JUST LISTED!! Yaletown Style at a Fraction of the Price!

11-4178 Dawson St.

$588,000

This unique, newly updated loft is in a private setting and has it all. The 17 foot floor to ceiling windows, creates a bright, open space. Shopping at Brentwood is just around the corner and the Skytrain is a stone’s throw away. This convenient location make life easy to get around town and has everything you need. This classy building has a great set of amenities include: clubhouse, exercise room, hot tub/sauna, steam room, and more. Yaletown style at a fraction of the price.Open House Thursday 5-6 and Sunday 1-3pm. Call Today! 259617022

The Perfect Downsizer!

This beautifully updated unit with large rooms is the perfect downsizer! Easily move in your house size furniture and take advantage of the in-suite storage as well as a storage locker. The kitchen has updated appliances and a high-end back-splash. The Uptown location is steps to shopping, transit, and Moody Park right at your doorstep. The quiet and well-maintained building offers a live-in caretaker (in a strata owned suite) which provides a higher level of security and the building has completed a depreciation report for piece of mind. 19+ age restriction. This move in ready home is waiting for you. Come to see this great home Thursday night 5-6pm or Saturday 2-4pm or call for an appointment today.703_-_550_8th_Street-21694-001

Beautiful Home Steps from Trout Lake Park

This beautiful and comfortable home situated on a large lot, offers an expansive backyard for the kids to play in. The reno’ed gourmet kitchen with open floor plan opens onto the large west facing deck with views of Trout Lake park. The reno’ed bathroom is bright and the refinished hardwood floors and warm wood burning fireplace are great features not to be missed. With ample storage and the large unfinished basement there are lots of options for kids to play or possibly a suite. Centrally located, this convenient home is steps away from Trout Lake Community Centre and walking distance to 3 Skytrain Stations. This home makes for a perfect balance of relaxed park living while being close to amenities. Open Wed. 5-6 and 3221_Garden_Drive-21642-001 (2)Sun 2-4pm.

 

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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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.

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.

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.

Realtor Professionalism

primum non nocere – latin for “first do no harm” image-26

 

Doctors take the Hippocratic oath as their ethical guide in their practice of medicine. In my experience as a professional realtor, if I ask myself the question, “Is this in the best interest of my client?”, a simple answer “yes”, means I do no harm.

Recent media reports of a select group of realtors’ conducting inappropriate practices, have jaundiced the public’s view of realtors in general. This is unfortunate, because those realtors who have toiled in the practice real estate for a long period of time have gained wisdom and experience to serve their clients real estate needs. The fact that this type of realtor still practices real estate means his/her clients value the service provided.

Like all professions, realtors have to evidence their worth to the public by their actions. Putting the client first is what our profession expects of its 12,923 members of the Real Estate Board of Greater Vancouver.

 

Get what you want: Understand the Vancouver Real Estate Market

When it comes to buying or selling real estate in Vancouver, is it the old cliché of Location, location, location or Timing is everything? Do most people buy when rates are low? Or sell at the best time of year? Or just believe what is suggested in the Media?

 

When I am talking to people about real estate, this is what they all want to know, “How is the market doing? Is it a good time to buy? When should I sell?” There are two sides to every story (or market) so it depends on who you are and what you want to do, not what the market is doing. What you want to do should not change but your tactics might!

The funny thing about buying or selling real estate is that you are buying or selling property not a market. Understand that the market is built around several different segments: the type of housing, such as condo, house, townhouse; and the area, such as West Vancouver, the West End, or the Westside (all different). Some segments or neighborhood areas may be red hot while areas are not, in the same market! So you need to know what you want to do and how your particular area is operating, not what everyone else is doing. In the early spring market of 2013 there are homes that are selling in competition because they are highly sought after properties. There are also buyers getting good value, as prices have softened compared to the high point of last spring. The market is not always one way or another.

Often time I will hear reports in the Media, declaring the so-called “latest trend.” It is important to do your own vetting of information that is specific to your needs and not give too much value to a general headline that is looking to improve ratings or gain new readers simply to sell newspapers. Analysis is very important, yes, but also look at more than just opinions and numbers. Evaluate your own personal circumstances and decide on how your situation fits into a particular market area.

Once you know where you want to go, then you can create a plan to get there. For example, first time buyers want to start building equity in their own property rather than paying rent and reducing someone else’s mortgage. Markets can be up or down but first time buyers will be operating in all types of markets, as their choice to buy into the market outweighs the market itself.

 

It is important to recognize that there are deals in every market but they are not always clear and up front. Let’s say there is a really “well priced” home for sale. Often times there is more than one buyer offering on this same property, so with competition a bidding war drives the purchase price of the deal up. There are also many deals made through a strong negotiation that accommodates the needs of both the seller and the buyer. If you know the market, you will know if you are getting a good deal so you can make the best deal.

 

Tip: As a buyer if you find a property you like, “tie it up.” Negotiate with the sellers one on one so that you can negotiate the price down before others see the same value and push the price up. Sellers want to do the opposite of course, so make sure that you give your property a chance to be seen by the market so you can hopefully attract multiple buyers to bid your price up.

When it comes to selling everyone wants to get the best price. Know why you want to sell and evaluate whether the market can give you what you want. Timing the peaks and valleys of a market is very challenging. Look at what you are hoping to achieve and determine if you can reach that goal, or not, by putting yourself in the shoes of buyers then honestly evaluate your situation from the points of view of others. (Turn a fresh eye from a buyers’ perspective, identify any maintenance or repair issues, and fix them before you sell.)

Don’t wait to find the perfect time to buy or sell, as this process may take longer than you really want it too. Think of the first time buyer mentioned earlier. If they keep on “waiting to buy” they could miss out on extra months or even years of equity that they could have been building in their “own nests” instead of throwing their money away in rent. Keep the “bigger picture” in mind. Have the confidence to live your life without letting other factors such as the market affect what you want to do.