With literally hundreds of builders in the Vancouver area, it’s easy to get caught up with the wrong group that you choose to trust with what is most likely your entire life’s savings. Here in Vancouver, a man by the name of Tarsem Gill, a local Real Estate Developer, along with his Lawyer Martin Wirick, have apparently been accused of defrauding some 77 homebuyers, along with theft of 30 mortgages, all within just a couple of years.
In my experience, there are a few styles of builders: High End Builders that focus on quality and true luxury; Average Builders that can build you a quality product for a fair price, and lastly, there are these high volume, low quality builders that seem to take forever to finish a project and constantly have disappearing trades people.
Some of the easy ways to detect if you are being scammed are as follows:
1. Your home is taking too long to build.
The average 2 story, 2000-3000 Square foot home should take approximately 9 months to build. Put your agreement with your contractor into a formal contract (you can get one from the Greater Vancouver Home Builders Association GVHBA).
2. You’re always having difficulty getting in touch with your builder.
I understand a good builder is busy and I’m not suggesting that you should be able to reach them all day long. However, at the very least you should be able to communicate via email once at the end of the day, just to see how things are going.
3. There are long periods of time when there are few or no trades people at your site.
Trades people are vital to the success and timeliness of your project. If you notice there are no trades people on site, with no particular reason, you’ve most likely got a problem.
4. There is/are additional charges on the title to your property that you do not recognize.
Call Vancouver City Hall (311) and request to have the Legal Description and P.I.D. and Head down to your local Land Titles office, #300-88 Sixth Street, New Westminster and request to receive the title of your property. The cost for this service is roughly $10. You can also call Realtor Jason Wood at 778-706-0670 or through www.bchouseandhome.com and he can obtain the document for you.
It’s up to you to do your research, check the background and references of at least 3 builders before you make a decision. If you run into a problem with you builder, try to deal with it right away.
If you need a referral to a great builder for your project, contact Vancouver/Burnaby/Richmond Realtor, Jason Wood at www.bchouseandhome.com and we’d be more than happy to make sure you don’t get stuck with a nightmare!