Deficiency Walkthrough

The deficiency walkthrough is one of the most important stages of buying a new condo or home. It is required to initiate your New Home Warranty. Typically about 2-3 weeks before completion, the developer will allow you and your REALTOR® to walk through and inspect the unit for any faults. This gives enough time for any deficiencies to be corrected.

An experienced REALTOR® can bring a keen eye and spot many things you may overlook. Your REALTOR® should also be prepared and bring:

  • A flashlight, level, tape measure and green painter’s tape (for marking any paint scuffs).

Deficiency Checklist

Doors
• Open and close all doors. See that doors are well-fitted and operate as intended.
• Make sure all six sides are painted – front, back, top, bottom and both ends.
• Be certain locks, including deadbolts, operate properly without binding, and that thresholds are adjusted correctly.
• Look for warping.
• Hinges should be clean and free of paint.
• Sometimes doors must be trimmed to fit. Make sure the cut is at the bottom, that it’s straight, and that so much hasn’t been cut off that the door is now hollow at the bottom.
• Check that locks are well-installed and do not rattle when the door is closed.
• Check that the exterior doors have been sealed with weather-stripping.

Windows
• Open all windows.
• Determine that locks operate properly.
• Tracks should be lubricated to prevent binding.
• Make sure screens are in place and not torn.
• Look for broken panes.

Walls
• Walk the perimeter of each room, checking floor and ceiling moldings to be sure they are uniform.
• Look for gaps that need caulking, protruding nail heads and proper finish.
• Examine all wall and ceiling surfaces under natural light and, if possible, at night under artificial illumination. Poor drywall work tends to show most when the lights are on.
• Look for visible seams, nail heads that have popped out and other irregularities.
• Be sure the walls are square. Otherwise, the tile floor or patterned vinyl floor will be askew. In such a small space, anything that’s out of line will become a constant source of irritation.
• Inspect the wall finishes for uneven paint coverage.

Electrical
• Be sure all wall outlets and switches operate correctly.
• Test light fixtures, making certain they are attached securely and contain the correct-wattage bulbs.
• Locate the main electrical panel and review the function of each circuit breaker and fuse.
• Your new home must be equipped with ground fault and arc fault circuit interrupters (GFCI and AFCI). GFCIs protect bathroom and exterior receptacle circuits, while AFCIs protect bedroom receptacle circuits. Ask your builder how to test these devices.

Flooring
• Tile and vinyl flooring should be clean and free of chips and cracks.
• Check for missing grout, and be sure molding is installed and painted or stained.
• Walk all carpeted areas, checking for loose fits at the edges, ripples in the middle and squeaks in the subfloor.
• Walk across all floors. You should hear only a minimum of squeaks and notice a minimum of spring when walking on the floor. Due to the nature of wood, a wood floor system will have a certain amount of unevenness.
• See that floor coverings have a relatively flat surface.
• Examine seams in carpets and vinyl to ensure they are tight.
• Inspect ceramic tiles for surface cracks. Joints between ceramic tiles should be well-filled with grout.
• Inspect flooring for damage.
• Examine carpeting for stains or shade variations.

Kitchen
• Check countertops for scratches and abrasions, a frequent complaint. Counters are a magnet for toolboxes from every trade.
• Also make sure the cabinets and appliances are level and properly anchored to the wall or secured to the countertops.
• Check all doors and drawers. They should open fully and without binding.
• Ask for the instruction manuals for every appliance in the house – the range, refrigerator, dishwasher, furnace, heat pump, water heater, electronic thermostat, everything.

Bathrooms
• Look for scratches and nicks in the sink as well as the shower enclosure and tub. Workmen like to put their toolboxes there as well.
• Check that the sink and tub stoppers hold water, and that the shower strainer is fastened securely.
• Make certain the toilet is securely fastened to the floor. Don’t test the commode by trying to rock the fixture back and forth. That will break a seal that’s correctly installed. Just sitting on it is enough to tell if it is tight.
• While sitting there, close the door and take a long, hard look at the walls and other surfaces to make sure they are acceptable. Flaws show up most when semi-gloss paint is used, and that’s what bathrooms should be painted with, not flat paint.
• While you’re at it, be sure to see if the toilet-paper dispenser is at the right distance and height. If it isn’t, you may have to be a contortionist to reach the roll.
• Check for chips in bathtubs, toilets and sinks.
• Ensure that all faucets work properly.
• Check that cabinets are securely fixed to the wall.
• Examine caulking around tub and shower enclosures and at countertop backsplashes.

Heating/Air-conditioning
• Test for cold A/C.
• Check the furnace and hot water heater.
• Ask about the capacity, shut-off mechanisms and the type of filtering systems installed.
• Review the operation of your heating system.
• Locate the furnace filters and ask about their care and maintenance.
• Ensure that heat registers are not located below a thermostat.
• Check the location and number of cold air returns and make sure they are unobstructed.
• Learn the location of any fuel lines (gas, propane or oil) and understand how to operate any shut-off devices on these lines.

Mechanical ventilation
• Locate the switches for ventilation and circulation fans (normally placed near the thermostat).
• Locate supplemental fans and switches in each bathroom and in the kitchen and ensure they are operating. Make sure you understand how to achieve proper ventilation in order to avoid condensation problems which may not be covered under the warranty.

Plumbing
• Locate the shut-off valves for the main water supply and the location of other shut-off valves throughout your home.

Kitchen
• Check for damage to countertops, cupboard doors, sinks and appliances.
• Ensure that cabinet doors are properly aligned.
• Check spaces for standard appliances unless specific measurements were given to your builder. The space allotted for your appliances should be correct.
• Test the range hood fan and light.
• Make sure there are electrical outlets above the counter.

Closets
• Make sure that doors are secure and that they open and close easily.

Upgrades and options
• Rain glass it kitchen cupboards.
• Rain glass shower enclosures.
• Tile in kitchen and bathrooms.
• Vinyl in laundry.
• Marble in bathrooms.
• Granite in kitchen.
• Correct carpet and pad.

List of Short Term (Transient Zoned) Rentals in Victoria 2018

As of 2018 the City of Victoria has banned any new Transient Zoned (30 days or less) buildings in Victoria. The only ones still allowed are buildings that had existing transient zoned status and have been grandfathered in.

Here is a list of buildings in Victoria that allow short term (Airbnb, VRBO, Homeaway, etc) rentals:

  • 751 Fairfield (Astoria)
  • 728 Yates (Era)
  • 562 Yates (The Oriental)
  • 595 Pandora
  • 528 Pandora (Union)
  • 409 Swift (Mermaid Wharf)
  • 456 Pandora (Janion)
  • 599 Pandora (above Mtn E Co-op)
  • 610 Johnson (Monaco)
  • 1602 Quadra (Palladian)
  • 770 Fisgard (Hudson – 30 day min)
  • 732 Cormorant  (Corazon)
  • 760 Johnson (Juliet)
  • 620 Toronto (Roberts  House)
  • 707 Courtney (The Falls)
  • 608 Broughton (Sovereign)
  • 601 Herald
  • 524 Yates (The Leiser)
  • 29 Songhees Rd

Please consult the City of Victoria for more information regarding short term rentals. If you are considering buying a Short Term Rental, our experts can show you available inventory. Contact Us Today.

Risks of Buying Presale

Although there are many advantages of buying a presale condo, like any investment, it is not without risk. Here are some disadvantages or potential risks of buying a presale condo or home:

  • GST/Taxes. On all new developments GST is due and can be a hefty bill come closing.
  • No guarantee of a mortgage. Typically lenders will only secure rates for 90 or 120 days, and it could be years before your presale is complete.
  • The view may not be exactly what you imagine. The showroom may sparkle and may even have a “fake” view backdrop in the window. Your unit could face a parking lot or another building if you aren’t careful.
  • The size may be smaller. Finished square footage allows for a margin of error. It’s important to manage your expectations here and also visualize how big or small your unit may be.
  • It takes time. A condo tower can take years especially if it includes excavation which is the longest and most uncertain process.
  • You can’t back out. If the market changes or your life circumstances change, you are committed to purchase.
  • Assignment rules. It can be hard to sell a presale condo depending on the assignment structure the developer has.

Buying a presale condo an be lucrative and a wonderful way to secure a brand new dream condo. However it is important to understand all the potential risks and consult with a licensed REALTOR® before the purchase.