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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

Home Renovations: Cooling Edition

For the warmer months, cool down with these tips and perhaps you can put some of that extra cash you save towards a summer vacation. Take a look at our previous blog on how to make improvements in your home to save heat and money. 

Install a Programmable Thermostat
Set it at a lower temperature at night and during the day when you're away. This can be done automatically without sacrificing comfort through the easy installation of a programmable thermostat or an automatic setback. With the former, you can turn on heating or air-conditioning based on a pre-determined schedule. Programmable thermostats are a great way to save on your energy bills as heating and cooling account for about 42% of energy costs. A majority of these costs come from heating and cooling empty or unused spaces. Each...

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Listed vs. Sold Units

The Real Estate Board of Greater Vancouver has a Listed vs. Sold section on their website which graphically represents the comparison between number of units listed vs. number of units actually sold. You have the ability to select a neighbourhood and property type within that neighbourhood to get a visual representation of that data in a graph format. Below is an example of the Vancouver West - Detached statistics.

The graph displays data for a one-year period and displays the following information on a month-to-month basis: units listed, units sold and active listings. To check out other neighbourhoods and property types, take a look at their website here.

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Heritage Action Plan Revision Part II

Our last blog touched base on the interim procedure as well as the characteristics of a character building. In Part II of the series "Heritage Action Plan Revision", we'll be looking at buildings not on the Heritage Register as well as buildings without character merit or heritage value. 

Homes with character merit and heritage value are encouraged by City policy to be retained even if those homes are not on the Heritage Register. Incentives to home owners include permitting extra density or other relaxations that involve discretion in applying guidelines, polices and regulations. On the flip side, the Planning and Development Department has the authority to approve the demolition of homes with character merit or heritage value at their discretion if the property is underused or the building...

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Heritage Action Plan Revision Part I

The Heritage Action Plan, Heritage Register and guidelines for heritage buildings are in the midst of being updated. A temporary guideline called the Heritage or Character Buildings Review - Interim Procedure is currently being utilized as changes to the guidelines are underway and are pending completion for December 2015. This interim procedure applies to development applications involving pre-1940s buildings and reflects policies that aim to "enhance the retention and rehabilitation of character homes throughout Vancouver and reduce construction waste". By providing incentives rather than penalties, the City encourages owners to retain pre-1940 buildings. Plans to demolish a heritage or character building in Vancouver must be done through a demolition application with particular criteria...

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Rising Demand in Metro Vancouver

Looking back at the housing statistics of Metro Vancouver, there has been a steady increase in demand in the month of March. According to the Real Estate Board of Greater Vancouver (REBGV), residential property sales in Greater Vancouver topped out at 4,060 just last month. In comparison to the same month last year, there has been a 53.7% increase in unit sales and a 32.6% increase in comparison to February 2015. It has been noted that there has been strong competition amongst home buyers as there have been multiple offer situations and there has been some upward pressure on home prices. 

5,968 new listings in March for detached, attached and apartment properties within the Metro Vancouver area were recorded. In contrast to March 2014 totals, this represents a 13% increase. However, the...

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Mortgage Rates Reach Historic Lows!

With a major decrease in Canadian bond yields to 0.52 as of March 27, 2015. The plummet in bond yields is in part due to the surprise rate cut at the Bank of Canada's meeting in January. In spite of that, posted mortgage rates have moved slightly lower and banks passed through only a partial amount of the 25 basis point rate cut to prime rates that govern variable mortgages. The forecasts for future rate decisions have seen fluctuation. The five-year bond yield hit a record low of 0.59% but has since rebounded. The five-year fixed mortgage rate is currently at 4.74% which may be the absolute floor. The 0.75% decline in the five-year bond yield translated to only a 0.04% reduction in the qualifying rate.

It may be a while before mortgage rates move substantially higher. The mortgage rate forecast...

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Online Civil Resolution Tribunal

2015 is the year in which the Civil Resolution Tribunal Act is anticipated to come fully into force and will commence operations. As a strata corporation, owner or tenant, are you looking for an efficient way to settle disagreements at a reasonable cost? Look no further. The Civil Resolution Tribunal (CRT) will be Canada's first online tribunal and will be the handy tool to be utilized in settling disputes. It is a straightforward, convenient and timely process.

Strata owners have been longing for a better - and faster - method to resolve disputes. In 2012, the government introduced the Civil Resolution Tribunal Act which was an alternative to court. Fast forward three years and this new online tribunal is ready to be launched. The CRT is being designed primarily as an online tribunal. It provides...

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Unified Definition of Home

As a collective whole, Canadians are united in their definition of home. A recent survey done by Century 21 reveals the top 10 ways Canadians define home which is seen below. The question posed was, "In about five describing words or less, what does "home" mean to you?". The major themes that came up had a lot to do with family, comfort and safety. The personal value of a home is deeply rooted in Canadian culture and the personal definition of home is one that resonates with most Canadians. 

 

British Columbians are the only province to include a social aspect to their definition of home by including "friend" in their top 10. The only region to list a practical term, "investment", in their top 10 was Quebec. Lastly, Ontario residents take the cake for being most creative with nearly...

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Residential Development in River District

Southeast Vancouver's River District, which encompasses Boundary Road, Marine Way, Kerr Street and the Fraser River, will be seeing major improvements in the way of residential developments. This riverfront community covering 120-acres is in the midst of seeing 1,250 homes underway with thousands more anticipated. There will be approximately 7,000 homes in this area which will be able to house up to 17,000 residents. Marine Way has already seen improvements earlier this year in terms of aesthetics such as shrubbery and in road improvements such as including new traffic signals.

RD2, our unofficial name for this development, is Vancouver's last waterfront community. According to Beau Jarvis, Wesgroup senior VP, "[t]his site was one of the largest, if not the largest, rezoning since the Expo...

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Land Redevelopment Between CLC and the First Nations

Three former government sites are now equally owned by the Canada Lands Company (CLC) and three local First Nations following a $307M deal in a historic joint venture partnership. The three local First Nations, Musqueam, Squamish and Tsleil-Waututh Nations, will develop the three sites as partners along with the CLC. As of late, there are no predetermined plans set out for the sites.  

The three former government sites are the following:
1 - Jericho Garrison Lands
     - Located in Vancouver's West Point Grey neighbourhood
    - Formerly owned by the Department of National Defence
   - 52 acres (21 hectares)
   - Value: $237 Million

2 - Heather Street Lands
     - Located on Heather Street between West 33 and West 37th Avenues...

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