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.

Home Closing Checklist for #Kelowna #RealEstate Buyers




In the last six months, merely finding a home in Kelowna has become very difficult as more and more Buyers enter the area for jobs, lifestyle and retirement… and once you have found your dream home… what do you do next?

  1. Due your “Due Diligence”; call your real estate lawyer to review you title and work through the subject conditions on the property, don’t be in a rush to move into a home your don’t know everything about;
  2. Finalize your Lending or Financing Commitment with your banker or brokers
  3. Get a Home Inspection (remember the standard contract contains no assurances about the quality of any home – buyer beware)
  4. Estimate your closing costs (Pihl Closing Cost Calculator)
  5. Once your are completely confident, – Remove Subject Conditions with your Realtor
  6. Instruct your Realtor to send “conveyance instructions” to your real estate lawyer
  7. Instruct your Broker/ Banker to send “mortgage instructions” to your real estate lawyer.
  8. Call the Movers and Utility Providers to arrange dates
  9. Attend at your real estate lawyers office a few days prior to closing to sign the mortgage and transfer documents.
  10. Deliver a bank draft for the “balance to complete” the transaction to your lawyers office (the remainder of your down payment plus closing costs)
  11. Your lawyers close your transaction on the closing date
  12. You move in on the possession date

Written by Kelowna Real Estate Lawyer Peter Borszcz.




When should you call a Real Estate Lawyer?

Simple Answer: BEFORE you remove subject conditions!

Lawyers provide the best value before subject removal to home buyers. Remember to discuss the following topics with your lawyer:

  1. The Land Title Charges
  2. Your Due Diligence Concerns (home inspection, strata issues ect…)
  3. What to expect in the Closing Process

Remember your lawyer is working for you, and only you and they are often the most unbiased adviser you have during the home buying process.

By Kelowna Real Estate Lawyer Peter Borszcz

June Kelowna Real Estate Closings: Municipal Property Tax Adjusments

The end of June is “high season” for residential real estate closing. As the school year comes to the close and the weather turns warmer, people want to get the “business of moving” done prior to enjoying summer holidays.

There are a couple of unique considerations for Kelowna Real Estate at this time of year, all of which revolve around the July 2 Municipal Property Tax payment deadline.


  1. For closings before June – the municipal property tax payment is the responsibility of the new Buyer and the Seller receives a debit at closing based on the estimated bill to be paid (or the assessment if available).
  2. For closing after early July  – the municipal property tax payment is the responsibility of the Seller (prior to vacating) and Buyer will receive a debit at closing for the amount already paid.

For closings in June and early July, a couple of key points for Sellers:

  1. When you pay your property taxes (at a bank or at the city), ensure that you keep your receipt.
  2. For your principal residence, make sure that you claim your Home Owners Grant on your principal residence when you pay your taxes (more info on eligibility here)
  3. Depending on the municipality and the timing of the payment, Sellers closing at the end of June may be legally required to holdback an amount of closing to ensure that property taxes have been paid (ensure you have budgeted for this extra temporary cost).

Your Kelowna Real Estate Lawyer will make adjustments such that the Buyer and Seller each “pay” for those expenses which accrue to the property during that time of the year (a per diem adjustment) that each party owns the property being transferred.

The Home Owners Grant that is actually claimed is the amount adjusted for. This can result in some “inequity” in some cases. For example where the Buyer is a Senior buys a property from an Investor and the Seller has already paid the property tax the difference in Home Owner Grant amounts means the Senior may pay an extra $500 in property tax.

These situations may not be entirely avoided but in some cases they can be minimized by talking to your Kelowna Real Estate Lawyer early. For instance (in the example above), we would try to have the Senior Buyer pay the taxes and claim the grant (and debit the Investor Seller) if this was legally possible prior to the municipal tax deadline.

For more information on property taxes, see the local municipal property tax information pages here:

  1. For information on Kelowna Property Taxes – click here.
  2. For information on West Kelowna Property Taxes – click here.
  3. For information on Lake Country Property Taxes – click here.

Written by Kelowna Real Estate Lawyer Peter Borszcz.



When should you call a Real Estate Lawyer?

In the context of residential real estate, 90% of the time the deals of fairly straightforward. The difficulty here is identifying the 10% of homes or deals that have issues and importantly what those issues are.

Prior to subject removal Home Buyers are in the best position to gather information and make decisions about their home. This often involves: bankers, home inspectors, city clerks, and yes, LAWYERS.

In short: Calling a lawyer BEFORE subject removal provides the BEST value for clients.

Buyers are always concerned with fees (see my fee post here), so often they are hesitant to contact a lawyer before they purchase a home and Lawyers have earned an unfortunate reputation of “clocking” the very first phone call with a client.

There are lots of law firms in town… so whats different about Pihl Law Corporation?

  1. Buyers who are referred by our Referring Realtors get connected directly with Peter, usually immediately if he is available;
  2. If Peter is meeting with clients, all Referred Buyers have their email or telephone call returned within a few hours;
  3. Referred Buyers are never billed for that initial phone call (yes its FREE, the timer is off), even if they don’t proceed to purchase that home.
  4. The following key points are discussed in detail:
    1. Review of any apparent legal issues based on the home, the neighborhood and our local knowledge;
    2. The binding nature of the contract after subject removal;
    3. The importance of due diligence and home inspection and strata document review;
    4. A brief overview of the land titles and a discussion about whether an full title review is warranted on a case by case basis;
    5. A discussion about what legal services are required for each deal and what the costs may be (our firm quote follows by email); and,
    6. Instructions on next steps as the closing date nears;

If you have a client that has questions, direct them to call us (250-762-5434), and importantly… ensure they know your referral gets them “in the front door” [pun intended :)].

By Kelowna Real Estate Lawyer Peter Borszcz


OMREB AGM Presentations 2014

Thank you to Okanagan Mainline Real Estate Board (@OMREBcze) for inviting me to speak at their recent AGM, held in Kelowna on March 13, 2014.

Lecture Notes:

1. Strata Due Diligence and Strata Depreciation Reports for Realtors

2. Westbank First Nations and INAC Residential Sales Contracts

It is our pleasure to assist many local Realtors with hundreds of OMREB area transactions each year. If we can help you, please feel free to call (250-762-5434) or email.

Written by Kelowna Real Estate Lawyer Peter Borszcz