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DINE OUT VANCOUVER IS BACK!

This festival stemmed from Tourism Vancouver back in 2002 with an idea of having a fixed-price menu deal that Vancouverites could go around trying out various restaurants, wineries, craft breweries and much more! Dine Out Vancouver Festival has become Canada’s largest food and drink festival.


DATES: January 17 - February 2, 2020 


This annual event invites you to try new restaurants and new menu items throughout the city by offering set menus at fixed prices of $18, $28 and $38.


 



Here are a few of the restaurants participating:

Ancora Waterfront Dining and Patio

Annalena

Bishops

Bistro Sakana

Black + Blue

The Boathouse Restaurant

Boulevard Kitchen & Oyster Bar

Brewhall

Brix & Mortar

Butcher & Bullock

Chamber Restaurant

Cibo Trattoria

Edible Canada

Forage

The French Table

Hook Seabar

Horizons Restaurant

Joe Fortes Seafood and Chop House

L’abattoir Restaurant

Miku Restaurant


…and many more of Vancouver’s best restaurants!


For an extensive list of participating restaurants and the dine out menus, head to www.dineoutvancouver.com

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When you think of having a million-dollar home the first thing that comes to mind is a giant mansion with a pool and media room. Unfortunately, these days having a million dollars in hopes of gaining a great home for the value is rare.


Now, this isn’t saying that Vancouver homes within the million-dollar range are all outdated and older. There are quite a few properties that nice and affordable but with ongoing increases in insurance prices, it’d becoming harder and harder to find. Although, having an amazing realtor that will go above and beyond to find the perfect home within your budget is crucial.


Down below are some of the most SHOCKING properties currently on the market being sold for high prices:


Price: $1,250,000

Address: 6791 Main St., Vancouver, BC


This is may not be what you were picturing given the price being offered. This is the perfect example of how crazy Vancouver’s real estate market truly is.



Source: REW / Edward Tong for Sutton Maple Pacific Realty



Price: $1,098,000

Address: 4995 St Catherines St., Vancouver BC

This is a bargain buy! Perfect for a redevelopment opportunity or as an investment property.



Source: Paul Eviston for RE/MAX



Here are a few houses that are within the million dollar range that are affordable in great neighbourhoods”


Price: $1,389,000

Address: 2822 Dundas St.


Located in the Hastings Sunrise area and perfect for a family home.



Source: REW / Sonya Reich and Dan McLennan for Homelife Benchmark Realty (Langley) Corp.



Price: $1,450,000

Address: 2993 Charles St.

This home has been extensively renovated. The photo may look deceiving but this cozy home in the Renfrew area features 6 bedrooms and 4 bathrooms!


Source: REW / Owen Bigland for Macdonald Realty Westmar



As mentioned previously, with an experienced and knowledgable realtor you can find the right home for you with your style preferences and within your budget.


So, if you or anyone you know is looking to buy and/or sell, contact me and I'd be happy to advise you!

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Whether you're buying a home or renovating your home, here are some of the most popular trends we'll see for this upcoming year!


I've always had a passion for home design so it makes me excited to see that through the world of design there are endless possibilities. I'm not only intrigued myself on these trends but I want home-owners to be informed on what's in style now and whether it'll stay that way or will be passé soon.


INTERIOR HOME TRENDS


1) High-End Materials -- The go-to materials that most people dream of for their home are always stone, marble, quartz, etc. but it is also the time for high-end wood accents to make its debut. For example, fluted wood is making its way back into the popular choice for cabinet doors in the bathroom. On the other hand, for the kitchen, fluted glass doors are the way to go. As for metals and accents, brushed/stained gold accents are trending to give it a cozy and "lived-in" look.


2) Shades and Colours -- Neutrals are always in and will never go out of style. It seems to already be an inspiration for the colours of 2020 which is taken by the beauty of Mother Nature. Earth tones such as beige, terracotta, deep dark greens and deep blues are trending! The lighter shades bring a sense of cleanliness and zen, deep tones portray tranquility and comfort.



3) Bold Lighting -- Lighting choices are the focal points of a room and bring out a different energy and uniqueness to each homeowner's style. The forefront of lighting for 2020 are handmade designs such as those with irregular shapes like lighting created by blown glass.




EXTERIOR HOME TRENDS

1) Siding Material -- Popular siding choice is still wood. Although, there are some negative effects on wood as it is hard to upkeep. There is an alternative which is Maibec and CanExcel that offer the same visual appeal with much less maintenance. In terms of the colour for siding in 2020, it seems that most homeowners will stick to the classic white, black and charcoal.



2) Low Maintenance Plants -- It's true... most people love backyard gardens but it takes true dedication and commitment to landscaping and upkeeping the space. Low maintenance plants such as succulents and grass are trendy choice, along with green walls which are perfect for limited outdoor space while also providing privacy from neighbours.


3) Outdoor Kitchen -- The ongoing trend of being a "foodie" and people trying to transition to a healthier lifestyle for the new year has sparked the return of the outdoor kitchen. 


I hope you got some inspiration from this blog for your home and I wish you all a successful 2020!


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So many fun things to do this holiday season with your friends and family! Check out some of my favourites:

Canyon of Lights | Capilano Suspension Bridge


It's an annual winter festival that's held from November 22, 2019 to January 26, 2019. The suspension bridge, Treetop Adventure, Cliffwalk, the rainforest and canyon is transformed into a beautiful light display. It also features a Snowy Owl Prowl, kids activities, and sing-along carols.


Festival of Lights | VanDusen Botanical Garden


Another amazing outdoor visual enchantment... but this one even has a light show! I held my annual Holiday event there earlier this month and it was a hit with everyone! Festival of Lights is amazing with small activities set up for the kids, food trucks, hot chocolate, and much more. Definitely a must-see activity during the holiday season!


Aurora Winter Festival


Canada's Largest Winter Festival is in Vancouver! They have a cute village that features a skating rink, tube park, Christmas Market, amusement rides, food gardens and of course, light displays all throughout the festival! They have special offers and kids ride free from December 14-23, check out their website for more details!

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Stuck on ideas on what to do this weekend in Vancouver? Well, here's some fun events that are happening this weekend that you can bring your friends, and family to! 


Check it out: 


Abbotsford International Airshow

When: August 9-11, 2019

Where: Abbotsford International Airport (30440 Liberator Avenue, Abbotsford)


The Abbotsford International Airshow is happening again this year! Go with your friends and family to enjoy spectacular routines performed by professional pilots, tour jets/planes on display and enjoy food from all the different food trucks there! Don't forget to buy your tickets online ahead of time!


Kaleidoscope Arts Festival

When: Saturday August 10, 2019

Where: Town Centre Park (1299 Pinetree Way, Coquitlam)


Enjoy Indie music while sippng on craft beers and munching on delicious dishes from local food trucks at Town Centre Park this weekend! There are also different arts/crafts activities you can do with your family. Also, did we mention that it's FREE?!


Vancouver's Largest Water Fight

When: Saturday August 10, 2019

Where: Lumberman's Arch- Stanley Park, Vancouver 


Who doesn't love a good water fight?! 


16th Annual New West Cultural Crawl

When: August 10-11, 2019

Where: All around the city of New West 


You don't want to miss these 2-days filled with fun arts and cultural events/activities! Create your own art, engage with local artists, purchase hand-made jewelry and more! 



Hope we gave you some ideas on what to do this weekend!

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Now that the kids are out of school, and the sun is out, maybe it's time to make a few changes around the house! Here's some ideas on what you can do over the summer (maybe even with the help of your kids) to spruce up the home a little!


Gardening and Landscaping

Let's start off with someting easy. The best way to spice up your house is to plant some new flowers, or trim that old tree in your back yard! Maybe you can eventually turn your back yard into a beautiful garden when you become an expert! 

Backyard Renovations

Now that the sun's out, you're going to be spending a lot more time outside, so it's a good idea to transform that backyard into a place that you want to be! Maybe add that fire pit, or install that swimming pool that you've always wanted! Now is the time to do so! 

Pressure Wash

This is probably one of the easiest things you can do to freshen up the look of your home! You can also do this easily without the help of a professional. Just take a day to do so, and I guarantee you that your home will look as good as new!

Paint the Exterior

Applying a fresh coat of paint to the exterior may not seem like much, but you will be surprised at how much it can do for the appearance of your home!


Let us know which one of these ideas you did, and how it went! We would love to see the before and after pictures! 

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Nowadays, more and more people are starting to work from home. Making sure that you have a perfectly designed home office can help increase your productivity, while letting you work from the comfort of your own home. 


Here's some of our tips on perfecting your home office!


Designate a Room as Your Home Office

Although you may think that your dining table is the perfect spot to set up your laptop and start working, it really isn't! Designating a room to act as your home office helps create a better work/life balance. It prevents any personal distractions in your home from disrupting your work time, and allows you to be more productive. Make sure the room is located in a quiet area of your home (no loud noises outside), has a door (to prevent from distractions), and a window (to help brighten up the room). 


Comfortable Chair

Sitting at a desk is definitely not the best for your posture, so make sure you have a comfortable chair with good back support!


Good Lighting

Make sure your room has good natural lighting (hence why a room with a window is important). Sunshine can help boost your energy and mood while working. Investing in a good desk lamp is also a good idea for those late-night work sessions.

Decorate

Sitting in a room with 4 plain white walls can be quite boring and sad. Hang some motivational quotes on the wall, create a vision board, or anything that will help motivate you in your work! Don't forget to add some greenery in your office as well, like a cactus or succulent. 

Keep It Organized

Buy filing cabinets, hanging cabinets, or a large desk to help keep your work space clean and organized. Create a organizational system that works for YOU! There's nothing worse than a cluttered work space! 


We hope that you found some of these tips helpful, and that you can create YOUR perfect home office! 

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If you're somewhat familiar with real estate, then you must have heard of the term "assignments". But, do you know what that term means in the real estate world (No, they're not what your teacher assigns you in school). 


Assignment Definition

An assignment is a transaction between the assignor (the original buyer of the property) and the assignee (the new buyer of the property). The assignor and assignee enter a contract in which the assignee will take over the rights & obligations of the contract of purchase and sale. All this happens before the completion date of the intial sale. 


This is a legal, and legitimate practice in real estate. 


Despite this being a legal practice, the RECBC has developed requirements that must be followed to avoid abuse of assignment contracts. These requirements include: 

  • The contract must not be assigned without the written consent of the original seller 
  • The seller is entitled to any profit resulting from an assignment of the contract by the buyer or any subsequent assignee


Important Assignment Terms To Know

Lift: The lift is the balance of the assignment amount (Typically a positive number because property values appreciate over time). Essentially, it's what the assignor is getting paid by selling this assignment to the assignee. 


Assignment Fee: The developer commonly charges an assignment fee. This can be found in your original contract. You should also be aware that you may need developer approval before being able to assign your property. 


In conclusion, selling an assignment can be confusing, and is quite different from selling a regular property. This is why it's important to do your research before! 


As always, feel free to contact us if you're interested in buying/selling an assignment! We are here to help make your real estate journey as smooth as possible! 



Resources:

https://www.recbc.ca/licensee/contract-assignment-faq-2.html


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In the recent years, there has been a lot of talk about how Surrey is growing rapidly, and will soon have a larger population than the City of Vancouver!


According to recent statistics, the largest city in British Columbia is still Vancouver with approximately 672,963 followed by Surrey with 569,065 who is just ahead of Burnaby at 248,476. Surrey is also projected to introduce over 185,000 new jobs, and 400,00 new residents, along with their neighbour, Langley. 


Here's some reasons why Surrey is going to surpass Vancouver as the largest city in BC, and why you should (maybe) move there:


Skytrain Extension

Translink's new Surrey-Langley Skytrain Project (An extension of the Expo Line) stretches a total of 16km. The line is set to extend from Surrey's King George Station along the Fraser Highway and ending on 203 Street in Langley. 


With the new skytrain extension, it'll significantly reduce commute times for residents of Surrey & Langley, making those cities much more desirable places to live! 


Image Source: Translink


Major Residential Development

Surrey is undergoing major development in terms of residential buildings. From townhomes to sky-high condos, there's tons of new homes being built. Some current pre-sales include: Centra, The Holland, One Central, Townsend, and more! 


Image Source: VancouverPresales.com


Family Friendly

The Surrey School District has the largest student enrolment in BC, and is continuing to grow. It currently has 101 elementary schools, 20 secondary schools, 4 learning centres, and 3 adult education centres. Simon Fraser University (SFU) also has a Surrey campus, located right near Surrey Central Skytrain station.



Image Source: Surrey Schools


What do you think about Surrey? Would you make the move there? Let us know!


Resources:

https://surreylangleyskytrain.ca/

https://dailyhive.com/vancouver/georgetown-surrey-bc-largest-city

https://vancouverpresales.com/property-location/surrey/

https://www.surreyschools.ca/K-12Schools/AlphabeticalSchoolList/Pages/default.aspx



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Mother's Day is coming up this Sunday, so we wanted to show you a few Yaletown restaurants that you should visit!


Homer Street Café

Address: 898 Homer St, Vancouver, BC V6B 2W5


This classic comfort food restaurant is serving up a Mother's Day brunch special: Butter poached halibut, poached hen’s egg, hollandaise, grilled asparagus, and pickled fennel.



Wildtale Yaletown

Address: 1079 Mainland St, Vancouver, BC V6B 5P9


Wildtale is serving up a special Mother's Day lunch only at the Yaletown location! If you're a seafood fan, this is a must-try!


Provence Marinaside

Address: 1177 Marinaside Cres, Vancouver, BC V6Z 2Y3


This waterfront spot never fails to dissapoint with their extensive brunch, lunch, and dinner menu! 

Minami

Address: 1118 Mainland St, Vancouver, BC V6B 2T9


This popular Japanese eatery (Known for their Aburi) is offering a Mother's Day dinner. The entreé is a Free Range Chicken Ballotine & Pan Seared Scallops, paired with a Kiku Cocktail, and ending off with a Manjari Chocolate Paris Brest for dessert.


Hope you found this helpful, and always feel free to message us for recommendations in Yaletown!

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Spring has been upon us for a while now, with Summer approaching in about a month, maybe it's time to finally start on that Spring cleaning you promised yourself! 


We are here to provide you with some of our TOP TIPS when it comes to cleaning your home, and making sure it stays clean.


Declutter

Before you even think about cleaning your home, you should start off by de-cluterring. Throwing out things that no longer spark joy (as Marie Kondo says) can cut down the time you need to spend cleaning. So throw out those clothes sitting in the back of your closet, and that box of old junk in your garage! 

Have a Plan

Now that you've decluttered your home, it's (almost) time to start cleaning. Before you get started, make a plan of how you're going to go about cleaning. Focus on one room at a time, and start/finish in the same area to make sure that you've cleaned every single corner of the room. Also, be sure to prioritize certain rooms/areas that you need to clean right away, and others that can wait another day. Once you've established a plan, and get into the routine, it'll make cleaning extremely fast and easy!

Keep Your Cleaning Supplies in Their Appropriate Spots

Storing your toilet cleaner under the kitchen sink, or your stovetop cleaner in your bedroom closet will only waste time, and discourage you from cleaning because you don't know where anything is. So, always keep the appropriate cleaning tools in the appropriate rooms to ensure maximum efficiency!

Establish A Daily Cleaning Routine

Now, cleaning everyday may sound scary, but just listen first. Doing some light cleaning everyday for ~15-20 minutes can cut down on the time and effort needed to do deep cleans. It can be as simple as scrubbing the toilet, wiping down some counters, or making sure your clothes are in the closet (and not all over the floor). 

Blast the Music & Have Fun

Now, we all know cleaning sucks, but it's also inevitable, so might as well make the most of it! Turn on your favourite playlist, put on your favourite pair of sweats and enjoy the time you spend cleaning rather than dreading it!

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There has been talk of a new ski resort project planned just North of Squamish on Brohm Ridge. Currently, the project is named Garibaldi at Squamish (GAS), but is yet to be renamed. 


"One Main Village is proposed, with hotels, restaurants and commercial spaces that will serve visitors and residents alike. Our priority is to ensure the needs of local families and businesses are considered during the design process"

- Rod MacLeod, Vice President Planning (GAS)

This $3.5 billion project recently released their master plan, which includes details regarding many environmental and economic issues that citizens may have. This project is set to promote long-term economic growth in Squamish, by creating 4029 new jobs for local citizens in the area. With this project in place, it'll accumulate tax revenues, and year-round tourism that further contribute to Squamish's economy. GAS will also be the only ski resort in British Columbia that attains an Enviromental Assessment Certificate to be one of the most environmentally-friendly resort. 


As of right now, the project still requires consultation from the District of Squamish on extending their jurisdictional boundaries, and also the provincial government's Mountain Resorts Branch to approve the use of public land for this project. This agreement stage is expected to last until 2020, which is then followed by preliminary planning/designs until 2022, and finally complete by 2025. 

A Resort Like Whistler?

The resort size is expected to be somewhere in the middle of North Shore ski hills, and Whistler Blackcomb, but at a much more affordable price than Whistler. They wish to achieve 1635 acres of skiable terrain, 131 trails, 21 lifts, 17,538 visitor capacity, and around 22,000 beds for accomodation by the year 2040. They wish to keep 80% of the land dedicated to green-space, leaving them undisturbed, or transformed into natural trails. 


As stated, they are currently still in the negotiation/discussion stage, where they really need the voices of BC residents heard. You can voice your opinion on this new project on their website by filling out their survey. 


Resources:

https://dailyhive.com/vancouver/garibaldi-at-squamish-ski-resort-february-2019-project-update

https://www.garibaldiatsquamish.ca/

https://www.vancouverisawesome.com/2019/02/12/ski-resort-garibaldi-squamish-five-years/

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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.


Resources:

https://globalnews.ca/news/5069183/budget-2019-canada-housing-affordability/

https://nationalpost.com/news/canada/federal-budget-2019-offers-first-time-home-buyers-a-break-with-1-25-billion-in-mortgage-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!

De-clutter

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!

Staging

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

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

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

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.

Co-Ops

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!


Resources:

https://economictimes.indiatimes.com/definition/freehold-property

https://www.rew.ca/news/thinking-of-buying-a-leasehold-property-read-this-first-1.22111234

https://www2.gov.bc.ca/gov/content/housing-tenancy/strata-housing

https://www.chf.bc.ca/find-co-op/

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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

Exemptions

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! 


Resources:

https://www2.gov.bc.ca/gov/content/taxes/property-taxes/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? 


Resources:

https://www.straight.com/life/868906/vancouvers-dwindling-housing-market-converted-shipping-containers-may-tick-all-right

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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?  


Sources:

https://www.theverge.com/2019/1/6/18170575/kohler-konnect-bathroom-smart-gadgets-numi-intelligent-toilet-ces-2019

https://www.cbc.ca/news/technology/ces-trade-show-1.4968256

https://www.digitaltrends.com/home/capston-google-enabled-smart-mirror-changes-how-you-get-ready/

https://www.thesun.co.uk/tech/8144284/ces-2019-reveals-your-home-2030/

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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!



Source(s):


Photos

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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 thebestplaces.net, 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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Source(s):

https://www.infographicsarchive.com/tech-and-gadgets/seattle-the-next-silicon-valley/

https://thenextweb.com/contributors/2018/05/25/observations-of-seattle-and-silicon-valleys-startup-scenes/

https://www.bestplaces.net/cost-of-living/seattle-wa/san-francisco-ca/115000

https://www.cnbc.com/2017/03/17/silicon-valley-tech-talent-fleeing-to-seattle.html

https://www.bbc.com/news/av/technology-26117077/is-seattle-the-next-silicon-valley

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