Real Estate Traps Sellers’ Agents Don’t Want You to Know About – Vancouver Real Estate, Hidden Rules

We are the Vancouver real estate website BurnabyHouse.com and the construction website citidesign.ca. Today, I want to introduce to everyone those things that as a buyer, sellers’ agents don’t want you to know. This video is for reference only; for detailed information about property rights, please consult a lawyer. This video is not meant for you to fully understand concepts and definitions because these are issues that the buyer’s real estate broker needs to scrutinize for you.

First, let’s start with introducing the most common easements. An easement refers to the owner’s ability to use adjacent land owned by someone else, such as a right of way. Once an easement is established, it is binding on the future owners of the property.

Statutory right of way is the land right of way usually held by various levels of government, water and power companies, and gas companies for maintaining drainage, gas, or power pipelines. Unlike an easement, statutory right of way is a contract between the landowner and municipal authorities or utility providers.

A restrictive covenant is a contract that imposes restrictions on land use to protect the value and enjoyment of adjacent land. Restrictive covenants can be used to limit land use in specific areas, ensure that new construction projects meet certain standards, or protect rivers and streams from development for the benefit of fish habitats.

Statutory building plans are planning documents used to ensure that a community has a certain appearance and feel, having the most significant impact on those building new homes. Statutory building plans are also important for resale homeowners, restricting the nature of renovations and the use of the property.

Mineral rights refer to the rights to use mineral resources, including exploration and mining rights. Mineral rights can be completely separate from surface rights, determining who has the right to mine minerals below the surface.

A lien is a legal claim using personal property as collateral to ensure repayment of a debt or loan. Construction contractors and suppliers can register a lien on real estate property to seek repayment.

Underground oil tanks were a facility commonly used for heating in the past but could lead to soil and environmental contamination. Removing oil tanks requires professional companies to handle it, with costs depending on the degree of pollution.

Leasehold refers to owning the rights to a house but not owning the rights to the land on which the house is located. The rent for the land part can be prepaid for several decades. For example, there was once a one-bedroom apartment in the west end of downtown Vancouver, with an area of 430 square feet, priced at only $300,000 due to leasehold land rights. When buying such properties, be sure to consult your broker to see if this type of property meets your needs.

Peak Bog is a problem. A homeowner in Vancouver bought a piece of land, intending to demolish and rebuild. When applying for reconstruction, the government required a geological report. It is possible that foundation costs may exceed the budget by a significant amount. Peak Bog is widespread in parts of both East and West Vancouver. Buying a home or land located on a peak bog may pose significant risks to habitability and reduce property value. The Vancouver City government has many additional requirements, including soil sample safety reports, adding textual work to your project, costing you time and money. Therefore, hiring an experienced local real estate broker to assist you in your search is an important reason.

Please note that this note is for reference only and does not list all possible situations that may arise during the home-buying process; there may be omissions. For the clarification of property rights, consult a lawyer. It is essential to have your experienced buyer’s agent during the home-buying process. The seller’s agent fully represents the seller’s interests, and most situations that are not favorable to the seller cannot be disclosed by the seller’s agent. However, the buyer’s agent represents the buyer completely and is entirely free for the buyer.

Gary Gao, licensed Realtor® with Grand Central Realty, a licensed real estate brokerage in BC. Gary is also the principal of CitiDesign Build Inc., which is not affiliated with Grand Central Realty. CitiDesign and Gary are licensed builders in BC. Contact Gary.

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