TGIF: Opportunity Knocks!

“I was seldom able to see an opportunity until it had ceased to be one” – Mark Twain

Statistics are one thing and they are showing prices leveling off – specially in condos and townhomes.  However, the real news is at street level, boots on the ground experience.  In Ozzie Jurock’s latest newsletter, he says:- “Anecdotally there are many lights at the end of our tunnels”.  He is the proverbial onlooker seeing most of the game and has been eerily  accurate as a real estate forecaster over many years. He is constantly analyzing & tapping into an extensive network of  movers and shakers. As our own Michelle Hawthorne says:- “Noone rings a bell when we reach bottom” – take note!

We too are experiencing quick sales if the property is properly priced at current market – even some multiple offers.  As MLS has not continued to load on inventory, the good listings are selling, eating up the stock and mostly leaving behind the homes which need price adjustments (downward!). The low interest rates are encouraging smart buyers to make their purchase and lock in, providing that necessary peace of mind.  

Another interesting indicator of things to come is that commercial land sales and multifamily zoned land sales have taken a huge hit this year – down by 63 & 55%.  So the smaller (but still big!) developers want to sell out what they have and not take a chance on futures right now.  Which of course will lead to a smaller future, as well as present, inventory.

Please remember our Food Bank over the summer – this is when their supply is always low.  They need our help.

It is great to meet so many of you when we are out and about at community events – we love the TriCities, Pitt Meadows & Maple Ridge for their spirit and forward thinking in creating space & that small town feel for all the residents to get together for old fashioned fun times. Enjoy every moment and say hello.

We remain your Generations Real Estate Partners keeping you covered in every climate.  Our 2019 mantra is  “Excellence is not a skill – it’s an attitude”.  Test us out!

  Michelle Hawthorne, Scott Johnson, Sheila Francis, Ray Harris and Shane Goutsis.

TGIF: Aging in place!

This is a popular term these days but how do you do that when retired on a small fixed income? It is tough to replace the roof, do other costly maintenance and keep up with gardening when all the time your money is tied up in your home. There is now a great way to untie some of your investment and have a payment coming to you instead of the other way round. It is a “reverse mortgage” where, as long as you are over 55, you can free up some of your equity to not only maintain your home, but also to travel, pursue hobbies & not be concerned about having to drastically cut back your lifestyle. This is a great tool for peace of mind, hanging on to your investment & not making a costly move.

Mortgage Brokers require a separate license in order to arrange these mortgages and our office just learned plenty from Daniela Serena, our local broker who is licensed for, and specializing in reverse mortgages. If this is of interest to you, give Daniela a call – 604-889-6750.

If you have other real estate questions, please give our team a call at 604-936-7653.

Interest rates are remaining low & sometimes lower! Don’t wait til year end, gambling that they will stay at this level. If buying a property is in your plans, do it while the inventory with choice is there as well as low interest rates. Move up buyers – this is your market!

If you want to discuss the logistics of the best way to sell and buy, or how to prepare your home for the market, we are your resource. We are happy to spend the time with you to reduce your stress and streamline the planning. In spite of endless talk about “affordable housing”, rents are still high here and if you can come up with the downpayment, buying is less expensive than renting. And…no one will kick you out!

We are always here to keep you covered and to team up with you in the exciting real estate process one step at a time. Continuing in a tradition of trust and care.

We are your Generations Real Estate Partners:- Michelle, Scott, Sheila, Ray and Shane.

TGIF: The Original Freedom Fighters

“Seventy five years ago, hundreds of thousands of soldiers, sailors and airmen left these shores in the cause of freedom. The fate of the world depended on their success. Many of them would never return and the heroism, courage and sacrifice of those who lost their lives will never be forgotten.”

These were the words from the Queen at a commemoration service in Portsmouth, England, on Wednesday remembering D Day. She was joined by Prime minister Justin Trudeau, American President Donald Trump and other world leaders. The dwindling number of Second World War veterans in attendance, most now in their nineties, were honored for their role in the conflict freeing the world of tyranny. Trudeau paid homage to those who fought and died, but also promised to work together to ensure the horrors of that global conflict are never again repeated. The leaders made a joint pledge at the end of the ceremonies recommitting to their shared values because they “support the stability and prosperity of our nations and our people. We will work together as allies and friends to defend those freedoms whenever they are threatened”

Ceremonies continued in Normandy Thursday, including at Juno Beach where the Canadians came ashore. Haunting memories!

Closer to home, we have discovered that the Government is sending bills for the SPECULATION AND VACANCY TAX to seniors who moved into assisted living, then sold their home while vacant. Under these circumstances, the owners are actually exempt from the tax. The problem lies in that sometimes the notice to file has gone to the old address, or the senior doesn’t understand the need to file because he hasn’t done anything wrong. Our seniors need advocates in dealing with this as, in the event they have received an unwarranted bill, the seniors themselves have to be the people who call 1-833-554-2323. It is confusing, so it is wise to have the advocate standing by ensuring all the necessary information is at hand. It is an easy, if somewhat time consuming, process to rectify the situation once speaking with the appropriate government agent.

So… if someone you know, specially a senior, has been sent such a bill, make sure it is not paid without calling the department and checking for an exemption. Thanks to DBM for helping us help others with this odd situation – always learning something new. Let’s value our seniors, specially this week.

Just as our name sounds, we have the privilege of representing all generations and enjoy every moment keeping them covered.

Michelle, Scott, Sheila, Ray, and Shane Generations Real Estate Partners

TGIF: Our Community and Real Estate News – What You Should Know!

Photo Credit: Tri-City News


So goes the famous Beatles song and so goes an amazing group of local young people – the Love My City team. Dave Jonsson was the passionate spokesperson for the team’s delegation at this week’s Port Moody Council Meeting looking to have July 6-13 declared Love My City Week 2019. Last year was their first venture for a week of love when they cleaned parks, picked up garbage and performed random acts of kindness in the TriCities. Dave’s vision is that Love My City Week spreads like wildfire to other cities way beyond our own.

There are many negative observations about Millenials – these young people debunk the beliefs that we older people have. Let’s support them in their exemplary, exciting mission, lend a hand & spread the word. After all – we can’t have too much love in our cities.

Just when we thought that real estate could not receive more press and media attention than in the last couple of years, it is now the centre of attention in a number of different reports including money laundering, amount of lost equity owing to government interference, the effect of a real estate slow down on the economy at large and on… Any realtor will tell you that the horse was already out of the barn when the government stepped in. The market was slowing based on the usual factors – escalating prices which became as untenable for the foreign investor as the local homeowner and increasing inventory following an extraordinarily long time of very low housing stock. Foreign buyers were already focusing on lower priced cities such as Montreal and most local buyers were priced out of the market.

Markets have always experienced cycles – this was just the start of another. Few of us realtors (and we don’t know any) have experience with money laundering as we are dealing with local folk moving up the real estate ladder, downsizing, or moving here to live.

The result of home prices declining have no effect if you are living in your home longterm. However, if you bought within the last 3 years with 5% – 25% down and need to move, most or all of your equity is gone. This will prevent an immediate new purchase – back to the drawing board. With every market change there are those who are in the wrong place at the wrong time and those who find opportunities, like current upsizers. Never a better time in recent history for those looking to move up.

The government has it in their purview to determine who is buying homes and crack down on the money laundering – let’s not study it to death, rather immediately put in place the mechanism to deal with at least a part of it. It lies beyond the scope of your local real estate office. We would like less hype, more action and a return to business as usual.

Our team is so fortunate in our clients who return to us for their real estate needs and recommend us to their family, friends and colleagues – thank you. We continue to be a family business looking after every generation of buyer and seller – far from the criminal world of the daily News! If you want to check in with us about how the market affects your real estate goals please get in touch – always here to inform, advise and listen to your thoughts and plans.

Continuing to keep you covered whatever the climate, we remain the Generations Real Estate Partners – Michelle, Scott, Sheila, Ray & Shane.

TGIF: Our Local Real Estate Sales Summary

By now you will have heard the April sales news from CMHC and BC Real Estate Association. Both reports featured the drop in # of sales, 29% lower than April last year and 45% lower than the last 10 year average. They both talked about increased inventory, dropping prices, cautious buyers, bank rules and generally speaking to a public lack of confidence in the current real estate market. The term “buyers market” was used repeatedly. Statistics don’t lie but interpretations can be different – we only need to watch the political scene to know that!

When we look at the summaries attached to the recent SnapStats report we see between 1&2 homes in ten selling described as a “balanced” market – guessing that we have to be zero in ten to qualify as a buyers market! From the perspective of those of us out in the field negotiating with buyers and sellers daily, we can tell you that much of our market is a buyers market – both sellers and buyers need to know that so both sides can make a sensible, market driven decision. Some niche markets are faring better – mostly in close proximity to the SkyTrain, the single significant game changer in the last 2 years.

The healthiest resale market in April was in Port Moody – condos and townhomes, selling at a rate of 3.3 in 10. We are certainly looking forward to a stronger, more robust market which could be helped by both government & big banks confessing that they overdid the cooling measures and getting on board with some positive helpful measures for buyers (without assuming they have massive amounts of RRSPs!). Our entire economy here is affected by real estate sales.

If you want to know what we really think, please call us! Happy to unpack your local statistics both as buyers and potential sellers – it is never too early to prepare for selling your home. We remain your real estate partners as well as Generations Partners – keeping you covered as always!

Michelle, Scott, Sheila, Ray and Shane.

Happy Easter!

How come Easter is so late this year and Spring has not finally sprung? My rose coloured glasses tell me that we have been happily sitting outside at Easters gone by. We wish all our clients and friends a Happy Easter and a lovely long weekend catching up with family and friends. Lots of Easter egg hunts in our cities this weekend – watch out for all that chocolate!

On the real estate front, this could be a quiet weekend, although Mondays at the end of long weekends are often surprisingly busy. Our market in general is still unpredictable, but is moving quickly at entry level. Provided that they are priced fairly and the building is in good shape, one bedroom suites under $400,000 are flying off the shelf. As these sellers move up in the market, we should slowly see the ripple effect in action and maybe even a little stability at least in the first two levels of our market.

On completing several market evaluations this week, we realise that there is a total disconnect between the price tags on active listings and the actual sale prices in the same neighbourhoods. The interesting aspect of all this is that the market priced listings are selling quickly. There are just so few of them! Apparently the statistics are not convincing enough (fewer than 2 in 10 selling!) Until sellers realize that this is not fake news, our inventory will continue to grow and stagnate with overpriced listings. Serious buyers are experts in their own price range and pass over the obviously overpriced. Most often comment heard from sellers ignoring all media reports and statistics is “Well buyers can always make an offer”. Why would they want to take on a potentially losing battle when they can find a home they like comfortably in their price range? Yes, our market is in transition, but the facts speak for themselves and there is no mystery about the present – only the future!

So….the takeaway for buyers is don’t be afraid to make that offer if you would buy the home were it priced at market. And…the takeaway for sellers is that we are no longer in 2016 or even in 2017! Get the right price for April 2019 and avoid today’s pitfall of following the market down as we are seeing so many sellers doing right now.

Enjoy the long weekend with some promised sunshine. We always have you covered and are happy to interpret those statistics as they affect you. Your interests are ours.

Generations Real Estate Partners:- Michelle, Scott, Sheila, Ray and Shane.

TGIF: Attention – increase in tax credit!

Recent polls tell us that millenials overwhelmingly want to buy a home. While it is hard to imagine many of them with $30,000 in RRSPs to throw into the mix (as per one supposed assistance from government to 1st home buyers), there is a small but practical new help with the 1st home buyers credit increasing from $750 to $2500.

This tax credit applies to 1st home buyers and to purchasers with disabilities. In order to qualify as a 1st home buyer, you or your partner must not have lived in a home owned by either of you for the preceding 4 years. To be eligible as a disabled buyer, you must be purchasing the home for the purpose of living in a more accessible home better suited to your needs. A step in the right direction – use it.

Springtime in the mortgage business spells deals – in some instances cash back (helps pay your legal fees) and in others, very advantageous rates for a limited time. This is the season to consult with a professional, full-time mortgage broker – this is their business and a good broker has you fully prepared with paperwork and guaranteed, capped interest rate for a period of time in order that you can house hunt in confidence. Being well prepared gives you the edge when making an offer on the home of your choice.

If you need more information on any of the above, or recommendations for experienced brokers, Generations Real Estate Partners are here always to help.

On a lighter note, a Council vote at its meeting in Port Moody on Tuesday was met with applause! Yes… approval for a new brewery and winery at 3039 Spring St. and lounge space on upper floor of 3044 St. Johns. A new twist on the tried and true – winery will be popular with the ladies who are not partial to beer. As a group, the breweries are a huge employer in Port Moody and… they are fun!

Be careful on Monday – those April fool tricksters will be out! Have a great week and remember, we continue in that old tradition of trust and care by keeping you covered at all times.

Michelle, Scott, Sheila, Ray & Shane

TGIF: ‘Tis not too late to build a better world

Listening to the astounding political testimonies unfold this week, I am reminded of a famous quote from Tommy Douglas: “Courage my friends; ‘tis not too late to build a better world.”

And…speaking of a better world, we want to make a difference in the lives of our local students. Re/max of Western Canada is again offering 16 x $1,000 bursaries to grade 12 students – submissions will be accepted only until midnight March 11th. Quest for Excellence was established to recognize the success and ongoing pursuits of Western Canadian students in regards to leadership and community contribution initiatives – building that better world. Only online entries will be accepted – Good luck to all.

Here we are in the season of Lent – chocolate and wine sales should be down & gyms full! It is that time of testing ourselves and trying for our best selves. We’ll have more daylight in which to do that as we remember to move our clocks forward one hour Saturday night ready for the start of Daylight Savings Time this Sunday. Then comes hope with the first day of Spring the following week – without snow or freezing temperatures would be excellent!

Our early Spring real estate market is quite different this year going from a stagnant year end in 2018 to a clear buyers’ market by the end of February. Many of the new listings coming on stream are in line with the new reality, whereas others are clinging to the hope that recovery back to 2017 is imminent! The actual sales – small number that it is- are telling the tale and buyers are watching & in many cases, waiting. With an average of 1.5 in 10 homes in any category selling, our sellers have to find that sweet spot in price which gets them ahead of the market curve and makes them attractive enough to get one more buyer off the fence. And buyers with time and choice have to be bold and make an offer on a home they love. It is a perfect time for the move up buyer!

Navigating tricky markets is our strong suit owing to long experience working in changing markets. Let us help you as we continue a long tradition of trust and care – keeping you covered in all weathers. We remain your Generations Real Estate Partners – Michelle, Scott, Sheila, Ray and Shane.

TGIF: Legendary Care. We Deserve It.

As a rapidly growing community – yes we do deserve it! Finally the vital expansion of Eagleridge Hospital is becoming a reality and a project in progress. On January 18, Minister of Health Adrian Dix announcing the start of construction, said “We are treating emergency care in this region as a priority, so people will be able to receive health care services in a state of the art facility, and health care workers will have the room they need to help patients get better, quicker.”

The Eagleridge Hospital Foundation has a fundraising goal of $5,000,000, while the Fraser Health/ Ministry of Health contribution is $22,600,000. 35 years ago when Eagleridge Hospital opened, its emergency department had about 20,000 patient visits per year – now, visits have increased to about 53,000 per year, 20% of these patients are children. The expansion will more than double the number of patient treatment spaces in the emergency department from 19 – 39. Construction is expected to be complete in late 2020.

The work will include four new isolation rooms to support improved infection control measures as well as two new resuscitation bays. Walk in patients and ambulances will have separate entrances and an area will be designated for chemical decontamination.

In 2018, close to 1600 patients were seen in Emergency for cardiac related events and more than 900 echo-cardiograms were performed on site. The first phase of construction will be renovations to make way for a new, expanded space for the Cardiology Department which will allow for a fourth cardiologist and provide a purpose built space for a pacemaker clinic within the hospital.

Kudos to the Eagleridge Hospital Foundation for their dogged determination to see this happen and to our TriCities MLAs for their support. As our infrastructure ages, medical equipment & technologies keep advancing medical practices and our population continues to grow, this is indeed great news and not before time.

Let’s get on board and support our Eagle Ridge Hospital Foundation with its fundraising – we all use the hospital at one time or another. For more information, or to get involved, contact Charlene Giovannetti-King, Executive Director of the Foundation –

Stay warm and dry this week. If you have any questions about our real estate market or your home specifically, we are here to help always. We continue in that tradition of trust and caring, with our umbrellas up to keep you covered! We are your partners in real estate – ‘Generations’ – Michelle, Scott, Sheila, Ray & Shane.

TGIF: A Glance at Last Week – and Charging Into Spring!

Love has been in the air this week and the colour is red! With the continuation of Chinese New Year festivities into this week, then Valentine’s Day, my favourite colour is everywhere. If the line ups at Purdy’s and Vivio Flowers were anything to go by, many sweethearts received the traditional chocolates and bouquets all dressed in red and restaurants were cooking the celebratory dinner. It is good to know that we still honour love and that red is still the powerful colour!

With Family Day coming up Monday, we shall be spending time with our family and showing them the love. Enjoy every moment.

Remember that the month of February is also Black History month across Canada, with lots of great events in Vancouver, including inspiring concerts.

At its latest Council meeting, the City of Port Moody voted to support the future and have 100% of the parking spaces in new apartment buildings be equipped with CHARGING OUTLETS. At commercial buildings 20% of parking spaces will be required to have charging outlets. It will then be the developers’ choice whether they actually install the charging stations or leave that to the buyers.

This will undoubtedly add to the value of these suites as every older building in the TriCities is currently discussing how to accommodate electric vehicles and instal air conditioning after the fact. The cost of adding the outlets at the building stage is vastly less expensive than retrofitting later – adding stations to existing parking is estimated to be $6800 per space. Considering that cars create one half of our community emissions, this was a bold, necessary decision on Port Moody’s part.

We of Generations Real Estate Partners are already charged up and working in a more lively Spring market. In spite of the snow and slush, we still have you covered. Bring on those questions!

Michelle, Scott, Sheila, Ray and Shane.

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