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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 a REALTOR®

Finally, your interests can be best served by engaging a professional Vancouver real estate agent to assist you in your search for your home. Our agents 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 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

Canada's Economic Outlook


The Government of Canada has implemented a balanced budget which serves the purpose of supporting a diversified economy and advancing economic growth for the country. Following the 2008/2009 financial crisis, the Canadian government has been steadily moving towards a balanced budget with a $1.4 billion surplus in 2015-2016. Despite the move towards a balanced budget, the Business Council of BC is still preceding with caution due to the slow global growth currently exhibited, the drastically low oil prices and the overall weakness in other commodity markets. The cautious approach for the Canadian economic outlook has subsequently resulted in a significant decline in the nation's overall terms of trade. April 2015 saw a decline in Canadian exports of 0.7% in April and a 2.5% decline in its imports...

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Housing Market Update - Prevalent Seller's Market

 

Source: BC Real Estate Association (BCREA)

Cameron Muir, Chief Economist of the BC Real Estate Association (BCREA), gives a quick, yet detailed overview of the May 2015 statistics. Looking at the statistics, seller market conditions are prevailing. In the first time since 2007, MLS residential sales within BC surpassed 10,000 units in the month of May with an astonishing 10,174 residential unit sales recorded. Looking back at the first five months of the year, there has been a 22% increase in home sales and a 35% increase in the dollar volume bringing it to $25.4 billion. In contrast, there has been a 14% decrease in inventory of homes for sale from the previous year at approximately 45,000 units. This is the lowest level for the month of May since 2007. 

"Home sales for the month...

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Housing Demand Outpacing Supply

The Real Estate Board of Greater Vancouver (REBGV) provides us with an easy-to-understand video that depicts the specific insider trends in the housing market. Demand continues to outpace supply across Metro Vancouver resulting in seller market conditions.

In order to stay competitive in the marketplace, get connected with a knowledgeable realtor. With over 25 years in the industry, WeSellVancouver can provide advice on:

» Strategies for pricing
» What to include in the contract
» How to safeguard yourself

Whether you're buying or selling, we can assist you through the process. Contact us via e-mail at amalia@wesellvancouver.ca or by phone at 604-618-7000 for all your real estate needs.

Source: Real Estate Board of Greater Vancouver

 

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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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