Blog › August 2013

New Listing 16 - 9688 Keefer Ave, Richmond, British Columbia


V1025074 - 16 - 9688 Keefer Ave, Richmond, British Columbia, CANADAView my new listing for sale at 16 - 9688 Keefer Ave, Richmond and currently listed at 550000.

Rarely available Tudor-style huge luxury home with radiant hot water heating in gated CHELSEA ESTATES. Huge family living room and dining room on main, high end finishings, 9' ceiling, crown moulding, 3 bedroom up and 2.5 baths. This family home also has granite countertops, a spacious kitchen with gas cooktop and island. Upgraded, newer stainless steel appliances, built-in vacuum system, security & smoke alarm, laminate flooring, double garage and visitor parking available. Close to park and schools, bank and shops nearby. Only 4 years old, balance of new home warranty, extremely well kept, better than new! A great family home, don't miss it! Open House Saturday 3:15-5:15pm

See the Pixilink 360° Virtual Tour for this listing

New Listing 3250 W 37TH AV, Vancouver, British Columbia


V1024332 - 3250 W 37th Ave, Vancouver, British Columbia, CANADAView my new listing for sale SOLD at 3250 W 37th Ave, Vancouver and currently listed at $1,880,000.SOLD

Meticulously maintained and updated Westcoast beauty on the outside - charming, newly renovated Kerrisdale home inside! Quiet street, 4 bedrooms up and preferred south facing backyard. Spacious layout, wood floors, stained glass, new roof w/warr, new furnace & HW tank, air conditioning & 2 car garage. This home has it all! School catchment is Kerrisdale and Point Grey. Open House Saturday, September 14th 1:30-3:00pm.

See the Pixilink 360° Virtual Tour for this listing

Getting Good Tenants (and Avoiding Bad Ones)


Get it on tape

Do a tour of the premises with the tenant, and videotapes the whole thing, so that if theres ever a dispute about damage, you have proof.

Run it like a business

Treat your rental as an active business.

It isnt a passive business, Like any business, if you dont nurture it, it can get costly.

Avoid disputed by making regular improvements and repairs, and making regular (announced) inspections of the premises, monthly if you can. 

Too often landlords who own one or two properties dont educate themselves well enough about the provincial laws that govern this type of business transaction. A good landlord is an educated one; one who knows the rights of his tenants and his own.

Landlords and tenants live up to their rights and responsibilities under the Residential Tenancy Act. However, landlords should exercise due diligence in screening tenants, such as checking past rental and work references.

Do your due diligence

In the end, both the prospective renter and landlord need to exercise due diligence before entering into any contract, otherwise it can be a miserable experience for one or both of them

Tips on how to screen potential tenants:
(Courtesy of Rental Housing Council)

  • Ask for proof of identity, such as a valid drivers licence or passport.
  • Thoroughly check all references.
  • Contact previous landlords. Ensure the person is a past landlord and ask about the tenants past rentpayment patterns and suitability as a tenant.
  • Check the applicants financial suitability through a credit check.
  • Confirm the applicants income is adequate to make rent payments.
  • Ask how many people will be living in the unit and what the names of those people are.

A landlord must not violate a persons rights when checking for suitability as a tenant.

Sign a contract

A written contract signed by both landlord and tenant ensures that both parties are agreeing to the same set of expectations. The BC governments Residential Tenancy Agreement is available free online at www.rto.gov.bc.ca/documents/rtb1.pdf. This six page document lists everything from the landlords pets policy to rent increases, to repairs obligations and policies on overnight guests, as well as much more. By going through it together before signing, you set a businesslike tone to the relationship.

Avoid scammers

Vancouver has the highest rents in Canada for a two bedroom unit, at $1255 per month, at least. With so much money at stake, scammers like to target the rental market. Be aware of common frauds. Dont risk losing your money, or even worse, your identity and banking information to a scammer. The Rental Housing Council gave us these examples of common scams.

Scams on landlords

  • A tenant provides the landlord with fake ID and fake references. The tenant then provides a cheque for security deposit and first months rent, and moves into the suite. The cheque bounces, but by then it is difficult for the landlord to serve notice to evict. The tenant stays in the suite until the landlord can legally evict them.
  • A tenant sends the landlord a cheque (usually international) for a few thousand dollars for the security deposit and first months rent. They tell the landlord they made a mistake, ask them to cash the cheque and send them the difference. Since the tenants cheque was international, it takes several days to go through the bank. By the time the landlord has sent the tenant the difference, the original overpayment cheque bounces.

Scams on tenants

  • Someone posing as a landlord posts an ad on Craigslist or Kijiji for a place to rent. They use pictures from another listing or a real estate site. They tell the tenant they cant show them the suite. The tenant meets the landlord offsite or sends them a cheque. On movein day the tenant shows up to find the suite doesnt exist, or is already occupied by someone else. In a recent example, the conartist listed a suite for rent that was actually for sale. Posing as a Realtor he was able to con the concierge of the building into giving him a key, which he gave to the prospective tenant to view the suite without him. He then met her in a coffee shop across the street to sign the rental agreement, and she paid him $6,000 cash. She found out when it was time to move in that it was a scam.

 Where landlords and tenants can go for help:

The BC government has a number of good resources to help ensure a successful tenancy for both landlords and tenants.

For a free copy of TRACs Tenant Survival Guide, visit www.tenants.bc.ca/main/?tenantSurvivalGuide



Greater Vancouver Real Estate Market: July 2013


Last month was unusual on two fronts. Most noticeably, it was the sunniest July in Greater Vancouver since 1986. (Yaaay!) It was also the biggest month for home sales this year.

Watch the video.

Huh? Usually there's a summer lull in home sales. Not this year. Sandra Wyant, president of the Real Estate Board of Greater Vancouver, suggests that "pent-up demand from the slowdown in sales activity we saw at the end of last year" was one factor.

The glorious weather, the hint that mortgage rates might go up some more, and stable prices might also have had something to do with it.

Or maybe it's just the alignment of the planets, because this activity wasn't confined to Greater Vancouver. July sales were up in the Fraser Valley, which has been experiencing 10-year lows for over a year. Toronto also had a bigger-than-expected July. In fact it had the third-best July sales on record.

That means the three most expensive housing markets in Canada all saw atypical buying and selling in what's generally a pretty lax month for home sales. And the same thing happened in Calgary, where sales were up by 17 per cent, and Edmonton, which saw a 25 per cent jump in home sales.

Wonder if this will send the federal government back into a flurry of market-calming activities.

Sales and Listings

In Greater Vancouver, 2,946 homes sold on the MLS last month, up by 11.5 per cent from the month before, and up a full 40.4 per cent from last year at the same time (2012 was a slow year). Those July sales even beat the 10-year average by a hair-the first time this year sales have been anywhere near the 10-year average.

 Greater Vancouver MLS Sales

Meanwhile, new listings have been dropping every month since April. With fewer home owners putting their places up for sale, the increase in sales ate away at the active listings. There were 16,618 MLS properties for sale at the end of July, which was down 3.9 per cent from June and down 8.1 per cent from July 2012.

This bumped up the sales-to-active-listings ratio from 15 to 17.7 per cent, which is considered a balanced market. It's been consistently over 15 per cent since March of this year.

There are 5.6 months of inventory, which means it would take 5.6 months to sell every property now available at the current rate of sales activity. That number also indicates a balance of supply and demand.

Whats Up, Whats Down - At a Glance

 

July 2013 / June 2013

 July 2013 / July 2012

Overall Sales

+11.5%

+40.4%

- Detached

+13.2%

+59.0%

- Townhome

+3.2%

+27.0%

- Apartment

+13.3%

+31.0%

New Listings

-0.4%

+1.1%

Current Listings

-3.9%

-8.1%

Benchmark Price (MLS Home Price Index)

The surprising July sales didn't affect benchmark prices (based on the price of a typical home for its neighbourhood). Across the Greater Vancouver region, these are generally within one per cent of where they were in June.

Greater Vancouver MLS Benchmark Prices % Change

 

July 2013

June 2013

July 2012

Detached

$920,500

+0.1%

-3.1%

Townhome

$456,700

-0.1%

-2.6%

Apartment

$368,300

-0.2%

-1.6%

Home prices are still lower than they were the same time last year. July 2012 was just two months off the all-time price peak for Greater Vancouver. The chart shows the MLS Home Price Index which measures the growth in benchmark prices.

 Greater Vancouver 5 Year Trend

We hear from many Realtors that they're expecting very strong September sales this year, and July's numbers sure seem to be heading in that direction.

See detailed Real Estate Board of Greater Vancouver stats for June.


Here's the video wrap-up of Junes house prices and sales with REBGV president Sandra Wyant.

See also:

Strategics MLS Condo Market Mid-2013 Forecast