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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

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 90 different...

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...

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...

International Fixed Interest Review

The changes in monetary policy coupled with the volatility in the global equity market is the primary reason for the developments in the international fixed interest markets. In the U.S., the Fed ceased its quantitative easing program in relation to bond purchasing which allowed for low bond yields. The 10-year treasury yield rose from 2.4 at the end of August 2014 to 2.6% by mid-September. However, with the global equity volatility kicking in, the U.S. 10-year yield consequently dropped to a low of 2.16% in mid-October. Investors saw a slight rise in the yield following the dip in the yields. Unfortunately, the yield as of January 20, 2015, has dipped to a low of 1.82%. 

Looking towards Europe and Asia, the focus has been on a looser monetary policy. The European Central Bank moved towards...

Vancouver's Cultural Mosiac

Canada's two official languages are English and French. However, how many Vancouverites actually have either of those languages as their native tongue? Let's find out! In Metro Vancouver, of 2.23 million residents, 58% report that English is their native tongue and French making up a whopping 1% of residents. This leaves 41% of residents with a non-official language as their native tongue. The most predominant languages are as follows:

Over the coming decades, immigration will act as the primary driver to population growth on a local and even national level. Vancouver has so much diversity which makes this city such a beautiful cultural mosaic. Perhaps it's time to learn another language? 

Impact of Immigration on Vancouver's Real Estate Market

Happy New Year! We wish you a very successful year full of happiness and new adventures as you bask in the beauty Vancouver has to offer. As we enter into the new year, the government has launched a new immigration program which we will discuss in further detail below.

The Metro Vancouver real estate market is affected by immigration trends. More than 250,000 immigrants become permanent residents and more than 150,000 foreign workers arrive to Canada on an annual basis according to Richard Bell, lawyer of Bell Alliance. This will benefit BC's economy. Bell stated, "over the next 10 years, B.C. will have one million job openings. One-third are expected to be filled by immigrants who will come here and buy homes".  

There are many governmental programs to bring immigrants to Canada. In January...

Energy Efficiency Requirements

Amendments to the BC Building Code have been introduced and effective as of December 19, 2014. The amendments include an additional section entitled 9.36 Energy Efficiency which are new requirements for houses and small buildings. This section is concerned with the energy used by buildings and outlines new requirements for insulation, ventilation and radon mitigation rough-in. The update sets out mandates for increased energy-efficiency standards for home construction and should result in further efficiency in how new homes are built. The building construction regulation is a provincial responsibility and thus, other provinces are at different stages of adoption.

A house with green features feeds the need to be environmentally sustainable while positively impacting the construction and quality...

Home Renovations: Heating Edition

One might ask, how is it possible to save money by making home renovations? Follow along and we'll show you how. 

Home Upgrade Rebates Through BC Hydro and FortisBC
There are a variety of incentives and rebate programs available for homeowners who would like to make energy efficient upgrades to their home. The home energy rebate top up contest gives homeowners a chance to win $2,500 towards your upgrades (or a $500 secondary prize). The clock is ticking as the December 12th application deadline is quickly approaching. For additional information on the contest and other available rebates, check out the Home Energy Rebate Top Up Contest.

High-Efficiency Heating System
Opt for systems with the energy-efficient stamp of approval by looking for the ENERGY STAR label. These products help you save...

Green Financing Options

We've outlined "green" location decisions in our previous blog which can be viewed here: Ways to Save $$$ with Location Decisions

Once you have chosen a location and narrowed down your housing choices to *the* one, you have to think about financing options. Lucky for you, most financial institutions offer "green" mortgages. Making eco-friendly decisions will save the environment and some money while you're at it.

[1] Bank of Montreal Eco Smart Mortgage

This is a five-year fixed closed mortgage that rewards you for planning to purchase or already owning a home with energy efficient features. Members are qualified for a great rate when they apply under a BMO representative. This mortgage features prepayment options that will allow you to pay down your mortgage faster and reduce...

Ways to Save $$$ with Location Decisions

In today's time and age, location is definitely key, especially in Metro Vancouver. Choosing where to live includes various factors and we'll shed light on some ways to save money by being environmentally conscious about your choice of location.

First off, situate yourself in "green" neighbourhoods. What we mean by that is, look at properties that are in close proximity to work, school, shopping, community centres and other services. In doing so, the commute to these areas take up less fuel and subsequently, are easier on your wallet and the environment.

Another suggestion is to situate yourself in a transit-oriented area. Nowadays, many neighbourhoods are being built with transit as their focus. There is a shift towards shared driving or utilizing Car2Go as there has been a reduction in car...