Things To Consider When Buying These Types of Houses!

Things To Consider When Buying These Types of Houses!

Things To Consider When Buy These Types of Houses!

House hunting is an adventure that promises exciting possibilities. Whether you’re drawn to charming century-old cottages or ultra-modern condos, it’s essential to keep your eyes open to avoid the hidden pitfalls that could quickly turn your dream home into a financial nightmare. So, let’s explore six types of houses that fall into the category of “Never buy these types of houses!”

#1 Stratified Properties – With Red Flags

Stratified properties, such as condos and townhouses, are often attractive for their amenities and community feel. However, without careful consideration of their strata documentation, you could find yourself in a money-draining situation. Key things to watch out for include:

  • Pending Litigation: Legal disputes involving the strata corporation could lead to unexpected legal fees and special assessments, leaving owners paying the price.
  • Excessive Disrepair: Issues like a leaky roof, malfunctioning elevators, or deteriorating balconies could mean significant repair costs for the community.
  • 1985-2000 BC Condos: Units from this era may still be affected by the “Leaky Condo Crisis,” where poor construction caused widespread leaks and structural damage.
  • Small Contingency Fund: An underfunded contingency reserve signals that the strata may need to impose special assessments to cover large repairs, leading to steep extra costs for owners.

TIP: AI tools can help you quickly identify potential red flags by analyzing strata documents.

#2 Homes Over 100 Years Old

Historic homes are rich in character, but they often come with significant challenges:

  • Expensive Repairs & Restorations: Outdated systems such as lead plumbing, knob-and-tube wiring, and asbestos insulation can result in thousands of dollars of repairs and the need for environmental professionals.
  • Safety Hazards: Steep staircases, low ceilings, and outdated building standards can make older homes more dangerous, especially for children.
  • Non-Functional Fireplaces: Decorative fireplaces that don’t work can present hidden safety issues and often need costly repairs.

#3 Flood Plain Risks

Flooding risks aren’t always obvious, and buying a house in or near a flood plain can lead to significant challenges:

  • Flood Risk: Being near rivers or other flood-prone areas means your home could flood even if it’s in a 100- or 500-year zone.
  • Unpredictable Storms: Recent floods like the 2021 Fraser Valley event show that severe storms can leave homeowners unprepared.
  • High Insurance Costs: Insuring a property in a flood-prone area can cost hundreds or thousands of dollars annually, potentially increasing over time.

#4 Underground Oil Tanks

Buried oil tanks on a property can be a costly surprise if not handled properly. Key concerns include:

  • Inspect & Remove: Even decommissioned tanks that are filled with sand should be removed, as soil contamination is still possible.
  • Costly Remediation: If oil has leaked into the soil, remediation costs can skyrocket into hundreds of thousands.

Consider this story: A North Vancouver homeowner discovered an old oil tank under her property while selling her home. The removal and decontamination process cost her $85,000.

TIP: Review the Property Disclosure Statement (PDS) for any indications of past oil tanks, and always get a pre-1980 home inspected for tanks.

#5 Poor Workmanship in Houses

Flipped houses can look appealing with fresh paint and new fixtures, but sometimes, poor workmanship lurks beneath:

  • Old & New Homes: Uneven moldings, sloppy paint jobs, and poorly finished floors are indicators that other corners were likely cut. A simple marble test can reveal floor leveling issues.
  • Check the History: If the home was recently flipped, dig deeper to see if the renovations were purely cosmetic.

#6 Manufactured Mobile Homes

Manufactured mobile homes might seem like an affordable housing solution but consider the long-term value:

  • Depreciating Asset: Unlike traditional homes, mobile homes tend to lose value over time, especially when the land is leased.
  • Mortgage Difficulties: Lenders may not be willing to finance mobile homes, especially those on rented pads. Amortization schedules are shorter, making monthly payments challenging.
  • Harder to Sell: Due to financing challenges and depreciation, mobile homes often stay on the market longer.

Recommendation: If affordability is an issue, opt for a studio apartment or small condo to get on the property ladder while holding onto your investment.

Final Thoughts

You might now be wondering, “What should I buy?” Every region has gems waiting to be discovered, but it’s crucial to find the best neighborhoods and know who the reliable builders are. The best way to do this is to connect with a professional realtor. If you need a referral or would like to work with me feel free to reach out and I'll be happy to help you.

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