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The Canadian Federal government just announced their new Federal budget incentive that could help first-time homebuyers with their mortgage. This new incentive is to try to help the housing affordability crisis in many cities in Canada, such as Vancouver and Toronto. 

Home-buyers are still required to have at least 5% down payment for the home, but they would have a 10% incentive provided by the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC) if it's a new home, or 5% if it's a resale. 

Homeowners need to pay back the incentive from the CMHC, most likely when they decide to sell their home or sooner if desired. Details on repayment are still unclear.

Here's an example from Global News in regards to how the First-Time Home Buyer Incentive would work on a price of $400,000:

Let's hope that this new incentive can help provide first-time home buyers with some relief.


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Spring is finally here, which means more and more open houses are here!

If you're thinking of selling your home, or currently have your home up for sale, here's a few tips to help you prep your home for open houses to make sure that it's in its best state possible to get you the best deal possible!

First Impressions are Important!

People always say, "you don't get a second chance to make a first impression", which is also true when it comes to your home! So make sure that your home gives off the best first impression yet by stepping outside, and making sure that everything looks good. This includes your exterior paint, windows, front lawn, drive way, side walks... and more. Make people want to come into your home just by looking at the outside!


Get rid of that pile of old CD's in the corner that you don't listen to anymore, or that weird antique clock you've always hated. Throw out anything that you don't use or want anymore, to make your house appear more spacious, and make the focus on your house, and not your belongings. Less is more!

Clean, clean, clean!

Make sure that your house is sparkling when it's time for the open house, or any showings. While most cleaning up can be done yourself, however, deep cleans may require a professional. Carpet cleaners, window cleaners... are all professionals that can help you deep clean things that you can't on your own. Feel free to contact us if you're having trouble looking for a cleaning professional, we know tons!


Now, staging is something that you can do on your own if you have nice, clean furniture. But, it could be something that you may consider hiring a staging professional for. Staging professionals have all sorts of furniture and equipment to make sure that your home looks nice, clean, and modern. They also know how to arrange furniture to ensure your house looks the best.

Remove Personal or Valuable Items

During an open house, you want the focus to be on your HOUSE, not your fancy, personal belongings. You want them to be able to envision themselves living there, with their family, and their things, so remove any sentimental items to show them that this can be their home! Also, there's a lot of traffic during open houses, so make sure to keep your valuables hidden or removed to prevent any unfortunate situations.

Bright Light

Make sure to open all your blinds, lights, windows... during an open house. Brightness makes people happy! No one wants to live in a dark, scary home!

Hope some of these tips were helpful, and that you are well-prepped for your open house. 

If you're looking to buy or sell, CONTACT US TODAY to see how we can help you embark on your journey!

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When it comes to real estate, there's A LOT of jargon in the industry. It can be quite overwhelming during your real-estate journey when you encounter all these unfamiliar words, which is why we're here to tell you the differences between all these types of property ownership. In Canada, there are 4 common types of property ownership which include:

  • Freehold
  • Leasehold
  • Strata 
  • Co-Op


Freeholds are the most common type of property ownership, and also the most popular. It's the regular: You buy the house, so you own the building and the land it's sitting on. Most people prefer to buy freehold properties because there's less restrictions on what you can do (except for city bylaws, permit limitations...). You are the owner, so you are allowed to do any sort of renovations, changes to your property as you please, without having to receive approval from an authority. Detached single-standing homes are commonly sold as freeholds.



Leaseholds are quite different from Freeholds in that you own the building, but not the land that it's sitting on. The land is leased by someone from a developer/builder. The lease is for a specific period of time, and will expire after that period. The lease term is usually around 99 years. After the lease is up, there are several different ways that it could go:
  • They could renogotiate terms to extend the lease for another period of time
  • The land could be reclaimed for redevelopment (The developer would pay out all the owners of the Leasehold)
There are quite a few Leaseholds in Vancouver, such as:
  • UBC Endowment Lands
  • SFU
  • False Creek 
  • Certain parts of Vancouver's West End
  • Indigenous Land
While Leaseholds may scare some people off, there are actually still quite a lot of benefits to owning a Leasehold. Since you don't actually own the land, Leaseholds generally are cheaper than freeholds or other types of property ownership. This means if you're looking to buy, but have a lower budget, Leaseholds may be the way to go. However, having said that, they usually do require a larger down payment of ~20% rather than the minimum of 5%.


Strata properties are also extremely common in Vancouver. Most attached homes (i.e. condos, townhouses) are strata properties. When you own a Strata property, you own your individual strata lot, and together with other owners own the common property/assets as a strata corporation (i.e. parking, ameneties, roof...).
You are in charge of the maintenance of your individual unit, but charged a monthly strata fee for the upkeep of the common properties. The strata fees are proportionate to the size of your strata lot, so the bigger your unit, the more fees you have to pay.

Stratas also have rules and bylaws that owners have to abide by. These rules/bylaws are set in place by the Strata council, which consists of owners that are elected by all the owners in the strata. They host strata council meetings to discuss renovations, finances, complaints, and more. These strata council meetings have minutes that are accessible by all owners in the strata, even if they're not part of the council.


When you buy a co-op, you become a shareholder in the corporation that owns that property, and have exclusive use of a unit in that property. Other than that aspect, co-ops are quite similar to Stratas in how they're run. Living in a co-op means you have to abide by certain rules/bylaws, share costs of the upkeep of the property... and more.

Co-ops can be more restrictive in their selection process. While other property ownerships cannot reject someone based on their gender, age..., co-ops can. There are often age restrictions, or women/men-only co-ops out there. There may also be an interview process to get permitted to the co-op, which some people actual prefer so they know the people that are their neighbours 

When you purchase a co-op, you don't take out a traditional mortgage. You require a different type of financing called a share loan. It's similar to a mortgage, but the only difference is that you share in the co-op is the loan's collateral, not the actual property. Contact a Mortgage Specialist for more detail.

Hope you found all this information about the different types of property ownerships helpful, and cleared up some questions you may have had. This is just a brief overview of all the different types of property ownerships out there. If you want to know more, please visit the websites below for more information, or get in contact with us.

If you're still confused, feel free to CONTACT US to ask more questions!

If you're ready to START YOUR REAL-ESTATE JOURNEY, CONTACT USto find out how we can help!


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The BC government's Speculation and Vacancy Tax is finally here. This tax is part of the BC government's plan to ensure that housing is affordable for all citizens of British Columbia.

Goals of the Tax

Their main goal with this new tax is to:

  • Turn empty houses into affordable housing for BC residents
  • Raise revenue that will go towards creating more affordable housing 
  • Foreign/domestic investors who own residences in BC, but don't live in them


The government estimates that 99% or more British Columbians will be exempt from the tax; however, you must register in order to be qualified for exemption.

In mid-late February, keep an eye out for a letter from the provincial government with instructions on how to claim your exemption. The application (can be done online or through telephone) must be completed by March 31, 2019 in order to qualify for exemption. An application must be done by each owner of the house.

What Happens if You're Not Exempt?

If your home is left vacant for 6-months or longer since December 31, 2018, you will NOT be exempt from the Speculation and Vacancy Tax in 2019. You must pay the tax by July 2, 2019.

Tax Rates:

For properties owned on December 31, 2018, the tax rate is the same for everyone:

  • 0.5% of the assessed value of your residential property on July 1, 2018 (BC owners are eligible for a tax credit of up to $2000 on secondary properties)

For 2019 and onwards, the tax rate will vary:

  • 2% for foreign owners and satellite families (People who declare 50% or less of their income on Canadian income tax return)
  • 0.5% for British Columbians and other Canadian citizens or permanent residents who are not members of a satellite family

So, don't forget to declare your exemption from the Speculation and Vacancy Tax! 


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Vancouverites are seeing more and more of these unique looking container homes all around the city. These 207-1,380 square foot containers are being transformed into homes, offices, and other spaces. Containers provided by companies like, Container West Manufacturing are renovated with HVAC systems, solar capabilities, and other modern funishings to transform them into beautiful container homes. 

This simple concept can be the perfect solution to affordable housing in Vancouver, because all buyers need to do is puchase the container, lay down the foundation, and ensure there's proper access to water, sewage, and electricity. With these container houses, home owners have the creative freedom to customize the build, and design of the entire home from scratch, ensuring that it fits the ideals of their ultimate dream home!

Container homes could be the next big trend for Vancouver in 2019. What do you think about them? Will you live in a container home, or are they not your cup of tea? 


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The 2019 Consumer Electronics Show (CES) has just finished in Las Vegas again this year. We wanted to share some of our favourite innovative, new, (and weird) home gadgets with you!

 1. Kohler’s Numi 2.0 Intelligent Toilet

Ever get bored on the toilet? Well, this toilet is about to change that! This intelligent toilet features music, toilet seat heating, and you can even control it using an app on your phone!

Credit: Kohler

2. LG’s Rollable OLED TV

Bigger is always better right? This TV offers three different viewing options to allow for the perfect movie time, or tucked away when you’re not using it.  

Credit: LG

3. Smart Mirror

AI is all the buzz this year, and can be found anywhere, even on your MIRROR! This smart mirror connects to Google Home, so that you can check your emails while doing your hair.

Credit: Capstone Connected Home

4. Mookkie Cat Bowl

Got a cat at home? This face-scanning cat bowl only opens when your cat’s face is scanned, so you can protect their food from being stolen by your neighbour’s hungry cat!

Credit: Volta A.I.

These were some of our favourites, what were yours? Will you be incorporating any of these funky new gadgets in your home?  


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The Covenant House in Vancouver was established on September 22, 1997 to provide shelter, food, immediate crisis care, and an array of other services to homeless and runaway youth. The help that the organization has provided in the last 20 years made positive changes in our community. Their principles and goals aim at providing immediate help for struggling youth, making the place a safe haven, building strong relationships, creating foundation for a positive future, and fostering confidence for the young people to make informed decisions.

The current Covenant House building is located at 575 Drake Street and a new building across the street that is set to be finished in spring 2019. We were able to attend their open house and found out what great things will be happening in the near future. The new building will have 10 floors for 75 male and female youth. In addition, the building will have amenities such as a gym and fitness center, art room, classrooms, lounge, and library. Not only are they creating a space for youth to sleep but also a place to make friends and nurture their talents and passion which will allow them to become positive members of society. As for the current building, it will also be redeveloped with 5 floors, including a health clinic, to provide a short-term stay for youth, with 2 floors being drop-in. As youth become committed to transition into a new life, they will move to the new building. While aiming to help the homeless youth, the Covenant House has also vouched to be a responsible organization for the rest of the community as well with their “Good Neighbour Agreement”, which addresses neighbourhood concerns in regards to security and safety.

As a proud member and long-time resident of Yaletown, Aleya Bhaloo has volunteered to sleep outside, once again, to raise awareness for homeless youth on February 28th, 2019. It takes $4,000 to take one youth off the street for the ENTIRE year to provide them with proper basic needs alongside with mental health and counselling. We are excited to be participating in such a meaningful event and hope you will pledge for Aleya.

Homelessness has many faces. It can look like a young person sleeping in a doorway or other times it might be someone asking you to spare some change. Often it shows itself as a shared glance from a broken soul. Regardless of how we are reminded of the need, a common feeling often resonates: what can I do to help make this better? Here is your chance to make a difference!

Click HERE to donate, every little bit helps.

More information about the Vancouver Covenant House can be found HERE.

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Throughout the year, we’ve seen quite a lot of beautiful homes and how homeowners decide to decorate them. We also did some research on what was popular this year and compiled a list of our 10 favourites.

1. Bold Typography

Have your favourite or an inspirational quote hang in your home to give you that boost you need to achieve your personal goals. Minimalistic yet meaningful.

2. Creative Ceilings

Most commonly in bedrooms, adding a ceiling wallpaper or painting it with an accent colour definitely adds personality and brightens up the room. The first thing you open your eyes to kick-start your day or something pleasant to fall asleep to.

3. Black & White

A timeless design that gives contrast, balance and boldness to your home. In addition, we think that adding black and white marble to your home will give a clean and luxurious vibe.

4. Velvet Furnishings

Velvet was once seen as old fashion and tacky is now viewed as luxurious and funky. Its multidimensional look adds depth to your home. We love the subtle shine on velvet fabric in the light.

5. Ultra Violet

Chosen as Pantone’s colour of the year for 2018, this soft purple has been popular for accent pieces or as the main colour scheme.

6. Mixed Metals

Rose gold, silver, and copper have been on the rise. However, the trend for 2018 has been to mix these metals with chrome for a unique and stylish look.

7. Botanicals

Add some green to your home. Pairs perfectly with homes with large windows and lots of natural sunlight.

8. Smart Tech

Adding smart technology to your home makes life a little bit more convenient. Could be light bulbs, speakers, locks, etc. 

9. Two Tone Kitchen Cabinets

By incorporating bleached wood with a vibrant paint colour, you can liven up the kitchen area. You can also match it with the colour of your kitchenware as well.

10. Warm Colours
We also loved the idea of adding warm colours such as earthy brown hues, yellows, and beige. It makes your place softer and more inviting. 

Looking forward to what’s to come in 2019. New year, new trends, and new ways to make your dream home come true.

Let us know if you are ready to find your dream home!











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Seattle or “Emerald City” is currently the home to the headquarters of big tech companies such as Microsoft, Amazon, Tableau, Zillow, Big Fish Games, and many more. All of them concentrated within Seattle, Redmond, and Bellevue. 

Cost of living in Seattle is significantly lower than San Francisco and Silicon Valley. The median home cost carries the biggest factor in difference with Seattle being $761,800, while $1,331,100 in San Francisco. Additionally, with information provided from, it highlights that it is 54% more expensive to live in San Francisco. Despite Seattle’s median annual tech income being $15,000 less than those working in Silicon Valley, it is safe to say that higher income may not offset this imbalance in cost of living.  For young and freshly graduated tech talents, these could be deciding factors when they choose where to start their career in. As a result, startups are more likely to head in the direction of where these prospective employees will be. 

In our opinion, we think that Seattle has great potential in becoming the next “Silicon Valley” with all the benefits and incentives for tech talents. We believe that the tech scene is under development with immense opportunities for growth. Along with the headquarters of Microsoft, Amazon, etc., Seattle is also the home to office branches of Facebook, Google, Adobe, and other tech companies.

What are your thoughts? Let us know.

We have an exciting VIP presale opportunity in Seattle, sign up for our mailing list to find out more!


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The streets of downtown Vancouver have been the homes of breath-taking glass buildings for many years. However, earlier this week the Vancouver City Council approval the proposal of rezoning for Landa Global Properties and Asia Standrad Americas to redevelop 1469 Alberni Street. It will be the new home of two connected residential towers with 48 and 43 storeys. These buildings will be the world’s tallest passive-house buildings yet. Currently, the Bolueta twin towers development houses in Bilboa, Spain are the tallest, being 28 and 31 storeys.

There will be a grand total of 443 homes within the two towers, including 314 market strata units and 129 market rental units, which is a replacement of the existing number of rental homes on the site. Currently, the land is occupied by apartments and office towers built in the 1970s.

For those who don’t know, passive-house buildings are “voluntary standard for energy efficiency in a building, which reduces the building's ecological footprint. It results in ultra-low energy buildings that require little energy for space heating or cooling”. It is projected that a “superior building envelope, insulation, and a design that optimizes solar gain and shade will reduce the amount of energy required to heat and cool the towers by nearly 90%”. With these plans,the goal of the Vancouver city council’s zero emission building plan to eradicate greenhouse gas emissions in all new construction by 2030 could be successful.

The design of the buildings by New-York based Roberty AM Stern Architects and local firm MCM Partnership will resemble those in New York City and specified as “a throwback of the Formalist style, of the early-20thcentury” as stated in the application. The addition of these architectural designs will add diversity and uniqueness to downtown Vancouver, which is currently dominated by glass style buildings. The project is designed by New York-based Robert AM Stern Architects, with local firm MCM Partnership acting as the architect of record.

Similar to the current style of the Fairmont Hotel in Vancouver

Similar to the Fairmont Hotel in Vancouver

What are your thoughts on these New York style condos being built in Vancouver? Do you prefer aesthetic glass or the eco-friendly alternative?

We’re so excited to see how downtown Vancouver will change with all these developments going on. Let us know if you would like more details!


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We’ve recently had the pleasure of co-hosting an event with Corinne Schlinder of the Royal Bank of Canada (RBC). We had Julie Taylor, also from RBC, as the guest speaker. It began with a 30-minute session of networking with food and beverages. We were so pleased to meet women of various professions and ages. After brief introductions, Julie began to talk about the “Seven Financial Missteps for Women to Avoid”. So many thought-provoking and stimulating questions and personal experiences were shared!

Rather than just a presentation style event, we kept the floor open for discussion the entire time. Different people will ask different questions, that’s what we love about allowing questions to be asked at any time and we definitely encouraged everyone to do so. Sometimes we learn more based on the unique questions that pop up during the conversation!

When we planned this event, we envisioned a room full of hopeful women of all ages motivated to take control of their finances. We were so thrilled and satisfied with how this event turned out. Connect with us on Facebook or Instagram for more events like this, we hope to see you at our next one!

Food was prepared by Lavish Catering, such a lovely presentation.

Check out this fun read, lots of good information on working women in Canada:

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Vancouver’s Oakridge Centre opened its doors in 1959 and has been named one of the most profitable malls in Canada of 2017, earning $1579 of sales per square foot. It ranks second behind Toronto’s Yorkdale Shopping Centre and infront of Downtown Vancouver’s Pacific Centre. Over the past few years, there have been many talks about the redevelopment in this area. Redevelopment in the Oakridge area was finalized in the Cambie Corridor Plan, where the city of Vancouver plans to make the it the biggest growth area outside of Downtown.

Henrique Partners Architects, QuadReal Property Group, Westbank Development, and Wonderwall, a Tokyo-based interior design firm has come together to bring the redevelopment ideas to life. The innovative design is set to have 4.5 million square foot hub of retail, residential, office, parks and civic space. The ambitious group has proposed 10 towers of different heights up to 44 storeys and three mid-rise buildings. The “new” Oakridge will become the home for 6,000 residents and expected to be completed in late 2025.

We’re so excited for what’s to come in this area. With that being said, check out our Ash Street Listings below! They’re part of the Cambie Corridor Phase 3 Plan, just a walking distance from the future largest civic center outside of Downtown Vancouver. These properties are set for land assembly, with the proposal of 3 storey townhouses. 

6768 & 6788 Ash Street

6889 & 6909 Ash Street

Call us if you have any questions about the redevelopment in the Oakridge area and any inquiries on the properties for sale.

Aleya Bhaloo 604-209-4504

Tyrone Robinson 778-863-7973


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In addition to the expansion of the foreign buyers’ tax, the announcement of the 2018 BC Budget Plan also introduced a new tax.


Speculation Tax:

The tax is designed to capture foreign and domestic speculators, satellite families who live in B.C. but do not pay their share of income taxes, as well as homeowners who hold vacant property in designated urban centers.”


The speculation tax proposed by the government aims to save the housing market from becoming a stock market and to protect local residents. Since the announcement, there have been several changes but here’s what you need to know:


-       Tax applies to Metro Vancouver Regional District, Kelowna-West Kelowna, Nanaimo-Lantzville, Abbotsford, Chilliwack, and Mission. Most islands are excluded. (Details visit HERE)

-       Exemptions:

  • Primary residences of British Columbians
  • Properties that are used as qualifying long-term rentals (at least three months)

-       Tax Rate:

  • 2018 --> 0.5% of assessed property value
  • 2019 and onwards:
    • 2% for foreign investors and satellite families
    • 1% for Canadian citizens and permanent residents who do not reside in BC
    • 0.5% for British Columbians who are Canadian citizens or permanent residents








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Celebrate Victoria Day and the long weekend (May 19-21) with some of my recommendations:  

Take a look at Yaletown’s Engine 374

This free community event celebrates Canada’s 150th anniversary and marks the 130th anniversary of Engine 374 arriving in B.C. (It’s free!)

Location: Roundhouse Mews, 181 Roundhouse Mews

Date & Time: May 21, 12PM – 3PM


While you’re at it, also check out:

Vancouver Comic Arts Festival

It includes comics programming, comic creators from home and abroad, and art lessons for kids.

Location: Roundhouse Community Centre, 181 Roundhouse Mews

Date & Time: May 20 and May 21, 10AM – 5PM


Take advantage of the weather and head down to Lonsdale Quay (30 minutes from Yaletown)

Shipyards Night Market

Food, art, music, entertainment and shopping. Take a look at local items from artisans and makers, live music featuring talent from around B.C., a beer garden pouring local craft beer and 35 food trucks serving locally made food.

Location: East of the Seabus and the Lonsdale Quay at the foot of Lonsdale Avenue, North Van

Date & Time: Friday nights, 5PM – 10PM


Image Source:

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The original foreign buyers tax was brought into effect on August 2nd, 2016. It was introduced by the B.C government to impose a 15% tax on foreign buyers purchasing Metro Vancouver properties. The aim for the tax was to alleviate the housing affordability crisis by driving prices up for foreign buyers to decrease demand and speculation. With Vancouver was once again placing third for being the least affordable city in the world (for the sixth consecutive year), behind Hong Kong and Sydney. Reports have stated that the prices of housing in Vancouver did cool down slightly after the original foreign buyers’ tax, but did not prove to be a permanent solution.


However, changes to the foreign buyers’ tax was made on February 21st, 2018. It is now 20% and includes areas outside of Metro Vancouver: Fraser Valley, Okanagan, Kamloops, Greater Victoria and Nanaimo Regional District. Justification for the expansion of for the tax is so that speculation is not passed onto bordering markets.





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The recent announcement of the partnership between and Juwai has just simplified the way for the Chinese to purchase a home outside of China. is a Chinese E-commerce organization, comparable to Amazon, with its headquarters located in Beijing, China. With 266.3 million active users, it is noted as one of largest business to consumer online retailers in China.


Juwai is a Chinese online portal for buyers to purchase properties that are overseas. Retrieving information from property marketers, real estate agents, and developers, they are able to connect Chinese buyers to listings all over the world. They currently have approximately 2 million active users on their platform.


Although the process is fairly simple, it is not the same as purchasing regular goods such as household items and clothing. The process requires interested buyers to make an interest payment of roughly $2,000 CAD ($10,000 RMB). Then, they are able to connect with a team of experts from Juwai to acquire further information and to proceed with the deal. In the case that the deal falls through, the interest is fully refundable.



The collaboration of these two companies will allow Chinese consumers to easily view listed properties in Canada as if these items were average everyday goods. Listings from Vancouver, dubbed as one of the best cities to live in, will be exposed to the Chinese consumers. However, with the expansion of the foreign buyers’ tax and announcement of the speculation tax by the B.C. government, it is unknown whether this partnership between and Juwai will continue to drive the sales of homes in the Greater Vancouver area.


In addition to Canada, Juwai and will also be listing properties from the United States, Australia, and the United Kingdom. 





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15 Beautiful Wood Accent Wall Ideas to Upgrade Your Space

May 25, 2017 by Paulina 


Create an accent wall in your room.  Think a outside the box and make a wood wall!

Wood walls add depth, texture, warmth, and most definitely an accent to any space. You can create your own DIY wood wall with a few simple tools and a bit of planning.

Check these 15 creative wood accent walls to update any room in your home.

1. Plank Wall Add a lovely plank wall to your dining room. You can do it quickly and for cheap. Choose a paint color to some of them to makethis wall so unique and so beautiful. Leave some boards natural to give it a unique look. Plank Wall via lifecraftsandwhatever

2. Create a Wood Pallet Accent Wall Drastically change the look and feel of your living room with a beautiful wood pallet accent wall. Using pallets makes this home makeover so inexpensive and easy to DIY!​ Create a Wood Pallet Accent Wall via

3. Mixed Wood Wall A wood wall can add a rustic focal point to a room. It's an easy and cheap DIY project. Mixed Wood Wall via

4. Reading Nook with Wood Plank Wall Cozy reading nook with wood plank wall. Try a full wall mural instead of the wood panels. Don't forget to create the cozy factor with our reading-inspired pillow desings!​ Reading Nook with Wood Plank Wall via

5. Bathroom Plank Wall Install a plank wall in a bathroom - Great way to add some character to an otherwise boring space!​ Bathroom Plank Wall via

6. DIY Barn Wood Herringbone Wall Add character to any room in your home with this easy DIY barn wood herringbone wall treatment. Barn Wood Herringbone Wall Check the video tutorial below: via

7. Modern Rustic Teen Room DIY Pallet Wall DIY tutorial for how-to build a pallet wall to create a rustic + warm feel to a space. Modern Rustic Teen Room DIY Pallet Wall via

8. Reclaimed Wood Fireplace DIY reclaimed wood fireplace. Reclaimed Wood Fireplace via

9. DIY Pallet Wall DIY Pallet Wall via

10. DIY Herringbone Plank Wall Learn how to upcycle an old, ugly fence into a stunning DIY plank wall in a herringbone pattern. DIY Herringbone Plank Wall via

11. Panel Bathroom Accent Wall DIY pallet or wood panel bathroom accent wall. Panel Bathroom Accent Wall via

12. Reclaimed Wood Pallet Wall Add impact to your kitchen space with this reclaimed wood accent wall. DIY Pallet Wall via

13. Bathroom Fence Picket Wall ​Bathroom fence picket wall behind toilet area. Bathroom Fence Picket Wall via ourcloverhouse

14. DIY Rustic Pallet Wall DIY Rustic Pallet Wall via

15. DIY Pallet Wall DIY wooden pallet accent wall.

DIY wooden pallet accent wall via

To see photos of these projects and more visit

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We all look forward to spring, when the weather gets warmer and the days get longer. Along with that, spring also brings… spring cleaning!

While it might not be the most exciting task, doing a really thorough clean and clear-out will leave you feeling ready for the rest of a busy year.

Use this checklist to make sure everything gets done:

1. Vacuum Cleaner – Giving your vacuum cleaner some attention before you put it to work. Replace the bag, wash the filter and clean the dust cup. When it’s ready, use the different attachments to really get into every little corner.

2. Doormats – Shake them out and beat them with a broom to get rid of all the accumulated dust and dirt that has been tramped over them through the winter.

3. Lights and ceiling fans – Clean these early so that you aren’t knocking dirt onto previously cleaned surfaces. Use the soft vacuum nozzle followed by a damp cloth. For glass or crystal light fixture, you should also use some polish.

4. Shelves – Empty and wipe down all shelves.

5. Carpets – Carpet will also have a winter’s worth of dirt in them. Either shampoo them or rent a carpet cleaner. Either way, practice somewhere out of sight to make sure you don’t accidentally spoil the carpet. Use wax paper to protect your furniture.

6. Wood, laminate or tiled floors – After giving them a good mopping, apply wax or sealer to protect your floor for the year ahead. On a side note, you should actually avoid mopping wood floors too often. Stick to every two or three months and spot-clean in between.

7. Walls, cabinets, skirting boards and other woodwork – Even if they’re not obviously dirty, dust can stick to vertical surfaces. Clean them with a sponge or cloth and dishwashing detergent in hot water. Top tip: use a separate bucket to squeeze out the dirty water from your cloth.

8. Old food – Go through your fridge, freezer and cupboards, throwing out any food that has been hanging around for too long.

9. Fridge – Empty your fridge and wipe down all the shelves.

10. Fridge coil – Built-up dust can make your fridge work overtime and eventually break down. Pull your fridge out, and vacuum all over the back of it. Then, vacuum the floor where it usually stands.

11. Oven – Chip off baked-on food, then use baking soda and white vinegar to loosen what’s left before wiping it away with a sponge.

12. Oven hood – Take out and wash the filter in hot, soapy water. Clean the rest of the hood to remove grease.

13. Microwave – Put one cup of water and a sliced lemon in a microwave-safe dish. Microwave it until the window steams up. Let things cool down and then wipe down the inside of the microwave.

14. Coffee maker – Use a half-and-half mixture of vinegar and water to descale your coffee maker. “Brew” the mixture, stopping half way. Let it sit for half an hour and then finish the cycle.

15. Stainless steel appliances – Make them sparkle again with a wax-based spray.

16. Dishwasher – Make sure all leftover bits of food are removed from the dishwasher and then run a cleaning cycle with a cleanser product (two cups of vinegar will also do the trick).

17. Washing machine – Use distilled white vinegar and baking soda to clean out your machine. Remember to run another cycle afterwards to make sure everything is washed out. Lastly, wipe it dry.

18. Windows – Make sure to clean both the inside and the outside of your windows. It’s best to wash your windows on a cloudy (but not rainy) day so that the windows will dry more slowly — giving you time to wipe off the cleaner before streaks appear.

19. Mattress – Flip your mattress and vacuum the underside. Use upholstery cleaner on any stains.

20. Wardrobe and drawers – Empty and dust. As you are doing this, it’s a great time to be ruthlessly honest about which clothes you actually wear. Donate those that don’t make the cut.

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10 Cool Facts About Vancouver

Vancouver was recently ranked as the third most “livable place in the world” for its high standard of living and quality of life. While it is ranked as the 10th cleanest city in the world.

Vancouver has the 4th largest cruise ship terminal in the world.

Home to Canada’s longest pool. Measuring 137.5 meters (451 feet), it is nearly the size of three Olympic pools. This outdoor, saltwater pool is a major tourist attraction and is open year round.

Vancouver has the highest real estate prices in Canada. In 2011, the average price of a detached home was a staggering $1,204,587. Some say this is close to rivaling New York City and London.

Vancouver is the largest film production center in North America after Los Angeles and New York City.

Stanley Park, an urban oasis, is 10% larger than New York City’s Central Park. It is a staggering 1001 acres.

The Vancouver Aquarium ranks in the top 5 worldwide.

Downtown Vancouver is 65% residential. Don’t be surprised to see a lot of high-rise condominiums.

Vancouver has the mildest climate in Canada. Although, it receives on average, 1,589mm of rain per year.

Greenpeace, one of the world’s oldest and most successful environmental groups was established in Vancouver.


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BC Budget 2017: BC's First-Time Home Buyers Get a (Small) Tax Break


Having been sidelined in last year’s Budget, BC's first-time buyers will save some money on Property Transfer Tax – if buying a home priced between $475,000 and $525,000


The BC government is raising the threshold for the first-time buyer Property Transfer Tax exemption to $500,000 from $475,000, finance minister Mike de Jong announced February 21 in the 2017 Budget Announcement. The partial exemption threshold has also increased to $525,000 from $500,000.


The changes will now affect more first-time home buyers by exempting, or partially exempting, those buying between $475K and $525K, and affected buyers will save up to $8,000, which is an increase of $500 from the previous system.


The new threshold will be effective for home purchase registrations made on or after February 22, 2017.


Minister de Jong said, “This will complement other actions we have taken, such as the introduction last year of a newly built home exemption to the Property Transfer Tax [on new homes under $750,000], which has helped more than 5,500 families save an average of $7,600. In Budget 2017 we are going further.”


He added, “When you ask British Columbians about the pressures they face, many will focus on the cost of housing. The problems with housing affordability and availability aren’t easy to resolve, but there are some levers the government can use to help ease things. But… we can’t just focus on getting more people into the market without adding to supply – that’s just going to drive prices higher.


“In the coming year the government will also explore and implement opportunities to partner and invest with local governments, to ensure cities and municipalities have the capacity and incentives… needed to expedite and process approvals and permitting of housing development applications.”


The province will also continue to administer its recently launched $700 million BC HOME Partnership program, which offers first-time home buyers up to $37,500 in down-payment-matching loans, which are interest- and payment-free for the first five years.


In a press release issued moments after the announcement, the Canadian Home Builders’ Association of British Columbia (CHBA BC) welcomed the increase to the first-time buyer exemption threshold. It added that the organization had recommended such an increase in its pre-Budget submission, “to better reflect rising home prices.”


Neil Moody, CEO of CHBA BC, stated, “CHBA BC has advocated for changes to the outdated property transfer tax structure for many years, and this reduction in tax is positive for first-time home buyers in all areas of the province.


“It may seem like a small increase, but it represents that the program is keeping pace with rising home prices. It provides a larger threshold for first-time home buyers to purchase within and receive the tax savings.


” The Urban Development Institute also immediately offered its support to the move. President and CEO Anne McMullin said, “Increasing the Property Transfer Tax exemption threshold to $500,000 from $475,000 for first-time homebuyers’ will enable more locals and families to get onto the first rung of the property ladder.”


She added that the industry group also supports the government’s strong focus on working with local governments in 2017 and beyond to increase housing supply, which also creates more high-paying jobs in the sector.


“I know we keep hammering this point, but flooding the market with more housing options, from rowhomes and townhomes to duplexes and others, will help alleviate the pricing and demand pressures and create healthy, more affordable communities.”


A projected slowdown across the BC housing market is expected to leave the province with $483 million less revenue from its property transfer tax in 2017/18 – a 23.9 per cent drop year-over-year.


Over the following two years, the province projects revenue to fall an average of 3.9 per cent annually to reach $1.4 billion in 2019/20, compared with the more than $2 billion generated last year.


“We don’t expect the real estate market to be percolating along at the level it was last year,” said de Jong.


Certain taxes on real estate, however, are expected to generate greater revenue over the years to come. Once the current fiscal year ends, BC expects it will have earned $100 million in taxes on residential purchases made by foreign buyers in the Metro Vancouver region.


Total revenue from the province’s foreign buyers’ tax – implemented in August of last year – is expected to hit $150 million annually over the next three years: tax generated by $1 billion in residential properties purchased by foreign buyers annually through to 2019/20



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