Condo Home Inspection, First-time Home Buyers, Ceiling Damage
Interior shot of bathtub


Dear David,
Do I need a home inspection when buying a condo? – Unsure

Dear Unsure,

I always recommend a home inspection to my buyers, as a matter or good practise. That said, it really depends on how much of the property is under the responsibility of the condo corporation. In a high-rise apartment style condo, major building elements like the roof or windows are the responsibility of the corporation. An inspection within your unit might uncover minor issues like a dripping tap or faulty light switch, but it’s unlikely that these would prevent you from buying the property. In the case of a townhouse condo, verify which elements of the property are your responsibility and proceed accordingly. Your Realtor can advise if an inspection it is worth the investment in your particular case.

Dear David,
What incentives are available for first-time homebuyers? – New to the Market

Dear New,

As of this year, the provincial government has doubled the first-time homebuyers’ Land Transfer Tax refund to a maximum of $4,000. This means that qualifying buyers will no longer pay Land Transfer Tax (LTT) on the first $368,000 of their home’s purchase price.

The Home Buyers’ Plan (HBP) also lets first-time buyers “borrow” up to $25,000 from their RRSPs to build or purchase a home, then pay back the “loan” over the next 15 years without penalty. If you and your spouse both qualify, you can each withdraw up to $25,000 to put towards the down payment.

Dear David,
My bathtub overflowed upstairs and the water has stained my California ceiling. Should I paint over it? – Concerned

Dear Concerned,

Your first course of action should be to confirm that there is no damage above the ceiling and ensure that the rafters have been sufficiently dried out. If there is a hidden problem, you’ll want to address that first. When you are satisfied that there are no underlying issues, I suggest having the damaged portion of your ceiling repaired and resurfaced, as California ceilings tend not to be painted. A craftsman who specializes in the application of this type of ceiling can make the damage disappear without having to redo the entire thing. I’d be happy to recommend someone for you.