Blog › April 2016

Infographic: The Cost of Taking Your Home Off the Grid

Ever thought about living off the grid – or at least in a highly energy-efficient home? This super-cool infographic has ideas for budgets large and small 


New Listing 3608 Dunbar Street, Vancouver, BC

R2063505 - 3608 Dunbar Street, Vancouver, BC, CANADAView my new listing for sale SOLD at 3608 Dunbar Street, Vancouver and currently listed at $1,998,800.SOLD

Dunbar home shows beautifully!! Many updates including a large 2 BR self contained suite; perfect mortgage helper. Main level has newer kitchen with granite counter tops, gas stove & vaulted ceilings. Newer hot water heater, efficiency furnace, drain tiles. Newer roof, wiring updated. Large deck off kitchen and an extra room developed in the attic. Affordable with the mortgage helper, or excellent investment to rent top and bottom. Excellent neighbourhood Lord Byng Secondary, OLPH, St Georges and Crofton House. Agent's Open - May 11, 10:30am- 11:30

New Listing 350 E 60th Avenue, Vancouver, BC

R2062229 - 350 E 60th Avenue, Vancouver, BC, CANADAView my new listing for sale at 350 E 60th Avenue, Vancouver and currently listed at $1,798,000.

Quality custom built home. 3 bedrooms and 2 baths up - stone fence around the front exterior of the home with lamps at the posts, modern stone slabs on the front siding. Crown moulding, thick floor boards, engineered hardwood, high ceilings, southern exposure with 2 potential suites downstairs. Double garage and additional parking on the side. This home is ready to move in!! Quiet inside street and walking distance to everything - Langara College, Golf Course, Sunset Community Centre, Canada Line and Oakridge Mall.

Spend a Little Get a Lot

  • Your house should be comparable to others in the neighborhood. For example, if most of your neighbors have granite counter tops or tiled floors, consider upgrading yours.

  • Begin the repair process by making your own home inspection. Walk around the yard and through the house and take notes about the problem areas, needed repairs, items to discard or store, and things to replace.

  • Crayon and marker on walls require treatment before painting the room. Sand the marked area with sandpaper; seal it with shellac and then paint over the spot. This will enable the paint to stick and cover the marks.

  • As you self-inspect your home, make notations on Post-it Notes and stick them in the area that needs attention. This gives an instant visual reminder of what needs to be done in each room.

5 Questions That Buyers Will Ask Themselves About Your Home

Before you list your home, think about the five questions that homebuyers will ask themselves about your house - and be prepared to answer them. If your house measures up the best against others when these questions are asked, yours will be the quickest to sell.

Is this a good location?

We've all heard the adage, "location, location, location." There's a reason for that. No one wants to live in a bad neighborhood. They'll even drive a little further to get to work if they love the neighborhood and/or their kids can go to better schools. Think about how many people live in Greenwich, Connecticut and commute into New York City. Why would they do this? The perception of better schools, cleaner air, more house for less money, more space, and people like themselves, among other things.

You have to create the perception of a great neighborhood - that you're "next to" the ritziest area of town, or near a great park or museum, or in the best school district, or have great access to the highway or metro for commuters, or that it's the "new hot place to live." Think of the benefits and create a "headline" of the benefits.

What does it cost?

Be realistic. You're competing with other people who have a three-bedroom, two-bath home to sell. If you ask much more than the market will bear, it will take longer to sell your home.

When you sit down with a Realtor to list your home, you should ask what other homes have sold for in your neighborhood - and what homes in similar condition, with similar features, are selling for in your area.

How does it look?

Make your home the jewel of the neighborhood - the place that everyone wants to be. Assuming nothing is majorly wrong, here are a few things that you can do to give a great first impression.

Fix the driveway. It's the first thing they see close-up, and sets the tone for how the buyer will see the rest of your home. If it's cracked or stained, they'll look for similar problems inside your home.

Mow the yard, trim the shrubs and plant some flowers - this gives a warm, inviting feeling. Think about how new homes are always so perfectly landscaped and strive to be the same.

Paint the front of the house - or at least the front door. This is the first actual contact that a buyer has with your home; give it the feel of a well-tended home

Lastly, unclutter the place. Start packing the knick-knacks and moving your furniture into storage. This gives you a head start on moving, and gives the buyer a chance to imagine their own "stuff' in the house, leading them one step closer to making it their own.

How will I pay for it?

Many homebuyers are frankly afraid of having someone reviewing their finances and opening themselves up to rejection - by a bank or mortgage lender; particularly when those people are strangers. This can delay them making offer for your home.

If you, as someone they've already met, can afford to offer them financing, you'll be more competitive than the seller who forces every buyer to go through a bank or mortgage company.

When can I move in?

Many people are looking for a home because they're transferring into the area or are tired of apartment living NOW! For these people, the ability to move in quickly is an added incentive to buy your home. You're moving anyway; why not speed up the process? On the other hand, some buyers need to sell their home before they can buy yours. This doesn't make for a quick sale, but it gives you time to get your own move planned and executed.

Let me close with this story. I know a young couple who looked at a home twice, with two very different impressions. For a background, they had been looking for a home in this particular neighborhood for some time. They didn't have an urgent need to move, but were getting tired of apartment living, so a quick move was preferable. They'd contacted a Lender and pre-qualified themselves for financing, and knew the general amount they wanted to spend.

The first time they saw the home it was decorated very tastefully, but in a very formal manner. For some reason it gave them the impression that a lot of work would have to be done to make it their own. So they decided to wait until something else came along in the neighborhood.

Several months later, another home came on the market in the very same neighborhood. Because this first house was still on the market, and the seller had already moved out, the couple stopped in to have another look. Without the furniture and decor of the seller, the house took on a wholly different feel. In each room, the couple discussed what would fit where, and had already named their offices. Within 24 hours they'd made an offer. Within a month, they'd moved in.

Every time I talk to them, they tell me how happy they are in their home, which suits their needs perfectly.

Total BC Home Sales in March Eclipse Previous All-Time Record

Unprecedented demand for West Coast property far outstripping supply, with major regions seeing decades-low inventory, says association

Home for sale sold

An unprecedented demand for West Coast property led to a record number of home sales across BC in March, according to BC Real Estate Association figured released April 15.

Across the province, 12,560 residential unit sales were recorded by the Multiple Listing Service® (MLS®), a rise of 38 per cent over March 2015.

This follows – and is largely driven by – record-breaking figures released by the real estate boards in Greater Vancouver and the Fraser Valley. As in those regions, the overall BC figure was the highest sales figure ever recorded in any month, smashing the previous BC record of 11,683 unit sales posted in May 2007.

BC’s total home sales dollar volume in March was inevitably also a record, at $9.69 billion, up 66.9 per cent compared with the same month last year. Although this a high rate of increase, it is not quite the 76 per cent year-over-year surge seen in February.

The record dollar volume is indicative of both increasing total transactions and the average MLS® BC home price in March rising 20.2 per cent year-over-year, to $771,620.

“Housing demand has never been stronger in the province,” said Cameron Muir, BCREA’s chief economist. “Strong employment growth, rising wages and a marked increase in net interprovincial migration is fueling consumer confidence."

As is ever the case, the overall figures for the province obscure significant differences between various real estate markets across BC, although many previously poorly performing northern and interior markets turned around their declines last month.

Of the larger markets, the largest percentage rise in total unit sales was again recorded in the Fraser Valley, where home sales climbed 65 per cent compared with March 2015. As with last month, Victoria and Vancouver Island both posted even steeper rises than Greater Vancouver’s 28 per cent sales jump, increasing 51 per cent and nearly 30 per cent, respectively.

Greater Vancouver, however, re-emerged as the region suffering from the most acute shortage of inventory, having been beaten out in that ranking by the Fraser Valley in recent months. Greater Vancouver reported a sales-to-active-listings ratio of nearly 31 per cent, the province’s highest, meaning that is the region that is the strongest sellers’ market. The Fraser Valley’s ratio eased to 26.7 per cent – still very firmly in sellers’ market territory, but a great improvement over February’s near-60 per cent ratio, due to a host of new spring home listings in March.

At the other end of the scale, the Northern Lights region saw sales drop 40 per cent year over year, although this area’s sales volumes are so small (totalling 20 units in March) that its percentage figures are highly volatile. Another small region, Powell River was the other board to post an annual decline in sales, down 13.3 per cent.

Northern Lights was also one of two boards to see a year-over-year average price drop, of nearly 22 per cent – the other being the Kootenay region, where prices were down five per cent.

The Fraser Valley was the region to see the steepest average price increase, up 29 per cent, followed by Greater Vancouver, at nearly 23 per cent, then Chilliwack, at just over 20 per cent.

To read the full BCREA report, click here.


New Listing 2765 W 8th Avenue, Vancouver, BC

R2057922 - 2765 W 8th Avenue, Vancouver, BC, CANADAView my new listing for sale at 2765 W 8th Avenue, Vancouver and currently listed at $2,288,000.

FANTASTIC Heritage home in the heart of Kitsilano. Great curb appeal, professionally landscaped garden & mature trees. 2 level home on a 40 x 105 lot, 2 parking spots - rear lane access. RT-8 zoning provides a great opportunity to renovate and add substantial square footage to the existing home to make a larger single family home or a duplex. Currently configured as 2 separate suites w/3 bedrooms up and 2 bedrooms down but can easily be combined into a single family home. BRAND NEW deck overlooking a LARGE backyard. Updated kitchen with sparkling new stone countertops & a undermount stainless steel sink. Oil Tank removed. Open House May 1 - 4:30-5

Recently Sold Listing 3488 HIGHBURY STREET, Vancouver, BC

R2055209 - 3488 HIGHBURY STREET, Vancouver, BC, CANADAI have just recently sold this listing at 3488 HIGHBURY STREET, Vancouver.

Recently Sold Listing 13b - 1500 Alberni Street, Vancouver, BC

R2048215 - 13b - 1500 Alberni Street, Vancouver, BC, CANADAI have just recently sold this listing at 13b - 1500 Alberni Street, Vancouver.

Recently Sold Listing 3479 W 19th Avenue, Vancouver, BC

R2049432 - 3479 W 19th Avenue, Vancouver, BC, CANADAI have just recently sold this listing at 3479 W 19th Avenue, Vancouver.

East Vs. West #1: What the Benchmark Condo Price Will Buy You

With the benchmark price of a Greater Vancouver condo now at $454,600, we took a look at current listings to see what you can get for that in East Van versus the West Side 

East vs West 1 Condos around $450K main image

As the real estate landscape in Vancouver shifts and more people move farther east in search of affordable homes, we want to see how the east and west really stack up. Using the Real Estate Board of Greater Vancouver's current Lower Mainland condo benchmark price of $454,600(see our handy infographic breaking down all the numbers) we’ve compared units in three popular East Vancouver neighbourhoods to their counterparts in three desirable West Side locations.

Our findings? While you may find a little more space and newer buildings on the East Side, prices weren’t that far apart. Stay tuned for the next part in our series where we look at townhomes.

Click through the links to find more details on each property. As the properties are sold, the listings may no longer be available.

Fraser, East Vancouver


One-bedroom, one-bathroom condo

706 Square feet

Price per square foot: $607

Year built: 2011

East vs West 1_Fraser

This one-bedroom condo has a large office, perfect for working from home or converting into a nursery.  The bright and sunny penthouse suite, with mountain and courtyard views, features a huge walk-in California Closet, 160-square foot deck and high-end finishes throughout. Steps away from popular cafes.

Main, East Vancouver


One-bedroom, one-bathroom condo

621 Square feet

Price per square foot: $708

Year built: 2011

East vs West 1_Main

This one-bedroom and den has stunning panoramic views of the mountains and Queen Elizabeth Park. Spacious and bright, the unit has heated bathroom floors, retractable screens, designer lighting throughout, and a high-end kitchen. Close to popular Main Street shops, restaurants, community centre and transit.

Hastings, East Vancouver


Two-bedroom, one-bathroom condo

736 Square feet

Price per square foot: $610

Year built: 2012

East vs West 1_Hastings

Steps from Commercial Drive, this modern two-bedroom corner suite has a practical, open layout and floor to ceiling windows, laminate floors, stainless steel appliances, quartz counter tops, custom roller blinds and in-suite storage. The east facing balcony is bright and sunny. The boutique building’s fantastic rooftop deck has incredible views. One parking spot is included; pets and rentals welcome.

UBC, West Side, Vancouver


One-bedroom, one-bathroom condo

715 Square feet

Price per square foot: $599

Year built: 1993

East vs West 1_UBC

About as far west as someone can live in Vancouver is this lovely garden apartment. The huge patio is surrounded by an expansive lawn and garden, with a high privacy hedge. The unit has a spacious living room, large kitchen and gas fireplace, while the building features a fitness centre, hot tub, two guest suites and a resident manager.

Kitsilano, West Side Vancouver


0-bedroom, one-bathroom studio condo

464 Square feet

Price per square foot: $946

Year built: 2014

East vs West 1_Kits

This penthouse suite in an almost-new boutique building boasts North Shore and city views, as well as nine-foot ceilings, wide-plank engineered hardwood flooring, high-end appliances and a fully stone-clad bathroom. Located right on 4th Avenue, in the heart of Kits close to shops, restaurants, transit and the beach. One parking spot is included.

Southlands, West Side Vancouver


One-bedroom, one-bathroom condo

705 Square feet

Price per square foot: $638

Year built: 2001

East vs West 1_Dunbar

The smartly designed and spacious condo features one-bedroom and two dens. The unit has an open kitchen, extra pantry and new white oak flooring throughout. One parking spot and a storage locker are included in this condo. This rainscreened building is close to desirable schools, UBC, and Dunbar and Kerrisdale shopping areas. 

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