"Buyer Beware" Seminar - September 17th.

Real Estate Sales Representative with for real estate results in the Tri-Cities.

Homebuyers get advice from Tri-City REALTOR® - by Gary McKenna - The Tri-City News

Homeowner Advocate John Grasty

Local REALTOR® John Grasty will be holding a seminar this month to discuss the potential pitfalls home buyers face when entering the real estate market. Photo: COLLEEN FLANAGAN/THE TRI-CITY NEWS

John Grasty knows the pitfalls that can come when buying real estate.

In 1997 he discovered the condo he purchased in Coquitlam's Town Centre neighbourhood was one of thousands caught up in the Lower Mainland's leaky condo disaster.

Following the incident Grasty became an outspoken critic of building practices and the provincial governments handling of those affected by the crisis. He has since become a REALTOR® and blogs (http://realestateevolved.com/john-grastys-blog/) about the dangers home buyers face when entering the real estate market.

Today, 13 years and millions of dollars after the first leaky condos were discovered; Grasty said there are still many issues buyers should be aware of before putting an offer on a home.

"I have had clients who have wanted to put an offer in on a building... and after doing our due-diligence we have discovered things that tell us this isn't a safe building to buy in to," he said. "I have had this happen many, many times."

This month Grasty will speak at a seminar at the Poirier Library to discuss some of the issues he has seen and faced himself.

With many younger home buyers now entering the market, Grasty's advice is invaluable. However he is quick to point out that it is not just young buyers who get caught up in the pitfalls
that can come with home ownership.

In fact, the majority of people affected by the leaky condo crisis were owners looking to down size from a single-detached home to a townhouse or condo.

He said he has seen cases of elderly, debt-free people getting hit with $80,000 to $100,000 repair bills following their purchase of a leaky condo.

"These are people in the twilight of their life and it is just absolutely sick they have to deal with these types of issues," he said.

Grasty is also critical of the provincial government's recent decision to eliminate interest free loans for people who have been caught up in the leaky condo crisis.

"We just stepped back 12 years," he said. "The BC Liberals basically ignored all of the good work that has been done."

Grasty said the government is wrong to think the leaky condo crisis is over.

Legislation enacted in 1999 which forced developers to change some of their business practices was not retroactive, he points.

That means a developer who took out a building permit before the changes were made could still go ahead and build under the old parameters. Grasty believes buildings constructed as recently as 2001 could leak.

Also, those buying detached homes often believe they are free of leaky condo dangers.

This is not so, according to Grasty. "Half of the Westwood Plateau was built with the same technology as leaky condos," he said. "

But it is not just leaky condos that Grasty said buyers need to be aware of.

All sorts of situations can come up, whether it is an old oil tank in the yard or information on financing. He said the seminars are a great way for people to learn more about the buying process.

"I am really concerned that too many people are falling victim to the frustration of buying and selling because they don't do their due-diligence," he said. "We tell people how to prepare for the purchase."

Grasty will hold a seminar at the Poirier Library on September 17 between 6:45 and 8:45 p.m. For more information go to www.library.coquitlam.bc.ca or www.realestateevolved.com

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John Grasty
for real estate results in the Tri-Cities. - Port Moody, BC
Your Tri-cities REALTOR, neighbour and volunteer.

This seminar is fully booked as of September 15th.

Due to the demand for this seminar, registrations are being taken for a second session. This will be held at the City Centre branch on Wednesday, November 18th.

To register phone: 604-937-4155. 

Sep 16, 2009 07:45 AM #1

My realtor and I had the pleasure of attending your seminar that you gave on September 17th.I really appreciate that you took the time to share your knowledge about real estate and especially leaky condo's. I would just like to take advantage of your offer to ask questions of you by e-mail, as there was not enough time to cover many that evening.

We find ourselves in a position of having to move to the Coast and after having gone through a leaky condo situation in Chilliwack, we are very worried about finding ourselves in the same situation again and so would greatly appreciate any information that you would be willing to give.

1) 1 Do you know of... can you recommend a home inspector who specializes in apartment/townhome envelopes

2) 2 You mentioned that the "Leaky Era" is likely been between 84 and 2002. My husband is wondering what your thoughts are on condos that have been leaky and repaired/ rainscreened? Are these buildings to consider, or are these buildings that we should avoid?

3) 3 Is there such thing as a reputable builder whose buildings have not leaked, regardless of when they were built, that you could recommend?

4) 4 If you were looking for a condo in New West, would you recommend pre-1980 or post 2002? My concern with post 200- is that some are not old enough to reveal their flaws. What are your thoughts on this, and is the building technology really better?  

I really appreciate any information or advice that you can share with us that can help protect us from going through the same heartache again.

Sep 22, 2009 05:16 AM #2
John Grasty
for real estate results in the Tri-Cities. - Port Moody, BC
Your Tri-cities REALTOR, neighbour and volunteer.

Hi Joyce, 

You are currently in an agency relationship with a REALTOR and therefore I am unable to help you directly because of what might be considered interfering. I'll be willing to answer any questions that your REALTOR might have, so please have him or her contact me. Thanks for attending the seminar Joyce.

Take good care,


This message is not intended to cause or induce breach of an existing agency agreement

Sep 22, 2009 05:34 AM #3
Mary Z.

John - firstly, great seminar you gave on Thursday Sept 17th..very informative.

I have a question for you....

What is the statute of limitations for strata/property management companies for retaining strata minutes?  How far back do they usually keep the minutes and how far back can a buyer ask to see them?


Sep 22, 2009 08:39 AM #4
John Grasty
for real estate results in the Tri-Cities. - Port Moody, BC
Your Tri-cities REALTOR, neighbour and volunteer.

Hi Mary,

Thank you for your feedback and I'm pleased to hear that you benefited from the seminar.  I also appreciate your follow-up to these important questions you asked.

Minutes for a strata corporation must be retained for six (6) years.

In order for a buyer to obtain any information it is necessary for the owner to authorize a request for documents. This authorization is generally given to the listing REALTOR of the strata lot who will request copies, such as minutes, etc., at the time the strata lot is listed for sale.

To the best of my knowledge there is no limitation on how many years of minutes can be requested although obtaining them beyond six years might be a challenge.

I hope this helps Mary, and please don't hesitate to call if you require any further clarification.

Take care,


Sep 23, 2009 08:29 AM #5
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