I have listed a new property at 312 2277 30TH AVE E in Vancouver.
You read correctly. It is an affordable 3 bedroom, 2 bathroom condo! These words don't often go in the same sentence so ifyou are looking for a great family home you have arrived. Wait one more thing. The home has been beautifullyrenovated!Updates include new kitchen with white shaker cabinets, new master ensuited bathroom and laminate floors throughout. Thesuite features a fantastic layout with plenty of storage, a gas fireplace and a cozy enclosed balcony. The kids will love theindoor pool and you will love the location. 1 parking and locker included. 1st showings at Open Houses Sat/Sun March 2/3from 2-4pm.
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I have listed a new property at 104 2160 CORNWALL AVE in Vancouver.
Have you always wanted to live right across the street from the beach? This 576sqft 1 bedroom is perfect for enjoying all that Kits has to offer. The home is located on the quiet side of the building and has a huge 200sqft sun drenchedpatio with a garden perfect for entertaining all summer long. The suite features an open plan with a large bedroom, gas fireplace and laminate floors throughout. The building is well run and rainscreened. 1 parking and locker included. Pets are welcome. Open Houses Sat/Sun March 2/4 from 2-4pm.
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In the vast majority of instances, our opinion is that they are ABSOLUTELY necessary.  There is sometimes a buying-public mindset that modern day warranties (primarily the '2-5-10' New Home Warranty program) and the fact that a building is 'new', has been built in accordance with modern-day building codes, and has satisfied all municipal permit processes, renders getting an inspection unnecessary and/or redundant.  However, these codes and warranties, while generally ensuring a building and home is safe, habitable, and functional, do not address many factors which should be of importance to a buyer of such an expensive, large investment as a condo, and the building it is in.  These factors include, generally, such things as quality of workmanship, integrity of materials and finishes,  and construction deficiencies that a non-inspector may not recognize.  


The process of buying a new condo does include that a legislated (Residential Development Marketing Act) 'deficiency walkthrough' inspection be conducted by the buyer and a representative of the developer prior to completion; this is an opportunity for a buyer to identify any deficiencies within the unit, and the developer must agree to rectify all discovered deficiencies prior to an agreed upon date.  There is no legislated requirement for a buyer to have their own representation present, and as such, developers and their marketing departments will generally not encourage or recommend that a buyer seek this.  Therefore, it is up to a buyer to be aware that they do have the right to request that they have their own representation present, and that this representation be an inspector of the buyer's choosing who will review the unit as well as the building.  We believe that any prudent buyer should do this, and that such representation should be a qualified and experienced Professional Home Inspector, specifically with experience dealing with developers and deficiency lists.  Generally, developers are very professional and reasonable, and will go to great lengths to rectify all discovered deficiencies; the key word to note here is, 'discovered'!


We have built up a significant frame of reference from having sold many new homes over the years.  Here are some examples of what we feel a professional inspection can greatly help a buyer be aware of;

  • Within a condo; qualified identification of poor workmanship, incorrect or damaged finishes, electrical circuits, soundness of fixture and appliance installations, doors and windows 'hung' properly, flooring installed properly, caulking and sealing of tubs, tile work and sinks, proper gyproc and trim installation, etc.
  • The building; poorly installed or built features of the building envelope (flashings, 'feature' walls, balcony structures), 'cold faults' in the pouring of the foundation, drainage issues, etc.


In more instances than not a best-case scenario enfolds, wherein the developer has done an excellent job, and nothing serious is found that couldn't have reasonably been discovered by a prudent, diligent buyer over the course of a deficiency walk-through.  In those cases, an informed 'benchmark' is created, and peace of mind is usually GREATLY increased.  In rare instances the worst-case scenario can develop, where truly poor construction can be pre-emptively identified that, without a strata's awareness and pro-active investigation, may not have been discovered until consequences (damages incurred, conflict with the developer) are endured.  The middle ground is that it is quite common for items to be discovered that may not be discovered until warranty periods have long expired, may never be discovered, or are only discovered by the next buyer's inspector upon sale of the home.  Also, certain deficiencies in the building are sometimes identified that can be brought to the strata's or developer's attention immediately by the buyer once they become an owner, giving the strata a head-start on pro-active warranty and deficiency management with the developer.  


In a nutshell, there is definitely value to getting an inspection done on a pre-sale; think of it as very (relatively) cheap insurance and peace of mind.

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'Trust', IE familiarity rather than credentials, experience, or referrals, is quite often the ONLY qualifying criteria buyers will use when selecting a buyer's agent. Buyers also often don't take the selection of a realtor nearly as seriously as a seller does; they SHOULD. The realtor fees are paid from the proceeds of the sale, and while the seller's agent and seller largely ‘set the fee' that will be split roughly evenly between the seller's and buyer's realtor, the funds come from the buyer. So, in essence, both buyer and seller are ‘splitting' this cost. The point here is that buyers need to, for many reasons, QUALIFY their prospective agent and ensure they're confident they're going to get good value for the services provided. It's usually easy to find a real estate agent; it's identifying a good one that is the right fit for you that is a bit more challenging.


I recommend interviewing at least 3 for the job, and finding them by cruising some open houses in the area you wish to buy in. Observe them first, and if you find their demeanor appealing, ask them about the building or property, the area, etc.., but perhaps without letting on you're ‘realtor shopping'. Once you've identified your 3 ‘prospects', call them and invite them for a coffee or see if they'd like to meet you at their office. In about a 20-30 minute ‘interview', you should find out about their experience level and knowledge of the area, get a feel for whether they are more about ‘you' or more about ‘the deal', and also ask them how they get paid. They should go out of their way to make sure you know what to expect and when, find out if you have the best mortgage rate, and educate you in general. You want to feel a good personal connection, and also feel they are professional and have your best interests at heart.


Regardless of how you do get introduced to or ‘find' a prospective realtor, DO put them through the interview process! The substantial professional fee that you will put in their pocket is more than worth it if they protect your interests, make sure you understand the value of what you're purchasing, and overall create a confident, comfortable experience for you as you spend hundreds of thousands of dollars on likely your biggest

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This question gets asked often, and two factors must be addressed when answering it; sales activity, and the direction of prices in relation to this activity.  


In 2012, buyers mostly sat on the sidelines for the latter two-thirds of the year, waiting for sellers to lower their prices.  Sellers didn't budge much and stayed patient, and buyers did not often try to write lower offers and negotiate.  As a result, activity dropped dramatically, but prices did not drop (in most segments), at least not nearly as much as such a drop in activity would indicate.  For example, the REBGV recorded the slowest September (total number of sales) in 28 years!!


Currently, the market has largely acknowledged that buyers are in the driver's seat, and will likely remain so for a while.  What we are finally seeing in the market place is that buyers are now writing offers, and not being shy with their offer prices.  Some sellers are lowering their asking prices as well.  Since last spring, prices have generally come down slowly but steadily by about 10% to 15% in some segments.  Currently, buyers seem tired of waiting, with many feeling that this is either as good as it gets, or close enough to it to 'pull the trigger'.  People always need to move, and what is now pent-up inventory is bound to come on the market as we get into spring, with buyers waiting for it.  We feel activity will most likely pick up, and if sellers are willing to negotiate or price themselves within range of current sales, then prices will level off, as demand and supply will balance out.  This is the forecast of most experts, and we tend to agree, based on our 'on the street' observations and gut feelings.  It's not likely that we'll see an increase in price in any segments, and if so, it will be minor.  However, if sellers hold out or buyers demand discounts that are too much, than inventory will increase, activity will decrease, and we may be headed for more of a dramatic drop later in the year. 


So, is the market picking up? Activity and number of sales, yes. Prices; it's just too early to say, ask us again after Easter

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I have listed a new property at 2705 668 CITADEL PARADE in Vancouver.
Views!! Fabulous northwest facing unit with mountain, water & city views!! This 2 bedroom suite features cross hallwaybedrooms, laminate flooring and large insuite storage. Amenities include: excersise room, lap pool, theatre, party roomand24hr concierge. Great location-walking distance to Costco, Rogers Arena, BC Place, Queen Elizabeth theatre, InternationalVillage, Robson Street, Yaletown and skytrain. This suite is perfect for 1st time buyers or investors. Open Houses Sat Feb 16from 2-4pm and Sun Feb 17 from 12-1:30pm. See realtors website for video and floorplan.
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I have listed a new property at 3302 1028 BARCLAY ST in Vancouver.
Premium-view unit with the most sought-after (1st to sell out) 2bdrm floor plan at Patina by Concert. Views improve dramatically at approx. the 32nd floor, and as a corner unit with huge wrap-around balcony and glass everywhere, sunriseseast over Mt. Baker, views south over False Creek, and sunsets west over Georgia Strait are spectacular. Throw in separated bedrooms, defined living and dining areas, a very hi-end island kitchen, A/C, and a spa-like master bath, and this beautiful home is awesome to spend any kind of time in. Ultra-central location close to everything downtown, great building and strata, stellar gym and boardrooms, 24hr concierge. Open House Sun., Feb. 17, 2-4pm. Visit realtor's website for floorplan and video
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I have listed a new property at 1606 1238 MELVILLE ST in Vancouver.
Pointe Claire. A well maintained modernised concrete building with 24 hour concierge, indoor pool, gym, steam & sauna.Walking distance to Stanley Park, Seawall, Robson St & Coal Harbour marina. This quiet updated 2 bedroom, 2 bathroom unitwith large balcony & city views is well laid out with good separation on the bedrooms as well as an open layout.Updates include new Silestone countertops in the kitchen & bathrooms, all new stainless appliances & laminate floorsthroughout. The home is currantly a furnished rental & has rented for $2500-$2700 a month. One parking stall included.This is a fantastic investment or a great place to call home.1st showings at Open House February 17th from 2-4pm.
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I have listed a new property at 701 555 JERVIS ST in Vancouver.
Waterfront at Harbour Side Park! Fantastic spectacular views of Coal Harbour, Marina & North Shore! If it's time to upgradeyour lifestyle look no further. This fully reno'd 2 bedroom and den is every bit as spectacular as its surroundings.Upgradesinclude new kitchen, bathrooms and hardwood floor throughout all wrapped up by a fantastic open layout that maximizes theview from every room. The 2nd bedroom has been opened up to increase the living space but can easily be converted backinto a bedroom. Stanley Park, the sea wall, community centre, restaurants & marina all at your doorstep! Bonus 2 parkingstalls, 2 storage lockers and your own bike locker. Open Houses Sat/Sun Feb 16/17 from 2-4pm.
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The general reason that these regulations have been introduced is to standardize how stratas budget, and pay for, long term inevitable expenses such as roofs, plumbing, envelope repairs, etc., etc.. It also establishes and addresses asset inventories, cash flow models, record-keeping regarding storage lockers and parking, and other issues that to date have been the cause of endless conflicts and problems for stratas and their members/owners.

To date, the strata act mandated that stratas maintain a contingency fund, and perform some generally loose standardized budgeting. So, some stratas would elect to have higher fees and maintain a very large contingency fund, accessing this fund when issues would arise and thereby limiting the need for ‘surprise' levies or assessments. Others would elect to have low fees and a minimal contingency, levying/assessing as needed. Also, many stratas, until a majorly expensive issue would arise and ‘sting' them, would not participate in in-depth long-term budgeting or expense forecasting. As many of these planning or budgeting decisions would often be made by the council members with minimal participation from other owners in the strata, when an issue would finally arise that demanded serious financial participation from all owners, conflicts would happen.

In our opinion, these reports and their mandatorily legislated nature is a good thing. Transparency will be greatly increased for buyers reviewing documents and doing their diligence, many sources of confusion and conflict within stratas will be eliminated, and accountability between owners and their councils will be increased. Yes, fees will generally rise for most stratas that do not have this type of budgeting in place already (many new stratas already have ‘capital plan' budgeting in place). However, if one were to, based on typical current strata financial practices, amortize (for example) 30 years of fees and special assessments back down to a monthly fee, one would quite likely find this monthly amount to be considerably higher. While many owners may prefer to have lower payments and pay for projects ‘as they happen', the more practical (and certainly more ‘peaceful') route is to diligently budget long-term.

The adaption will be somewhat painful as BC stratas phase these reports in, but as a frame of reference, strata fees here are generally considerably lower than in many other provinces where such budgeting is already in place (EG, Toronto has much higher fees on average).

Follow this link to a very comprehensive informational piece

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