Purchasing a home in British Columbia is an exciting and significant milestone. However, the process can be intricate, and it is crucial for Purchasers to include specific standard conditions in their purchase contracts to protect their interests and ensure a smooth transaction. The following are examples of conditions:
- Buyer Financing: Including a financing clause in the contract allows the Purchaser to withdraw if they are unable to obtain satisfactory mortgage financing within a specified timeframe. This condition is essential as it ensures that the Purchaser is not obligated to proceed with the purchase of the home if their financing falls through.
- Property Inspection: Conducting a thorough inspection of the property is crucial to identify any potential issues or defects. It may be desirable to include a broad inspection clause, which allows for inspections at the Purchaser’s discretion. This will allow for a home inspection and can include a subsurface oil tank inspection if necessary.
- Insurance: Including an insurance clause is essential to protecting the Purchaser’s interests. This clause allows the Purchaser to exit the contract if they are unable to obtain satisfactory property, fire, and liability insurance.
- Review of Title: This condition allows the Purchaser to perform a review of land title to address the potential encumbrances on the land. These could include covenants, liens, easements, and statutory building schemes. A thorough review of the title is essential to ensure that the property meets the Purchaser’s needs.
- Strata Documents: In the case that the property being purchased is part of a strata, the Purchaser can include a clause requesting to see the strata bylaws and rules, as well as the minutes from prior annual general meetings and a depreciation report.
- Property Disclosure Statement: A property disclosure statement can provide the Purchaser with valuable insight into the property. The statement may disclose defects such as insect infestation, asbestos insulation or moisture problems. It is often desirable for the Purchaser to request a copy of a property disclosure statement.
- Clarifying Fixtures vs. Chattels: The law surrounding what constitutes a fixture and what constitutes a chattel is complex. It is prudent for the Purchaser to specify what is included in the offer price in the purchase contract. This may be a hot tub or a large mirror fixed to the wall.
- Lawyer’s Approval: Where a Purchaser has reservations about the form of the contract, the Purchaser could insist on a condition that the contract be subject to their lawyer’s approval within a specific period of time.
Remember however that the above list is just a few examples of standard conditions often included in a real estate contract. These are not guaranteed to be present, nor are they the only clauses that may be desirable for your specific home purchase. To make sure you’re not missing out on—or trapped by—a clause that could cost you thousands, contact Heath Law and speak to an experienced real estate lawyer today!