Legal or not the "mortgage helper" in West Vancouver?

On March 1, 2010, secondary suites became legal in West Vancouver.

What is a Secondary Suite?

A secondary suite is a separate residential unit within a home, generally located in the basement, and significantly smaller than the dwelling in which it is located. The size must be either 40% of the square footage of the home, up to a maximum of 968 sq.ft., whichever is less.

What Are the Fees to Register a Secondary Suite?

  • The application fee is $450, which covers the inspection and the first calendar year licence fee.
  • The annual renewal fee for rented suites in non-owner occupied homes is $450
  • The annual renewal fee for rental suites in owner-occupied homes is $350
  • The annual renewal fee for non-rented (unoccupied or family use) suites is $85

Why Does the District West Vancouver Require an Annual Fee?

The annual fee is intended to cover a portion of the additional costs to the District of West Vancouver of providing services to the tenant of the suite.  Such services include, but are not limited to, the Library, the Seniors' Centre, the Aquatic Centre, the Community Centre and Police and Fire Department Services.

What Are the BC Building Code Requirements?

After May 31, 2012, all owners will be required to comply with the full BC Building Code Standards which may incur extra costs by requiring them to:

  • provide a separate heating system for the suite
  • add or alter an existing sprinkler system
  • provide a 45 minute fire separation between the suite and dwelling
  • provide both an ionized and photo-electric interconnected hard wired smoke alarm in the suite and dwelling
  • increase the width of the exit stairs or corridors to the suite
  • provide a self closing solid core door between the dwelling and the suite
  • provide an exit door to the suite which swings on a vertical access (no sliders)
  • remove or provide protection to doors and windows of the dwelling that could expose the suite exit stairs to fire
  • enclose exposed combustible plumbing piping in the suite as it is not permitted to pass through the rated floor system
  • upgrade the electrical and plumbing systems to those code standards
  • make any other alterations necessary to bring the suite and the dwelling into compliance with the BC Building Code or other provincial regulations

What Are the Risks of Having an Unregistered Suite?

Unregistered suites are in contravention of the Zoning Bylaw and owners may be subject to fines and/or other enforcement, including:

  • Fines may be as high as $10,000
  • A lien may be placed on the property to prevent it from being sold with contraventions in place
  • A Court Order requiring the owner to take remedial action (stop renting, remove the suite, apply for permits etc.)

Other implications of having an illegal suite:

  • The value of the home on the real estate market is decreased
  • Illegal suites are not covered by insurance in the case of fire
  • Basic life and safety features may not be available including sufficient emergency egress, fire extinguishers and smoke detectors

Alternatives to Registering Your Suite

If a home owner does not wish to register their suite, they have the option to decommission it. This is a simple process which involves the following steps:

  • Hiring a qualified electrician to obtain an electrical permit to remove the stove wiring from wall outlet and from electrical panel
  • Removing all cooking facilities from the suite, which means equipment, devices or appliances that can be utilized to prepare a meal. i.e. stove, hot plate, microwave, etc.
  • Submitting a declaration to the District of West Vancouver once the work has been completed

the information has been provided by city hall of West Vancouver.



Дефицит недвижимости класса люкс? West Vancouver

Давно невиданный спрос царит сейчас на рынках недвижимости класса люкс Нью-Йорка и Лондона. Количество предложений, например, на Манхеттене, тает буквально на глазах, и купить квартиру стоимостью 8 млн долл. там сейчас уже крайне сложно. Как сообщил сайт недвижимости Street Easy.com, объем предложений на рынке элитной недвижимости упал до минимального уровня, который отмечался в 2007 году.

По данным Street Easy.com, резкое падение числа предложений зафиксировано в сегменте квартир и домов по цене более 5 млн долл. Не случайно, по информации консалтинговой фирмы Miller Samuel и маклерской компании Prudential Douglas Elliman, количество проданных на Манхеттене люксовых апартаментов в третьем квартале этого года превысило показатель того же периода минувшего года на 17%. Кстати, в качестве люксового сегмента маклеры рассматривают лишь верхние 10% проданной по самой высокой цене жилой недвижимости.

Глава консалтинговой фирмы Miller Samuel в Нью-Йорке Джонатан Миллер считает, что нынешний бум на покупку недвижимости длится уже с ноября прошлого года. Начало ему положила продажа одного из особняков, расположенных по элитному адресу Central Park West 15 за 40 млн долл. В том же месяце другая вилла в комплексе Superior Ink Condominiums and Townhouses сменила владельца за 31,5 млн долл.

Эти рекорды могут пасть, если бывшему главе Citigroup Санфорду Вэйлу удастся продать свой пентхаус в Central Park West 15 почти за 88 млн долл. Именно по такой цене он выставил 11 ноября свою недвижимость, площадь которой составляет 627 кв.м и которая занимает целый этаж, на продажу. Если сделка на таких условиях, все-таки, состоится, то назначенная им цена квадратного метра приблизительно в 140 350 долл. (110 тыс. евро) буквально взорвет все существовавшие до сих пор в этом бизнесе представления.

Согласно данным международной консалтинговой фирмы Knight Frank, пока что самой дорогой недвижимостью в мире считается комплекс апартаментов One Hyde Park в Лондоне. Здесь стоимость квадратного метра составляет почти 88 тыс. евро, а рост ее к 2016 году прогнозируется до уровня примерно 125 тыс. евро. Справедливой же ценой квадратного метра в Central Park West 15 эксперты Knight Frank называют 65 тыс. евро.

В мире существует всего пять городов, стоимость квадратного метра в недвижимости может превышать 50 тыс. евро: наряду с Лондоном и Нью-Йорком это – Гонконг, Монако и Париж.

Район Вест Ванкувера остается пока незамеченным для многих инвесторов из-за рубежа. Но те кто приобрел или в процессе поиска недвижимости в West Vancouver, может гарантированно уже сегодня подсчитать миллионные прибыли полученные через несколько лет в результате покупки дома в этом районе.

Fixed mortgage rates keep going down, variable rates keep going up... the gap between the two hasn't been this narrow in a long time. Unless a buyer is buying for the short term it's getting pretty hard to recommend anything but a fixed rate.

When friends, family become partners

When buying a home in Vancouver with friends, think of them as business partners. Make sure to draft a legal contract that addresses unexpected issues.

With home prices moving ahead at a healthy clip, some single residents of Vancouver are choosing to purchase a property with a friend or relative.

"I've had a number of clients over the years enter into this type of agreement," says Nadine de Palma, financial advisor.

"A lot of individuals, particularly younger adults, feel as if they have been priced out of the market so go in with a friend or a sibling to purchase the property. I see that as a trend that is going to gain momentum."

However, whether you are purchasing with a friend or relative, Ms. de Palma says this is essentially a business deal.

"If you're looking at buying a property together, friends are no different from business partners. Consult a lawyer and consider what you are doing," says Ray Leclair, real estate lawyer and vice-president of Title Plus at Law Pro. "The parties could enter into an agreement ... they should consider that they are business partners. The business is owning a house."

Mr. Leclair says the agreement should cover who pays for what in terms of purchasing and maintaining the house, as well as how the property will be divided if the friends decide to go their separate ways.

"With two young people starting out, if one dies or becomes incapacitated, you can be sure that the parents or the brothers or sisters are going to be in there," Mr. Leclair says. "That's where you want to have the agreement in place. If you don't have the agreement, you get a family member or litigation lawyer to settle the issue and that's never a good thing. It is worth talking to a real estate lawyer prior to, and not litigation lawyers after the fact."

Ms. de Palma says planning is key.

"I always start off by saying we cannot predict life so we have to plan for it. I recommend two plans ... your financial plan and your risk management plan," she says.

The financial plan covers how best to finance the purchase as well as examining how one party would continue to live in the home if the other owner wanted out of the agreement, Ms. de Palma explains.

"The other plan that I feel is important is a risk management plan. [There is the] possibility of becoming disabled or suffering a critical illness before aged 55. While most recover, it can be financially devastating," Ms. de Palma says. "I encourage individuals to look at life insurance, disability and critical illness. It allows that individual to maintain their half" of the property.

Mr. Leclair says individuals buying property together should take this as an opportunity to look over all their documentation.

"They should be looking at their domestic contract if they have one, their wills, their powers of attorney to make sure they are consistent," Mr. Leclair says. "If in my will I say everything goes to 'Jane,' yet my interest in my property I want to go to the person I am buying with, they would not be consistent at that point. Make sure all of your legal documents deal with the same assets in the same way."

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