A little peace of mind…

This week I had the pleasure of working with a great group of first time home buyers. They were looking an older home in a very desirable area of Kelowna.  This home was one of only a small handful of properties in their price range in the area, so it was a true “diamond in the rough”.

When the home inspection revealed that there was a modest amount of mould in the attic due to a detached bathroom vent, the buyers were heartbroken.

attic-mold-caused-by-leaking-roof (PDB)

(note: above picture illustrative only)

Lawyers are not home inspectors or contractors and therefore we cannot provide professional advice on the “quality of a premises”. Together with their professional Realtor, we recommended an secondary air quality inspection.

It is important to remember that all home inspectors are generalists, where the home inspection reveals a potential issues, Buyers should be encouraged to get secondary professional advice on that issue to manage and quantify the problem. 

The results of the air quality test showed that the mould issue was not extending beyond the small area of the attic space and that the home’s air quality was good. The first time home buyers were, of course, elated, and along with their thanks shared a bit of their celebration with the firm…. as they sabre’d a bottled of bubbly… congrats guys 🙂


Written by Kelowna Real Estate Lawyer Peter Borszcz

PTT changes announces in BC Budget

Effective Feb. 17, 2016:

  • Newly Build Home Exemption:
    • housing up to $750,000 will be exempt from Property Transfer Tax.
    • Details: http://www2.gov.bc.ca/gov/content/taxes/property-taxes/property-transfer-tax/understand/exemptions/newly-built-home-exemption
  • New Tax on High Value Transfers:
    • The Property Transfer Tax rate will increase from 2% to 3% on the portion of fair market value over $2 million.

Casting some light on “Shadow Flipping”

Shadow flipping or assigning a contract prior to completion has been brought under recent media scrutiny See: CBC or VANCOUVER SUN stories.

This generally refers to ASSIGNING a contract, which is a legal process whereby Purchaser #1 “sells” its contract to Purchaser #2.

This is legal because, once subjects are removed from the deal (and the contract is binding), the Purchaser has an equitable interest in the property from that date. This can occur months in advance of closing. The Purchaser (with binding contract in hand) then will gain if the property appreciates OR will lose if the property depreciates.  (In the Kelowna real estate market I have seen both occur)

It is also this equitable interest that allows Purchasers to sue for specific performance of real estate contracts and demand conveyance of the property to them if a Seller refuses to complete.

Altering this principal of British Columbia real estate law would dramatically change many aspects of real estate law in this province and would not be prudent legislative policy. A better practice would be for real estate buyers and sellers to work with all their professional advisors – lawyers, realtors, appraisers and accountants – early in the process to get well rounded independent advice.


Written by Kelowna Real Estate Lawyer Peter Borszcz

Making an Offer on a #Kelowna Home? Involve your Lawyer.

Real estate negotiations can be a very emotionally intense time. A strong team is essentially, including a professional Realtor, Home Inspector, Mortgage Broker, Accountant and Lawyer.

An early phone call to your Lawyer (Before Subject Removal) can provide great value!

  1. Are there any charges on the land title for you to worry about?
  2. Do you understand your obligations in the contract?
  3. Have you considered what funds you will need to close according to the contract?
  4. What are the unique considerations for
    1. the neighborhood?
    2. strata property?
    3. leasehold and WFN lands?
    4. mixed used developments?
  5. What questions should I be asking other professionals?

For clients of our referring Realtors, these important initial discussions are just part of our continuing goal to exceed our client’s expectations.

Want to talk about Kelowna Real Estate? Call Kelowna Real Estate Lawyer Peter Borszcz at 250-762-5434.

PB - Headshot (2013)

A different kind of #BackToSchool Shopping in #Kelowna

For many home buyers, particularly those with children, a major criterion when purchasing a new home is the proximity to schools within the community.

Therefore, if you want your children to attend a certain school in School District #23, it is best if you reside within the catchment area for that particular school.

The Student Placement Regulations state that priority will be given to students in the following order:

  1. Catchment area students who, in the previous year, attended the school
  2. Catchment area students who, in the previous year, attended the school
  3. Catchment area students who, in the previous year, were ‘placed’ by the district in a different school
  4. Siblings of catchment area students
  5. New catchment area students
  6. Siblings of non-catchment area students currently enrolled in the school
  7. Non-catchment area students who request to attend the school which is other than their catchment area school
  8. Non-district area students
  9. International students

For a map of the catchment areas for School District #23, click on Catchment Area Maps.

Can we help you with a home purchase?  Contact us at 250-762-5434 or lawyers@phil.ca


Know what your new home will cost to purchase…

…with our user-friendly Closing Cost Calculator!

There are many different fees and disbursements that go along with purchasing a new home in British Columbia.  Our calculator makes it easy to find out how much your dream home is going to cost.  Simply input the figures for your desired property and the calculator will give you an estimate.

Contact us at 250-762-5434 or lawyers@pihl.ca for more information.

Choosing a #Kelowna Real Estate Lawyer

Did you know that a real estate deal gone wrong could both leave you homeless and leave you facing a $50,000 lawsuit?  Its rare, but it happens and when you are hiring a lawyer to guide you through the biggest transaction of your life what are the top three questions you should ask.

  1. What percentage of your practice is real estate law?
  2. Who can I call if I have questions?
  3. What happens when a deal goes “sideways”, what do you do?

Here are the answers at Pihl Law Corporation:

  1. Peter and Courtney focus their practice on residential and commercial real estate matters (including lending and secured transactions), their only other focus is corporate/business law and mergers and acquisitions.
  2. Call anyone here, we are a cohesive team of lawyers, paralegals and legal assistants focused on assisting you.
  3. The first thing we do is to inform both you and your Realtor and then start discussing solutions (we’ve likely seen the problem before and we talk about both legal and economic approaches). For potential litigation matters, usually our in-house real estate litigation lawyer Andrew Prior will join us.

Every real estate transaction needs a professional who:

  1. is “on top” of the file at all times – this is why we use a team based approach
  2. has the resources to solve problems no matter how complex – this is why we have a real estate litigation department
  3. is focused on Kelowna Real Estate – Peter and Courtney were born and raised in Kelowna and Peachland and know the area well.

Do you need a Kelowna Real Estate Lawyer?  Call us at 250-762-5434, or

Learn more about us here:

Peter: http://pihl.ca/peter-d-borszcz/

Courtney: http://pihl.ca/courtney-macrae-3/

Andrew: http://pihl.ca/andrew-prior/