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

First Time Home Buyers PTT Threshold Increased!

Effective February 19th, 2014, the government has increased the PTT first time home buyer full exemption threshold to $475,000!

For complete exemption requirements see: http://www.sbr.gov.bc.ca/documents_library/forms/0269Guide.pdf

By Kelowna Real Estate Lawyer Peter Borszcz

Cutting taxes

Strata Depreciation Reports in Kelowna Real Estate.

Under the Strata Property Act, a Contingency Reserve Fund (CRF) is established to pay for extraordinary expenses, but under the Act, the amount in the CRF was established by a formula (which had NO relationship  to the age of the building!) Furthermore, the amount of contribution to the CRF was CAPPED, unless an ¾ vote was obtained to had additional contributions (hard to plan for the future).

There were amendments to the Strata Property Act in 2009 for stratas to commission Strata Depreciation Reports on the policy basis that long term planning and maintenance will prolong the lifecycle of building systems and reduce premature failure.

Now in British Columbia, Strata Corporations (with 5 or more units) are required to commission a Strata Depreciation Report by DEC 13, 2013 or to pass a s.94(3) resolution (with ¾ vote) for an 18 month exemption to this new legislated requirement. Importantly, this does not create a “separate fund” for repairs, but educates the strata council if their current contingency fund is “in line” with expect future costs. Strata Councils are required to update reports every three years

A Strata Depreciation Report includes:

  1.  Physical Inventory of Assets
  2. Evaluation based on on-site Inspection
  3. Repair, Renewal and Maintenance Costs for a 30 year plan
  4. Assumptions
  5. Three Year Cash Flow Models

Reports Are a MANDATORY attachment to the Strata Form B  with Kelowna Home Buyers receive from their Realtor.

This Form B now must also include:

  • The rules of the strata corporation;
  • The current budget of the strata corporation;
  •  Any rental disclosure statement;
  • Current strata depreciation report
  • Parking Stall and Storage Locker information;

When reviewing the Strata Depreciation Report, Kelowna Home Buyers should ask:

  1. Is the Form B complete (containing current Rules, Budget, Rental Disclosure, and Depreciation Report)
  2. Does the Buyer understand the Report?
  3. Has the strata deferred its Report obligations under s.94(3)?
  4. Does the financial forecast in the Report and the strata budget align?
  5. Should anything in the Report be reflected in the Purchase Price when analyzing comparators?

Presentation Slides: Depreciation Reports Presentation (OCT 2013)

Written by Kelowna Real Estate Lawyer Peter Borszcz.


Distressed Sales: Options for Sellers of Distressed Property

Unfortunately, and often due to a series of unfortunate events, some owners find themselves unable to afford their home and in some cases being forced to sell at a loss. There are a number of different ways for this to occur:

A. Short Sale with Seller Bringing in Cash to Complete

This type of transaction occurs when the proceeds of sale are insufficient to pay the mortgage, commission and fees associated with the property and the Seller is able to access other financial resources to complete the transaction by depositing the shortfall in trust with their lawyer to complete the transaction.

Of all the options for a distressed sale, this options makes the best of a bad situation, there is no foreclosure proceeding and no judgements registered against title or the seller.

B. Short Sale with the Bank Accepting Shortfall of Net Proceeds

Where the Seller is unable to make up the difference on Closing between the net sale proceeds and the mortgage payout and the Seller is in default of their obligations to the Lender, most Lenders will grant of discharge of the mortgage registered on title in exchange for net sale proceeds (less agreed adjustments) in exchange for a consent to personal judgement against the Seller and a reasonable payment plan for the balance.

The option avoids a formal foreclosure proceeding (and it is the Seller that accepts a Buyers offer “subject to being able to clear title”), but Seller agrees to a debt judgement against them and they will continue to have to pay the balance remaining after the sale to the Lender. Often when a mortgage default has proceed to this stage, there is a certificate of pending litigation on title.

C. Court Ordered Sale

As the Bank has proceeded with the foreclosure, at this stage the ability to sell the property  is now subject to Court Approval.  A Buyer’s offer will be subject to Court Approval and other buyers may appear in Court to bid on the property. The Seller is not involved in this transaction and registration in the Land Title Office takes place by filing of a certified copy of the court order granting the property to the Buyer (on payment of the purchase price) [Important: ensure Buyers names are correct on the Court Order!].

D. Lender Owned Property

If the property has proceeded through the entire foreclosure without an offer, the Lender may seek an “Order Absolute” and the Lender will assume ownership of the Property. In this case the Lender is the Seller (as they are the Seller on title) and the transaction proceeds very similarly to a normal real estate transaction (except that Lenders are often very reluctant to provide Property Disclosure Statements).

Peter Borszcz is a Business and Real Estate Lawyer practising in Kelowna, British Columbia and a shareholder of Pihl Law Corporation.