Leaky Condos

Vancouver leaky condos affect the lives of those home owners who are unfortunately burdened by the huge financial costs involved in their repairs. “Leaky Condos” are defined by failures of building envelopes, resulting in water entering the envelopes leading to rot, rust, decay and mold. It wasn’t until the late 1980’s when the government regulated the requirement for air tight building systems, that major water damage problems became evident.

The damage caused by water-ingress resulting in rots and molds is extensive, and affected condos, town homes, detached homes, and other buildings. The huge financial costs associated with “building envelop repair” have enormous impacts on the lives of home owners who are victims of leaky condos in Vancouver. Some people have lost much or all of their life savings, even their homes.

Vancouver leaky condos are costly to fix

In spite of all the safe guards and disclosures required since 2000, a home buyer cannot be 100% certain that he or she is safe from buying a condo with water-damaged problem. The strata meeting minutes of a strata corporation are important documents for a buyer in gaining insight on operations of the corporation. Most mortgage lenders require 12 to 24 months of strata minutes to ascertain whether a strata condo is free from water-damaged problems.

Buyer beware

When buying a condo or town home, home buyers are advised to carefully review the strata minutes, property disclosure statement and Form B. In spite of home buyers’ careful review of all relevant documents and inspection by professional home inspectors, many still ended up buying condos that have leaky problems. There are instances of condos that are “suspects”, but water-damaged problems in the buildings were not confirmed in engineering reports. Meanwhile, patch-work repairs may have temporarily minimized the water ingress problems.

Without a comprehensive investigation by a building envelope engineer, no one can be sure whether a building is “leaking”. One way to avoid the uncertainty is for home buyer to buy a newer condo unit. The newer condo buildings have been competently designed and built with rain-screen technology to solve the water-ingressed problems. A home buyer should be cautious on those buildings that are built following the “air tight” building code from 1980s to 1990s.

Difficulty in getting financing

Canadian banks will only lend on leaky buildings that have been “fixed”, or the strata council already obtained approval from 3/4 homeowners to proceed with the building envelope remediation. When buying a condo, make sure to ask your realtor not to show condos or townhouses that are having water-damaged problems. Some investors are known to be buying at “bargain prices” Vancouver leaky condos for investment. The average home buyers or first time home buyers should stay away from such bargains.

Private loans for repairs of Vancouver leaky condos

For home owners who are settled with big repair bills to fix-up their “leaky condos”, they may not have too much luck in getting their banks to finance the repairs. Some home owners have to turn to private mortgage financing to pay for their repair.

If you are unable to get your bank for financing, you can discuss your loan requirement with me (Elsie Tse) at 604-716-3369 or Email Me.

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