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When Do You Need a Building Permit? part one

~ When do you need a building permit? ~ Part One

Once in a while I come across a property disclosure statement form (PCDS) that is filled out by the seller, and when asked, "Are you aware of any alterations or additions made without of a building permit?" they have answered YES.

When I see this, I have to investigate to provide the buyer with an explanation so that they can make an intelligent decision. If the property has a farm status then this is not so unusual since farms have many exemptions in this regards and there are many outbuildings that are constructed without permits. However, if it is a residential house then we need to know what was done, when and why the permit was not issued. I know about a client that made an addition to his house and when the local government authorities found out about this the owner was
forced to remove the addition, apply for permit and then rebuild it.
Since this is a big subject to talk about I will talk about it in two parts.
Part one: When do you need a building permit?
Part two: The consequences of not having one when it comes to
selling your house or purchasing a new home.

Part one:
The Regional District building bylaw specifies when a permit is
required and this includes:
•To construct, alter, or renovate any building or part of a
•To finish previously unfinished areas such as basements or
enclose a carport or porch area.
•To demolish all, or a portion, of any building or structure.
•To move any building, structure, or mobile home within the
Regional District.
•To place on any land, a manufactured or factory-built home or
any housing component or modular structure.
•To install solid fuel or oil burning appliances and chimneys.
•To install, replace, or alter any sewer, water, or plumbing
works or services.
•To install or alter a swimming pool enclosure/fence.
•To construct or alter a retaining wall.
•To erect any sign or canopy.

A building permit is not required for the construction of a single storey accessory building with a total floor area of less than 10 (ten) square metres (108 square feet), re-siding exterior walls or recovering existing roofs.

Depending on the form of construction, other exemptions may apply to farm buildings.

I'd love to hear your opinions and experiences in this matter.

Kind Regards,
Tibor Bogdan


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What is a pre-sale?

Example scenario: When the developer intends to build an apartment building and applies for financing, the bank will grant financing under certain conditions. One of them will likely be a certain percentage of pre-sales the developer will need to secure before receiving the funds.
It is common practice for a developer to approach several real estate investors and offer them an opportunity to purchase units of the non-existent building at a discounted price, and on good terms.

Once the number of pre-sales is accomplished, the developer goes ahead with the construction, which will likely take two years or longer to complete. During construction, their marketing team offers the remainder of the units for sale at market value to the public.

If you are a RE investor, you know that it is preferable to be buying at the pre-sale prices, not market value prices.

The question is, how do you get the invitation to buy a pre-sale?
In the past many years, investors have made substantial income by buying at wholesale prices and selling at retail prices even before they needed to complete their purchase. I saw many of them lining up and sometimes even camping overnight in front of the sales center to get a chance to buy at lower prices, but not everyone was lucky enough. You needed to be well-connected to get an opportunity, and you had to act fast.

Today is a bit of a different story. Several projects in the Lower Mainland and Fraser Valley offer really good prices and incentives to secure a unit now and complete the purchase two or three years later. The list of incentives varies from one project to the next. Besides attractive prices, you can get low deposit amounts (5-15%), low or no assignment fees, free updates, a mortgage rate buy-down program, extra parking and more.

A month ago, I helped a few of my clients purchase a presale in Surrey that sold out in 2 days, and I know of another good developer that will be offering a few units for sale as well.

If you would like to know more about these opportunities, I would encourage you to call or email me, and I’ll be happy to send you details on those projects.
Kind regards,
Tibor Bogdan
Century 21 Creekside Realty Ltd.
45428 Luckakuck Way #190, Chilliwack, BC V2R 3S9
cell: 604-855-2521
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