Blog › January 2013

Recently Sold Listing 3793 W 23RD AV, Vancouver, BC

V983118 - 3793 W 23rd Ave, Vancouver, British Columbia, CANADAI have just recently sold this listing at 3793 W 23rd Ave, Vancouver.

Take these first steps before buying your first home

This month marks the start of the first year for home buyers under the federal changes to mortgage lending: in a way buyers now are in the same situation as buyers of 30 years ago before high-ratio mortgage insurance and long amortizations. Buyers, especially first-time buyers who require government backed mortgage insurance, must take pragmatic steps toward a home purchase.

First, the amortization period has been reduced to a maximum of 25 years, as was common until a decade ago. This means that, to qualify for a mortgage, buyers must prove they can make the slightly higher payments required for a 25 year, versus a 30 or even 35 year, mortgage. There is a payoff, in that a homeowner will pay thousands of dollars less in interest payments with a shorter amortization. 

Second, the maximum gross debt service ratio to qualify for an insured mortgage is now 39 per cent, down from 41 per cent, and the maximum total debt service ratio is 44 per cent. This means that, before you apply for a mortgage, make sure that your other debt obligations (like student loans, credit cards or car loan payments) will not skew your debt service ratio above the maximum threshold.

Third, the 5 per cent down payment is still available, but it is wise to save longer and put down more. This is because you will not only save on the mortgage insurance premium but you will also spend less in interest payments over the life of the mortgage.

Fourth, check your credit score: a score of at least 600 is often required now to qualify for insured mortgages.

Fifth, buy a property for less than $1 million. This may sound obvious, but $1 million is the typical house price in some Metro neighbourhoods. But, under the mortgage rules, such purchases require a minimum 20 per cent down payment, or $200,000. If you buy a $900,000 home, the minimum down payment required for mortgage insurance is $45,000.

Sixth, take advantage of the current buyers' market in the Lower Mainland. Sales through MLS are down about 25 per cent from a year ago and prices have basically flatlined and mortgage rates are lower than 30 years ago. Get pre-approved for a mortgage and contact a local Realtor. You can still buy under the
stricter mortgage rules by applying pragmatic, old school principals.

Finally, remember that if you do not need a government-backed insured mortgage (you will put 20 per cent down or more) you will not be affected by the new mortgage rules.

(Info from )

Repairs And Upgrades: How Much Will They Cost?

During the process of buying or selling a home, you often learn about recommended or required repairs and upgrades. This can happen as a result of the home inspection. Of course, the first thing homeowners want to know is, "How much will that cost?"

This will provide you with estimated cost ranges for repair and/or replacement of the major systems and components in a home. It also includes general guidelines for the life expectancies of those systems. This information can help you make informed decisions when they're considering home repairs or improvements, and is especially important before your property is listed. Below is just a sampling of estimated costs for hundreds of repairs/upgrades.



Hardwood Floor Refinish

$2-$5 / sq. ft


$100 / room

Ceramic Tile

$5-$10 / sq. ft








$40 / lin. ft

Kitchen counter-marble

$75 / lin. ft





Alarm System


Alarm Monitoring

$30 / month





Pressure Treated

$15-$25 /sq. ft

Custom Designed & Built

$50-$75 / sq. ft.






$750 and up

Thermal Glass (existing frame)

$30 / sq. ft.



These estimates reflect the average basic costs for supplies and installation of building materials in United States and Canada. Costs may vary depending on regions, upgrades, complexity, and disposal fees.

For complimentary copies of the Pillar to Post Construction and Remodeling Estimates cost guide, please contact [email protected]


New Listing 10206 CRAIG CT, Richmond, BC

V983646 - 10206 Craig Court, Richmond, British Columbia, CANADAView my new listing for sale SOLD at 10206 Craig Court, Richmond and currently listed at $749,000.SOLD

Great 4 bedroom, 2.5 bath family home in a convenient Bridgeport cul-de-sac. This property will have a lane and 2 new homes are being built next door, which will boost property values in the area! Longtime owner has updated and maintained this lovely home. HUGE South-East facing backyard. Newer roof, hot water tank and furnace. Close to Canada Line Skytrain, River Rock Casino, Costco and easy Vancouver access. School Catchments - Tait Elementary/Cambie High school.