Blog

TGIF: Vancouver’s Thriving Green Sector and Your Update On The Foreign Buyer Tax

Did you know that Vancouver is leading the world pack when it comes to constructing tall wood buildings? Good for our green sector and great for our timber manufacturers.

The 18 storey Brock Commons Tower at UBC was the tallest wood building in the world when it was completed in 2017. Now visualize a 30-40 wood tower on west Broadway – location of the planned SkyTrain extension from Cambie & Broadway to UBC. If approved, this mixed-use proposal would forward Vancouver’s already progressive green standards by another decade! The tower would use BC manufactured & processed mass timber as well as engineered wood. While still reducing greenhouse gas emissions, the building will will be designed for maximum fire and structural safety. Continue reading

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TGIF: Happy Canada Day!

“Died! Last night at 12 o’clock the free and enlightened Province of Nova Scotia.” Headline from The Morning Chronicle, Halifax, of July 2nd, 1867. It went on to describe how the day before at the waterfront, an effigy of Charles Tupper (one of the Fathers of Confederation) had been burned alongside a live rat!

This was one reaction to the new Dominion of Canada when 3 provinces (Nova Scotia, New Brunswick and the Canada Province) joined to create Canada on July 1, 1867 with John A. Macdonald as its first prime minister. However, in many towns Union Jacks were waving, brass bands playing, ale was flowing, there were military displays and fireworks. We Canadians are pretty consistent – we celebrate the day pretty much the same these days except for the Maple Leaf replacing the Union Jack. From Burnaby to Maple Ridge, there are full on festivities on Monday – a fun filled day of great free activities wherever you live. The finale in Burnaby, Coquitlam and Port Coquitlam is a fireworks display while there is a fly over in Maple Ridge and in Port Moody the 4 day Golden Spike Days Festival winds up at 6pm on Canada Day. Local firefighters are serving pancake breakfasts in Port Moody at the Inlet Firehall and a salmon BBQ in Port Coquitlam at Castle Park. This year Port Moody Fire Department is celebrating 41 years of flipping Canada Day pancakes for charity. Continue reading

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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! Continue reading

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. Continue reading

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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” Continue reading

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

Photo Credit: Tri-City News

ALL YOU NEED IS LOVE!

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. Continue reading

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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. Continue reading

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Subject Line: TGIF: Talking Value and Strategy

What a great Canada Day weekend in our local cities! And as music continues to be a park attraction in both Port Moody and Coquitlam, along with many other seasonal events, make the most of the longer summer days remembering that we are already past the longest day of the year.

This is also the time for the TriCities News Annual “A List” contest, where we residents vote best in class for local stores, restaurants and services. Thanks to all our clients & friends, who put us on top last year – we are hoping for a repeat performance and respectfully ask you to vote again this year: https://tcn.qabeta.glaciermediadigital.ca/alist. Continue reading

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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 Continue reading

New Home

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. Continue reading