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.

106_-_250_francis_way-20523-003

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.

Death Star

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.

Metro Vancouver home sales return to typical August levels

For the second straight month, home buyer demand in Metro Vancouver* moved off of the record-breaking pace seen earlier this year and returned to more typical levels.

The Real Estate Board of Greater Vancouver (REBGV) reports that residential MarketUpdate_thumb.jpgproperty sales in Metro Vancouver:

Totalled 2,489 in August 2016,  ↓ 26%  compared to the 3,362 sales in August 2015

10.2%  ↓ than the 2,771 sales in August 2014

and 1% ↓  than the 2,514 sales in August 2013

August 2016 sales also represent a 22.8% ↓ compared to last month’s sales.

From a historical perspective, last month’s sales were 3.5 % below the 10-year sales average for the month.

“The record-breaking sales we saw earlier this year were replaced by more historically normal activity throughout July and August,” Dan Morrison, REBGV president said. “Sales have been trending downward in Metro Vancouver for a few months. The new foreign buyer tax appears to have added to this trend by reducing foreign buyer activity and causing some uncertainty amongst local home buyers and sellers.

“It’ll take some months before we can really understand the impact of the new tax. We’ll be interested to see the government’s next round of foreign buyer data.”

New listings for detached, attached and apartment properties in Metro Vancouver:

Totalled 4,293 in August 2016.

an ↑ of 0.3% compared to the 4,281 units listed in August 2015

18.1 % ↓ compared to July 2016 when 5,241 properties were listed.

The total number of properties currently listed for sale on the MLS® in Metro Vancouver:

8,506,  21.9% ↓ compared to August 2015 (10,897) and  1.9% ↑ from July 2016 (8,351).

The sales-to-active-listings ratio for August 2016:

29.3%. This is indicative of a seller’s market.

Generally, analysts say that downward pressure on home prices occurs when the ratio dips below the 12% mark, while home prices often experience upward pressure when it reaches the 20 to 22.5% range in a particular community for a sustained period.

The MLS® Home Price Index composite benchmark price for all residential properties in Metro Vancouver:

$933,100. This represents a 31.4% ↑ compared to August 2015 and a 4.9 %↑ over the last three months.

Sales of detached properties in August 2016:

715, ↓ 44.6% from the 1,290 detached sales recorded in August 2015.

The benchmark price for detached properties:

↑ 35.8 % from August 2015 to $1,577,300. This represents a 4.2% ↑ over the last three months.

Sales of apartment properties:

1,343 in August 2016, a ↓ of 10.1% compared to the 1,494 sales in August 2015.

The benchmark price of an apartment property:

↑ 26.9% from August 2015 to $514,300. This represents a 6.1% ↑ over the last three months.

Attached property sales in August 2016:

431, ↓ 25.4%compared to the 578 sales in August 2015.

The benchmark price of an attached home:

↑ 31.1% from August 2015 to $677,600. This represents a 7.1% ↑ over the last three months.

Housing Market Slows to a Simmer in BC

 

The British Columbia Real Estate Association (BCREA) reports that: august

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

9,900 residential unit sales were recorded by the Multiple Listing Service® (MLS®) in July, ↓ 3.4 per cent from the same month last year.

Total sales dollar volume was $6.57 billion in July, ↑ 5.4 per cent compared to the previous year.

The average MLS® residential price in the province was 9.1 per cent year-over-year, to $663,411.

Year-to-date, BC residential sales dollar volume ↑ 45.5 per cent to $56.5 billion, when compared with the same period in 2015.

Residential unit sales ↑ 25 per cent to 77,261 units, while the average MLS® residential price was ↑16.4 per cent to $731,189.

 

New Property Transfer tax, can cost foreign buyers an additional 15% on the purchase of a home in Vancouver

Effective August 2, 2016, an additional property transfer tax applies to residential property transfers to foreign entities in the Greater Vancouver Regional District.trasfer tax

The additional tax applies on all applicable transfers registered with the Land Title Office on or after August 2, 2016, regardless of when the contract of purchase and sale was entered into.

The Greater Vancouver Regional District includes Anmore, Belcarra, Bowen Island, Burnaby, Coquitlam, Delta, Langley City and Township, Lion’s Bay, Maple Ridge, New Westminster, North Vancouver City and District, Pitt Meadows, Port Coquitlam, Port Moody, Richmond, Surrey, Vancouver, West Vancouver, White Rock and Electoral Area A.

The additional tax does not apply to properties located on Tsawwassen First Nation lands.

 

Who this effects:

-Foreign corporations or taxable trustees

– Foreign nationals are transferees who are not Canadian citizens or permanent residents, including stateless persons.

It also included Foreign corporations:

– Not incorporated in Canada

– Incorporated in Canada, but controlled in whole or in part by a foreign national or other foreign corporation, unless the shares of the corporation are listed on a Canadian stock exchange

-Taxable trustees that are a foreign national or foreign corporation, or a beneficiary of a trust that is a foreign national or foreign corporation.

When does it apply?

The additional tax on property transfers to foreign entities is 15% of the fair market value of the foreign entity’s share of a residential property

This tax applies in addition to the general property transfer tax.

The additional tax does not apply to non-residential property. The value of the residential portion of a transfer is calculated in the same way as for the property transfer tax.

The additional tax does not apply to trusts that are mutual fund trusts, real estate investment trusts or specified investment flow-through trusts.

The additional tax must be paid with the general property transfer tax at the time the property transfer is registered with the Land Title Office.

Municipalities are also perusing the thought of vacant home tax so stay tuned there may it more to come!

Buying a Grow-Op in Vancouver, Still an issue?

The biggest issue with homes that used to be Maharajah Grow Operations would be your financing. Banks are less likely to finance a former grow op home because of the grow opunknown factors that the grow op could have caused to the home and the stigma behind them. Often there are holes cut into floor joists and ceilings, and they tamper with the wiring of the home which can cause a high risk for fires. Moisture caused by the growing of the plants is another issue the banks have with the homes, no matter how much the home has been repaired, or remodeled mold can still be present and pop up whenever conditions are right. Even with remediation of the home it still will also carry the grow op title, thus causing resale on a grow op homes to be significantly lower and much harder of a sell. Banks today are very conservative and stingy with funds regardless of an issue like a grow op so when you add that extra complication into a deal they are often unwilling to give the buyers financing.

With people trying to think of “outside the box” ways to get into the housing market in Vancouver, it is buyer beware when purchasing a former grow op home. If you dot your I’s and cross your T’s it could be the right option for you.

Vancouver Real Estate Numbers are Being Manipulated by the Liberal Government

I think it’s pretty clear to see that Mike de Jong and the Liberals are “Gerrymandering” or foregin buyersmanipulating the numbers to suite their agenda and get a good head line.  Since when was 3 weeks in the month a good measurement of time. June 10-29th clearly is cutting out the most active period of time that Vancouver Real Estate transactions happen (the beginning and end of the month.) Oh and by the way, the BC Land Titles Office is closed on weekends so Saturday’s and Sunday’s don’t count for evaluating when transactions are recorded so by starting on the 10th (a Friday) it makes the sample size of days look bigger but they really just padded their timeline. As well, why only look at June when March, April and May are much stronger months for sales?  The government has the data why not give a larger sample? This is very hollow attempt to look at numbers and I think it’s pretty plain to see the Liberals are doing everything but look at the Elephant in the room when it comes to Vancouver Buyers and the Foreign Investor. They are trying to say that Foreign Buyers are only 3% of the market when it’s really more like 10% or possibly even more according to the recent Business in Vancouver article. Mike de Jong and the Liberals are controlling the message due to conflicts of interest like Bob Rennie being the campaign fund raiser for the Liberal party and it is wrong.