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Open House. Open House on Thursday, May 16, 2024 4:30PM - 6:30PM

Please visit our Open House at 1 7360 CRABAPPLE CRT in Pemberton. See details here

Open House on Thursday, May 16, 2024 4:30PM - 6:30PM

This is your chance to own the largest new build home at Mountainside. This is a collection of 30 modern townhomes in the heart of Pemberton. Walking distance from schools, cafes, restaurants, grocery stores ++. This home is an end unit with a wrap around patio, two side by side parking in the attached garage plus 2 driveway parking spots. It also boasts 4 bedrooms, heated bathroom flooring, Mountain views from every window, window coverings, screens on all windows, heating and cooling system for each room plus a pantry. Plenty of storage in the parking garage with oversized garage doors.

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Open House. Open House on Saturday, May 18, 2024 2:00PM - 4:00PM

Please visit our Open House at 1 7360 CRABAPPLE CRT in Pemberton. See details here

Open House on Saturday, May 18, 2024 2:00PM - 4:00PM

This is your chance to own the largest new build home at Mountainside. This is a collection of 30 modern townhomes in the heart of Pemberton. Walking distance from schools, cafes, restaurants, grocery stores ++. This home is an end unit with a wrap around patio, two side by side parking in the attached garage plus 2 driveway parking spots. It also boasts 4 bedrooms, heated bathroom flooring, Mountain views from every window, window coverings, screens on all windows, heating and cooling system for each room plus a pantry. Plenty of storage in the parking garage with oversized garage doors.

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Open House. Open House on Sunday, May 19, 2024 2:00PM - 4:00PM

Please visit our Open House at 1 7360 CRABAPPLE CRT in Pemberton. See details here

Open House on Sunday, May 19, 2024 2:00PM - 4:00PM

This is your chance to own the largest new build home at Mountainside. This is a collection of 30 modern townhomes in the heart of Pemberton. Walking distance from schools, cafes, restaurants, grocery stores ++. This home is an end unit with a wrap around patio, two side by side parking in the attached garage plus 2 driveway parking spots. It also boasts 4 bedrooms, heated bathroom flooring, Mountain views from every window, window coverings, screens on all windows, heating and cooling system for each room plus a pantry. Plenty of storage in the parking garage with oversized garage doors.

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Airbnb: How B.C. will "police" new proposed short-term rental regulations

It feels as if BC is trying to make it difficult for locals to make money and support other industries such as tourism and film.

The topic today is Airbnb.  BC is planning on changing the regulations around Airbnb.   Starting spring 2024, there is proposed to be a new provincial short-term rental enforcement team which will crack down on illegal Airbnbs.

The Short-Term Rental Accommodations Act, which is expected to come into force before the end of the fall legislative session.  Click here for the act.  If a short term Airbnb isn't in the operator’s principal residence,they risk hefty fines of $3,000 per infraction, per day.

There is an exception which is for communities of less than 10,000 people and 14 resort communities including Tofino, Whistler and Osoyoos unless they choose to opt in.

Very little details have been shared about the new budget or personnel assigned to the proposed enforcement team, which will begin looking for illegal short-term rentals when the rules take effect May 1 2024.  This is where I interject and remind everyone - this is costing us more tax dollars to have this new rule in place.

Housing Minister Ravi Kahlon said this week that the new unit will be similar to the 10-person Residential Tenancy Branch’s enforcement team, which is led by former Victoria police superintendent Scott McGregor.

About 30 municipalities already regulate short-term rentals through bylaws and licence fees. Vancouver, Victoria and Kelowna limit short-term rentals to the principal residence =  the owner or tenant must live in the home.

The problem is, according to B.C. Premier David Eby, “cities that want to deal with this problem have been trying to figure out how to enforce it.”

The B.C. NDP government’s fix is to create a provincial registry of short-term rentals, which will be up-and-running in late 2024. That registry can be cross-referenced with the province’s speculation and vacancy tax disclosure form which requires British Columbians to declare their primary residence.  That data will be shared with local municipalities to help them in their own crackdown efforts.

“This new legislation and the registry will create the ability to spit out a printout of numbers, the business licences that they can match-up with the business licences on the (short-term rental) platforms, which will be legally required to co-operate with us,” Eby said.

It is estimated in Vancouver that 40% of the 5,000 active short-term rental listings are breaking the city’s bylaws, which state that a short-term rental can only operate in someone’s principal residence, which includes a laneway house, basement suite or in one’s home or condo while they’re away on vacation.

The city’s team is apparently comprised of eight staff — six enforcement clerks, one enforcement coordinator and one dedicated property-use inspector — who investigate complaints and review online listings using various sources including software called Host Compliance, which captures screenscrape data from multiple listing platforms. The team also reviews the data provided through an agreement with Airbnb.

“Staff proactively investigates illegal listings and has a variety of options to address suspicious listings such as conducting an audit or inspection, issuing a violation ticket or warning letter, and suspending a business licence,” Hicks says.

Short-term rental operators flouting the bylaws are subject to fines of up to $1,000 per offence and may be referred to the prosecutor’s office for legal action, she said.

 Since Vancouver’s bylaws came into effect in 2018, the city has had 2,266 licences flagged for investigations, 136 so far this year. The city has written 1,712 warning letters — 85 in 2023 — and issued 1,040 legal orders, including 161 this year.

I personally think the effects of this are going to have impact on the film industry, tourism industry and much more.  This will in turn effect the local businesses, restaurants, retail store and so fourth.  BC is making it harder and harder for those local who live here to make any sort of extra income.  If you have any questions about short-term rental accomodations reach out.  

XOX

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Federal housing minister opposes Metro Vancouver development fees

I feel this topic deserves a moment to be discussed.  What is affordable housing?  How do we create affordable housing?  Is it bybuilding more density in housing - ie) condos?  I feel we have not discussed the actual price of affordable housing and rather use the vague word "affordable" - and this dance of the vague wording goes on and on.  What is affordable to one family might not be affordable to the next family.  So do we take the average income of a single person or do we look at the average income of a couple - their combined income.  How much does the average Vancouverite make in our city? These are all important numbers to consider.  

First and foremost when looking at new builds / new developments what seems to be forgotten is that the developer who builds homes is not a charitable organization.  They have created a business just like Starbucks has created a business.  Last I checked Starbucks doesn't give away free coffee or doesn't sell coffee at a loss to the business. And nore do we expect that from Starbucks.  (Sorry to pick on Starbucks coffee.)

A developer begings their project by purchasing land and then goes through the long and strenuous process of design, approval, permitting, building and so fourth.  From start to finish this takes minimum upward of two years.  The costs upfront depends of how large the project is and this can be hundreds of thousands of dollars if not millions of dollars.  There are carrying costs of property taxes, mortgage payments, lawyer bills, the process of getting permitting requires a lot of documentation, government fees such as development cost charge (DCC), architectual costs, labour wages, cost of lumber, windows, doors and obviously the city asks for a new playgrounds, or new sidewalks and the list goes on and on.  Last I checked none of these costs have gone down.   At the end of the day it gives the developer joy to create quality housing for families to live in but at what cost?   The risk is taken upfront by the developer.  The developer hopes that the end sale price will keep up with the cost to build the home.  The developer hopes that the homes will sell.

Let's circle back to the topic of affordable housing.  To keep the end product cost down the developers costs need to also be as low as possible with producing a quality product.  Our City has NOT given developers any breaks or lowered costs associated with building homes.  Yet they seem to love to throw the "halo" word of afforable housing, more rentals, more housing and so fourth are needed in our city.  They love to point fingers at others and say it has nothing to do with them yet do not give any breaks to the business who build the housing in the city.  Are you following what I am trying to say...?

Just this past Friday (October 27th, 2023) Sean Fraser (our Federal Housing Minister) wrote a letter to Metro Vancouver board chair and Delta Mayor George Harvie to suggest delaying the development cost charge (DCC) proposals, which could more than triple by 2027 should the board vote in favour.

Federal housing minister Sean Fraser has told Metro Vancouver that its proposal to increase housing development fees for new sewer and water facilities is “at odds” with his so-called Housing Accelerator Fund aimed at promoting construction.

Despite a push by Canada’s housing minister asking them to reconsider, Metro Vancouver’s board has gone ahead with big increases to fees on new construction.  What does this mean?  Yes - it means the price of housing will continue to go up.  It may also mean that developers slow down and cannot keep up with the population growth we are experiecing because it just doesn't make sense to build due to costs.  At the end of the day it is all of us who suffer with housing and rental costs that keep increasing.  

 
 
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Changes to the City's Density

September 15th, 2023:  Vancouver’s city council gave their approval to a comprehensive zoning amendment with far-reaching implications. This amendment opens the door for the construction of up to 8 homes on single-family lots within all RS (Single Family) zoning areas. This novel zoning category, known as R1, presents a significant opportunity to address the housing needs of the “missing middle” family homes, who seek relatively affordable housing options, both for ownership and rental, throughout our city.

Under this new zoning, 33×122 lots will accommodate up to 4 homes, whereas the larger lots will permit 6 strata (for sale) ownership homes. There is also an opportunity to construct up to 8 homes on larger lots, provided they are designated as market rental units. This transformative change is poised to reshape our city, with some viewing it as a positive development while others express concerns, particularly among existing homeowners in quiet single-family neighborhoods. 

These newly termed “multiplexes” will boast a 1.0 FSR (Floor Space Ratio), equivalent to 100% of the lot size in buildable square footage. For example, a typical 33×122 lot should yield four homes, each being approximately 1000 square feet. These homes are likely to include a mix of 2 and 3-bedrooms. On the other hand, larger lots will accommodate up to 6 homes, predominantly designed as 3-bedroom townhouses to cater to families. There is also going to be additional density bonuses for Net Zero built houses with an emphasis on green construction and energy efficiency.  Keep in mind - Net Zero builds are more costly and this will be reflected on purchase prices.  

With that said, this new R1 zoning isn’t all about increases in density. The city has also implemented a 10% reduction in density for the allowable size of single-family homes, going from 70% FSR down to 60% FSR, likely to encourage the higher density developments.  It's hard to comment on why the city feels decreasing the FSR density for single-family homes accomplishes anything.  

Despite the general increases in density and relaxations through rentals and expensive "green" construction, there remain numerous uncertainties surrounding these initiatives, including issues the cost of building, parking provisions and the associated city fees for project development. Undoubtedly, this new zoning will bring about profound changes to our cityscape, marking a shift away from the traditional single-family home, which was considered a luxury.  However creating a positive change for those families who would love to move into a neighbourhood that was not attainable previously.  

If you seek more information about how these changes will impact your property and neighborhood, please reach out.

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September blog

September has not ended just yet, but we are noticing a shift as September unfolds. 

Sales are trailing behind new listings, sparking optimism for buyers, like a Canuks game, we're in the first period of the month, so there's plenty of action to come.

At Mid-September, we've seen 2,982 new listings in Greater Vancouver, surpassing August and even last year's numbers.  This surge could lead to the highet growth in active listings since 2021.  Sales at mid-September stand at 896, slightly down from August but on par with last year.  It's a slowerstart, but the second half of the month might pick up the pace.

The absorbtion rate of new listings is currently at 29%, a drop from previous months.  Different property types shoe varying uptake rates with lower-priced homes having stronger demand.  Vancouver East is starting starting slowly, North Vancouver is seeing a listing surge, and West Vancouver has a 12% absorbtion rate.  Richmond and New Westminster are showing interesting trends, and Ladner and Tsawwassen may be experiencing a surburban shift.

The City of Vancouver and the Federal Government have "begun" to address supply issues.  Or are they just giving us Halo words to grasp on to for the coming months.  More forward thinking needs to happen.  It sometimes feels like we are chaising the tail end of issues rather than being pro-active.  Eliminating restrictions and taxes could be critical to unlocking growth.  

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What's all of the fuss about Edgemont Village

Formerly known as Capilano Highlands, Edgemont is one of the most sought-after neighbourhoods in North Vancouver, making it prestigious when it comes to real estate.

Edgemont is primarily single-family homes in a calm, quiet and family-oriented community. You will find tree lined streets, and people of all ages (young and elderly).  Most importantly, it will feel miles away from the hustle and bustle while you are just a walk away from coffee shops, restaurants, shopping and much more.  The summer months are filled with events such as the Vancouver Mural Festival.  It is close to major commuter routes taking you to Downtown Vancouver in no time. 

If you have a little one in school – it is located in the popular Handsworth School Catchment. In addition, there are many private schools on the North Shore to pick from. 

In or near 'the Village' you'll also find a good mix of condos or spacious townhouses which makes this a well-rounded neighbourhood.

If you are a skiier, hiker, mountain biker or an outdoor sport kind of person – you will enjoy the close proximity this neighbourhood has to all of these activities.  It is practically in your back yard.  You will not need to make a day out of enjoying an activity, you can incorporate it into your daily life. 

If you have any questions about this neighbourhood, do not hesitate to ask. 

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Sold - at 5612 in Vancouver

I have sold a property at 5612 in Vancouver. See details here

The family home you've been waiting for! Located on a 52' x 110' lot, w/ detached garage, fenced yard, & stunning updates throughout. Features of this home include: large main floor w/ designer kitchen, S/S appliances, gas FP, large living & dining rms., mud rm, den, & deck; oak floors; architectural details; 3 beds & 2 baths up; & vaulted ceilings & W-I-C in master. Downstairs boasts high ceilings, huge rec room, wet bar w/ DW & fridge, workout area, mud rm, separate entry, & large guest bed w/ ensuite. Upgraded plumbing, electrical, drain tile, & roof; tank-less hot water; EV hook-up. All you have to do is move in. Amazing location close to grocers, shops, transit, excellent schools, & more.

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Sold - at 215 2190 7 AVE W in Vancouver

I have sold a property at 215 2190 7 AVE W in Vancouver. See details here

ATTENTION !!! FIRST TIME BUYERS OR INVESTORS. This is the Perfect Place in the Heart of Kitsilano. It is a Cozy full size 1 bedrm with a huge WEST facing Balcony with Beautiful Mature Trees. Perfect for Sun bathing on a hot summer day. The kitchen includes a Dishwasher which is a bonus. Walking distance to everything...BEACH, Restaurants, Shopping, Transit (New Broadway-line coming) and the Arbutus Greenway. Includes 1 Parking, 1 Storage Locker. NO RENTAL RESTRICTIONS, PETS ALLOWED. The building offers a Sauna, great to unwind in!!It is currently tenanted and they would like to stay if preferred. Pro-active Strata and low Strata fees. Rentals allowed but Short term accommodations not allowed

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Sold - at 303 6018 IONA DR in Vancouver

I have sold a property at 303 6018 IONA DR in Vancouver. See details here

Welcome to Argyll House West. A great opportunity to own this unit with functional layout in Chancellor place neighborhood. Solid concrete construction building by Intracorp. Enjoy 711 sf of well laid out plan with gourmet stainless/granite kitchen with gas cooking, generous room sizes, and high-end finishing. Practical pluses include a fully finished office/den with custom built-ins, a cozy gas fireplace, additional storage locker, and secure underground parking. And if you like to entertain, you now have a balcony large enough for a dining set and sectional patio furniture. Book your private viewing today!

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Amortization Rates.  Will they keep going up?  What's the solution?

Is the housing affordability crisis pushing the dream of homeownership beyond the realm of possibility for some Canadians? And while industry insiders believe short-term solutions should be adopted to offer some relief, the head of the country’s housing agency cannot agree on a solution.  

We have come to a point where Canada can’t overcome its housing affordability crisis without adding more supply of homes, but this solution will take years. In addition, Canada is having record rates of immigrated coming into the country which puts more pressure on the hosuing market.  According to a recent study conducted by the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC), Canada needs to add 3.5 million units by 2030 for affordability to be restored. 

Is this wishful thinking or can this actually come to realization?

Many First Time Home Buyers are looking for some sort of assistance. Whether it be some financial aid from family or the government.  Currently, interest rate levels are high especially when taking into consideration todays housing prices.  We also have persistance inflationary pressure driving up the cost of living.

The director of public affairs, Jasmine Toor, for Mortgage Professionals Canada (MPC) argues that extending amortization periods to 30 years from 25 years for borrowers who get an insured mortgage (those making a down payment of less than 20%) would help more Canadians enter the housing market. She also argues that the current home price cap of $1 million should be bumped up to $1.25 million for insured mortgages.  She believes “these policies would help to eliminate some of the barriers to entry that are causing younger Canadians to give up on the dream of homeownership.”  

I'm going to pause here and ask...Does a First Time Home Buyer need a $1.25 million home?  Could a first time home buyer not purcahse something smaller and at a later date sell this home to purchase something larger when they can afford it?  I have no opnion on this.  It's just a question?

On the flip side CMHC president and CEO Romy Bowers disagrees, recently telling the Canadian Press that extending amortization periods “just makes credit more available.” She argues that while the policy change would lower monthly payments for borrowers, it ultimately increases the cost to homeowners long term, which she fears could exacerbate affordability challenges. “What I worry about is sometimes that seems like a quick fix,” she said. “If you just have 30-year amortizations, everyone’s mortgage payments will go down by $200 and they can actually afford the house, but if you’re in a supply-constrained market and that’s your solution, it’s not going to solve the problem in the long term.”

Instead, Bowers wants the industry to focus on increasing the supply of homes across a wider spectrum of price points, with a better balance between the high and low ends of the market.

I will interject again with my thoughts on this.  Who is increasing the supply of homes?  Where is this magic solution coming from? The government?  Developers?  A combination of both?

Toor agrees that supply will help balance the market in the long run, she says that Canadians need more solutions to ease short-term affordability challenges.

Beyond extending amortization periods and keeping house price limits for insured mortgages in line with prices in Canada’s major cities, she says the federal government could also eliminate the stress test on mortgage transfers, switches and renewals. Toor also encourages the Canadian government to convene a permanent national housing roundtable with stakeholders from across the country to share best practices across jurisdictions.

“Very little has been done to address the housing affordability challenges that Canadians are facing now,” she said. “We believe the federal government, including CMHC, can show more leadership in this area.”

The case for a 50-year amortization

While getting the government to accept 30-year amortizations for insured mortgages may be a challenge, some say they should go even further.

Dustan Woodhouse, president of Mortgage Architects, is advocating for a maximum amortization period of up to 50 years for existing borrowers facing higher monthly payments.

Let's keep in mind that labour is not getting less expensive, the materials are not getting less expensive, the price of land is not going to go down, and the government fees are not going down.  Who wants to get paid less?  I sure as hell do not!

Is an extended amortization the best solution?  It may alleviate some very significant tension in current mortgage holders’ households for the short term.

Woodhouse emphasizes that his proposed solution would only apply to debt servicing, and could not be used for qualification purposes, as that would only drive up prices. Ultimately, he believes it’s better to let Canadians extend their amortization periods to what some might consider extreme lengths than let them lose ownership of their homes.

So let's consider this.  If you are a tenant, there is a possibility that you could be a tenant for life.  Is that a better option that owning a home with a 50 year amortization?  Some places around the world do have 50 year amortizations. 

Woodhouse does explain that most lenders can extend amortizations, but only offers it once borrowers have already burned through their savings trying to keep up with higher mortgage costs.

Woodhouse also goes on to explain “a majority of lenders are capable of offering up to a 40-year amortization, which takes the edge off in a big way, however they will only offer that if you know to ask, and typically only offer it to people who have missed a mortgage payment.  Shouldn’t we be proactively trying to help Canadians manage these payments before they are in a crisis?”

Here is another thought to think about.  If Canadians were offered an amortization up to 50 years would they seek to pay it down sooner once they are more financially stable?  Are the bank penalties too high to do this? Some banks penalize quite a bit logically want to pay down your mortgage.   

Lastly, to the reader thinking, it’s just ridiculous that someone 55 years old should be able to take a 40 or 50 year amortization, they’ll be 95 or 105 before they pay off their house.  Maybe that's not the point.  Maybe the point is to be paying down on your home and at some point selling it and renting when you are older.   Wouldn't you rather be paying into yourself and growing your money and later selling your home to be able to add that cash back into your bank account?  

There is not one single correct answer.  But there do seem to be many points of views.  Hopefully the Government can agree on something sooner than later.

XOX


Sources found here and here

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