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Buyers Know your Builders

Blog by Mike Alleyne | September 16th, 2012

Just a gentle reminder to buyers to work with a buyer's realtor and do your homework. I was recently reading that the B.C. Place huge $563 million overhaul was immediatley followed by some minor leaks. With a budget like that you'd think the stadium roof would have been sealed tight with a kiss (and a state of the art vapor barrier that couldn't possible leak in its first months). Not so, and minor repairs are now underway. That's not your and my bill, oh wait maybe, because it's publicly owned. I guess we'll see what is covered by insurance. But that is exactly my point. Buyers need to know their builders and with the assistance of a realtor, do your homework, before you sign off.

Television programs like Holmes on Homes showing disasters encountered with builders and renovators shed a light on the importance of checking out the builder of a home you are interested in purchasing. In fact, checking out the builder is a very important element of the Buyer's Checklist. BC has a bit of a history of leaks with it's Vancouver Leaky Condo Fiasco. It became a rule of thumb for realtors to warn buyers to do their homework particularly on any condos built between 1980 and 2000.

Times changed over the years with formation of the BC Housing division called the Homeowner Protection Office and website which provides a great deal of information. It is this office that licenses residential builders and also provides a searchable registry of licensees. It is important to check if your builder is licensed and, if so, are they in good standing.

Also, BC now has mandatory third party insurance on all new residential construction. There is an online guide that assists homeowners to know what is and is not covered under the new home insurance.

Buying a home is one of the biggest investments of your life. Make sure to do your homework. Your realtor will likely have done their homework on the builder, but I encourage buyers to as well.