Tag Archives: repairs

Lack of home inspection leads to no surprises

At least it should come as no surprise that buying a home with no inspection leads to numerous nightmare scenarios when you actually inspect the property after purchase.

“Recently, I had one house that was so catastrophic, it needed some $350,000 in repairs. They were not expecting that at all because it was newly renovated. But that only concealed all the issues. It was lipstick on a pig. It needs a new foundation, piping, you name it, it needs to be done,” said Anderson, who has been an inspector for six years and was a builder for 25 before that.

A million bucks doesn’t get you what it used to in east van:

Last October, the 40-year-old and his spouse bid $955,000 on an older home in Hastings-Sunrise. It was listed at $899,000 and “we heard there were five bids. We were in the middle. We expected this and wanted to have a differentiating factor.”

Ahead of taking possession, “we had asked if we could get in to do some measuring for our furniture, but they wouldn’t allow it,” said Girard.

On moving day, they arrived to find “an absolute disaster,” said Girard, who described the home as being “not safe for our one-year-old daughter. That was the biggest problem.”

There were also holes in the wall, exposed electrical lines, flooring that didn’t meet walls, kitchen cabinets sitting unevenly over dirt floors covered in rodent droppings. The house, when they had seen it, had been “staged. They had positioned things to cover up problems. Drywall had been ripped out. There weren’t enough circuit breakers for things like the stove to be powered. We had to MacGyver things to make them work.”

Unsurprisingly, the Home Inspectors Association of BC recommends that you get a home inspection before buying.  Read the full article over at the Financial Post.

We’re still building leaky condos

We received this PDF from Robert Funk, a building technologist who specializes in four story wood frame envelope failure.

Robert says that despite the Leaky condo crisis across the lower mainland we’re still building condos that will have water problems.

Here’s an excerpt and a few pictures from the PDF, download the full PDF here for the complete story.

“The way we’ve always done it”

Written by Robert Funk

Leaky Condo remediation has come a long way in the last decade. In the last decade we have realized what a mess has been made and covered up in the walls of our homes. There are countless stories of heart break caused by financial devastation. First you purchase a home that you can afford and make payments on for the next 25 years in which time your building falls apart. Then comes the infighting of strata and owners, some for some against remediation. You pay a large sum of money, usually more than your original savings and down payment. Then for the next 18 months you live like a hostage under a tarp with loud apelike construction workers climbing in and out of your windows and banging on your walls. Welcome to Home Owner Hell.

I’m a building technologist and I specialize in Four Story Wood Framed Envelope Failure. This means I take buildings apart for a living. Things have changed allot, Rain screen,we discovered was used on 100 year old houses, (we never had to take them apart so it took a long time to discover this). Many more things have changed but some things have stayed the same and some have gotten even worse.

Continue reading We’re still building leaky condos

Ye’ olde rent vs. buy argument

Donald pointed out this discussion over at the SeattleBubble blog about 10 reasons NOT to buy a home:

  1. Renters don’t have to fix leaky plumbing, pay for a new roof, or buy major appliances.
  2. The moment you sign the closing papers, you lose ~10% of your home’s value.
  3. Better job offer in another city? Hope you can afford to sell…
  4. Lousy neighbors move in next door? Too bad, you’re basically stuck!
  5. Your down payment and equity are anything but liquid.

Read the rest of the list at SeattleBubble.com.  One interesting thing to consider is this list is based on a theoretical situation where home prices are at reasonable levels and supported by local economic fundamentals.  In a hot housing market where prices only go up and people fight for the right to overbid on a teardown in a bad neighborhood it’s always a good idea to buy instead of rent.  Always.