Good Advice on Lakefront Property For Sale
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Generally I'm hired to advise on Groundwater systems but one exception would be Lakefront Property for Sale in British Columbia. I'm currently assisting a young couple who've recently purchased a lakefront home on Shawnigan Lake. They had only been in possession of their Lakefront Property for
two weeks when they needed to take up residence in a Victoria hotel because their brand new dream home soon ended up with no running water. Their new wash machine would take a couple of hours to fill, the showers were useless, they couldn't live in their new home.
I was quite disturbed to find this couple in a situation that would be terribly upsetting for any new homeowner. Immediately I contacted both their out of town Realtor and the vendor who's also the builder of this particular home. Quickly though, I sadly realized that both the Realtor and the vendor had been paid out, this couples dilemma was of very little concern or interest to either one of them.
The young couple had come from the city as many do to purchase this lovely waterfront home with no idea of exactly what they were getting into when offering to purchase the Lakefront Property for Sale. When they'd called me it was because their brand new shiny fixtures and appliances were now plugged solid with organics and mud. The home's "state-of-the-art water treatment system" is about as cheap and dysfunctional as one can possibly install. The submersible pump which supplies lake water to their home is suspended off the dock in two feet of water and muck and needless to mention without a water license. I did ask the purchasers, if they were advised to have a professional review the water system for them? They said "No" but they'd thought that it was all protected by the "Home Warranty Program" that's apparently in place. This couple certainly wouldn't have knowing purchased this Lakefront Property for Sale "as-is-where-is" had the problems been disclosed to them.
I feel that a page or two dedicated to Lakefront Property for Sale in British Columbia would be helpful information on this site.
Generally most waterfront homes or cabins on Vancouver Island and British Columbia will draw their domestic / irrigation water from a lake, river or stream... if a good source of water is available most waterfront property owners in British Columbia will not drill a well. Although there may also be areas in British Columbia where a Lakefront Property for Sale may be serviced by a small water system which will also require that other operating permits are in place as well as the water license this would be an exception to the rule in this province. Most of the time waterfront homeowners will be independently diverting and using water, which is owned by The Crown on behalf of the people of British Columbia. In British Columbia, simply having access to surface water within or adjacent to property does not authorize a right to divert, use or store water. Authority to divert and use surface water is obtained by a water license or approval in accordance with the statutory requirements of the Water Act and the Water Protection Act. Water Rights and Legislation
Many Lakefront Properties for Sale do not have a registered water license. In British Columbia, waterfront property owners have been diverting for years and will likely continue to do so without much of a problem as it's not unlawful for domestic purposes. As water licenses work on the basis of priority there could be situations where a waterfront property for sale without a water license might experience some serious problems as a result at some time down the road. Do not expect to find the BC Water License registered on the property title in British Columbia as they are not registered on title, you will need to contact a Regional Office. If you're given a copy of a water license you may want check that the license is in fact in good standing as there are annual licensing fees payable to keep the water license in tact.
While speaking with the Ministry of Environment it was mentioned that many more purchasers of waterfront properties in British Columbia are requiring that the water source be a licensed water source. This could present a bit of a problem for the vendor, Realtor and purchaser because even the basic quick license process may take up to 140 days in British Columbia, roughly 5 months and that's after the application has been properly submitted as required. Preparing the application will also take some time, so you can safely assume that the quick process could take as long as 6 months if everything goes as planned.
A purchaser may not be prepared to wait while the vendor of a Lakefront Property for Sale takes the time that he'll require to remedy his situation. Mortgage lenders are also becoming more aware this statutory requirement as well as other groundwater issues that I'm encountering with increased frequency. If you don't have a water license in place there could be a concern for a purchaser to obtain a traditional mortgage to purchase your waterfront property as the mortgagor may approve the mortgage subject to a registered water license being in place.
There's no point in rushing to the Ministry of Environment office with your accepted offer to purchase explaining your dilemma and expecting any mercy, it will not make any difference.... I have been processing water license applications for a few years, The Ministry of Environment has a very good system in place and there's no reason for them to make any exceptions, the application must go through the entire process of perhaps 140 days or even longer. I had a client who was terminally ill, he's since passed on... they didn't make any exceptions for him either, he was literally running out of time so don't feel bad when they hand you a BC Water License application!
There's much more information for me to cover on the topic of water issues and Lakefront Property for Sale I will continue to add links at the bottom of this page as time permits.
The intention of this site is not to offer legal advice but general information based on my 20 years of experience working in the field.
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If you have any questions please feel free to Email Colleen
Colleen's Dehydration Tip:
Cholesterol - Dehydration results in cellular water loss. The body produces more cholesterol in an attempt to seal off water loss.
Dr. Dave Carpenter