Leaky Condos Are Everywhere in Vancouver.
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.
4 ways to avoid buying a Leaky Condo
1) Use a qualified, experienced Realtor who specializes in the area you are buying in.
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.
2) Read the Strata Documents and any and all Engineering Reports
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.
3) Make your offer Subject to Inspection by a Qualified and Certified Home Inspector.
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.
4) Ask Questions!
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.
I’d love to hear your questions or thoughts in the form of a comment below!