INVESTMENT IN WHISTLER

Ski trail from the Lookout

Now, just to be clear, when I mention investment in Whistler, I mean Whistler real estate. Whenever I get an email from someone wanting to invest in Whistler, I always lift the phone and ask them,”…what does investment mean to you?” Investment can mean something different to each buyer. The answer to this question will save both the buyer and myself lots of time. It usually minimizes the pain for the buyer, as he will soon know what he is dealing with so he can make his decision, either way.

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EXPLAINING “D.O.R.T.S.” FORM TO POTENTIAL CLIENTS

whistler Mountain image

The Disclosure of Representation of Trading Services Form (link updated October 2019) is a mandatory form in BC. Courtesy of the BC Council of Real Estate. The form content has to be explained by the realtor, so that you are comfortable signing it. The form basically binds the realtor to you, but does not bind you to the realtor. Typically, I get into the details of the form and the buyer makes a hand motion indicating they are ready to sign it.

I look at this form as the start of a form-filled experience of buying or selling Whistler real estate. It is important to ensure that the correct form is signed at the appropriate time in the transaction, and I am all over that!

The following is an article courtesy of the Real Estate Board of Greater Vancouver (REBGV) of which Whistler is a member.

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Whistler Development

bedroom image

Future Whistler Development for Ski-in Ski-out Property

Are there any approved plans for more Whistler development of ski-in ski-out property? Short answer is no, there are no approved plans, long answer refers to the Official Community Plan (OCP)…spoiler alert, the answer is still no. This OCP was adopted in 1976 and explains the measurement of bed units. Courtesy of the Resort Municipality of Whistler (RMOW), the following is their definition of bed units.

Managing Future Growth in Whistler

“A bed unit is a measure of development intended to reflect servicing and facility requirements for one person. The bed unit measurement was introduced in Whistler’s first OCP adopted in 1976. It was a means to manage the future growth of Whistler. A consistent measurement with infrastructure capacity, highway capacity and ski lift capacity. Bed units have become a key reference point for the resort community’s understanding of, and expectations for Whistler’s ultimate size and capacity. 

“The distinction between developed and undeveloped is based on occupancy as of year-end, December 31. Determination of ‘Developed’ is made by the issuance of a ‘Completed’ building permit, which indicates occupancy. Undeveloped units are those that have been committed to by Council (either through rezoning or subdivision applications) but have yet to be constructed or completed.”

Assigned Bed Units

The following is my interpretation. Decades ago, Whistler Resort was developed on paper, with a vision for the future. The development of the OCP was a thorough process, involving the community and council. The RMOW factored in that the infrastructure of Whistler could only cope with so many residents and visitors. The result was the RMOW assigned bed units to each residential and commercial building lot in Whistler. This was documented in the OCP, and termed the “bed cap”. This assured all concerned that there could be no more bed units added into Whistler.

Recently, due to the shortage of housing for the locals who live and work in Whistler, the RMOW created more bed units. However, these units were under the Whistler Housing Authority and were going to be built for the locals who provide services to the tourists.

Challenges to the Bed Cap

The big question has always been, how solid is the OCP bed cap? Over the years, any challenge to the bed cap had always been fiercely argued in the newspaper. The arguments came from both primary and secondary property owners in Whistler. The addition of new development in Whistler for ski-in ski-out real estate, has neither been questioned nor argued, so what you see is what we’ve got.

Vail Resorts Development

A few years ago, Vail Resorts published that they wanted to develop an amusement styled, water park on Blackcomb Mountain. With such a development on Crown Land, Vail Resorts would also be able to request a development permit for real estate from the Federal Government. The main response to this article was from the locals. Their response pertained to housing for the local worker who would operate this attraction. That article was published back in 2017. Since then, I have not heard a peep.

I am here to help you before, during and after the transaction. The recent rules effective June 15, 2018 have banned dual agency, so it is prudent to contact a Buyer’s Agent like me, for more information. Please contact me if you are not working with a realtor.

Click the following link for more information on the Market Update for Whistler real estate. Statistics courtesy of Real Estate Board of Greater Vancouver.

It’s a Good Life in Whistler!

Marion

[email protected]
(604) 938-3885
Marion Anderson, *PREC

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Real Estate Closing Process

Whistler Creekside Gondola storage and summer biker

How Does the Vendor’s Mortgage Get Removed From Title?

For Whistler real estate, the real estate transaction closing process is not complicated, however it is a process which takes time. Recently, upon closing a transaction, the lawyer acting for the buyer sent them a copy of the “new” title. The Buyers names were on the title, in addition, so was the vendor’s mortgage. Naturally, this alarmed the buyers as the lawyer had not fully explained the process to them. Although there may be other steps to this process this outline will give you a sense of the basic process:

  • Upon closing, the Buyer’s lawyer (BL) sends the money from the sale, as per the adjustment document to the Seller’s Lawyer (SL).
  • SL then sends the money outstanding to the Bank which held the vendor’s mortgage. This is accompanied by a Discharge Document (DD). The Bank has up to 90 days to sign the DD. Bank returns the signed DD back to the SL usually with 45 to 60 days.
  • Upon receipt, the SL files the signed DD with the Land Title Office (LTO).  LTO filing happens within a few weeks, and when it does, they send notification to the SL that the DD has been filed. Any mortgage held by the vendor should now be removed from the title.
  • Finally, the SL can notify the BL who orders a current copy of the title from the LTO and sends that to the Buyer. In addition to having the Buyer’s name and address on it, the title will be free from any encumbrances. Just as it says in the Contract of Purchase and Sale.

For more FAQ on purchasing Whistler ski-in ski-out real estate, please read the FAQ Buyer’s Page.   

I am here to help you before, during and after the transaction. Please contact me if you are not working with a realtor. 

It’s a Good Life in Whistler!

Marion 

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Suite Rental Income To Qualify for Mortgage in Whistler

Whistler building department

House Suite Can Be Factored Into Your Mortgage Application, With Restrictions.

Using suite rental income to qualify for a mortgage in Whistler is a process. It starts with finding a house with a legitimate suite which the lending institution will accept as authorized accommodation. Some real estate agents in Whistler refer to unauthorized accommodation, as non-conforming, or illegal space. I prefer to use the term provided by the Real Estate Council of BC, which is unauthorized accommodation.

What is Unauthorized Accommodation?

The building plans are presented to and approved by the Resort Municipality of Whistler (RMOW). Through due process everything on those plans would be deemed authorized space. The suite must be in the original building plans. If the suite was added after those plans were approved, the suite would be referred to as unauthorized accommodation.

One of the most common area for change is adding on a suite, or adding on a second suite. The Seller must divulge that there is unauthorized accommodation on the Property Disclosure Statement (PDS). Which is why the BC Council of Real Estate requests that buyer views the PDS before writing the offer. In addition, viewing the property’s file from the building department of the RMOW would also be advantageous. However, most listing agents do not have the RMOW documents on-hand when they rush to list a property, rarely is the PDS completed. So, the buyer could have written an offer and then once the plans arrive, find out that there is unauthorized accommodation. The listing agent may tell us what is unauthorized space, but it really should not be relied upon. We are better to do our own research.

Whistler Mortgage Broker Comments

I asked Karen Garrett of Dominion Lending, Whistler, how easy it was to get financing on a house with a suite. Karen responded “The banks are very strict about lending against unauthorized space. If the contract states something like ‘buyer is aware the suite is non-conforming and illegal’ then it is more likely the lender won’t allow the suite to be factored in to the financings.”

To avoid a misunderstanding, the buyer’s agent should be adding the unauthorized accommodation clause to the contract. This clause states “The Buyer is aware that the property contains unauthorized accommodation and has been informed of the consequences of such ownership and the potential loss of income should the rental use be discontinued.” A clause like that will surely raise the question of “what is unauthorized?” from the lending institution.

How to Spot An Unauthorized Suite

Unauthorized suites are easy to spot. A suite is defined by it’s own exterior entrance. If the entrance is through the main house, that is your first clue. Second clue is the suite does not have a full kitchen, for example, the ‘kitchen’ only has a hot plate, that is not a true suite. Third clue is if there is already one authorized suite factored in for financing. Then you ask to use a second suite in the home. Two suites are not allowed in a Whistler home.

Banks Have An Independent Appraiser

The banks send out an independent property appraiser, hired by the bank to prepare a report on the property you are asking them to finance. This is usually done at the last minute prior to subject removal. So the report will tell them if you have accidentally misled them. These pitfalls should be identified by your real estate agent, before making an offer.

Are you looking for a real estate agent who can help navigate the pitfalls of purchasing real estate in Whistler? Check out the FAQ for Buyers page on this site. Contact me if you are not already working with a realtor.

Marion

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Disclosure of Representation in Trading Services Form

View from the 'back yard' of 26-4501-Blackcomb-Way-Snowy-Creek

Why it Benefits You to Sign the Disclosure of Representation in Trading Services Form

In summary, by signing the Disclosure of Representation in Trading Services Form you are binding the agent you have chosen, to honour four legal duties. These duties are: 1)Loyalty, 2)Avoid conflicts of interest, 3)Fully disclose any relevant information, and 4) Protect your confidentiality (indefinitely).

The Real Estate Council of BC is very serious about this form. To the point where the agent has to email each signed copy to their Broker. The Broker then keeps it on file, for future audits. There are massive fines to the real estate agent and their broker by not following this ruling. The fines can be $250,000. Needless to say, that is a game changer for most realtors. 

In summary, this is not a binding document which ties you to your agent. It actually binds the agent to you legally, and to honour the four duties mentioned above.

Real Estate Board of Greater Vancouver

Please click the following link to view the entire Disclosure of Representation in Trading Services Form.  The following is an excerpt which is taken directly from the form.

Disclosure of Representation Form

Another excellent resource is refer to the Real Estate Council of BC’s website at www.recbc.ca.

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Dual Agency in Whistler

views from Blackcomb Mountain, whistler bc

Dual Agency in Whistler is Banned

The Superintendent of Real Estate for BC, has banned dual agency in Whistler effective June 15, 2018. This is good, ethical practice for the buyer, the seller and the real estate agent. I may be one of the few agents in Whistler who think this is good practice, possibly because I represent more buyers than I list properties. Regardless, I have a strong obligation to serve my clients real estate needs before, during and after the transaction. The transaction should be all about you. The transaction should not be about the realtor, or the team double-ending the commission.

Specifically, the new rules will prohibit the practice of limited dual agency. The move to single agency is a significant change from the practice over the years when Realtors could represent both sellers and buyers in a transaction. BC is the first Canadian province to implement rules that require Realtors to act only for one party.

This new ruling also means that listing agents won’t be able to bring their own buyers to their listing. The listing agent must choose who to represent, the buyer or the seller, or neither. It is such a serious ruling, that the listing agent can provide a fact sheet, but when the licensee receives or solicits confidential information from the buyer then the listing agent must now ask the buyer to sign a Disclosure of Representation of Trading Services Form. The form clearly states, that an agent can only represent one client. Without the form being explained and signed by both the agent and the potential buyer, the agent is at serious risk of a massive fine, $250,000, and a legal hassle.

In addition, the Real Estate Council of BC has banned any team member or any agent who is related, from acting as a referral agent in the transaction. That way, the listing agent will need to refer the buyer to another realtor or help the buyer as an unrepresented party, which is a recipe for disaster.

Courtesy of the Real Estate Council of BC (RECBC)

RECBC has provided the following information on the “Disclosure of Risks Associated with the Dual Agency” document:

“When a licensed real estate professional represents two parties with competing interests in a real estate transaction, it is known as ‘dual agency’. Some examples of dual agency are when one real estate professional represents 1) both the buyer and the seller and 2) two separate buyers who each hope to purchase the same property”

Dual Agency is not Relevant in Whistler

In Whistler, BC, dual agency is not an option. Other remote parts of BC may have the option of a dual agency situation. However, I am not going to go into that on this post since it is not relevant to those who are considering Whistler ski-in ski-out real estate.

Click the link for more FAQ on Whistler real estate which will help you understand the intricacies of buying real estate in Whistler. If you are not working with a real estate agent, please contact me anytime. I am here to help you.

[email protected]
(604)938-3885
Marion Anderson
Personal Real Estate Corporation
Sutton Group – West Coast Realty
203-1080 Millar Creek Road, Whistler, BC V0N 1B1

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The Depreciation Report – how important is it?

Understanding The Depreciation Report

There is great value in a Depreciation Report (DR) for the strata. I can see no negatives in it at all. However, some strata councils continue to vote against having a DR completed. Obviously they don’t want to have a to-do list which will result in either increasing the strata fees or having an assessment. Repairs and maintenance are a part of any property ownership. You don’t walk around the outside of your house blindfolded, you look to see what needs to be repaired and then you plan accordingly. I advise my buying clients (insist is a better word) to read the strata minutes, financials, Form B and the depreciation report before writing an offer. To obtain the Depreciation Report once you have an accepted offer, is like buying a second-hand car and then taking it for a test drive.

Marion

Will the Strata Depreciation Report warn me about future Assessments?

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Insurance of Whistler Real Estate for Nightly and Monthly Rentals

Bike Storage Room 4800 Spearhead Drive, Aspens

Insurance of Whistler Real Estate

Insurance of Whistler real estate is a vital part of any property purchase. The contract of purchase and sale confirms that you are legally bound to insure your property effective 12.01 am on the date of closing. Mortgage funds will not be transferred until the bank has documentation which states the insurance is in place. Thankfully, there are a lot of safe-guards to assist the buyer, apart from me calling every day to ask if you have purchased insurance yet!

Kelly C. Hill of the-co-operators insurance and David Livesey & Associates, is my insurance contact in Whistler. I asked Kelly the following questions recently and I know you will be interested in her responses.

1) What is the best type of insurance of Whistler real estate zoned for nightly rental?

This can fall under commercial rooming and boarding insurance. The main benefit to the insured, is the loss of income portion. This is well received by those who have bought the property depending on the income to retain the property. There are several components to this insurance.

2) Does insurance of Whistler real estate zoned for month to month rental different from nightly rental insurance?

Commercial rooming and boarding insurance also applies in this case.

3) How do you determine the insurance fee for a house renting to tenants on a month to month lease?

The rate is based on several points, especially the number of people living in the house. However, it is not unusual for us to come out to inspect the property in order to determine the rate. Furthermore, the insurance policy rate stays in place for a year.

4) When tenants are added to the house what happens to the insurance policy?

The rate stays the same for a year. However, there is a reasonable capacity for any house, so the number of tenants should be considered by the owner.

5) What about unauthorized accommodation in a house? Do you have a policy on that?

We are not the by-law, we insure the property.

6) Is honesty the best policy with the insurance company?

Absolutely, tell us everything and we can get you the best insurance protection.

Here are Kelly’s contact details:

Kelly C. Hill
Associate Insurance Advisor II
David Livesey & Associates Inc.
212-7015 Nesters Road, ,Whistler, BC V0N 1B7
(604)938-6100
[email protected]

Insuring your property should be a priority for any buyer. When a client buys a house, I obtain the current insurance details from the listing agent. That way, the insurance company is familiar with the property and also the content. This is important if there is a fireplace in the property. It is also important if there is significant artwork in the house. Changing insurance companies is a hassle that you do not need to add on to the stress of moving. Visit the page on FAQ on buying Whistler real estate.

It’s a Good Life in Whistler!

Marion

[email protected]
(604)938-3885
Marion Anderson
Personal Real Estate Corporation
Sutton Group – West Coast Realty
203-1080 Millar Creek Road, Whistler, BC V0N 1B1 CANADA

 

 

 

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Managing your Whistler investment as a non-resident

Aspens' hot tub and pool

Managing your Whistler property from afar as a non-resident is easy. You just need to identify what services you require. I guarantee there will be a person or company in Whistler who will provide those services for a fee. Whistler was built on entrepreneurs who identified a service that was needed, and then built a business around it. Whether you own a condo, a townhouse or a luxury house, there is someone in Whistler who will provide service to you.

What Property Management Services Are Available to Me?

All you have to do is Google property management services in Whistler. There will be a good selection of companies.  When you purchase a condo there may be a front desk management company. That is your first point of contact to manage your condo. If there is no front desk, then there will be several management companies involved with the building, so choose the best fit.

Before, During and After the Transaction

I offer my clients real estate service before, during and after the transaction.  You cannot be expected to manage the property from overseas. I ensure that you are connected with the people who can help you manage your property. That service can be someone who will help you prepare for your visit to Whistler, and make sure your property is ready for your arrival. In addition, let me connect you with the support system who will assist you in setting up all you need so you can enjoying the time you spend in Whistler. 

You may be interested in the Investment in Whistler real estate page on this site, which has revenue examples. Contact me at your leisure, and let’s talk about what you need, so you can own, and fully enjoy your piece of the Whistler.

It’s a Good Life in Whistler!

Marion

[email protected]
(604)938-3885
Marion Anderson
Personal Real Estate Corporation
Sutton Group – West Coast Realty
203-1080 Millar Creek Road, Whistler, BC V0N 1B1 CANADA

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What is a strata Form B?

The exterior of the Le Chamois complex building

Strata Form B is a Requirement of any Whistler Real Estate Contract

What is a Strata Form B? Is a typical question I get asked with every buyer I work with. The strata Form B is a financial snapshot taken on a specific date of both the particular strata lot or unit, and also the strata corporation. Every condominium building and every townhouse development is run by a strata. The ski-in ski-out homes on Snowridge Crescent also have a strata. So, the Form B is a regularly requested document.

Once the offer has been accepted, the form B is prepared by the strata manager. It is then signed off by the strata management company, i.e. the company hired to manage the building and land.  It can also be signed by a someone on the strata council, i.e. the group of owners elected to represent all the owners and liaise with the strata management company.

What type of Questions are on the Form B?

The Form B answers a lot of questions for a buyer, e.g. is the parking stall(s) assigned? Is there a storage locker for the unit? The questions pertaining to the strata ask for confirmation as to any judgements or legal proceedings against the strata. Furthermore, it asks for financial and budget figures.

Acting as your real estate agent, I really want you to know the answer to these questions before writing an offer. Typically, the listing agent does not order the Form B until an offer is accepted. This means that it can be tricky getting this information in advance. In that situation, the receipt and approval of the Form B is written into the contract as a subject. This is a condition which must be satisfied by the buyer.

I have added a copy of a blank strata document as provided by the British Columbia Real Estate Association (BCREA) 2018. The form will identify the sort of information that is available to you. Please note the following Form B is a courtesy copy for information purposes only:

In summary, click the link for a clearer version of the Strata Form B.  Furthermore, you may be interested in the other frequently asked questions (FAQ). These are on a separate page on this site, please click the following link  Buyer FAQ. 

[email protected]
(604)938-3885
Marion Anderson
Personal Real Estate Corporation
Sutton Group – West Coast Realty
203-1080 Millar Creek Road, Whistler, BC V0N 1B1 CANADA

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