Coming soon! Recently Renovated Ground Floor unit!

This recently renovated home with generous sized rooms is comfortable and inviting. The home has plenty of storage and a great outdoor patio space to extend your living area in nice weather. Tucked away just off of Broadway and Burrard this convenient location has you close to shopping, recreation or downtown in no time. The building is well run by a proactive strata and has a great sense of community. Pets and rentals are allowed but restricted. The home comes with one parking spot and one storage locker.  Bike storage and the unit is on the bike lane.

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Good Neighbour Award

Greg recently volunteered 200 hours, over a two-year period  with People Power for Playgrounds. This incredible organization set out to build a fully accessible public playground for his community in Vancouver’s Eastside. Working with dedicated volunteers and the Little Mountain House Society, Power for Playgrounds collaborated to raise $167,000 to build their playground through Public Open Houses, Community events such as a Pumpkin giveaway and Car Free Day, Canvasing the neighbourhood and hosting Fundraising Galas. Through this work, Greg was thrilled to find out he was nominated and received the Good Neighbours Award from the Association of Neighbourhood Housing of BC. This award is given to a person with a strong passion for enriching local community, and Greg was honored to win this award. 

Team Andruff is so proud of Greg and what he has accomplished in his ongoing work with the community. We can’t wait to see how things go with his next endeavor for the Food Bank this Winter! #beyondtheballoongreg-neighbourhood-award

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Vancouver-Kensington MLA Mable Elmore at the ribbon cutting ceremony.

2016 Team Andruff Pumpkin Patch Success!

This past weekend we held our annual Pumpkin Patch event at the Total Education Center in East Vancouver. There were pumpkins to carve or decorate, crafts to create and some sweet treats too! And to top it all off, the sun ended up coming out!  A great time was had by all! Team Andruff  thanks everyone for attending, and look forward to seeing you all again next year!

Here are some photos from the event:img_1735img_1730img_1727

JUST LISTED! The Perfect Downtown Loft

LOFT, a unique space with 16 foot high ceilings. The open and smart deign leave room for extra storage and a den. LOCATION, conveniently located home, close to shopping, transit, and all that downtown has to offer. LIFESTYLE, this 14th Floor sky-loft has bright soaring windows! The current owner updated some appliances and painted and updated the floors 2 years ago. This building has great amenities including a gym, 360-degree view from the common rooftop deck, a second patio BBQ area and party room. INVESTOR ALERT! Reasonable Strata Fees, Rentals and Pets allowed. Current tenant would love to stay and is on a month -month lease.
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Coming soon! 1881 W10th Ave, Vancouver

This is the perfect home for you and your pet! This is a smartly updated two level unit in a fourplex. There is a main floor bedroom and bathroom, as well as an upper-level master bedroom that features an ensuite bathroom and balcony. The outlook is north facing into a small fenced green space. The shops of South Granville are walkable. And transportation is close by.002-3

Just listed!! 106-250 Francis Way

Not just another 2 bedroom condo! This home feels more like a townhouse than a condo with independent access to your suite from your garden patio. The spacious open plan home and its phenomenal 350 sq ft, partially covered, patio
extends and creates much more living space. This comfortable and classy, space has over-height ceilings and tons of storage with walk-in closets and beautiful stainless steel appliances. The location is very central being close to transportation, recreation at Queens park, and shops and restaurants just around the corner. The building is still under warranty and has a great community. The Boiler house has a theatre room, health centre and meeting/ study areas. Call today for an appointment.

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New listing!! 5606 Chester St, Vancouver

5606 Chester st, in East Vancouver is great family home. This comfortable, bright, starter home is move in ready with significant updating to the entire home. All you have to do is move in. Enjoy your own private oasis with mountain views on your huge 557 sq ft sun deck (built with permits). Sir Alexander Mackenzie Elementary School extends your backyard and the walk-able neighborhood has shops close by and transit to downtown or UBC right around the corner. This was going to be a forever home with significant upgrades to the windows, furnace, flooring, renovated bathrooms, updated pipes and completed every task on his inspection list. This home is great value do not miss out on a phenomenal home.

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The Power of a Power of Attorney

Super HeroI recently had a scenario where the seller of a particular property would only accept one, rigid set of dates for the transaction. Although my buyer was a great candidate for the property, he was unable to be in the country for an extended period of time, and so was faced with the challenge of how to complete on the file while he was absent.

A Power of Attorney (POA) is not a really great lawyer with special super powers. It is actually a document that appoints another individual, labelled as an “attorney”, to deal with any number of issues related to business, property, financial and or legal decisions on your behalf.

Various degrees of power and scope can be applied under a Power of Attorney. The general idea is that you can appoint someone to look after your affairs while you are not available or are incapacitated, either physically or mentally. The duties can be restricted to a singular task or have a wide application over your complete assets. It can be a very useful tool but caution must also be applied.

As the name indicates, you are giving power of some degree to another person (the “attorney”). And while there are some restrictions as to who that can be (for example, health care workers who are not related to you can’t be appointed), you want to make sure that the person chosen can be trusted, is honest and has good judgment.

It is also important to note that there are different types of POAs and different ways to determine how long they will remain valid. For example, in the province of BC a POA related to real estate will expire after 3 years if it is not an Enduring Power of Attorney, which needs to be registered in the Land Titles Office.

Power of Attorney is a useful tool when used in the appropriate manor. In the case above, my client appointed a lawyer to act on his behalf through a POA so that the transaction could be completed while he was out of the country.
Whether you are just out of the country for a period of time or have substantial resources such as real estate, you will want to consider the option of a POA as either a one-time event or as part of your estate planning. As this is a complicated legal matter, always consult with a lawyer for advice and guidance.

You can find more information at:

· The Canadian Bar Association, www.cbabc.org.

  • The Public Guardian and Trustee of British Columbia, www.trustee.bc.ca. This site has detailed information on powers of attorney, representation agreements and court orders appointing a committee to look after the affairs of a person who is mentally incapable. Their phone number is 604.660.4444.
  • See the provincial government’s website on incapacity planning and the forms that can be used, at www.ag.gov.bc.ca/incapacity-planning.

Know when to walk away from a deal.

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Know When to Walk Away From a Deal.

Recently, on more than one occasion, I have had clients walk away from property purchases, due to major “red flags.” I have a conservative approach on what I will show my clients but no building is perfect so it is important to have your wits about you when buying real estate.  Below are a few tips to help avoid buying a “money pit” when purchasing real estate.

1) Follow your gut.  If you have a bad feeling about something, ask more questions, follow up, and make sure you are satisfied with the answers you get. If you’re not getting what you need or feel like your getting only half of the truth, then consider walking away. I have seen many cases where what we were told on the surface of things did not turn out to be the actual case. An example of this is rental income.  Often one number is verbally shared and then it does not match what is actually on the lease agreement.  So be sure to verify your numbers and check on the details. Often I find one falsehood, sometimes then more are uncovered, so be aware!

2) Take your time to really look through the property.  Spend some time looking up at the ceiling, then at eye level, following through to looking down to the ground in each room, and notice all the corners, too.  Think about what a room needs. For example, heat registers may be missing, or perhaps there are water stains on the ceiling, or ceiling patches that don’t match in texture. Take the time to ask more about these types of issues and make sure you are comfortable with the answers. Sometimes, the more you find out, the slower you should be proceeding.

3) Get someone you trust to look at the property objectively with you.  You know what you know and see what you see, but a second set of eyes can be very helpful for a different perspective.  Not everyone pays attention to the same things!  This can start out with a friend but often people will take the next step of using a professional home inspector who can give you a straightforward analysis on the home you are about to buy.

4) For strata properties, get an idea up front from the strata documents package (eg The Minutes, Rules & Regulations, By-lasws, Budget and so on).  This is the best way to learn the “personality” of the Strata.  Are they proactive and working with “Depreciation Reports” or do they try and cut costs and push off projects due to lack of resources?  One of the best ways to maintain value in a home is maintenance and it will show one way or another.

5)  Purchasing real estate is a REALLY big deal so make sure you are confident in what you are buying by using good professionals to help expand your knowledge and fill in the gaps. Cutting corners up front to save a few dollars later could cost you much more in the long run.

At the end of the day, if you do not feel confident, sure or relaxed about the buying process perhaps re-evaluate your position to see if this truly is the best move for you.  There are always other opportunities out there just as good or better than what you may pass up.  So don’t despair!  There will always be another opportunity!

 

Vancouver Real Estate and the Episode of the 15% Foreign Buyers Tax

Many of our Team Andruff clients want to know what the impact of the 15% Foreign Buyers Tax will be. One month in we are on a quest to find an appropriate answer. We listen to economists, review similar instances and rely on our experience to guide our clients and here is what we see so far:

Blog at a glance:

  • Markets were cooling before the tax was instituted.
  • We have seen a similar scenario with the transition from GST/HST – the market will adjust and rebound.
  • Higher end homes (one-million-dollars-plus) will be slowed down – Resale condo market still robust.
  • The fundamentals of supply have not changed while demand is on the sidelines in some cases but not in others.
  • BC Government was politically motivated to make this move but foreign buyers will have ways around the 15% tax and this may push affordability problems to other markets.
  • A strong Greater Vancouver and BC Economy with continued in-migration will still make Vancouver’s affordability a challenge over the long run.

 

The Rest of the Story

On an anecdotal note, leading up to summer, there was a sense of a turn in the market. The market was taking a more “traditional approach” or what would have been a more typical response to a hard press in pricing than what we had seen in the last few years of accelerated prices. There was some seasonality to the market where people took a step back and simply enjoyed their summer (which a few years ago was normal).

The Senior Economist with Central 1 Credit Union, Bryan Yu, indicated the tax will put further downward pressure on a market that already had a slowing, after a very strong spring. He further prognosticated the new tax on foreign buyers will cause a substantial but temporary 10 per cent drop in Metro Vancouver sales that will extend into 2017.

This is not unlike the transition from the GST to HST scenario in 2010.  The market pulled back to see what would happen and then slowly returned to business as before.

We again get back to the tale of two markets (foreign and domestic). What we are seeing today is the higher end of the one-million-dollar-plus homes are slowing considerably (mainly affected by foreign money).  While my experience over the last month is the resale condo market (read local market) remains fairly robust.  The reasoning behind this is many (of course not all) foreign buyers were more involved in the higher end of the market and the new construction coming to market.

The 15% tax therefore is having less impact on the…let’s say…one-million-dollars-or-less type of properties, (mainly condos and mainly “locals”) and so we are still seeing things move at a fairly strong pace.  The fundamentals of supply and demand are still driving the resale condo side of the market for the most part.

 

I dare say that The Foreign Buyer Tax was not all that well conceived. It appears to be a political, knee-jerk response by the BC Government. Dr. Sherry Cooper, Chief Economist for Dominion Lending Centres share this sentiment stating, “Housing affordability is a hot-button political issue, so it is not surprising that the B.C. Government, facing an election in less than a year, has felt compelled to do something to dampen the fervor.”

A few of the flaws as I see it:  It will have a mushrooming effect on non-Metro-Vancouver areas like for example Kelowna, and Victoria on Vancouver Island. By pushing the foreign money further out from Metro Vancouver, this potentially is passing the buck and creating affordability issues in these other areas too, perhaps even as far away as Toronto. Also, some of the buyers of presale condos are finding local friends or family members in order to assign their contracts, and hence sidestepping the 15% tax.

At the end of the day, some foreign funds will still be invested in the Vancouver Real Estate market. They still can and will.  For now, there will be a shock to the system.  Arguably the market is naturally correcting already which is good and healthy for the market.  Remember there are always two sides to the story, and while Sellers have had their turn with a Sellers’ Market, now Buyers may see some opportunity. As density remains a focus at city hall and in-migration remains a reality with a strong local economy both in Greater Vancouver and BC, the underlying lack of affordability will likely remain.  However, at this time the pace of the market will be slower.