BC Lower Mainland Real Estate & Community News

July 18, 2019

Purchase Plus Improvements with John Charbonneau

John Charbonneau comes in to talk to P.A. Doc Livingston about purchase plus improvements.

July 15, 2019

First Time Home Buyers Incentive Program with John Charbonneau

John Charbonneau talks about the new federal governments first-time buyers incentive program. Great information!

July 15, 2019

Special Guest Gloria Cooper Visits!

Gloria Cooper (with Dominion Lending Centres First Line Mortgages) came in to discuss how to use home equity to help someone purchase a new home without having to make a payment until the house is sold.

June 12, 2017

Considering Pre-Sale Housing

The Real Estate News world is full of interesting comments these days and the one that seems to stand out is Pre-sale. Pre-sales are homes you are able to purchase before the structures are ready for occupancy. 

A pre-sale home is a wonderful opportunity for a variety of reasons; such as allowing a buyer real flexibility in terms of giving you some breathing room with a much longer than average timespan to sell your existing home or procure the best possible financing, often being able to choose your preferences in design and style while the home is being built, and providing an investment in potential capital appreciation, to name just a few.  These advantages can make home ownership a smoother, less stressful and more attainable process for both the first-time homebuyer and for those already in the market.  With a pre-sale community, you may have access to communal amenities, such as green space, clubhouse, gym or retail stores. 

There is usually a delay from when you purchase your pre-sale home and when you are able to move in, sometimes as long as a few years – that delay may be a factor for you when deciding whether to buy a pre-sale or an existing home.  It’s also worth noting that, as with any new property, HST/GST and PTT is payable when the pre-sale project is completed.  In a strong housing market, you may find that the pre-sale home you purchased is actually worth more when you move in than when you signed the pre-sale contract!  On the other hand, if the market should soften, there is a risk of the opposite scenario occurring, which could have a negative impact. Get the information you need to see if a pre-sale home is in your future!

June 23, 2016

5 Things To Do Before Starting A Home Search

Home Search.jpg

Are you spending all your spare time with online home searches?  You may feel ready to move in tomorrow to the home you just found online.  To make purchasing a home easier, here are a few steps you could do BEFORE you start your search.  


1. Work On Your Credit Score

Your credit score plays a major part when buying a home. Your score can affect your chances of getting a competitive loan. Find out what your credit score is and correct any mistakes that may be on it. 



Home buying can be an expensive experience. From the down payment to a home inspection to lawyer/notary fees, and any other immediate repairs.  The more you save, the less you have to take out in a loan.  Create a budget or talk to your financial adviser to help put you on a path to saving money.


3. Get Pre-approved

Getting pre-approved for a mortgage will let you know exactly how much you can spend on your new home. You need a written statement from your bank with the amount that you are approved to.  By doing this you won't be wasting your time looking at homes you can't afford. 


4. Figure Out Where You Want To Live

Choosing an area to live in can be hard.  Ask yourself where you see yourself and what type of neighborhood that looks like. Make a list of the ideal community you would want to live in and what it has. Are there good schools?  What is your current neighborhood lacking? 


5. Make A List Of Your Dream Home

Make a list with all your dreams and wants for a new home. Do you want a big backyard? Do you need 3 bathrooms or 4 bedrooms?  Make sure your NEEDS and WANTS are within your budget.  By listing our and prioritizing these items into two different lists (wants and needs), you will have an easier time keeping what's truly important to you in your home search.

Posted in Buying a Home
June 14, 2016

New Home Development in Vancouver Gets Steeper!

New row of townhouses with garages

The new housing price index for Metro Vancouver saw another annual rise in April, the increase was nowhere close to the leaps in the resale market.  Month over month, new home prices in Vancouver rose 0.2 percent above March 2016.

Across BC, new housing prices in April were up 3.8 percent year over year.  The BC price index also rose 0.3 percent month over month, more than even Vancouver's.

Victoria's CMA's new home price index in April was up 1.3 percent compared with last year.  It was also up 0.8 percent over March 2016.  Canada's overall new home price index rose a steady 2.1 percent year over year in April.  

Changes in new home prices often do not mirror those seen in the resale market, as the price paid for a new home is only measured when the transaction is completed and registered with the Land Registry, rather than when the home is originally purchased off-plan. Because of long lead times on home construction, new home prices registered today are often those homes sold many months or even years ago – whereas MLS® resale home prices are much more up to date.

This could mean that the new home price index in the Vancouver and Victoria CMAs can be expected to surge much further over the coming months and years as they catch up with today’s market and land prices.

Check out the full article from REW.ca


Posted in Real Estate News
June 7, 2016

Fraser Valley Housing Market Up Again Over Last Year


Detached Homes are still seeing the biggest price rises, they are up more than 38 percent since last year, reports the Fraser Valley Real Estate Board.

Demand in the Fraser Valley continued to boom in May, with real estate sales once more the highest ever recorded for that month.  The total sales represented an increase of 47.8 percent compared with last year.  This was still a drop of 3.3 percent compared to April 2016 and not close to the high in March 2016.

Detached homes were up 29.2 percent over last year.  The average number of days on the market to sell a detached home in May 2016 was 16 days.

Townhouse, duplex, and row home sales were up 56.1 percent over last year, however, the total transactions in May were down 2.2 percent compared with April 2016.

The biggest mover in the market was condo-apartment sales which were up 112.6 percent over last year.  Condos were the only housing type to increase month over month at 4.7 percent above April 2016. 

See the full article at REW.ca

- "Doc"





Posted in Real Estate News
May 31, 2016

Canada's Housing Market Showing Signs of Cooling Down

Vancouver's crazy market shows signs of slowing down as some economists and real estate agents saying the peak has passed.

This would be great news to homebuyers who have struggled to win in multiple offers.  

“A few months ago the dogs — the less desirable units that a year ago nobody was bidding on — they were going with multiple offers … that’s definitely slowed,” said Pete Shpak, a Vancouver agent.

“I have seen a couple (homes) lately, though, that I thought would go into multiple offers, but didn’t,” he added.

Prices are still up compared to last couple years, rising 41 per cent in Vancouver according to the Canadian Real Estate Association. (CREA) Prices fell 0.3 per cent in March and 1.0 per cent in April this year. Activity was still up from a year ago.

Check out the full article from the Financial Post


Posted in Real Estate News
May 24, 2016

Vancouver Home Sales Forecast

The Vancouver market is likely to slow down before it gets too out of control, according to a new housing market outlook by the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation issued May 18. The federal housing agency forecast that sales in 2016 will increase only slightly over 2015, and then reduce next year. CMHC also asserted that the dearth of new home listings would ease, as high sales prices encourage more people to list their homes. The outlook added, “The current imbalance between sales and listings is expected to unwind during the next 18 months as sales levels moderate and more listings are added. The steep increases in resale home prices that have resulted from sustained seller’s market conditions are anticipated to draw more listings onto the market”. This will result in average home price growth that continues on its upward trajectory in 2016 but rises at a slower rate in 2017, according to the CMHC. “An expected increase in listings coupled with the return of sales to levels in line with population and employment growth will result in more moderate price growth later this year and in 2017. The average MLS® price in Greater Vancouver increased 26 percent, year-over-year, in the first quarter of 2016.”

Check out the full article from REW.ca


Posted in Real Estate News
May 16, 2016

What to Look For When Reading Strata Documents.

There have been too many times where a buyer is unaware of an upcoming levy for a repair or a condition in the bylaws they knew nothing about.  As the new owner, you are frustrated that the seller did not inform you of this.  Unfortunately, the buyers often come to realize that the information was in their hands all along but they failed to read all the documents that were given to them.

What to ask for

Most buyers begin with the Information Certificate (Form B), this form discloses:

  • -The unit's current monthly strata fees,
  • -Money owing by the owner,
  • -Any agreements an owner has signed where they have taken responsibility for the cost of any alterations,
  • -Amounts owed for a special levy that has already been approved,
  • -Projections of deficits,
  • -Balance of the contingency fund,
  • -Approved bylaw amendments,
  • -Any three- quarter votes approved,
  • -Any court proceedings,
  • -Any judgments or orders against the strata,
  • -Work orders or notices on the strata lot,
  • -Number of current rentals,
  • -Parking stalls and storage lockers allocated to the strata lot,
  • -Rules and current budget of the strata,
  • -An owner developer's rental disclosure establishing exemptions,
  • -The most recent depreciation report.


Digging Deeper

Reading the strata minutes should provide you with a sense of the strata business. Make a list as you read through them writing down any maintenance, emergencies, long-term planning decisions, insurance claims, and funding decisions. You should cross-reference everything you find with all the other documents you are given.  Spending a few hours of your time could end up saving you money in the long run.


Check out the full article from REW.ca


Posted in Tips & Advise