walls, you may want to consider a Purchase Plus Improvements Mortgage. This loan will provide you with enough to buy a home and cover the cost of upgrades....

Thursday, August 27, 2009, 8:36 AM

The ins and outs of caveat emptor

At least once a week, I get a call from someone who has purchased a home and has discovered a problem that was not known on closing. It would be extremely frustrating to discover a major defect in a house soon after purchasing it. Most of the callers will ask about suing the previous owner,...

Thursday, August 20, 2009, 10:31 AM

Study and understand restrictive covenants

When buying a property, you must study and understand the restrictive covenants that effect the land. Such covenants govern how the property can and cannot be used. Restrictive covenants are rules that create limitations or conditions for the use of a property. The provisions are typically spelled...

Thursday, August 13, 2009, 9:26 AM

Stay or go, reno or new?

A friend of mine lives in a small house on a large lot in an established neighborhood. His family is growing and he needs more space. However, he doesn’t want to leave the fabulous area he calls home. He is now faced with a very common, yet difficult question — does he stay and renovate or move and...

Thursday, August 6, 2009, 7:33 AM

Income properties for dummies

“Your mutual funds will not call you at 2:00 a.m. to complain that they don’t have heat.” This is the advice that I frequently give to people who are looking to purchase an investment property. While many people recognize the benefits of an income-generating asset, they often underestimate the...

Thursday, July 23, 2009, 8:35 AM

Common law: More complex

Four years and more than $80,000.00 later, the separation was complete. But this couple was not married and didn’t own the house together. The rights and responsibilities of common law partners are often overlooked, and not considered as seriously as those of married couples. If you own your home,...

Thursday, July 16, 2009, 9:25 AM