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Are You Ready to Buy Your Next Home in Vancouver?

If you are ready to buy your first house, condo or townhouse in Vancouver Yaletown, Kitsilano, Vancouver Downtown, Gastown, West Vancouver, Coal Harbour, Kerrisdale, False Creek or other parts of the Lower Mainland, then there are three vital tips that you will want to keep in mind as you prepare to enter into the Vancouver real estate marketplace. By following these tips, you will be in the best possible position to ensure that you really will be able to find and buy your dream home.

Get Pre-approved for a Home Mortgage

Perhaps the most important step that you should keep in mind when it comes to buying your first home is to get pre-approved for a home mortgage loan. By getting pre-approved for a home mortgage loan before you start looking, you will be in a far stronger position to enter into a real estate contract.

The typical home seller will be more eager to enter into a sales contract with a person who has been pre-approved for a home mortgage loan. One of the biggest obstacles to closing a real estate deal in Vancouver and the Lower Mainland is usually the inability of the buyer to obtain acceptable bank financing. By coming to the bargaining table with a pre-approved home mortgage, you will be able to demonstrate to a seller that you are serious about buying their home.

Develop a Specific Home Buying Plan

Another important step that you will want to take when it comes to buying your first home is to develop a specific home buying plan. If you do not have a plan, you will often be tempted off course in your search for that perfect property. A Vancouver REALTOR® will help you set up your plan.

Perhaps the most significant element of a plan is to set forth specifically what you are willing to pay for a house, condo or townhouse. The failure to establish such a budget oftentimes results in a person ending up spending far more on a home than he/she can actually afford.

Consult with Amalia Liapis

Finally, your interests can be best served by engaging a professional Vancouver real estate agent to assist you in your search for your home. Amalia Liapis will provide you with the newest Vancouver MLS real estate listings, advise you on all facets of a property and the current market, guide you through the complex contract negotiations and always be there for your needs. By selecting a professional Vancouver real estate agent like Amalia Liapis to assist you in your home search, you have the best chance for success in finding your ideal Vancouver house, condo or townhouse and ensuring your experience is both exciting and stress-free.


Latest Vancouver Real Estate News

West End Community Plan (WECP)

The City of Vancouver has implemented a neighbourhood planning project entitled the "West End Community Plan (WECP)". The West End is home to a mosaic of unique people and places. A community plan has been prepared to meet the needs of the community in regards to new developments and future growth. The City has approved the plan to accommodate for an additional 10,000 people in the West End over a period of 30 years.

With an allowance for higher density, property prices have increased along major thoroughfares and significant real estate transactions have popped up. The former Crown Life building located at 1500 West Georgia Street has been acquired by Bosa Properties and Kingswood Properties for a whopping $120 million. This plan allows for the opportunity to develop a 400-foot tower atop a...

Mortgage Rate Outlook

Mortgage rates currently remain at historically low rates, however, they are expected to increase in the last quarter of the year and will continue to increase into 2015. It is sitting at 3.14% (for a one-year term) and is forecasted to stay stable in this upcoming quarter. As per the BCREA, the mortgage rate forecast is as follows:

*Data is average of weekly rates. Source: Bank of Canada.

In response to bond yields seeing a downwards trend, lenders have offered historically low mortgage rates, which is great news for homebuyers.

Economic Outlook
In relation to Canada's economy, its weak start was quickly overturned by strong economic growth in the second quarter with a 3.1% real GDP increase. This growth was largely attributed to the number of exports. It is expected that the economic growth...

5 Most Common Home Problems

Below are five most common home problems homeowners face. By identifying minor issues before they end up being full-blown issues, you could potentially save yourself hundreds of dollars.

(1) Improper Surface Grading and Drainage

As a result of improper surface grading, most basements will end up leaking through water aggregation. Homeowners should examine their own lot grading and take the necessary steps to prevent flooding and property damage. The causes of basement water damage issues are generally external. To address the issue at hand, homeowners can divert water away from the building, provide drainage along the basement perimeter, protect the foundation walls against moisture and ensure they have durable grading near the basement and over the entire lot. 

(2) Roof Damage

Roof problems,...

Stronger Greater Vancouver Home Buyer Demand

In this blog, we'll be touching base again on the demand for housing in the Greater Vancouver Region. As stated in the previous blog, the demand for housing has slightly outpaced the supply for it. In addition, we will be delving into the current status of the real estate market.

The real estate market is cyclical in which several factors such as interest rates, employment growth, investment growth, construction and immigration influence this cycle. These factors affect whether it is a buyer's, seller's or balanced market.

[1] A buyer's market is when the housing supply is greater than the demand. This generally results in housing prices dropping over a period of time due to the fact that home owners may be eager to sell their property.

[2] On the other end of the spectrum is the seller's...

Housing Demand Outpacing Supply

The real estate industry is a key economic driver in BC. Despite the preconceived notions of Vancouverites, the Greater Vancouver housing market is seeing demand for housing slightly outpace the supply. We continue to see incremental gains in home values, depending on the neighbourhood and property type. According to the Real Estate Board of Greater Vancouver (REBGV), residential property sales in the Greater Vancouver area has reached 3,061 in July alone, making it the fourth consecutive month that the Greater Vancouver market has exceeded 3,000 sales (McLeod, 2014). Prior to this upsurge in sales, the housing sales have not surpassed this sales mark since June 2011. 

The MLS Home Price Index (HPI) measures home price trends and home price inflation/deflation in residential markets...

Metro Vancouver Market Trends

Metro Vancouver's real estate prices are steadily increasing, making the housing costs less affordable. Despite the decline in fixed mortgage rates, housing affordability in Metro Vancouver is slowly diminishing. The increase in real estate prices is not isolated to Vancouver only as affordability for homes has decreased for the province as a whole. On a more positive note, the market seems to be back on track due to the increase in real estate prices. Not only is it back on track, it appears to be the strongest it's ever been in the past 3 years. While this is great news for the market, it isn't for home buyers. There has been a recent increase in home buyer demand which puts Greater Vancouver in the upper reaches of a balanced housing market.

The graph below shows ownership costs as a percentage...

Grants & Rebates Part IV


To wrap-up our 4-part blog series, we end off with five additional grants & rebates which can help make owning a home a little more affordable. The first fifteen grants were listed out in the previous blogs, which can be found here: Part 1, Part 2 & Part 3. Follow along to see how you can keep your wallet feeling a little fuller!

(16) Local Government Water Meter Program
Some municipalities offer a program for voluntary water metering. Basically, what this program entails is that you only have to pay for the amount of water you use. 

Additional Information: Visit your municipality's website and type in "Water Meter" to find out whether any program has been implemented.

(17) Local Government Water Conservation Incentives
Some municipalities provide rebates...

Grants & Rebates Part III


Over the next couple of blogs, we'll be providing a list of grants and rebates for property buyers and owners to make the purchasing process a little more affordable. The first ten grants were listed out in the previous blogs, which can be found here: Part 1 & Part 2. Follow along to see how you can keep your wallet feeling a little fuller!

(11) BMO Eco Smart Mortgage
This 5-year fixed closed mortgage rewards customers for making smart choices for their home and the environment. You could qualify for a great rate on BMO's Eco Smart Mortgage if you have bought, plan to buy or already own a home with energy efficient features.

Additional Information: BMO Eco Smart Mortgage

(12) BC Hydro Fridge Buy-Back Program
 Refrigerators are one of the highest energy users in your...

I have sold a property at 407 1405 West 15th AVE W in Vancouver
I have sold a property at 407 1405 West 15th AVE W in Vancouver.
This is the south facing patio suite you've been looking for! Located centrally on a quiet street in the Fairview area of South Granville. Beautifully updated suite with newer floors, paint, and built in pantry. Very well laid out, this spacious bright ground floor home has a completely private walkout patio and garden for the green thumb or just kicking back. The building has been extensively updated with all new windows, new exterior upgrades, intercom, etc. Extremely well maintained, with meticulous gardens and landscaping. Just steps to shopping, coffee, groceries...Home includes one parking and one storage.
Grants & Rebates Part II


Over the next couple of blogs, we'll be providing a list of grants and rebates for property buyers and owners to make the purchasing process a little more affordable. The first five grants were listed out in the previous blog, which can be found here: Grants & Rebates Part I. Follow along to see how you can keep your wallet feeling a little fuller!

(6) BC Property Tax Deferment Programs
Once you receive your property tax notice, you may be able to apply for a low interest loan to pay your current year property taxes on your principal residence given you satisfy the requirements.

There are three different property tax deferment programs available: [1] Property Tax Deferment Program for Seniors [2] Financial Hardship Property Tax Deferment Program [3] Property Tax Deferment...