Should you buy from an unknown developer?



There has been a few instances in the news recently related to new construction on strata developments and major issues related to them.


Specifically, the recent articles in the Vancouver Sun deal with 2 different strata developments, both with their own set of very difficult issues. You can take a peek at them here:


This bears the question, does who you buy a new construction home from matter?


The answer, to keep it simple, is yes.


The fate of these purchasers is currently unknown as it seems, per the articles, that some potentially shady and unforthcoming dealings have been happening behind the scenes. For the sake of these purchasers caught in the middle of it all, let's hope this is not the case.


What we do know is that the Superintendant of Real Estate just recently issued an emergency order Monday calling for one of the owners, a numbered company owned by Mark Chandler of development firm Newmark, to stop promoting the project, place all deposits in trust, and file a new disclosure statement.


The order also said that interviews with potential buyers and an accountant suggested that $3.2 million of $4.5 million paid in deposits by one group of 24 buyers did not go into trust, as required by B.C. law. It was then noted that there were at least 17 units which had been sold twice.


That comes to the question I get a ton as a real estate professional, being "are they a good developer?"


Well, there are a few ways to get under the surface on things like this starting with a few simple questions.


How long has the developer been in business?

What other projects have they completed locally?

Who are the directors on their companies and have you researched them?


If you think about new construction, it is the big names in the development game that seem to stick around. Why is that?


They have a reputation to protect. These 2 articles above being exactly the reason why.


I have worked with numerous developers in the past, some big players in the industry and some smaller. The big developers take immense accountability for their product and wnat the good word to spread about their homes for sale. So much so in fact, I just had a client complaining of squeeky floors in their brand new home. This big developer, after trying to fix the issue a few times, deemed it best to pull the entire hardwood floor up, reinforce the subfloor and joists, and put down a new floor. All on their own accord and dime.


Now, it is important to mention, issues do and will occur. It is an entire house/complex after all, and there are always bound to be issues that need to be fixed or overcome.


Buying from a developer that has been around a long time, has a great track record, and also a brand to protect is a great start to making sure you end up with what you paid for.


Until next time,




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