Spring is a season of renewal. Birds are singing and the flowers are beginning to burst into bloom. The days are getting longer and people are getting outdoors again. So not surprisingly, real estate activity begins to swing into high gear. The weather is more cooperative and families are looking to move during the summer break.
If you are considering putting your home on the market, now's a good time to do some spring maintenance to make sure your home is in tip-top shape. Even if you aren't planning to sell your home, you should still add these tasks to your list to help preserve your home's value and help avoid major repairs later on.
Walk Around the Outside
Check for any damage caused by winter's cold weather. Look for those sagging or loose gutters, window frames or siding. Is your roof missing any shingles, or is there any water damage under the eaves? Promptly schedule repairs for those items you can't do yourself.
Over the fall and winter, leaves, mud and debris may have accumulated in your gutters. Check your gutters for clogging and damage and schedule an appointment for cleaning.
Walk around your yard as if you were a first-time visitor. What impression does your home make? Be sure to clear away fallen branches and leaves. Loosen the soil around perennials, plant annuals or a vegetable garden. Prune shrubs and trees.
If your water supply has been off for the winter, turn it back on. Test your automatic sprinkler system or connect your water hose and check for cracks and leaks. Replace old washers or sprinkler heads.
Don't forget the backyard! Is it time to condition your deck? Be sure to hammer in any loose nails, or replace them with galvanized deck screws. Replace any broken boards or rails. Consider renting a power washer to clean dirt and mildew from the wood, and then apply an all-weather sealer or stain. Then dust off that patio furniture you kept protected over the winter.
Repair any broken fence boards and paint or seal them as needed. Clean the pool if it has been covered all winter. Wash windows, screens and windowsills; repair any winter damage.
Take A Tour Inside
Start making a list of things to do in each room. Then dive in. Dust walls and ceilings to remove cobwebs and wash any grimy areas. Wash window curtains or remove drapes for dry cleaning. Deep clean rugs and carpets. Dust and polish wood or laminate floors.
Clean fan blades using mild soapy water. Check the A/C or Heat Pump unit for debris and obstructions; vacuum the main condenser coil on top of the unit. Check the operating condition of the furnace; remove and change filters.
Make sure all exhaust fans and vents are clean and clear. Don't forget to remove the lint buildup from the clothes dryer vent.
One often-overlooked area is the fireplace. Be sure to sweep ashes carefully into your fireplace's ash pit or into a dustpan.
Look around for clutter. Are there items you don't use any longer? If you are planning on moving, what items will you not need? Consider having a garage sale and then either donate or trash the remaining items.
And lastly, don't forget to replace batteries in smoke and carbon monoxide detectors. Did you change them when you changed your clock for daylight savings time ? If not, change them now !
Although performing these spring chores may not be something you really want to do, they go a long way in maintaining and even enhancing the attractiveness, quality and VALUE of your home. Happy Spring!
We, like most North Vancouverites, consider our pets “family”. And fortunately in our fair city – many buildings permit pets. Frankly, we are such a pet-friendly city that it can be detrimental to your Apartment or Townhome’s market value should pets not be allowed! That no-pets-no-rentals-no-BBQ’s rule really reads, “No fun here” ! While most of the time ‘pets’ means dogs or cats, most buildings allow fish & birds, but not snakes or reptiles …
Here are 5 buildings that welcome your four legged friends, and have other benefits, too:
One Park Lane (170 West 1st Street)
One of the most elegant and best-selling concrete buildings in Lower Lonsdale – in fact won a 2005 Georgie Award for “Best Residential Building in BC”. Lucky 13 floors, and 117 apartments & townhomes. Has a swanky foyer, Conceirge, Gym, Lounge, Theatre, Video Security, secure resident & guest parking, bike lockers. Adjacent to Jack Loucks Park (where, funny enough, dogs are prohibited??!)
Small dogs and/or cats to a maximum of two (2) with a weight restriction.
Vista East & Vista West at Hamersley Park (333-365 East 1st Street)
A collection of 140 apartments, built in 2 phases; in Craftsman Tudor style, AND with rain screen exterior by reputable and still-in-business, Ledingham McAllister. This is a super quiet location, and indeed across from Hamersley Park, and just steps to the waterfront & cool places like historic Hamersley House, Finch & Barley, and the Juicery. Two pets permitted here, too – dogs, cats or one of each. No weight restriction.
The “Q” – 124 West 1st Street
Popular & very well kept concrete building, built in 2001 when a one bedroom, 610 sq ft home here cost between $129,900 & $155,900 – and a 2B 2B suite of almost 900 sq ft set you back $200 - $250K. 73 really great suites here, no rentals permitted, but up to three pets. Many of these homes have spectacular views, large patios / terraces and spacious floor plans. Steps to Buddha-full Juice Bar & eatery, Waves coffee, Obsession Bikes, and some really great Pizza.
“Burham Court” – 222 East 5th Street
One of Noort Developments’ very first projects in North Vancouver (1998). 19 beautiful townhomes, measuring about 1500 sq ft each. This complex is a shining example of good maintenance, and has always sold well. Most recent sale was $891,000 in Dec ‘15. Lovely generous floor plans, good outdoor space, well landscaped, well built, and this part of 5th Street is really pretty. “Standard” Bylaws apply here in regard to pets, so that is 1 cat or 1 dog. A great favorite of ours; ticks all the boxes, but people move in & stay – so very few come up for sale.
15 West – 150 West 15th Street
OK, so technically “Central” Lonsdale, but WOW – so good we couldn’t resist. A Citimark / Grosvenor project. Gorgeous views from many suites in this all concrete building. 18 stories, lots of glass, party room, gym, meeting room, tons of visitor parking (thank goodness – have you tried to park middle of Lonsdale these days ?), a beautiful lobby with soaring ceilings (so nice to come home to), some MASSIVE patios and HUGE storage lockers and private garages for the PH suites. Delicious. 2 pets permitted in this very urban – super high quality building. Take your pet one block North to Fur-Doos grooming!
The BC government introduced its 2016 budget February 16th, and there is some really good news here. The budget included a number of items intended to affect affordability and availability in the Lower Mainland’s housing market. Here’s a summary:
Property Transfer Tax (PTT)
• a New Housing exemption will apply to newly built homes or newly subdivided units priced up to $750,000, saving buyers up to $13,000; and
• a partial exemption will apply on newly built homes priced $750,000 to $800,000.
• a new 3% PTT rate will apply to the portion of a home sale that exceeds $2 million. For homes that sell for below $2 million, the PTT will continue to apply at a rate of 1% on the first $200,000 and 2% on the balance.
These changes will take effect on February 17, 2016.
Starting this summer, individuals and corporations buying property must disclose if they are Canadian citizens or permanent residents of Canada and if neither, their home country. These changes will provide information on the volume of foreign investment in BC.
Home Owner Grant
The Home Owner Grant threshold will increase to $1.2 million from $1.1 million for the 2016 tax year.
The province will invest $355 million to help the BC Housing Management Commission support more than 2,000 affordable housing units for residents with low-to-moderate incomes.
Additional Government resources:
Read the Housing Affordability Backgrounder. Read the Budget Speech. (Opens 24-page pdf)
The public is invited to attend a drop-in open house on Tuesday, Jan. 19, 2016, to learn more about the $36-million Mountain Highway Interchange project designed to improve traffic flow and safety on the Trans-Canada Highway (Highway 1) north of the Ironworkers Memorial Bridge.
The new Mountain Highway Interchange project is the first phase of the $150-million Lower Lynn Improvements project, which is slated for completion in spring 2021.
This open house session is an opportunity for people to learn about the upcoming Mountain Highway project and provide feedback. Staff from the Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure and other members of the project team will be at the open house to go over the information, answer questions and provide details on this important three-phased project.
If you’re unable to attend, the information presented will be posted online after the start of the open house and an online feedback form may be filled out at:http://gov.bc.ca/lowerlynninterchanges
You may also send comments or questions to the project team by phoning 604 527-3105 or sending an e-mail to senior project manager Jay Porter at: Lowerlynn@gov.bc.ca
Public Information Session:
Date: Tuesday, Jan. 19, 2016
Time: 4 to 8 p.m.
Media invited at 3:30 p.m.
Public invited from 4 to 8 p.m.
Holiday Inn & Suites
700 Old Lillooet Rd.
Highway 1 – Lower Lynn Improvements Project website:
Follow the work of the British Columbia Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure online: www.tranbc.ca
So it was a slow news week last week. Combine that with the media’s ravenous appetite for real estate gossip, and the increase on your 2016 Property Assessment is once again an exciting topic.
Yes, there have been continued increases in prices in the Lower Mainland, and particularly the North Shore month over month for many years running, but this is all readily available public information, so not really a surprise that 2016 Assessments are considerably higher than they were in 2015.
The thing is, Property Assessments do NOT necessarily equal market value (that’s actually good news, because if 2016 Taxes were actually based on end of year 2015 values, they’d be considerably higher – see below).
And, just because your Assessment went up, doesn’t mean your taxes will increase by the same amount (or even at all). And, if your taxes increase, besides a change in assessed value, there could be changes in the City’s Tax rate, or in other tax authorities’ tax rate, so it’s not all about the real estate.
The municipal portion of the property tax bill (property tax + utilities) represents roughly 65% of your entire tax bill in the City if North Vancouver. Additional property tax charges are levied by Metro Vancouver regional district, TransLink, the Province of BC (school taxes), the BC Assessment Authority and others. Year-over-year changes in these charges may vary significantly from the change in the municipal property tax.
As a brilliant example, The City of Richmond (different municipality, but the concept is the same) was fed up with the confusion, and has a terrific YouTube video on how Property Taxes are calculated, and you can view it here:
Here are the price increases of a Benchmark North Vancouver home in the Assessment Period (you may find similar increases over last year on your Assessment Notice):
July 2014 - July 2015 Dec 2014 – Dec 2015
(assessment period) (Year over year data)
Detached 16.5% ↑ + 26.6% ↑
Attached 3% ↑ + 16.6% ↑
Apartments 2% ↑ + 9.9% ↑
Off the cuff, we can’t recall a year when an individual tax bill has decreased, regardless of what happens to property values. However, at some point economies of scale must come into play. Increased tax base, more people, higher property values … We look forward to the year when the Municipalities do a better job with what they’ve got and are able to deliver some good news in the mail the first week in January.
Here is a service that you may find helpful – available each New Year until March, where you can view details on a single property, compare neighbouring properties, and compare sales information.
HERE is a link to the BC Assessment News Release for 2016.
We are happy to help you with more stats – we have LOADS of them, for every neighborhood. You can take a peek here.
Everyone is talking about the now imminent development in the Lynn Valley Town Centre. The great news is that Floor-plans & Pricing are now available!
We have included links to the floor plans here:
Please click here for Furnished Floor-plans
For your convenience, we have included a link to the starting prices below:
Please click here for Starting Prices
The Vancouver Sun recently ran an article on The Residences this past weekend. You can click here for the story!
Want your own VIP Tour ? Construction of The Residences Sales centre, located across from CIBC at Lynn Valley Centre, is well underway and we would love to take you through your very own tour of these homes, so CALL US TODAY and we'll set up an appointment!
CALL US AT (604) 984-7253
Let’s face it – Real Estate is an incredibly hot topic, and has been for the last 10 years at least – as it has morphed from owning “somewhere to live” into an enormous industry unto itself – prompting a plethora of TV shows, trade shows, workshops, seminars, shops & services, plus daily chatter at your local coffee shop, and on every possible social media site.
Supply, Demand, Interest Rates and Income. Over history, these have not changed as the main influences in a real estate marketplace.
How do you know which report to rely on for information? – for example, on November 9th Global News reports on a “Risk of Severe Housing Slump Rising”… but if you get to the end of the article, you will read that “All told, there will be “modest unwinding” in housing activity in Ontario and B.C.”.
Today, CTV News has an article on their site quoting “no bubble burst”, with Central 1 credit union predicting that low mortgage rates through 2017 will keep sales sizzling, and prices rising. Sigh.
There is no doubt prices are the highest they have ever been in our fair city, and especially the North Shore & the West Side of Vancouver. Folks that already live here are, by all accounts, still loving it here and want to stay – making supply so slim, it’s crazy. And certainly, household income has not kept pace with the increase in median price in the Lower Mainland, and BC specifically stands out as the province that is the most costly to live in – taking the ratio of income to house prices.
Interest Rates today are still incredibly great – 2.54% for a five year term – fuelling the fire of an already what some would call, “overheated” market. But how do you define ‘overheated’ ?? People have always thought that Vancouver has been expensive. The North shore has particularly been an expensive place to live – and the reason is the same – MANY people still love it here, and want more than anything, to live here. Demand.
When we first began buying real estate, an average house in North Vancouver was just over $100,000 – and when that number became $200,000, everyone was up in arms. Breaking major price points over the last 25 years has always invoked the same response from consumers - except – gulp today, we’re talking “millions of dollars”! The price increase we have seen in the past year is approximately 20 – 25%. We have also seen similar increases in the period mid 2005 to mid 2006, when median prices jumped approximately 30%, and then again in early 2009 to early 2010, when they jumped again approximately 20%. YIKES!
There is no doubt it is tough out there, no kidding! Buyers are finding it a real challenge – and we as facilitators for buyers & sellers are also finding it a real challenge to locate a good home for our valued clients, and to provide comforting counsel to folks who are considering selling, but worried about where they will go should they sell.
So here are our thoughts & maybe a little advice on how to manage investing in and staying in one of the most desirable places to live !
(1) Start somewhere & just get into the market – the important thing is to stop paying rent. Consider purchasing an older apartment with a friend, or get a room mate. There are 235 apartments for sale in North Vancouver today (that’s 50.6% of our market) , and 109 of those are under $400,000. A $200,000 mortgage costs about $1000 per month today. Typical strata fees are about $300 per month – & add $100 - $175 a month for property taxes. It’s possible that’s less than you will pay for rent here. You’ve got to start somewhere.
(2) Not ready to buy just yet? Chat with a financial planner & a local mortgage broker and start your plan. With guided advice and your goal setting program, you’ll be further ahead when the time comes.
(3) Sit down with and ask questions of a seasoned, honest Real Estate Advisor – who should be part of your financial team, for now & into the future. Learn about today’s real market conditions from someone who is working 24/7 in the market – DON’T rely on traditional or social media to form your opinions & make your decisions – trust the experts!
(4) Set goals to save money & tuck it away for your real estate portfolio … over history, it has been one of the best investments you will ever make.
(5) Living in Vancouver is the reality of living within the Pacific Rim, but check out average composite (all property types) home prices in:
San Francisco $1,109,900 up 14.7% over year up 4.8% 2016 expected
Singapore $1,155,020. up 18% last 3 months
Hong Kong $2,047,850 for on average, 753 square feet
And, it’s not always about real estate. Here’s some advice from Warren Buffett - he has said the best investment he ever made was not a stock or a bond or even in real estate, but buying a copy of The Intelligent Investor, a book written by Benjamin Graham. Buffett read the book when it came out in 1949 and later enrolled at Columbia Business School in order to take classes with Graham. Buffett says the book still guides his investment decisions today, and he has recommended it to Bill Gates, among others. Here's what Buffett had to say about the book in his most recent letter to Berkshire shareholders: I can’t remember what I paid for that first copy of The Intelligent Investor. Whatever the cost, it would underscore the truth of Ben’s adage: Price is what you pay; value is what you get. Of all the investments I ever made, buying Ben’s book was the best (except for my purchase of two marriage licenses).
In today's highly competitive market, developers have had to (finally!) build quality homes at (relatively) attractive prices.
We are not easily impressed - we've been doing this a really long time, and sometimes we feel we've 'seen it all'. However, many of the newer projects in North Vancouver, and especially Lower Lonsdale are making waves for their good prices, good floor plans, good amenities, and overall good value.
It’s apparent that the buying public is impressed – there are just five homes left at the Anchor, a boutique community of 56 homes, in @LowerLonsdale. 7 stories, built to LEED Silver standards by Kamcon Construction – a local, family-owned company, and designed with lots of natural light, impressive decks, and favourite retailers conveniently located at ground level.
Owners will experience water views, city lights & sea air – and enjoy peace of mind with concrete construction and a ‘leave your car at home” walkable neighbourhood of shops and cafes. Waterfront Park, The Pier and Spirit Pacific Trail right in your backyard – plus, it’s just a 12 minute Seabus commute to downtown Vancouver.
Environmentally progressive features include a green roof and efficient hot water and heating supplied Lonsdale Energy Corporation. Design includes Caesar stone counters, stainless appliances, gas range & French Door fridges, Italian tile & 100% wool carpet. Some suites even offer oversioze terraces and 11' ceilings.
Building amenities include a Gym with commercial grade equipment, a Party Room with full kitchen & bath, but Tony Govic, Sales Rep at the Anchor says his "favorite building amenity is the 3,000 square foot Roof Top Deck, complete with BBQ, washroom & 360 degree views!"
Remaining homes available are well priced at about $650 per square foot, plus 5% GST. There are 2 x 1 bedrooms priced from $399,000 to $465,000, and 3 x 2 bedrooms, priced from $555,000 to $649,000 [parking & storage included].
Lower Lonsdale just becomes more vibrant by the minute! Move in early 2016 . 131 East 3rd Street, North Vancouver www.theanchorliving.com
There’s a fair amount of mis-information out there about what is considered ‘safe’ wiring in the home. Aluminum wiring, knob & tube, 60 amp service panels, upgrades without proper permits …
We have found a service that can tell you what needs to be done to make your home safe. They have advised that after over 5,000 inspections, knob & tube is generally never a problem, and neither is aluminum wiring, if properly connected. Most of the problems they encounter are from poor ‘handy man’ jobs, deteriorated wiring, improper connectors & unlawful upgrades.
POWERCHECK Electrical Safety Services is an impartial, third party inspection service. They only do inspections, and do not preform repair work. They will examine the electrical system in your home and provide you with an accurate Electrical Safety Assessment which will come in very handy when it comes time to insure your home.
Through a comprehensive analysis of the electrical system by an expert, the safety of the electrical system is determined. The home is then described as Low, Medium, High, or Extreme Risk. This provides an opportunity to easily understand the electrical safety of the home. If hazards are identified, they are clearly laid out in the report, so that an independent electrical contractor will know exactly what actions to take to make the house safe. All PowerCheck agents are Master Electricians (or equivalent) and/or retired Electrical Inspectors; all with decades of experience in home electrical systems.
The assessment itself takes about 90 minutes in the home. It consists of an 80-point examination and is non-invasive, and comes with an easy to understand safety report, sent to the home owner within one business day. This comes at a very reasonable cost: the standard rate for a single family home is $380, plus tax.
Want to have some peace of mind and make your home electrically safe? Visit their website at www.powercheck.ca
Buying or selling a home in today’s real estate market can be an emotional experience, but it needn't be a trying one.
In the video presented here, REBGV President Darcy McLeod takes a look at the housing statistics for September 2015. In particular, you will see how changes in the supply of homes for sale can impact the market.
The two factors that impact our market most are inventory, and interest rates. With inventory at less than HALF of what we normally see at this time of year, and today's best 5 year rate at 2.54% fuelling the fire of already amazing demand, it makes sellers nervous (if we sell, where will we go ?), and buyers frustrated (we're in Competition, AGAIN ?)
The good news is, we have solutions for you - with over 50 years' experience under our collective belts, we have helped our clients reach their goals in all types of market conditions.
Some basic strategies:
Be ready - we'll walk you through the best way to be organized and ready
for your purchase or sale, so that nothing is a surprise.
Start "Window Shopping" Now - get a comfort level with current inventory & prices, before you post the "For Sale" sign in your yard. You'll feel better having this information.
Leverage our Client Base - we don't just wait for MLS - we have over 700 families that we are in contact with that may have a home that matches your needs.
Consider Personal vs. Market Timing - there are lots of ways to 'massage' dates that are important to you, or the family you are buying from.
Have a "Plan B" - maybe there's an interim rental possibility if the next right home for you is just not out there yet.
When you've made the decision to sell your home or buy a new one, call us and we'll outline an effective plan that takes into consideration all of your needs and goals.
Take advantage of our experience and quality of service through each step of the transaction. Whether you are moving across town or across the country, you can expect the best from us.
Interesting News today regarding proposed changes to the Strata Property Act, courtesy of News Talk 980 CKNW.
As we see buildings continue to age, there have been occasions where there is a desire to sell to a Developer. There's one case in North Vancouver that we know of that has been ongoing for many years, because at this time, under the current Act, 100% of the owners must agree to the sale in order for it to move forward. Ultimately, court action has been taken, as not everyone was in agreement. This case is still ongoing.
The Province is proposing moving the percentage of owners in agreement from 100% to 80% agreement. This is a lengthy process and will not have immediate effect. We'll see where this goes!
READ MORE HERE
Come one, come all, to our Pumpkin Patch at LYNN VALLEY VILLAGE !
RAIN or SHINE, bring the family to the Community Room beside the Library at Lynn Valley Village, on Saturday, October 10th, between 11:30 am and 3:30 pm, and enjoy the Celtic sounds of “Crooked Road Band”, while you warm up with coffee or hot chocolate and pick your pumpkin for Hallowe’en!
Back by popular demand is the very talented Melanie Dawn, makeup artist & face painter! Melanie arrives at 12:30 and will be there until 3:30.
We look forward to celebrating the season, and our neighborhood, with you !
It's nearly Fall - the time for cooler weather and shorter days. It’s also the perfect time to prepare your home for the winter months that lie ahead. Performing regular maintenance of your home protects your home’s value and can prevent major repairs.
Here is a list of common maintenance tips that you should perform each autumn.
Roof and Gutters
Ice, snow and wind can cause weak trees or branches to break. Part of your winter preparation should include trimming back all tree limbs and vegetation away from the roof. You also should remove debris, such as leaves and sticks from your gutters and downspouts. Clogged gutters don’t allow water to properly drain away from the home, which can cause seepage in your ceilings and walls. You can also invest in gutter guards, a screen that prevents debris from entering the gutter and directs the flow of water away from the house and into the ground.
You don’t want to find out that your water heater isn’t operating properly when you need it most. So use this time to perform an annual inspection, which includes having your tank’s pressure and temperature relief valve checked. In addition, remove sediment from the bottom of the tank by draining two gallons of water to improve heat transfer and the efficiency of your heater.
Heating and Cooling System
If you have a forced warm-air heating system, you should check the exhaust vent and air shutter openings for dirt and dust. Clean any lint and dirt from the blower blades, motor and burner (if you have a gas heater). Vacuum air passages and check and replace, if necessary, fan belts. To prevent airborne dirt from circulating throughout your home, wash out your reusable filter or replace it if it disposable.
Doors and Windows
To help control heating costs, you want to make sure that your doors and windows are properly sealed. Now is the time to repair or replace weatherstripping around door bottoms and jambs and window frames. Check for loose or missing glazing putty and caulking for deterioration. If you have storm windows, install them.
Frozen or burst pipes can cause major damage to your home and be an expensive to remedy. Before frigid weather hits, protect your pipes in unheated areas from freezing by adding insulation, which reduces heat loss from hot-water pipes and condensation on cold water pipes. This can be accomplished by wrapping the pipes with heating tape or blanket insulation and duct tape or by encasing the pipes with preformed plastic foam. In addition, examine your pipes for cracks and leaks.
Before you light the logs and get ready to settle in front of a cozy fire, make sure that your fireplace is in good working order. Clean the chimney flue and if needed inspected and repaired. Check the seal on your flue, which is designed to keep out drafts. Replace the seal if it is loose or damaged.
If you decide to do the fall maintenance yourself disconnect the power for any electrical or gas systems. In addition, before inspecting, cleaning or making any repairs refer to your owner’s manual for all equipment for proper instructions, which should be the final authority on any maintenance.
Although this list is merely a guide, it can help you keep your home in good shape and have a winter free of major repairs.
Thursday August 20th (Yes, Tomorrow!) is the North Shore’s first ever Dinner on the Pier and we want YOU to be a part of it!
It begins with cocktail hour at the Pipe Shop Building in Lower Lonsdale. Be treated to LIVE music, a "Nautical" themed photo booth and raffle prizes before heading to the Lonsdale Pier to enjoy a long table dinner beside the ocean.
Proceeds from the event will go to a wonderful charity, Growing Chefs.
Wait! It doesn’t end there, the Pipe Shop Building will transform into the Summer Nights Party with award winning DJ Physik on the turntables to create the ultimate dance party.
Tickets include the following:
This contest runs 9am to 9pm TODAY and is open to EVERYONE - anyone can win, because everyone involved in this event is awesome and has worked so hard to bring it all together!
Win 2 free tickets to Dinner on the Pier from The Botto Team
HOW TO ENTER
1. ‘Like’ TheBottoTeam on Facebook
2. Follow @thebottoteam on Instagram
FOR ADDITIONAL ENTRIES:
'Tag' who you would take or give the tickets to in the Instagram or Facebook posts for one additional entry.
'Share' the Facebook or Instagram post for THREE ENTRIES !
Hey, we'll even get you an additional entry if you follow us on Twitter !
Enjoy our JULY Real Estate & Community News HERE.
In 1962, my family came to North Vancouver and bought a home in Westlynn - for $27,900 ! At that time, telephone numbers had letter-prefixes, "Lynn Valley Centre" had not yet been built, and Cockney Kings Fish & Chips were serving fish & chips wrapped in newspaper at the site of what is now Petro-Canada at Lynn Valley Road & Mountain Highway.
The building of Westlynn Terrace was just underway - 265 homes on 80 acres of land - and described as "creating its own character as a community of large family homes and attractive gardens, with broad, paved, fully serviced streets and an atmosphere of quiet dignity".
Most homes were on 60' x 125' lots, priced between $17,950 to $23,500, and "standard features" were wall to wall carpet, built in oven & range, double carport, shake roof & colored plumbing - ! Bring on the Cerulean Blue, Avocado, and Harvest Gold fixtures!
If you scan the photos attached, you may find a house like the one YOU grew up in - and we'd love to hear your comments on the memories you have from the Lynn Valley & Westlynn of the 1960's !
What does “I’m home” mean to you? Is it family, comfort, style or relaxation? Is it gardening, a favourite room, or cooking dinner? Royal LePage would like to know what you love about the place you call home. Post a photo of a favourite moment at home HERE to enter the Royal LePage #IMHOME Contest and share it on social media with the hashtag #IMHOME!
Enter to win great prizes!
From June 16, 2015 to October 5, 2015, share your photos and be entered for a chance to win:
• A $2,500 Grand Prize home shopping spree at Hudson’s Bay, Home Depot or Best Buy Canada, awarded at contest end
• A $250 gift card of your choice*, awarded monthly
• A $25 gift card of your choice*, awarded weekly
How to enter the Royal LePage #IMHOME Contest
Entering the contest is as easy as sharing a moment at home of you with your friends and/or family or on your own! Upload up to 5 photos a week. Share the contest for an extra entry. Use the hashtag #IMHOME when sharing on social media.
Full details and contest rules and regulations are available HERE, but keep these guidelines in mind:
• Be in the photo!
• Keep it PG
• Get consent from everyone in the photo
• Exclude brands and logos
• Make sure your photo is in JPG or PNG format and does not exceed 5 MB
• Read and agree to the rules and regulations of the contest
Show us what #IMHOME means to you! Enter today!
You may have asked yourself this question before you begin a renovation project…
Home owners are investing more money in home renovations than ever before. Whether a small cosmetic change, or a major professional renovation, many homeowners are investing time and money to make their residences more functional , comfortable, and stylish.
Although considered by many to be an added inconvenience and expense, building permits and building inspectors are actually important safeguards that help ensure you get sound workmanship and good value for your money, plus they addresses safety concerns and add value to the home !
A building permit is issued by the local municipality prior to beginning work and ensures that your project conforms to local building codes and bylaws. Your project will later be inspected by a qualified building inspector who ensures that the project is consistent with the plans submitted for the permit.
All these measures are of benefit to you, your neighbors, and subsequent homeowners. After all, who wants to find out after you’ve already built a new deck that’s it’s too close to your neighbor’s property, and that they can require you to move it over by three feet? What if this happens after you’ve sold your home? Yikes.
In addition to ensuring that your project used the correct materials and conforms to safety standards, the benefits to you and your family are obvious. If you’re working with a professional contractor, it is their responsibility to obtain the permit prior to commencing your work. BEWARE the contractors that suggest a permit is not required – especially for electrical, gas, plumbing and structural work !! If the contractor implies the job will be cheaper without the permit, you should seriously consider another opinion. Permit costs, as a function of the total price of a renovation are minimal.
Think of it as an ‘insurance policy’ ! If you are well organized submitting the required information to the municipality, the process is not long. If you use a contractor to do the work, consider a local contractor with experience dealing with the local municipal authorities.
We check permits for every home we list or sell – and you as a homeowner must disclose whether work was done with or without a permit. The risk is that the local municipality can require that you undo work done without a permit, whether it appears well done or not ! The prudent way to go? Obtain permits for work requiring permits. Not sure what is required ? Check out the North Shore’s Municipal web sites:
North Vancouver District
North Vancouver City
West Vancouver District
Aaah, taxes. Always more complicated than we think, or would like. Building or buying a home with a laneway house ? Sigh. Best to check with the professionals (tax accountant, lawyer & Realtor) before you get going.
A laneway house is a small detached residential infill house that typically fronts on the lane of a larger principal house.
If you own a principal residence and you hire a builder to build a new laneway house, then rent or lease the laneway home to a non-relative, the CRA considers you to be the builder, and to have:
* sold, repurchased, or “self-supplied” the laneway house at its fair market value;
* self-assessed and collected the GST on the sale; and
* paid the GST on the repurchase of the laneway house
This is just once scenario provided by the CRA, and it gets more complex from there. In for some bedtime reading ? You could read the CRA’s, "The HST/HST Implications of the Construction of Secondary Housing Unites (Laneway Housing)".
Did you know?
A laneway home can increase the value of a home. Building a laneway home:
* could affect your eligibility to claim the Home Owner Grant because of the increase in property value beyond the price thresholds; and
* may also result in increased property taxes.
* can affect a your principal residence exemption
It’s important for property owners to understand their options before building a laneway house or buying a property with a laneway house. Get professional advice first !
Have you owned your current home for ten years ? The North Van benchmark price for detached property has gone from $648,333 to a record high of $1,167,000 in that time period ! WOW that’s 80% in 10 years - CRAZY !!!
Ten years ago a benchmark townhome would have sold for about $425,000; today in North Vancouver, that number is $634,000. And, while the re-sale apartment market has been slower these past 5 years, if you have held your apartment for ten years or more, you will on average have seen an appreciation of about 45%. There’s a whole new meaning to, “Time is money”.
Real Estate is a hot topic today, and has been, especially in the Lower Mainland, for quite a while. It really has always been an excellent, LONG TERM investment. Don’t worry so much about the media stories of “bubble”, “affordability”, and “crash”. You have to live somewhere – even if it means starting out with a small space and a room mate. Invest in your future – invest for the long term.
And to those who only hear how much it costs to own a typical home on the West Side of Vancouver (now at about $2.5 Million) it may interest you to know that the MLS® Home Price Index composite benchmark price for all residential properties in Metro Vancouver is currently $684,400. This represents only a 9.4 per cent increase compared to May 2014.
As always, we are here to help you navigate the process of Buying, Selling, and Owning. On our team, we have over 60 years’ combined experience in the industry, and we are here to help!
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