Vancouver, BC Real Estate News

By Tim Ayres
(Royal LePage Coast Capital Realty)
Not exactly Victoria-related, but kind of about real estate! Too cool not to post on my blog! This was taken from the filmmaker’s Yaletown Condo. Vancouver Real Estate is all about condos downtown - wonder how much the view from this place costs!  -Tim Ayres
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By James Wong Vancouver Richmond, Chinese Realtor, Vancouver > Richmond
Vancouver leaky condos are costly to fix According to an estimate by the British Columbia's Homeowner Protection Office, there is a total of about 65,000 dwellings in British Columbia that are "leaky condos". As of 2002, 50,000 of them had been identified. The cost to a home owner for complete remediation with "rain screen technology" may be from $25,000 to $60,000. In spite of all the safe guards and disclosures required since 2000, a home buyer cannot be 100% certain that he or she is safe from buying a condo with water-damaged problem. The strata meeting minutes of a strata corporation are important documents for a buyer in gaining insight on operations of the corporation. Most mortgage lenders require 12 to 24 months of minutes to ascertain a strata condo is not having water-damaged...
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By James Wong Vancouver Richmond, Chinese Realtor, Vancouver > Richmond
  Taking a pause? Is Vancouver's detached house price in October taking a pause before heading up higher as in December 2006 and January 2007? Or, is this the top of the Vancouver housing market? The Calgary and Edmonton housing markets had already stalled for the past 3 months with declining sales volumes. The Canadian 6 cities pricing trends as presented by Brian Ripley can be viewed here. Brian's scorecard statistics for Calgary and Edmonton are showing deterioration in the housing market in these 2 cities. Could October be the month that Vancouver too follows Calgary and Edmonton reversing its pricing trend? Other than the highly unaffordability problem faced by Vancouver homebuyers, high level of housing constructions and housing inventory coming on-stream near term will put press...
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By Matt Collinge, REALTOR® - Vancouver Real Estate
(Century 21 In Town Realty)
Is Metro Vancouver as liveable as international reports say it is? The Vancouver Foundation answers this question in its Metro Vancouver’s Vital Signs® 2007 report. The report tells what it’s like to live in the 21 municipalities that make up Metro Vancouver from the perspective of those of us who live here. It brings together factual information, perceptions gleaned from an Ipsos Reid survey, and ideas from residents about problems and solutions. The report finds that Metro Vancouver is indeed a desirable place to live, but many of our 2.1 million residents face challenges. At the top of the list: affordable housing. Rising housing costs coupled with diminishing rental stock caused homelessness to more than triple between 2000 and 2005; the income gap: one in four (26%) of children liv...
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The much anticipated Kits new apartment development -The Vine- will be completing in a few days. I know I have been looking forward to seeing some new condos in our wonderful Kitsilano. We are running out of suites in the area that are not getting old- I am excited and so are a lot of my clients trying to invest in a good concrete building in the area. The project was a great hit during the presale period, selling out in just days. The features and the location of the building made it an easy sell: steps to Arbutus walk, great shopping, Kits Beach, lots of Parks and so much more.  We were eager to see a new development of apartments with elegant features of brick and glass accents- not just another eyesore of concrete and no creative design. The Digger Group has invested in another webs...
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By James Wong Vancouver Richmond, Chinese Realtor, Vancouver > Richmond
Home buyers can buy with 5% down payment if they are qualified for CMHC high ratio mortgages. If you are a first time home buyer, check out if you are qualified to withdraw your RRSP savings as down payment under the "home buyer's plan". In addition, find out if you are exempted from paying the British Columbia "property transfer tax". When you are buying a home with less than 20% down payment, your mortgage is a high ratio mortgage. You are required to buy a home mortgage insurance to protect your mortgage lender against loan default. The insurance premium charged is dependent how much down payment is provided by you. The insurance premium may range from 1.00% to 2.75% of your mortgage amount. Please refer to CMHC mortgage insurance premium table for details. The lesser down payment y...
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By James Wong Vancouver Richmond, Chinese Realtor, Vancouver > Richmond
  What do expect when applying for a mortgage?   The following information on the approval process is applicable to borrowers who are salaried employees.1). Your ability to make the monthly paymentA mortgage lender examines the past and present annual gross income of a borrower, and the likelihood of him receiving this income in the future. This helps determine whether a borrower can afford to make the monthly mortgage payment for the full term of the mortgage. A mortgage may be a conventional (with 20% down payment) or high ratio mortgage (less than 20% down payment). Mortgage approval by lenders involves the examination of 2 debt service ratios when the lenders are under-writing their mortgage applications:a). Gross debt service ratio (GDSR)Your monthly payment on housing costs inclu...
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By James Wong Vancouver Richmond, Chinese Realtor, Vancouver > Richmond
  The Government of Canada has 2 home purchase programs that help a first time buyer to purchase his or her first homes. You should find out if you are eligible to take advantage of these 2 programs, namely: a) Property Transfer Tax Exemption ( BC program) b) Home Buyer's Plan - using your RRSP for down payment As a first time buyer, you need to find out if you can be approved for a home mortgage. Do you have a credit problem that will affect your loan application? For home buyers who are interested in buying an eco-friendly and energy efficient home, CMHC has a "green home incentive" on their high ratio mortgage financing. 1). How much mortgage? Before you get started, you need to know how much you can afford. Are you prepared and committed to the long term financial responsibility of...
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By James Wong Vancouver Richmond, Chinese Realtor, Vancouver > Richmond
Richmond real estate sale commission Are real estate commissions too high? There are a number of reasons why real estate commission are perceived to be high by home sellers. This perception becomes more prevailing when homes are sold within days of being listed on the market. Realtors are seen to be making easy money with relatively little efforts. But, in a slow market, the question seems to disappear. The biggest cost to a Realtor is advertising in various local real estate newspapers. Realtors routinely spend many hours working with home buyers or sellers that turn out to be wasted. The commission structure compensate Realtors for the costs of marketing the homes listed by them. Not all homes can be sold, and many homes costs the Realtors advertising money and time. So, for houses th...
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Vancouver Sun article highlights Prices of homes in BC continue to increase in the next 2 years. The housing market remains very strong in 2007 and 2008. Increase in prices are moving to a more moderate rate. Average home price increase 17.7% in 2006, 11.7% in 2007, and 6.3% in 2008.Average home price in BC predicted $464 000 in 2008, up from $390 963 in 2006 US market not affecting the BC housing market. BC economy strong due to strong employment rate and growth in incomes. Price drop result because of decreased consumer confidence, for example: 1996 through 1998 Asian financial markets flopped2001 tech bubble burst and World Trade Center attack Future expectations: Sales of existing homes to increase in 2007, but dropping in 2008Sales of new houses to decrease in 2007 and 2008Sales of...
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By David Helm, Bellingham, Wa. Licensed Home Insp
(Helm Home Inspections)
On Sunday we went with friends to Vancouver, BC to take in The Taming of the Shrew at the wonderful "Bard on the Beach Series.  This series has been going on for eighteen years and regularly sells out every performance.  There are two stages, the large (520 seat) Main Stage and the smaller (240 seat) Studio Stage.  Both stages are in tents.  The festival goes from June through September and is performed by a very professional, non-profit theatre company.  Last years attendance was over 80,000.  The company performs the Shakespeare plays in a variety of more modern settings.  Taming of the Shrew was set as a "Spaghetti Western".  Here are a few pictures from Bard on the Beach.  Alas there are none of the actual performance because, as always, taking pictures during a performance is forbi...
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By Sapan Behar
(Royal LePage Wolstencroft)
Vancouver’s most expensive condominium unit hit the market this week with an $ 18.2- million price tag. Not bad for something that sold for less than $ 3 million just three years ago. To be fair, Vancouver businessman Randy Bishop has spent several million dollars completing the property that was an unfinished shell when he bought it in 2004. The 26th- floor, two- level luxury unit at 1000 Beach Ave. features myriad real estate bells and whistles designed to attract wellheeled buyers from around the world. It includes a private elevator, an additional 800- square- foot nanny suite on a separate floor, a private four- car garage and two extra parking stalls, a boat slip at a marina, and floor- to- ceiling windows that offer 360- degree city views. Sotheby International Realty realtor Be...
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By Lyn Spicer
(Spice of Life Redesigns)
I would like to take this opportunity to introduce my company.Spice of Life Redesigns transforms a home into a house so it appeals to the broadest range of prospective buyers.  A home is where a person lives - a house is a piece of real estate.  As an expert Real Estate Agent you know the way people live in their home and the way they sell their house must be two very different things.  Spice of Life Redesigns provides your client with the expertise necessary to make this valuable transition in selling their house faster.  We work with your client to determine the function of the room and their likes and dislikes about the room. Spice of Life Redesigns goes shopping with your client in their own house. What do I mean by this, most people have traveled or received special treasures such ...
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By Grady Harris
(Sutton Group Westcoast Realty)
The Harris Real Estate GroupSUTTON Westcoast RealtyMay 16, 2007Vancouver Weekly Real Estate Update Dear ,  Home prices hit a record high in April, much to the chagrin of the benchwarmers out there.  Across Canada, they're up 9.5% from last year.  In Vancouver, up 12.2%!   Yup, prices are "high", but the amount you need to get into the game simply isn't.  If you look at buying real estate the same way you would stocks (money in vs. money out=profit or loss), it makes the 'high' prices easy to swallow.  Play with the numbers:  If you were a first time homebuyer last year, and bought a  $400,000 apartment in Vancouver with 5% down ($20,000), you'd already have made $48,000.   That's a 140% return on your investment.  Sweet.   My loft didn't cost me $324,000, it cost me $16,200, and the ban...
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By Grady Harris
(Sutton Group Westcoast Realty)
The Harris Real Estate GroupSUTTON Westcoast RealtyMay 5, 2007Vancouver Weekly Real Estate Update Dear ,  One of my favorite questions is 'So, what's going on in the market'.  My canned response is 'what market?' and I always seem to get a weird look.  But real estate markets are different in every area of the city, and can even differ from one block to the next.  What goes on in Kits will be different than Port Moody, and what's going on in houses will be different from lofts.  The question of course, can be answered with a broad stroke which is exactly what the Real Estate Board of Greater Vancouver attempted to do with the following article: Home Sales to Decline, Home Prices to Keep Rising. It paints a rosy picture of the future market, and as well it should when articles like this ...
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By Grady Harris
(Sutton Group Westcoast Realty)
The Harris Real Estate GroupSUTTON Westcoast RealtyApril 24, 2007Vancouver Weekly Real Estate Update Dear ,  When you go shopping at the mall, do you walk into a store and ask them what they can do for you or do you walk in and tell them what you're looking for?    Too many of us hang out in the real estate market like it's the shopping mall. You know what I mean: wander around, have a cinnabon, kill some time, look at the other shoppers, go to orange julius, look at the mannequins, read a magazine...Real estate doesn't work that way. It's just too competitive and there's too much at stake.    The people who are successful at the real estate game are the one's who spend the time and energy figuring out exactly what they want and then call guys like us help them find it.    Decisiveness ...
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By Grady Harris
(Sutton Group Westcoast Realty)
The Harris Real Estate GroupSUTTON Westcoast RealtyMarch 30th, 2007Vancouver Weekly Real Estate Update Hello,  Spring weather is just around the corner, and people all over the city are getting their homes ready to list for sale. (Agents call the coming month's "Listing Season").  Nothing helps sells a home faster than warm sunshine and blooming flowers.  Buyers come out in droves, and if you're thinking of selling now is the time to be interviewing agents.  Be sure to call us!     All you buyers out there should consider that there will be increased competition in the coming months and now is the time to get decisive about buying.  Buying a convertable in the winter and selling it in the summer is the way to go.  A wait and see mentality at this juncture will only cost you money down t...
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By Grady Harris
(Sutton Group Westcoast Realty)
The Harris Real Estate GroupSUTTON Westcoast RealtyMarch 6th, 2007Vancouver Weekly Real Estate Update HELLO,  How many years have you been working?  First job at age 16 or 17?  Now check your bank balance. How much money do you have? NOW...divide how much you've saved by the number of years you've worked.  Pretty depressing annual income isn't it?   It's sad, but jobs don't make us money, and they will never make us rich. We are all living proof. Still don't believe me, ask your parents.  So what will make you rich?  Your house, silly. Again, ask your parents. If they're like 90% of Canadians, the vast majority of their wealth is in home equity.   **Moral of the story? STOP being "too busy at work" to buy real estate and/or build your real estate portfolio.**   Take a sick day NOW and g...
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By Mark Fidgett
(Mark Fidgett - www.NotaPennyDown.com)
"Your service was free, the lender paid your costs, you clearly defined our financial situation and instilled the confidence that we could indeed buy a home with zero down." ~ Kevin and Denise "The personal attention to detail and availability to assist me was something my bank could not offer". ~ N.J. Campbell "We want to thank you Mark for going out of your way to explain everything to us. The standards you set and level of service you provide is unheard of in nearly any business nowadays and it is greatly appreciated". ~ Nina "Your low interest rates are the envy of all my friends and co-workers and I shall continue to shout your praises from the roof tops!" ~ Doris "You took out all the hassle of meeting with our bank at their convenience. You found us the best rate and term which ...
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By Mark Fidgett
(Mark Fidgett - www.NotaPennyDown.com)
What Is The # 1 Thing You Must Absolutely Do Before You Apply For YOUR Mortgage? So you want to refinance your existing mortgages, replace them with one mortgage at a lower interest rate, get one payment and reduce your cash outlay by $500, $800 or $1,000 dollars each month? Great... Let's do it! I mean who in their right mind wouldn't want to save that kind of cash each month. You could take half of your savings and put it into your retirement plan and spend the rest as your heart desires. But wait! Before you rush out and start applying for this new mortgage, make sure you know your credit score. You must review your credit report and purchase your credit score before you apply for your mortgage. This is absolute MUST and there are no ifs ands or buts about it because the lenders pri...
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