Home buying help

Home Buyers, let me help you out!

“Home buying help” requirements can differ depending on your location and individual circumstances. It’s crucial to collaborate closely with experts and conduct extensive research. Here are the answers to help home buyers in navigating the transaction seamlessly!

If you have particular inquiries or require guidance at any stage of the process, please don’t hesitate to request more detailed assistance.

Mike’s Blog for Home Buyers

Helping my clients find their dream home or the perfect investment property in Vancouver gives me great satisfaction. My clients’ satisfaction with buying Vancouver real estate is my greatest reward!

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BC First Time Home Buyers Guide

Mike’s Home Buying Help FAQs

Helping my clients find their dream home or the perfect investment property in Vancouver greatly satisfies me. Please find below more useful resources for Buyers.

Helping my clients find their dream home or the perfect investment property in Vancouver gives me huge satisfaction. My clients’ satisfaction with buying a property in Vancouver real estate is my greatest reward; please see my testimonials.

I have been a Real Estate Board of Vancouver Medallion Club Member since 2007, recognizing the top 10% of Realtors in Vancouver. I have also been a Century 21 Centurion since 2006 and a Double Centurion since 2009. Since 2019, I have been licensed with Oakwyn Realty Downtown and have been a consistent top producer, receiving the Oakwyn Masters Award.


On this page, you will find resources you need to buy property in Vancouver, whether you’re a first-time Home Buyer purchasing your first condo, an experienced Vancouver Home Buyer upgrading, or a seasoned Real Estate Investor.

For First-Time Home buyers, I have a great series of videos that explain the buying process in detail from start to finish. Learn more about what we offer First Time Home Buyers.

For Buyers who have purchased properties before and real estate investors, I have videos and other resources on my home page, which is Vancouver’s top real estate video blog covering topics ranging from how to protect your interests when buying a property using a PCDS the difference between the BC Home Buyer Rescission Program and the 7 Day Rescission Period as well as the (updated) Monthly Real Estate Board of Greater Vancouver Statistics.


Private Client Services is one of the best real estate research tools available online for searching for Vancouver Real Estate. This system operates in real time, uploads new listings 24-36 hours before Realtor.ca or Realtylink.org, and tells you how much properties sell for when they sell. It even tells you when they are pulled off the market and when they go back on the market.

Follow the directions and you will have access to real estate market information far beyond what is offered on MLS.ca, Realtor.ca, or Realtylink.org. I have done extensive Beta (prototype) testing on this latest version of the system, so please let me know your thoughts on the system.

1) Date of acceptance.
This is when the buyer and seller agree to a price and conditions. Most offers are conditional, meaning the buyers agree to buy if they are satisfied with the condition of the home, the documentation associated with the home, and any other conditions in the contract. The buyer is usually given a week to satisfy their conditions, but this can vary depending on the deal.

2) Subject Removal Date
The end of the conditional period when the buyer removes the conditions from their offer is referred to as the Subject Removal Date (conditions are often referred to as subjects). This is the next important date for a real estate transaction. By removing the conditions, the buyer agrees to pay the purchase price on the Completion Date unconditionally. It is the buyers’ responsibility to get a building inspection, inspect the home’s documentation, finalize their financing, and fulfill any other conditions before the Subject Removal Date. If the buyer does not fulfill these conditions or remove the subjects the deal will collapse.

3) Completion Date
This is the date when the buyer pays the purchase price and becomes the registered owner of the property. It is also the date when the seller receives the purchase price and gives up ownership of the property. The buyer does not move in on the completion date.

4) Possession Date
Move in day starts from 12 noon on the Possession Date. The sellers must have all of their possessions moved out of the home at this time.

A credit score shows how a Home Buyer has paid their bills.

Credit scores range from 300 to 900. If a Home Buyer has paid their bills on time and not missed any payments, their credit score will be higher than a Home Buyer who is consistently late in making payments, missed payments, or has had a bankruptcy.

The higher a Home Buyer scores, the better it looks to lenders concerned about not getting the money they lend back.


I recently had the absolute pleasure of interviewing Karli Shih, a top Vancouver mortgage broker with Dominion Lending Centres Commercial Capital Inc., about your Credit Score and how it applies to buying a property in Vancouver.

A credit score will affect how much a Home Buyer can spend on buying a property in Vancouver.

The better the credit score, the lower the interest rate, and the lower the interest rate, the more a Home Buyer can borrow.

This process also works in reverse.

The lower the credit score, the higher the interest rate and the less a Home Buyer can borrow. If the credit score is too low, a prospective Home Buyer may be unable to borrow any money for a property.


A high credit score from paying bills on time, avoiding missed payments, and bankruptcy will pay off when buying a home. If you’re considering buying a property in Vancouver, make sure to FIRST (Before your Realtor) sure you speak to a mortgage broker (Like Karli Shih!) before you do anything to get a clear picture of how much you can spend.


Keep this in mind if you’re buying a condo in Vancouver. A condo that initially looks solid as a rock, maybe a festering rotten mess inside the walls or in other places you can’t see.



Use a qualified Realtor specializing in the area you’re buying.  They will know which buildings are or have been Leaky Condos.

To make sure they know their stuff, Use this simple test:

Ask them which buildings (ask them about specific addresses or building names to be sure) in the area you’re interested in are leakers and which ones have or had problems. If they have lots of info on this topic and can name specific addresses and names of buildings that are problematic you’ll know they know their stuff. If they’re vague or don’t know anything, keep looking for a Realtor.  Also, Don’t hire your father-in-law’s uncle who’s a Realtor in the ‘Burbs and needs directions to get to showings.

Go with a Realtor who knows the product (like me!). It’ll save you time and money.


Reading 2 years of Strata Council Minutes and most importantly any and all Engineering Reports and/or Envelope Assessments is the simplest way to know if you’re buying a leaky condo. Look for references to leaks, water ingress, repairs for water ingress, references to Engineering Reports or Envelope Assessments, or anything else that relates to repairing water damage.


Having your Realtor make your offer Subject to Inspection and then hiring a Qualified and Certified Home Inspector is the CHEAPEST INSURANCE AGAINST BUYING A LEAKY CONDO. If ANYONE (your Realtor, the Sellers Realtor) says you don’t need a home inspection, a red flag should go up in your mind immediately. Have a look at my video on why you should always hire a home inspector

Have your Home Inspector read over the Strata Minutes and any Engineering Reports before the inspection and have the Inspector compare the documents to what they see. That’s a good way to ensure what’s in the documentation is accurate.


If you have questions or don’t understand the Strata Documents ask your Realtor and if you have questions or don’t understand the Engineering Report ask your Home Inspector. Never be afraid of asking questions and be wary of those who refuse to answer your questions.

Check out this article from the CMHC about leaky condos

Questions on financing a Leaky Condo? Check out my video on How to Get a Mortgage on a Leaky Condo!

Want to AVOID BUYING A LEAKY CONDO? Check out my First Time Home Buyers Guide! Its a series of videos that explain the home buying process in Vancouver in detail, with great tips on how to avoid buying a leaky condo.

There are very few expensive risks in the real estate market here in Vancouver.

Buying into a building with a bad envelope or leaky condo is one of those few extremely expensive risks here in Vancouver.

Here in Canada, the federal government changed the building codes in the early 1980s to increase the Energy Efficiency of buildings in response to the energy crises of the 1970s and 1980s.

Basically, the federal government mandated that between 1981 and 1999 buildings should have airtight or sealed walls.

Traditional building technology in Canada allows for breathable walls where water can drain out if it gets inside the walls.

This change to the building code worked fine for the rest of Canada where Winters are cold and dry. In Vancouver and the south coast of BC, it did not work very well.

Vancouver and the south coast of BC are in a temperate rainforest with a lot of wind-blown rain.

Many of the buildings built between 1981 and 1999 had water blown into the walls that couldn’t drain out for evaporate.

This caused massive issues with mould, rot, and rust, among other things.

Many buildings still have this wall system that has not been repaired.


These buildings will eventually fail and/or need to be repaired and will need to be repaired with what is called rain screen technology.

If the envelope fails in the building starts leaking you have problems with financing condos in such a building.

If you can’t finance a condo with a mortgage you can’t sell it or if you can sell it, you may have to take a big discount.

Even if it doesn’t start leaking but it needs to be repaired the cost of that repair is in most cases quite high.

I am not suggesting don’t buy into an older building.

If you want to purchase an older condo, you should be very mindful of the building envelope systems.

Please have a look at this great article on Rainscreening on Wikipedia.

We are going to discuss the process of buying and owning residential properties in Vancouver and British Columbia, for ONLY Canadian citizens who are end users and for investors who are non-residents of Canada.

This will be a very different conversation compared to what we would discuss with a Canadian resident.

We’ll also talk about the process to rent out properties before moving in or to keep them as investments, along with taxation.


  • We are not going into minute detail on tax, renting, and purchasing as we’re talking about an entire province with a lot of variation and many, varied types of properties. Instead, we are going to give an overview of the process of buying, holding, and taxation of real estate in BC.
  • For more detailed questions, myself and all of the panelists have plenty of time after the webinar to answer all of your detailed questions at length. Furthermore, if you have any questions that we cannot answer because it is outside of our area of expertise, we will find those who can answer those questions after the webinar.
  • We are not going to discuss purchases by non-Canadian citizens, due to BC’s 20% Foreign Buyers’ Tax and Canada’s Foreign Buyer Ban. This also includes foreign homebuyers, foreign investors, purchase by a foreign corporation, and foreign investment.

I will start with a discussion of current market conditions across British Columbia with a particular focus on the Vancouver area, but at vancouvernewcondos.com you’ll find a network of 10 realtors who cover Greater Vancouver, the Fraser Valley, southern Vancouver Island, the Okanagan Valley, and Northern BC. I will also discuss the effect of COVID-19 on the market here in BC.

Please do keep in mind that British Columbia is a province of over 5 million people and almost a million square kilometres, so we will be discussing generalities in this webinar. We are keen to answer all questions, so if you are not able to have your questions answered here, feel free to reach out to any of us after, at any time.

Next, Adam Scalena, a Vancouver Realtor, will discuss the process of purchasing a property in BC as a non-resident (by visiting or doing so remotely) and how we can make it a simple and easy process for buyers who are not located in BC.

Then, Klaus Rode will discuss the process of renting a property once you have purchased it. This will include a discussion of how Klaus finds and qualifies potential tenants, how rent collection is now automated, and how he helps with taxes on rent. We will also touch on what happens if there are issues with a tenancy.

Finally, Ruby Chouhan, will discuss non-resident property purchase and ownership taxation, and taxation issues around purchasing and owning properties as a non-resident Canadian citizen in BC. 

we have a network of real estate, mortgage, rental, and tax professionals across BC who can answer any questions after this webinar.

Market Conditions


Many people (like me!) think of their pets as being part of the family. When buying a condo people often overlook whether or not their pet will be welcome or allowed in the building they are buying. This oversight can be very expensive.

In the video, I relate the story of my client who bought a place privately before he met me, only to realise there were no pets allowed in his new condo. He had to sell this place and buy a new place it is was not cheap. Always check those pet restrictions!

Have a look at what the respected national law firm Heenan Blaikie has to say on pet restrictions and condos for the legal perspective.

This is what the British Columbia government says about pet bylaws in Strata Properties. Remember a Strata can restrict pets based on size, number, breed, weight. Always read those bylaws and check the Strata minutes for any impending changes to the pet bylaws that may occur after Completion.

Feel free to drop me a line if you have any questions about Pets and Stratas and Bylaws and please do leave a comment!

See How to buy a Presale condo in Vancouver Blog.